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Saratoga Makes Changes to Juvenile Races

Saratoga Race Course 2012 logo
Photo: NYRA
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) Board of Directors’ Racing Committee announced on Tuesday that the field size of 2-year-old maiden races at sprint distances during the upcoming Saratoga Race Course meet will be limited to eight starters. The field size for two-turn juvenile maiden races will be limited to 10 starters.


“The catalyst behind limiting the field sizes in the maiden races for juveniles was two-fold,” said NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing P. J. Campo. “The smaller fields are expected to produce more cleanly run events while also creating the opportunity to showcase more high-quality races during the meet and beyond. We expect this change will strengthen NYRA's juvenile stakes and allowance programs by helping horses gain the experience they need to compete successfully at higher levels.” 


“Protecting our horses is an important mandate,” said New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association President and NYRA Board Member Rick Violette Jr. “Larger fields of inexperienced young horses often result in roughly run races. This approach will offer a kinder, gentler and, perhaps, wiser introduction to racing for young horses, and could, in fact, extend their careers.


“Owners will have a better opportunity to fairly evaluate the performances of their horses in manageable fields,” Violette added. “This also will increase the chance that young horses will improve mentally and physically from their first races, rather than having to recover from them.”


The 40-day Saratoga meet commences for the 144th time on Friday, July 20, with a card featuring the Grade 3 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies and the Grade 3 James Marvin for sprinters. There will be live racing six days a week, Wednesday through Monday. The 143rd running of the $1 million Travers is set for Saturday, August 25 with an undercard including the Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop, the Grade 1 Test, and the Grade 2 Ballston Spa. The Saratoga meet concludes on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, featuring the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Hopeful for 2-year-old colts.




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Older Comments about Saratoga Makes Changes to Juvenile Races...

Shadowno. I agree about Aqueduct. First race track I ever went to. Holds a lot of memories for me. The idea that has been floated is to uses Belmont for winter racing and Saratoga for the rest. Andrew Cuomo had tried to get a convention center at Aqueduct this year, but it didn't make it.
Losing Aqueduct to a casino would just be horrible despite its warts and blemishes. One of my all time favorite haunts. IMO Belmont could use some downsizing and modernization. i know the neighborhood has not been in love with the place for a number of years.
They should also get rid of coupled entries and limit the amount of horses a trainer can have in a race to just 2.
Problem with the NYRA is that a few years ago in order to avoid bankruptcy they gave up the ownership of the land where the three tracks are situated. For that, the state was able to audit their books and appoint members of the board. The NYRA got a large cash infusion and the ability to keep the franchise together for a few more years. When that time comes, you will see the end of Aqueduct and major changes at Belmont. These plans were floated years ago in the 70s under Mario Cuomo
Political move to make the new NYRA look better than it is all the while selling out to the casinos.
I like how racing is turning for the better, unless some pesismist wants to tell me this is a secret plot to destroy all things good and beautiful.

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