As New York’s restrictions are gradually eased, Yonkers Raceway is one step closer to returning to normality. The Westchester County race track now enables indoor simulcasting after receiving approval from state officials, and the oval’s indoor areas will reopen to the public.

For the first time since the beginning of the unprecedented situation, visitors will be able to enter the facilities.

The virus has had a significant impact on the entire state, particularly live harness racing. After the beginning of the unprecedented situation in 2020, live races in the state were suspended for a few months. Despite the fact that the races will resume later in 2020, the indoor facilities at the NY track will remain closed to the public.

Easing of Restrictions

On Thursday, July 15, the horse racing facility reopened its indoor areas to the public, and patrons were able to watch the races from the fourth floor, which featured seating and a beautiful view of the half-mile track. Simulcasting is now available every day of the week, from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Guests can bet on up to 24 tracks daily.

The property has endured a difficult period, according to Director of Racing Alex Dadoyan, since it went 15 months without any racing fans and a full year of live racing with no spectators. He added that while welcoming back racing fans on-site last month was exciting news, fans were mostly interested on the 4th gaming floor and its reopening.

Live audiences were able to finally return to the apron of the track this summer on June 9.  They’ve also been able to experience several of the state’s most exciting live horse stakes, including the kick-off legs of both US$500,000 Triple Crown events — the MGM Grand Messenger Pace and MGM Yonkers Trot — over the last several weeks.

The live racing season will continue throughout the summer, with five more legs of the New York Sire Stakes set to take place at the track. On Friday, September 10, the highly anticipated US$1.8 million Night of Champions will take place. The top point winners in each of the five divisions for two- and three-year-olds will then be allowed to compete in eight US$225,000 finals.

Revamp Plan

MGM Resorts, the owner of Yonkers Raceway, revealed its new plan to restore the iconic 122-year-old harness track at the end of June. The corporation is planning to invest $500 million in the property. The track’s most recent addition was 8,000 tons of new surface material, which includes 6,000 tons of recycled track material and 64 tons of line and other surfacing material to improve the track.

NYRA Bet Deal

Additionally, BetMGM, a subsidiary of MGM Resorts, has announced a partnership with NYRA Bet to expand its horse betting offerings for its many fans of the sports.  The gaming organization now provides its customers with a comprehensive package of Thoroughbred, Harness, and Quarter Horse racing from more than 200 tracks around the world. Patrons can bet on events such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup via the official app.