The situation with COVID-19 has been felt in every industry across the U.S. The horse racing industry has seen changes daily. Thursday, Aqueduct announced the first direct impact of the virus as a backstretch worker tested positive and they shut down operations indefinitely.
On Thursday California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to stay at home. There is no word if this will impact live racing at Santa Anita or Golden Gate.
Santa Anita has implemented strict protocol. No media or horse owners will be allowed to attend. Only California Horse Racing Board licensed trainers and essential personnel who have horses running that day will be allowed on the premises during the afternoon. Essential personnel include racing officials as designated by the CHRB, safety staff (ambulance drivers, track maintenance crew) and specialized janitorial staff to sanitize the facility.
Yesterday, Gulfstream announced they were cancelling Friday’s card causing some confusion. They plan to resume live racing at Gulfstream on Saturday with more protocol changes, including several applying to the jockeys’ room and starting gate crew.
After some confusion in Maryland earlier in the week, Laurel Park resumes live racing Friday, also with enhanced protocol. Laurel Park’s stable area will be closed to all horses other than those based at Laurel and Pimlico. Shippers will not be permitted and will be scratched if entered on the weekend card.
Anyone traveling internationally, including owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms and exercise riders, must undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine and pass a physical examination before being allowed onto the grounds.
Tracks With Live Racing
Fair Grounds (including March 21 Louisiana Derby Day through closing day March 29)
Fonner Park (closed March 20-22, racing beginning March 23)
Golden Gate Fields
Gulfstream Park (policy includes Florida Derby Day, March 28)
Oaklawn Park (through March 30)
Tampa Bay Downs
Turfway Park (through closing day, March 28)
Woodbine Mohawk Park
Who’s not. Tracks that cancelled live racing.
Aqueduct (until further notice)
Buffalo Raceway (until May 2)
Carolina Cup (March 28)
Century Downs (until further notice)
Dover Downs (until further notice)
Evangeline Downs (opening day of April 8 postponed)
Fairmount Park (through March 30)
Flamboro (until further notice)
Fraser Downs (rest of scheduled meet canceled)
Freehold (until further notice)
Hawthorne (through March 30)
Hoosier (opening day of March 27 postponed)
Keeneland (entire Spring Meet canceled)
Louisiana Downs (until further notice)
The Meadowlands (until further notice)
The Meadows (until further notice)
Monmouth Park (opening day postponed to May 23)
Monticello (through March 30)
Northville Downs (opening day of March 20 postponed indefinitely)
Parx Racing (until further notice)
Penn National (until further notice)
Pocono (until further notice)
Pompano Park (until further notice)
Rillito Park (rest of scheduled meet canceled)
Sunland Park (through April 5; Sunland Derby canceled)
Turf Paradise (rest of scheduled meet canceled)
Yonkers (through March 28)