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Yonkers To Race Through September 12; Yonkers Trot, Messenger Cancelled

Published: August 17, 2020 4:46 pm ET

Last Comment: August 17, 2020 7:04 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, the organization representing horsepeople at Yonkers Raceway, have announced an agreement to extend racing at the historic harness track through Saturday, September 12.

This will allow for the New York Night of Champions to proceed as scheduled on September 12, which will showcase the best trotters and pacers bred in New York State

“In partnership with the SOA, we are excited to be able to continue harness racing operations despite the continued closure and loss of revenue from our casino operation,” said Ed Domingo, senior vice president of Empire City. “This agreement further demonstrates our commitment to the sport and to the men and women employed by the horse racing industry.”

Racing prize purses are funded primarily through gross gaming revenue generated by Empire City Casino and casino operations remain suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With limited funds available in the prize pool and no continued funding stream due to the casino closure, racing operations were expected to cease in August. However, MGM Resorts has agreed to continue racing operations and the SOA will contribute $1.2 million to purses from their reserve fund to allow the sport to continue operating through September 12.

“We recognize the hardships our horsemen have suffered during the pandemic,” said Joe Faraldo, president of the SOA of NY. “We have chosen to take $1.2 million from our treasury in order to supplement the purse account and allow us to continue racing until the NYSS Night of Champions September 12.”

While the agreement allows for the preservation of the New York Sire Stakes races, several other stakes races scheduled for later in the year will be eliminated because of the limited purse funds. Those cancellations include the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes.

The racing schedule at Yonkers Raceway was interrupted earlier in the season with a temporary closure of the track due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Live racing operations resumed June 22 with extensive health and safety protocols in place. Pursuant to state and health guidelines, spectators are not permitted at Yonkers Raceway but races are simulcast and available for viewing and wagering online at

As always, the health and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority. For more information on the race schedule, please visit

(Empire City Casino)

August 17, 2020 - 7:04 pmIt's a very sorry day for

Mike Mobley SAID...

It's a very sorry day for harness racing when 2 Triple Crown races are cancelled (and not held elsewhere).
Looks like Sept. 12 will be the last day of harness racing at Yonkers Raceway in 2020.

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