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Racing News

Tiger Roll's historic National bid back on… virtually

Tiger Roll's historic National bid back on… virtually

Tiger Roll will have his chance to become the first horse to win three successive Grand Nationals — in a computer-simulated version of the race next week. Tiger Roll, winner in 2018 and 2019, had been due to seek an unprecedented third consecutive success. A field of 40 runners who would have been most likely to line up in the real race will take part.

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Activists assail California board for keeping tracks open

Activists assail California board for keeping tracks open

An executive with the company that owns Santa Anita urged the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday to continue live racing despite a statewide stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Santa Anita in Arcadia, outside Los Angeles, and Golden Gate Fields in the San Francisco Bay area are among a handful of U.S. tracks continuing to race without fans. Horses need exercise,'' Aidan Butler, acting executive director of California racing operations for Stronach, told the board during its monthly meeting held via conference call.

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Tiz the Law set as favorite for Saturday's Florida Derby

Tiz the Law set as favorite for Saturday's Florida Derby

The Florida Derby is set to have a full field and empty stands. A field of 12 has been entered for Saturday's Florida Derby, typically one of the biggest Kentucky Derby prep races and serves as the crown jewel of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Tiz the Law, a winner of three of his four career starts including the Holy Bull at Gulfstream last month, was installed as the 6-5 favorite at Wednesday's race draw.

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British champion jump jockey says rival 'deserves' title

British champion jump jockey says rival 'deserves' title

British champion jump jockey Richard Johnson said Brian Hughes would be a deserving winner of this season's crown after his hopes of catching his title rival were dashed by the coronavirus shutdown. Four-time defending champion Johnson had made a speedy return from a broken arm to try and overhaul Hughes but the British Horseracing Authority's (BHA's) decision to suspend the season until the end of April has ended his hopes. Johnson tweeted that Hughes deserved the title.

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Dubai horse race, with $12M purse, canceled

Dubai horse race, with $12M purse, canceled

Racing's 'Dubai World Cup' has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus, organizers said on Sunday.

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Wells Bayou wins eerie Louisiana Derby at empty track

Wells Bayou wins eerie Louisiana Derby at empty track

As Wells Bayou completed a wire-to-wire victory in the $1 million Louisiana Derby, there was hardly a cheer to be heard – other than the isolated triumphant shouts of trainer Brad Cox and his stable crew. In the 107th running of the qualifying points race for the Kentucky Derby, the clubhouse and grandstand at Fair Grounds Race Course were empty and eerily quiet because of crowd restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Winning jockey Florent Geroux had noted the bizarre scene during earlier races on what is normally the busiest day of the year at the Fair Grounds, drawing crowds approaching 10,000.

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Horse racing grapples with risks of running during pandemic

Horse racing grapples with risks of running during pandemic

Horse racing is quickly learning it is not totally immune to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on other sports, and now it's grappling with the risks of continuing operations. The Louisiana Derby for now is still set for Saturday, the world's richest day of races is scheduled to go on in late March in Dubai and several tracks across the U.S. and worldwide remain open.

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Still in the saddle: Australian racing goes on amid pandemic

Still in the saddle: Australian racing goes on amid pandemic

It's arguably more popular in Australia than any other country, so it's no surprise that horse racing is continuing – minus the spectators – despite the increasing travel and other restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. The multi-billion dollar racing industry employs 250,000 part- and full-time workers in Australia, where there are more than 360 thoroughbred tracks. Australia boasts some of the world's richest races.

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British racing braces for coronavirus fallout

British racing braces for coronavirus fallout

British horse racing is preparing itself for tough times ahead after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered racecourses, putting jobs at risk and leaving the industry in limbo. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced on Tuesday the sport would be suspended until the end of April. Racing has faced severe crises before, notably during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, but COVID-19 poses an unprecedented challenge.

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Through wars and world turmoil, Kentucky Derby runs on

Through wars and world turmoil, Kentucky Derby runs on

The Great Depression and World War I and World War II didn't stop the Kentucky Derby, a race that has been run without interruption since it began in 1875. Churchill Downs postponed the opening leg of the Triple Crown from May 2 to Sept. 5, due to concern over the coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc with the world's sports calendar. ''At no point did we ever consider canceling the Kentucky Derby,'' said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc.

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Scratched: Kentucky Derby now set for September due to virus

Scratched: Kentucky Derby now set for September due to virus

Change does not come easily to the Kentucky Derby. Fans sip mint juleps, don fancy hats and dress clothes and sing to the melancholy strains of “My Old Kentucky Home” as the thoroughbreds step onto the track on the first Saturday in May. It has always made the Derby as much a piece of Americana as a horse race. Churchill Downs postponed the Derby until September, the latest rite of spring in sports to be struck by the new coronavirus along with the Masters, March Madness and baseball season.

