Coronavirus

Breeze-Up Sector Hopes For Positive Reboot

NEWMARKET, UK--Business as usual? Hardly. But at least things don't feel quite as unnervingly unusual as last year. At the best of times, breeze-up pinhookers have a precarious window of opportunity. After a long winter of preparation, their horses get a few, fleeting seconds between those timing lasers--and if for any reason they misfire then very few prospectors nowadays, whatever they may claim, will give them the benefit of the doubt. And, unlike with foals and yearlings, there is no second chance. All you can do is put the horse...

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Goresbridge Breeze Up Sale Relocated to Newmarket

The Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge Breeze Up Sale has been moved once again to the Tattersalls headquarters at Park Paddocks in Newmarket, Tattersalls Ireland announced on Monday. Ongoing COVID-19 related travel restrictions in Ireland prompted the location switch and 2021 marks the second year the sale will be held in Newmarket. The practice breeze session and breeze session proper at Newmarket Racecourse will be held on June 1 and 2, respectively, with the sale scheduled for June 3, as the racecourse is also operating as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. Originally, Goresbridge...

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T.I.P. Championships Return in October

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) Championships horse show will return this Oct. 8-10 at Stable View in Aiken, SC, officials at The Jockey Club T.I.P. announced Monday. The 2020 event was a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $60,000 will be up for grabs, with awards down to 10th place in 30 divisions spanning hunters, jumpers, dressage, a combined test, Western dressage, English pleasure, and Western pleasure. For the first time, the event will also offer in-hand championships. We are delighted to be able to bring the T.I.P....

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Old Friends to Host 'Homecoming Lite'

Old Friends Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky, is set to host its 16th annual Homecoming event Sunday, May 2, from noon to 3 p.m. Dubbed 'Homecoming Lite,' the event will be restricted to 125 pre-paid guests owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets are $25 for the general public and will not be available for purchase on site. Members of Old Friends are free and children under the age of 10 are not permitted. While the traditional silent and live auctions will be missing from this year's event, the art...

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Golden Gate to Reopen to Fans at Limited Capacity

Golden Gate Fields will reopen the racetrack to a limited capacity of fans starting Friday, Apr. 16, for the remainder of the winter/spring meet that runs through June 13. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, fans will be required to reserve tickets for the duration of the meet. General admission and walk-ups are not permitted at this time. Fans are encouraged to sign-up online to be the first to receive notification when tickets go on sale. Reopening protocols will include social distancing, mandatory masking when not actively eating or drinking, contactless thermal...

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Toronto-Area Lockdown Forces Woodbine Postponement

With a government-enforced 28-day lockdown set to take effect in the province of Ontario Thursday, Apr. 8 at 12:01 a.m., officials at Woodbine Racetrack announced late Wednesday that the planned opening of the 2021 meet would be delayed. Woodbine will continue to engage in dialogue with government officials and local health authorities in an effort to gain permission to operate a live meet during a lockdown situation in which they would try to begin operations once the stay-at-home order is lifted May 6. "This is very difficult news to share...

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Henry Cecil Open Weekend to Host Visitors in September

The Henry Cecil Open Weekend, slated for Sept. 18-19 this year, will welcome visitors back to Newmarket for the first time since 2019. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event, which normally features racing and equine enthusiasts visiting training yards, into a virtual format for the first time. A total of £48,000 was raised for its three chosen beneficiaries-Racing Welfare (80%), the British Racing School (10%) and the Racing Centre (10%). This year, Racing Welfare, the newly formed Newmarket Pony Academy and a soon to be announced community project...

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Wagering, Purses Up Significantly in Q1 2021

According to statistics released Monday by Equibase, daily average wagering and average purses per race day each saw significant increases in the period from Jan. 31-Mar. 31, 2021 when compared to the same time frame in 2020. Total wagering in the three-month period was reported at $2.776 billion, an increase of 10.27% over last year, with daily average wagering at $3,611,092, which represented a 14.15% improvement from 12 months ago. Nearly $215 million in purses were disbursed from January through March, some 4.6% better than last year, with several tracks...

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Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Card Produces High Handle Number

The card for the 84th GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby produced all-sources pari-mutuel handle of $24,282,400 Saturday. This was the largest Santa Anita Derby day handle since 2007. In addition, fans returned to the Arcadia oval on a restricted basis, with 8,246 on-track for the 12-race program. It was the first time in over a year that fans were allowed back at Santa Anita since the COVID-19 pandemic began last winter. Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) saluted in the day's feature event, the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby for...

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COVID Lockdown Threatens Opening Day at Woodbine

The Ontario government has put in place new COVID-19 restrictions that will last a minium of four weeks and include a ban on horse racing. What is being called an "emergency brake" went into effect Saturday, putting the Apr. 17 opener at Woodbine in doubt. Its sister track, the harness facility Mohawk Park, was not able to run on Saturday and will be shut down indefinitely. There were 2,557 reported cases of COVID-19 Thursday in Ontario, the most in a single day since Jan. 22. While understanding the seriousness of...

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Trio of Sophomore Stakes Ring in Racing, Fans' Return to Keeneland

What a difference a year makes. Last March, when the coronavirus pandemic first descended upon America, the cancellation of sporting events left and right drove home, like few other signs did, how serious the situation was. In the racing world, there was arguably no greater loss of normalcy at that time than was felt when Keeneland was forced to scrap its iconic spring meet. And while races eventually returned to the central Kentucky oval, fans didn't for the entirety of 2020. Friday, the familiar sights of April in Lexington--the colorful...

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UK Racing Welcomes Government Aid

UK racing organisations welcomed the news that the racing industry would receive £21 million in loan support, which was announced late on Sunday evening. The loan is to assist with the continuing financial fallout due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Racecourse Association (RCA) and The Horsemen's Group released a joint statement in response on Monday morning. The statement read: "The leaders of British racing have welcomed the announcement that around £21 million of loan funding will be made available to the sport through the Sports...

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