Big Week on Tap with Belmont Park Re-opening

Belmont Park horse racingFour-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown was trackside Thursday at Belmont Park to watch e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Rushing Fall and Peter Brant’s New York-bred Fifty Five breeze on the inner turf in preparation for the Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay slated for Opening Day on Wednesday, June 3.

The duo went a half-mile in company and reached the wire together in a time of 50.48 seconds. Brown said both horses will be entered in the Beaugay, a 1 1/6-mile turf test for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and upward. Entries for the Opening Day card at Belmont will be taken on Friday.

“They both worked fine and will be entered in the Beaugay,” said Brown.

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Klaravich Stables’ Newspaperofrecord will make her 4-year-old debut in the Grade 3, $150,000 Intercontinental, a seven-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares slated for Saturday, June 6.

The ultra-talented Lope De Vega bay went undefeated in her three-start juvenile campaign which included a win in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont ahead of a score in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs.

Last season, Newspaperofrecord completed the exacta in the Grade 3 Edgewood at Churchill Downs and Grade 3 Wonder Again at Belmont Park but was off-the-board when completing her season in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational in July.

Brown said Newspaperofrecord is training well towards her seasonal debut.

“She seems pretty settled to me in her works and I’m real excited to get her career resumed. I’m going to try to keep her [at distances] only up to a mile,” said Brown. “Based on the way she’s training, and if she stays healthy, she should have a really good year.”

Source: NYRA

Keeneland Gets Approval for Short Summer Meet

“We are all in this together, and Ellis Park is pleased to work with Keeneland on a plan that benefits our horsemen and Kentucky racing,” Ellis Park General Manager Jeffrey Inman said. 

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Race Dates Committee has approved Keeneland’s request to conduct a spectator-free, five-day Summer Meet, to be held Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12, 2020.

copyright Rich Nilsen

Keeneland paddock (copyright All Star Press)

“Keeneland appreciates the quick response of the Commission to our request, and we applaud all their work on behalf of Kentucky racing during these unprecedented times,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We also thank Ellis Park for their cooperation in this process and for making these non-traditional dates available to Keeneland. We look forward to sharing more details about the Summer Meet in the coming weeks.”

The latest news on the Del Mar Summer meet

Keeneland plans to host 9-10 races each day of the Summer Meet, and feature 10 graded stakes traditionally run during the track’s Spring Meet, anchored by the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), preps for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.

Source: Keeneland

New Opening Date and Schedule for Del Mar Meet

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced today its intention to begin the 2020 summer race meet on July 10 and employ a three-day-a-week race schedule pending the approval of the California Horse Racing Board at its June 11 meeting.

Further, following guidelines issued by San Diego County public health officials, California state officials and in consultation with other public health experts, the track’s traditional summer meeting is preparing to operate without spectators, but will continue to work with state and local officials to adopt any changes as they happen. In all cases, Del Mar will follow similar COVID-19 protocols that have enabled racing to be conducted safely in California and throughout the country.

“We’re coming back and we’re going to put on the most unique show in Del Mar history,” said Del Mar’s CEO, Joe Harper. “It’s going to look different, it’s going to feel different, but it’s going to be first-class horse racing at Del Mar and in these unusual times that’s something to look forward to.”

What’s the latest on the situation of horse racing in Pennsylvania?

Originally scheduled to open its 81st summer season on Saturday, July 18, Del Mar is planning a schedule change to start Friday, July 10 with racing on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday basis throughout the summer, closing with a four-day week on Labor Day Monday, September 7. The track will offer 10-race cards on Fridays and Sundays and 11-race cards on Saturdays. Opening Day will be an exception to the schedule with an 11-race program and Labor Day will offer 10 races.

The new schedule calls for 291 races over nine weeks. The track carded 297 races over its eight-week 2019 summer meeting.

“We want to begin the meet earlier and offer horsemen the same number of opportunities to run as we have for the last several summer seasons,” said Tom Robbins, DMTC’s executive vice president of racing. “We’ve had inquiries from new trainers from across the country who are interested in sending horses to Del Mar, which is encouraging. And because the San Diego Fair was cancelled this year, our track maintenance team will be preparing our racing surfaces earlier and we’ll be able to have horses on-site sooner than in the past. It will be a little different, but we’re confident we can present the same high caliber racing that fans, owners and trainers have come to expect.”

Racing at Santa Anita is scheduled to conclude June 21. Los Alamitos will offer Thoroughbred racing from June 26 through July 5. Both tracks have been operating live racing without fans and with only essential personnel under strict protocols in response to COVID-19.

“Over the past several weeks Del Mar has joined with other racing industry leaders to develop extensive operating procedures to permit horse racing in a way that ensures the safety of all employees, stakeholders and our horses,” said Josh Rubinstein, DMTC’s president and COO. “A number of medical experts throughout the country have provided guidance and helped us develop a comprehensive plan. DMTC’s planning has benefitted from additional direction and aid from local experts such as Scripps Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, and her colleagues.”

Rubinstein praised local health and elected officials.

