Horse News

Close the Schools and Bars and Stay Home, but Keep the Horses Racing

By as published on The New York Times

In places like California and Louisiana, where state governments are urging social distancing, horse racing is still happening for fans betting online.

The Kentucky Derby, long known for its spot on the sporting calendar on the first Saturday in May, is making a big shift to September. But even the coronavirus pandemic has not stopped horses from racing and gamblers from betting on it across the United States.

While the virus has transformed the sporting landscape, leaving fans with virtually nothing to watch or bet on, horse racing has remained an option particularly for gamblers isolated at home.

On Wednesday, for example, you could watch and bet on horse races taking place at tracks in Australia, Louisiana and Texas, as well as harness racing in Sweden, Canada and Ohio. On Friday, several major thoroughbred tracks, such as and Santa Anita Park in California, plan to be open for competition and wagering, running full slates with four to 10 horses per race. Fans will be prohibited from the tracks, as they were last weekend.

NBC Sports — in need of live broadcasting content — announced Wednesday that it would simulcast “Trackside Live,” the signature program of the horse racing network TVG that jumps around to live races around the sport on Saturday and Sunday.

Despite its many, many problems — including an alarming number of horses who suffer fatal injuries and a federal doping investigation that has so far yielded 28 indictments — horse racing remains a multibillion-dollar industry and racetrack operators intend to keep their doors open, if possible. Even as schools and restaurants close and large gatherings are restricted, the races have held on, with the blessing of regulators…(CONTINUED)

1 reply »

  1. While this is such a hard time, it’s also clear if racing is suddenly halted or postponed everywhere, thousands of horses will be dumped into the market and most will end up with kill buyers. This is probably happening already due to the economy crashing around everyone, with no clear end in sight. What will happen to horses is up to individual owners finances and ethics. Commodity animals will be dumped like so much trash. They cost to much to keep conditioned for races that aren’t going to happen, or happen too far into the future for it to make economic sense to care for them.

    I wish I had answers, but am sure rapidly shutting down racing will kill horses.

    Like

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