Horse Racing Hopes for a Return to Normal

Empty row of seats at racetrackLEXINGTON, Ky. — The golden sunset over Keeneland provided a picturesque and welcome wrap for horse racing after the pandemic wiped out its spring, cramped marquee stakes races into a crowded schedule and reshuffled the Triple Crown order.

No Triple Crown winner emerged as a result, though the Breeders’ Cup world championships helped make up for that. Many of its best competitors performed at the top of their games on a record-breaking weekend, sparking high expectations for 2021.

The sport just hopes that next year’s schedule returns to normal and that spectators can be in the grandstands enjoying the races.

“It’s been a different feeling, you know?” trainer Bill Mott said last week. “Being a participant, we probably get as excited as the fans when they’re there. It’s like I’ve got a bet on every race we’re participating in. So, I miss the fans.”

“I’ll be glad when everything gets back to normal and we have the fans back,” he said.

The pandemic …