COVID19 won’t stop Horse racing

As the whole world shut down within days because of the viral spread of COVID19, or coronavirus, people are now left with only a few things to do.

What is that in the distance? The prince on the white horse that is going to save the world? No! These are the participants in Santa Anita’s horse racing.

They are going to save the TV programs like all sports competitions and events are canceled. Nevertheless, fans are not allowed to attend the sport event as a safety measure against COVID19 horse racing today.

The only people who are allowed to visit the racing are a couple of club directors, personnel and people who have board licenses, especially for the California Horse Racing.  Wagerings can only be done through personal tablets and phones, hence betting machines will be out of usage.

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The executive director of California racing, Aidan Butler, shares that no other sports were running and this would be an interesting experiment.

We are all looking forward to seeing if this sport is going to raise from the ashes now since it has been in the shadow of Tennis and Football for a very long time. The executive director also expresses his hope that not all is lost and there might be a happy ending after all.

Due to the bad weather, there were no races on Friday in Santa Anita, and from Saturday it equalizes with the other horse racing clubs, such as those in Florida- Gulfstream Park, in New York,  Maryland,  Kentucky and in Arkansas, where is the Oaklawn club, not to mention there is going to be no fans’ attendance.

Horse Racing Shows

Horse Racing Shows
Horse Racing Shows

Tony Allevato,  who is the director of NYRA Bets, explains that most of and wagering comes outside the track, from people who are sitting at home, using their devices and picking their favorite horses from the racecards which makes Horse racing more of a TV sport, excluding Triple Crown, which consists of Belmont Stakes, held in the Belmont Park in New York, Preakness Stakes, and Kentucky Derby. Having in mind the present circumstances, which has a wider audience in comparison to some races. Having in mind the present circumstances.

we can all agree this is in favor of this sport. Not only that but several programs, such as Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, are adding extra 6 to 7 ½ hours of horse racing shows. Since other sports events are canceled and nothing like this is being broadcasted, horse races fulfill significantly TV programs. Thus, they are going to reach more people and can be popularized again among the masses. For now, most views come from TVG,  a sports company, engaged in betting.

Kip Levin, also known as the president of FanDual announces a bet growth and shares his expectations for a greater public for horse racing today. He also remarks plenty of registrations the last few days that exceed those in FanDual’s history overall and believes that now Horse Racing could attract more and more people.

Despite the chaotic situation around the world, it might become a relief and a source of joy for people who stay all day at home as it can be introduced to newer audiences. They are now even presenting a $20 bet to newbies in NYRA Bets’ company. Some ADWs consistently offer gifts or discounts for registration.

The racecards for the competition show that the number of horses is reduced and the wagering screens were shut down despite the fact that the casino near the track was open. The experiment will happen after Friday and it will most certainly happen in places such as Oaklawn, and not will not affect Santa Anita substantially. What’s more, stakes are rising and some of them, e.g. the four stakes at Laurel, even reach the sum of 100 000$.


To summarize, horse racing is traditionally a sport that is a bit left-out compared to sports like Tennis, Football, and Basketball. For instance, Belmont Stakes, as well as Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby lost their fame at the beginning of the new century.

However, due to the COVID19 spread, all other sports events are canceled, now horse racing is making its way to the spotlight, even though there is a reduced number of horses on the racecards, and it seems like it has a promising future. Considerable is the contribution of  TV programs that are now broadcasting extra time of horse racing,

which enables the sport to reach a wider audience and attract new fans. Many trainers and directors of horse racing clubs predict the growth of the number of fans, as well as bets and stakes. Seems like some niches can benefit from the appearance of COVID19.

BY: Petra Kavradzhieva


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