Tag: COVID-19

Beginning Thursday, a limited number of fans will see the sight of horses making the turn at Ellis Park. The Kentucky track announced seven backstretch workers tested positive for the coronavirus. (Image: Coady Photography)

On Eve of Meet, Seven Ellis Park Workers Test Positive for COVID-19

Less than a week before Ellis Park Race Track’s most historic season is set to begin, the track announced that seven backstretch workers tested positive for COVID-19. Track officials announced their summer meet will begin as scheduled on Thursday, with limited fans in attendance. Of the seven Ellis Park backstretch […]

The Kentucky Derby infield brings out a smorgasbord of party-goers. While fans are allowed inside this year's Derby, don't expect the same raucous infield crowds for a typical Derby. (Image: Jamey Price/Getty)

Kentucky Derby Will Run with Spectators, Limited Access, Strict Rules

Churchill Downs officials announced Thursday that the 146th Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks will run with a limited and yet unspecified number of spectators, a decision made in consultation with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials. In so doing, Churchill Downs is trying to make a concerted […]

Lone Star Park opened for racing May 22, but opens for fans this Sunday. It joins Minnesota's Canterbury Park in allowing spectators inside its racetracks. (Image: Brad Loper/Special to Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Lone Star, Canterbury Break From Pack and Open Gates to Racing Fans

Breaking from a different gate than its larger racetrack brethren in this COVID-19 era, Lone Star Park will open its gates to fans beginning Sunday. The gates remain open through Aug. 11, the tentative end of the Texas racetrack’s summer meet. Beating Lone Star by four days in allowing fans […]

The image of a Kentucky Derby winner -- like Victor Espinoza aboard American Pharoah in 2015 - was absent from May due to the coronavirus. That impacted horse racing betting handles for the month. (Image: Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald via Getty)

May’s Racing Economic Indicators Continue COVID-19 Plunge

Even with tracks emerging from coronavirus shutdowns throughout May, Thoroughbred racing handles for the month plummeted compared to their 2019 totals, according to Equibase’s monthly report on horse racing’s economic indicators. The biggest individual culprit for May’s decline was easy to pinpoint: no Kentucky Derby and no Preakness Stakes. The […]

Maryland's Laurel Park received approval to resume racing Saturday. It plans running through Aug. 22. (Image: Laurel Park)

Maryland’s Laurel Park Reopens for Racing Saturday

After receiving unanimous approval by the Maryland Racing Commission on Thursday to resume racing, Laurel Park will waste little time reopening its starting gates. It joins the racing resumption parade Saturday. Laurel Park’s summer meet opens with three days of live racing from Saturday through Monday, and will run every […]

Del Mar's summer meet will sprint out of the gate eight days early. The iconic California track will race nine weeks this summer instead of eight. (Image: KC Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Del Mar Gets an Early Jump On 2020 Summer Meet, Plans Bigger Cards

Officials from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which operates Del Mar Race Track north of San Diego, announced they will open their 2020 summer meet eight days earlier than planned. In addition, the racetrack plans on running three days per week instead of its customary five. Del Mar will open […]

Honor A.P. is one of the sleeper Kentucky Derby picks. His trainer, John Shirreffs, opted to bypass the Belmont Stakes for home-track Santa Anita Park. (Image: Santa Anita Park)

New Kentucky Derby Trail Presents Options, Tough Choices for Trainers

Sole Volante is off to the Belmont Stakes. His stablemate, Ete Indien, heads to the Haskell Stakes. And Honor A.P. stays home for the Santa Anita Derby. These three Kentucky Derby contenders illustrate how many different paths have emerged on the Derby Trail during the COVID-19 era. Even in a […]

Lone Star Park officials are making a concerted push down the stretch to open Friday. (Image: Richard Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star Telegram)

Texas’ Lone Star Park Opens Friday, Fans Not Allowed Inside … Yet

Adding to the other racetracks opening or reopening around North America, horseplayers get another option Friday when Texas’ Lone Star Park begins its spring/summer meet. At the outset, the track will run spectator-free. Located north of Dallas in Grand Prairie, Texas, Lone Star Park was scheduled to open April 16 […]

