Cockeysville, Md – After extensive discussions with local and state officials, the Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs has made the difficult decision to race without fans on Saturday, September 26. As such, the races will no longer be able to run as sanctioned steeplechase races, but will rather run in a point-to-point format.
The COVID restrictions for the State of Maryland require any sporting event to run without spectators, including flat racing and steeplechase racing. The Preakness Stakes, to be run on October 3 in Baltimore, will also run without spectators.
“We appreciate the efforts on the part of the Health Departments of Baltimore County and the State of Maryland to try to allow the Legacy Chase to happen as a sanctioned steeplechase meet with spectators,” said race chairman Charlie Fenwick. “Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”
“We need spectators in order to fund our purse structure,” said Fenwick. “We don’t have the benefit of revenue from parimutuel wagering or television, which other sporting events do have.”
While Shawan Downs will not host the Legacy Chase, they will hold a “no spectator” day of point-to-point racing on Saturday, September 26, as well as the Shawan Downs Flat Races on Sunday, September 27. The Sunday program will also allow an opportunity for trainers to school their horses both over timber and over the new EASYFIX fences. Conditions will be posted at the Central Entry Office (www.centralentryoffice.com) and entries will be taken through Monday, September 21 for the Saturday point-to-point and Wednesday for the Sunday races.
Owners, trainers, horsemen, riders, and officials will be granted access to the property for the September 26 point-to-point. Shawan Downs will follow strict social distancing regulations and is committed to following recommended safety measures as set by the Centers for Disease Control, in addition to state and local officials.