Every major sport in America has been shut down — except one — horse racing, which is alive and thriving in multiple states across the country, TMZ Sports has learned.
We’ve confirmed tracks are operating in Florida, California, Arkansas and Oklahoma — though we’re told ALL of the tracks are not allowing fans to enter the facilities.
In short, the races are still being streamed online and through various broadcast partners, so people stuck at home can still bet on the ponies!
In Florida, both the Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park have a “no spectator” policy — and have ordered all staffers to wear masks and gloves while practicing social distancing.
A rep for Gulfstream tells us, medical personnel are screening jockeys on the way into the track, taking temperatures and looking for COVID-19 symptoms.
Plus, we’re told any jockey or horse that comes to race from another state must complete a 14-day quarantine before they are allowed to compete.
In California, the Los Alamitos track is closed to the public — but racing on Friday through Sunday with only “essential staff permitted inside the facility.”
Shocking considering California has essentially locked down the state for all, but essential businesses. Still, the horses run.
In Arkansas … the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort shut down their casino but has allowed the track to continue to function. Again, no spectators.
In fact, the $200,000 Oaklawn Stakes is still scheduled to take place on Saturday.
In Oklahoma … Remington Park is running too, but they note they’re “closed to the public.”
We spoke with a rep for the Jockey’s Guild who tell us they support the tracks staying open — explaining, “Its important horses get training and exercise.”
“It’s very important. Protocols are in place. It’s best for the horses and the industry to keep going.”
Of course, the most famous races in the country – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont — have been postponed until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.