Del Mar Adds Make-up Day of Racing

Source: DMTC.com

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has announced it will run a make-up day of racing on Monday, August 31, 2020. It expects to present a 10-race card starting at 2 p.m. The added date means Del Mar will finish up its 2020 summer race meet with two four-day weekends — August 28 to 31 and September 4 to 7.

Historical Travers Stakes set for this Saturday – learn more.

On the heels of a recently announced 10% purse increase, the seaside track’s extra day will bring the number of race days for its 81st summer season to 27. Originally, 28 racing days had been planned. The track’s racing office has been adding extra races to its regular cards to make up for the lost date as the meet moves through its scheduled Friday through Sunday timetable.

Covid-19 and Horse Racing. No Fans as Colonial Opens

Colonial Downs planned to welcome folks back July 27 under Gov. Ralph Northam’s Phase 3 plan. With an extensive plan in place, Marshall said it would only allow 1,000 spectators at the track at the time and changed the regular weekend racing schedule to a Monday through Wednesday schedule.

“Our horsemen fully support the decision to conduct racing without fans at Colonial Downs this summer, otherwise the public risk is too great,” Executive Director Frank Petramalo Jr. said in a news release. “There is a bright spot. All of our races will be televised live on the TVG network and people can wager on TVG or on other online sites.”

A Look Back at the History of Colonial Downs Racetrack

Less than a year later, on May, 5, 2001, Scanlan had Borislow’s Talk Is Money in the Kentucky Derby. It was, to say the least, a temperamental horse that had been purchased for $2 million as a yearling. Scanlan originally referred to it as “Hanging Tree” because “if it doesn’t do too good, I may have to find a tree and hang myself from it.”

The horse quickly developed a knack for throwing jockeys. At Churchill Downs, prior to the 127th Run for the Roses, hall of fame jock Jerry Bailey withheld Talk Is Money from the post parade “for good reason,” said NBC’s Tom Hammond. “He’s tossed riders three times during parades.” That was about all the network had to say about the 47-1 longshot. If Hammond and friends mentioned Borislow, or Scanlan, we missed it.

Talk Is Money started 11th and finished last (17th), having suffered what was diagnosed as a heat stroke. Bailey walked the horse across the finish line. Scanlan later said, “Bailey was scared to death of him.”

Earlier, Scanlan told us off-the-record Talk had no business being in the Derby, but Borislow wanted to be there “to sit with the other owners.” Borislow died in 2014 at age 52….

More about the history of Colonial Downs and the people there:

Where to Watch the Horse Races Live in Saratoga

Great Offtrack Places To Watch Live Racing At Saratoga Race CourseRacing City Brewing has the largest projection screen in the area at 23×14 feet along with several TVs, and their spacious building is excellent for social distancing. The kitchen is currently closed, but they will allow guests to bring food or order takeout. They will have beer, wine, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, and small snacks available.

There is a $25 deposit to reserve the table, which is put towards the final bill. They will open at noon on all race days and plan to host watch parties on the weekends. Guests will be able to buy the Daily Racing Form, enroll in an online wagering account and fund their accounts for immediate use.

The Parting Glass

The Parting Glass opens daily at 11am ET and you can watch horse racing on their big screen while enjoying food and beer specials. Reservations are not necessary.

Horse Races Live At Saratoga:

Indiana Horse Racing Commission Approves Eldorado-Caesars Merger

The $17.3 billion merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment was approved by a second Indiana regulatory agency.

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved the pending merger Monday, just three days after the deal also gained the green light from the Indiana Gaming Commission. With the Indiana agencies giving their consent to the deal, only New Jersey remains as the last state that has yet to approve the merger, as reported by Reno Gazette Journal.

The Indiana Gaming Commission is requiring Eldorado and Caesars to sell three of its gaming properties in the state as a condition for its approval. On Monday, Eldorado CEO Thomas Reeg confirmed it will sell the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond to a new operator by the end of the year. He told members of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission that … more:

Is Horse Racing Dead? Belmont Park Sees 42% Increase in Average Daily Handle

The New York Racing Association Inc. today announced that the Belmont Park spring/summer meet generated $15,466,198 in average daily handle from all sources, a 42 percent increase over the 2019 spring/summer meet.