“San Diego County’s Health & Human Services Agency and its elected officials, working in concert with state officials, have done an incredible job ensuring San Diego stays safe during this difficult time,” he said. “We are grateful for their leadership, guidance and positive feedback as we implement our safety guidelines that follow the stringent protocols that have been successful at California’s other Thoroughbred racing facilities.”

Even without spectators, Del Mar’s racing season is important to the continued economic viability of California’s horse racing industry. The regular care and training of racehorses in the state supports thousands of jobs, housing and health care services for workers, as well as hundreds of local small businesses and family farms.

Wagering on Del Mar’s races will continue remotely via on-line platforms like TVG and at off-track betting locations around the world. In 2019, 90% of wagering on Del Mar’s races took place off-track and during the recent “Safer At Home” guidelines in many states Internet wagering has surged.

Del Mar will present its traditional stakes schedule with some minor modifications. The full stakes schedule will be released May 29.

The track’s broadcast partner – TVG – will provide enhanced Del Mar coverage throughout the summer. NBC Sports is currently broadcasting TVG on its popular NBCSN channel. Discussions are on-going for including Del Mar in these future national broadcasts.

First post daily throughout the summer will be at 2 p.m.

Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

What’s the Status of Horse Racing In PA?

When can horse racing resume in Pennsylvania? Even the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission hasn’t a clue.

And that’s not because they haven’t asked PA Gov. Tom Wolf. The governor suspended racing right along with casino operations in mid-March to stem the onslaught of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

And there is no target date for racing to resume in PA, yet.

Late-breaking news updateA face-to-face meeting between Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration and members of horseman’s groups is now scheduled for Thursday [5/27], PlayPennsylvania has learned exclusively.

Churchill Downs Stock Rising Amid Resort Re-openings

The Race Must Go On

On May 20, the company said it’s reopened two casino resorts in Mississippi. Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said in a news release the company has “worked diligently” to put in place health and safety protocols to protect guests from coronavirus.

Churchill Downs has also started horse races again at its Louisville, Ky., track and plans to hold what would be the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race. It’s been rescheduled for September 5th.

Carstanjen said in a news release announcing the rescheduling, “As the situation evolved, we…

Belmont Park’s Opening Can Begin June 1

Belmont Park’s spring/summer meet can officially begin on June 1, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at his daily news conference on Saturday.

“There’ll be guidelines for the actual participants — no crowds, no fans,” he said. “For the industry itself, for the televised viewers, that could still work.”

New York Racing Association and local officials said they were pleased with the announcement. Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Beach who urged the state to reopen the Park, said the decision was “welcomed news,” and NYRA President David O’Rourke called it a “reasoned and responsible decision … that will enable horse racing to resume in a way that prioritizes health and safety.”

Last month, NYRA officials announced that they had plans in place to “prioritize the health and safety of employees, horsemen and the backstretch community.”

More about Belmont Park’s Opening:

Saratoga horse racing without fans in the stands. Town concerned about income loss

COVID-19 and Horse Racing.  Economic Fallout is Huge

SARATOGA SPRINGS NY (WRGB) – Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly says the Governor’s announcement that horse racing can resume on June 1st without fans is good news for the city.

“The city needs the horses. Without fans, that’s one way to start,” said Mayor Kelly.

NYRA says they have prepared operating plans for the Saratoga Race Course that follow Belmont Park.

“I think that is huge because they do bring people to work up here and they do spend money in Saratoga Springs. The horses don’t just come alone, they come with staff,” Kelly said.

More Saratoga horse racing without fans:

Horse Racing Tonight. Charles Town Adds 12% Pick-5 Wager

Charles Town, WV (May, 2020) – Following its resumption of live racing and a three day stretch that produced the highest single-week wagering volume in track history, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will be augmenting its wagering menu by adding a Pick 5 that covers the final five races of the card beginning with its next live program on Thursday, May 21.

Get the latest AGOS Horses to Watch report.

The new Pick 5 has a 50-cent base increment and is one of the few pools industry-wide to offer the low takeout rate of 12-percent. Should no customers select all five winners, 75-percent of the net pool will be carried over to the following card with 25-percent paid out to those selecting the most winners in the sequence.

Charles Town’s next live program on Thursday is slated to kick off at its standard 7:00 PM EST first post.

News that Queen’s Plate will run on this Date

North America’s oldest continuously run horse race [the Queen’s Plate] was originally scheduled to take place on June 27 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The history of The Queen’s Plate is so rich and the fact that it’s been held every year since the inaugural race in 1860 is remarkable,” said Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson. “We are honoured to be able to continue this rich history in face of adversity by hosting the race for the 161st consecutive year.”

Woodbine and Horse racing Return June 6

The Associated Press

Horse racing is back on at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, but without fans.

The track’s thoroughbred season will open June 6. The pandemic forced Woodbine to postpone its scheduled April 18 start.

Harness racing, suspended in March, is to resume June 5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Wager on WoodbineMark Casse, one of North America’s top trainers, says the reopening is crucial.

“We have many horses that we’ve targeted for this meet that haven’t done anything,” he said. “But this is even more important for the owners and trainers who’ve been up there since December and haven’t been able to run.”

Casse has won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes as well as five Breeders’ Cup races. He has been named Canada’s top thoroughbred trainer an unprecedented 11 times.