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May 19, 2020
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​NYRA announces safety initiatives and entry rule changes for Belmont Park spring/summer meet

by Keith McCalmont



NYRA announces safety initiatives and entry rule changes for Belmont Park spring/summer meet

Sunday training returns May 31

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a number of safety initiatives and entry rule changes for the upcoming 25-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park.

The Belmont spring/summer meet kicks off on Wednesday, June 3. Following a five-day opening week, live racing at the 25-day Belmont spring/summer meet will be conducted Thursday through Sunday until Closing Day on Sunday, July 12. First post time will be 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

Training on the Belmont main track and dirt training track, which is currently offered Monday through Saturday, will be available on Sundays beginning on May 31 with both tracks fully operational seven days a week thereafter.

The safety and welfare of horses and jockeys competing at NYRA tracks is our highest priority. NYRA is committed to providing the safest possible environment for racing and training by adopting and implementing the best proven safety practices in consultation with independent experts, veterinarians, horsemen and regulators.

As such, NYRA has implemented a number of racing rules to further enhance equine safety and ensure trainers/owners are equitably represented in the entries due to the lengthy suspension of live racing on the NYRA circuit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New rules for horses coming off layoffs or making career debut as 4-year-old:

More than 180 days: Horses which have not started in more than 180 days, or less than 365 days, will be placed on the Veterinarians' List and must be presented to the NYRA Veterinarian prior to racing.

More than 365 days: Horses which have not raced in 365 days will automatically be added to the Veterinarians' List and must satisfy the same requirements for removal from the Veterinarians' List as horses designated as "unsound." If a start has not been made within 60 days of the NYRA Veterinarians' clearance then the horse will be placed back on the Veterinarians' list.

Horses making their first start after February 1 of their 4-year-old year: Horses which have not made a start prior to February 1 of their 4-year-old year will automatically be placed on the Veterinarians' List and must satisfy the same requirements for removal from the Veterinarians' List as horses designated as "unsound." If a start has not been made within 60 days of the NYRA Veterinarians' clearance then the horse will be placed back on the Veterinarians' List.

Waiver Claiming Option - Claiming Races

At time of entry into a claiming race an owner/trainer may opt to declare a horse exempt from being claimed. For the Belmont spring/summer meet, the following waiver claiming rule applies:

i. The horse has not started since March 16th, 2020.

ii. The horse is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the price it last started for (horse must have started in a claiming race in the previous start to qualify).

iii. Failure to declare the horse exempt at the time of entry may not be remedied.     

iv. The waiver rule can only be applied to said horse's first start following each such layoff.                             

New Trainer Entry rule

In all overnight races no same trainer entry will be allowed to draw into the body of a race to the exclusion of a different trainer entrant.  At time of entry, trainers must designate a "different owner first choice (DO1) and a "different owner second choice (DO2)."  

Stakes races are excluded from this rule.  A different owner second entry (DO2) is preferred over a same owner second entry (SO2).

For more information, please visit https://www.nyrainc.com/about/nyra-safety.

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.


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