Friday, August 08, 2008

No Graded Stakes Races This Weekend @ the Spa

The 3rd weekend of the Saratoga meet will have no Graded Stakes Races. Thats right, no Grade I, no Grade II, not even a Grade III. The best NYRA can do is 4 overnight Stakes on an 11 race card for Saturday. The feature race on Saturday, a NY Bred race for Fillies and Mares -The Yaddo Handicap, has been moved to Sunday as they could not fill the field for Saturday.

A weekend without a Graded Stakes race at Saratoga just does not sound right. Bad enough the weather has put a damper on the meet thus far but now we have a weekend with no Graded Stakes racing. A "boutique" meet like Saratoga should have strong fields with Graded Stakes racing on the weekends-end of story. That is how it used to be and in a perfect world we could go back from The Summer Place To Be too The August Place To Be with a 4 week meet and Graded races every weekend-The Whitney for week 1 The Alabama for week 2, The Travers for week 3 and The Woodward/Hopeful/Spinaway for week 4.

Lets get back to making the meet an event with the best racing every weekend instead of the best racing on some of the weekends. Compact the meet, increase the quality of the racing cards and bring in more people per day over a shorter period of time. The net attendance/handle should even out, at least in my way of thinking. Or is just about the simulcast and putting out a card every day.


ljk said...

I'll say the weather has put a damper on the meet. There was stunned silence in the grandstand today (that was quite a thunderstorm though).

They don't need to go back to four weeks, there are plenty of Grade 1 races during the meet. There should be one every Saturday and most Sundays. Stacking four gradeed races week one is purely selling out to ESPN. Moving the Sword Dancer from tomorrow's traditional date is just silly. "Better spacing" between the Sword Dancer and some Belmont fall race is not as important as having quality weekend cards at your biggest meet.

NYRA should be deeply embarrased that they carded a NY Bred Saturday feature that couldn't even fill.

SaratogaSpa said...

Well said, why put 4 graded stakes on the 1st Saturday, and 4 on Travers day and not one on this weekend at all ? As for the weather, it has been quite unbelievable, like a cloud is stuck over the track every day and decides to let loose between 2-5 pm every race day. A few miles south of the track today had drizzle and it remained sunny south of Exit 10 on the Northway. Thanks for reading.