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Hall Of Famer Delahoussaye Views Friday’s ‘Eddie D’ From Afar

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A certified all-time great and longtime member of Racing’s Hall of Fame, Eddie Delahoussaye, for whom Friday’s main event at Santa Anita, the Grade 2, $200,000 Eddie D Stakes, is named, will not be on-hand to present the winner’s trophy along with his wife Juanita.

“With all the Covid stuff going on, we just weren’t able to make it out this year,” said the popular Cajun native from his home in Lafayette, La. “At my age (69), you never know what you’re gonna get! Hopefully things will get back to normal and we can make the trip again next year.”

Retired due to injury in 2003, Delahoussaye, 69, who has worked part time as a blood stock agent and has dabbled in racehorse ownership himself, is in the process of taking on a new role—that of racing commissioner with the state of Louisiana. Although he won’t be officially sworn in until the Louisiana state legislature reconvenes in June, he’s serving in the role of apprentice commissioner in the interim.

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Keeneland Fall Meet To Be Held With Limited Participants Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

September 15, 2020

Keeneland today announced that its 2020 Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 2-24, will be closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Only a limited number of participants and essential personnel will be permitted to attend the live race meet.

Keeneland conducted its five-day Summer Meet in July without spectators but did allow a limited number of owners and essential personnel to attend.

“The safety of our employees, our participants and our fans remains Keeneland’s top priority,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We have the most loyal fans in the world and we cannot wait for the day when we can welcome them back for live racing. The decision to close the meet to the public was made after consulting with local and state government officials and public health experts and monitoring how various sporting venues and events around the world have operated during the pandemic. With the guidance of these experts and lessons learned from recent events, we know this is the responsible course of action.”

“Sunday’s kickoff of the 12-day September Yearling Sale, which is followed by the Fall Meet, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the November Breeding Stock Sale, marks the beginning of a significant three months of business for Keeneland and the horse industry as a whole,” Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “It is paramount that we conduct our sales and racing operations in a safe and responsible manner that promotes the health and success of everyone involved.

“We will remain flexible and vigilant leading up to and throughout our Fall Meet to ensure that we observe the most current health and safety protocols and respond to any changes in a timely and thoughtful manner,” Arvin added.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, strict compliance with the following health and safety protocols will be required for participants and employees while they are at Keeneland. Similar protocols were in place for the Summer Meet and are in effect for Keeneland’s current September Yearling Sale:

·       Individuals permitted to come onto the Keeneland grounds will be credentialed or ticketed in advance. Seating will be assigned and properly social distanced on race days.

·       Participants include those with a competing horse, including a limited number of owners and trainers. Keeneland also will allow limited access to sponsors, box holders and Club members.

·       Keeneland will not permit any general admission or walk-up attendees. Credentialed participants will be assigned a seat for the race day.

·       Keeneland will maintain records to allow for contact tracing.

·       Health screenings, including a series of questions and temperature checks, will continue at all entrance gates.

·       All individuals must wear a face mask and maintain proper social distancing while at Keeneland.

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Two Scholarships Each Valued at $1,000 to be Awarded on Facebook Live Sept. 19. Live from Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

Two Scholarships to be Awarded on Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs!
We are drawing for two $1,000 scholarships on September 19 via Facebook Live during Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
The drawings will be between the fifth and sixth races in the winners circle. The first race starts at 3:05 p.m. CDT.
The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
  • Must be a college student enrolled full-time in a Louisiana College, University or Community College for Fall 2020.
  • Must be in good standing with the college or university.
  • Must have University ID number or Social Security number.
*Due to the COVID-19 students do not have to be present to win a scholarship.
**There will not be a registration booth on site.
The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association manages the best incentive program for breeding thoroughbreds in the United States. Since the organization formed, this has led to increased purses, better quality horses, and increased interest in racing and breeding horses. The thoroughbred racing and breeding industry generates over $1 billion and employs over 60,000 people in the state of Louisiana.
For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit louisianabred.com or call 1-800-772-1195.
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LA Horsemen Plea to Commission for Emergency Stabling

By T. D. Thornton

In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura that devastated structures at Delta Downs last week, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (LHBPA) made a written plea to the Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) Sept. 2 asking for an emergency order to be handed down that would mandate “immediate access to stalls to stable at both Louisiana Downs and Fair Grounds.”

The request for stabling involves both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, and is complicated by meets for both breeds ending and starting within the same rough time frame at Louisiana’s four tracks. Additionally, the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic is making movement of people and horses difficult.

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Jockey Hernandez Tests Positive for COVID-19

Rider off Churchill Downs mounts Sept 1.

