Coronavirus

Woodbine Hosting One-Day Pop-Up COVID Vaccine Clinic Wednesday

Woodbine will host a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the track Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. for anyone requiring a first or second dose, including Toronto residents and those who work at Woodbine Racetrack, Casino Woodbine and the Casino Woodbine development. The vaccine clinic, which is operated by Unity Health Toronto, will operate for one day and is open to individuals 12 years and older in 2021 and who live or work in Toronto. Woodbine Racetrack previously hosted a six-day pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic in May 2021. During...

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RCA to Work With UK Government Over New Covid-Passport Regulations

The Racecourse Association (RCA) will be working closely with the UK Government to ensure the successful rollout of the new covid pass requirement after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a full COVID-19 vaccination would be required prior to entry at "venues where large crowds gather" beginning in October of 2021. Johnson was speaking on 'Freedom Day', the date when the majority of coronavirus restrictions were eased in England. Racecourses were allowed to begin hosting unrestricted numbers of spectators on Monday. Prime Minister Johnson said, "I should serve notice now that...

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Saratoga Opening Week Handle Tops $90M

Handle for the opening four-day week of the Saratoga meet soared to more than $90 million, easily besting the corresponding 2020 and 2019 numbers. The New York Racing Association added a day to the previous three-day opening week Saratoga schedule in 2019. The exact handle total for the 41-race week was $90,112,254, an increase of 12.18% from last year's number of $80,325,660, which was affected by the lack of spectators at Saratoga due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also represents an increase of 22.7% from the $73,441,101 total in 2019....

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Racecourses Issue Guidance As Crowds Return

As English racing prepares for the return of full capacity crowds from Monday, racecourses have issued some guidance and a number of requests to racegoers, including being vaccinated against coronavirus and taking up the government's offer for free lateral flow tests before attending a racecourse. The British Horseracing Authority and the Racecourse Association will not yet be introducing a Covid-certification system, but are working with the department of culture, media and sports to put the framework in place in the event that such a measure is needed. The Scottish and...

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Normalcy Returns as Saratoga Meet Opens

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Once again, Saratoga opens its world-renowned race meet with the question: How many? During the COVID-19 summer of 2020, the issue was whether there might be some loosening on the ban on spectators during the 40-day season. That never happened, though a limited number of owners were allowed to see their horses run, and some of the world's best Thoroughbreds played to a oh-so quiet empty house at America's oldest race track. With restrictions completely lifted in New York State in time for the 153rd season,...

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Crowds Capped at 1000 Per Day at Galway Summer Festival

There will be an attendance cap of just 1,000 spectators per day for the Galway Summer Festival. The week-long fixture features the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle. Galway Racecourse had submitted a proposal of 5,000 fans a day through the turnstiles, but that was rejected by the Irish Government. Instead, the festival will have the same limit on spectators as the Irish Derby meeting at The Curragh earlier this summer. Ireland is still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We got news last night that we will be able...

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Saratoga Merchants Look Forward to Return of Fans

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--Precisely 52 weeks ago, King's Tavern co-owner Jason Fitch valiantly tried to be at least a little bit positive about the prospect of a racing season without spectators across Union Avenue at Saratoga Race Course. Closed for three months by the COVID-19 lockdown, King's had reopened in mid-June at the partial-capacity limits of the time. While just being able to operate was better than nothing for Fitch and his brothers and partners, Adam and Patrick, he acknowledged it was going to be a difficult summer without the thousands...

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UK Government Confirms Lockdown Restrictions to Lift in England

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that lockdown restrictions will ease on July 19, paving the way for racecourses in England to receive their full complement of spectators. The UK Government will no longer require social distancing and wearing face coverings, but the public is still advised to utilise them in crowded spaces. Some COVID-19 safety protocols will remain in place at racecourses, with Ascot slated to host the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO S. on July 24. The Prime Minister said in a Downing Street...

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Goffs: Orby Sale Could Still Take Place in Ireland

Officials at Goffs have released a statement clarifying announcements made June 30 as regards the venue and date options for the company's marquee Orby Sale. As was previously stated, the Orby sale, with the cooperation of Tattersalls, is planned for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24 and 25, at Park Paddocks in Newmarket. However, Goffs officials are expressing optimism that travel restrictions could be eased in time enough for the sale to take place at its originally scheduled dates of Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 28 and 29. These plans follow discussions...

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£200,000 in Racing League Prizes Announced

A total of £150,000 will be split amongst the winning team of the Racing League, with an additional £50,000 to be divided between the three jockeys with the most points across the 36-race challenge, the Racing League announced on Wednesday. There was already £1.8 million in guaranteed prize money on offer, bringing the total over £2 million to be decided across six race days and 12 teams this summer. The extra £200,000 will be shared by the winning team and leading jockeys as follows: £60,000 to the trainers £30,000 shared...

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Naas to Help Barretstown Charity

In conjunction with the Irish EBF Ballyhane S., Naas Racecourse has partnered with Barretstown, a children's charity, which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A JustGiving page has been set up here and Naas is requesting minimum donations of €5. Each donation will be placed in a draw-to be held on July 30--and assigned one of 24 horses in the €300,000 Irish EBF Ballyhane S. on Aug. 2. The fundraiser will close on Juy 28 at noon. The person assigned to the winning horse will receive a €5,000...

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Arqana V.2 Yearling Catalogue Released

The Arqana v.2 Yearling Sale, which took a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will return to its home in Deauville directly after the Arqana August Sale. A one-day event, the Aug. 17 sale features 146 colts and fillies geared toward precocity on the racecourse. Current poster girl is 2021 G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Coeursamba (Fr) (The Wow Signal {Ire}), while earlier distinguished alumni include fellow French 1000 Guineas heroine Teppal (Fr) (Camacho {GB}) and Olmedo (Fr) (Declaration of War), who won the colts' equivalent in...

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