07/15/2016 1:56PM

Stone to make morning line at Saratoga


ELMONT, N.Y. – Travis Stone, best known as the track announcer at Churchill Downs, will make the morning line during the Saratoga meet, which begins next Friday. New York Racing Association officials confirmed the news that Stone first tweeted on Thursday.

Stone will do the morning line in place of Eric Donovan, who will still handle morning-line duties at Aqueduct and Belmont Park. Donovan is also a producer for NYRA television, which will be debuting “Saratoga Live,” a 2 1/2-hour daily program, this summer.

Stone, who has worked the past few winters at NYRA as a backup track announcer and part-time handicapper, said he made the morning line for a few meets at Louisiana Downs, where he also called races.

“I love statistics, I love analytics,” Stone said by phone Friday. “I do plan on applying that to the morning lines. I don’t think too much of that is being done right now.”

Stone said he has begun the process of looking up how bettors have wagered on shippers from New Jersey and Kentucky. He said he has done analysis on how the public bets on horses trained by Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown, the top two trainers in terms of wins at the last five Saratoga meets.

“I’m a nerd for stuff like that,” Stone said.

Typically, Stone said he spends his summers golfing, fishing, and hanging out. Stone will return to Churchill Downs in time to call the races at the abbreviated September meet.