COVID-19’s Impact on Horse Racing

The horse racing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that employs more than four million people.

The racetrack has already seen the impacts of the novel coronavirus with the closing of four racetracks in the US.

The other 10 racetracks currently opened for this season have comitted to other forms of operating.

As of this week, tracks are continuing business without spectators at their venues.

Ron Dandy has been a trainer for over 30 years and he says he’s never seen anything like it before.

“This is probably the worst I’ve ever seen it in the last 40 years. It’s gonna hurt everybody, the economy is hurting. It’s hurting my help. We still gotta feed these horses everyday,” said Dandy.

Here at Parx, trainers and owners have started to ship out their horses in order to keep the business running. Danny Velazquez is a horse trainer here at Parx and he’s already seeing the effect of the suspension of racing.

“We’re getting hit very hard financially. We’re eventually in the next couple of weeks going to have to let go of a lot of our stuff because we don’t have any income because if we’re not racing, we’re not running,” said Velazquez.

Although it’s unknown when things will get better, Jockey Frankie Pennington hopes things get better soon before business here at Parx starts taking a real hit.

“It’s just tough on all the people that are here racing right now that can’t get out to train their horses and run to make money,” said Pennington.

Currently the country’s biggest horse race, the Kentucky Derby, has been rescheduled to take place in September. Officials released a statement saying they will continue to closely monitor and assess the impact of COVID-19 in the coming weeks.

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