Normally, the opening of racing at Saratoga in upstate New York is a time for gala parties. This year, the track is operating, probably for the last time, under the auspices of the N.Y. Racing Association (NYRA) and under congressional scrutiny of medication rules and practices.
The NYRA’s board of directors is being replaced by political appointmees, primarily made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor decided to await the completion of the Saratoga meeting before implementing his plan to replace the board.
Recently, the U.S. Congress has been looking into complaints that I’ll Have Another, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, raced while injured, a charge that has been denied by his connections.
Because of money being generated by the casino at Aqueduct, Saratoga will be offering the equivalent of $1 million per day in race purses.