Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

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.

SHHA Member Events

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 is the Grooms Luncheon at the Track Kitchen. Meal Tickets for the Grooms will be provided prior to the event. Due to COVID 19 protocol and guidelines, serving will be begin at 11:30am…as take out.

The annual Santa Luncheon and the annual banquet are canceled.

The Board hopes everyone remains healthy and look forward to a better 2021.

Six Candidates for the Election

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

The following individuals will be on the ballot this year:

Brian Cross, Jordan Derue, John Hoagland, Thomas McTygue, Kyle Spagnola and Mark Whitcroft.

The ballots will be mailed November 11, 2020. Please be sure to complete your ballot and mail your ballot in the return envelope as quickly as possible. All Ballots must be returned to the SHHA no later than Friday December 4, 2020.

The Ballots will be counted on December 5, 2020. Please remember that SHHA members may observe the Board of Directors tally the votes.

October and November Race Dates

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Racing will continue on Mondays and Tuesdays during October through November 24, 2020 Post Time 12:00PM

USTA -Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

Monday, September 21st, 2020

Columbus, OH — The U.S. Trotting Association is requesting the assistance of all members and other harness racing participants in contacting U.S. Senators and Representatives to express opposition to new legislation called the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (S. 4547) recently introduced by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

If enacted, the new law would:

1. Significantly increase your cost of racing
2. Eliminate the use of race-day Lasix
3. Place harness racing under the regulation of a new, federal Authority with little or no harness racing representation or consideration for our concerns

Attached is a letter template that can be customized by individuals and organizations to express opposition to the proposed legislation.

Contact information your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives (House),

The attached letter can be sent by email or individuals can call their Congressman’s office directly to state opposition to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020.

Here’s why the law is bad for both harness racing participants and the industry.

Significant increase in the cost of racing
The proposed legislation would establish a new fee structure approximated to be a $45 surcharge to owners and trainers for every horse in every race. This significant increase in the cost of racing will force many small horse owners and trainers out of business.

Elimination of race-day Lasix
The new law would phase out the use of race-day Lasix, the only known medication to treat Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (bleeding) for all horses. Before taking any action on Lasix, the USTA has recommended an independent, large scale study to examine its effects. The USTA along with the major veterinarian organizations endorse the use of Lasix because it is in the best interests of the health of the horses.

New, federal racing Authority
The newly-created federal, regulatory Authority would regulate horse racing nationwide with a board made up of a majority of members who have no experience in the horse racing industry and hand-picked by the same Thoroughbred elite interest groups behind this legislation. With little or no representation on that board, the interests of harness racing will be ignored as they have been in the formulation of this bill.

Following is the letter template to use for contacting U.S. Senators and Representatives:

September XX, 2020

The Honorable XX
XX Senate/House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator/Representative XX:

The United States Trotting Association advocates for the betterment of the horse and horse racing on behalf of Standardbred racehorse owners, trainers and backstretch personnel. In that context, the USTA and many others who are supportive of the horse industry are very concerned about, and have strong feelings against, the newly-introduced Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA).

If enacted, the HISA would, over the next three years, mandate a phase out of an important, protective medication, commonly known as Lasix. Lasix is the only known medication to treat a condition called Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH), or bleeding in the lungs. Because EIPH threatens the health and well-being of many racehorses, we believe that, until an alternative treatment is developed, Lasix should be utilized on race day. Lasix is not performance enhancing, it is not doping, and due to the very sensitive capabilities of testing, it cannot be used to mask illegal medications. Science and national veterinary leadership groups continue to support the administration of Lasix on race-day. If bill sponsors truly care for the health of racehorses, they should consider an independent, peer-reviewed, U.S.-based, large-scale study on Lasix prior to implementing any ban on race day Lasix.

Additionally, the HISA states that initial funding for the new horseracing regulatory Authority will come from loans taken out by the Authority. Those loans must then be repaid through a new fee structure determined by the Authority. Bill supporters have indicated that it would be funded by a surcharge to the owners and trainers of every horse in every race to cover operational costs and to repay the loans. Compounding this reality with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic would force many small, agricultural-based business owners out of the industry.

