1863 Club to Debut at Saratoga Racecourse in 2019

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced that it formally broke ground on the 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course on Tuesday, September 4, one day after the conclusion of the 2018 summer racing season.

The 1863 Club is the official name of the new permanent building to be located at the site of the current At the Rail tent at Saratoga Race Course. The name recognizes the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.

“Following this year’s introduction of The Stretch in the Grandstand, we are excited to announce plans for the 1863 Club which will be located at the end of the Clubhouse and will add another chapter to the enhanced guest experience at Saratoga. The three-story, air-conditioned building will provide new and different options for guests, including a banquet area on the first floor and a bar and dining club on the second level, which will be connected to the Clubhouse via a walkway. The third floor will feature true luxury boxes offering outstanding sight lines of the entire track,” said NYRA CEO & President Chris Kay. “The 1863 Club, named after our first racing meet in Saratoga, continues our commitment to providing racing fans with upgraded amenities while honoring the look and feel of this historic venue.”

The 1863 Club will replace the seasonal tent and trailers located immediately adjacent to the end of the Clubhouse with a 36,000-square foot, three-story, climate-controlled building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. In addition to the three floors of usable space for guests, a basement level will provide space for a fully appointed kitchen to service the building.

copyright AGameofSkill.comFans interested in being a part of the inaugural season at the 1863 Club are invited to contact the NYRA Sales Office by phone at 518-693-7655 or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

The 1863 Club is the latest in a series of capital improvements at Saratoga Race Course designed to enhance the guest experience and provide amenities that are consistent with those available at first-class stadiums and arenas.

Saratoga’s newest hospitality area called The Stretch made its debut on opening day of the 2018 season. Located in the grandstand at the Top of the Stretch, The Stretch features modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with breathtaking views of thoroughbreds rounding the final turn as they enter the dramatic stretch drive. Highlights of the area include new social boxes available in multiple configurations, a dining tier, reserved bar seats, and approximately 200 premium reserved seats. Guests at The Stretch enjoy exclusive access to a full-service bar, kitchen and concessions, state of the art technology, high-definition televisions, special events, and private restrooms.

The 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course concluded Labor Day, Monday, September 3. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.

Source: NYRA

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – August 24, 2018

Free Horses to Watch for AGOS visitors.  Watch out for these horses next time out.

DEL MAR

YA GOTTA WANNA (Race 4 @DMR, 8/18/18) – Phil D’amato runner was loaded turning for home but Tiago Periera steadied him hard behind a tiring horse.  Recovered quickly but then swung out very wide in the lane, but by then, the winner Fashion Business was long gone.  Gelding finished with a huge rush and galloped out strong past the wire.

GULFSTREAM PAR

SWEET STORY (Race 9 @GP, 8/18/18) – live turf runner raced inside and was blocked turning for home. Jockey Jose Batista tried to find room up the rail at the top of the stretch but instead got bumped around pretty good.  Finally got clear late but had to settle for a close third in a better-than-it-looks performance.

SARATOGA

INTRODUCED (Race 4 @SAR 8/20/18) – Colts Neck Stable runner by sire El Padrino was purchased for $310,00 at Ocala and was well meant in debut.  Just went a little too fast early and that caught up with her in the final 50-100 yards of this 5 1/2 furlong turf race.   Should be able to dirt or turf.

FIERCE SCARLETT (Race 5 @SAR 8/10/18) – $320,000 Ocala purchase broke slowly in this 5 1/2 furlong turf race but still managed to finish sneaky well, finishing fifth beaten 1 1/4 for all the money.  Can win next out for Chad Brown.

PRECIEUSE ( (Race 5 @SAR 8/3/18) – This filly had not run since June of 2017 but she ran a big race off the layoff for trainer Chad Brown. The Irish bred 4yo filly should move forward off this performance in the De La Rose Stakes.

HERSH  (Race 6 @SAR 8/3/18) – second time starter for owner/trainer Dermot Magner made a huge move to blow by the field and draw off for an impressive score.  In the process she defeated a nice lightly-raced runner from Chad Brown’s barn.  Hersh had trouble in his debut and still ran 2nd, so this effort showed what he could do with a clean trip.

MUCHO  (Race 7 @SAR 8/3/18) – Big, strapping son of Blame looked like a monster in crushing a field of maidens at Saratoga that looked like a good and competitive field on paper.  Trainer Bill Mott may have himself a young runner with huge potential.