 

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. reported Sept. 1 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, but that he is no longer contagious since he is also positive for the virus antibodies.

Hernandez was taken off the four mounts on which he was named for the Tuesday card at Churchill Downs that kicks off the week leading up to the rescheduled Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), and it was unclear when he would be able to resume riding. He had 25 mounts lined up for Sept. 1-4.

“We got the antibody results back,” Hernandez wrote in a text message. “I am positive for the virus but positive for the antibodies as well, which means I am no longer contagious. Now we are waiting for Churchill and the health department to tell us when we can go back to riding.”

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Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton Announce COVID-19 Safety Protocols for September Yearling Sales

Officials from Keeneland Association and Fasig-Tipton Company Inc. today announced COVID-19 safety protocols for participants attending the upcoming September yearling sales on Sept. 9-10 at Fasig-Tipton and Sept. 13-25 at Keeneland.

“Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton are committed to providing the safest environment possible for both horses and humans on our grounds during the September sales,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason and Fasig-Tipton President Boyd T. Browning Jr. said in a joint statement. “Given the proximity of our two sales in terms of both dates and locations, it is important that we provide consistent protocols for the convenience of our participants.”

The following COVID-19 safety protocols, developed in collaboration with local and state health officials, will apply to all sales participants at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton:

  • All consignors and their staffs, veterinarians and their staffs, farriers, van counter representatives, media and any other person who will be interfacing with the public on a daily basis are required to receive a negative COVID-19 test within 10 days of entry to the grounds. Health and government officials have advised that this concentration of individuals creates the highest risk associated with conducting the sale, and both sales companies are working to mitigate that risk.
  • For the convenience of our participants, COVID-19 testing will be available at the following locations beginning Aug 24.  Testing windows are as follows:
  • FASIG-TIPTON
    • Aug. 24-25
    • Sept. 3-5
  • KEENELAND
    • Aug. 24-25
    • Aug. 31, Sept. 1-2
    • Sept. 11-12
  • If a participant is not available for the testing during the above windows, please contact Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton, and we will work to make testing available.
  • COVID-19 tests do not have to be taken at Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton, however proof of a negative test must be provided within 10 days of entry to the grounds.  Keeneland will accept a negative COVID-19 test result taken prior to the Fasig-Tipton sale.
  • Buyers are not required to be tested but must complete a health questionnaire prior to the sale. Testing will be available to buyers if requested. A window may not be available to all buyers upon arrival.
  • All sales participants must pre-register online. More information on this registration process will be communicated in the coming days.
  • Daily screenings, including temperature checks and health questions, are required for everyone accessing the grounds.
  • Everyone is required to wear a face covering at all times.
  • Social distancing of at least six feet is required throughout the grounds.
  • Capacity will be limited in the sales pavilions, including the sales arena, and throughout the grounds.

Neither September sale is open to the public. Attendance will be limited to credentialed sales participants.

For more information and updates on safety protocols, please visit Keeneland.com/September and Fasigtipton.com.

For more information, contact Keeneland (859 361-3490) or Fasig-Tipton (859 255-1555)

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146th Kentucky Derby to Run on September 5th without Fans

Aug 21, 2020 Tonya Abeln

LOUISVILLE, KY., (August 21, 2020) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today its decision to run the 146th Kentucky Derby on September 5, 2020 without fans. CDI issued the following statement:

The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored American tradition which has always been about bringing people together. However, the health and safety of our team, fans and participants is our highest concern. Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance. We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available. With the current significant increases in COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We have made the difficult decision to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans. Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety and security of our community in these challenging times and believe that running the Derby without spectators is the best way to do that. We deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.

The decision comes with the support of Governor Andy Beshear who said, “The virus is still aggressively spreading in Kentucky, and the White House has announced that Jefferson County and the City of Louisville are in a ‘red zone’ based on increases in cases. This week alone the county had more than 2,300 new cases,” Gov. Beshear said. “I applaud Churchill Downs for continuing to monitor the virus and for making the right and responsible decision. I am asking all Kentuckians to take action to stop the spread of the virus so we can get back to the many traditions we enjoy, like the Kentucky Derby.”

Since early May, decisions regarding this year’s Kentucky Derby have been made in consultation with public health authorities including data provided by medical experts at Norton Healthcare. Positivity rates in the more than 70,000 patients tested at Norton have gone from as low as 2% in June to a rapid escalation of 10% in recent days.

“This is a critical point in time for our community,” said Russell F. Cox, president and CEO of Norton Healthcare. “This remains a very fluid situation and every event should be evaluated based on the data available as close to the date of the event as possible. We appreciate and support Churchill Downs’ decision.”

