New York Racing Association

HISA Review Finds A Multitude of Factors Contributed to Saratoga Fatalities

The Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) on Thursday released the report covering its investigation of the rash of fatalities that occurred during the 2023 Saratoga meet. The report found some factors that may have contributed to the fatalities, while also concluding that there was no link that covered all 14 deaths. "This report concludes that there are a multitude of risk factors that likely contributed to the fatalities during the 2023 Meet. These findings will drive HISA's data collection, recommended racetrack practices and regulatory scheme going forward." the...

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Belmont Barn 15 Quarantine to End Saturday

The quarantine of Barn 15 at Belmont Park will expire next Saturday at 3 p.m. The barn had been placed in quarantine Feb. 3 when an unraced filly trained by Danny Gargan presented acute neurological symptoms and was subsequently euthanized. Cornell University then returned a positive test for EHV Feb. 4. An additional horse in Barn 15 developed a fever Feb. 5, which extended the quarantine through Feb. 26. That horse tested negative for EHV Feb. 6. Upon review of the circumstances, the New York State Department of Agriculture and...

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NYRA's O'Rourke Chairs All-Weather Surfaces Committee

The New York Racing Association has announced the formation of an All-Weather Surfaces Committee to study the impact of various racing surfaces on equine injury rates. According to a Wednesday NYRA press release, the committee, which first met last October, will evaluate safety metrics from tracks utilizing all-weather racing surfaces, as well as study the feasibility of broader adoption of all-weather surfaces nationally. The committee, chaired by NYRA CEO and President David O'Rourke, was formed at the request of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, as part of HISA's strategic...

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Barn 15 at Belmont Park Placed Under Quarantine Due to Potential EHV Case

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) have placed Barn 15 at Belmont Park under a precautionary quarantine until further notice due to a potential case of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV) in that barn. Cute Curls (Tapiture), an unraced 3-year-old filly trained by Danny Gargan, exhibited acute neurological symptoms on Saturday and was subsequently euthanized. As of Saturday afternoon, no additional horses in Barn 15 have presented symptoms. Samples are in-route to Cornell University for analysis with results expected within 48 hours. Barn...

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Victor Escobar Succeeds Brook Hawkins as NYRA Steward

Racing official Victor Escobar has been appointed New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) Steward, NYRA announced late Thursday afternoon. The former Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission (OHRC) State Steward, where he'd been since 2021 and where he had played a central role in the implementation of Category 1 rules at Remington Park, Escobar will join NYRA Feb. 16. As OHRC Steward, Escobar was also responsible for public communication with the betting public immediately following stewards' decisions. He has also served as State Steward for the New Mexico Racing Commission and as...

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Andrew Offerman Named NYRA's Sr. Vice President of Racing and Operations Following Resignation of Frank Gabriel

Frank Gabriel, who has served as the New York Racing Association's Sr. Vice President of Racing Operations since 2022, has resigned, effective Feb. 18, it was announced Thursday. Andrew Offerman will succeed Gabriel as NYRA's Sr. Vice President of Racing and Operations. "On behalf of NYRA and the broader racing community in New York, I thank Frank Gabriel for his many contributions to NYRA and to Thoroughbred racing," said David O'Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. "Because of Frank's hard work during a period of great transition, NYRA continues to be...

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Stakes Schedule for Belmont at the Big A Spring/Summer Meet Set

The stakes schedule for the 2024 Belmont at the Big A spring/summer meet, which will open Thursday, May 2, will include 32 stakes worth more than $6.6 million in total purses, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced Tuesday. As announced in December, the ongoing construction of a new and re-imagined Belmont Park will require significant adjustments to the customary NYRA schedule. Most notably, the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will be held at Saratoga Race Course from June 6-9. In addition, the spring/summer and fall meets traditionally held...

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Belmont Stakes Racing Festival to Feature 23 Stakes Worth $10.1 Million

Highlighted by the 156th edition of the GI Belmont S. on Saturday, June 8, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has revealed the stakes schedule for the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which will be held at Saratoga Race Course from Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9. The 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will include 23 stakes races with purses totaling $10.1 million, the highest purse levels and number of stakes offered since the launch of the multi-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in 2014. NYRA has increased the...

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The Week in Review: In the Good News Department, 2024 is Off to a Good Start

The year 2023 was a pretty rough one for the sport of horse racing, and there was little to suggest that this year would be any different. The sport seems to be caught in a downward spiral as we move from one crisis to another and are left to wonder "what next?" So far this year, the answer to that question is that maybe things will be better in 2024 than we might have thought. There have been several recent positive developments for the sport, many of them having to...

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Belfiore Returns as NYTHA Executive Director

Andy Belfiore will be returning as the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association's executive director, effective Jan. 7, the organization announced Tuesday. "Andy has a wealth of experience in all facets of the racing industry," said newly elected NYTHA President Tina Bond. "In addition to her knowledge base, Andy's devotion to equine welfare and aftercare are especially crucial in this period of our sport. We are very pleased that she will be rejoining the NYTHA team." Belfiore started her career in racing on the backstretch at Belmont Park, working as a...

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Rice Sets NYRA Single-Season Win Record

Linda Rice saddled her 165th winner of 2023 to set the record for most victories in a year on the New York Racing Association (NYRA) circuit Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack. "It's a tough number to get to. I think about how we're starting over at one tomorrow," said Rice, with a laugh. "It's just been an incredible year. I'm really excited and I just hope we can do something that will compare going forward. That's a high bar to set." With George's Vice (Unified)'s win in Sunday's second race, Rice...

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Tina Bond Elected NYTHA President

Tina Marie Bond, who previously served as co-vice president of the organization, has been elected to her first term as president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. "I am honored to be chosen as the next president of NYTHA," said Bond. "It is an important time for our industry and the future of horse racing. I look forward to working with NYRA and the New York breeders to continue the great work of keeping New York racing at the top of our industry. We have the best owners, the...

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