This summer, Saratoga Race Course’s summer season began earlier than it has since the nineteenth century thanks to a new structure that featured two dark days instead of one. Although it’s too early to say for sure yet, it looks as if the 2020 racing season may follow a similar schedule.
The 2019 summer meet’s earlier start date was offset by an additional dark day, keeping the total number of racing days at 40. Although the schedule change was to accommodate a shorter season at Long Island’s Belmont Park (which was undergoing construction), racing fans have likely been wondering whether the new schedule was here to stay.
The New York State Racing Association (NYRA) has issued a brief statement that gives us an idea of what to expect. “Since the conclusion of the 2019 meet, NYRA has conducted a thorough analysis of the season and engaged in conversations with local and industry stakeholders, including the Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association,” said Pat McKenna, Director of Communications for NYRA, in a statement.
It seems that the positive outcomes from the 2019 racing season may persuade officials to maintain the new schedule next year. “Based on the findings,” McKenna continued in a statement, “NYRA anticipates maintaining a schedule that is consistent with the 2019 season, which generated record-breaking all-sources handle and paid attendance that surpassed one million fans for the fifth consecutive season.”
Official confirmation of this schedule awaits the approval from the New York State Gaming Commission. Stay tuned for the schedule when it’s announced!