Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Trainers pushing for June 13 restart of racing

Published:Sunday | May 24, 2020 | 12:32 AMRobert Bailey - Gleaner Writer

PRESIDENT OF the United Racehorse Trainers Association, Ryan Darby, says his organisation has proposed June 13 for the resumption of racing at Caymanas Park.

Darby told The Sunday Gleaner that they recently signed off on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Finance along with other racing stakeholders, but they are now awaiting the protocols and guidelines under which they will be operating.

“The proposed projections from Supreme Ventures are out and the stakeholders are preparing and getting the horses ready for a June 13 resumption of racing,” said Darby.

“The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and the Jamaica Racing Commission are formulating some protocols with the Ministry of Health under the conditions that will allow us to run the races,” he said. “We are just awaiting these entities to send us the protocols so that we can definitely confirm the June 13 start date,” Darby added.

Racing has been suspended indefinitely for more than two months. Caymanas Park was shut down after the race meet held on March 21.

EAGER STAKEHOLDERS

Darby underlined that all the stakeholders are very eager for the resumption of racing because they are finding it very difficult to survive as they are unable to earn a living.

“The entire plant is in operation mode and the jockeys’ agents and all the other professionals are back at work now and we are looking forward to racing restarting soon,” said Darby.

“The postponement of racing has cost us a lot because we are not earning any money and we still have to care for our horses on a daily basis and this is very expensive to do,” he said. “I am urging the Ministry of Health to send us the protocols so that we can move forward.”

Meanwhile when contacted, chairman of the Jamaica Racing Commission, Clovis Metcalfe, said he cannot confirm the June 13 restart date because he is still awaiting a draft of the protocols from the Ministry of Health & Wellness.