Horse racing in Italy, harness racing as well as flat and jump racing, has struggled within the last few years as just a small amount, or in some cases no prize money at all, has been paid out. Now it seems as though better times are ahead.
During the crisis, some of Italy’s most important racetracks closed and will not reopen. San Siro in Milan, home of the Gran Premio Orsi Mangelli and Gran Premio delle Nazioni, was sold and will probably be parking space for the soccer stadium, San Siro. The same has happened in Rome, where the home of the Trotting Derby, Tordivalle, was sold.
In Napoli, the famous Agnano Track was closed because of lack of finances, but this month it was back in business and on Sunday afternoon the famous race, the Gran Premio Lotteria, will be raced with a total purse of $550,000. Among the starters is world traveler Commander Crowe.
The track in Padua in Northern Italy was also closed, but is now re-opened and in Rome they are building a new trotting track inside the flat and jump course at the Capanelle racecourse. The new trotting track should be ready in late November and plans are to race the Italian Trotting Derby at the track with eliminations on the last weekend in November and a final a fortnight later.