‘No Clean Water Or Hay’ After Hurricane Maria Devastates Puerto Rico’s Camarero Racetrack

Thoroughbreds at Puerto Rico’s Camarero Racetrack survived the initial wreckage caused by Hurricane Maria earlier this week, but many are still standing in water, unable to leave their stalls, and there is no access to clean water or to hay. Shelley Blodgett, founder of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc., wrote to thoroughbreddailynews.com to describe the situation.

“There are 864 U.S. Thoroughbreds (all Jockey Club registered) stabled at Hipodromo Camarero Racetrack in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico,” she wrote. “The racetrack, including the barns, was heavily damaged during Hurricane Maria. Further, the horses cannot leave their stalls due to debris, downed fencing and flooding. They are standing in water, and there is NO clean water or hay. I was told that they are giving them some grain (presumably without water).”

The Stronach Group’s Tim Ritvo told TDN that Gulfstream would “welcome with open arms” any Puerto Rican competitors for the Serie Hipica del Caribe scheduled at Gulfstream for Dec. 9.

Power to the island has reportedly been knocked out, and there is no timetable for its restoration.

The following is a translated transcription of a communication issued on Sept. 21 by Jose A. Maymó Azize, racetrack administrator (original Spanish here):

“Hurricane Mary threw her fury over all Puerto Rico. Sadly the Camarero Racecourse did not escape its clash. At the moment we do not know the state of our main breeding centers, but we offer our signs of solidarity and support for their owners.

“From morning hours, we had the opportunity to visit the racetrack. Despite the picture I describe below, it gave me encouragement to see many of the horse community ‘getting in hand’ without hesitation, very early. Even in the hours of yesterday afternoon and before our visit today, some had done the same, I was informed. To all of them my most expressive thanks, as I also thank all of Camarero’s internal security personnel, some of whom were ‘on site’ while Maria whipped the area.

“The stables area is shattered, 90 percent of the cages without their roof. Thank God the horses are fine. Let us know no incident to mourn either with these or with those who, defying nature, chose to stay inside the block area.

“May all owners and trainers know that they can count on us to coordinate everything related to food supplies and beds for the horses.

“The track and the tote board could not escape Maria’s fury. We will look for the ready conditioning of the track, so that, without having local programming, the horses can exercise.

“In addition, we will make arrangements so that the horses that could possibly represent Puerto Rico, or are trying to do so, in the Clasico del Caribe can be transferred to Gulfstream quickly. Although we can not commit ourselves to it, we will do everything in our power to achieve it because we need to keep the enthusiasm of our equine industry and because Puerto Rico deserves to be well represented, as a sign that we are standing and that we will be stronger than ever.

“The grandstand and all its surrounding areas were destroyed. The Winner’s Circle and the Clubhouse are virtually in ruins.

“The picture is disappointing but this situation will not distract our interest to have a better equine industry in Puerto Rico. So we choose to see this event as an opportunity for a new beginning, a resurgence of our equestrianism.

“This requires the will of all the components of the industry. The racecourse recovery will be possible in a shorter period if everyone lends a hand. It is up to us all to contribute our bit to achieve what we all want; see our racecourse operating and our industry flourishing.

“You all can count on this service and all my work team.

“Although we may be talking about months, at the moment we are not in position to give an accurate forecast of the time it will take to condition the racetrack. But we have the certainty that together we will be able to raise the industry for the benefit of all its components and the Government of Puerto Rico.

“We will continue to offer you information as it flows.

“Hoping that all your families will be well, my most sincere hug to all!

“I count on you all. Together we can. And together we will succeed. “

The post ‘No Clean Water Or Hay’ After Hurricane Maria Devastates Puerto Rico’s Camarero Racetrack appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.


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