The Race Must Go On! Just Not Now and Not for Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs earns the No. 1 rank among its peers in the Leisure-Gaming/Equipment industry group. Studio City International (MSC) and Amaya (TSG) are also among the group’s highest-rated stocks….

“The most recent developments have led us to make some very difficult, but we believe, necessary decisions and our hearts are with those who have been or continue to be affected by this pandemic,” Carstanjen said.

While Churchill Downs’ top-line growth fell last quarter from 38% to 28%, bottom line grew 100%, up from 4% a year earlier. Churchill Downs has a 95 EPS Rating, on a scale of 1 (bleak) to 99 (top notch). That means it’s outperforming 95% of all stocks on earnings growth.

Miss Live Sports? Try Horse Racing

But, for now, horse racing essentially is sport’s only live show. It may not last much longer. There are downsides to having the spotlight alone. Running races while the rest of the sports world shuts down can irk the public and government officials.

Gulfstream Park continued racing even after jockey Javier Castellano tested positive for COVID-19 during a physical at the track Tuesday. It’s not clear where and when he contracted the disease. Castellano last rode at Gulfstream on March 15 but had since returned to New York to spend time with family, his agent told The Blood-Horse.

Earlier in the week, Broward County issued an executive order that closed businesses it considers nonessential. The Sun-Sentinel reported that a county attorney informed Gulfstream that racing isn’t an essential business. The track kept racing, citing the care of horses as justification.

Patrick Cummings, executive vice president of industry advocate Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, argues that racing thoroughbreds is part of that care.

“Keeping them racing and active is something that is going to happen whether or not we have a shutdown,” Cummings said.

Racing them for simulcast keeps the gambling cash flowing. Horse racing’s status as the only option might mean more of it. If not, then some cash flow is better than none for a struggling sport. The pandemic already has affected its showcase races.

Virtual Horse Racing: The Latest Craze For Sport In The Digital Era

As the general population become more reliant on technology than ever before, we are spending more and more time inside. The trip to the bookies to place a bet has now had to morph to an online experience. But as this has occurred, there has also been increased opportunity for games to be provided such as online slots and even the development of online horse racing.

How Does It Work?

Virtual horse racing is the latest trend for bookmakers in the UK and is the perfect way of getting people involved in betting online and keep a constant stream of revenue for bookmakers even when the live stores are closed. However, for those that are hoping for an easy win, you may be disappointed. Each race has an outcome that is generated from a random number generator. This means that the results cannot be predicted, allowing for anyone to in if you make the right bet.

This is ideal for not only those more experienced that love the thrill of a race, but there are also many options for beginners to try their hand at these virtual elements before making their way onto the live events. In addition, due to their being fewer variables, the racing cards are often much simpler than the racing cards for live events, this, therefore, makes it more appealing for people in the long term.

Horse Racing Tips: 6 picks to get your kicks on American racing tonightWhere Can You Play?

As this section of the market has begun to gain in popularity there have been more and more of the top bookmakers offering this service. With several virtual horse betting services out there including the likes of William Hill and Betfred, there are many options over the internet for you to join in on.

For those that are hoping to see some of their favorite racecourses in the virtual world, this is where it differs. Unfortunately, due to licencing, many virtual racing providers are not able to replicate existing racecourses. However, this has proved beneficial for many reasons as it has provided an invigorating experience for many as the virtual experience in a new racecourse makes for endless possibilities. This is something that is only set to continue in 2020 as we begin to see more and more bookmakers offering these virtual services as a result of increased demand.

What Could It Mean For The Future Of The Sport? 

In these unusual times, we have seen a vast number of sporting events either completely cancelled or postponed. However, this has benefited the E-Sports industry as many of us are watching or even taking part online. We have seen celebrities playing matchups on FIFA, the rise of Twitch streamers and virtual sports betting see a huge surge in popularity.

This is of course in part due to the isolation that many of us find ourselves in during this time. This has meant that more and more of us are relying on the internet and video calls as our form of daily communication and entertainment. This has, therefore, meant that event organizers and celebrities are using platforms such as Twitch and Instagram to lift the spirit of fans and have them standing out in the long term. Should isolation last longer than many are expecting, this could become the new form of communication as more of us find ways to continue with our daily lives despite having to stay inside.

How Can You Get Involved?

