The Saratoga Race Course 2019 summer meet has come to a close, and it turned out to be a season of new records, historic moments, and an altered calendar. Wondering how the season shaped up? Read on for a summary of the numbers and a look back at some other notable announcements.
The Numbers Are In
In 2019, the track opened two weeks ahead of its normal schedule, the earliest is had since the nineteenth century, and added an additional dark day to its weekly lineup. Even with changes, as well as the fully-cancelled day of racing on July 20 (in light of excessive heat) and the cancellation of seven races on July 25 (due to severe weather), NYRA’s 2019 summer meet at Saratoga still broke records.
- All-sources: $705,343,949 ($46 million more than 2018, and $29 million more than the previous record, set in 2017)
- On-track: $146,618,750
- Paid attendance (39 days): 1,056,053 (the fifth season in a row to pass 1 million)
- Average daily: $18,085,742 (vs. $16,477,086 in 2018)
- Whitney Day all-sources: $31,835,863 (new record)
- 150th Travers Day all-sources: $52,129,344 (new record)
- Stable with the most victories: Klaravich Stables (19)
- Trainer with the most victories: Chad Brown (41)
- Jockey with the most victories: Jose Ortiz (60)
Other Notable Happenings
In the light of the passing of Saratoga legend Marylou Whitney, the Clubhouse entrance was renamed the Marylou Whitney Entrance. Plans for the Marylou Whitney Backstretch Pavilion were also announced. The pavilion will be the future home of the Saratoga Backstretch Program, which was founded by Whitney and her husband, John Hendrickson.
The 1863 Club, a 36,000-square-foot climate-controlled venue, opened at the Clubhouse turn. The new venue features three stories, complete with luxury suites, an event hall, and a banquet room.
The 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers aired nationally on FOX for the first time, garnering 1.3 million viewers. In addition to the special Travers program, many of the races were also seen across the country on Saratoga Live, NYRA’s television program broadcasted on FS2, with 190 hours of live races being aired.
Sad that the racing season is over at Saratoga Race Course? There’s plenty to look forward to this fall in Saratoga!