NYRA

Stakes Schedule for Belmont Spring/Summer Meet Announced

The stakes schedule for the 51-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet, featuring 58 total stakes races worth $18.65 million starting Friday, Apr. 24 through Sunday, July 12, was announced by the New York Racing Association, Inc. Saturday. The meet will offer 11 total Grade I contests and five races with purses of $1 million or higher, with the first four of those contests coming during the three-day GI Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from Thursday, June 4 through Saturday, June 6. The festival will encompass 17 total stakes, including eight Grade Is...

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NYRA Director of Racing Operations Bruce Johnstone Dies

Bruce Johnstone, who transitioned from a trainer to management at the New York Racing Association, the last 13 years of which he spent as Manager of Racing Operations, died Thursday following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 76. "Bruce was a true horseman who used the lessons of a lifetime to make all of us better in so many big and small ways," said NYRA CEO and President Dave O'Rourke. "He was a man of impeccable integrity who was a beloved member of the thoroughbred racing community here in...

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America’s Day at the Races Returns to FS2
America’s Day at the Races Returns to FS2

America's Day at the Races, presented by America's Best Racing, Runhappy and Claiborne Farm and produced by NYRA, returns to FS2 Feb. 8 with a 3 1/2-hour show from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It will cover live stakes action from Aqueduct, Oaklawn, Santa Anita and four stakes from Tampa Bay, including the GIII Sam F. Davis S. Other featured races include the Jimmy Winkfield S. at Aqueduct, the King Cotton S. at Oaklawn and the GII Las Virgenes S. America's Day at the Races will air on most Saturdays...

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Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Tickets on Sale Feb. 6

Tickets for the 2020 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will go on sale to the public Thursday, Feb. 6, starting at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster.com, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced Thursday. Highlighted by the 152nd running of the Grade I, $1.5 million Belmont S.--the oldest and most challenging leg of horse racing's vaunted Triple Crown--the Belmont S. Racing Festival will begin Thursday, June 4, and conclude Saturday, June 6. The three-day event, launched in its current format in 2015, features a unique blend of world-class racing and entertainment...

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Horse Racing Integrity Act Moving Through the House

The Consumer Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a major hearing today on the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA) that brought together horse racing industry heavy weights and representatives from two major animal welfare groups to advocate for passage. Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) spoke at a hearing Tuesday in support of H.R. 1754: the Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation that would establish a non-governmental anti-doping authority responsible for implementing a national, uniform medication program throughout the sport. Tonko introduced the bill last year with fellow Congressional Horse Caucus...

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Letter to the Editor: A Woman Among Men

It was about 9:15 a.m. on a chilly day at Belmont and as I headed down the aisle towards the back door of Barn 44 for what felt like the 50th time since arriving at 5:15 a.m., a hot walker stopped me in my tracks saying with a laugh, "You two started neck and neck earlier, but now she has 10 lengths on you." The woman he was referring to was top trainer Linda Rice and he couldn't have summed her up much better. A client once compared Rice to...

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NYRA 2019 All-Sources Handle Over $2.1B

The New York Racing Association's 2019 all-sources handle was $2,108,126,369. Also, for the first time in history, the Saratoga meet generated more than $700 million in all-sources handle at $705,343,949. Inclement weather forced the full cancellation of seven race days and partial cancellation of six cards during the year. As a result, there were 217 race days in 2019 at NYRA tracks with average daily handle of $9,714,868 compared to 2018 when 219 days of racing resulted in a daily average of $9,650,267. The 2019 season featured 2,000 races at...

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Handle Figures Show Revamped Saratoga Dates Working

News Analysis When NYRA reached the halfway point of its 2019 Saratoga meet Wednesday, all-sources handle was $320,684,714, or 2.3 percent higher than the number posted after the 20th racing day a year earlier. While that may seem like only a minor increase in handle, the number is more impressive than it may look on paper. For several reasons, comparing Saratoga 2019 vs. 2018 is like comparing pineapples to watermelons, but there is a key factor involved in those numbers that tells you just how well NYRA has broken out...

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Carmen Barrera Dies at 60

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced the passing of the longtime director of horsemen's relations Carmen Barrera, who died unexpectedly Thursday in Saratoga Springs, New York. She was 60. Barrera joined NYRA in 1978, the same year that her uncle Laz Barrera campaigned Triple Crown winner Affirmed, and began her career at NYRA in guest services as a white cap before moving to horsemen's relations. She spent 41 years at NYRA in total. Her father, Luis, was a trainer as well, campaigning Summing to victory in the 1981...

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Spa Notebook: A Thread of Blue Likely for Jockey Club Derby

A Thread of Blue (Hard Spun), who led every step of the way to cause a 13-1 upset in the 9 1/2-furlong Saratoga Derby Aug. 4, will be pointed for a start in the final leg of the Turf Trinity, the inaugural Jockey Club Derby to be contested over a mile and a half at Belmont Park Sept. 7. "He came out of the race really well, we'll look at [the Jockey Club Derby]," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin told the NYRA notes team. "We weren't sure if he'd get a mile-and-three-sixteenths...

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TOBA Names Officers, New Trustees

Officials at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association have announced the election of Brant Laue as chairman of the TOBA Board of Trustees. Also joining Laue on the Board are members Marshall Gramm (Ten Strike Racing), Stephanie Hronis (Hronis Racing) and Jason Loutsch (Albaugh Family Racing). "I am honored to serve as Chairman of TOBA, with its long history of representing the interests of owners and breeders," Laue said. "Working with our members and industry partners, we look forward to continued progress on the opportunities and challenges facing our industry."...

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Sadler Talks Stable Stars, Big Race Targets, Hollendorfer and Safety Measures

It was back in 1988 that John Sadler began his stake race winning spree at Del Mar, when the mild-mannered speedball Olympic Prospect took the then-$75,000 Bing Crosby H., prompting jockey Alex Solis afterwards to breathlessly exclaim, "I never rode a horse that fast in my life." When given this little factoid at his Del Mar barn one recent morning--a full 31 years after the event--Sadler assumed the look of someone who'd just been told that water wasn't wet. "I wouldn't think so--it's got to be before that," he said...

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