Limited number of thoroughbred owners to be permitted onsite during 2020 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Following updated guidance issued by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) on Wednesday afternoon, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) today announced that beginning on Friday, July 17, a limited number of licensed owners will be permitted at Saratoga Race Course on the day that their horse is entered to race.

In order to reduce density and adhere to social distancing guidelines, the size of the ownership group will be restricted to eight individuals in possession of a NYSGC license per horse. With the exception of Friday’s card, the application must be received 24 hours in advance of race day.

No same-day applications will be accepted. All owners within the group must be in possession of a valid NYSGC license. Horses with identical ownership will be limited to 8 total admissions regardless of number of horses running that day.

To align with required health and safety measures implemented in New York to mitigate risk and combat the spread of COVID-19, owners will be subjected to health screening prior to entry, including a temperature check. In addition, owners will be required to practice social distancing and to wear a facial covering at all times while on the Saratoga property.

“Health and safety are our primary focus as we continue to work with New York state officials to determine the potential for broader spectator access during the 2020 summer meet,” said NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke. “To be able to allow the participation of a limited number of owners reflects the progress made in New York to reduce the rate of COVID-19 infection.”

A limited number of licensed owners will be permitted within the barn area at Saratoga Race Course during the 2020 summer meet. In order to secure access to the barn area,  owners must provide NYRA with a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 7 days of the request. Owners are not permitted to watch live racing from the barn area and owner access ends at 11:20 a.m. Prior approval is required to enter the barn area.

Owners approved to enter the barn area will be required to practice social distancing and to wear a facial covering at all times.

Owners planning travel to New York from any of the states currently listed on the New York Travel Advisory are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. For additional information, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

Owner applications for admission to Saratoga Race Course are to be sent to NYRA’s Horsemen’s Relations Associate, via email at [email protected] or by phone at 516-488-6008. NYRA will confirm all reservations via email. NYRA cannot consider or accept same day applications.

The NYRA Office of Horsemen’s Relations will begin processing applications on Thursday, July 16 at 9 a.m.

Per NYSGC guidance, owners are not permitted within any indoor areas at Saratoga Race Course, including the clubhouse and grandstand and all hospitality areas. As such, owners will be provided a socially-distanced outdoor seating area and will be permitted to view races from the apron. Hours of access on race days will begin at 12 p.m. Eastern and owners must enter via the Clubhouse Entrance.

For additional information regarding protocols, please visit https://bit.ly/32iJ0wN.

The 2020 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will begin on Thursday, July 16 and run through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Following the four-day opening weekend, live racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays. The summer meet will conclude on Labor Day, Monday, September 7.

Under current New York State guidelines, Saratoga Race Course will open without spectators in attendance. The 40-day meet will be highlighted by the 151st renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers on Saturday, August 8 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney on Saturday, August 1.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.

About the New York Racing Association

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. 

NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State’s thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact.

Accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, NYRA is a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, a group of the nation’s leading racing organizations working collaboratively to advance safety reforms across the sport.


Over the course of 217 days of live racing in 2019, NYRA generated more than $2.1 billion in all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.5 million.

For more information, visit NYRA.com

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