Martin Panza

NYRA Releases Aqueduct Winter/Spring Schedules With Extended Purse Bumps

The New York Racing Association announced Thursday the schedules for the 2020-21 winter and spring meets at Aqueduct Racetrack. In addition, NYRA announced that the purse increases now in effect across a number of categories at the Belmont Park fall meet will be extended to the fall, winter and spring meets at Aqueduct. Purses for open claiming and maiden claiming races at NYRA are the highest in the country. The open $25,000 claiming category will see a $4,000 increase to $50,000, while the $40,000 maiden-claiming condition will now offer a...

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NYRA Announces Purse Increases Starting Oct. 18

With impressive gains in handle and with the reopening of the casino at Aqueduct, NYRA will increase purses starting Oct. 18 and for the remainder of the Belmont meet. Like many tracks, NYRA was forced to make purse cuts due to COVID-19 related problems that reduced revenue sources. Rather than an across-the-board purse increase, NYRA will put more money into certain categories, in particular maiden races. The purse for an open maiden special weight race will go from $63,000 to $80,000. New York-bred maidens will see a purse increase from...

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Time to Change Jockey COVID Protocols?

Have saddle, will travel--a well-worn aphorism. But is it a wise one to emulate in this time of the coronavirus? Within the past week, Flavien Prat, Victor Espinoza, Eduard Rojas Fernandez, Luis Saez and Martin Garcia have all tested positive for the virus--a chain of events that can be traced back to Los Alamitos over the July 4 weekend, said Derek Lawson, Prat's agent. "There's no question that that's where it happened," he said, of Prat's infection occurring at the Southern California facility. But against a broader surge in coronavirus...

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The Week in Review: Not the Test of a Champion, but Belmont Won’t Lack for Star Power

To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want. But sometimes, you get what you need. That might end up being the case regarding the retooled GI Belmont S. announced last week by the New York Racing Association (NYRA). For its 2020 running, COVID-19 has transformed the $1.5-million, 12-furlong "Test of Champions" concluding leg of the Triple Crown into a one-turn, nine-furlong prep for the other two Classics with two-thirds its original purse. The revised Belmont S. will be run June 20 in a spectator-free Belmont Park...

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TDN Writers’ Room May 20, 2020: Martin Panza

This week NYRA's VP Martin Panza joins the TDN Writers' Room to talk racing at Belmont and Saratoga.

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NYRA VP Martin Panza Joins TDN Writers’ Room to Talk Belmont, Saratoga, Life in the COVID Epicenter

As the racing world mostly returned to order last week with the reopening of Santa Anita and Churchill and dates for two-thirds of the rescheduled Triple Crown being locked in, eyes turned to the New York Racing Association. Located in the epicenter of the world's coronavirus pandemic, NYRA hasn't run a race card since Mar. 15 at Aqueduct, and has remained in limbo like much of the state as the virus peaked, then slowly--painfully slowly--retreated. But with Governor Andrew Cuomo's proclamation that racing could resume in New York beginning June...

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NYRA Establishes Safety and Integrity Team with Addition of Two Safety Stewards

Juan Dominguez and Tim Kelly will serve new roles as New York Racing Association Safety Stewards as part of a four-person Safety and Integrity Team dedicated to enhancing existing safety protocols at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. Dominguez and Kelly will complement a unit that includes current Safety Steward Hugh Gallagher and Jean Claude Jaramillo, NYRA's Equine Investigator Specialist. The newly formed team will consult and advise stakeholders on matters relating to overall safety and integrity, including a focus on the health and welfare of equine athletes,...

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