To get involved in virtual online sports betting it could not be easier, all you need to do is head to your local bookmakers and see if they are offering the service. Whether this is Sky Bet, William Hill or Bet365, there are numerous options for you to choose from and begin to make money from betting. All you will need is a stable internet connection and the means to place a bet and you are good to go making bets on any races that you want.

Whether you are new to this form of betting or you have used them before, there are several ways that you can use this new way of betting to provide you with entertainment during this time of live sporting event cancellations.

Santa Anita Derby Postponed Due to Track’s Closure

Source: Santa Anita

SANTA ANITA TO REMAIN CLOSED FOR LIVE RACING THROUGH WEEKEND PER ORDER OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Santa Anita Park will remain closed for live racing through this weekend as it abides by the order issued last week from the Los Angeles County Health Department as it relates to essential businesses.  At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Santa Anita Park.

The prestigious Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks, which were set to headline the racing program on Saturday, April 4, will be rescheduled for later in the season after racing resumes.

Boom Time for California Horse RacingAt Santa Anita Park, the health, safety and welfare of every person and every horse in our community remains our top priority.  We are continuing to have constructive dialogue with the LA County Health Department and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and her staff.  In cooperation with our industry stake holders, a proposal was submitted earlier this week which we believe was fully responsive to their requests.  We have yet to receive a satisfactory response to that proposal.

Numerous racetracks around the country are continuing to operate.  They are running for exactly the same reasons that Santa Anita is trying to communicate to LA County officials — because the consequences of closing down the economic engine that fuels the community makes the risks and potential issues significantly worse when racing is closed and only training allowed.

There are over 1,700 horses stabled at Santa Anita who require daily care provided by more than 750 backstretch team members. Most of these team members live on-site and have been operating under stringent new measures for protection aligned with the best guidance from local and international health and government authorities on COVID-19. The track has been closed to the general public and closed to all but essential personnel since March 12, 2020.

We will continue to work with county health authorities to familiarize them with the protocols already in place and our plans to protect the health and safety of the community who works with the horses and calls Santa Anita home.

We look forward to the return of live racing at Santa Anita as soon as approval is received from local regulators.

Covid-19? Australian horse racing and harness racing race on

Horse racing and harness racing continues on after a coronavirus scare, with the industry saying they will continue operating unless explicitly prohibited by health advice. Racing, including greyhound racing, is one of the last organized sports still operating in Australia after shutdown rules …

Thompson said horse racing supports 25,000 direct and indirect jobs in Victoria alone. According to the Australian Skills and Industry Committee, about 11,400 people are employed directly in horse and dog racing in Australia.

Unlike other sports, racing has animal care requirements which cannot be shut down.

“In announcing the resumption of racing, I want to assure the Victorian community that racing will continue to operate under strict biosecurity protocols and where required act decisively, as we did when suspending racing yesterday, should there be any risk to the health of our industry stakeholders and the wider community,” Thompson said.

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Santa Anita Abruptly Shuts Downs. FL Derby Still a Go Tomorrow

Source:  Santa Anita

March 27, 2020

In accordance with instructions received from Los Angeles County Health Department, Santa Anita Park will temporarily close for live racing effective immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santa AnitaWe apologize for the late notice affecting today’s racing program, but Santa Anita is abiding by the instructions issued this morning by the California Horse Racing Board to operate under the sanction of the local health authorities.

At Santa Anita Park, the health, safety and welfare of every person and every horse in our community is our top priority. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Santa Anita Park. This measure is being taken in response to a mandate from LA County officials.

At Santa Anita Park, there are over 1,700 horses stabled who require daily care. That care is provided by the 750 backstretch team members, most who live on-site and have been operating under stringent new measures for protection aligned with the best guidance from local and international health and government authorities on COVID-19. The track has been closed to the general public and to closed all but essential personnel since March 12, 2020.

We will continue to work with authorities to familiarize them with the protocols which have been put in place to protect the health and safety of those who work with the horses and the horses themselves.

We look forward to the return of live racing at Santa Anita as soon as approval is received from local regulators.

COVID-19 and Horse Racing

Good luck at sorting this out

By ART PARKER

Like everyone else I was disappointed when the Kentucky Derby was postponed. I did a double take when the proposed new date was September 5, the first Saturday in September. My next thought was the scheduling mess that would most assuredly come, especially since the full impact of the coronavirus  (COVID-19) remains unknown.

The new date of the Derby is not too close to the Breeder’s Cup, scheduled for the first Saturday in November at Keeneland. What happens to the other big races could be the real problem.

