Arlington Park has advised the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association that due to the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus, the track does not expect to open the backstretch as scheduled on Friday, April 10. It is not clear when the backstretch will open; thoroughbred owners and trainers are urged to plan accordingly.
Arlington further advised that it anticipates changes, which have not yet been specified, to the summer meet schedule.
Arlington’s move follows the suspension of live racing at numerous other tracks – including Aqueduct, Keeneland and, here in Illinois, Hawthorne and Fairmount – as part of an effort to stem the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. This sudden challenge facing the sport and industry of thoroughbred horse racing is both extraordinary and unprecedented.
The ITHA will continue to report on any major developments relative to the opening of the Arlington backstretch and planning for the track’s summer meet.