Aqueduct, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields to Race Without Fans

Source: The Stronach Group

In response to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recommendation to cancel gatherings of more than 250 people throughout the state to slow the spread of COVID-19, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields will close to the public effective immediately. Both tracks will continue to race as scheduled, with personnel licensed by the California Horse Racing Board allowed to attend.

Empty row of seats at racetrack“We heard Gov. Newsom’s call and we are responding accordingly for the protection of our customers and employees,” said Aidan Butler, Acting Executive Director, California Operations, The Stronach Group. “Much like other sports which have chosen to play without spectators, we will race with the personnel necessary to ensure the safety of the horses and the integrity of the sport. It is in everyone’s best interest to take these steps and we appreciate everyone’s understanding of this unique situation.”

In addition to being closed to the public for live racing, the venues also are closed for simulcast wagering and morning workouts, including Santa Anita’s Clocker’s Corner and tram tours.

As the COVID-19 outbreak is a fluid situation, the policy will be evaluated on a daily basis on the advice of governmental and health authorities.

Source: NYRA

Aqueduct will also hold horse races without fans starting Friday, March 13, 2020.

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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