PARX JOCKEY SAID TO BE POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
A Parx Racing-based jockey has tested positive for Covid-19, according to a Facebook post from the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The post, published Saturday afternoon, is a message from PATHA executive director Michael Ballezzi.
It’s the second mid-Atlantic track at which a jockey tested positive for the virus this week. Earlier, following a positive for leading rider Trevor McCarthy, Colonial Downs, in Virginia, had its jockey colony and others tested for the virus. When several people came up with positives, the track was forced to end its 2020 meet after having completed just six of 18 scheduled racing programs.
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The Racing Biz has not independently verified the identity of the affected jockey.
According to the PTHA post, Parx Racing has responded by requiring all jockeys to present recent negative Covid-19 tests. Reportedly, 21 of 31 regular riders in the colony have done so.
Parx Racing chief operating officer Joe Wilson “believes there is no reason to stop training or racing” at this time, the post says. It emphasizes the importance of horsemen following the track’s coronavirus protocols, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and washing hands frequently.
Separately, a report from Play Pennsylvania, which is an online gambling news source, reported that additional backstretch personnel had also tested positive for the highly contagious virus, which has killed more than 150,000 Americans this year.
Unlike Colonial Downs, which was to host a brief meet, Parx Racing follows a year-round schedule and has a large contingent of horsemen based there. That gives the track flexibility in dealing with crises such as this one; were it forced to suspend racing for a time, it could do so and then resume readily.
The next scheduled day of racing at Parx is Monday, August 17. It has already drawn all three of the cards it is slated to run during the week.