“This year’s Kentucky Derby was never going to be the celebration we’re used to, but I could not be more grateful to our tremendous team members and community partners for all of their efforts. We’ve left no stones unturned and reached the right decision,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We hope our fans, the Louisville community and our country find an opportunity over the coming weeks to reflect on the challenges we have faced this year as a community and as a nation, and work together toward a better and safer future.”

Additional information about Kentucky Derby 146:

  • The decision to run without fans includes Kentucky Oaks on Friday, September 4 and all live racing at Churchill Downs Racetrack for Derby week (September 1-5). Only essential personnel and participants will be permitted on property.
  • Ticket holders for all Derby week race dates and related programming, including Dawn at the Downs, will be automatically issued a refund.
  • NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on September 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be televised Friday, September 4 on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.

Click here for answers to additional commonly asked questions
About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville, Kentucky. We also own and operate the largest online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S., TwinSpires.com, and we operate sports betting and iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

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Churchill Downs Announces Updates To Kentucky Derby Safety Plan

Attendance Will Be Less Than 14% of Total Capacity from Event Record, Maximum of 40% of Seated Capacity; 

No General Admission; Infield Closed

Temperature Checks, Medical Screenings, Physical Distancing, Face Coverings Mandated 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020) – Churchill Downs Racetrack officials today released a detailed 62-page health and safety operations plan that will limit attendance to the 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, Sept. 5 to less than 14% of total capacity from the 2015 attendance record.

The Kentucky Derby, first staged in 1875, is the longest continually-held major sporting event in the United States and was originally scheduled for May 5. A record crowd of 170,513 attended the event in 2015. Due to physical distancing protocols and other safety measures in place to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, less than 23,000 guests are expected Sept. 5 for the rescheduled Kentucky Derby 146.

There will be no General Admission this year. Churchill Downs stated in late June that General Admission would be limited to the 26-acre Infield. However, given current circumstances, pre-purchased General Admission tickets will be refunded, and the Infield will be closed.

Reserved seating will be limited to a maximum of 40% occupancy. Also, Standing Room Only or “Walk Around” tickets have been eliminated. All outdoor ticket holders will be reseated in a new comparable location either prior to or during the event to provide for maximum distancing.

Temperature checks, medical questionnaires, physical distancing and mandatory face coverings will be required upon entrance and movement within the 190-acre Churchill Downs. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Each guest will receive a courtesy “Healthy at the Track” bag, which will include a disposable mask, a pocket-sized hand sanitizer and a personal stylus for non-contact self-service wagering.

Compliance of Churchill Downs’ public safety measures is a condition of admittance and will be strictly enforced. Offenders will receive a warning; repeat offenders will be escorted from the property.

“The opportunity to safely welcome back a limited number of guests to Churchill Downs on the first week of September is a privilege that our team doesn’t take for granted,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “Our extensive plan meets or exceeds all recommended state and local guidelines. We’ve received an exceptional level of support from regulators, medical experts and public health authorities and we’ll continue to carefully work with them to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep our customers, employees and communities safe.

“We will have fewer guests at this year’s Derby as reducing the size of the crowd is an important step to ensuring a safe environment. Medical best practices and protocols – many of which we have applied in consultation with experts both inside and outside the sports industry – will be implemented, and we’ll make adjustments all the way up to Derby Day as we find ways to improve and continue to adhere to ever-evolving best practices.

“The role of the Kentucky Derby and its importance to our community and the nation as a whole takes on even greater significance this year. Over the past several months, our country has faced both the spread of COVID-19 and a moment of national reckoning with racial inequities following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others. These important issues deserve thoughtful discussion, continued conversation and subsequent action. To this end, the atmosphere at this year’s Kentucky Derby will not be the celebration it normally is. However, we’re optimistic that this time-honored event, which belongs to our community and our country, will serve as a progressive unifying force that can help bring us together.”

Churchill Downs’ detailed 62-page health and safety operations plan was developed over the last four months in close collaboration with public health experts and other relevant stakeholders. Advice and counsel from the Louisville Metro Health Department along with key elements of Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidance are incorporated throughout the document. This plan will allow Churchill Downs to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby Week (Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 5) with a limited number of spectators. The original plan was approved by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear in late June, and this version exceeds all recommended state and local guidelines and is subject to continued review.

Highlights of the plan include:

• Attendance will be limited with no Standing Room Only or “Walk Around” tickets and a maximum of 40% occupancy of reserved seats.

