New York Racing Association

Jockey Christian Ramos Tests Positive for COVID-19

Jockey Christian Ramos has tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain off his mounts at Aqueduct through Sunday, Jan. 16, the New York Racing Association, Inc. announced Thursday. All members of the NYRA jockey colony are vaccinated and adhere to established protocols. In addition, the jockey quarters at Aqueduct Racetrack have been substantially altered to provide maximum physical distancing and reduce density. Ramos sought testing Thursday after experiencing mild symptoms. He received the test result early Thursday morning and was not on-site at Aqueduct. NYRA follows the most updated federal...

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NYRA Handles $2.37B in 2021

The New York Racing Association's 2021 race meets conducted at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course generated all-sources handle of $2,373,772,916 and average daily handle of $11,809,816 over 201 race days, NYRA announced Thursday. Average daily handle on the NYRA circuit has increased 21.6% since 2019, when average daily handle over 217 race days was $9,714,868. Average daily handle in 2020, which featured 157 race days, was $11,553,727. All sources handle for 2021 was $265,646,547 higher than 2019, an increase of 12.6%; and $559,837,825 higher than 2020, a...

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FOX Sports and NYRA Reach Exclusive Belmont Stakes Deal

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and FOX Sports have reached an agreement with the latter acquiring exclusive media rights for the GI Belmont Stakes, beginning in 2023. The eight-year agreement runs through 2030 and includes the entire Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which is the multi-day event of top races preceding the Belmont S., as well as a new title sponsorship deal which grants NYRA Bets the title sponsorship to the Belmont S. "FOX Sports has quickly become the year-round home of the finest Thoroughbred racing in the country,"...

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CHRB Investigative Reports Add Details to NYRA's Amended Charges Against Baffert

In a press release Monday, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced that it had amended its ongoing Statement of Charges issued against trainer Bob Baffert to include a pair of positive tests for phenylbutazone (bute) in 2019 in California and a subsequent inspection of the trainer's barn which allegedly uncovered an unlocked medication cabinet, improperly labeled medications and the presence of unsecured phenylbutazone paste. NYRA has charged Baffert with engaging in conduct detrimental to the best interests of racing and has sought to temporarily ban the trainer from its...

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NYRA Amends Charges Against Baffert to Include Bute Overages

by Bill Finley and Dan Ross The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has amended its Statement of Charges issued against trainer Bob Baffert to include a pair of positive tests for phenylbutazone that occurred in 2019 in California and a subsequent inspection of the trainer's barn in which it alleges that 25 improperly labeled medications were found. NYRA's Statement of Charges now contains allegations that, over a 16-month period prior to the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby, six horses under Baffert's care violated rules and regulations in six separate races. Having...

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After Challenging Year, Vargas Looks to Bounce Back in 2022

Last week, Puerto Rican jockey Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. won one of the biggest races of his young career aboard Geno (Big Brown) in the $500,000 NYSSS Great White Way S. at Aqueduct. The victory, more than happiness and a nice check, brought relief and a breath of fresh air going into a new year after a tough 2021. "I was a little down because I was working hard, I'm riding almost every day and you want to see the results and nothing was happening," said Vargas during a recent...

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Two Weeks From Crucial Hearing, NYRA Adds to Arguments Against Baffert

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) Wednesday added to an already daunting compilation of court documentation filed by both parties in an attempt to bolster its arguments in advance of a Jan. 6 "motion to dismiss" hearing in Bob Baffert's civil rights lawsuit against NYRA. The purpose of the Dec. 22 reply memorandum was to give NYRA "the opportunity to briefly address new arguments raised by Plaintiff in his opposition brief" and to confirm NYRA's position in relation to Baffert's civil action claim. "First, Plaintiff fails to articulate an actionable...

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Nevin Taking Her Time With Happy Medium

Jay Em Ess Stable's Happy Medium (Runhappy) equaled his career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure for 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy allowance victory (video) at Aqueduct Saturday. Happy Medium has gone 3-for-4 this year, his only loss coming in his debut where he finished third going seven furlongs at Aqueduct in March. "He's doing all the right things," trainer Michelle Nevin said of the sophomore. "We're very happy with him and we are taking each logical step as he's gone along and he's really shown up." Happy Medium earned his first 103 Beyer...

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Marc Holliday Elected Chairman of NYRA Board of Directors

The New York Racing Association's Board of Directors has unanimously elected Marc Holliday as chairman following Thursday's regularly scheduled meeting of the board. Holliday replaces Michael Del Giudice, who retired from the NYRA Board in November. Appointed to the NYRA Board in 2014, Holliday has chaired the NYRA Equine Safety Committee since 2015. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SL Green Realty Corp, which is New York City's largest owner of office properties. A graduate of Lehigh University, Holliday earned a master's in real estate development from...

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Baffert Wins Attorneys' Fees from NYRA

A federal judge has ordered that the New York Racing Association (NYRA) must pay trainer Bob Baffert $109,124 in legal expenses. Those fees and costs were incurred in the early stages of the trainer's civil rights lawsuit against NYRA, and the court has determined that legal precedents qualified him as the "prevailing party" five months ago when he obtained a preliminary injunction to overcome NYRA's banishment of him from Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct. That figure represents only a partial award. The Hall-of-Fame trainer had been seeking $162,086. NYRA had argued...

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Average Daily Handle Strong at Aqueduct

Average daily all-sources handle for the recently concluded 15-day Aqueduct fall meet was $10,295,293, according to a release Thursday from the New York Racing Association. That figure represents an 11.2% increase over 2020, and average daily handle at the fall meet has risen 25.4% since 2019. The release noted that NYRA has also seen strong handle growth at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course: "Average daily handle at the Belmont fall meet has grown 39% since 2019 with the 2021 summer meet at Saratoga eclipsing $20 million in average daily...

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Irad Ortiz Jr. Suspended for 30 Days

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has been handed a 30-day suspension by the Aqueduct stewards for his ride aboard Gran Casique (Algorithms) in the eighth race on Friday. News of the suspension was confirmed late Sunday by NYRA spokesman Pat McKenna. McKenna said the suspension would begin "some time this week." Aboard Gran Casique, Ortiz came over several paths toward the rail on the run down the backstretch and cut off Ragtime Blues (Union Rags) and apprentice jockey Omar Hernandez Moreno. The infraction was so egregious that the Equibase chart caller...

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