We wanted to share two headlines with you. NYRA will continue to race without fans keeping intact the Company's plan to race Max Player in the Wood Memorial in early April. Secondly, Churchill Downs announced today that it it is moving the Kentucky Derby from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020.
NYRA to Continue Racing Despite Temporary Closures
Shortly after Keeneland announced the cancellation of its Spring Meet and France announced a complete shutdown of racing through April 15, the New York Racing Association revealed its intention to continue to offer live racing as scheduled at Aqueduct Racetrack, though the track will remain closed to the public.
The announcement followed a consultation with the New York State Gaming Commission and adheres to New York's ban on public gatherings of more than 50 people, as no live audience is permitted.
"The health and safety of employees, fans, horsemen, and the backstretch community is paramount," said NYRA CEO and president Dave O'Rourke. "Now that we have experienced racing under these conditions for three days, we remain confident in our ability to safely conduct racing operations behind closed doors and with only the staff that are required under the rules of racing in New York. Of course, we will constantly evaluate this situation over the coming days in advance of Friday and make further adjustments as necessary."
The news came after governors from three northeastern states announced a temporary closure of movie theaters, gyms, and fitness centers, and similar public workout facilities and studios.
Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, and Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey are taking a regional approach to combat the virus throughout the tri-state area by limiting crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people effective at 8 p.m. ET Monday. This follows updated guidance by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The three governors also announced that restaurants and bars that serve food will temporarily be required to move to take-out and delivery services only. Bars that do not serve food will be required to temporarily close.
"We must do everything we can as a community to slow the spread of this virus so that we don't overwhelm our healthcare system and we protect the most vulnerable," Lamont said. "Viruses do not know borders, which is why taking a regional approach on this issue is the best plan forward."
Gov. Cuomo and Gov. Murphy mirrored those sentiments, stating they feel partnering together is the best option and most effective way to control the spread of COVID-19.
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