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Del Mar Cancels Weekend Races After 15 Jockeys Contract COVID-19

Written by:
Associated Press
Published on:
Jul/15/2020

Del Mar canceled racing for the upcoming weekend after 15 jockeys tested positive for COVID-19.


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All the track’s riders and personnel who work in the jockeys’ room were tested by San Diego County public health officials at the request of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Of the 15 positive tests, all were believed to be asymptomatic.

“Canceling this weekend’s races will give us additional time to monitor the situation and give the individuals who tested positive additional time to recover,” track CEO Joe Harper said Wednesday.

Racing is expected to resume on July 24.

Contact tracing is underway. All but one of the riders who tested positive rode at the recently concluded Los Alamitos meet in Orange County. The mass testing was ordered by the track after jockeys Flavien Prat and Victor Espinoza tested positive. They are both quarantining at home.

The track isn’t identifying any of the other riders. However, some have confirmed their own cases.

Umberto Rispoli, who won seven races last weekend at Del Mar, tweeted Wednesday that he was positive, too, and was in quarantine. “I’m feeling more than well,” he posted, adding that he was asymptomatic.

The card Saturday was to have featured Maximum Security in the $150,000 San Diego Handicap. Last year, he became the first horse disqualified in Kentucky Derby history after crossing the finish line first.

Now trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Maximum Security was to be ridden by Luis Saez. However, the jockey tested positive for COVID-19 last weekend at Keeneland in Kentucky. As a result, Baffert had named Abel Cedillo as the replacement rider.

“He’s training really well. He looks fantastic,” Baffert told The Associated Press. “The race will be pushed back a week and he will run then.”

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