The first four of England's five annual Classic horse races, including the Epsom Derby, have all been postponed due to the coronavirus it was announced Tuesday. In a separate development, organisers of June's Royal Ascot said the meeting would not "take place as an event open to the public". Course owners Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) said the Guineas Festival at Newmarket, featuring both the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas on the first weekend of May and the Derby Festival, which was due to stage the Oaks and the Derby at Epsom on June 5-6, had both been postponed in response to the outbreak.
Author: AFP
Posted: April 7, 2020, 6:36 pm
Days after raising hopes of a return by the start of May amid the coronavirus outbreak, British horse racing organizers announced the postponement of two of their biggest flat-racing festivals and added that the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting might only be staged without the public. The Guineas Festival at Newmarket on May 2-3 and the English Derby Festival at Epsom on June 5-6 will not take place on those dates, The Jockey Club said Tuesday, removing two of the few remaining major events on a British sporting calendar otherwise wiped out by the pandemic. Then came the announcement that Royal Ascot on June 16-20, an event typically attended by Queen Elizabeth II and other royals, would not be open to the public - if the event can take place at all.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: April 7, 2020, 4:12 pm
Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) said they were in talks with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), participants and partners to reschedule the first four Classics at later dates when racing can resume in the country. The 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas and the Derby and Oaks were set to take place on May 2-3 and June 5-6 respectively. "With less than a month until the Guineas Festival, trainers need to know whether to step up preparations for their Guineas horses or put that on pause for a later date," Amy Starkey, East Regional Director for JCR said in a statement.
Author: Reuters
Posted: April 7, 2020, 4:08 pm
Cheltenham Festival organisers have defended their decision to go ahead with the event after fears were raised that the mass gathering helped spread coronavirus around Britain. More than 250,000 racegoers attended the four-day National Hunt event last month even though other large sporting events were cancelled shortly afterwards.
Author: AFP
Posted: April 4, 2020, 9:49 am
"Our first priority in these difficult times is the health and well-being of our customers, our vendors, our employees and the horses we all love," the Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club said in a statement. "A decision will be made on a new date for Preakness 145 and will take into consideration all of the recommended best practices from local and governmental health authorities to protect the community." The organisers also announced they would cancel InfieldFest 2020, an annual race day music event that attracts thousands of younger, rowdier patrons to the infield.
Author: Reuters
Posted: April 3, 2020, 10:33 pm
The Preakness is looking for a new date this year and has decided to cancel the infield party that is a staple of the Triple Crown race normally held in May.
Posted: April 3, 2020, 7:08 pm
The virtual reality Grand National is attracting punters and humour alike ahead of it stepping out of the shadows and for once taking centre stage on Saturday. Bookmakers are taking bets on the race which sees Tiger Roll attempt to become the first horse ever to win it on three successive occasions -- late legend Red Rum's three victories were not consecutive. Bookmakers are to donate profits from the race -- in normal times the most gambled on in the calendar with an estimated 300 million pounds ($369 million) bet on last year's edition -- to the National Health Service.
Author: AFP
Posted: April 3, 2020, 1:23 pm
The first day of next year's three day Grand National meeting is to be named "Liverpool's NHS Day" to honour National Health Service workers combatting the coronavirus pandemic, The Jockey Club announced on Thursday. NHS staff are battling to deal with thousands of other patients who have the virus. The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing which operates 15 racecourses including Aintree, which hosts The Grand National, said they would also be donating 10,000 tickets -- which usually cost £40($50)each -- to local NHS staff and social care workers.
Author: AFP
Posted: April 2, 2020, 9:01 am
Punters will be able to gamble on Tiger Roll's bid to become the first horse to win three successive Grand Nationals -- in a computer-simulated version on Saturday. The initiative has the backing of Betting and Gaming Council members including William Hill with Ladbrokes also agreeing all profits will go to the NHS Charities Together. "The virtual Grand National will be the closest we can get to creating one of those moments when we can all come together in celebration, not just for the world's greatest sporting events, but for the NHS heroes working on the front line to keep us all safe," said BGC chief executive Michael Dugher.
