08/10/2012 4:20PM

Saratoga: Yankees star Rivera visits track

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera presents a trophy to jockey Ramon Dominguez following Regal Strike's victory in the third race at Saratoga on Friday.

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, currently on the disabled list with a knee injury, was at Saratoga on Friday and presented the trophy for the day’s third race, which was won somewhat appropriately by Regal Strike.

Rivera was in town for a function Thursday night at Siro’s Trattoria to benefit the Mariano Rivera Foundation, which annually distributes more than $500,000 to underprivileged children in the United States and Panama through church-based institutions.

Rivera was taken on a backstretch tour Friday morning by newly inducted Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, which included stops at the barns of trainers Todd Pletcher and Kiaran McLaughlin. While Rivera said he did enjoy that, he admitted later at a press conference that he had never attended a racetrack until Friday and was not necessarily a fan of the sport.

“No,” he said. “Sorry if you wanted me to say yes. I’m afraid of those horses.”

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