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.

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About Editor

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 Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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