• There will be no general admission tickets throughout Kentucky Derby Week. Attendance will be limited to guests with reserved seats. The Infield will be closed on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days.

• Wearing cloth face coverings will be mandatory throughout the entire venue, both indoors and outdoors, when not actively consuming food or beverage.

• Everyone entering Churchill Downs will be screened via a medical questionnaire and a contactless thermometer. Individuals with a temperature in excess of 100 degrees will be prohibited from entering Churchill Downs.

• Personal-use hand sanitizers will be provided upon entry and more than 500 hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the facility.

• Signage will be displayed throughout the venue to encourage healthy practices and staff and security will move about the facility to monitor conditions and assist customers.

• Access throughout the facility will be severely limited. Entry points to any seating sections beyond designated seating areas throughout the facility will be eliminated.

• Seating with up to 40% capacity will be repositioned to provide for greater distancing.

• Pari-mutuel tellers will be properly spaced and provided PPE for betting transactions. Guests are encouraged to wager online through TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering platform of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.

• Options from concession stands will be limited to mostly pre-packaged foods. Plated meals and meal packages from pre-set menus will be served in other locations.

• With the reduced capacity, guest shuttles from offsite parking locations are being eliminated and guests are encouraged to utilize neighborhood-parking options. Refunds will be made to all attending ticket holders that had offsite parking included with a reserved seat.

• To reduce crowding, select Kentucky Derby Week activities have been eliminated including autograph signings, concerts in the Plaza, fashion contests, Taste of Derby, the Survivors Parade and the Red Carpet.

• Dawn at the Downs, the annual event to dine while observing morning workouts, has been moved to Monday, Aug. 31, and will be limited to guests with reserved seats; there will be no free general admission.

• Key programming elements will transition to digital platforms.

• The stable area will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and parties in the stable area for morning workouts and during race days will be prohibited.

• Additional protocols for Stable Area personnel and race participants (jockeys, trainers, grooms, etc.) will be finalized in the coming days.

The full plan includes details on Churchill Downs’ protocols for facility sanitation, cleaning and disinfecting practices and workforce preparation training and deployment.

“For those guests who plan to join us for this year’s Derby, we promise you that we will make it a wonderful experience, and most importantly, we will make it as safe and comfortable as we possibly can,” Flanery said.

The complete safety operations plan can be viewed online at www.KentuckyDerby.com/DerbySafetyPlan.

NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on Sept. 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks, the Derby’s counterpart for 3-year-old fillies, will be televised Friday, Sept. 4 on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying races are nearing completion. Saturday’s Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park is the final race on the extended schedule and will award 20-8-4-2 points to the top four finishers. The overwhelming early Kentucky Derby favorite is Sackatoga Stables’ Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law, who easily won last weekend’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg and ridden by Manny Franco, has won six of his seven career starts and $2,015,300. Other top Derby contenders include Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby winner Art Collector; Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A. P.; and Haskell Stakes winner Authentic.

ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS RACETRACK

Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Located in Louisville, CDRT features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility. www.ChurchillDowns.com.

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Horse Racing Viewership on Fox Networks Rises 300%

Network will show the Runhappy Travers (G1) and two other stakes Aug. 8.

 

By

 

Finding something positive amid the COVID-19 pandemic is surely as difficult as finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Yet for Thoroughbred racing and, in particular, the New York Racing Association, the loss of numerous racing dates and on-track wagering at many venues has also created a situation in which the sport has gained far more television exposure with professional and collegiate sports shuttered than it would have in a traditional and less turbulent year.

“Looking across the whole portfolios of sports properties we have across sports television, the two properties that have managed the circumstances (during the pandemic) the best are NASCAR and horse racing. They are the two that have risen to meet this moment and have put themselves in a better position for the future,” said Michael Mulvihill, Fox Sports’ executive vice president of research, league operations, and strategy. “I think horse racing and our NYRA programming has really stepped up to fill the void, and it’s been beneficial to horse racing and to us.”

Mulvihill’s Aug. 6 comments came two days before the $1 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course will be presented on a 90-minute, 5-6:30 p.m. (ET) show on the main Fox broadcast channel, providing an added half-hour of coverage this year.

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Negative COVID-19 Tests Required for Keeneland Sale

Tests must be performed on attendees within five days of the sale.

 

In a July 29 announcement targeted toward those planning to attend the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Keeneland president-elect Shannon Arvin informed patrons and horsemen that any party entering the grounds will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Further requirements state that the negative test must be performed within five days of arriving at the sale, which starts Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 26. For any sales participant who does not have access to testing ahead of the auction, Keeneland has made arrangements for onsite testing to be available.

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