Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

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

Condolences to the Family of Bill Current

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

William Howard Current, age 91, passed away on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 at the Wesley Health Care Center. He was born on June 20, 1929 in Wilmington, Ohio to Lena Duvall Current and Jesse E. Current, one of their seven children. Bill graduated from Wilmington High School on May 27, 1948. After high school, Bill went on to serve in the Korean war with the Army. After his discharge in January 1953, he garnered his first adult job as a horse trainer with Johnny Canton. He went on to work with Curly Smart in 1954 and finished the season as the leading driver in the United States with 209 starts, 98 1st place, 44 2nd place and 21 3rd place finishes. In 1958 he moved his stable to Saratoga, met and married his wife, Dale. She worked with him at the raceway, helping train their stable of horses until he retired in 1981. At the close of his racing career, he had 978 wins, 782 2nd and 756 3rd place finishes. His cheerful and calm demeanor earned him the nickname of “Gentleman Billy”. Not wanting to leave the sport entirely, he became a patrol judge at the Vernon Downs raceway. In 1996, he was named to the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997. In retirement he enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He especially enjoyed watching the NY Yankees baseball games on television, as well as keeping up with professional sports overall. Bill is survived by Dale, his wife of 62 years, his daughter Robin Kirkpatrick (Douglas) of Queensbury, his son James Norman Current (Cathy) and 3 grandchildren, Melissa, Ian and Connor.

His private services and burial will be at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Compassionate Funeral Care, Inc., 402 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. For online condolences, please visit www.compassionatefuneralcare.com http://www.lastingmemories.com/william-bill-howard-current

Notice Regarding Pets on Backstretch

Friday, December 4th, 2020

12/3/2020
Greetings:
Saratoga Harness Racing has always had a no pets allowed policy on property including the backstretch area with signs posted throughout the property. That policy has not been vigorously enforced over the last several
years and as a result the Security Department has become aware of a number of licensed individuals who have pets and have been bringing them regularly on property in the backstretch. Recently one of our personnel was attacked by a dog on an extended leash in the backstretch. The Security manager was able to avoid injury when the dog attempted to bite him; the heavy gauge of his clothing prevented puncture wounds from this dog bite.
No pets are allowed on all other areas inside or outside where the public gathers, including parking lots and playing fields. Our company is currently considering if we are going to continue to allow pets into the backstretch
area in the future. While we are considering this issue we are requesting that any person who currently uses our backstretch area and has been bringing their pet(s) in this area during their backstretch visits in the past, or who has any kind of pet that is residing on property and wishes to continue to do so in the future, please reply
in writing via letter or email message to us using the below address. In responding, please provide to us the animal information and owner information as follows:


 The type of pet you have been bringing on property, animal’s age, sex, breed, color, name, and a description including approximate weight.
 The owner’s name, address, telephone numbers and email address.


This information must be provided to us no later December 21, 2020 by 10:00 AM. We will prepare a list of those pets registered with us to be posted in Security as reference should any other incidents be reported.
During this time we will continue to examine pets in the backstretch considering the necessity of allowing this practice and the effects it has on safety and operational aspects for all users. We will work closely with the
SHHA in determining a solution that is fair and open to all sides of this issue, but we must ultimately ensure that we have a safe operating environment for all users of our backstretch.
Please forward your response on pets to:
[email protected] or drop off in letter form to the attention of Charles Astarita, Security, at the Stable Gate, or you may mail letters to
Edward Moore, Director of Security
342 Jefferson Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Sincerely,

Edward Moore

Winter Hours for Main Track

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Beginning Monday, 12/7/20, the main track will be open Tuesdays
through Saturdays from 6 a.m. until noon. The track will be closed on
Sundays and Mondays.

Entry to Jog Track- 1 Access

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Horsemen please be advised that we are getting numerous complaints from Track Maintenance that Horsemen are ignoring the VEHICLE rules for the jog track. Vehicles are being driven on the track. As you all know the jog track has one AUTHORIZED entry and exit for vehicles to use. This is a violation of the Backstretch rules and it is also a safety hazard. This causes Tire Ruts that could cause an accident and injury to a fellow Horsemen or horses. This also damages the track. These rules apply whether the track is open or closed.

Any offenders of this rules will be given one final warning notice and the second offense will result in Exclusion/Suspension of racing. As always Owners/Trainers are responsible for the actions of their employees on the Backstretch and will be held accountable for their actions.

SCH Security

Reminder Backstretch Vehicles and Trailers

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Vehicles and Trailers on Backstretch

Security is trying to clean up the Backstretch.   This includes any unregistered, broken down or abandoned vehicle and trailers.  Our goal was to do this earlier this year, but with COVID policies put this on the back burner.

  1.  All vehicle/trailers must possess current state registration and inspection if it applies to that state.
  2. All vehicles/trailers must also be registered with Backstretch Security Department.

We have a number of trailers and vehicles that are broken down or have been left here for storage. This is not a parking lot for your extra vehicles or for trailers not being used.

If you have not already done so, please stop by the Stable gate and register your Vehicle/Trailer.

Any vehicle or trailer found on the property after January 1, 2021 unregistered or abandoned vehicles or trailers will be ticketed.  If the owner does not register or remove it within 7 days, it will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Everyone has from November 1 through December 31, 2020 to comply.

Thank you in advance,

SCH Security

Grooms Thanksgiving Luncheon

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Update-No tickets are needed for the Grooms Thanksgiving Luncheon on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at the Track Kitchen. COVID 19 protocol and guidelines will be followed, serving will be begin at 11:30am and take out is available.

Vehicles and Trailers on Backstretch

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Security is trying to clean up the Backstretch.   This includes any unregistered, broken down or abandoned vehicle and trailers.  Our goal was to do this earlier this year, but with COVID policies put this on the back burner.

  1.  All vehicle/trailers must possess current state registration and inspection if it applies to that state.
  2. All vehicles/trailers must also be registered with Backstretch Security Department.

We have a number of trailers and vehicles that are broken down or have been left here for storage. This is not a parking lot for your extra vehicles or for trailers not being used.

If you have not already done so, please stop by the Stable gate and register your Vehicle/Trailer.

Any vehicle or trailer found on the property after January 1, 2021 unregistered or abandoned will be ticketed.  If the owner does not register or remove it within 7 days, it will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Everyone has from November 1 through December 31, 2020 to comply.

Thank you in advance,

SCH Backstretch Security

Virtual NYSS & USTA District 8 Annual Awards Presentation

Friday, October 30th, 2020

You are cordially invited to the Virtual New York Sire Stakes & USTA District 8 Annual Award Presentation Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 7PM live through the NYSS Facebook page. Those who engage online will be entered into prize drawings.

Open Enrollment- Health Insurance

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

SHHA trainers, drivers and grooms are welcome to attend the open enrollment session. A representative from Bouchey and Clarke Benefits will be holding an open enrollment session on Monday, October 26, 2020 from 12-2 PM at the SHHA Office. The SHHA members will learn about the programs available and the premium rates.