Statement from NYRA CEO & President Dave O’Rourke on the passing of Martin Zapata

April 8, 2020

“We at NYRA offer our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Martin Zapata, a beloved member of our New York racing community and a respected horseman. During these troubling times, we stand together with our colleagues at NYTHA, B.E.S.T, Belmont Child Care Association, and the New York Race Track Chaplaincy to offer comfort for all who are mourning Martin and to continue to support the ongoing needs of the backstretch community.”  

Martin Zapata succumbed on Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The 63-year-old Zapata, a native of Panama, had spent the past two years working as a groom for trainer Tom Morley in New York.   Zapata, who lived and worked at Belmont Park, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24 and was subsequently hospitalized on March 26, where he later passed. Check out other news here.

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