OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association will not produce a 2019 promotional calendar, typically given away ontrack with paid admission on New Year’s Day at Aqueduct as well as being available for purchase online.
NYRA spokesman Pat McKenna said there were several factors that went into the decision not to offer a calendar this year, including some uncertainty over NYRA’s 2019 racing schedule.
“First and foremost, the production of that calendar would have required a finalized racing schedule at a time when it wasn’t finalized,” McKenna said. “We have seen pretty significant declines in the demand for that calendar. To produce a calendar without opening days and closing days – details that our fans have come to expect – would not be doing them a service.”
NYRA has yet to announce its 2019 racing schedule beyond Aqueduct’s winter and spring meetings. Belmont Park’s spring meet is expected to open on April 26.
NYRA is hoping to begin renovations of Belmont Park at some point in 2019, but it’s unclear when that would start and if it would prompt officials to open Saratoga a week earlier than usual and spread out its 40-day meet over eight weeks, with five days of racing during six of those weeks. Also, it’s possible that if Belmont is under construction by mid-to-late summer, Belmont Park’s fall meet will have to be conducted at Aqueduct.
It was announced last week that Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved legislation that would allow NYRA to access the New York State Dormitory Authority to obtain low-cost financing for planned, though not-yet-approved, renovations.
McKenna said NYRA will revisit the calendar promotion in the future.
Fans won’t need a calendar to know that the Belmont Stakes will be run on June 8, the Whitney will be run on Aug. 3, and the Travers will be run on Aug. 24.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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