Tickets Please! Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, Other Graded Action Whistles Into Weekend

Just over 100 years ago, the Jockey Club's resident New York handicapper, William Vosburgh, knew the value of history and understood how it could be applied when he penned his magnum opus, Racing In America, 1866-1921. The turf wordsmith revealed his intent in the Preface when he said, "I shall show that, owing to want of popular support, racing had fallen so low, and so infrequent, as to excite little or no interest." What he was talking about was a sport in crisis, as progressive forces in America drove racing...

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Live Racing at Aqueduct Canceled Friday Due to Torrential Rain in New York; Meadowlands Canceled for Friday and Saturday

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has canceled Friday's live racing program at Aqueduct Racetrack due to significant rainfall forecast to create hazardous weather conditions in the New York metropolitan area, according to a press release issued Friday morning. With as much as five inches of rain expected, Ozone Park is under a flash flood warning and flood watch throughout the day on Friday. As a result, Friday's 11-race card has been canceled in the interest of the safety of all participants. Aqueduct Racetrack will remain open for simulcasting...

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Aqueduct's Belmont at the Big A Card Cancelled Saturday Due to Weather

Live racing has been cancelled Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack as hazardous weather is forecasted for the area, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced in a release late Friday afternoon. High winds and significant rainfall are expected in the New York metropolitan area and are expected to create inclement weather conditions on Saturday. The National Weather Service (NWS) is calling for sustained high winds with gusts up to 40 MPH and heavy rainfall throughout the day. Saturday's race card for the Belmont at the Big A meet was scheduled...

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HISA Announces New Track Surface Advisory Group

Edited Press Release A new Track Surface Advisory Group, comprised of members who will be deployed by HISA to analyze dirt, turf and synthetic surface consistency at Thoroughbred racetracks across the U.S., was formed Thursday. "This Group is crucial to ensuring that HISA can support local experts working to make the surfaces on which Thoroughbreds compete as safe as possible," said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. "HISA is committed to using all resources at its disposal to help tracks under our jurisdiction meet our Racetrack Safety standards. This group of track...

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Screen, Scan, Save: Is This Racing's Big Fix?

Like the wildfires fanned by this summer's hot winds, doomsday predictions of horse racing's demise have raged through the mainstream and trade press this year, fueled by a sickening spate of high-profile equine fatalities on the sport's highest-profile stages--tracks armed with some of the most stringent safety guardrails. This means these horses passed before the eyes of a slew of experts--from the riders to the trainers to the veterinarians and the regulators--deemed among the best in the business. If they can't single out these horses before catastrophe happens, who can?...

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NYRA Might Hold Belmont S. Twice In Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The next two runnings of the GI Belmont S. could be held at Saratoga Race Course, New York Racing Association President and CEO David O'Rourke said Sunday. NYRA would make the temporary switch of the oldest race in the Triple Crown series to America's oldest track during a massive re-construction undertaking at Belmont Park. In mid-June, Patrick McKenna, NYRA's vice-president for communications, said that the 2025 Belmont S. might be held at Saratoga Race Course. While noting that a final decision has not been finalized, O'Rourke...

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The Week In Review: The Year In Which Saratoga Lost Its Mojo

At the conclusion of racing on Monday, Saratoga will have handled about $800 million for the meet, the third highest handle figure ever for the track. On-track attendance once again topped one million, and was officially at 1,055,543 after Saturday's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup Day card with two racing days to go. Yet, by just about any measure, it was not a good meet. Saratoga came into 2023 with the wind at its back. Every year the racing seemed to get bigger, the handle would grow and more and...

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General Partner Stakes his Claim of the Saratoga Winner's Enclosure

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - In his second career start Saturday, General Partner (Speightstown) was really ready for prime time at Saratoga Race Course. While it wasn't exactly a led-from-gate-to-wire performance, General Partner was in front quickly under Manny Franco. He was never seriously challenged and won the seven-furlong maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds a solid four lengths in front of the favorite Dive Bomber (Omaha Beach). Klaravich Stables's chestnut colt reached the wire in 1:22.33. General Partner debuted for trainer Chad Brown at six furlongs on July 22 and...

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Letter To The Editor: It All Begins With Churchill Downs

Horse racing is at an existential moment. Just weeks after a series of breakdowns at Churchill Downs cast a shadow over the Kentucky Derby, a wave of horrifying horse deaths at Saratoga Race Course has once again brought questions about safety to the forefront of public consciousness. This is a tragedy, as every horse that breaks down also breaks our hearts. However, I believe our sport has reached a tipping point, and I predict there will be a Silver Lining emerging from all these tragedies. In the past week, I...

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Saratoga Backstretch Kids Receive School Supplies

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy and its team of volunteers distributed backpacks and school supplies to the children of Saratoga backstretch workers on Thursday, Aug.31, the organization said in a release early Friday. The children received the supplies requested by their teachers in their personalized backpacks along with a brand-new pair of sneakers and a first day of school haircut. Supporters of the program include Saratoga's leading rider Irad Ortiz Jr., who helped to distribute the supplies. "The backstretch workers make what I do possible," Ortiz said. "Whether you...

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Fatalities Mar Travers Saturday at Saratoga

On a day that was supposed to be a celebration of the Grade I Travers S., a pall was cast over Saturday's card at Saratoga when two horses broke down on the card and had to be euthanized. Including racing and training, they were the seventh and eighth equine deaths during racing at the meeting. Four horses have died during training. One Saturday fatality was on the turf, the other on the dirt. Both horses were ridden by Tyler Gaffalione. Travers Day continued a very difficult stretch for horse racing,...

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Roses for Debra a Stylish Victress of Smart N Fancy at Saratoga

Neither wind nor water could stop her, and Roses for Debra (Liam's Map) streaked home at a rain-drenched Saratoga to take the Smart N Fancy S., securing her fourth win in a row in the process. Only once off the board in her career, the grey was last seen putting up a career-high Beyer of 99 en route to winning the GIII Caress S. over this course last month and had two victories over the lawn at Belmont and Pimlico since changing from the barn of Michelle Brafford to Christophe...

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