Author: AFP
Posted: April 1, 2020, 4:35 pm
Another Kentucky Derby prep is off - for now. The Santa Anita Derby, the West Coast's major prep for the Kentucky Derby, was to be run Saturday. Track officials say they are continuing to have “constructive� talks with the health department and county Supervisor Kathryn Barger and her staff about the possibility of resuming live racing.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 31, 2020, 9:33 pm
The final deadline to nominate horses for the Triple Crown series is being extended indefinitely because of the coronavirus. The extension was agreed upon by officials at Churchill Downs, Maryland Jockey Club and New York Racing Association. The Kentucky Derby has been pushed back from May 2 to Sept. 5.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 29, 2020, 9:17 pm
If there is a Kentucky Derby this year, Tiz the Law will have a shot to be there. Tiz the Law ran away in the stretch Saturday to easily win the Florida Derby, wrapping up a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points standings that are used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. Tiz the Law's win at Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than what will be needed for a chance to run at Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby goes off as planned in early September.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 29, 2020, 12:09 am
Santa Anita immediately canceled live racing Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic after instructions from the Los Angeles County Health Department. The track in Arcadia, California, was preparing to stage eight races when the cancellation was announced about 30 minutes before the first race. As a result, the Santa Anita Derby scheduled for April 4 has been postponed.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 28, 2020, 7:21 pm
Jack Knowlton has a condo about a mile away from the finish line at Gulfstream Park. The 69th running of the Florida Derby is Saturday, and it will be like none other - no fans in the stands, no owners allowed at the track, no bets being placed on site. The coronavirus pandemic forced massive changes in the interest of health and safety to what is typically the signature day on Gulfstream’s annual calendar, but the race is still set to go on as scheduled.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 28, 2020, 7:15 pm
Tiger Roll will have his chance to become the first horse to win three successive Grand Nationals -- in a computer-simulated version of the race next week. Tiger Roll, winner in 2018 and 2019, had been due to seek an unprecedented third consecutive success. A field of 40 runners who would have been most likely to line up in the real race will take part.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 27, 2020, 4:53 pm
An executive with the company that owns Santa Anita urged the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday to continue live racing despite a statewide stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Santa Anita in Arcadia, outside Los Angeles, and Golden Gate Fields in the San Francisco Bay area are among a handful of U.S. tracks continuing to race without fans. Horses need exercise,'' Aidan Butler, acting executive director of California racing operations for Stronach, told the board during its monthly meeting held via conference call.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 26, 2020, 10:31 pm
The Florida Derby is set to have a full field and empty stands. A field of 12 has been entered for Saturday's Florida Derby, typically one of the biggest Kentucky Derby prep races and serves as the crown jewel of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Tiz the Law, a winner of three of his four career starts including the Holy Bull at Gulfstream last month, was installed as the 6-5 favorite at Wednesday's race draw.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 25, 2020, 7:13 pm
British champion jump jockey Richard Johnson said Brian Hughes would be a deserving winner of this season's crown after his hopes of catching his title rival were dashed by the coronavirus shutdown. Four-time defending champion Johnson had made a speedy return from a broken arm to try and overhaul Hughes but the British Horseracing Authority's (BHA's) decision to suspend the season until the end of April has ended his hopes. Johnson tweeted that Hughes deserved the title.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 23, 2020, 5:35 pm
As Wells Bayou completed a wire-to-wire victory in the $1 million Louisiana Derby, there was hardly a cheer to be heard - other than the isolated triumphant shouts of trainer Brad Cox and his stable crew. In the 107th running of the qualifying points race for the Kentucky Derby, the clubhouse and grandstand at Fair Grounds Race Course were empty and eerily quiet because of crowd restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Winning jockey Florent Geroux had noted the bizarre scene during earlier races on what is normally the busiest day of the year at the Fair Grounds, drawing crowds approaching 10,000.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 22, 2020, 3:38 am
Horse racing is quickly learning it is not totally immune to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on other sports, and now it's grappling with the risks of continuing operations. The Louisiana Derby for now is still set for Saturday, the world's richest day of races is scheduled to go on in late March in Dubai and several tracks across the U.S. and worldwide remain open.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 20, 2020, 8:10 pm
It's arguably more popular in Australia than any other country, so it's no surprise that horse racing is continuing - minus the spectators - despite the increasing travel and other restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. The multi-billion dollar racing industry employs 250,000 part- and full-time workers in Australia, where there are more than 360 thoroughbred tracks. Australia boasts some of the world's richest races.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 19, 2020, 9:20 am
British horse racing is preparing itself for tough times ahead after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered racecourses, putting jobs at risk and leaving the industry in limbo. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced on Tuesday the sport would be suspended until the end of April. Racing has faced severe crises before, notably during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, but COVID-19 poses an unprecedented challenge.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 19, 2020, 3:01 am
The Great Depression and World War I and World War II didn't stop the Kentucky Derby, a race that has been run without interruption since it began in 1875. Churchill Downs postponed the opening leg of the Triple Crown from May 2 to Sept. 5, due to concern over the coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc with the world's sports calendar. ''At no point did we ever consider canceling the Kentucky Derby,'' said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 18, 2020, 6:09 am
Change does not come easily to the Kentucky Derby. Fans sip mint juleps, don fancy hats and dress clothes and sing to the melancholy strains of "My Old Kentucky Home" as the thoroughbreds step onto the track on the first Saturday in May. It has always made the Derby as much a piece of Americana as a horse race. Churchill Downs postponed the Derby until September, the latest rite of spring in sports to be struck by the new coronavirus along with the Masters, March Madness and baseball season.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 17, 2020, 7:13 pm
This year's Kentucky Derby has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, race organisers confirmed on Tuesday. Traditionally held each year on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, this year's race will now take place on September 5. Churchill Downs chief executive Bill Carstanjen said Tuesday the escalating COVID-19 crisis had left race organisers with no choice but to delay the race.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 17, 2020, 2:50 pm
Horse racing in Britain is to be suspended from Wednesday due to the coronavirus outbreak, the British Horseracing Authority has announced. Tuesday's decision comes a day after the BHA said the sport would continue behind closed doors, initially to the end of March, although April's Grand National was cancelled. "As of tomorrow race meetings will cease up to the end of April," the BHA said in a statement on its website "The decision will be kept under constant review."