Abbreviated to 25-days and held without spectators in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening of the spring/summer meet on Wednesday, June 3 marked the return of professional sports in New York and was conducted with strict health and safety protocols in place.

Despite running 23 fewer days than in 2019, a 48 percent decrease, all sources handle during the spring/summer meet totaled $386,654,955.

Average field size over the 248 races carded was 8.61, a 23 percent increase over 2019. Five races were taken off the turf due to weather, and all five came on July 10 with the impact of Tropical Storm Fay.

More about Belmont Park Handle:

Del Mar Jockey Colony Hit with Covid-19. Track Cancels

Del mar chantal billboardWith caution its primary concern, Del Mar has preemptively canceled its next three days of racing, July 17-18-19, after 15 jockeys tested positive for COVID-19. All of Del Mar’s jockeys and jockey room personnel were tested on Tuesday by San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency staff as requested by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

“Assuming these individuals continue to show no symptoms, they will be isolated for a total of 10 days and should be able to resume their usual activities, including riding after that time,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, Medical Director, Epidemiology & Immunizations Services, County of San Diego.

Read the Full Article:
http://www.dmtc.com/media/news/del-mar-cancels-this-weekends-racing-after-jockeys-test-positive-1592

Horse Racing Fans Will Talk about 2020 for a Long Time

Handicapper Art ParkerBy Art Parker

My, how the Triple Crown trail has changed. It wasn’t that long ago we had a system that was based on Graded Stakes earnings, either as a two-year-old or a three-year-old. That led us to one memorable muddy day at Churchill Downs in 2009. Mine That Bird, a gelding that came from a no-name trainer and a no-name barn, won the Kentucky Derby closing from the Heavens at 50-1. Before the race, there was only one thing anyone could relate to regarding Mine That Bird, and that was his rider Calvin Borel who wasn’t even planning to ride the virtual unknown.

So, how did Mine That Bird get into the Kentucky Derby? He won the Grey Stakes at Woodbine as a two-year-old. That’s how. The graded earnings got him high enough on the list to gain Derby entrance. Mine That Bird cost a whopping $9,500 at auction, and for the most part, he looked to be a disaster as a three-year-old. However, he made it to the Derby and won.

Shortly after Mine That Bird won the Derby a point system was devised. Since 2013 various races have been assigned point totals for the top finishers in the designated events. The points assigned to the races designated is pretty much in line with prestige and purse.

Things changed dramatically in 2020 due to the Coronavirus. With the racing season and Triple Crown turned on its head, the designated races have been juggled to accommodate a new Kentucky Derby date of September 5. Most of the usual major Derby preps will figure into the point system even though some races are yet to be run.

The last few Derby prep races in a normal year usually come as follows: (A) Four to five weeks before the Derby we have the Super Saturday with the Blue Grass (Keeneland), The Wood Memorial (Aqueduct) and the Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita) all on the same day, and (B) the final “biggie” is the Arkansas Derby held a week later.

This year all the big races are in the books except for the Wood Memorial, which was canceled by the New York Racing Association (NYRA). The Arkansas Derby moved its date up to the usual Kentucky Derby date, and that was easy to do since Oaklawn Park was one of the few tracks running. Santa Anita was able to squeeze the Santa Derby in the first week of June. That leaves us with the Blue Grass as the last traditional biggie before the Derby.

Keeneland was able to hold the Blue Grass Stakes on July 11 after the powers-to-be managed to give Keeneland a few days for a spring meet a couple of months later than usual.

The July 11 Blue Grass leaves a long gap before the new Kentucky Derby date of September 5. It was important to do something to replace the Wood Memorial and a few other lesser races that faded into the Corona wind.

Furthermore, some additional opportunities are needed to establish contentious competitors since Bob Baffert’s duo of Nadal (retired) and Charlatan (injured) are off the trail and out of the Derby after sweeping both parts of the divided Arkansas Derby.

Churchill Downs made a smart move by establishing the July 18 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth as a major points race. Then, Churchill did the right thing and included the rich and highly prestigious Travers Stakes as the last major points race, which will be run at Saratoga August 8. The Haskell has a great tradition and history and one of the truly great three-year-old events. The Travers is right up there with the Derby itself in almost all regards.

