SARATOGA SPRINGS — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame announced May 21 it will cancel the 2020 Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the Museum Ball as a result of the ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are incredibly disappointed we won’t be able to have these time-honored special events this summer, but the health concerns we are facing right now take precedence,” said John Hendrickson, president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in a statement. “The Hall of Fame ceremony is an experience we want to be able to share with the fans. With racing at Saratoga this summer likely to take place without spectators, we believe it is in the best interests of everyone involved and for the integrity of the event to postpone the ceremony for a year.”
The Hall of Fame ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 7. This year’s induction class — trainer Mark Casse, jockey Darrel McHargue, horses Wise Dan and Tom Bowling, and Pillars of the Turf Alice Headley Chandler, Keene Daingerfield, Jr., and George D. Widener, Jr. — will be inducted in the traditional manner alongside the class of 2021
“The 2020 inductees will be honored together with the class of 2021 next summer in what will be a truly special ceremony,” Hendrickson said. “Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the most prestigious honor in the sport of thoroughbred racing and we will make sure this year’s class is properly recognized for the incredible mark they have made on the game.”
The 44th Annual Museum Ball, which was scheduled for Aug. 14, is traditionally one of the highlights of the Saratoga summer social season. That event will also return to the calendar in 2021.
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame remains closed to the public. The Museum is currently under construction, as work has resumed this week on the new Hall of Fame Education Experience. More information on the reopening of the Museum will be forthcoming.
ELMONT — The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a new charitable initiative designed to raise funds for the NYRA backstretch community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans can support the effort by purchasing new t-shirts emblazoned with the inspirational messages "Belmont Tough" and "Saratoga Tough." The t-shirts emphasize the strength and commitment of the men and women who have been working throughout the pandemic to provide essential care for the 1,500 horses stabled on the property.
The Belmont Tough t-shirt is available in steel grey and the Saratoga Tough t-shirt is offered in heather red. The limited-edition t-shirts are now available for sale by visiting online.
NYRA will donate all net proceeds from t-shirt sales in equal allotments to three non-profit organizations which serve the Belmont Park backstretch community: the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA); the Backstretch Employee Service Team of New York (B.E.S.T.); and the New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA).
"The backstretch workers are the unsung heroes of our sport," said NYRA Chief Operating Officer Gordon Lavalette. "As we move toward the resumption of live racing, we encourage fans to support the men and women whose hard work and dedication have made that possible."
The BCCA operates Anna House, a childcare and early-childhood education facility at Belmont Park for backstretch families, providing vital support to those who work in thoroughbred racing. Libby Imperio, a longtime owner on the NYRA circuit, is the president of the BCCA board and oversees the organization's fundraising and outreach efforts.
Anna House was closed on March 17 consistent with Nassau County's decision to close public schools to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, but the BCCA continues to work remotely to support the children of backstretch workers.
B.E.S.T. operates the B.E.S.T. Health Center located on the Belmont Park backstretch and maintains a staff of 15 full-time workers and numerous volunteers who are tasked with providing backstretch workers free health care, life insurance, drug and mental health counseling, food and clothing.
Led by Executive Director Paul Ruchames, B.E.S.T. operates on an annual budget in excess of $2.2 million which is funded mainly by NYRA and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA), along with public donations and grants from private foundations.
The NYRTCA, led by Chaplain Humberto Chavez, ministers to the backstretch community with children's enrichment, social services, recreational programs, educational opportunities and non-denominational religious services.
ELMONT — The New York Racing Association (NYRA) this week announced a number of safety initiatives and entry rule changes for the upcoming 25-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park. The Belmont spring/summer meet kicks off on Wednesday, June 3.
NYRA says after consulting with independent experts, veterinarians, horsemen and regulators, it has implemented a number of racing rules to further enhance equine safety and ensure trainers/owners are equitably represented in the entries due to the lengthy suspension of live racing on the NYRA circuit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New rules for horses coming off layoffs or making career debut as 4-year-old: Horses which have not started in more than 180 days, or less than 365 days, will be placed on the Veterinarians' List and must be presented to the NYRA Veterinarian prior to racing.
Horses which have not raced in 365 days will automatically be added to the Veterinarians' List and must satisfy the same requirements for removal from the Veterinarians' List as horses designated as "unsound." If a start has not been made within 60 days of the NYRA Veterinarians' clearance, then the horse will be placed back on the Veterinarians' list.