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WOW CAT (CHI) (Race 9 @SAR 7/29/18) – Leading trainer Chad Brown had stated prior to the G1 Shuvee that he thought the Chiliean champ would be a tad short going this distance on the dirt, but despite that, she was bet hard and heavy.  She did come up a little short to the eventual gate to wire winner and can move forward off this strong effort.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Aug. 9, 2018

Horses to watch for AGOS visitors.  Put these runners in your Stable Alert service.

ELLIS PARK

BORDINI (Race 7 @ELP, 8/5/18) – live runner from the Amoss barn raced inside of traffic and then got shuffled back to last behind not one but two walls of horses.  Swept to the far outside, which is not where you want to be at Ellis, and unleash a good late run for a sneaky good effort.

SARATOGA

OUR GIRL ABBY (Race 5 @SAR, 7/21/18) – made a wide move turning for home to engage the gate-to-wire winner in deep stretch. Exchanged bumps with that filly and lost the bob in a solid performance.  This was her first start since March and her first for her new barn, who raised her confidently in class.

PUTTHEGLASSDOWN (Race 5 @SAR, 7/21/18) – broke from the rail in her debut at the Spa for Englehart.   Settled in 8th before making a nice run to get up for the place spot behind the winning Asmussen favorite.  The PA-bred daughter of Violence is out of a stakes winning mare.

PICTURE DAY (Race 3 @SAR, 7/26/18) – Linda Rice runner loves to win and she was one of the few that closed against the bias in the slop on this Thursday afternoon.  A stakes winner, this Include mare is tough in the optional claiming sprints.

TRINNI NINJA (Race 10 @SAR, 7/27/18) – Daughter of Trinniberg was one of the few to close against the bias on this day.  She is in good form and might be able to break through for low percentage connections next time out at the state-bred maiden $25,000 (or lower) level.  Demand some value.

CATORIA (Race 5 @SAR 8/1/18) – Wildcat Heir filly outran other speed in this race and took this field gate to wire, beating the heavy favorite at 23-1 for Mike Dini.  She is out of a Meadowlake mare and will be dangerous at 6 1/2 or under.

BROCKMONINOFF (Race 3 @SAR 8/1/18) – George Weaver runner was bet down on the drop in class despite his first race since last October.  Suffered some trouble in this race and came up a little short.  Barn is only 12% off  layoffs and this NY bred should move forward next time out.  Can dirt or turf.

LIGHT THE POSSE (Race 2 @SAR 8/2/18) – Betting favorite was making his second career start off a good 2nd in debut and adding Lasix.  The son of Posse ended up hurt badly by a modest pace set by the eventual gate to wire winner.  Can score at this level next time out.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Aug. 1, 2018

copyright AGameofSkill.comComplimentary Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGOS visitors.  Add these horses to your stable notification service.

SARATOGA

MORRISON (Race 8 @SAR, 7/25/18) – 3yo is now two for two against state bred company on the lawn.  Joe Sharp runner upset a good field that included two veteran nine year olds.

TAYLER’S THE BOSS (Race 2 @SAR, 7/25/18) – 3yo daughter of Street Boss dropped into open company, facing two life, but was also facing a very strong favorite in the eventual wire-to-wire winner.   She chased that older filly around the track in a very good performance for trainer Steve Asmussen.

TURCO BRAVO (CHI) (Race 1 @SAR 7/20/18) – new runner in the low percentage Barrera barn ran a big race in the opening of the Saratoga meet.  He stumbled at the start and recovered to run a clear second to a drop-down winner.  Loves the Saratoga main track.

SHADY SHADY SHADY (Race 2 @SAR 7/20/18) – Finished well in this state-bred turf sprint behind the winning favorite from the Chad Brown barn.  Solid effort for a barn that is only 8% with debut runners.  She is out of a stakes placed Street Sense mare.

LYRICAL LADY (Race 5 @SAR 7/20/18) – $625,000 purchase for Phoenix Stable crushed his field first out for trainer Steve Asmussen.  Daughter of More Than Ready is out of stakes placed La Song and looks to have a bright future.

Early Meet Promotions at Saratoga 2018 – Part I

Early Meet Promotions – July 20 – August 11

The New York Racing Association, Inc. announced a 40-day lineup of entertainment and special events for the 2018 summer season at Saratoga Race Course. The event schedule for the annual summer meet will feature a number of new happenings alongside returning traditions and perennial favorites.

