NYRA Seeking To Resume Racing At Belmont Without Fans, Continue Model At Saratoga

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After statements by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a Wednesday press conference cast doubt on the likelihood of Saratoga running a 2020 summer meet with spectators, the New York Racing Association released the following statement:

NYRA joins the entire racing community in applauding Governor Cuomo’s steady leadership throughout this unprecedented public health crisis. We recognize that decisions about large scale events are rightly left to our elected leaders and public health officials. At the same time, horse racing is in a unique position as a sport that can be safely staged without attendees.

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo encouraged sports entities to consider how they could operate without fans in attendance that would be economically viable while providing much needed entertainment. By closing to spectators and reducing employees and support staff to only those who are required under the rules of racing, the running of races would support the small businesses and hourly workers who form the backbone of the sport.

NYRA held races at Aqueduct Racetrack safely and securely under these conditions through March 15. Our experience during this period of time, as well as our ability to continue the training operation at Belmont Park throughout the pandemic, informs the strict safety protocols that we currently have in place at Belmont Park and would seek to implement at Saratoga Race Course.

As such, NYRA is seeking to resume live racing at Belmont Park in the absence of fans and we have prepared operating plans that follow the same model for Saratoga. These plans prioritize the health and safety of employees, horsemen and the backstretch community and include a broad array of risk mitigation strategies developed according to the most updated heath guidance. By closing to the public, layering additional health and safety protocols to our ongoing practices, and reducing the number of employees on-property, NYRA is in a position to provide a small sense of normalcy for fans across the country who can watch on television and online. At the same time, this model will enable NYRA to preserve its ability to serve as the cornerstone of an industry that generates more than 19,000 jobs in New York and $3 billion in annual economic impact.

This is a delicate balance, and one that must always prioritize health and safety. NYRA has experience finding that balance and we are committed to taking every step possible to keep our communities safe while providing entertainment and contributing to the New York economy as we collectively begin the return to a new normal.

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Santa Anita Plans to Issue Condition Book Thursday

By Dan Ross

Santa Anita will put out a condition book April 30 which will target May 15 for the resumption of live racing under strict protocols with no fans present, according to a letter issued by track management Wednesday.

The TDN obtained a copy of the letter, which was sent to Greg Avioli, the President and CEO of the Thoroughbred Owners of California; Alan Balch, the Executive Director of California Thoroughbred Trainers; and Darrell Haire, Regional Manager of the Jockeys’ Guild.

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Churchill Backstretch to Open May 11, Fair Grounds Horses Will Be First In

By T. D. Thornton

Churchill Downs has been cleared by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to open its backstretch area May 11 so long as the track adheres to enhanced pandemic precautions approved by the state.

Beshear announced the clearance Wednesday at his daily COVID-19 video press conference as part of a phased-in reopening for various state industries. Churchill followed up about an hour later with a press release that included specifics pertinent to horsemen.

Neither Beshear nor the track pinpointed an exact date for the return of live racing. But the Churchill release stated “it will be staged at a minimum of four days per week,” Thursday through Sunday.

The following is a listing of racetracks and when horses based there may return to the Churchill Downs stable areas between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.:

  • Fair Grounds (May 11-13)
  • Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and horses based at Florida training centers (May 14-16)
  • Oaklawn Park (May 17-19)
  • All other locales (May 20 onward)

 

Read TDN Article

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Lone Star Stable Area Will Open May 4; New Protocols To Be Announced

On April 28, the Lone Star Park Racing Department sent out the following notice regarding the reopening of the stable area:

Dear Horsemen,

We are happy to let you know that Lone Star Park will be able to start accepting horses into our stable area on Monday, May 4 beginning at 6:00 am.

During this initial stage of opening up we will only accept horses between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm so please plan accordingly.

Masks or face coverings will be required for all people in the common areas of the stable area, basically this means any area outside of your dorm room. So please be prepared to have masks or face coverings to use. Also all people in the stable area must follow social distancing guidelines at all times. And please note that the stable area is limited to essential personnel only. There are no guests allowed.

