Saratoga prepares for earliest opening day ever

July 08, 2019 06:33 PM

The 151st racing season in Saratoga Springs is quickly approaching. Opening day is this Thursday July 11, kicking off 40 days of races that will wrap up September 2.

The gates will open to the public Thursday morning at 7 a.m. for those who want to grab their picnic tables, then again at 11 a.m. for general admission.


Last year, more than 1.1 million people came to the races. They hope to exceed that this year. Right now, it's all about getting ready for that rush of people.

Cameras were not allowed into the main track area when NewsChannel 13 visited on Monday, but we could see grounds crews setting up tables, horses training, food vendors setting up their shops, and delivery trucks making their way in.

It was also move-in day for many backstretch workers - the staff and volunteers with the backstretch employees services team has been busy helping them to get situated ahead of the meet.

This year, there is a lot of excitement at the track about the unveiling of a new building called the 1863 Club. It is ready for spectators on opening day.

NYRA officials have reported that for the last three years, attendance here has exceeded one million people each year - and with those numbers in mind, preparations and planning is a full-time job for many people behind the scenes.

Hear more about what's being done to prepare for the crowds by watching the video of Jacquie Slater's story.


WNYT Staff

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