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NYRA touts Saratoga plans

New wagering options will also be made available to help boost track appeal, including "rolling daily doubles," with a wager offer pending approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

Additionally, all possible races will offer exactas and trifectas, according to information provided at the announcement.

Landry also announced the promotional giveaways for the upcoming meet. NYRA is eliminating its normal opening Thursday bobblehead giveaway, but still has five items lined up to bring in the crowds on Sundays.

The first giveaway is on July 27, and attendees will be given a baseball cap. The other four are scheduled for Aug. 3, when fans will be given a short-sleeve T-shirt; on Aug. 10, a "stadium seat" sponsored by the Daily Racing Form; on Aug. 17, a long-sleeve T-shirt sponsored by the Adirondack Trust Company; and on Aug. 31, a cooler bag.

Speculation about a potential decrease in track attendance due to the sluggish economy was also addressed.

"There are some uncertain economic times facing Saratoga," said Hal Handel, NYRA's chief operating officer.

He cited high gas prices and fickle weather as other possible reasons for a potential decrease in attendees.

He said the "allure of the track" and quality of the product are reasons the Saratoga track might not take such a large hit. He also said the attendance at Belmont and Aqueduct has been good despite the difficult economic times.

John Lee, NYRA's communication director, said the high gas prices might not negatively affect attendance as much as some have speculated. He used the term "staycation" to illustrate that many patrons might opt to take a day trip to the track rather than go on longer, more expensive summer vacations.

Joe Dalton, president of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, also expressed his lack of concern for the rising gas prices.

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