Off to the Races radio to take brief hiatus

by | Mar 27, 2020 | Breaking, Business, Regionwide

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Photo by The Racing Biz.

Off to the Races Radio will take a short hiatus, The Racing Biz announced March 27.

The show is slated to be off the air for its next two episodes, originally scheduled for March 28 and April 4. The weekly radio show, which airs on the ESPN Richmond (VA) family of stations, and is available everywhere via livestreaming, is in the midst of its 21st season.

“The coronavirus emergency has had a huge impact on the racing world, as it has on all of us,” said The Racing Biz founder and publisher Frank Vespe. “In light of that, it is appropriate to take a brief pause in our coverage of Thoroughbred racing in the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.”

The majority of the country’s racetracks are currently shuttered, including all four in the Mid-Atlantic that normally would be in action: Parx Racing and Penn National in Pennsylvania, Maryland’s Laurel Park, and West Virginia’s Charles Town Races.

Several tracks nationally – including Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn Park, and Santa Anita Park – are continuing to run but are doing so without fans.

Even the status of the sport’s signature event, the Triple Crown, is up in the air. While Churchill Downs has announced it will run the Kentucky Derby September 5 – the first Saturday in September rather than its traditional spot on the first Saturday in May – the dates of the second and third legs, the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, have not yet been announced, which may end up scrambling the series this year.

Vespe said he expected the show to resume normal operations shortly.

“While this time of quarantines and closed racetracks may go on for some time, we are hopeful that some of the uncertainty in the Thoroughbred industry will begin to resolve itself shortly, which will enable us to get back to work,” he said.

The weekly radio show airs at 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays on three terrestrial stations: 99.5 FM, 102.7 FM, and 950 AM. It is scheduled to continue through August 29. The archives for this year’s episodes are at theracingbiz.com.

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