Pat McKenna

Wisecraken Euthanized After Race Five At The Spa

During the Wednesday running of race five at Saratoga Race Course, a $50,000 starter allowance going nine furlongs over the turf, Wisecraken (McCraken) sustained a catastrophic injury to his right hind leg, Pat McKenna, NYRA's Vice President of Communications, said via email Wednesday afternoon. Despite the immediate response of on-site veterinarians, the horse was humanely euthanized due to the severity of the injury. The 3-year-old gelding owned by Ironhorse Racing Stable LLC was trained by Michelle Nevin and ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., who was uninjured.

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For the Good of Racing, NYRA Needs to Bite the Bullet on the Belmont

There's no easy fix for the Triple Crown or one that satisfies all three tracks. But a fix is needed. With most trainers reluctant to run their horses back on just two weeks' rest, the GI Preakness S. is reeling. The connections of Rich Strike (Keen Ice), the GI Kentucky Derby winner, committed what would have been considered blasphemy 20 years ago and skipped the Preakness to rest up for the GI Belmont S. This year, Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) was the only Derby starter to run back in...

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NYRA Forces Scratch Of Two Other Robert Dick Runners

NYRA officials scratched a pair of horses from the third race at Saratoga Friday because their last start, the GIII Robert G. Dick Memorial S. at Delaware, has seen four horses encounter problems in their next starts back. The Daily Racing Form was the first to report the story. Both of the top two finishers, winner Sopran Basilea (Night of Thunder {Ire}) and runner up Ever Summer (Summer Front) suffered fatal injuries over the Saratoga turf in the last week. Sopran Basilea finished fourth in the GII Glens Falls S. Aug. 3...

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Off The Turf Wednesday At Saratoga

Wednesday's four flat races carded for the grass at Saratoga will be contested on the main track, according to a tweet from the New York Racing Association. The third race for state-bred 2-year-old filly maidens will retain its original distance and be run over 5 1/2 on the dirt. Originally scheduled for a mile and three furlongs an optional claimer/second-level allowance will now be run at a mile and a quarter on the main track as race four. Race six for open 2-year-old filly maidens will go at 5 1/2...

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NYRA Expands Fan Experiences At Saratoga

There are plans to significantly enhance opportunities for fans to experience the Saratoga Breakfast and Breeding Farm Tour package the New York Racing Association, Inc. announced Friday. Expanded due to its popularity in 2022, the Saratoga Breakfast and Breeding Farm Tour will be offered this year every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the Saratoga meet and will now feature two active thoroughbred breeding farms, Song Hill Thoroughbreds and Old Tavern Farm. "Last year's inaugural Saratoga Breakfast and Breeding Farm package was such a huge success that we have expanded it...

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NYRA's 2023 Belmont Park Meet Features $15.57 Million Total Purses For Stakes

Fifty-four stakes races worth $15.57 million in total purses will highlight the 40-day Belmont spring/summer meet, which is scheduled to open Thursday, May 4 and continue through Sunday, July 9, the New York Racing Association announced Wednesday. Highlighted by the 155th running of the $1.5 million GI Belmont S. presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, June 10, the spring/summer meet will include 12 Grade I races, with nine of those contests scheduled during the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from Thursday, June 8 through Saturday, June 10. The Thursday-through-Sunday event...

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Toys For Tots Day Set For Dec. 3 At Aqueduct

NYRA's annual "Toys for Tots" day of giving will take place on Saturday, Dec. 3, GI Cigar Mile Day, at Aqueduct Racetrack. The event is being offered in partnership with the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation. Toys for Tots collects and distributes new, unwrapped toys to local children in need each holiday season. There will be several ways to contribute during the weekend of giving--at donation boxes at the Turf and Field entrance, the Clubhouse lobby by the escalator at Aqueduct, and online as well. Online donations are...

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Saratoga 2YO Turf MSW Declared No Contest

Saratoga's seventh race Sunday, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for maiden juvenile fillies, was declared a no contest after a mechanical issue with the starting gate tractor caused an outrider to attempt to stop the field on the backstretch (click for replay). While the starting gate was ultimately moved in time and the majority of runners finished the race, several were pulled up prematurely. Towhead (Malibu Moon), a third-time starter stretching out off a pair of on-the-board efforts on the Churchill dirt and part of a 5-1 entry, battled back...

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NYRA and Vitali Reach Undisclosed Agreement

The New York Racing Association and trainer Marcus Vitali have reached a settlement regarding NYRA's effort to exclude the trainer from participating at its three tracks. According to NYRA spokesman Pat McKenna, the agreement requires that the terms of the settlement remain confidential. The TDN reached out to both Vitali's attorney Brad Bielly Friday in an attempt to gather more information. By mid-afternoon, he had not responded. Vitali told the TDN that he was not aware of the terms of the deal. In September, NYRA announced that it would begin...

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As Many Questions As Answers On Eve Of HISA Implementation

A year and a half after being signed into law, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is expected to kick into action Friday, meaning a new uniform set of medication rules and safety standards that everyone can abide by--that, at least, was the plan. The execution has somewhat thrown those intentions to the wind in the near term, with a piecemeal approach to implementation that has seen the anti-doping and medication control arm of the program pushed back to early next year, and several other features of the law--such...

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Potts, Vazquez Among Trainers Denied NYRA Stalls

Six trainers, including Wayne Potts and Juan Vazquez, have been informed by NYRA officials that they will no longer be allowed to stable at Belmont Park and that their horses must be off the grounds by Wednesday. However, all six will still be permitted to race at the NYRA tracks, at least for the time being. The story was first reported by the Daily Racing Form's David Grening. NYRA's decision to not outright ban the trainers stems from a ruling issued in the Bob Baffert matter last July by the...

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Saratoga General Admission Tickets on Sale July 1

Single-day general admission tickets for the 2021 Saratoga race meet will go on sale July 1 at 10 a.m. through General admission tickets may also be purchased on the day of the event at all track admission gates. Single-day grandstand admission is $7 and Clubhouse admission is $10. General admission tickets for the  Aug. 28 GI Runhappy Travers S. are $15 when purchased in advance. Tickets may also be purchased at the gates on the day of the event for $20, pending availability. A limited number of Clubhouse admission...

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