The racing office will reopen on Friday, May 1. But note that the racing office will operate under strict social distancing guidelines. Meaning the door will remain locked and business will be conducted only over the phone. Foal papers and any other documents can be dropped off using the mail slot which is to the right of our lobby entrance door.

The stall man will start on Monday and we ask that you respect social distancing guidelines when dealing with him. His office will be open but we ask that you do not enter the office but instead interact with him from the doorway.

There will be many other new procedures, restrictions and announcements to come over the coming days.

Please visit the horsemen’s information section of our web site (lonestarpark.com) for further information and please let us know if you have any questions. Our email address is racing@lonestarpark.com. Our phone numbers are (972) 237-1130 or (888) 4RACING. Thanks for racing with us.

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New SBA Guidance Makes Tracks Eligible for Paycheck Protection Program; Farms Can Now Apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans

President Trump signed into law today (4-24-20) an emergency aid package providing additional relief to small businesses and health care facilities, and the Small Business Administration released updated guidance that will assist the horse industry.

 

The new law provides $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses, which was oversubscribed. The additional appropriation will allow financial institutions to make additional forgivable loans to eligible small businesses in order to keep employees on the payroll for eight weeks.

 

The new law also includes $60 billion in loans and grants for a separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and makes farms and ranches eligible for the loans. Farms with 500 or fewer employees whose primary activity is breeding horses are now eligible to apply.

 

Separately, the Treasury and SBA released updated interim final rules that contain a key clarification that will provide essential relief to racetracks and other businesses who rely on gambling income and otherwise qualify for an SBA loan. Under the new rules, businesses that receive legal gambling income are eligible to apply for this loan forgiveness program.

 

The NTRA has been lobbying the SBA for this updated guidance for several weeks.

 

“We thank the SBA and our allies on the Hill for providing clarification that will allow broader participation in the PPP and EIDL loan programs by racetracks, farms and others in our industry who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop.

 

NTRA partner Dean Dorton, one of the nation’s leading experts on equine tax matters, has posted an update on its Covid-19 microsite at NTRA.com that outlines all of these new provisions that will positively impact horse racing and breeding. That PowerPoint can be found here.

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Summary of Benefits to Horse Owners Under the New Federal Covid-19 Legislation

 

 

All businesses are feeling economic hardship right now, and horse owners are no exception. Congress and the Trump Administration have provided several mechanisms to keep businesses afloat and provide some financial relief. Every business and every financial situation is unique, however, so it is critical that you have a conversation with your tax or financial advisor to ensure that you are accessing all the benefits to which you are entitled under the new law.

 

1.     Tax Benefits. Owners may be entitled to some new tax benefits that allow them to file amended returns for prior years and get cash in the form of tax refunds.

 

a. Net operating losses can now be carried back for up to 5 years. This applies to C corporations and individuals who generate net business losses. The IRS is currently accepting faxed refund requests in order to expedite these cash refunds.

b. The excess business loss limitation for individuals, trusts and estates is now deferred until 2021. Those who were subject to this limitation in 2018 and 2019 may file amended tax returns to receive cash refunds.

c. The prior year AMT credits in C corporations, originally refundable through 2021, are now fully refundable in 2018 or 2019. The IRS is currently accepting faxed refund requests in order to expedite these cash refunds.

 

2.     Emergency Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are available to owners regardless of whether they have employees to assist in funding working capital needs (e.g., payment of training and board bills). In some instances, the borrower may be entitled to a $10,000 forgivable loan advance. The initial loan disbursements (in addition to the $10K advance) are available based on two months of working capital, with a maximum of $15,000 per applicant. The first loan payment back to SBA on EIDLs is deferred for one year.

 

a. The EIDL program does not require a business to have employees who receive W-2 wages but the SBA is currently distributing the $10k EIDL advances that are not required to be repaid to only those businesses with employees or self-employed individuals. They are calculating these as $1k per employee up to $10k maximum per applicant.

b. Through the EIDL program, the SBA is also supposed to be quickly distributing two months of working capital up to $15k per application. So, racing stables, trainers, and others without employees should still apply thru the EIDL program, although these loans will have to be repaid. Loan applications for the EIDL loan program will be available on the SBA’s website once the SBA has posted it.