New for 2018, Coca-Cola will serve as the official sponsor of the Saratoga Pavilion, the on-track venue where NYRA hosts 40 days of special events. The Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion is where fans will gather to enjoy the majority of event activities during the summer meet.

“All of us at NYRA are thrilled to welcome Coca-Cola to the Saratoga Pavilion, where we orchestrate a variety of fun events and engaging activities each summer. Our event schedule offers something for everyone and perfectly complements the 40 days of world-class thoroughbred racing at the Spa,” said NYRA Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca. “We look forward to welcoming fans to enjoy another season of outstanding entertainment and special events at Saratoga, and encourage them to make the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion a must-see stop during their visit.”

Among the notable enhancements to this season’s event lineup, the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion will host Fashion Saturdays, designed to showcase the tradition of style in thoroughbred racing by creating a boutique-style shopping experience. The weekly event will feature an array of women’s and men’s fashion apparel and accessories from local retailers, as well as a selection of home décor and jewelry items throughout the season.

Saratoga starting gateThe 2018 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will include the following events and happenings:

OPENING DAY AT SARATOGA: Friday, July 20
The 2018 annual summer meet will kick-off with the traditional Grade III Schuylerville and Grade III Lake George.

TASTE NY: CRAFT BEER: Every Friday beginning July 20
Taste NY: Craft Beer will allow guests the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. The tasting will be held each Friday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.

WOODFORD RESERVE BOURBON FRIDAYS AT THE POST: Every Friday beginning July 20
Guests will be invited to stay on-track after the day’s final race to enjoy bourbon cocktails and play trivia to win special prizes from Woodford Reserve at The Post Bar. The weekly event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.

FASHION SATURDAYS: Every Saturday beginning July 21
Designed to showcase the tradition of style in thoroughbred racing, the weekly event will feature women’s and men’s fashion apparel and accessories from local retailers, as well as a selection of home décor and jewelry items throughout the season. The event will be held each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.

WOODFORD RESERVE AND JEFF BRISBIN AT THE JIM DANDY BAR:Every Saturday beginning July 21 (except Travers Day)
Guests are invited to the Jim Dandy Bar to sample Woodford Reserve Saratoga Personal Selection, crafted exclusively for racing fans at the Spa. The weekly event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m.

KETEL ONE SATURDAYS AT THE POST: Every Saturday beginning July 21
Fans are invited to sample the new Ketel One Botanicals from 3 to 5 p.m. and enjoy music from a live DJ and dancing under the stars following the day’s final race.

27TH ANNUAL HAT CONTEST PRESENTED BY HAT SATIONA! BY DEI: Sunday, July 22
Hundreds of contestants will don creative and fashionable head toppers to compete in what has become a staple of Opening Weekend at Saratoga Race Course: the 27th annual Hat Contest. Registration begins at noon under the grandstand for three categories. The contests for Kreative Kids, Fashionably Saratoga and Uniquely Saratoga will take place after the second, third and fourth races of the afternoon. Prizes are provided by Hat sationa! by DEI.

TASTE NY: FOOD & ARTISANS: Every Sunday beginning July 22
Taste NY: Food & Artisans is a lively on-track market of numerous food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market will be held each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about NYRA Bets.

LOW ROLLER CHALLENGE: Every Sunday and Monday beginning July 22 (except Labor Day)
Sundays and Mondays will include the Low Roller Challenge which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY MONDAYS: Every Monday beginning July 23
The Berkshire Bank Family Mondays series will feature a wide variety of family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Monday of the meet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. All games and activities are free with the exception of one each week designated to support a local school or PTA.

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY PRESENTED BY JDOG: Wednesday, July 25
Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to active military members and veterans in appreciation of their sacrifice and service to our nation. The Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion will feature exhibits and activities throughout the day. All veterans and active duty military will receive free Grandstand admission with military ID. Military Day is presented in partnership with JDog, owned and operated by local military veterans and family members.

walking horse through Saratoga crowdTASTE NY: CIDER, WINE & SPIRITS: Every Thursday beginning July 26
Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits will allow guests the opportunity to sample varietals of cider, wine and spirits from numerous New York State distilleries and wineries. Live music will accompany the tasting each Thursday of the meet from noon to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.

APEROL THURSDAYS AT THE POST: Every Thursday beginning July 26
Each Thursday, guests will have the opportunity to sample Aperol Spritz cocktails at The Post Bar from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Fans are also invited to stay on-track after racing to enjoy music from a live DJ and dancing under the stars.

