One of the stars of the successful New York Racing Association and Fox Sports daily broadcast from Saratoga, Acacia Courtney joined the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Courtney gave her impressions on the early part of the Saratoga meet and talked strategy when it comes to analyzing the 2-year-old races that are so integral to the programs at the Spa.
Asked about the different feeling in the air at tracks this year with fans back in attendance, Courtney said, “One of the greatest things about horse racing is the swell of the crowd and people cheering. If there's a photo finish, you hear the groan one way or the other. I think that throughout the past year, we almost kind of got used to it being quiet. So opening day just felt so great. Everybody seemed happy, everybody was enjoying themselves, even if their tickets were losing, and getting a chance to see some of the fans, people coming over and saying that they had watched our show during quarantine and how much they appreciated what we had been doing really meant a lot because–and I always say you don't want to sound spoiled because I was one of the few people that got to be at Saratoga last summer. But you were drained at the end of the day because there was no crowd. There wasn't the same level of excitement as there is this year.”
Elsewhere in the show, which is also sponsored by West Point Thoroughbreds, Spendthrift Farm, Legacy Bloodstock, Woodford Thoroughbreds and the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association's 2021 Yearling Sale, the writers talked about what the latest developments in the FBI indictments case mean, remembered the great Bernardini and looked forward to a monster weekend of racing. Click here to watch the podcast; click here for the audio-only version or find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.