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'Christmas 5 months early' for Saratoga's most devoted fans

July 22, 2016 12:31 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - There is a sense of unbridled optimism on opening day at Saratoga Race Course. That’s because everyone is a winner before Race 1 starts.

The most enthusiastic fans view the day as Christmas five months early.

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Roughly 20,000 people come through the gates to drink, eat and people watch.

There are new amenities this year, including new video boards, new TV and new bars.

However, veteran trainer Gary Contessa says it’s all about the people.

“The fans here – I get to work at 5:00 this morning, and the people are camped out for a quarter mile all the way to the interstate. That’s what makes Saratoga so great. The fans love horseracing. I mean, what would Saratoga be if we showed up here with all the horses and nobody’s here,” Contessa pondered.

“It’s a great day for people to love horseracing and people to love the Saratoga Race Course and we’re thrilled to have all of them coming today to join us,” beamed NYRA CEO Chris Kay.

NewsChannel 13 will continue to have team coverage from Saratoga throughout the day on WNYT.com and on our evening newscasts starting at 5 p.m.


Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2016 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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