Qualifying races in New Jersey to begin Friday

Freehold, NJ — Harness racing in New Jersey is back this weekend, as Gaitway Farms will host qualifying races starting on Friday (May 29).

Qualifiers will be held at Gaitway on Friday (May 29), Sunday (May 31) and Tuesday (June 2), while Magical Acres has applied to the New Jersey Racing Commission for Monday (June 1) and Wednesday (June 3).

Gaitway Farms will be limited to farm tenants only. No outside horses will be permitted.

The entry schedule for Gaitway and Magical Acres is as follows. Note that all entries must be done online, through the USTA etrack system.

Gaitway Friday: entries close Thursday (May 28) at Noon
Gaitway Sunday: entries close Saturday (May 30) at 2 p.m.
Magical Acres Monday: entries close Saturday (May 30) at 2 p.m. (pending final approval)
Gaitway Tuesday: entries close Sunday (May 31) at 2 p.m.
Magical Acres Wednesday: entries close Tuesday (June 2) at 2 p.m. (pending final approval)

Post time at Gaitway on Friday and Tuesday will be at 10 a.m., while Sunday’s first post will be at 9 a.m. Post time at Magical Acres both days is 9 a.m. once approved.

Entry fee will be $100 per horse.

Only essential personnel will be permitted on-site on qualifying days; no owners or outside spectators are allowed. Proper PPE and social distancing will be required for all participants, and all COVID-19 safety protocols must be followed.

Anyone with questions can call Rob Pennington at 732.410.1214, or Karen Fagliarone at 732.239.0281.

Update from the SBOANJ

In conjunction with Dr. Karyn Malinowski of the Rutgers Science Center, the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey developed a very comprehensive “Risk Management and Racing Protocol” that had earlier been presented to Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Racing Commission. This program will be implemented for the qualifying races and our return to racing at The Meadowlands.

The SBOANJ sent a formal request to the NJRC for a “Waiver of the Commission’s Rules” in reference to the 45-day qualifying rule and administration of Lasix. It was proposed that the 45-day qualifying rule be temporarily amended. It was also requested that the administration of Lasix, by a state-approved licensed veterinarian, be allowed to take place at training centers where horses are stabled. Both requests are still pending NJRC approval.

We will continue to work with the NJRC, in order to help minimize the number of trainers, drivers, and caretakers on-site at one time to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Please be aware of the importance of following the safety provisions that have been mandated.

For a copy of the “Risk Management Protocol” click here. For further information please contact the SBOANJ.

— with files from the SBOANJ

For all of the latest news on the resumption of racing, visit the USTA COVID-19 Resource Center.

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