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Tuesday Yonkers Card Cancelled

Published: March 10, 2020 3:08 pm ET

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It has been announced that the program of live racing that had been scheduled for this evening (Tuesday, March 10) at Yonkers Raceway has been cancelled.

There are concerns of coronavirus at the New York oval after the passing of horsemen's representative John Brennan on Tuesday morning.

SOA of New York President Joe Faraldo told Harness Racing Update that he is at home with sickness and doctors are concerned he may have contracted the coronavirus due to his contact with Brennan, either directly or indirectly at Yonkers. Faraldo said he is optimistic that because he did not have any other health issues he will regain his full health. 

Sources have also told harnessracing.com that a paddock worker has also been hospitalized, and Faraldo confirmed that information in the story. Some horsemen have also been ill, including one driver who has been hospitalized.

Yonkers Raceway Presiding Judge Eric Marecki indicated that he hoped that racing would resume Thursday after the sanitizing of the track has taken place.

A statement was issued by Yonkers' parent company MGM Resorts International early Tuesday evening.


MGM Resorts International (the "Company" or "MGM Resorts") today was informed of a case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) involving an employee of the Standardbred Owners Association ("SOA"), the harness horsemen racing association, who was based in the Yonkers Raceway race office. The Company released the following statement:

"We just learned that an employee of the Standardbred Owners Association, working in the racing office of Yonkers Raceway, located next to the racetrack and paddock, tested positive for the coronavirus before passing away. His death was announced today by New Jersey officials, as he was a resident of the state. We believe the last time he was on the property to be approximately eight days ago. We offer our condolences to his family during this difficult time.

"As a result of this development, the racetrack will be shut down as of this afternoon, and we have asked employees who worked in the immediate area to self-quarantine. We will continue to coordinate with and follow the guidance of health officials and support them in their response and prevention efforts."

Information on MGM Resorts' health and safety protocols:

MGM Resorts has maintained close coordination with health officials since the virus first became known and proactively communicates CDC prevention guidelines with guests and employees. The company has taken several steps to plan for potential health and safety risks, including investing time and resources to ensure its properties are prepared for the potential impacts of the coronavirus.

In addition to its pre-existing high standards of cleanliness, maintenance and sanitation at its properties, MGM Resorts in recent weeks implemented temporary enhanced cleaning procedures and protocols. They include:

  • Placing hand sanitizer dispensing stations in high-traffic, visible areas such as entrances, exits, elevator landings, and hotel lobbies.

  • Increasing the frequency of disinfectant procedures, with focus on:

    • Faucets and toilet flush levers

    • Doorknobs and locks

    • Entrance and exit doors and door handles

    • Handrails

    • Slot machines handles and armrests

    • Elevator buttons

    • Light switches

(with files from USTA and harnessracing.com)


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