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Harness Highlights: Scioto Downs First To Re-open

by Frank Carulli

May 23, 2020

Ohio tracks are taking the lead role in harness racing’s return to action, while several others are approaching the starting gate.

Scioto Downs drew 350 entries for 16 qualifying races preceding its live card last Friday. The track’s 62nd season of racing began with 12 races and eight winning favorites. Chris Page drove six winners, four for trainer Ron Burke and two for J.D. Perrin.

Northfield Park held a double draw for its qualifiers leading to the return of live racing tonight (Tuesday, May 26). The half-mile track will race Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday each week with a 6 p.m. post time.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light to Yonkers Raceway, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Monticello and Saratoga Raceway to re-open without fans Monday, June 1, though no re-start dates have been announced.

Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural submitted a proposal to the State of New Jersey, requesting a June 5 opening.

Woodbine-Mohawk Park, the premiere Standardbred track in Canada, will be in motion Saturday, June 6, without fans. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, the track’s signature event, has been rescheduled from June 20 to Saturday, Aug. 29

Pending approval from the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, Hoosier Park will return Tuesday, June 16. Hoosier Park will host the year-end Breeders Crown championships in 2020.

Harrington Raceway, a staple at the Delaware State Fair, is awaiting approval by the state commission to begin June 15.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said the Meadows, Pocono Downs and Harrah’s Philadelphia won’t be able to open until the third and final “green phase” of the Covid-19 crisis recovery process, similar to other entertainment venues like casinos.