New England’s only thoroughbred racetrack is scheduled to close in less than two weeks, the latest sign of a sport in a national decline. Experts on New York’s still-buoyant racing industry are weighing in on what the closure could mean for the Empire State.
The last day of racing at Boston-area racetrack Suffolk Downs is set for October 4th. The track was slated for closure this week, but officials postponed the shuttering. Upon its closure, it could mark the end of thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts and the rest of New England.
The New York Racing Association has announced the successor to its legendary race caller, who is retiring after 43 years in the industry.
Legendary track announcer Tom Durkin is retiring at the end of this summer’s Saratoga meet. A longtime caller for NBC Sports, Durkin has worked for the New York Racing Association at Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct since 1990. At a press conference at Saratoga Race Course Wednesday morning, NYRA President and CEO Chris Kay announced Durkin’s successor.
On what’s shaping up to be the hottest day of the year, Saratoga begins its 150th season of thoroughbred racing.
This week, the New York Racing Association's new president and CEO Chris Kay met with members of the media to discuss his plans for Saratoga Race Course’s season. One of the first questions, right out of the gate, was about the weather and whether or not racing might be cut back or suspended altogether on opening day: Kay told reporters "We've had warm days in the past. We're prepared for it..."
New York racing officials say they're taking steps to make sure horses, track workers and fans are safe and comfortable as the 150th Saratoga Race Course season opens with temperatures expected to be in the mid-90s.
The New York racing Association says there will be veterinarians on horse paths, paddock, winner's circle and track to check all the thoroughbreds before and during races. Hoses and ice buckets will be available along the route the horses take to the track.
There will also be extra water in the jockeys' quarters and ice will be on sale at concession stands.