Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Show Your Support for the SHHA

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Home – Stop The Sweatheart Deal for Rivers Casino (stopthesweetheartdeal.org)

Please visit the site above and show your support of the SHHA’s pursuit of funding from Rivers Casino.

Read the Times Union

Monday, March 1st, 2021

There will be an article in the Times Union pertaining to obtaining supplemental purse payments from Rivers for CY2020 and beyond, including addressing the currently proposed item in the NYS Budget regarding these payments. 

As previously stated in our February update, a letter was issued (by Joe Battaglia and Sarah) to the Governor’s Budget Office on February 7th detailing the importance of those payments to our business and requesting resolution of this issue.  Joe testified on behalf of the SHHA at the Budget Hearing on February 23rd.   This item is our highest priority at present.

SHHA Communication 2/19/21

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Significant Items Currently Being Worked:

  • We are continuing to work with SCRI, Legal (Sarah Burger), our Assemblywoman (Carrie Woerner), and the NYSGC to obtain supplemental purse payments from Rivers for CY2020 and beyond, including addressing the currently proposed item in the NYS Budget regarding these payments.  A letter was issued (by Joe Battaglia and Sarah) to the Governor’s Budget Office on February 7th detailing the importance of those payments to our business and requesting resolution of this issue.  Joe is scheduled to testify on behalf of the SHHA at the Budget Hearing on February 23rd.  Carrie is also introducing a bill regarding timing of these payments.   This item is our highest priority at present.
  • Our contract has been amended for changes to our racing schedule for CY2021 due to current purse projections as a result of impacts from the pandemic.  These changes are for 2021 ONLY.  This item is complete.
  • The NYSGC recently issued new standards for backstretch housing (dorms) which will result in SCRI closure of the dorm.  All current residents have been notified.  The Board is working on a go-forward plan with the current dorm residents.   Mickey McGivern has the lead for this item.
  • We are in the initial stages of establishing a pension plan for our local horsemen.  More information will be forthcoming over the next few months.  John Hoagland has the lead for this item.

General Items:

  • The NYSGC is expected to be at Saratoga for licensing on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, February 23, 25, and 26 from 9:00 until 2:00.  Please call 518-581-5885 for same day appointments.  No advance day appointments or walk-ins will be accepted.
  • The Main Track will now be open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 am until 1 pm and the Jog Track will be open Sunday through Saturday from 6 am until 1 pm.  If weather necessitates a change to the current schedule trainers will be notified by Club Text message from SCRI.  Please call Amy Gentile (518-581-5747) if you need access to Club Text.
  • SCRI issued a Horseperson’s Handbook covering rules and requirements which will be applicable to anyone using the backstretch facilities.  All trainers and grooms will receive a hard copy.  The document will also be posted on the SHHA website.  Please contact SCRI Security or the Horsemen’s Representative if you have any issues to resolve regarding the Handbook.
  • Owners are now allowed to watch their horses train on the Main Track from the Lower Club House in an area marked “Owners Only”, however you must first check in at the Stable Gate and follow the process to obtain a wristband for that day.
  • Owners who paid for their grandstand box for 2020 will receive a refund for that payment.  If you have any questions, please contact Amy Gentile.
  • The Board currently has several committees which review and address relevant items with the rest of the Board and recommend actions to address these items.  You do not need to be a Board member to be on a committee, so if you would like to help out your fellow horse people please feel free to join a committee.  We would greatly appreciate your involvement and support!
  • Complete tree trimming associated with the Jog Track improvements – Spring
  • Replace/upgrade Main Track fence – Spring/Summer

Racing Schedule for 2021:

  • Racing is scheduled to commence on Monday, March 1st.  We are currently expecting to race three (3) days per week, for a minimum of thirty-three (33) races per week through December 15th.  Racing is planned for Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at noon (except for Wednesdays being evenings during the anticipated Saratoga Flat racing meet).  If/when fans are allowed, a change to the schedule (e.g. Sunday afternoon instead of Wednesday afternoon) may occur.   We will keep you posted on any changes as we are made aware of them.
  • Paddock protocols will be the same as at the end of 2020 until further notice.
  • Based on our current purse account balance and on currently available VLT revenue projections, we anticipate racing for purses at approximately 75% of the 2019 purse structure throughout 2021.  The first Condition Sheet has been posted.
  • Qualifiers will be on Tuesdays following the race card until further notice.  Check the condition sheet for updates.
  • We are currently expecting to have the annual Spring Series during May.  The Race Office will issue specifics shortly.
  • The NYSS schedule has been posted on their website.

If you have any questions for the Board, please do not hesitate to contact one of the twelve (12) current Board members or the Horsemen’s Representative.  We would like to work together with you to support you in any way we reasonably can. Should you desire to bring an item to the attention of the Board at its next meeting, please contact our Administrative Assistant Karen Kamal (cell = 518-775-0975) at least five (5) days prior to the scheduled meeting.  She will provide you with a time slot near the beginning of the meeting to present your item.  If you have material you would like the Board to review, please also provide that information to Karen so she can provide it to the Board members in advance of the meeting.  Thank you, in advance, for your support!

