A few folks asked me about my general post yesterday associated with racing, and how the virus will likely impact racing operations. Minnesota questions were raised since we have many friends still involved there. I don't have a crystal ball so I can only be led by the data, and yesterday's US virus deaths were very sadly just under 1000.
I hope Minnesota racing can open soon but I also just noticed the racetrack has furloughed over 800 people because they have been completely shut down. Minnesota also has an underlying issue with field size since the 2019 numbers were the lowest in the last couple decades. In addition, the MN breeding program has not produced good results, with consistent declines and 2019 numbers also being the lowest for mares bred and foals in the last two decades. Both numbers appear to have dropped an amazing 40% or so in just the last year based upon currently published data.
I would like to be more optimistic but not knowing when MN racing and gaming can begin, and a building problem associated with state bred horses being available to back fill race cards, the issues I mentioned yesterday for all racing jurisdictions in the economic middle and lower tiers likely stand.
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.