Yonkers Raceway official tested for coronavirus after colleague’s death

A harness racing official at Yonkers Raceway is awaiting the results of a coronavirus test after a longtime trainer at the track died of the deadly virus this week, according to a news report.

Joe Faraldo, president of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, is self-quarantined at his home in Kew Gardens, Queens waiting to see if he has the flu or the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a report in The City.

Faraldo was close with Yonkers Raceway trainer and New Jersey resident John Brennan, 69, a fixture at the horse-racing track who died from the virus earlier this week — the first coronavirus death in New Jersey, where he lived.

He told The City he did not have symptoms when he returned from a trip to Mexico last month, and later when he attended a banquet in Orlando, Florida — but then began to fall ill.

“By Sunday, I couldn’t move,” he told the outlet. “You could’ve wrung out my bedsheets, they were so soaking wet.”

Faraldo said he was on the phone with Brennan until just a few hours before his death.

He told the news outlet that at least two other raceway regulars have been hospitalized — a paddock judge and a harness driver, but would not say if they had tested positive for the virus.

He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Officials at MGM Resorts International did not respond to several requests for comment.

MGM did issue a statement Thursday that the raceway would remain closed through next Wednesday.

The track was shut down Tuesday after Brennan’s death and there is no racing on Wednesdays.

Empire City Casino, the raceway’s adjoining legal gambling operations, will remain open.

The MGM statement said employees who had contact with Brennan were told to be tested and self-quarantine if necessary.

“Professional cleaners are engaged to deep clean and sanitize the impacted areas, including the race office and paddock,” it said. “In addition to regular cleaning procedures, Empire City has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting protocols, with specific focus on high-touch surfaces.”

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