Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, informed horsemen April 16 in a letter distributed on social media by the Texas Thoroughbred Association that “we still hope to be able to open the stable area and race meet sometime in May.”
Its spring/summer meet, which was to begin Thursday, has been indefinitely delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The season runs through July 19.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed a desire for a gradual reopening of the state following restrictions issued to slow the spread of the virus.
Nearly 17,000 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in more than 400 deaths. Dallas County, where Lone Star Park is located, has more than 2,000 cases and 50 deaths from the virus.
Both the Bluebonnet Stakes, which had been set for opening day at Lone Star Park, and the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3), originally planned for April 26, have been postponed and will be rescheduled “after we have a better idea of when opening day will be,” said the Lone Star letter attributed to the track’s racing department.
There has been no Thoroughbred racing in Texas since Sam Houston Race Park in Houston concluded its meet prematurely after racing concluded March 21 and after conducting racing for approximately a week without spectators. Sam Houston also canceled its entire Quarter Horse meet.
The TTA reported that due to the reduction in simulcast and on-track wagering, recent incentive awards for breeders, owners, and stallions were lower than usual.
Texas is one of a select number of states in which online betting for horse racing is prohibited by state law.