Saratoga Race Course

Lucas Willard

For many, the Labor Day weekend is summer’s last hurrah. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on some of the events happening in our backyard.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

It’s a tradition in thoroughbred horse racing after a major race to drape the winning horse and jockey in a floral blanket. The Kentucky Derby is the Run for the Roses. The Preakness has the black-eyed Susan. With Saratoga Race Course set for its biggest day tomorrow, two blankets will be presented: one for the Personal Ensign and one for the Travers. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on the local woman who has been making blankets for Saratoga for more than two decades.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Several horse deaths at Saratoga Race Course are placing pressure on the entities that oversee thoroughbred racing in New York to prevent injuries among equine athletes. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on new steps being implemented ahead of the season’s biggest race.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Race Course is America’s oldest sporting venue, and if you pick any race during the summer season you may notice a few traditions that make the track stand out.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Race Course is now open. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard was at the Spa Friday morning to see what’s new for the 2017 meet.

After pulling out of a fiscal emergency and a scandal that cost the last CEO his job, the New York Racing Association will return from state control as a private non-profit. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that’s good news for advocates in Saratoga Springs.

Winter’s not over yet, but horse racing fans can look forward to summer as season passes for the 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course are now on sale.

Members of the thoroughbred racing industry testified in Albany this week, urging lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo to re-privative the New York Racing Association. After months of delays, the governor has put re-privatization in his 2018 budget plan. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Race Course was as busy as ever this year. The 40-day summer meet that ran from late July until Labor Day drew more than 1.1 million paid visitors, breaking last year’s number by more than 5 percent.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A longshot has won the marquee race at Saratoga Race Course in the fastest time in history.

Patrick Garrett/WAMC

The Mid-Summer Derby returns to Saratoga on Saturday. The day punctuated by the 147th running of the Travers Stakes promises to draw visitors to Saratoga Race Course from across the Capital Region and around the world.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

NYRA says all reserve-seating for Travers Day has already sold out. With Saturday’s attendance capped at 50,000, Saratoga Race Course has seen a strong season on the back of sunny weather and a renewed interest in racing after last year’s Triple Crown win by American Pharoah.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the NYRA Reorganization Board, chair Michael Del Guidice began by expressing his desire to bring the organization that has been under state control for the last several years back to a private non-profit in 2017.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The backyard of the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion on Tuesday evening was jammed with racing fans. On a dark-day at Saratoga Race Course across the street, the show of opulence was here, with expensive cars being valet parked and a well-dressed crowd out back sipping drinks.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Beside the famed Saratoga Race Course, the backstretch is always busy. Working for the trainers, grooms, blacksmiths, and others spend long days with the horses in between training rides and races. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Nearly 33,000 people attended Saratoga Race Course on opening day.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

As the sun comes up over the Oklahoma track, horses are already being worked out. This is where viewers can catch a glimpse of the thoroughbreds before the gates open across the street.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A day before the gates on Union Avenue open to the crowds of opening day at Saratoga Race Course, local business owners and public officials gathered for a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Saratoga Springs.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

At a breakfast hosted by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, NYRA CEO Chris Kay spent most of his time at the podium outlining a slew of completed projects and new initiatives for guests and workers at the famed flat track.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

About a month before the racing season begins, fans gathered in Saratoga Springs today, rejecting a re-privatization plan for the New York Racing Association pitched by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The group is advocating for a plan passed this afternoon by both houses of the state legislature.

John Hendrickson, a special advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo on the NYRA reorganization board and husband of Saratoga socialite Marylou Whitney, recently left his seat.

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Some Saratoga Springs area residents have come together to criticize what they say is a move by the Cuomo administration to retain public control of the New York Racing Association, the organization that oversees thoroughbred racing in the state.

New York Racing Association President and CEO Chris Kay spoke at last week’s Reorganization Board meeting to highlight the continued financial success of the organization.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Thoroughbred racing fans will have the chance to pick up season passes for the 2016 meet at the Saratoga Race Course on Monday.

Next month, after years under state control, the New York Racing Association is expected to submit a reprivatization plan.

After a busy racing season in Saratoga Springs, the New York Racing Association predicts profit for the second year in a row.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

With the racetrack dark for the day, leaders in New York's horse racing industry assembled in Saratoga Springs to discuss the retirement of thoroughbreds – a topic that has long been the subject of equine advocates.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs will be packed with visitors for Travers weekend and public safety officials are putting a plan in place to make sure guests enjoy their stay.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Tickets for Travers Day sold out two weeks in advance but if you’re unwilling to pay a stiff markup for a scalped ticket, you could catch a glimpse of all the runners in the $1.6 million Travers Stakes on Friday morning at Saratoga Race Course.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Triple Crown winner is heading east, and now we know what awaits him on Saturday. A crowd gathered in downtown Saratoga Springs Tuesday night for the draw for the 146th Travers Stakes. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief was there along with hundreds of fired up racing fans to see where their favorites will start in the summer's biggest race.

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