Author: AFP
Posted: March 17, 2020, 2:13 pm
The Dubai World Cup horse race meeting will go ahead on March 28 "without paid hospitality spectators" due to concerns of the new coronavirus outbreak, Dubai Racing Club said in a statement. Spectators have been banned at race meetings this month across the United Arab Emirates, which has recorded 98 cases of the virus. "Only horse connections, racing officials, accredited media and sponsors will be permitted entry" to the Dubai World Cup, the club said on its website.
Author: Reuters
Posted: March 17, 2020, 7:03 am
The Louisville Courier Journal, citing sources close to the race, and television station WDRB said the race would take place on Sept. 5 instead of May 2 as scheduled. Churchill Downs, which hosts the annual race, is set to hold a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown run at Pimlico on May 16, could also be in jeopardy with the third leg, the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, set for June 6.
Author: Reuters
Posted: March 17, 2020, 3:01 am
At Obihiro racetrack, spectators walk alongside the course as fast as the big beasts they've backed to win, cheering as they go. The Obihiro track is for 'ban'ei keiba', traditional racing featuring giant farmhorses on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. This June, a new attraction is set to grace Obihiro.
Author: Reuters
Posted: March 17, 2020, 2:51 am
Tiger Roll will be trained to compete for an unprecedented third successive Grand National win despite the cancellation of this year's race, his trainer Gordon Elliott said on Tuesday. Red Rum won the Grand National three times in the 1970s but no horse has won the steeplechase three years in a row. Elliott was upbeat about the 10-year-old Tiger Roll's chances of a return to Aintree in 2021.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 17, 2020, 12:45 am
This year's edition of the Grand National steeplechase has been cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Jockey Club said Monday. "Following the Government's new public health guidance regarding avoiding social contact and stopping non-essential travel, and its statement that emergency services are withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings from tomorrow, the Jockey Club has decided that it is no longer appropriate to stage the event," said a statement. Jockey Club Racecourses, which runs Aintree and a number of the UK's leading racecourses, had been looking at the possibility of running the National behind closed doors with minimal staff on site.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 16, 2020, 9:57 pm
Racing in Britain is to carry on but behind closed doors, the sport's regulatory body, the British Horseracing Authority, said on Monday. Many of the Cheltenham racegoers were Irish, which provoked a social media backlash in Ireland, but racing authorities say they were following British government advice in maintaining the meeting. Meanwhile the BHA shut its central London head quarters earlier on Monday due to "small numbers of office-based BHA staff self-isolating."
Author: AFP
Posted: March 16, 2020, 3:01 pm
Drayden Van Dyke hopped off Charlatan after winning the sixth race by 10 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita on Saturday and celebrated by trading elbow taps in the winner's circle. The jockeys' room has ''hand sanitizer everywhere you look,'' Van Dyke said. Bugler Jay Cohen blew his horn to an empty grandstand, with only trainers, jockeys and those working directly with the horses on hand to hear.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 15, 2020, 5:31 pm
Leading trainer Bob Baffert said Saturday that May's 146th Kentucky Derby could be postponed as racing went behind closed doors at California's Santa Anita track for the first time since it opened in 1934 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials at Churchill Downs revealed Saturday that they were considering the "timing" of the showpiece and Baffert -- who has saddled five winners in the "Run for the Roses" -- said that the first leg of US racing's Triple Crown could be pushed back from May 2 to later in the year. "Churchill Downs is saying they're not going to run the Derby without the people there, so I'm hearing may be June or in September," Baffert said after saddling Charlatan to a big win in an allowance race at a deserted Santa Anita.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 15, 2020, 6:32 am
Famed trainer Bob Baffert said he believes the Kentucky Derby may be pushed back from May to “June or September� due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: March 15, 2020, 2:28 am
Al Boum Photo became the first horse since Best Mate in 2004 to win successive Cheltenham Gold Cups on Friday. The Irish raider, under an inspired ride by Paul Townend, held off Santini and Lostintranslation in a thrilling contest that went ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic. "I never thought I would experience a better feeling than I did last year," said Townend.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 13, 2020, 4:30 pm
Al Boum won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday in front of thousands of racegoers as the rest of the world's sporting competitions were shut down by the coronavirus outbreak. Jockey Paul Townend steered 10-3 favorite Al Boum to victory, holding off Santini and Lostintranslation in a thrilling finish to the week's blue-riband race. Some said he was under pressure but Paul does his own thing.
