Tracking coronavirus COVID-19 impact on horse racing

TwinSpires Staff

April 25th, 2020

As authorities are taking action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization, horse racing is not immune to the impact.

The iconic Kentucky Derby (G1) has been postponed to Sept. 5, and the Preakness (G1) on Oct. 3, with the Belmont S. (G1) shortened and brought forward as the first Triple Crown race on June 20 (see more below). Keeneland will conduct a five-day stand July 8-12 staging several major stakes lost during its canceled Spring Meet.

This post rounds up the announcements through Thursday, May 28, but will be updated as additional developments warrant.

Where can I still bet on horse racing?

Tracks racing but without spectators

Assiniboia Downs

Charles Town

Churchill Downs

Golden Gate Fields

Gulfstream Park - Bet on Gulfstream Park Live Racing

Lone Star Park

Los Alamitos

Northfield Park

Remington Park


Santa Anita


Tampa Bay Downs (added racing dates on Mon/Wed in June)

Tracks opening or resuming (by date)

Laurel (approved to resume May 30)

Mountaineer (start of meet postponed to May 31)

Fort Erie (opening day postponed to June 2)

Belmont Park (opening day postponed to June 3)

Fairmount Park (impending early June)

Hawthorne (impending early June)

Belterra Park (meet to start June 4 pending approval)

Thistledown (meet to start June 4 pending approval)

Charlottetown (start of meet postponed to June 4)

Evangeline Downs (meet to start June 5)

Grand River (opens June 5)

The Meadowlands (resumes June 5 pending approval)

Truro (start of meet postponed to June 5)

Woodbine Mohawk (resumes June 5)

Woodbine (Thoroughbred meet to start June 6)

Georgian (opening day moved to June 6)

Hanover (opens as scheduled June 6)

Louisiana Downs (start of meet postponed to June 6)

Arapahoe (planning to start meet June 6 pending approval)

Tioga (opening day postponed to June 7)

Ajax (opening day postponed to June 10)

Canterbury (meet to start June 10)

Delta Downs (Quarter Horse meet to start June 10)

Vernon Downs (opening day postponed to June 10)

Clinton (opening day postponed to June 14)

Harrington (opening day postponed to June 15)

Indiana Grand (planning to open June 15 pending approval)

Hoosier (planning to open June 16 pending approval)

Grants Pass (opening day postponed to June 16)

Delaware Park (opening day postponed to June 17)

Prairie Meadows (opening day postponed to June 19)

Running Aces (meet to start June 20)

Presque Isle (pointing toward June 21)

Emerald Downs (meet to start June 22)

Monmouth Park (opening day postponed to July 3)

Keeneland (staging special meet July 8-12)

Track openings delayed

Arlington (opening day of May 1 delayed indefinitely)

Bangor (opening day of May 5 delayed indefinitely)

Century Mile (opening day of April 25 delayed until at least June 12)

Finger Lakes (opening day of April 25 delayed until July 13)

Harrah's Philadelphia (opening day of April 5 delayed indefinitely)

Hastings (opening day of April 25 delayed indefinitely)

Hippodrome 3R (opening day of May 2 delayed indefinitely)

Horseman's Park (opening day of May 8 delayed indefinitely)

Lethbridge (opening day of May 2 delayed until at least May 31)

Marquis Downs (opening day of May 29 postponed to July)

Northville Downs (opening day of March 20 postponed indefinitely)

Pimlico (opening day of May 7 delayed indefinitely)

Plainridge Park (start of meet postponed indefinitely)

Scarborough Downs (opening day of April 4 delayed indefinitely)

Summerside (opening day of April 30 delayed indefinitely)

Track cancellations

So far, the following tracks have canceled live racing altogether.

Aqueduct (rest of scheduled meet)

Buffalo Raceway (cleared as of June 1 but resumption TBA)

Cal Expo (rest of scheduled meet canceled)

Century Downs (until further notice, at least June 12)

Columbus (scheduled meet canceled)

Dover Downs (until further notice)

Flamboro (until further notice)

Fraser Downs (rest of scheduled meet canceled)

Freehold (until further notice, at least June 5)

The Meadows (until further notice)

Mahoning Valley (rest of scheduled meet canceled)

Miami Valley (rest of scheduled meet canceled)

Monticello (cleared as of June 1 but resumption TBA)

Parx Racing (until further notice)

Penn National (until further notice)

Pocono (until futher notice)

Pompano Park (rest of scheduled meet canceled)

Rideau Carleton (until further notice)

Rosecroft Raceway (until further notice)

Sam Houston (Quarter Horse meet canceled)

Saratoga harness (cleared as of June 1 but resumption TBA)

Sunland Park (rest of scheduled meet canceled)

SunRay Park (meet canceled)

Turf Paradise (rest of scheduled meet canceled)

Western Fair (until further notice)

Yonkers (cleared as of June 1 but resumption TBA)

Read more on harness racing details from Frank Cotolo: Some Programs Pause Per Covid19; Others Persevere

International racing

A number of jurisdictions are conducting racing without spectators, including Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan, and others are soon to return on the same basis.

The British Horseracing Authority is planning to resume June 1, as is South Africa, with Ireland restarting June 8.

Brazil's Gavea, Chile, and Uruguay are back in action but other LARC South American racing remains on hiatus.

Live racing has been canceled in New Zealand (until July 2), South Korea, India (all tracks until further notice), and Mexico (indefinitely).

Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown

The 146th renewal of the Kentucky Derby will be transferred to Sept. 5, Churchill Downs announced March 17. The companion race for fillies, the Kentucky Oaks (G1), will be run the day prior, the first Friday in September.

"Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community," Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen said.

"As the situation evolved, we reached the difficult conclusion that we needed to reschedule. At no point did we ever consider canceling the Kentucky Derby."

The news of the Oct. 3 Preakness came on May 16, which ordinarily would have been Preakness Day. The Pimlico festivities will not include InfieldFest, which has been canceled for 2020.

The June 20 Belmont has been trimmed from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles as a consequence of its preceding the other classic races.