The renovation of the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course has been completed, according to a press release from the New York Racing Association, Inc.
Horses and riders, who were welcomed to jog and gallop over the surface beginning Wednesday morning, were met with a completely reconstructed Oklahoma track featuring a limestone base, renovated surface layer and modernized drainage systems. The training track has been widened by 10-to-14 feet in most areas to address the increasing population of horses training over the Oklahoma annually from April to October.
Additionally, to enhance safety for exercise riders and jockeys, the inner rail at the Oklahoma has been replaced with a rider protection system designed by Horsemen's Track and Equipment.
The work at the Oklahoma mirrors the work performed on the Saratoga main track in 2020, which was universally supported by horsemen and riders. As at the Oklahoma, the main track renovation involved general improvements to the base and surface of the track, as well as a complete overhaul of the drainage system and installation of a new rider safety rail.
“The renovation of the Oklahoma Training Track is an investment in the future of Saratoga Race Course that reflects NYRA's ongoing commitment to safety,” said Glen Kozak, NYRA Senior Vice President for Operations and Capital Projects. “Just like the work done to the main track last year, the Oklahoma will now recover quickly from summer storms resulting in a consistent and high-quality training surface for horses and riders.”
It was also announced that, beginning Monday, May 17, a limited number of owners licensed by the New York State Gaming Commission will be permitted in the barn area and to observe morning training at Saratoga.