07/21/2012 2:47PM

Saratoga: Opening-day glitches overcome


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – And on the second day, there was running water, audio, and Internet at Saratoga.

Saturday, after technical difficulties interrupted an otherwise pleasant opening day here Friday, everything seemed to be in working order at the Spa.

But even with the hiccups, Saratoga’s 114th opening day turned out to be quite successful for the New York Racing Association.

Attendance for opening day was 25,676, a 2.1 percent increase over the 25,155 that showed up in 2011. Ontrack handle for the 10-race card was $4,075,817, a 14.8-percent increase from the $3,551,745 wagered ontrack in 2011.

All-sources handle, which includes wagering on Saratoga from simulcast outlets, was $16,690,234, a 5.2 percent increase from the $15,871,449 wagered in 2011 and believed to be an opening-day record.

“Our fans ontrack and across the country responded to a great day of racing,” said New York Racing Association president and COO Ellen McClain.

The opening-day program was run under partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. But there was no rain.

There were a few glitches, however. Audio problems prevented the popular Talkin’ Horses handicapping segment from being conducted prior to the card. The highly-touted free wireless Internet – introduced for the first time at Saratoga – worked intermittently at best. Later in the day, there was no running water in the bathrooms and jockey quarters, problems reminiscent of the nightmare conditions fans had to endure in the 2008 Belmont Stakes.

McClain said the organization would “be working through the night to resolve all of these matters.” And the issues were resolved come Saturday.

Friday’s crowd was treated to a show dominated late by the brothers Dutrow. Embattled Richard Dutrow Jr., who is facing a 10-year revocation of his license from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for past rules violations, won the Grade 3 James Marvin with Pacific Ocean. Thirty minutes later, Tony Dutrow, Rick’s older brother, won the Grade 3 Schuylerville with So Many Ways. Tony then took the finale with To Dubai.

So Many Ways, a daughter of Sightseeing owned by Maggi Moss, ran six furlongs in 1:11.51 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 79. She could make her next start in the Grade 1 Spinaway here on Sept. 2.

Earlier on the card, the first 2-year-old star was unveiled when Kauai Katie won a maiden 2-year-old filly race by 12 lengths. Her final time for 5 1/2 furlongs was 1:03.66 and she was given a 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

Owned by Stonestreet Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher, Kauai Katie could be pointed to the Grade  1 Spinaway here on Sept. 2.

Rosie Napravnik rode Kauai Katie to victory, her second win on the card. Also winning two were Joel Rosario, Javier Castellano, and Ramon Dominguez.

The Saratoga meet runs through Sept. 3.

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