Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Saratoga Expands to 40 Days-Good??

By now you have probably read/heard that NYRA has announced today that they will expand the 2010 Saratoga meet to 40 days.

As a fan I always wish I could wake up every day and go to the Spa, and living close by, it would be easy for me to do-but I think I love the meet so much because it is fairly short. I am old enough to remember when the meet was 24 days, than it expanded to 30, than 36 and now 40. When I think of 40 I think of fasting, not Saratoga.

I thought the expansion from 30 to 36 days was too much. The 5 week meet seemed just about right. With the expansion to 6 weeks, it seemed that that all the air was let out of the balloon once the Travers was over. At 40 days, I can see the meet feeling a little tiresome. I think part of what makes Saratoga special is that it is supposed to be short, a boutique meet of 30 days or so of large fields and a bunch of stakes races. Now at 40 days , it is danger of feeling less special with a bunch of non-stakes races filling up the day.

What makes it so unique is that every year we wait, than it is here, and than- Wham!- it is over...or at least it used to be that way. Now the short meet is close to being a season.

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