Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson says it is now admitting horses from outside Indiana as it prepares for the upcoming racing season. As reported by our partners at The Herald Bulletin, the park will run qualifying races four days per week before spectator-free pari-mutuel racing begins on June 14, pending regulatory approval.
Hoosier Park reopened its barn area for horses from Indiana on May 11 in preparation for qualifying races that began May 19.
“I want to assure everyone that as we embark on the start of our race meet, we will do so in a manner whereby we will take every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our employees and horsemen,” Trent McIntosh, senior vice president and general manager of Hoosier Park, told the publication.
As horses return to the paddock, park officials say meticulous health and safety protocols have been put in place. According to The Herald Bulletin, everyone who enters the barn area will have their temperature taken, and anyone with a temperature above 100.4 will not be allowed to enter.
Additionally, everyone will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing practices.
The Herald Bulletin reports officials at both Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand in Shelbyville are working through logistical and scheduling issues for the abbreviated 2020 racing season.
Currently, Hoosier Park has a total of 111 days of racing planned. The park’s standardbred racing season is scheduled to run from June 16 through November 21, pending any modifications to state and local health guidelines.
“This is uncharted waters for all of us as we try to navigate this new normal,” said Jessica Barnes, director of racing and breed development for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. “At this point in time, it is hard to predict the long-term impact to racing.”
Hoosier Park’s casino does not have a specific reopen date yet.