Saratoga meet finishes with record numbers

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Some hard morning rain may have kept the closing-day crowd down Monday, but New York Racing Association officials — and fans of the Saratoga Race Course meet — couldn’t generally complain about the season.

After Sunday’s card, Saratoga had set an all-sources handle record, then totaling $679,798,119. That got increased to a final sum of $705,343,946, topping the previous mark of $676,709,490 set in 2017. It’s particularly impressive that the record was set after just 38 1/2 actual racing days, as racing for July 20 was preemptively canceled due to a heat wave on the East Coast, and racing was canceled after four races on July 25 due to a fast-moving rainstorm that left track conditions unsafe.

The final paid attendance was 1,056,053.

On Monday, the backyard-goers had their choice of picnic tables, while scratches and surface changes reduced the fields, but bold bettors were rewarded. Four of the first five races over the sloppy, sealed track produced double-digit win payouts.

On the track, it was — as always — a summer filled with memorable performances. They included Honor Code’s 3-length win in the Travers, Dunbar Road in the Alabama, Winston C winning both Grade I steeplechase races and Mitole in the Forego.

Unfortunately, the meet ended on a sad note, as 3-year-old colt Borough Boy became the fourth racing fatality of the meet after breaking his front right foreleg in the stretch of the 11th and final race. There have been 13 deaths at the track since training opened at the Oklahoma Training Track in April, with the others coming either via training or off-track.


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