NYRA announced their position on Luis Saez and when he can return to Saratoga
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that pending the completion of a 14-day quarantine period, a negative COVID-19 test and clearance from a physician noting that NYRA-based jockey Luis Saez can no longer transmit the virus, that Saez would be permitted to ride at Saratoga Race Course on Friday, July 24.
Saez tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, July 10 while riding at Keeneland Race Course. He has remained asymptomatic throughout the period of quarantine, which will total 14-days on July 24.
Current Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) guidance recommends a 10-day quarantine period for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, but remained asymptomatic prior to and throughout the duration of quarantine. Saez made the determination to extend his quarantine to 14-days in the interest of protecting his fellow riders.
Following the completion of 10-days in isolation, according to the same C.D.C. guidance, a COVID-19 diagnostic test should be administered to rule out the potential for ongoing infection and transmission. As such, Saez will only be tested once he has completed 10-days in quarantine.
Additional information regarding the discontinuation of quarantine/isolation for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 can be found at CDC.gov.
The decision to allow Saez to potentially return to action on Friday, so long as all steps are completed to the satisfaction of NYRA and his attending physician, was made in consultation with the Jockeys’ Guild and the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).
Saratoga Race Course is closed to out-of-town jockeys. In addition, any member of the regular NYRA jockey colony who travels to ride at any other racetrack will not be permitted to return to Saratoga Race Course.
Out-of-town jockeys that are not currently riding at another racetrack may be considered for inclusion in the regular NYRA jockey colony provided the jockey does not ride at another racetrack beginning on Thursday, July 16.
Any jockey that rides at a racetrack outside of Saratoga beginning Thursday, July 16 will be considered an out-of-town jockey and will not be permitted at Saratoga Race Course.
All personnel working at Saratoga Race Course in any capacity are required by NYRA to produce a negative COVID-19 test in order to access the property. This policy is inclusive of jockeys, valets, NYRA employees, trainers and their staff, outside vendors and credentialed media.
In addition to race day safety protocols including standard health screening and temperature check, the jockey quarters at Saratoga Race Course have been substantially altered to provide maximum social distancing and reduce density. All areas accessed by jockeys during the regular course of a race day are closed to all outside personnel, including credentialed media, and are cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
Jockeys and valets are not permitted access to the barn area. In order to work a horse in the morning, the jockey must meet the horse in the paddock and can then proceed to the main track.
Jockey agents must produce a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain access to the barn area. Races will continue to be drawn via Zoom.
All common areas as well as the jockey’s dining area have been closed and will remain closed through the end of the meet.
NYRA’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan Committee, comprised of key NYRA staff members as well as representatives from the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.), Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) and the New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA), will continue to implement the most current health and safety protocols as described by the C.D.C. and the New York State Department of Health.
NYRA Press Release