PERMANENTLY DISABLED JOCKEYS’ FUND AWARENESS DAY: Saturday, July 28
Saratoga Race Course will unite with racetracks across the country on Saturdaywith autograph signings and photo opportunities as part of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF) Day Across America.

FIRST RESPONDERS APPRECIATION DAY PRESENTED BY Brookview Village: Wednesday, August 1
Saratoga Race Course will honor police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics during First Responders Appreciation Day. The Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion will feature exhibits and activities throughout the day, including free youth bicycle helmets and fittings, while supplies last. All first responders will receive free Grandstand admission with proper ID.

WHITNEY DAY AND THE FASIG-TIPTON FESTIVAL OF RACING: Saturday, August 4
The Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney will pair with the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test for 3-year-old fillies, and the Grade 3, $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya for turf fillies and mares. Also on Saturday are two additional turf stakes: the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure and the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose for fillies and mares.

JOCKEY LEGENDS DAY PRESENTED BY FASIG-TIPTON: Sunday, August 5
Some of the greatest riders in the history of thoroughbred racing will gather at Saratoga Race Course for the fourth annual Jockey Legends Day. The day’s activities will feature special appearances by some of the Spa’s most accomplished riders and autograph signings with a suggested donation to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.

ITALIAN-AMERICAN DAY, PRESENTED BY APEROL SPRITZ: Wednesday, August 8
The charm and spirit of Italy will come trackside when Saratoga Race Course hosts Italian-American Day. The day-long celebration of Italian culture and heritage will feature traditional Italian music, dance, food, entertainment and games at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The afternoon will also include an Aperol Spritz tasting at The Stretch, located inside the Grandstand at the Top of the Stretch.

FABULOUS FILLIES DAY: Thursday, August 9
Saratoga Race Course will celebrate women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation on Fabulous Fillies Day. This year’s event will for the first-time honor local breast cancer survivors during special winner’s circle presentations throughout the afternoon in partnership with To Life! The day will also feature the return of the Best in Pink fashion contest for women and men, sponsored by vineyard vines and Moet & Chandon. A highlight of the day will be the Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon, presented by vineyard vines and Moet & Chandon, along with Saratoga Living. This year’s luncheon will honor Vivien Malloy, owner of Edition Farm and secretary and treasurer of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders.

SARATOGA CHALLENGES: Friday, August 10 and Saturday, August 11
The pair of live money challenges will occur as two separate one-day contests. The Saratoga Challenge on Friday will guarantee a first-place payout of $15,000, as well as awarding entries to the 2019 Belmont Stakes Challenge to the top finishers and the 2019 National Handicapping Championship to the top three finishers. The Fourstardave Challenge on Saturday will guarantee a first-place payout of $25,000, as well as awarding the same entries as on Friday. Both challenges will consist of wagering exclusively on Saratoga races through the following pools only: Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Quinella and Daily Double. Friday is a $1,000 minimum buy-in; Saturday is a $2,000 minimum buy-in. For more information about the Saratoga Challenges, visit www.NYRA.com/Challenge.

Beat Saratoga! 8 Tips for Turning a Profit

copyright AGameofSkill.com

8 Tips for Turning a Profit!

UPDATED FOR 2018

Download this free guide "Beat Saratoga: 8 Tips for Turning a Profit" by AGameofSkill.com founder Rich Nilsen and play the 2018 Saratoga meet successfully.  Beating this 40-day meet with so many contentious races is no easy task, even for experienced horseplayers, but the tips in this guide will get you on track to do just that.

15-time NHC Qualifier and 7-time major contest winner Rich Nilsen walks you through the steps required to beat this prestigious race meet.   In "Beat Saratoga: 8 Tips for Turning a Profit" you'll learn:

  • What steps it takes to beat this meet successfully
  • Which jockeys and trainers dominate the Saratoga meet
  • Which 'dark horse' jockeys and trainers you need to know about.  These guys bring home the prices, and one trainer in particular is the King of Saratoga Longshots!
  • How each of the three tracks (dirt and turf) play and how this affects you as a handicapper
  • Plus .... be on the lookout for this one important trend - it occurs every year!

Fill out the short form below to claim your free report "Beat Saratoga!"  You will automatically receive an email with a link to the PDF document that you can download to any device.

The 2018 meet is over.  Check back next summer

The 2018 Travers Stakes Begins in...

