pandemic

This Side Up: A Very Different Experience-but Euro Strategy Same as Ever

It's the baby I can't get out of my mind, try as I might. Maybe you feel it shouldn't have been out at all, on such an evening and in such a place: sitting there in its diaper, on a table, under the adoring smiles of the good-looking couple who had brought it into the raucous bar. But then the infant looked very much at home, alternately raising a glass of bourbon and a cheroot to its lips. Only in L.A.; only on Halloween. On closer inspection, of course, the...

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Face Coverings Mandatory at British Race Fixtures

In an effort to further enhance existing COVID-19 control measures, all racecourse attendees at behind closed doors race fixtures will be required to wear a face covering at all times while at the beginning Monday, Oct. 26. Face coverings (i.e. non-medical face coverings) must be worn at the racecourse by all attendees who are not identified as needing certified/higher grade PPE (e.g. medical and cleaning staff). Face coverings will be required in all indoor and outdoor areas of both the Green Zone and Owner Zone throughout the day. For more...

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Meadowlands Closes Temporarily Due to COVID-19

The Meadowlands Racetrack, a top harness racing venue in New Jersey, temporarily shut down starting Tuesday evening after several employees tested positive for COVID-19. Live racing will take place as scheduled Friday, but without fans. The facility will reopen to fans Saturday at 10 a.m. The following is part of a statement the track release Tuesday evening: "The racetrack continues to take an aggressive stance against the spread of COVID-19. Over the past several days the medical team has identified a few individuals that tested positive for COVID-19 that they...

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Not Enough Jockeys For ‘Quality Racing Product’ Causes Del Mar Cancellation

On Wednesday, when Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) announced the cancellation of this weekend's three days of racing in the aftermath of 15 asymptomatic jockeys there testing positive for COVID-19, the chief reason listed in the track's press release was "to help ensure the safety of all workers at Del Mar and our surrounding community." But in a Thursday teleconference organized by the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) that featured Del Mar executives explaining their decision not to race, the focal point centered not so much on preventing the spread...

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Breeders Facing Many Uncertainties as COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of discussion and reporting on how quarantine, shutdowns, safety protocols and the shift in the sales calendar has affected trainers, backstretch workers, owners and sales companies. However, very little has been said about how it affects the breeders, who are the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry. Only one 2-year-old sale, the OBS March Sale, has been held so far this year with many of the other juvenile sales being postponed or even canceled. Fasig-Tipton has combined their July, Saratoga and New...

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Amid Pandemic, CDI Reports TwinSpires Growth

Predictably, Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), on Wednesday reported 2020 first-quarter revenue drops because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down racing and gaming throughout the nation since mid-March. But CDI noted within those results that it experienced "strong performance" from its TwinSpires advance-deposit wagering platform, with handle growth of 8.3% over the prior year's quarter. "For the first quarter of 2020, net revenue increased $4.3 million from the prior year quarter primarily due to a $3.7 million increase at TwinSpires," CDI reported in its Apr. 29 United States Securities...

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Santa Anita Issues Update Regarding Potential Return of Live Racing

Santa Anita issued the following statement Thursday regarding a possible resumption of live racing: "Santa Anita is continuing discussions with the LA County Health Department and LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger's office as they undertake a thorough and thoughtful review of the proposal submitted to resume live racing as soon as possible at Santa Anita. The comprehensive written proposal was submitted last Thursday (Apr. 16), following a meeting with Supervisor Barger earlier that day. While Santa Anita is first and foremost in our minds, we are one of literally hundreds...

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Jockey Club of Canada Announces Virtual Sovereign Awards

The 2019 Sovereign Awards ceremony was scheduled to take place Apr. 16, but was postpone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Jockey Club of Canada has now decided to host the event through a virtual presentation no later than May 31. Detailed information, including the date and time, will be announced once they have been confirmed.

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Open Letter to the Industry: #FreeDataFriday – Pandemic Exposes Broken Model

This text is an abridged version of today's Free Data Friday release from the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation. Read the full version here. As the famous proverb goes--the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. Despite few tracks going forward in recent weeks and little to no competition for wagering, Oaklawn and Gulfstream have reduced purses, blaming the loss of subsidies from now shuttered casinos and the lack of on-track handle. Oaklawn set a new record for single day handle last Saturday, with...

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New York Horsemen Soldier On Amid Pandemic

On Mar. 19, the New York Racing Association suspended racing for an undetermined period after a backstretch worker tested positive for COVID-19, which left New York horsemen scrambling to adjust and come up with Plan B for themselves, their horses and their staff. Nine days later--following the announcement that Aqueduct had been approved as a temporary hospital site--NYRA announced that the rest of the Aqueduct winter meet would be canceled and the Ozone Park oval would not host its traditional spring meet, headlined by the GII Wood Memorial S. "On...

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UK Racing’s COVID-19 Response Plan Released

A COVID-19 response plan for the UK racing industry was published on Monday by the industry group coordinating the response and liaising with the UK government. The purpose of the operational plan is to protect the health of British racing's people, horses, and businesses during the pandemic and have a blueprint in place for the earliest possible resumption of racing and a strong recovery once racing has begun again. It also outlines the range of activities, led by the industry's COVID-19 Group, to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic....

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Arqana Breeze Up Sale Could Be Moved to June

The Arqana Breeze Up Sale, which released its catalogue earlier this week, could be rescheduled for either June 3 or 4 depending on the COVID-19 situation, the sales company announced on Saturday. Currently, the sale is slated for May 9, with breezes to take place the day prior. This format would be maintained if the sale is moved to early June. Deauville Racecourse will continue to play host for the breezes, regardless of when it is actually conducted. "In the midst of a crisis that is affecting us all, we...

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