Multiple Jockeys Affected By New Coronavirus Restrictions At Oaklawn, Gulfstream

by | 03.23.2020 | 5:59pm

In the past few days, multiple jockeys have had to alter plans, miss race days, or go into quarantine in response to regulations put in place by both Oaklawn and Gulfstream Park, two of the few racetracks still holding live racing.

Oaklawn sent jockeys a letter on March 19 detailing some of the new regulations, including that any rider who traveled to the Fair Grounds in New Orleans would have to quarantine for 12 days before returning to the jockeys room at Oaklawn, and that those riders would “be subject to increased medical protocols.” Florent Geroux posted the letter on Twitter:


Following Saturday's Louisiana Derby day card at Fair Grounds, track officials announced that they would cancel the remaining week of the meet to comply with the New Orleans mayor's order to stay at home.

Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. rode at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, including the favorite in the Fair Grounds Oaks, and was told he'd have to sit out from Oaklawn's races for 12 calendar days.

Oaklawn-based Chel-c Bailey was set to ride the card at Will Rogers Downs on Monday, but decided to take off her mounts when Oaklawn officials warned her that she would be subject to the same quarantine. Ty Kennedy, who rode at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, was also scheduled to ride at Will Rogers, so Bailey could have had contact with him in the jockey's quarters.

Gulfstream has not implemented any regulations regarding jockeys traveling back from the Fair Grounds. Julien Leparoux, Joe Bravo and Joel Rosario all rode in New Orleans on Saturday and then at Gulfstream on Sunday.

However, Gulfstream has initiated a rule requiring jockeys to arrive in Florida by Sunday night in order to ride this week's cards, according to drf.com.

“We don't want people from all over the United States coming into our jocks' room,” Bill Badgett, executive director of Florida racing operations for The Stronach Group, told drf.com. “Totally a [Jockeys'] Guild decision. They were a little bit nervous about guys flying in from New York.”

Javier Castellano, Manny Franco and John Velazquez all made the deadline to ride at Gulfstream this week, but Junior Alvarado, who rode at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, did not.

“That caught us off-guard,” Alvarado's agent Mike Sellitto told drf.com. “We were originally told we had to be there Tuesday night. At the last minute they told us Sunday night.”

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