New amenities add touch of 21st century to Saratoga racing season

Saratoga Race Course is a 19th century venue in a 21st century world. However, many of the traditions remain, like the ringing of the bell to alert jockeys they have 17 minutes to post – as if their smartphones don’t have a clock.

The late great sportswriter Red Smith purportedly wrote:
“From New York City, you drive north for about 175 miles, turn left on Union Avenue, and go back 100 years.”

However, each year there are modern new areas and amenities. The most obvious this year is a new two-story building overlooking the area where the jockeys mount their horses.

Another big addition won’t be so obvious to casual fans, but it’s important. NYRA has built a chute, think of it as an on-ramp, along the Clubhouse Turn. This allows them to start races there. It gives them the ability to run one-mile races on the main dirt track, something they haven’t been able to do in decades. It also gives them bigger field sizes when races are moved from the turf to the dirt track.

NYRA says since 2016, the year they rolled out their NYRA Bets app, its active users have increased by 255%.

If you’re planning to use those mobile sports betting platforms that became legal in January, like Draft Kings or Fan Duel, you can’t. They are not able to carry the content.

See if there are any plans to change that in the future by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.