Thursday, October 08 2009


NYRA EXPANDS 2010 SARATOGA MEETING BY FOUR DAYS


ELMONT, N.Y. – On the heels of a successful 2009 race meet at Saratoga Race Course, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will expand the 2010 season by four days, a revision that will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Next year’s Saratoga meet will begin on Friday, July 23 and consist of 40 racing days. It will feature a Wednesday through Monday live racing schedule that will go through Labor Day, Monday, September 6. Each day of the meet will include a stake, and pending approval from the NYRA Board of Directors, the Grade 1, Coaching Club America Oaks, traditionally run at Belmont Park, will shift to the first weekend at Saratoga.





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Friday, September 11 2009


18.4 PERCENT INCREASE IN SARATOGA PURSES FROM INCENTIVE PROGRAM


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Purses at Saratoga Race Course climbed 18.4 percent from the incentive program created by The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) to increase field size during the recently-concluded six-week meet. From the 365 races run at the meet, 76 (20.8 percent) qualified for purse hikes totaling $627,490, boosting original purse values of $3,405,000 to $4,032,490.

The program employed several methods to increase purses based on the number of horses starting in a race. Dirt races with more than eight betting interests leaving the paddock received 10 or 15 percent purse hikes, based on the conditions of the race. Races taken off the turf with eight or more betting interests leaving the paddock were boosted 20 percent. And, “per horse” increases were provided for dirt races at nine furlongs and longer (for each betting interest above six), and turf races longer than nine furlongs (for each betting interest above eight), with incremental values based on the class of the race.





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Monday, September 07 2009


DUBLIN GIVES LUKAS HIS FIFTH THREE CHIMNEYS HOPEFUL


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas believed from the start the $525,000 he paid last year for the chestnut colt Dublin at the Keeneland yearling sale was money well spent. On Monday, the enormous son of Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex backed up his optimism, powering through the stretch to win the 105th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful on closing day at Saratoga Race Course.

After stumbling at the start of the race, Dublin quickly recovered and raced mid-pack before gathering momentum on the turn and taking off in the stretch. Under a stern drive the final eighth of a mile by jockey Jamie Theriot, Dublin drifted out near the finish while defeating late-running Aspire by two lengths. Aikenite, a 20-1 shot, finished third in the 12-horse field.





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SARATOGA ATTENDANCE AND HANDLE RECAP


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A sensational six weeks of thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course came to a close today with final handle and attendance figures surpassing projections prior to the meet and decisively outpacing nationwide wagering statistics.

Attendance was down 2.1 percent, on-track handle down 2.2 percent, and all-sources handle down 1.7 percent from 2008 totals, according to the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).





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MUSHKA RESOLUTE IN GLENS FALLS


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Brushwood Stable’s Mushka took the lead from front-running Zaskar on the far turn and galloped home a 1¼-length winner in the 14th running of the Grade 3, $110,500 Glens Falls Stakes on closing day at Saratoga Race Course.

The 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, let Zaskar open up by as many as nine lengths in the 1 3/8th mile marathon on the turf, and then began cutting into her lead with a half-mile to go. Taking over as the field of 10 fillies and mares straightened for home, Mushka had plenty left to turn back the late challenges from Lemonette and Queen of Hearts, completing the 11-furlong race in 2:13.50 over the firm turf course.





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Thursday, September 03 2009


‘HOT’ HOT DIXIE CHICK STARS IN SPINAWAY


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – She began the meet with an eye-popping score in the Schuylerville Stakes and on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course, Hot Dixie Chick looks to wrap up her meet the same way when she faces a field of eight other 2-year-olds in the 118th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway at seven furlongs.

Owned by Barbara Banke’s Grace Stables, Hot Dixie Chick ran off to an authoritative 6¼-length victory in the Grade 3 Schuylerville, covering the six furlongs in 1:10.18 under Robby Albarado. The victory was her second straight impressive score – in June, she set a track record for five furlongs at Churchill Downs in her second start, pulling clear for a 5¾ length win in 56.48.





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AMERICA’S RACETRACK TOPS OFF THE MEET WITH ALL-AMERICAN LABOR DAY BARBEQUE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – As horseracing fans prepare for the final call to the post, Saratoga Race Course will host a traditional Labor Day barbeque to bring the 141st meet to a close in true American style on Monday, September 7.

Saratoga Race Course will provide fans with the chance to indulge in all-American barbeque favorites while enjoying the greatest thoroughbred racing in the world as part of Final Stretch festivities.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Thursday, September 3, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – As the meet draws to a close, trainers Todd Pletcher and Linda Rice are tied for first in the trainer standings with 16 wins each going into Thursday’s card.

All 16 of Rice’s victories have come on races carded for the turf, although two of those wins – Shot Gun Gal on August 23 and Hook Me Up on August 24, both maiden special weight contests – were in races taken off the turf.





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RACHEL ALEXANDRA TACKLES HISTORY IN WOODWARD


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – What a gal!

She’s soundly beaten the boys (twice), completely overwhelmed her peers, and Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, 3-year-old Rachel Alexandra lines up against the older fellas for the first time as she looks to re-write racing history yet again and stake her claim to Horse of the Year honors in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes.





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FIERCE FOREGO DRAWS EVEN DOZEN


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – While Saturday’s Woodward Stakes featuring Rachel Alexandra is drawing much attention, the day’s exceptional card at Saratoga Race Course also includes a fierce 30th renewal of the Grade 1, $300,000 Forego Stakes for 3-year-olds and up.

Forego, a three-time horse of the year (1974-1976) won four consecutive editions of the Woodward (1974-1977) himself, in a career that found him in the money 50 of the 54 times he took to the track.





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PURSES JUMP NEARLY 20 PERCENT FROM INCENTIVE PROGRAM THROUGH SPA WEEK FIVE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Purse hikes from the incentive program created to increase field size during the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet total $553,990 through Week Five, a 19.5 percent advance over original purse values, according to The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA). Purses have increased in 65 of the 302 races (21.5 percent) run through Monday, August 31.

Nine races qualified during Week Five, including two races which benefited from all three of the incentive program’s conditions, the meet’s first such instances. Purse increases from incentives during the week totaled $148,300, a 30.5 percent boost from original purse values.





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THE STRETCH RUN AT SARATOGA IS ONE FOR THE AGES


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The “Rachel Alexandra Show” will anchor an unprecedented series of special events and activities to mark the concluding days of the 141st meet at Saratoga Race Course.

The highlight of the final stretch at Saratoga will be Rachel’s run for the record books as the 3-year-old filly seeks to make history, again, by becoming the first female to beat older males in the 56th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on Saturday, September 5.





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