Horses which have not made a start prior to Feb. 1 of their 4-year-old year will automatically be placed on the Veterinarians' List and must satisfy the same requirements for removal from the Veterinarians' List as horses designated as "unsound." If a start has not been made within 60 days of the NYRA Veterinarians' clearance, then the horse will be placed back on the Veterinarians' List.
Waiver Claiming Option - Claiming Races: At time of entry into a claiming race an owner/trainer may opt to declare a horse exempt from being claimed. For the Belmont spring/summer meet, the following waiver claiming rule applies: The horse has not started since March 16, 2020; The horse is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the price it last started for (horse must have started in a claiming race in the previous start to qualify); Failure to declare the horse exempt at the time of entry may not be remedied; The waiver rule can only be applied to said horse's first start following each such layoff.
New Trainer Entry rule: In all overnight races no same trainer entry will be allowed to draw into the body of a race to the exclusion of a different trainer entrant. At time of entry, trainers must designate a "different owner first choice (DO1) and a "different owner second choice (DO2)." Stakes races are excluded from this rule. A different owner second entry (DO2) is preferred over a same owner second entry (SO2).
For more information, please go to: www.nyrainc.com/about/nyra-safety.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Harness Racing, Inc. (SHRI) and American Gaming Group, LLC (AGG) announced May 20 that they have mutually agreed to terminate an acquisition agreement under which the parties had agreed that SHRI would acquire the operating assets of Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek, CO from AGG.
Both parties cite that the termination, although disappointing, was necessary based on the current economic impacts resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. The pandemic has resulted in a need for each company to focus on its respective businesses, and has impacted the companies’ ability to realize the benefits of the transaction during these unprecedented times.
SHRI owns and operates Saratoga Casino Hotel, in Saratoga Springs, featuring over 1,200 slots, electronic table games, a live entertainment venue, a variety of dining options and bars, live harness racing, and simulcast wagering. SHRI also owns and operates Saratoga Casino Black Hawk, located in the historic town of Black Hawk, CO featuring over 425 slot machines, 10 table games, a full-service restaurant, bar and a variety of guest services. SHRI is also a partner with Delaware North Companies in the operation of Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths in Saratoga Springs. Additional information about Saratoga Casino Hotel can be found at saratogacasino.com.
This past week, Chabad of Saratoga hosted a Honk for Heroes Car Parade. Participants were welcomed to decorate their car in celebration. Photo provided.
WILTON — The History Channel has announced that its three-part mini-series on U.S. Grant will air on successive nights beginning May 25.
The Grant Cottage, located near Saratoga Springs, will be featured in the docudrama, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s company. Grant spent the last six weeks of his life at this Cottage in Saratoga County completing his Civil War memoirs. DiCaprio's production company filmed at the cottage last October.
Grant Cottage President Tim Welch said the cottage received a $10,000 donation from DiCaprio, and that the History Channel s also donated two 30-second commercials in the national broadcast which will promote Grant Cottage as a national historic landmark.
286 Sweetman Rd., $482,575.
David and Kathleen Fitts sold property to Nicholas Querques and Cassandra Lyons.
2282 Route 67, $206,000.
Jared and Kimberly Iverson sold property to Kyle and Kristina Longo.
15 Montgomery Way, $303,900.
John and Dena Rich sold property to Thomas Downey and Karen Hock.
8 Southwood Dr., $330,000.
Marek Rzonca sold property to Lewis and Lisa Kotredes.
36 Aster Dr., $335,000.
Farouk Elgidely and Verna Lewis Elgidely sold property to Soumendra and Rashmishree Jena.
22 Rioux Court, $245,000.
Marian Pedersen (by Ancillary Exec) sold property to Imeme Benantar.
779 Waite Rd., $411,900.
Glenn Murphy (as Trustee) and Jennifer Jacques (as Trustee) sold property to Paul and Melinda Yourke.
2 Edward St., $106,000.
Jeffrey Vedder (as Trustee) and James Vedder (as Trustee) sold property to James and Justina Vedder.
1381 Point Rd., $200,000.
Donna Malebranche sold property to Galway Lake Campers Association Inc.
5744 Jockey St., $369,963.
Joseph Dannible sold property to Joseph Bowers and Ashley Chandler.
