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NYRA prepares for another Saratoga season

Adding a third barn takes away more precious stall space from the many trainers that want to bring their horses to Saratoga.

According to NYRA racing secretary P.J. Campo, the number of requests far exceeds the stall space at the track, even if security barns weren't there.

"I get anywhere from 2,300 to 2,500 horses that want to be stabled here, and we only have 1,800 stalls," said Campo, who is entering his second Saratoga season. "Luckily, our local horsemen are willing to share their stalls."

Saratoga Gaming and Raceway " located across Nelson Avenue from the track " is also willing to share its stable space, and that in turn is giving the harness track an unprecedented simulcasting deal. NYRA will house thoroughbreds at the harness track's barn 5, which has room for 47 horses, and the raceway will have live simulcasts of the races taking place across the street for the first time.

"We're good neighbors, and we learned, I think, a really good lesson when the VLTs (video lottery terminals) opened up (at the raceway)," said Nader. "We're not going to lose anything because people are not going to give up the live (racing) experience."

Another significant change involves the stakes races schedule at Saratoga. NYRA has moved the Grade 1 Woodward Handicap from its fall Belmont schedule to the final Saturday of its Saratoga schedule Sept. 2. The Forego will be run the same day as the Woodward.

"It's a pretty strong closing weekend," said Campo.

NYRA also announced that one of Saratoga's prominent stakes races, the Test, will be sponsored by Darley " an international horse breeding and racing operation owned by Dubai ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. It's the first time a Saratoga stakes race has been sponsored by a company outside the United States.

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