Churchill Downs seemed to have forced NYRA’s hand when it decided to run the Derby September 5, which was just one week after the usual Travers date of the last Saturday in August. NYRA waited quite a while before the Travers date but it would have been a disaster had they run at the normal date. Either the Travers or the Derby, or most likely both, could have been damaged had the two races been only a week apart.

Not only is the Travers to be the last major points race for Kentucky Derby qualification but it will add another spicy dish to the Triple Crown Buffet. Tiz the Law could change the history books forever. After winning the shortened Belmont stakes, Tiz the Law will aim for the next biggest prize – The Travers. A victory at Saratoga positions him for about a month in between both of the remaining Triple Crown races, a schedule much easier to tolerate than the normal three races in five weeks.

Only one Triple Crown winner has also taken the Travers and that was Whirlaway in 1941. It could be called the Three Year Old Grand Slam. Some have used that moniker for American Pharoah’s feat of winning the Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Cup Classic in the same year.

And what if Tiz The Law wins the Triple Crown and the Travers, then takes the Breeder’s Cup Classic? Just what will we call that? I’m sure someone will think of something and, Tiz The Law may have more asterisks by his name than any horse in history.

Whatever happens, we will be talking about 2020 for a long, long time.

Saratoga Stakes Schedule

Horse Racing Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The 2020 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course will feature 71 stakes worth $14.45 million, encompassing 39 graded stakes and 18 Grade 1s from July 16 through Sept. 7.

“We’re thrilled to be racing at Saratoga this summer, and we thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his support and the support of horsemen who have worked with us to navigate the many challenges,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a news release. “While this will be anything but a traditional Saratoga season, we hope to provide a semblance of normalcy for both the local community as well as racing fans across the country.”

Tips to Beat Saratoga – download free today

Under current New York state guidelines, Saratoga Race Course will open on July 16 without spectators in attendance. The 40-day meet will feature at least one stakes race every live racing day, highlighted by the 151st renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers on August 8 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney on August 1, as the anchors of two of the biggest racing days in North America.

After opening weekend, racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays.

More details about the Saratoga Stakes Schedule:

Covid-19 Pandemic forces shuffling of New Mexico horse racing meet

“We are — all of us — in a terrible situation right now with regard to COVID-19,” he said. “It is truly a period of uncertainty and things are changing on a daily basis. My hope is that things look completely different in a few weeks and we have a fan base and casinos are open and much of this is behind us. But none of us know that.”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — With the New Mexico State Fair being called off, the horse races that usually coincide with the annual event are being cancelled too.

State regulators during a special meeting Wednesday approved a motion to nix the state fair race meet. They also approved changes to the race dates and stakes schedule for The Downs at Albuquerque.

The changes mean this year’s meet at The Downs will start later, running from Aug. 8 through Sept. 20, when the state fair races would have otherwise been happening.

New Mexico’s horse tracks and their associated casinos have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. After a brief hiatus, races resumed at Ruidoso Downs in May but without spectators and the casinos remain closed under a public health order issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The revenue brought in by the casinos during race meets helps to subsidize racing. Without the slot machines and tables, some track owners have suggested losses per day could reach in to the tens of thousands of dollars.

To help offset some of the expenses, an agreement reached between The Downs and associations that represent horse owners and breeders call for $100 per head start fee for the upcoming races in Albuquerque.

Representatives for the groups told members of the state Racing Commission during the meeting that the fee should be considered as a one-time option given the circumstances brought on by the pandemic. If casinos were to reopen and fans allowed in the stands by the time racing starts in August, the fee would be reconsidered.

Richard Erhard, executive director of the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association, said it’s hard to know what public health orders will be in place in the coming months.

What is certain, he said, is that owners want to race.

“We are — all of us — in a terrible situation right now with regard to COVID-19,” he said. “It is truly a period of uncertainty and things are changing on a daily basis. My hope is that things look completely different in a few weeks and we have a fan base and casinos are open and much of this is behind us. But none of us know that.”

The Racing Commission had previously approved an agreement to redistribute more than $3.2 million in purse taxes due to cancellations at the Sunland Park and SunRay tracks earlier in the season. The commission still has to consider at its upcoming meeting whether to allow The Downs to take on the stakes races that would have been run during the state fair.