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A Closer Look: COVID-19 And Racing

Published: April 5, 2020 11:12 am ET

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It’s tough to comprehend that it’s been less than a month since John Brennan passed away from COVID-19. So much has happened since. As North America deals with the unfathomable fallout from the pandemic’s current wave, one writer has taken a closer look at the disease’s early effect on one of the continent’s most popular harness racing pockets.

Pearly Allen, pictured with one of his Standardbreds.

In writing for, Keith Sargeant has penned an eye-opening piece that sheds light on COVID-19’s impact on Yonkers Raceway and affiliated horsepeople.

From Joe Faraldo to the late Carmine and Vinnie Fusco (and all those in between), the article highlights how social interaction, however limited, has proven to be the trojan horse for COVID-19’s indiscriminate wrath.

That wrath has not been spared on the harness racing industry.

Horseman Pearly Allen, who received a ‘fist bump’ after a win at Yonkers Raceway on March 5, has told his story of ending up in sealed-off hospital room for COVID-19 patients two weeks later.

“That win," Allen has said, “came at a hell of a cost.”

Allen went on to tell Sargeant of what he experienced in the hospital, which brings the stark reality of the pandemic front and centre.

Later in the article, Allen said, "You get out of the hospital thinking you’re better, but that’s not the case. It’s going to be a long trail to recovery.”

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from

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