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Saratoga Challenge Win by “A Game of Skill”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in New York

Expansion of Saratoga Race Course

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) received approval from the New York State Franchise Oversight Board to proceed with construction of a permanent building at the site of the current At the Rail tent at Saratoga Race Course.

The project will replace the seasonal tent and trailers located immediately adjacent to the end of the Clubhouse with a 36,000-square foot, three-story, climate-controlled building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. In addition to the three floors of usable space for guests, a basement level will provide space for a fully appointed kitchen to service the building.

Saratoga canopy walk throughNYRA currently plans to break ground on the project at the conclusion of the 2018 summer season and anticipates the new building will welcome guests on opening day of the 2019 meet.

“This project is another example of NYRA’s continuous efforts to provide the best possible experience for our guests. The new building will transform the parcel of land at the south end of the property with the type of differentiated seating, dining options and amenities synonymous with a world-class sporting venue,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “Perhaps most importantly, the new building will address the modern-day needs of Saratoga Race Course while honoring its history. We have taken great care to ensure that the building is historically consistent with the fabled architecture of our grandstand and clubhouse. We look forward to beginning the next steps of this much-anticipated project.”

SOSH Architects will continue to oversee design, bid and construction administration services for the building. Matt Hurff, partner at Saratoga Springs-based Frost Hurff Architects, will continue to serve as project consultant to ensure all historic preservation standards are met.

The project has received the endorsement of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, which specifically noted the importance of the new building to the future of Saratoga Race Course.

“The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is pleased to offer its support for the New York Racing Association’s planned At the Rail building at Saratoga Race Course, which incorporates historically sensitive design details,” said Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation Executive Director Samantha Bosshart. “The Foundation looks forward to seeing the New York Racing Association’s significant investment in this building come to fruition.”

In recent years, NYRA has placed significant resources behind historic preservation efforts at Saratoga Race Course. In 2015, NYRA began to restore the copper roofing that historically bordered the slate-covered roof on buildings throughout the property. This is visible in a number of locations, including the archway over the Clubhouse escalator, which was installed in 2016; the paddock mutuel building roof, to which copper accents were added in 2017; and the Clubhouse from the Easy Goer to the Club Terrace, which will feature the addition of copper along the roofline for the 2018 season.

In 2017, NYRA unveiled several upgrades to the historic paddock mutuel building, including a new slate roof and rafters. The improvements are intended to ensure the continued preservation of the historically-significant building, which was constructed in 1902 and originally used as a saddling shed during inclement weather.

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The Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board also expressed support for the new building.

“The objective of this project is to maintain the historic character of Saratoga Race Course while responding to changes in the sports and entertainment landscape to ensure a sustainable, successful future for racing at Saratoga,” said Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board Chairman Joseph A. Torani. “The Saratoga Local Advisory Board strongly endorses the decision by the Franchise Oversight Board to approve construction of this new building which will accomplish these stated goals.”

The new building is the latest in a series of capital improvements at Saratoga Race Course. Since 2013, NYRA has invested more than $30 million at Saratoga in efforts to enhance the guest experience and provide amenities that are consistent with those available at first-class stadiums and arenas.

These efforts are most recently demonstrated through the creation of The Stretch, Saratoga’s newest hospitality area located in the grandstand at the Top of the Stretch, which will debut on opening day of the 2018 meet.

The Stretch will feature modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with breathtaking views of thoroughbreds rounding the final turn as they enter the dramatic stretch drive. Highlights of the area include three types of boxes available in multiple configurations, a dining tier, reserved bar seats, and approximately 200 premium reserved seats.

Additionally, guests now enjoy more than 1,000 new high-definition televisions throughout Saratoga Race Course; 950 picnic tables available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis in the backyard; new high-definition video boards in the backyard and infield; enhanced Wi-Fi and sound systems; a renovated and redesigned Saratoga Family Zone; and new attractions and hospitality areas such as the Saratoga Walk of Fame, Fourstardave Sports Bar and Easy Goer.

The 2018 meet at Saratoga Race Course will be highlighted by the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney and the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, the centerpieces of two of the biggest days in North American racing.

The 40-day meet, which includes 69 stakes worth $18.8 million in purses, will run from Friday, July 20, through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. After opening weekend, racing will be conducted six days a week, Wednesdays through Mondays. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit www.NYRA.com/Saratoga.

