While the New York Racing Association (NYRA) helped quell the fears of many Saratoga Race Course fans when it confirmed that the track would still open on July 16, it certainly didn’t silence the naysayers. And now, the they have even more fuel for their fire.
Per NYRA, because of the continued statewide lockdown due to the COVID-19 crisis, it will be delaying the opening of the Oklahoma Training Track and stables at Saratoga Race Course. The training track was supposed to open on April 15. No new opening date has been confirmed as of yet.
Why is this significant? The opening of the Oklahoma and its facilities usually mark the unofficial start of the Saratoga racing season, a time in which the Thoroughbreds that will later compete in mid-July across Union Avenue can begin to get in morning works. The Oklahoma, which first opened in 1904, features both dirt and turf surfaces, and has its own stables.
This comes on the heels of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing on April 6 that the work-from-home order had been extended to April 29. NYRA says it’s currently working with the New York State Gaming Commission and public health agencies to determine a new opening date.
NYRA did, however, drive home the point that the postponement of the Oklahoma’s opening did not impact the start of the Saratoga Race Course season.