 

3.     The Main Street Lending Program will enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis by offering 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury recognize that businesses vary widely in their financing needs and are still working on the specific guidelines for this program, which are expected to be finalized by May 1st.

 

4.     The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been funded with an additional $310B in the latest Congressional act passed on April 24, 2020, $60B of which is designated for smaller banks and credit unions. Those loan terms include two-year loans at 1% interest, deferral of payments for six months, interest accrued from the date the loan is received and no prepayment penalty. Also, the PPP loan may be forgivable if spent on qualifying expenditures (payroll, rent or mortgage interest and utilities). The exact forgiveness calculation for the PPP loan is pending additional guidance from Treasury.

 

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are available to owners but only under specific circumstances:

 

a. Owners are generally required to have employees who receive W-2 wages to take advantage of the PPP.

b. Owners in Partnerships with both employees who receive W-2 wages and self-employment income of partners should include both the W-2 wages and the partners’ self-employment income when calculating the partnership’s PPP loan. The partnership only should file the application.

c. Self-employed sole proprietorships and pass-through single-member entities (e.g. LLCs) may qualify for a PPP loan if they have 2019 Schedule C or Schedule F net profit (2019 Net Profit). If 2019 Net Profit is less than zero, then that entity is not eligible for a PPP loan. PPP loan forgiveness for sole proprietors is limited to 8/52nds of 2019 Net Profit.

d. Employers who have received a PPP loan, but whose loan is not yet forgiven, may defer deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes beginning on March 27, 2020 until the loan is forgiven. These taxes will continue to be deferred under the normal payment terms for the PPP program. Once the employer’s PPP loan is forgiven, this deferral is no longer available.

 

5.     Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit. The CARES Act created payroll tax credits for employers who retain W-2 employees if the business is fully or partially suspended due to COVID-19 orders from a government agency or if there is a 50% decrease in gross receipts when compared to the prior calendar quarter. This is essentially a refundable payroll tax credit of up to 50 percent of the “qualified wages” paid by an employer to an employee from March 13 through December 31, 2020. Qualified wages include salaries and employer-provided health benefits and cannot exceed $10,000 per employee. This credit for an employee who earns at least $10,000 annually is capped at $5,000. This credit is only available to employers that do not receive a PPP loan and additional restrictions apply for those with more than 100 employees. An advance of this credit may be requested via the IRS Form 7200; otherwise, this may be claimed on the quarterly payroll tax return.

 

As a reminder, owners need to consult their tax and financial advisors for their specific situations.

 

The NTRA acknowledges the contributions of Jen Shah, CPA, and Director of Tax Services for the Lexington, KY accounting firm, Dean Dorton, and Lauren Bazel, Vice President and tax policy advisor for the Washington, DC lobbying firm, The Alpine Group, in the preparation of this tax advisory release.

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Storm the Court Completes Final Work for Arkansas Derby

Juvenile champ is one of Peter Eurton’s two Arkansas Derby (G1) contenders.

Juvenile male champion Storm the Court completed major preparations for the Arkansas Derby (G1) with a quick half-mile work April 27 at Santa Anita Park. The Peter Eurton trainee worked the four furlongs on a fast main track in :47 3/5, the fourth fastest time of 41 at the distance.

“I was pretty pleased with it. Just something short; we’ve been doing some longer ones and he ships tomorrow so I didn’t want to do it,” Eurton said. “But he looked really good getting out there stretching his legs.”

Monday’s exercise followed a six-furlong drill in 1:13 3/5 April 20 and a five-furlong work in 1:00 3/5 April 15. The Court Vision  colt is scheduled to fly to Oaklawn Park  Tuesday morning ahead of the May 2 Arkansas Derby.