Source: NYRA

Upscale Seating Area, The Stretch, Planned for Saratoga

Saratoga canopy walk throughThe New York Racing Association has announced a major capital improvement project at Saratoga Race Course designed to create an enhanced hospitality area for racing fans and revitalize the section of the grandstand near the top of the stretch.

According to the Blood-Horse, The Stretch will offer a total of 32 new modern boxes, each offering unique configurations accommodating parties ranging from four to 12 guests, in comparison to traditional clubhouse boxes which each seat five guests. The options include tiered boxes, which each feature a halfmoon table and total of eight seats split evenly on two levels. The lounge boxes offer comfortable couch-style seating and accommodate four to twelve guests. Lastly, the flex boxes contain three tables which each seat up to four people, and can be configured to host four, eight, or 12 guests, depending on availability and the size of the party.

Source: Upscale Seating Area, The Stretch, Planned for Saratoga

Is Horse Racing Dead? Successful 2017 Saratoga Meeting

Saratoga starting gatePress Release

For the second time in the past three years, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) set a record for all-sources wagering on racing at Saratoga, concluding the 2017 Saratoga meet with a handle of $676,709,490. The 2017 handle eclipsed the previous high set in 2015 by 4.4 percent and shattered the prior record set in 2012 by more than 15 percent.

The 4.4 percent increase in wagering from all sources included $157,014,965 in on-track handle, a 3.4 percent increase over last season, which incorporates live pari-mutuel wagering at Saratoga Race Course, at NYRA’s downstate tracks and New York State residents who wager through NYRA Bets.

Additionally, the $47,870,987 in handle generated on Travers Day marked the second highest handle in history for Saratoga’s premier day of racing, an increase of five percent over 2016.

“The 2017 Saratoga meet has truly been outstanding, and for that I would like to extend my gratitude to the fans, owners, trainers and jockeys who continue to make Saratoga so special,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “I also want to recognize the men and women of The New York Racing Association who helped make this meet so successful. The record wagering is a reflection of the work of our racing office, the expansion of our national ADW platform NYRA Bets, and the increased reach of our groundbreaking television program Saratoga Live, which is now available in 75 million homes nationwide. And finally, we were certainly blessed with fantastic weather.”

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The 40-day meet included 69 stakes worth $18.775 million in purses.

Michael Dubb made it four straight titles as the meet’s leading owner with 15 wins. Todd Pletcher captured the H. Allen Jerkens training title, tying the Spa record for wins with 40 victories. Jockey Jose Ortiz earned back-to-back Angelo Cordero, Jr. titles as the meet’s top rider with 58 wins.

The greatest thoroughbreds in training assembled at Saratoga Race Course on Travers Day, including for the first time in 35 years the three winners from the Triple Crown series and the Jim Dandy, plus champion filly Songbird and the resilient Lady Eli.

The festive and memorable afternoon was highlighted by West Coast’s wire to wire victory in the 148th edition of the Travers Stakes, presented by NYRA Bets, for owners Gary and Mary West, and for the trainer-jockey combo of Bob Baffert and Mike Smith who captured Saratoga’s signature race for the second consecutive year.

Gun Runner, the top ranked horse in the nation, began his Saratoga campaign with an impressive five-length win in the 90th anniversary of the Whitney Stakes, and then returned to action on the meet’s closing weekend to dominate the Woodward Stakes, presented by NYRA Bets, with a more than 10-length victory.

Launched in conjunction with NYRA Bets last summer was NYRA’s critically-acclaimed flagship racing broadcast Saratoga Live. As a result of additional distribution agreements with FOX Regional Sports Networks in southern California and Ohio, Saratoga Live expanded its reach this summer into more than 75 million households, including new audiences in Los Angeles, San Diego, Ohio and Kentucky.

During the 2017 meet, NYRA and FOX Sports announced a three-year extension of the groundbreaking television programing deal, which will make live daily coverage of racing from Saratoga available on FS2 to a national audience through 2020.

This year’s broadcast also highlighted local area attractions, including the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the shops and restaurants along Broadway to a national audience in an effort to promote tourism in conjunction with racing, and create a national showcase for Saratoga Springs.

In addition to coverage on major national and regional sports networks, horseplayers were able to watch Saratoga Live and wager with NYRA Bets through NYRA’s two mobile applications: NYRA Now and NYRA XP, the latter of which made its highly successful debut during the 2017 season.