Finally, the new Authority created in the HISA would regulate horseracing nationwide through a board that will have a majority of members who have no experience in the horseracing industry. This board will be hand-picked by the same elite interest groups pushing this legislation. We believe that a majority of the board should be represented by those who will be impacted by the new regulatory scheme, and it should specifically include practicing veterinarians.

According to a recent American Horse Council study, the horse racing industry contributes approximately $36 billion annually to the national economy and provides about 240,000 direct jobs. Any measure which will add further regulatory and cost burdens will only harm those state and local economies that depend on the industry. Accordingly, we urge you to oppose the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.


[Insert Signature]


(United States Trotting Association 9/19/20 USTA Department of Communications.)

Saratoga Casino Hotel to Reopen on September 9

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (September 8, 2020) – Saratoga Casino Hotel announced today that they will reopen their doors to the public tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9 at 2pm after being closed for nearly six months. The casino will be open from 2pm-10pm on Wednesday and 10am-2am beginning on Thursday.

Last week Governor Cuomo announced that casinos were permitted to reopen starting September 9 with a 25 percent occupancy limit and strict enforcements of guidelines including face coverings, social distancing, and enhanced air filtration and cleaning protocols.

“We’re ready,” said Alex Tucker, General Manager of Saratoga Casino Hotel. “We’ve been waiting and preparing for this day for a long time. We’re happy to have more team members back to work and be able to open our doors to our guests. We’re confident that our plan will allow us to deliver the fun and entertaining experience our guests have come to expect in a safe environment.”

Over the last several months, Saratoga Casino Hotel has developed a plan to implement physical modifications as well as policy and procedural changes to protect the health and safety of team members and guests. The highlights of their “Safe Bet Plan” plan include:

Cleaning & Sanitation

  • Heightened cleaning, sanitation and hygiene protocols involving the frequent cleaning and sanitation of high touchpoints, self-cleaning wraps and pads on door handles and crash bars, and nightly misting sanitation.
  • Use of MERV-13 air filters throughout the property.
  • Installation of several hand sanitation stations throughout property.
  • Enforcing social distancing guidelines through the use of floor guides and plexiglass barriers at guest service locations.
  • In-service slot machines will be spaced 6 feet apart. Any machine not available for play will be placed out-of-service and the chair will be removed to assist with social distancing.
  • Guests and team members will be required to wear masks while on property. Masks may only be removed when dining in designated locations.
  • Guests and team members will be screened upon entry with a non-invasive temperature scan. Guests may also opt to have their ID scanned for assistance with contact tracing.
  • All guests will be required to enter and exit through the south entrance, located near Crescent Avenue to assist with monitoring capacity.
  • Hours will be limited to 10am-2am to allow for enough time for proper disinfecting and sanitation.

Some casino amenities such as cocktail service, self-service beverage stations, Mane Bar, Garden Buffet and Vapor will remain closed at this time. The reopening of these amenities will be reevaluated as restrictions are lifted. The Hotel, Morton’s The Steakhouse and the Jackpot Deli with simulcasting are all currently open on the property as well.

For the full list of health and safety protocols, visit to review the “Safe Bet” Plan in its entirety. 

About Saratoga Casino Hotel:
Saratoga Casino Hotel, located on Crescent Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY, features slot machines, a 117-room luxury hotel, electronic table games, Vapor, Morton’s® The Steakhouse, two full-service restaurants with buffets, a casual dining restaurant, three full-service bars, deli and a variety of guest services including valet parking and coat check. Simulcast wagering is available and live harness racing runs February through mid-December. Much of Saratoga Casino Hotel remains closed due to the pandemic, for information on what is open on property, please visit

6 More Race Dates in September

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Saratoga Casino Hotel proposed additional 6 days of racing to the NYS Gaming Commission and today the dates were approved. Besides September 1 and 2nd, there will be racing on Mondays and Tuesdays; Sept 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.