Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association
News Bulletin | June 11, 2020
Horsemen's Updates
Implement and Maintain
Please click through to watch today's announcement from PTHA President Sal DeBunda on the announcement to return to racing.

Parx announced today that live racing would resume on Monday, June 22, 2020. We plan to race Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays and the first day to enter horses will be Wednesday, June 17th.
New Workout SOP in PA
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
Parx Horsemen
All Workmen's Compensation eligibility information from 2019 must be submitted by June 15th or the rebate is subject to forfeiture.

Bring a copy of cancelled check and policy information to the PTHA office or email
America's Best Horses for June 8
By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: June 11, 2020
Horsemen’s groups at Park Racing and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course on June 10 said the tracks have received confirmation from the Pennsylvania Department of Health that they can resume live racing effective immediately.
The letter states that COVID-19 mitigation plans “must include, at a minimum, a process for testing or screening for COVID-19 and monitoring all on-premises attendees. In the yellow phase, no fans or spectators are allowed in or directly outside of the site or venue.”
Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan has three phases: red, yellow and green. Five of the state’s six tracks are located in counties designated as yellow at this time.
By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: May 31, 2020

The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is hopeful live action can resume at Parx Racing June 22, but much still hinges on negotiations with track management.

PTHA President Sal DeBunda, in a May 30 video update to membership, said a May 28 meeting among racing interests and members of Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration “went very well.” He noted the governor agreed to allow all racetracks to open when there individual counties move to “yellow”—the second phase of the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan—and state health officials approve COVID-19 protocols for all six tracks in Pennsylvania.

Posted: May 28, 2020

Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club have launched a national ad campaign titled “Still. Running. Strong.” to promote Thoroughbred racing as major racetracks across the country resume live racing without spectators during the COVID-19 outbreak, the organizations announced May 28.

The campaign, which includes broadcast, digital, and social media elements, comes at a time when other major sports are on hiatus and horse racing is receiving unprecedented levels of live television coverage on NBC Sports and FOX Sports.

In addition to Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club, significant financial support for the campaign was provided by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association; TVG, an affiliate of the FanDuel Group; Kentucky Thoroughbred Association; and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Parx Backside Opens to Incoming Horses
Steadily working toward our new normal, policies have been put in place and horsemen are receiving notices from frontside to prepare and be ready for live racing at Parx in the upcoming weeks.
Parx Trainers should be receiving text messages to keep current on daily updates from the racing office. The condition book in on equibase, with days numbers instead of dates in order to be ready when we get the green light!
Protocols at the Horsemen’s Gate during live racing at Laurel Park
The Maryland Jockey Club is making a few policy changes at Laurel Park regarding access to facilities in response to Maryland Governor Hogan's authorization to enter into Phase 2 of his administration's Roadmap to Recovery plan.

Effective Saturday, June 6, a limited number of owners will be permitted to watch races from the track apron. They will be required to follow the COVID-19 mitigation protocols already in place at Laurel such as adhering to social distancing of at least six feet and wearing face coverings.

Owners will be permitted to enter the facility at the Clockers' entrance near the Carriage Room in the grandstand. A security guard will be at that location and, as is the case with all licensed personnel, owners must display a Maryland Racing Commission badge. The MJC requests that any owners who come to the track kindly watch their race or races in which they have horses running and then leave through the Clockers' entrance to ensure other owners have access for their races.

The grandstand and clubhouse will remain closed, and paddock and winner's circle access will not be allowed. The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and MJC will be monitoring the situation and will review the procedures on a weekly basis.

Horsemen should note that MJC management will now allow a third person other than the trainer and one groom to access the paddock; however, arrangements must be made with, and permission granted by the Paddock Judge in advance.

In addition, effective Friday, June 12, shippers from out of state will be permitted to race at Laurel. Entries for the June 12 program will be taken Monday, June 8. All shippers must go to the receiving barn, and access will be limited to one trainer and one groom.

Please note that races will continue to be limited to Maryland-based jockeys who competed when live racing resumed May 30-June 1.

After the live racing card on Monday, June 8, racing will be held two days a week on Fridays and Saturdays.