Our next meeting is currently scheduled for Friday, March 19th at 12:30 in the Recreation Room adjacent to the Track Kitchen.

The SHHA Board of Directors

Racing License Renewal

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Gaming Commission staff will be in the office to process Racing License renewals on the following dates from 9AM until 2PM:

Tuesday, February 23

Thursday, February 25

Friday, February 26

Anyone needing to renew their license should call 518-581-5885 to make a same-day appointment (They are not taking appointments in advance).

Update Qualifier Schedule

Monday, February 15th, 2021

Due to the storm, Tuesday, Feb 16th qualifiers are rescheduled to Thursday Feb 18th at 10AM.

The next scheduled qualifiers is Tuesday, Feb 23rd at noon.

Once racing resumes, qualifiers are scheduled for Tuesdays at 4:30PM

SCH Horseperson’s Handbook

Friday, February 12th, 2021

SCH has put together a handbook and along with the SHHA’S approval we now have a final copy. A hard copy of The Horseperson’s Handbook will be distributed starting Friday 2/12/2021 at the Stable gate until all Horsepersons on our Backstretch has received a copy. Please be sure to obtain a handbook. Any questions feel free to stop by my office, I will be happy to answer any questions.

Charles Astarita Administrative Security Manager

Saratoga Casino Hotel

342 Jefferson Street, PO Box 356

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

(518) 584-2110 Ext. 5650

[email protected]

SHHA Board of Directors Meeting

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

The Board of Directors meeting for Thursday February 18th at 12:30pm, has been rescheduled to Friday February 19th at 12:30pm. If a member wishes to bring an item to the attention of the Board at this meeting, please contact our Administrative Assistant Karen Kamal (cell = 518-775-0975) at least five (5) days prior to the scheduled meeting.  There is one time slot available for this meeting. She will provide you with a time slot near the beginning of the meeting to present your item.  If you have material you would like the Board to review, please provide that information to Karen no later than noon on Monday February 15th, so she can provide the material to the Board members in advance of the meeting.

Condolences to Family of Norm Dessureault

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Longtime horseman Norm Dessureault of Pompano Beach, Fla. passed away on Thursday (Jan. 28) at the age of 72.

He competed at tracks across North America during his career, including Saratoga. Norm won 1,838 races as a driver while training the winners of nearly 600 races. He was training a small stable in Florida at the time of his passing.

Stall Applications are Due

Monday, February 1st, 2021

There are still some trainers with Stall Applications due. Please submit your application ASAP to the Stable gate.

Condolences to Richard (Doc) Frank’s Family

Friday, January 29th, 2021

Dr. Richard Arthur (Doc) Frank, D.V.M., 81, died peacefully on January 24, 2021 at the Home of the Good Shepherd at Highpointe in Malta, after a short illness. Born in Middletown, NY on June 27, 1939, son of the late Joseph A. Frank and Helen Fitzgerald Baummer, he was raised in Goshen, NY and graduated high school from Goshen Central High School.
He attended Paul Smith’s College and received his bachelor’s at Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He went on to become a Doctor of Veterinary Science after graduating in 1964 from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
An equine veterinarian most of his career, he was dedicated to serving the needs of the horse owners and trainers at the Saratoga Harness Track and surrounding area for more than 50 years. He was inducted into The Saratoga Harness Racing Hall of Fame & Museum in 2015. He was a life-time member of many professional organizations and was always reading and attending conferences to stay up to date in his profession.
Affectionately known as “Doc Frank”, he had a warm, caring, and generous heart and was well loved by many.
He loved the outdoors and when not working, loved to fly his Cessna, hunt, photograph wildlife, work on his elaborate model train sets, and spend quality time with his family on the farm.
A loving and devoted husband and father, he is survived by his wife of 56 years, Beverly Stevens Frank, whom he married November 21, 1964, daughters Kathleen (Alexander) Gonzalez of Stillwater and Cheryl (Benjamin) Sullivan of Underhill, VT, son Gregory Arthur Frank of Stillwater, and grandchildren Sean and Chloe Gonzalez, Kyley Sullivan, and Kyleigh and Sydney Frank.
Keep the Heavens laughing, Doc!
The family want to thank The Home of the Good Shepherd at Highpointe in Malta and The Community Hospice of Saratoga County for the love and care given to him while a resident and also all the friends who have walked this journey with us.
Due to COVID 19 concerns, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later time when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either the Lewy Body Dementia Association, www.lbda.org/donate/ or 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047, the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association, PO Box 171, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, or The Community Hospice of Saratoga County, 179 Lawrence Street, NY 12866, in memory of Richard “Doc” Frank.