501 Spier Falls Rd., $295,000.
Richard and Heather Peschieri sold property to John Janiszewski.
23 Locust Grove Rd., $238,000.
Dylan Murphy and Jessica Clear sold property to Locust Grove Ventures.
20 Lighthouse Dr., $272,000.
Bryon Bean sold property to Robert Santalucia, II.
Hudson River Rd., $840,000.
Troy Top Soil Co. Inc. sold property to Troy Topsoil and Aggregates Inc.
10 Stableford Place, $295,000.
Brendan French sold property to Kara and Erika Likar.
81 Pepperbush Place, $226,000.
Shana Cubas sold property to Cheryel Brown.
3 Sierra Trace, $310,000.
John and Tara Reilly sold property to Sheri and Michael Kern.
9 Haven Ave., $100,000.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs sold property to Brian Guarneri.
2 Old Chatham Court, $240,000.
Vincent and Alexandria Mastrianni sold property to Nathan Catallo.
16 Riley Cove Rd., $530,000.
Richard and Lucy Ruhle (as Trustees) sold property to Jonathan and Barbara Montag.
29 Liberty Dr., $425,000.
Guillermo Green sold property to Jessica LaFountain and Xavier Rodriguez.
101 Prospect St., $151,500.
Heron Creek LLC sold property to Evan Solosky.
204 Malta Ave., $225,000.
Steven and Judith Esposito sold property to Two Hundred Four Malta Ave LLC.
2 Jamaica Ave., $227,000.
Howard Mulcahy sold property to Troy and Theresa Galusha.
8 Edens Way, $389,449.
James Greenwood sold property to Ryan and Megan Armstrong.
71 Spring St., $124,000.
Darrick and Margaret Simione sold property to John Williams.
383 Gansevoort Rd., $260,000.
Blue Stream Properties LLC sold property to Adam Thomas and Casey Russell.
97 Butler Rd., $185,500.
Michael and Tracy Needham sold property to Janice Harvey and David Uebrick.
62 Wilson Ave., $139,900.
Reece Rudolph sold property to Daniel and Stacey Tucker.
14 Prospect St., $239,990.
Focus on Homes Inc. sold property to Kyle Fitscher and Paige Aubin.
17 Connor Dr., $210,000.
Peter Davis (Ind and as Atty) and Michael Davis and Kenneth Davis sold property to Robert and Francesca Collodi.
502 Gansevoort Rd., $235,500.
Sandra Stamper sold property to Rejean and Suzette Lescault.
37 River St. & 16 Main St., $687,000.
Glenn and Jeanmarie Gerboth sold property to Oak Valley Properties LLC.
17 Winterberry Lane, $336,905.
Michaels Group Homes LLC sold property to Darryl Barrow and Shalini Maharaj.
12 Circle Dr., $110,000.
Jason Bronson sold property to R and R Property Trust.
50 Robins Run, $362,500.
Cecelia and Aaron Green sold property to Daniel and Nicola Gosselin.
57 San Luis Rd., $176,000.
Sheila Morris sold property to Joseph Connell, III.
TOWN OF SARATOGA
1250 Route 9P, $385,000.
JJAM LLC sold property to Harold Denfeld and Karl Denfeld.
77 Van Dam St., Unit 303, $358,000.
Seventy Seven Van Dam LLC sold property to Nana Vaneria.
181 Woodlawn Ave., $415,000.
Mary Garhartt sold property to One Hundred Eighty One Woodlawn Ave LLC.
5 Liz Ann Dr., $593,000.
Maria and Joseph Klimek sold property to Jeffrey and Michelle Gallo.
13 Tommy Luther Dr., $470,000.
Susan Verhaeg (as Trustee) sold property to Seth and Brooke Harkins.
70 Excelsior Ave., Apt 202, $475,000.
Kristina Higgins sold property to Aninditz Mukherjee (as Trustee).
67 North St., $382,500.
Michael Trager and Sarah Loughran sold property to Douglas and Abigail Wolfson.
9 Battery Blvd. $345,000.
Gregory Beyer sold property to Darren Dodge.
57 Ferry Lane, $60,000.
Kelly Gardner and John Ferendzo sold property to Thomas Mills and Janice Gray Mills.
County Road 76, $82,500.
RR Depot LLC sold property to Alfred Parella.