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Coronavirus forces Kentucky Derby postponement

Coronavirus forces Kentucky Derby postponement

This year's Kentucky Derby has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, race organisers confirmed on Tuesday. Traditionally held each year on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, this year's race will now take place on September 5. Churchill Downs chief executive Bill Carstanjen said Tuesday the escalating COVID-19 crisis had left race organisers with no choice but to delay the race.

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British horse racing suspended over coronavirus

British horse racing suspended over coronavirus

Horse racing in Britain is to be suspended from Wednesday due to the coronavirus outbreak, the British Horseracing Authority has announced. Tuesday's decision comes a day after the BHA said the sport would continue behind closed doors, initially to the end of March, although April's Grand National was cancelled. “As of tomorrow race meetings will cease up to the end of April,” the BHA said in a statement on its website “The decision will be kept under constant review.”

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Horse racing: Dubai World Cup meeting to be held 'without paid spectators'

Horse racing: Dubai World Cup meeting to be held 'without paid spectators'

The Dubai World Cup horse race meeting will go ahead on March 28 “without paid hospitality spectators” due to concerns of the new coronavirus outbreak, Dubai Racing Club said in a statement. Spectators have been banned at race meetings this month across the United Arab Emirates, which has recorded 98 cases of the virus. “Only horse connections, racing officials, accredited media and sponsors will be permitted entry” to the Dubai World Cup, the club said on its website.

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Horse racing: Kentucky Derby postponed due to coronavirus – report

Horse racing: Kentucky Derby postponed due to coronavirus – report

The Louisville Courier Journal, citing sources close to the race, and television station WDRB said the race would take place on Sept. 5 instead of May 2 as scheduled. Churchill Downs, which hosts the annual race, is set to hold a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown run at Pimlico on May 16, could also be in jeopardy with the third leg, the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, set for June 6.

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Olympics: Hokkaido's farmhorse jockeys dream torch relay can spur racing revival

Olympics: Hokkaido's farmhorse jockeys dream torch relay can spur racing revival

At Obihiro racetrack, spectators walk alongside the course as fast as the big beasts they've backed to win, cheering as they go. The Obihiro track is for 'ban'ei keiba', traditional racing featuring giant farmhorses on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. This June, a new attraction is set to grace Obihiro.

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Tiger Roll 'will be prepared for Grand National hat-trick bid'

Tiger Roll 'will be prepared for Grand National hat-trick bid'

Tiger Roll will be trained to compete for an unprecedented third successive Grand National win despite the cancellation of this year's race, his trainer Gordon Elliott said on Tuesday. Red Rum won the Grand National three times in the 1970s but no horse has won the steeplechase three years in a row. Elliott was upbeat about the 10-year-old Tiger Roll's chances of a return to Aintree in 2021.

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Grand National falls victim to coronavirus

Grand National falls victim to coronavirus

This year's edition of the Grand National steeplechase has been cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Jockey Club said Monday. “Following the Government's new public health guidance regarding avoiding social contact and stopping non-essential travel, and its statement that emergency services are withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings from tomorrow, the Jockey Club has decided that it is no longer appropriate to stage the event,” said a statement. Jockey Club Racecourses, which runs Aintree and a number of the UK's leading racecourses, had been looking at the possibility of running the National behind closed doors with minimal staff on site.

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Racing in UK to carry on behind closed doors: official

Racing in UK to carry on behind closed doors: official

Racing in Britain is to carry on but behind closed doors, the sport's regulatory body, the British Horseracing Authority, said on Monday. Many of the Cheltenham racegoers were Irish, which provoked a social media backlash in Ireland, but racing authorities say they were following British government advice in maintaining the meeting. Meanwhile the BHA shut its central London head quarters earlier on Monday due to “small numbers of office-based BHA staff self-isolating.”

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Virus doesn't deter horse racing at US tracks, but few fans

Virus doesn't deter horse racing at US tracks, but few fans

Drayden Van Dyke hopped off Charlatan after winning the sixth race by 10 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita on Saturday and celebrated by trading elbow taps in the winner's circle. The jockeys' room has ''hand sanitizer everywhere you look,'' Van Dyke said. Bugler Jay Cohen blew his horn to an empty grandstand, with only trainers, jockeys and those working directly with the horses on hand to hear.

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