NYRA says Saratoga horses are well-protected from heat

With the heat index reaching almost 100 degrees and the Saratoga thoroughbred season underway, race fans were racing for the shade on Wednesday.

Most people were drinking water and going back into the shaded areas to stay cool.

NYRA says they have EMTs on-site at different locations on the course, and ambulances for the horses.

There are ice buckets with water for people watching and for people working at the track.

As for the horses, NYRA says it monitors them from the beginning to the end of the day.

All horses who are entered to run are examined by NYRA veterinarians, and checked constantly.

There’s cooling stations – including ice and water – for horses. They’re placed in their travel to and from the racetrack, including at the paddock and winner’s circle.

One horse trainer, James Bond, explained to NewsChannel 13 if the horses are acting a little off, they’re scrapped from a race.

“There’s always another day if a horse is not right. The riders take care of them, too. We just try to keep them cool,” said Bond. “You’ll see hoses all around the racetrack today, you’ll see ice, there’s a truck that usually drives behind the horses, there’s always an ambulance for the riders.”

NewsChannel 13 also spoke on the phone with a veterinarian who owns horses that are racing at Saratoga this year. He says the weather is really not that bad for the horses – especially if they are running ice water on them before and after a race, which he says is done frequently.