Indiana harness racing on hold; others continue
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has resulted in many changes in sporting events in the United States where crowds gather.
This past week, the virus prompted the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to stop all gaming operations in Indiana, at both casinos and race tracks.
Their announcement read as follows: “Based on changing circumstances and in the interest of public health, Indiana licensed gaming and racing operations (including OTB’s) will close for at least 14 days beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020. The Indiana Gaming and Horse Racing Commissions will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as appropriate. At this time, the race track closure does include the suspension of all qualifiers within that 14-day period.”
Hoosier Park in Anderson was heavily invested in preparations for a scheduled opening of racing on March 27. In light of this decision by the racing commission, management there has decided to halt further relocation of race horses to the barn area on the grounds. All horses currently stabled there may continue to train on the tracks, but no new stables will be permitted to move in at this time. No local horses are stabled at Hoosier Park.
Hoosier Park had conducted one session, on March 14, of qualifying races. One local horse, Hayswood Linda, was scheduled to attempt to qualify but was not entered due to the Anderson weather forecast that day. As it turned out, races were conducted during a snowfall Saturday morning.
Racing is still being conducted in other states. Last week, Hayswood Ron, a 4-year-old pacer owned by Hayswood Farm of Corydon and King Racing of Willshire, Ohio, competed at the Miami Valley track north of Cincinnati. In a hotly contested mile, “Ron” was seventh in a time of 1:54:0 when the winner was timed in 1:53:2.
In Pennsylvania at The Meadows race track, Enoch was second in his race in 1:54:0. Now owned by the Burke Stable, Enoch was born and raised on the Walther farm south of Lanesville.
Another Lanesville horse, To the Limit, was fourth in his race at CalExpo in Sacramento, Calif., in a time of 1:54:2.