Author: Reuters
Posted: March 13, 2020, 4:17 pm
Rebecca Curtis's 14-week-old baby daughter Reeva had a memorable first visit to the Cheltenham Festival as her mother trained Lisnagar Oscar to a shock success in the Stayers Hurdle on Thursday. Curtis was ecstatic to be back in the limelight -- after a rocky patch -- and revealed she had returned to work as soon as she could following the birth of Reeva. Curtis had put a stop to dominance by Irish trainers who had won the first three races on the card -- Gordon Elliott won two of them and added the last for good measure to move on to six for the week.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 12, 2020, 6:16 pm
In 1972, Meriel Tufnell became the first female rider in Britain to win an official horse race. The Magners Cheltenham Festival, which takes place this week, is the Olympics of Jump Racing. Bryony Frost became the first female to win a Grade 1 (top level) race at The Festival.
Author: Reuters
Posted: March 12, 2020, 5:15 pm
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Former five-time All-Star baseball player Victor Martinez paid $6,000 to nominate King Guillermo to the Triple Crown series.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 11, 2020, 8:19 pm
Gordon Elliott delivered at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday as Ireland's banker for the meeting, Envoi Allen, came home to win the Ballymore Novices Hurdle -- one half of a double for the Irish trainer. Elliott's other winner, Aramax, took the Juvenile Hurdle -- one of four victorious horses on the day to carry the famous silks of owner JP McManus -- but his two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll was beaten in the Cross-Country Chase. Davy Russell bided his time before taking control at the final hurdle, as the 4/7 favourite led home an Irish 1-2-3.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 11, 2020, 6:22 pm
War Emblem, the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, died Wednesday at age 21. War Emblem was sold to Prince Ahmed bin Salman's Thoroughbred Corp. and transferred to trainer Bob Baffert after the colt won the Illinois Derby.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 11, 2020, 5:51 pm
Tiger Roll ran an encouraging trial ahead of his tilt at winning an unprecedented third Grand National by finishing second in the Cross Country race at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday. Tiger Roll had to give second best to the highly impressive French runner Easysland, who was given a brilliant ride by Jonathan Plouganou. Tiger Roll's trainer Gordon Elliott professed himself pleased with his star's performance, who won this race in the past two years on his way to triumphing in the Grand National.
Author: AFP
Posted: March 11, 2020, 5:05 pm
Horses at the venerable Southern California track have had enough bad luck recently. A total of 23 horses died in racing or training at Santa Anita in a three-month stretch ending March 31 of last year, and nine more have died during the current racing season that began Dec. 27.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 11, 2020, 6:20 am
A report released Tuesday by the California Horse Racing Board on a spate of horse deaths at Santa Anita found that no illegal medications were used on the animals and 39% percent of the 23 fatalities occurred on surfaces affected by wet weather. The fatalities roiled the industry and led track owner The Stronach Group to institute several reforms involving safety and medication. ''There has been a 64% reduction in catastrophic injuries at Santa Anita Park this year, and we have not had a single fatality during racing on our main track for the entirety of this season,'' The Stronach Group said in a statement Tuesday.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 10, 2020, 9:34 pm
A crowd of more than 60,000 attended the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, where more wash basins and hand sanitizer stations were in place to help combat the virus outbreak. ''We have been liaising very closely with the government over the last fortnight and listening to them and listening to their advice,'' he said, referring to the coronavirus outbreak that has caused many sporting events to be canceled or take place without fans, ''and they have been extremely helpful in telling us what they believe is the right thing to do. ''They want business to continue as usual in this country and sporting events such as this that take place.
Author: The Associated Press
Posted: March 10, 2020, 9:13 pm
Illegal medications did not play a part in the deaths of 23 racehorses at Santa Anita Park but 39% of the fatalities were on track surfaces affected by wet weather, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) said in a report on Tuesday. The agency looked at the fatalities that occurred between Dec. 30 2018 and March 31 2019, which grabbed headlines and raised concern about the safety of horses competing at the famed Southern California track and the ethics of the sport. The investigation, which was conducted by veterinarians, scientists and CHRB staff, found no evidence of any "animal welfare violations".
Author: Reuters
Posted: March 10, 2020, 8:21 pm