The latest on Gulfstream Park, the Florida Derby and COVID-19

The first thought I had was the Travers. I think many will agree that the Travers is the most important three year old race next to the Derby. If a horse wins the Derby and the Preakness then the importance of the Belmont is elevated beyond the Travers, but generally speaking I feel the Travers is second only to the Derby.

Saratoga canopy walk throughThe Travers is scheduled for August 29, just one week before the rescheduled Derby. It can’t happen that way. It just can’t. To make matters worse the Alabama is scheduled for August 22, less than two full weeks for the new Kentucky Oaks date of September 4. To me the Alabama is the premier race for three year old fillies. Having the Alabama that close to the Oaks? Again, it can‘t happen that way.

The Saratoga problems begin with the rescheduling of the Derby, but it could be worse depending upon what happens with the Preakness and the Belmont. I read the other day that someone suggested we start with the Derby on September 5 and then wait two weeks for the Preakness and then wait three weeks for the Belmont – the usual intervals between Triple Crown races. If so, that would put the Belmont on October 10 four weeks before the Breeder’s Cup. Some may think this is workable but it would place the better three year olds in a whirlwind of activity in a very short period of time. I believe it will provide the older horses in the Classic Division a big advantage over the sophomores.

Unless the Preakness and Belmont are run before the Derby then the Triple Crown will cause problems for the Breeder’s Cup, unless those races are cancelled. If the Preakness and Belmont are run before the Derby then huge problems are created for the Saratoga meeting, and possibly others.

Added to this is the difficulty of planning a path for a three year old. Trainers will have a difficult time finding appropriate prep races if the racing world remains in its current state. One major issue that has a guiding hand over the timing of races is television. Racing cannot afford to lose the airwaves for the huge races. Even if television goes along for fall racing broadcasts then there will be a fight with college football early in its season – a fight guaranteed to result in cuts and bruises.

How much leadership does the American racing industry have? We will soon know the answer.

Saturday’s Dubai World Cup Cancelled

DUBAI, March 22 (Reuters) – The Dubai World Cup, one of the world’s richest horse races, has been postponed until next year to safeguard the health of participants, the Dubai government said on Sunday.

The race had been due to go ahead on March 28 without spectators, organizers said earlier this month.

TV Quenches Sports Fans’ Thirst for Live Content With Horse Racing From Around the Globe

“We are used to following the sun across the globe, and we hunt for live racing,” says Kevin Grigsby, executive producer/SVP, television, FanDuel  “We’re already an entity that is up and running four days a week, 24 hours a day. We air 60,000 races a year, and we are on live 10,000 hours a year. The reality is, if there is some type of horse racing taking place somewhere in the world, we will be broadcasting it. And, while we broadcast all of these races, we will also offer betting on them as we always have.”

TVG programming will be reaching an even broader audience beginning this weekend, thanks to a new partnership with NBC Sports in which NBCSN will simulcast TVG’s Trackside Live. NBCSN will carry TVG’s live racing coverage this Saturday and Sunday at 4-8 p.m. ET, as well as the following weekend (if horse races continue to be held). Although TVG is available in 45 million homes, NBCSN is in more than 80 million homes, which will bring live horse racing to a horde of potential viewers.

A Look Back at the Only Other Kentucky Derby Delayed

…the colt was the first thoroughbred Hooper ever purchased. How can one not fall in love with racing when the first horse you buy wins the most prestigious race in the world?

Art Parker looks back at the Kentucky Derby in 1945 for his paper, the Montgomery Independent.

“…Only once has the Derby been delayed.    Until now.

Those who love thoroughbred racing (such as myself) were crushed with the announcement to delay the 2020 Derby. The 146th Kentucky Derby has been moved from May 2 to September 5. Causing the delay is the fear of the coronavirus, especially since the Derby attracts a colossal flock at Churchill Downs, with the largest attendance ever being more than 170,000 people.

The impact of the Derby delay will probably be felt in all major racing circuits and will certainly change the landscape of major races already scheduled at various tracks throughout the country. The status of the Preakness Stakes has changed also as Maryland officials announced the middle leg of the Triple Crown postponed to September without a specific date set. Currently there is no word on the Belmont Stakes, the final race of the Triple Crown, which remains scheduled for June 6, 2020.

Handicapper Art ParkerThe first Derby delay and the Montgomery connection begins with World War II. Racing was banned in early 1945 for several reasons not the least of which was the government’s need for money. Anyone who … ”   check out the rest of Art Parker’s piece