NYRA Downgrades

On Friday afternoon the American Graded Stakes Committee released its list of graded stakes races for the for 2023 season. The list included five races that were downgraded from Grade I status to Grade II contests. Included in the downgrades were prestigious NYRA races for older dirt horses- the Woodward Stakes as well as the Cigar Mile will now be considered Grade II’s. Also dropping … Continue reading NYRA Downgrades

Belated Birthday Greetings

The Daily Racing Blog wishes the incomparable Johnny Velazquez a belated Happy Birthday. The Hall Of Fame jockey celebrated his 51st lap around the solar track yesterday (Thanksgiving). A native of Puerto Rico, Johnny V as he’s affectionately known, is Thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading money Winning jockey, with career purse earnings of more than $446 million from 6,357 Wins.  A Winner of three Kentucky Derbies, Velazquez has Won … Continue reading Belated Birthday Greetings

New NYRA Announcers

The 12th and final race of the card, on the last day of racing at Saratoga this summer was also the last call at The Spa for track announcer John Imbriale. Imbriale will retire as NYRA’s full-time track announcer at the end of 2022. While he will step away from the microphone at Saratoga Race Course and Aqueduct Racetrack, Imbriale will continue to serve as … Continue reading New NYRA Announcers

Horse Racing & Baseball

The World Series is over. The Breeders’ Cup reached its fitting conclusion. The Breeders’ Cup has been called the World Series of Horse Racing so it’s fitting they both ended on the same weekend. And, there is some overlap. Famous athletes and sports expressions often inspire the names submitted for Thoroughbred racehorses. Last year, the Jockey Club Registry reviewed more than 35,000 names for American … Continue reading Horse Racing & Baseball

The Headless Horseman

The Sleepy Hollow Stakes was the 10th and final race on the Belmont@Aqueduct card Sunday. The contest was Won by ARCTIC ARROGANCE a Linda Rice trained horse, ridden by Jose Lezcano, who kept his head in the race. But why Sleepy Hollow Stakes? Stakes races are usually named after horses, trainers, or other legendary horse people- not small towns on the Hudson. Famously described as … Continue reading The Headless Horseman

A Classic New York Bred

Nicholas Philip Zito grew up near Aqueduct Racetrack. His father would take him to the track as a young lad. But back in the day there were age restrictions on admission to the track. So the elder Zito would leave young Nicholas with a friend of his, who just happened to be a security guard at the Big A. It was there and then that Zito felt he found his calling. … Continue reading A Classic New York Bred

Remember Your First Time ?

It was a long, long time ago, but I remember it like it was (almost) yesterday. I was 15-16 and I was at the Saratoga Race Course with my Uncle Louie. And while I had been to this fabled course as a wee lad on a few occasions, I had never been given a race program.  My Uncle Louie felt it was time to ramp up my … Continue reading Remember Your First Time ?

Why No Breeders Cup At Saratoga?

Monday the Daily Racing Blog wrote about the basics of the Breeders’ Cup Championships, and it’s history. We mentioned how the end-of-year event rotates each season to different iconic racing venues. This year being Keeneland. So, in what has become an annual question since its inception- why hasn’t the oldest race course in America ever hosted this extravaganza? That’s right, Saratoga has never been home to the Breeders’ Cup. The … Continue reading Why No Breeders Cup At Saratoga?

Belmont At The Big A

There’s a bit of a twist in the New York racing schedule this fall. NYRA and crew always return downstate following the end of the Saratoga meet on Labor Day. But this year, instead of the usual fall meet at Belmont Park, racing will move to Aqueduct for a 28-day fall meet which will be referred to as Belmont at the Big A. A construction project … Continue reading Belmont At The Big A

Toga 22′ By The Numbers

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced that the all-sources wagering handle during the 2022 summer meet at Saratoga surged to a record $878,211,963. That WOW number eclipsed the previous record of $815,508,063, established last year, by 7.7 percent. The record setting 40-day meet generated average daily handle of $21,955,299, which is also the highest such figure in the history of Saratoga. On-track handle, which … Continue reading Toga 22′ By The Numbers