Yonkers Raceway is one step closer to return to normality as restrictions in New York are slowly eased. After permission by state officials, the Westchester County race track now allows indoor simulcasting as the indoor areas of the oval will be reopened to guests. Visitors will be able to set foot inside the facilities for the first time since the beginning of the unprecedented situation.
The virus has most definitely taken its toll on the whole state and live harness racing in particular. Live races at the state were suspended for a few months after the beginning of the unprecedented situation in 2020. Despite the races being resumed later in 2020, the indoor facilities at the NY track have remained closed down for visitors.
Easing of Restrictions
The horse racing facility officially welcomed back fans at its indoor areas on Thursday, July 15, and patrons were able to enjoy the races from the fourth floor with seating and a great view of the half-mile track. Simulcasting is now available every day of the week, starting at noon from Wednesday to Sunday and at 6:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Guests can bet on up to 24 tracks daily.
Director of Racing Alex Dadoyan said that the property has endured a difficult spell as it went 15 months without any racing fans and a full year of live racing with no spectators. He explained that it was such great news to welcome back racing people on-site last month, but fans mostly inquired about the 4th gaming floor and its reopening.
Live audiences were able to finally return to the apron of the track this summer on June 9. And over the last few weeks, they were able to enjoy several of the most exciting live horse stakes in the state, including the kick-off legs of both US$500,000 Triple Crown events — the MGM Grand Messenger Pace and MGM Yonkers Trot.
The live racing season will continue throughout the duration of the summer season, as the track is scheduled to host five more legs of the New York Sire Stakes. This will include the highly-anticipated US$1.8 million Night of Champions on Friday, September 10. The top points winners from each of the five divisions for two- and three-year-olds will then be permitted to take part in eight US$225,000 finals.
At the end of June, the company owner of Yonkers Raceway – MGM Resorts, revealed its new plan to revitalize the iconic 122-year-old harness track. The company will pour US$500 million as an investment at the property. The most recent addition to the track was 8,000 tons of new surface, which included 6,000 tons of recycled track material and 64 tons of line and other surfacing material to make the track much more robust.
NYRA Bet Deal
Additionally, MGM Resorts’ subsidiary BetMGM has announced its agreement with NYRA Bet, to increase its horse betting offerings for its many fans of the sports. The gaming company now offers its patrons a complete package of Thoroughbred, Harness, and Quarter Horse racing offerings from more than 200 tracks across the globe. Through the official app, patrons can bet on events such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup.
Source: “Indoor Simulcasting Returns To Yonkers”, Standardbred Canada, July 20, 2021