More than 16,000 guests in 114 cities and across 25 countries downloaded NYRA XP during the Saratoga meet. The app integrates seamlessly with both NYRA Now and NYRA Bets – enabling fans to watch live racing in high definition; wager through NYRA Bets; and purchase tickets, parking, food and merchandise at the click of a button. Fans for the first time were also able to utilize the app to reserve a ride with Uber, the official ridesharing partner of Saratoga Race Course.

NYRA’s mobile applications were strengthened by significant investments in technology to enhance the guest experience at Saratoga. By increasing the on-track Wi-Fi capacity by 250 percent, fans enjoyed heightened connectivity throughout the meet. On Travers Day alone, more than 44,000 mobile devices were connected to the track’s wireless network. At any one time, approximately 12,000 mobile devices – or one out of every four – were concurrently connected to the Wi-Fi network, a noted high ratio for sports venues.

NYRA’s investment in capital improvements at Saratoga dating back to 2013 eclipsed $30 million this summer, in efforts continuously designed to enhance the guest experience and provide amenities that are consistent with those available at “first class” sports franchises.

At the start of the 2017 meet, NYRA introduced the newly-renovated Saratoga Family Zone, a smoke- and alcohol-free interactive play area with an oval multi-lane running track, a miniature replica starting gate, a “selfie” photo station, spring horses and educational panels designed to teach children about the life of a race horse. The improvements to the playground are viewed as critical to the long-term sustainability of Saratoga Race Course by offering families an enticing option for their children when visiting Saratoga, thereby laying the groundwork for future generations of racing fans.

NYRA also unveiled several upgrades to the historic paddock mutuel building, including a new slate roof and rafters. The improvements are intended to ensure the continued preservation of the historically-significant building, which was constructed in 1902 and originally used as a saddling shed during inclement weather.

In addition to enhancements throughout the venue, fans were treated to a series of special events and activities throughout the meet. An annual highlight of the Saratoga racing season returned on the eve of the Travers when three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez was welcomed to the Saratoga Walk of Fame at the fifth annual Red Jacket Ceremony, during which Dominguez received an emblematic Saratoga red jacket and unveiled his commemorative plaque. The plaque is displayed at the Walk of Fame which honors industry leaders who have made an indelible mark on thoroughbred racing.

The Red Jacket Ceremony was among the many special events during the season, the vast majority of which were staged at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion. The Pavilion played host to a weekly series of events for families every Monday; and hosted New York wineries every Thursday, New York craft breweries every Friday and New York foods and crafts each weekend, in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Taste NY program. Wednesdays at Saratoga were reserved for popular mainstays celebrating Irish- and Italian-American culture as well as the annual Military Appreciation Day, which honored dozens of service members from World War II through the present era.

NYRA welcomed more than 40 local and regional non-profit organizations, schools and PTAs to Saratoga Race Course. The majority of the non-profits enjoyed an exclusive day at the Community Outreach Booth to help further their marketing, outreach and fundraising efforts, while local schools and PTAs took part in the Berkshire Bank Family Mondays series to raise funds and reconnect with fellow students and parents.

NYRA also continued its community partnership with the Saratoga Downtown Business Association through the Saratoga Season Perks program. The program includes discounts for Saratoga season pass and season ticket holders at dozens of retail, restaurant and professional services locations in downtown Saratoga Springs, as well as with local entertainment and sporting venues. A full list of the year-round program participants is available at www.SaratogaSeasonPerks.com. The discount offer is valid through March 1, 2018.

NYRA also formed several partnerships with the City of Saratoga Springs, the Capital District Transportation Authority, and local hotels, restaurants and bars to help familiarize tourists and the community with the growth and expansion of the NYRA Bets brand.

Total paid attendance for the 2017 Saratoga meet was 1,117,838.

Figures for all-sources handle (exclusive of international settlements) at Saratoga dating back to 2010, the start of the 40-day meet, are as follows:

All-Sources Handle

2010 $551,660,724

2011* $526,251,819

2012 $588,351,964

2013 $586,617,240

2014 $571,163,485

2015 $648,272,805

2016 $647,322,503

2017 $676,709,490

*39 race days, due to weather cancellation

Live racing returns Friday, September 8 to Belmont Park. The Fall Championship Meet features 42 stakes worth more than $10.1 million, including six Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifiers held over two weekends in late September and early October. Family fun activities, live music after racing and other amenities will also be featured at the meet that runs through Sunday, October 29.

For more information, visit NYRA.com.