Pennsylvania Racetracks Prepare to Reopen

The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission is working with representatives of horsemen’s associations on steps to reopen the racing business in the state.

The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission is taking steps toward reopening the state racing industry, which has been idle since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pennsylvania has three thoroughbred tracks and three harness tracks.

Members of the racing commission held a phone conference last week to offer a public debate on restarting racing. Tom Chuckas, who oversees thoroughbred racing in the state, asked track operators to submit formal reopening plans by May 8.

The phone conference focused on protocols and procedures for reopening. “The goal is quite simple,” Chuckas told commissioners. “And that’s to develop best practices for safety that are Pennsylvania-centric.” He said the goal is to be “ready to go” as soon as the racing ban lifts, even though no precise date is set.

Members of the commission followed up by agreeing they would send a letter to Governor Tom Wolf.