And then there were seven

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By Shawn Rychling


Yes, seven. That’s 7. SEVEN!


Just seven days, that’s ONE WEEK, before Saratoga Race Course opens for the 2018 meet.


In each of the past several years the NYRA regime, led by CEO Chris Kay, has made some changes and additions to Saratoga Race Course.


This year, NYRA has a new fan area known as “The Stretch.” NYRA apparently has taken some of the existing grandstand seating at the top of the stretch and turned it into a more premium area for patrons.


There are boxes with tables of various sizes as well as a common area with flat-screen TVs and a bar and several food options.


NYRA has some artist renditions of the area which are difficult to really comprehend.  The area looks nice and it might be worth checking out. Apparently you can buy tables that seat 4, 6, or 8 people and each table has a touch screen for watching races and wagering on them.

There is also a box-seating area with cushioned benches that can be reserved.


It appears tickets range from $25 up to $70 depending on the day of the week and which level of seating you choose.


All this seems well and good, but it remains to be seen how this new seating is received by the public. One of the nice things about the race track is that most of the grounds are open to anyone paying general admission to get in.


This new “Stretch” area seems to be a favorite spot where we could go and watch the races from behind the regular grandstand.  It seems there will be less space for that now.


Things do change and progress is made – and there is nothing wrong with that.  It will be interesting to get a look at this new seating area and maybe test it out as is could be a great place to spend one or two of the meet’s 40 days.

I can recall going back about 20 years now when NYRA put in temporary box seats past the clubhouse and finish line.  They are still there and there are plans for a more permanent structure.


We tried those for a few years usually going the Thursday of Travers Week.  It was a nice time, but the novelty quickly wore off.

We have spent days at the track in as many different seating options as they have, and nothing beats sitting in the back yard after the last race until the sun goes down.


So enjoy Saratoga. It’s a 40-day oasis for the horseplayer.


Here is a quick look at Saturday’s Early Pick 4 at Belmont Park


The Grid
Race 2 3, 10 1 8
Race 3 4 2 5
Race 4 3 5, 6 1, 2
Race 5 7 4, 6 1





Hot List picks and analysis for Belmont are available on the MyWinners site by clicking here.