Governor Signs Proclamation to Allow Prairie Meadows to Open
ALTOONA, IA—MAY 14, 2020— Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday signed a new proclamation permitting several of the state's businesses, including racetracks, to reopen in a limited fashion with appropriate public health measures in place.
These changes are effective at 5 a.m. (CDT) on Friday, May 15.
"This is huge news for us, as we have been working with (the governor's) office to get to the point of allowing for a commencement date for racing," said a social media post by the Iowa Horsemen's and Benevolent Protective Association Inc. "While this is a big step forward, there are still steps to be taken. This of course is continuing a dialogue with Prairie Meadows on when the backside can open, and we can officially begin to race.
"While the governor's order allows us to run spectator-free, we are still in discussions with Prairie Meadows on how quickly that can occur and under what scenario that will exactly look like," the post continued. "Also, we are in discussions with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and what procedures they would like to have in place for every aspect of their regulation of racing in this new environment. We continue to be committed to running a race meet at Prairie Meadows in 2020, and we are one step closer."
Gov. Reynolds' proclamation permits salons, barbershops, and massage and tattoo establishments to reopen throughout Iowa in a limited fashion with appropriate health measures in place. It also permits restaurants (but not bars), fitness centers, libraries, and racetracks to reopen in the 22 counties where they have remained closed.
The governor's proclamation continues the other ongoing and public health measures, including the prohibition on social, community, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people until 11:59 p.m. (CDT) on May 27, 2020.
Prairie Meadows' Quarter Horse stakes schedule is scheduled to open with the 250-yard, $15,000 Prairie Dash on June 12.
The track is also scheduled to host four Bank of America Racing Challenge regional stakes on August 15, headed by the 440-yard, $50,000-added Bank of America Prairie Meadows Championship Challenge (G2) and the 400-yard, $20,000-added ARC Prairie Meadows Distaff Challenge (G3).
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About Prairie Meadows
Prairie Meadows began operations as a nonprofit organization in 1989 with the goal of promoting economic development, jobs, agriculture, and tourism in the state of Iowa. Through taxes, grants, and charitable donations, Prairie Meadows has given more than $1.8 billion to the state of Iowa. Prairie Meadows offers more than 1,700 slot machines, table games, live and simulcast racing, hotel accommodations, entertainment, and more.