Welcome Back (352 Views)
Posted by: richiebee
Date: May 17, 2020 04:08AM
Good for ye say I to all the folks who kept the lamp burning and the wheel
turning through some difficult times. I really did not see that these tracks
(especially SA) would be able to reopen this early, but good for all of us.
Does Racing continue uninterrupted at the major venues through the remaining
six plus months of 2020? My sad opinion is that there is no educated answer to
this right now.
The Racing industry's lack of unity is hurting Racing now more than ever. I
think that Racing, like other outdoor pursuits, can be operated safely with
proper social distancing. I am sure plans are already in place to operate a
virtual racing office which can do everything from take entries to process
claims. I've read at one venue grooms employed by the state will handle all
horses going to the paddock, reducing the number of folks in the paddock by
more or less 90%.
1) If there are seven horses going to post, and a venue has a starting gate
which holds 14 runners, will the horses be socially distanced in the gate?
2) Will temporary turf rails be eliminated to decrease the likelihood that
jockeys will be close to each other during a race?
3) Should Belmont Park open the admission gates on Wednesdays and Thursdays
without fear of violating social distancing protocols?
4) At racetracks where the sauna in the jock's room has been closed, will they
adjust the scale of weights?
Also recent announcements that the State of Maryland was I think by floating a
bond issue committing to pump some money into Pimlico and Maryland racetracks
in general, then the announcement by Belinda Stronach and Maryland Governor
Larry Hogan that Preakness 2020 will be run on October 3. Interestingly I seem
to recall reading that the legislation to boost Maryland racing passed without
Governor Hogan's signature.
So now you have in place in the 2020 Huge Asterisk Triple Crown sponsored by
Yumhappy: the Derby on Labor Day weekend then the Preakness on October 3. I am
sure somewhere there has been plenty of discussion about the Belmont, when NYRA
runs it, at what distance etc. Of course much has to do with whether Saratoga
will open, but if Belmont is running straight through, they could run the
Belmont at 10 furlongs early in August ("Plan A").
I am also certain that someone has considered running the Belmont at what was
traditionally known as the Fall Belmont meet, though placement vis a vis the
November 6 Breeders Cup would be an issue. Outside the Box: extend the
traditional Fall Belmont meet and run the Belmont at Belmont at 12 furlongs on
Cigar Mile Day (first Saturday in December) ("Plan B").
The Plan A Triple Crown would feature three races more or less one month apart
at more or less 10 furlongs. Conceivably a runner who participated in the
third leg (the Preakness) could return at Keeneland in the BC 34 days later.
The Plan B Triple Crown would offer the Huge Asterisk Triple Crown races at
their traditional distances in their traditional order. Plan B also offers the
possibility for a runner to participate on BC day and come back for the
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