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Obituary: Donald Bos

Donald Bos passed away Friday, April 24th, 2020.    He was a true horseman and cowboy for the majority of his life.  DJ rode bulls in rodeos in his younger days living in the Southwest.  He embarked on a horse training career after rodeo, working for several Quarter Horse ranches early in his horse training career in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, finding his way to North Carolina to work for a large Quarter Horse farm where he trained local and AQHA Congress Champions.  His greatest joy was fitting and showing fine halter horses.

In the years after training for others he made his way to Atlanta, Georgia where he met his wife of 35 years Monia Colley Bos.  They enjoyed training, showing and riding their own horses on local and national circuits.

His next career was sales.  He worked for Cable TV Supply in the earlier years of Cable TV where he was a national sales manager before moving to Auburn, Alabama to join another cable TV equipment manufacturer.  Continuing his sales career after their moving to Alabama he joined Network Telephone where he garnered many sales awards before joining Crosby Electric TEGG sales, marketing electrical preventive maintenance services till his retirement.

Horses still played a big part in his life even in retirement when he became a partner in Robin Lane Thoroughbreds.  He played an invaluable part in finding, buying and monitoring the training of many Louisiana and Kentucky thoroughbred racehorses with his partners.  He thoroughly enjoyed watching his horses go to the racetrack and compete.  Win or loose they were still his pride and joy.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald & Katherine Bos, step mom Lavonda Bos and great niece Nicole Bierman

DJ is survived by his wife and best friend Monia Colley Bos, his children, Ty Ryan Bos, Choya Bos, Co Austin (Sara) Bos, all of Redding, CA; 3 granddaughters.  Brothers Robert (Michelle) Bos, Jeff (Shelly) Bos, his sister Sandra (Don) Bierman, all of Grand Haven, MI.  Niece Melissa (Jeff) Molitor of Grand Haven, MI, Nephew, Christopher (Christina) Bos, Lake Zurich, IL, Nephew, Jeremy (Jessica) Bos, Houghton, MI, Niece Samantha Bierman, Grand Haven, MI and Niece Kameron Bos, Grand Haven, MI.  Great Nephew, Keaghan Bos, Great Nieces, Neveah and Brynlee Bos, Lake Zurich, IL

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No Parole Sprints to Victory in Oaklawn Allowance

Son of Violence rebounded from eighth in March 14 Rebel Stakes (G2).

 

The decision to return No Parole to shorter distances proved to be a good one for owners Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin as the son of Violence  aired in a $61,000 allowance optional claiming race going six furlongs April 24 at Oaklawn Park.

Seeking to rebound from an eighth in the March 14 Rebel Stakes (G2) over a 1 1/16-mile trip, the Tom Amoss trainee was sent off as the even-money favorite in a field of 10 3-year-olds. He ran to his odds under Joe Talamo, finishing under wraps in a final time of 1:09.34 on a fast track.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

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Racetracks, Horse Ownership Entities Now Eligible For Paycheck Protection Loan Program

by | 04.24.2020 | 1:24pm

President Trump signed into law today an emergency aid package providing additional relief to small businesses and health care facilities, and the Small Business Administration released updated guidance that will assist the horse industry.

The new law provides $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses, which was oversubscribed. The additional appropriation will allow financial institutions to make additional forgivable loans to eligible small businesses in order to keep employees on the payroll for eight weeks.

The new law also includes $60 billion in loans and grants for a separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and makes farms and ranches eligible for the loans. Farms with 500 or fewer employees whose primary activity is breeding horses are now eligible to apply.

Separately, the Treasury and SBA released updated interim final rules that contain a key clarification that will provide essential relief to racetracks and other businesses who rely on gambling income and otherwise qualify for an SBA loan. Under the new rules, businesses that receive legal gambling income are eligible to apply for this loan forgiveness program.The NTRA has been lobbying the SBA for this updated guidance for several weeks.

“We thank the SBA and our allies on the Hill for providing clarification that will allow broader participation in the PPP and EIDL loan programs by racetracks, farms and others in our industry who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop.

NTRA partner Dean Dorton, one of the nation’s leading experts on equine tax matters, has posted an update on its Covid-19 microsite at NTRA.com that outlines all of these new provisions that will positively impact horse racing and breeding. That PowerPoint can be found here.

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