ELMONT — The New York Racing Association (NYRA) this week announced a number of safety initiatives and entry rule changes for the upcoming 25-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park. The Belmont spring/summer meet kicks off on Wednesday, June 3.
NYRA says after consulting with independent experts, veterinarians, horsemen and regulators, it has implemented a number of racing rules to further enhance equine safety and ensure trainers/owners are equitably represented in the entries due to the lengthy suspension of live racing on the NYRA circuit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New rules for horses coming off layoffs or making career debut as 4-year-old: Horses which have not started in more than 180 days, or less than 365 days, will be placed on the Veterinarians' List and must be presented to the NYRA Veterinarian prior to racing.
Horses which have not raced in 365 days will automatically be added to the Veterinarians' List and must satisfy the same requirements for removal from the Veterinarians' List as horses designated as "unsound." If a start has not been made within 60 days of the NYRA Veterinarians' clearance, then the horse will be placed back on the Veterinarians' list.
Horses which have not made a start prior to Feb. 1 of their 4-year-old year will automatically be placed on the Veterinarians' List and must satisfy the same requirements for removal from the Veterinarians' List as horses designated as "unsound." If a start has not been made within 60 days of the NYRA Veterinarians' clearance, then the horse will be placed back on the Veterinarians' List.
Waiver Claiming Option - Claiming Races: At time of entry into a claiming race an owner/trainer may opt to declare a horse exempt from being claimed. For the Belmont spring/summer meet, the following waiver claiming rule applies: The horse has not started since March 16, 2020; The horse is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the price it last started for (horse must have started in a claiming race in the previous start to qualify); Failure to declare the horse exempt at the time of entry may not be remedied; The waiver rule can only be applied to said horse's first start following each such layoff.
New Trainer Entry rule: In all overnight races no same trainer entry will be allowed to draw into the body of a race to the exclusion of a different trainer entrant. At time of entry, trainers must designate a "different owner first choice (DO1) and a "different owner second choice (DO2)." Stakes races are excluded from this rule. A different owner second entry (DO2) is preferred over a same owner second entry (SO2).
For more information, please go to: www.nyrainc.com/about/nyra-safety.