I still haven't received my refund check I was owed from NYRA for the Saratoga reserved seats which I paid for back in January (Read more about that here). So, being that it is basically September, I called there today to politely ask for my money back. So the woman who answered gave me an answer that was regrettably all too common from NYRA when it comes to reserved seating, she said "As far as I know, the checks have all been issued." I hate hearing qualfiers like "As far as I know" when I call the precise office that is supposed to have an answer. Luckily she did give me a number down at Belmont to call and the person who answered there said my check went out on Saturday. Therefore I assume I will get it sometime this week.
I want to be a supporter of NYRA because I have seen some good things from them and we are basically stuck with them, but it's things like this (incompetence? lack of integrity while keeping interest on all that money?) that make steam come out of my ears.
Well the real bad news is that despite the beautiful weather yesterday (Sunday) and today, the Saratoga Race Course seemed to have that post Travers blues thing going. It's just more subdued and less exciting, along with a hint of autumn in the air, indicating that the track and summer season is once again close to the end. Let's hope a certain "faster than a speeding bullet" superfilly can help the track go out with a huge crowd and a celebratory party at the Woodward Stakes race this coming Saturday! C'mon Rachel Alexandra, we're counting on ya! See you then.
What a terrible shame that the weather was cold and rainy, which greatly contributed to the lowest attended Travers in 30 years. Why couldn't we have had Friday's weather, or Sunday's? I feel bad for NYRA, which despite lingering issues, still kept Saratoga going strong and didn't succumb to financial woes plaguing other historic tracks around the nation. They deserved better. Let's hope Rachel Alexandra can help them end the season on a high note.
ESPN did a marvelous job on their Travers coverage and really does a great job showcasing Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, the horses, and the people involved. Their coverage is so sharp, professional, and exciting. Surround sound for a horse race? That was great!! I realize MSG doesn't have ESPN's resources, but maybe they can pick up a thing or two from the big guns of cable sports coverage and improve their horse racing coverage with some more pizazz.
There was an interview of Ramon Dominguez in today's Times-Union. Tim Wilkin did a nice job and Dominguez sure seemed like a really nice guy - and it came off as genuine - not slick PR.
I had breakfast at the track Friday morning. You can't beat the atmosphere, but the service is God awful. I asked for a coffee refill three times before I finally got it. The people are working hard - it simply appears that they are understaffed.
I can't believe there's just over a week left of track season, but of course I say that every year at this time. I love Saratoga Springs and it turned me into a horse racing fan. Here's looking to the fall Belmont meet and the Breeders Cup later this autumn.
Thank God my neighbor told me the Travers day races had an 11:35am start this year. I swore he was wrong until I checked on the NYRA site and confirmed the first race has that extra early start time.
The actual Travers race itself will be at 5:46pm, according to the NYRA site. ESPN coverage starts at 4:30pm.
Here we are having the Travers with just a couple of days left in August and the temperature this morning an autumn like low 50s. With that being said - I appreciate tradition but isn't it obvious the the Travers was the mid-summer Derby once upon a time and is really now the late summer Derby? Just my thoughts.
I too dared to dream and thought that perhaps, just perhaps, we'd have Rachel Alexandra, Mine That Bird, and Summer Bird all racing against each other at the Travers. Well, even with that dream down the drain and the rain coming, it's still exciting and fun isn't it?
The Paulick Report, a highly respected horse racing blog, has an entry today entitled "Not Your Daddy's NYRA" that praised the often maligned racing association. While I have some issues with NYRA, they have seemed to pick up their game this year and do deserve credit for some of their efforts. Apparently some others agree.
With all of my summer activity and travels, I haven't had a lot of time to read other Saratoga blogs lately, but I noticed this entry from I-Saratoga earlier this month regarding The Schenectady Daily Gazette's change from a free web site to a paid one. As usual, I-Saratoga's entry is insightful, strongly worded, and of course interesting. Also, at least some of the comments are worth reading as well.