128 Gracemore Rd., $544,995.
Jeffrey and Erin Dunn sold property to John and Tara Reilly.
29 Whitney Rd., $265,000.
Marilyn Albright sold property to Nicholas Cerone and Carley Dunleavy.
14 Brentwood Blvd., $558,451.
Sonoma Grove LLC sold property to Sandra and Harvey Kalish (as Trustees).
25 Cedarcrest Dr., $305,000.
Michael and Michelle Chevalier sold property to Andrew and Alyssa Boyea.
6 Mountain Lane, $163,000.
Kelly Garafalo sold property to James and Dorotea Jarrad.
NEW YORK — Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that racetracks may reopen June 1, the New York Racing Association is preparing to resume live racing at Belmont Park, and potentially relocate to Saratoga later in the summer.
The Saratoga meet is slated to begin July 16. That date has not been changed.
“Our ability to continue the training operation at Belmont Park throughout the pandemic informs the strict safety protocols that we currently have in place at Belmont Park and would seek to implement at Saratoga Race Course,” NYRA Director of Communications Pat McKenna said April 29. “As such, NYRA is seeking to resume live racing at Belmont Park in the absence of fans and we have prepared operating plans that follow the same model for Saratoga.”
The Oklahoma Training Track opposite the main track on Union Avenue - which was to open in April – has been delayed and is still not open.
This week, NYRA issued an updated statement. “NYRA and the New York racing community are thankful for Governor Cuomo’s steady leadership throughout this public health crisis and we applaud his decision to authorize the resumption of horse racing, without fans, beginning on June 1,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “This is a reasoned and responsible decision by Governor Cuomo that will enable horse racing to resume in a way that prioritizes health and safety while recognizing that NYRA is the cornerstone of an industry responsible for 19,000 jobs and $3 billion in annual economic impact.”
NYRA says it has developed a “comprehensive safety plan” and “extensive protocols.”
Live racing, to be conducted without spectators, will return on Wednesday, June 3, at Belmont Park. The Belmont Stakes will take place June 20, as the first leg of the Triple Crown series. The spring/summer meet at Belmont will conclude on Sunday, July 12.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild has awarded $1,500 scholarships to five Saratoga County high school seniors: Kathryn Cronier, Evan Klotz, Gracie-Lynne Ruzzo, Baihe Sun and Skylar Wright.
All have impressive track records of community service and plan to pursue careers in healthcare. Four participated in Students Sharing Opportunities and Responsibilities (SSOAR) a volunteer opportunity unique to Saratoga Hospital.
“These outstanding students are choosing lives of service at a time when that couldn’t be more challenging or important,” said Terry White, Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild President. “It is an honor to recognize and support their efforts.”
Kathryn Cronier, of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, intends to study radiology and diagnostics at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. She participated in the Saratoga Hospital SSOAR program for two years and volunteered at Camp Invention and Ellis Medicine.
Evan Klotz, of Saratoga Springs High School, will study physics/pre-med at Providence College in Rhode Island. He volunteered with SSOAR for two years, serving in Saratoga Hospital’s Orthopedic Center and Alfred Z. Solomon Emergency Center. He also created a website to address hunger and support Shelters of Saratoga.
Gracie-Lynne Ruzzo, of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, plans to major in medical research at Union College in Schenectady. The 2019 SSOAR participant volunteered as a science tutor at a local elementary school and brought canine companions to nursing homes to comfort residents there.
Baihe Sun, of Shenendehowa High School, will attend Brown University in Rhode Island to study biology/pre-med. She volunteered with Shen Shining Stars, CAPteens and at St. Peter’s Hospital. She also established a teen mental health awareness and advocacy initiative at her high school.
Skylar Wright, of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, will attend Quinnipiac University in Connecticut with the goal of becoming a physician assistant. A SSOAR participant, she also volunteered at the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame Camp Invention.
Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild has awarded scholarships since 1990 to help high school seniors in the region pursue careers in healthcare.
New York State Senator Daphne Jordan is pictured lending a helping hand to the community by taking part in Cornell Cooperative Extension’s recent hand sanitizer and mask distribution. Senator Jordan (right) is pictured with New York State Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (left). The hand sanitizer was donated to Winney’s Blueberry Farm, owned by Byron Winney, in Schuylerville. The sanitizer will be used by farm workers and is needed for the many people who come to pick their own blueberries. Photos provided.
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