SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association opened for training at both the Oklahoma Training Track and Saratoga Race Course this week, coinciding with the return to racing at Belmont Park.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, however, both NYRA track locations will undergo big changes. The Belmont Park spring/summer meet will be held without spectators in attendance and much the same is anticipated for the Saratoga meet, which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, July 16 and run through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.
The Oklahoma facility was originally slated to open April 15. NYRA says after consultations with the NYSGC and state and local public health officials, it has implemented a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols designed to protect and mitigate risk for employees, horsemen, backstretch workers and the Saratoga community.
The Oklahoma Training Track and Whitney Viewing Stand will be closed to owners and the public. Access will be restricted to essential personnel duly licensed by NYRA and the New York State Gaming Commission.
All personnel working at the Oklahoma Training Track must test negative for COVID-19 or test positive for the antibodies for COVID-19. This applies to both local personnel as well as those arriving from other regions.
All personnel licensed and approved to be on the property will be required to complete a daily health screening and temperature check conducted by trained EMTs. Face masks or coverings and adherence to strict social distancing measures will be mandatory at all times. Masks and personal protective equipment will be provided.