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Hawthorne To Race; Closed To Public

Published: March 16, 2020 12:19 pm ET

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In consultation with, and approval from the Illinois Racing Board, Hawthorne Race Course will close its public wagering facilities at the track and all Illinois off-track betting locations to limit the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

The decision was made in support of Governor Pritzker's mandate that all Illinois bars and dine-in restaurants close on-site operations until March 30.

In cooperation with the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association, Hawthorne will host ‘studio racing’ at its 113-acre facility. Races will be broadcast nationally allowing for mobile, online and retail wagering from venues in other states and around the globe.

"Many people think of the racetracks as the only business entities involved in the operation of racing, but the truth is that there are hundreds of small businesses throughout the state owned and operated by Illinois horsemen,” said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne Race Course. “While we want the public to be able to enjoy live racing, these are unprecedented times. This option keeps people working in our industry and maintains the fitness and safety of horses while limiting public interaction."

Beginning with the Friday, March 20 racing card (Hawthorne's next scheduled night of racing), only personnel essential to conduct races will be allowed onto the grounds of Hawthorne. Additionally, only licensed personnel will be allowed into the backstretch and paddock area for racing and daily care of horses stabled at Hawthorne. On-site wagering at Hawthorne and Illinois OTBs will close beginning March 17.

Hawthorne will continue to work closely with the Illinois Racing Board, Governor's Office, and Illinois horsemen in keeping with the latest recommendations from the Center for Disease Control regarding business operations during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of the public.

(Hawthorne Race Course)


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