Pennsylvania, Maryland Push for Racing

Racing fans and industry officials are looking forward to the resumption of live racing, conducted to empty grandstands with only essential personnel.

Customers and employees of horse racetracks in Pennsylvania and Maryland are pushing for racing to resume after being suspended in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Both states anticipate restarting live racing with empty grandstands and only essential personnel in attendance.

In Pennsylvania, some 6,000 racing fans signed a petition asking Governor Tom Wolf, who suspended live racing March16, to allow racing to restart without spectators. According to Horse Racing Nation, the governor, who has announced that the state’s economy was to begin a phased reopening on May 8, has not determined when racing will resume. “We haven’t determined the final list,” Wolf told the publication, adding that a racing restart is “under consideration.”

In Maryland, the state Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association announced that it is confident racing will be one of the earliest industries to resume, hopefully within the next few weeks, according to comments by Governor Larry Hogan.

“Racing industry leaders believe live racing under Covid-19-specific health and safety protocol and with only essential personnel permitted access is very likely to be included in the low-risk stage,” the association posted on its website.