Saratoga Harness Reopening Process Timeline as of May 30, 2020

Members of SHHA and the management team of Saratoga Casino Raceway (SCR) have been working together throughout the closure to try to get racing back as soon as possible after the Covid-19 related closure on March 22, 2020. There appears to be questions as to the efforts being taken by SCR and SHHA to be as prepared as possible for the earliest safe reopening possible. The following timeline hopefully will answer many of the current questions/concerns and bring everyone up to date.

3/22 Tracks are closed for horse racing by the NYS Gaming Commission (NYSGC) by Executive Order of the Governor.

4/2 NYSGC issues a memo to tracks and Horseperson Organizations about continuing operations including appropriate procedures for items including Racetrack Access (ie: no owner visitation allowed, gate access restrictions that had to be put in place by SCR to meet the memo standards).

4/3 SCR contacts SHHA to form a reopening committee to address issues as they evolve to be as prepared as possible for reopening consideration. Through the month of April several conference calls took place, communications with the NYSGC occurred and a formal plan was developed for presentation for reopening consideration. This preparation included an analysis of the purse account balance and estimated future funding and expenses to determine the feasibility of a prompt reopening. The plan was reviewed with the Race Secretary and it was determined that reopening with initial months modified dates and reduced purse levels was viable for SCR. The plan at that point in time was being prepared with the hope that a May 1 reopening date would be considered.

4/24 NYSGC issued a memo to tracks that reopening would not be considered until no earlier than 5/15. Issuance of our plan was put on hold until further developments were received.

5/7 NYSGC requested advance reopening plans be forwarded from tracks for their review ahead of the release of their “official “guidelines. The SCR report in its then current form was submitted to demonstrate our preparedness based on the information then available.

5/15 Governor announces that racetracks can be considered for safe reopening as of June 1.

5/27 NYSGC released their version of Guidelines for Racing Activities. Many of the provisions were included in our plan from a few weeks earlier however several specific elements that are NYS Dept. of Health driven are also included.

5/28-29- SCR working on rewording the procedures document to address item by item the Commission Guidelines. Since it is almost certain that we should anticipate a visit and review by the NYSGC and Dept. of Health it appeared to make the most sense to not push our own version as some tracks are and incorporate our previous plans into the NYSGC format. There are some elements of the Guidelines that we believe should be modified and are providing feedback to the NYSGC on those. An example being the testing procedures included for ship-ins. It appeared proper for us to include our local farm participants under the same rules related to the on track horsepersons since they have already routinely shipped in and out on a regular basis. That would exempt them from the Covid test requirement and put them in the temperature test and questionnaire requirement. This was addressed with the NYSGC and it was agreed that we can follow our suggested procedure with the recommendation of isolating the ship-ins as much as possible. It is the opinion of SCR and SHHA that the original document submitted in early May addressed many of the current requirements and any necessary modifications to be in line with the new guidelines can be timely incorporated into the document to be prepared for reopening.

6/2 the revised plan will be completed and a copy forwarded to SHHA for review and input. On June 4 a meeting or conference call will occur between SHHA representatives and SCR management to discuss any potential open issues and come to an agreement on the final operating policies and procedures document. That document will be available for distribution to all the SHHA members after any final changes are made, likely by June 5 or 6. At the same time the final required paperwork will be submitted to the NYSGC along with our proposed schedule date changes for at least June and July (two days a week). A general meeting of membership will be scheduled at the backstretch on June 6, details to be announced, to review the required procedures and any questions.

The plans mentioned as of the date of this memo forward are anticipated but subject to change as events related to the Covid issues change frequently for all businesses. Because of the volatility of the current events, there has been a hesitation to release any proposed guidelines to this point since the directives being passed down to the tracks change constantly. Our track in particular has many additional considerations to be addressed that some do not since we have an active backstretch barn area including dorms. At this point hopefully this will serve to catch-up where we currently are and how we got here. It should be emphasized that SCR management has been supportive throughout along with

SHHA to try to get our local members back racing as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Joe Battaglia-SHHA Treasurer/Secretary

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