Live races in Ohio will remain on hold until May 15, according to an April 10 policy published by Ohio Racing Commission director Bill Crawford. The race was suspended for the first time on March 20th due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was later extended to at least April 30th.
In addition, the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund stakes have been postponed, including Howard B. Noonan’s April 11 stakes in Hollywood games in the Mahoning Valley and the Best of Ohio Stakes on May 9th in Belterra Park. The Ohio Sires Stakes 3-year-old Pacemaker and Trotter races, originally scheduled to take place at Miami Valley Raceway on May 1st and 3rd, will also be postponed.
The guideline affirmed that while the race is canceled, all open-back or dormitory tracks “will remain open and operational until further notice” and, if the track “is available for training, must remain open for appropriate horse practice until the next day note.”
The directive also reiterated the Commission’s intention to prevent the abuse or abandonment of horses, allow for consolidated feeding programs, prevent the homelessness of seasonal workers, and adequately exercise and veterinary care for horses.
“The Commission sees itself as a partner of the riders and allows the owners to find a solution to the problems and is ready to support the parties in compromising,” says the directive. “You should take all reasonable steps to continue social distancing practices. The Commission will continue to update you as soon as relevant information becomes available.”
Riders are encouraged to check the Ohio State Racing Commission website regularly for information and updates.