Pennsylvania is facing a new set of realities every day as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We all have work we need to do to build a new commonwealth. Governor Wolf has outlined a plan for relief, reopening, and recovery that will keep Pennsylvanians alive and repair the damage this virus has caused across Pennsylvania.
The Plan
Dick Jerardi is an award winning sports writer as well as a radio/television host and commentator, and is arguably best known for covering the sport of Horse Racing.

Though his work as a journalist at The Philadelphia Daily News, Dick has covered every Triple Crown race since 1987 (he is a five-time winner of the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby coverage). Dick Jerardi famously chronicled the remarkable Smarty Jones during the Triple Crown chase of 2004 s the Thoroughbred won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes for trainer John Servis.

Since 2011 Jerardi has been an on-air analyst for the live television broadcasts of The Pennsylvania Derby from Parx Racing, most recently for NBC Spots Philadelphia.

Many fans know of Dick Jerardi’s work from the long running Let’s Go Racing TV program where he works alongside fellow Parx Hall of Fame members Keith Jones and producer Bruce Casella.

Dick also continues to provide color commentary for the live broadcasts of Penn State basketball.

June 1st, 2020
By Dick Jerardi

I have been in the prediction business pretty much my entire adult life. My process has been altered through the years, but a few basics are unchanged: try to compile as much information as possible before arriving at a conclusion.

Trying to predict anything during this pandemic, much less when racing will return at Parx, has required me to alter even those basics. Hard to come to a conclusion when the information consists of so many moving parts.

After being on a call last week with several representatives from Gov. Wolf’s office as well as three representatives of the horse racing industry in Pennsylvania, I can say that the governor’s office clearly understands that horse racing can return safely in the state....
June 9th, 2020
When you hear people at the track talk about owner-trainer Uriah St. Lewis, they all pretty much say the same thing. Well, he doesn’t win many races.
That is not untrue, but it misses the point, his point.
“My wife always says you can’t go to the bank with races, you go to the bank with money,’’ St. Lewis said. “I see a lot of guys win a hundred races and they’re all broke.’’
That is exactly the same philosophy most successful bettors have. It’s not about how many winners you have; it’s about how much money you win.
St. Lewis proved his philosophy works when the amazing Discreet Lover, a Parx Hall of Famer, won the 2018 Jockey Club Gold Cup. The horse, purchased for $10,000, has won $1,450,685. He was 40-1, 50-1, 70-1, 80-1 as St. Lewis kept putting him in graded stakes races. Discreet Lover wasn’t winning, but he was picking up checks until finally winning the big one in his 44th start.
St. Lewis is using a similar philosophy with Forewarned, a horse he purchased for $40,000 in December 2018, parlaying some of that Discreet Lover cash......

Backstretch Views
Unsaddling after a work
A big, pretty Uptowncharlybrown mare retiring from racing.
Lucarno: To England’s Highest Heights
While Augustin Stable has campaigned numerous stakes caliber flat and steeplechase racehorses across the United States for decades, George Strawbridge has also dedicated a string of racing stock to exclusively campaign in Europe. From his Conshohocken based farm, Strawbridge has bred a record five Pennsylvania-bred millionaires, a title he shares alongside Betty Moran’s Brushwood Stable. The most recent to retire was Smart Bid, highlighted in Part 1 of this series, and before him was Lucarno.

Lucarno’s second dam, Be Exclusive, was bred in Ireland and a Group 3 winner in France before being exported to the United States and campaigned with moderate stakes success for Augustin Stable. For her third foal, Be Exclusive delivered a filly by English juvenile champion Diesis in Pennsylvania. Named Vignette, Strawbridge initially sent her to be campaigned in England, but little success saw her returned to the United States where she eventually became a stakes winning turf sprinter. Vignette was bred to Dynaformer for her third foal, a stallion notorious for the stamina he often passed along to his offspring. On February 10th, 2004, Lucarno was foaled in Pennsylvania.
Do you have any story ideas, especially horsemen who would like to be interviewed?
Let us know by emailing
Reprinted from 2015
  • Reprinted from the PTHA News
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