Saratoga Race Course Sees Horses Back in Barns

Saratoga Race Course welcomes horses back; fans up nextThe barns were nearly empty.

That will change soon enough.

The seats were empty.

That will change on July 15.

Thoroughbred training began at Saratoga Race Course this weekend, and, on Monday morning, several horses from James Bond’s barn galloped over the main track, while renovation work continues at the Oklahoma Training Track on the other side of Union Avenue.

The barns will continue to fill up this spring, and the Oklahoma is scheduled to open for training in a few weeks. The New York Racing Association, meanwhile, expects to get guidelines from the state soon, perhaps this week, on what procedures and protocols it will need to follow to let spectators attend the races again.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced [on April 14th] that racetracks in New York could re-open to 20% capacity as of this Friday, which means that Saratoga fans, shut out of the track in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be able to attend the 2021 meet. The familiar sight of horses on the track Monday will be joined by the familiar sound of fans when the 153rd meet opens on July 15, a welcome development for those who race, as well as those who watch…

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Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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