Monday, July 29, 2013

Saratoga Attendance and Handle Early Look

After an initial first week that had some folks out on social media questioning the first weeks relatively low Saratoga attendance, things have sprung back to normal this past weekend.

This Saturday's Jim Dandy card had an attendance of 25,375 and Handle of $15,999,087 beating last year's Jim Dandy Day attendance and handle figures of 24,548 and $13,164,684.

Sunday's T-Shirt Spinner #'s were 50,727 in attendance compared to last years first Sunday Spinner Day of 47,132. Total Handle this past Sunday was 10,809,456 beating last years figure of 10,047,879.

The first week figures were down due to one reason-the oppressive heat. Weather will and always has been a huge factor in Saratoga Attendance #'s, particularly affecting the local and day tripper attendees decision on whether or not to show up at the track.This week was beautiful and the numbers jumped back up.

It amazes me each year how the Debbie Downer's of the world will jump on low attendance figures as an indication of something wrong with racing, the Spa, etc. instead of looking at the # 1 factor-weather. More and more people are getting use to the ease and convenience of betting year round via a betting account linked too a smart phone, tablet or desktop. Only the best meets with the best weather days will bring the folks out (as well as the corny Sunday Spinner Giveaways). 

Opening weekend was particularly affected as we were basically in the 3rd week of a sustained heat wave and I really believe people were so frustrated of going out in this heat. But now the heat as broken and all is back to normal at the Spa.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saratoga Silliness

We all know about the near Perfection of Saratoga.....the splendor, the history, the horses.

For a great look at all that, check out the PBS documentary on Saratoga Race Course which premiered last night locally on PBS in the Capital Region area and will be re-broadcast on
Tuesday, July 30th at &:30 pm, and again on August 23 at 9 pm and August 24th at 10:30 am. You can find out more at the WMHT website here.

As for the silliness:

Do we really need the annual "The Sport is Dying" articles to be run across front pages such as sourpuss Jim Odato's take splashed on the front page of the Times Union (Albany, NY) on Sunday?   You lose me quickly Jimmy Boy with illogical and brain dead comparisons.  Comparing this years non Triple Crown Belmont attempt to a Triple Crown attempted (up until the day before) Belmont regarding attendance drop is just plain dumb.  

No Adelphi Hotel? Yes it is true. The Historic Hotel on Broadway, undergoing a complete renovation, has been closed since the end of last years meet and despite the best wishes of many fans, will not reopen in time for this years meet.  The latest news on the place has the owners awaiting approval on their design plans from the Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission. So cross your fingers and hope all gets finished in time for a 2014 meet opening.

More silliness, the plans include a new glass-enclosed “conservatory” that would replace the popular outdoor rear patio.  How silly.