With Labor Day in the rear-view mirror, the racetrack at Saratoga is shuttered for the season. Leaving the Daily Racing Blog with some fond, value-laden, memories. So let’s do some end of the meet house cleaning and put The Spa to bed.
The winner of the Jockey Title was Irad Ortiz Jr. This young man had a whopping 259 starts, (despite missing an entire Saturday card, so that he could ride at Arlington Park, in The Arlington Millions Stakes race) winning 50 of those starts, (19%) while amassing $4,359,533 in total prize money. Not too shabby.
The Trainer Title went to Chad Brown. He saddled 164 horses and had 44 wins, which translates to mind-boggling winning efforts of 27% ! The total purse money his ponies tallied was $4,294,412. Mr. Brown hails from a neighboring Saratoga town called Mechanicsville, so truly, local boy makes good.
The New York Racing Association reports that the 2018 season was the second largest All Source (OTB’s, other tracks, casinos, etc…) betting handle in history, with $659,083,459 bet on the races at Saratoga. With the on-track handle contributing $148,826,388 of that total. 2018 Travers Day broke the All Source total for that event with $52,086,597 being wagered on that day. Those numbers were achieved despite one the wettest meets on record. Throughout the six weeks, ten inches of rain fell on The Spa. Fifty races were taken off the turf this season, double the numbers of the previous two years.
Yet the rain did not stop people from coming out to the track. Paid attendance for this year was 1,124,149. Marking the 3rd consecutive season that 1.1 million fans was exceeded. So interest in thoroughbred horse racing has not waned, and we here at DRB will continue to carry the torch by giving insight to all the racing fans out there, from beginners to rail-birds. So come on back.