By Pimlico Press Staff Release – The Maryland Jockey Club announced Friday strict protocols for jockeys intending to ride during Preakness weekend, Oct. 1-3, at Pimlico Race Course.
A total of 16 stakes, nine graded, worth $3.35 million in purses will be offered during the three-day span that closes the abbreviated Preakness Meet at Pimlico, highlighted by the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday, Oct. 3.
All jockeys intending to ride during the weekend must arrive at Pimlico’s drive-up COVID-19 testing site located just outside of the Hayward Avenue stable gate no later than 72 hours prior to their first riding assignment:
- Monday, Sept. 28 by 10 a.m. for the Thursday, Oct. 1 program
- Tuesday, Sept. 29 by 10 a.m. for the Friday, Oct. 2 program
- Wednesday, Sept. 30 by 10 a.m. for the Saturday, Oct. 3 program
Jockeys’ room personnel, designated officials and designated racing personnel must visit the Pimlico drive-up testing site on Saturday, Sept. 26 or Monday, Sept. 28 by 10 a.m. Included are all starting gate crew, valets, outriders, escort pony personnel and racing officials that must access the jockeys’ room.
Pimlico’s drive-up testing site will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Sunday, Sept. 27 and running through Wednesday, Sept. 30. Samples collected before 10 a.m. will have results by 9 a.m. the following day. Samples collected after 10 a.m. will be tested the following day.
All jockeys coming to Maryland from out of state will be required to leave Pimlico after being tested and self-isolate until notified of their test results. Those with negative results will be instructed to return to Pimlico for a wristband indicating their status and which barn area they are allowed to access.
Jockeys with positive results will be directed not to enter the grounds at Pimlico and may be referred to the local MedStar Health medical director for clinical evaluation.
Access to the jockeys’ room is limited to riders and their valets, jockeys’ room officials and staff and designated essential personnel. Only jockeys scheduled to ride on the current day’s program will be permitted entry.
All jockeys, valets and officials will have their temperatures taken daily and must demonstrate fair health before entering the jockeys’ room. Any jockey or official showing signs of illness will be denied access. Jockeys that display mild cold-like symptoms may be referred to MedStar for evaluation.
Additional jockeys’ quarters have been established to ensure social distancing. Female riders will utilize their same area adjacent to the Pimlico paddock, while male riders will be relocated to the second-floor clubhouse with split facilities for local and out-of-town jockeys. The jockeys’ room sauna will remain closed.
All jockeys are required to wear gloves, including during races, and are required to change to clean gloves with each race. Face coverings must be worn at all times over the mouth and nose while in the jockeys’ room. Jockeys, valets and officials are not allowed to gather or loiter in the room or jockey areas between races or before and after the race card.
Every employee, jockey, official and horseman are required to maintain social distancing strategies at all times, both within and outside of training and racing hours. The Maryland Department of Health recommends any Marylander returning from out of state or any out-of-state visitors to get tested for COVID-19 promptly upon arrival in or within 72 hours before travel to Maryland.