HRN Original Blog:
The Weekly Tout

What Price Glory

Saratoga Crowd 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

I don’t see the big deal. It’s still the cheapest major league sport as far as entrance fees go. It’s on par with other sports when it comes to food or t-shirts - it’s expensive. But to see a major league horse race, the price to get in is in comparison to other sports - cheap. But that’s not the battle cry facing NYRA these days. They raised the prices at two of the three NYRA tracks and you would think that they raised the price of gas, as well, the way some folks are taking the news.

First of all, the price will increase from $20 to $30 bucks for a clubhouse admission on Belmont Stakes Day only. The race card on June 7th is now the second richest day in horse racing. And you thought it was about ladies hats? It’s all about purses. And NYRA is putting up some huge numbers in hopes of getting some high quality equines, but you’re going to have to pay to see them. Sure, the seats I had for the Jockey Gold Cup, are now priced $130.00 which, is of course, out of my price range, but I’ll swing $30 ducats for my clubhouse admission to see the Belmont from the best spot I can grab. The grandstand admission on Belmont Day will not change. It’s still going to be 10 dollars.

Up-state, the locals are displeased at the price increases to go to Saratoga. Prices now are up from three, to five bucks for your grandstand ticket, and from five to eight dollars for your clubhouse admission, for the Wrigley Field of horse racing. I still don’t think it’s that bad. 

But look at it as a comparison to the game of baseball. Just to get in on a Thursday afternoon ball game is a minimum, cheapest seat in the place-30 bucks. And that’s if you are lucky. I can buy a nice grandstand seat in section WW off of the little Irish guy at the Nelson Ave. gate for $15 beans on that same Thursday afternoon at the Spa. Or five bucks and grab a picnic table. Let’s not complain when a football ticket is in upwards of 100 dollars, and that’s before you buy a beer for eight or an old fashioned with a splash and a cherry for nine smackers.

I find people funny that they’ll pay for a $30 exacta, but they think five bucks is too much to pay for an entrance fee. That’s what it will cost you to go to Belmont once the spring meet begins May 1st. That’s right, there is only one price because they are closing the grandstand due to low attendance. The one admission price is for the clubhouse only. It’s a shame for NYRA to have to make that decision. Let’s hope that a lot of folks didn’t lose their jobs when the track opens in May.

Now the good news, Aqueduct is free. What? Except on the Wood Memorial Day, the day I’m going down. This is an outrage! It’s going to cost me three whole dollars to get in that day. Oh well, my exacta will be for 27 bucks instead of 30 that day. Riders Up!


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Meet Johnnie Carrier


With 10 years of writing a humor column for his home town paper under his belt, Johnnie Carrier has decided to try something different. He is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College Class of 1977 and traveled the West with Circus Vargas in 1979.

 In the 80’s, Carrier lived in New York City and Boston, but he settled down however in the smallest city in Massachusetts late in the decade and married Dawn Luskin in ’88. David was born in 1991 and has been blessed with his father’s sense of humor, but luckily his mother’s good looks.

 Racing has been more than a casual interest having lived so close to Saratoga. He started going to the track at a very young age with his parents and has tried to instill that passion into his son by taking him at the same age. In 2003, Carrier started to write as a freelance writer with the North Adams Transcript and can be followed there at the paper’s website.  


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