The coronavirus moved the Belmont Stakes to a new June date and a new shorter distance. It will run 1 1/8 miles instead of 1 1/2. (Image: AP Photo)

Triple Crown Picture Finished: Shorter Belmont Stakes Will Run in June

The final jewel to the 2020 Triple Crown fell into place Tuesday morning when the New York Racing Association announced the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes will run Saturday, June 20. With that date, the 152-year-old race opens the Triple Crown for the first time in history. That’s not the only […]

The sight of fans in the stands will greet horses at Texas' Lone Star Park. The track can reopen after Friday with 25% capacity. (Image: Lone Star Park)

Texas Becomes First State Allowing Fans Back Into Racetracks

Texas is about to become the first state in the COVID-19 era to reopen racetracks with fans in attendance, courtesy of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that allows facilities to reopen at up to 25% of capacity. Abbott signed executive order GA-23 Monday afternoon. It opens the state’s simulcast facilities […]

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained why he approved horseracing's resumption during his Saturday coronavirus briefing. (Image: WRVO)

New York Racing Resumes in June After Governor’s Approval

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put his state back in the horseracing game Saturday when he announced during his daily coronavirus briefing New York may resume spectator-free racing June 1. Along with Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields resuming in California and Churchill Downs resuming in Kentucky, this is […]

DraftKings has reached a deal with New Hampshire that will see it offering sports betting in the state as early as January. (Image: Ed Barkowitz/Philadelphia Inquirer)

DraftKings Reports Major Revenue Increase Despite Lack of Live Sports

After going public last month, DraftKings saw its stock rise sharply today, despite posting a net loss of more than $68 million in the first quarter. DraftKings reported $88.5 million in revenue for the quarter, a 30% increase from last year. Analysts believe the company is poised for rapid growth […]

Starting June 6, with provincial government approval, horses will hit the first turn at Canada's Woodbine Racetrack. (Image: Woodbine)

Canada’s Woodbine Joins the Racetrack Reopening Parade

The reopening momentum sweeping across racetracks in the United States caught a wave in Canada with the announcement that Woodbine outside Toronto will reopen June 6. Woodbine Entertainment said it plans to open Mohawk Park for harness racing on June 5, and Woodbine for Thoroughbred racing the following day. Due […]

Horses breaking from the Santa Anita starting gate won't be seen live by fans. But the iconic Southern California racetrack reopens for business Friday. (Image: Southern California News Group)

Approval Arrives: Santa Anita to Reopen for Spectator-Free Racing

After a seven-week lobbying effort that, only a day ago seemed in jeopardy, Santa Anita Park received approval from the Los Angeles County Health Department to resume spectator-free racing this Friday. The approval came one day after county health officials extended the “safer-at-home” directive that seemed to put the track’s […]

Santa Anita Park officials want a return to finishes like this in the 2019 Monrovia Stakes. The track's proposed Friday reopening is in limbo pending approval from the health department. (Image: Mark Ralston/AFP-Getty)

Order Sends Santa Anita’s Planned Reopening Into Limbo

The tug-of-war between Santa Anita Park and Los Angeles County Health Department officials continued Tuesday when county officials extended their “safer at home” order that was due to expire Friday. That extension slams into Santa Anita’s planned resumption of live racing, but track officials say they intend to proceed as […]

The pomp and pageantry of Royal Ascot could be3 on hold if the British government further postpones racing's resumption. It pushed openings back until June 1 at the earliest. (Image: Getty)

UK Racetracks Slated for Stage 2 Reopening in June (No Fans Allowed)

With some European countries already reopening racetracks across the Continent, British government officials announced Monday that tracks in the UK won’t reopen until June 1, at the earliest. The announcement curbing British racing came after a Sunday night speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlining plans to reopen the UK. […]

The grandstands and boxes at ParisLongchamp will be empty for Monday's racing return outside the French capital. (Image: Vincent Fillon)

After Near Reversal, French Racing Resumes on Monday

Overcoming a late-arriving challenge from entities inside the French government, horse racing will resume as planned in France Monday, according to an announcement by France Galop. Edouard de Rothschild, the president of the French governing body for racing, tweeted early Saturday morning that French President Emmanuel Macron signed off on […]