Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

Live Racing Dates for July 15th-Sept 2

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Month/Day Post

July 15 12:00PM

July 20 & 21 12:00PM

July 22 7:15 PM NYSS Card

July 27 &28 12:00PM

July 29 7:15PM

Aug 3 &4 12:00PM

Aug 5 7:15PM

Aug 10 12:00PM NYSS Card

Aug 11 12:00PM

Aug 12 7:15PM NYSS Card

Aug 17 &18 12:00PM

Aug 19 7:15PM

Aug 24 & 25 12:00PM

Aug 26 7:15PM NYSS Card

Aug 31 12:00PM

Sept 1 12:00PM

Sept 2 7:15PM NYSS Card

SHHA Board of Directors Nomination Forms Available

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

The following SHHA’s directors terms expire 12/31/20:
Brian Cross
Thomas McTygue
Mark Whitcroft

Want to be on the ballot?
If you are a current SHHA member- owner, trainer or driver interested in serving on the Saratoga Harness Horsepersons’ Board of Directors, please request a nomination form by email [email protected] or call 518-775-0975.
You must receive signatures from 25 current SHHA members, please attempt to obtain more than 25 signatures.

Forms must be postmarked no later than Sept. 1, 2020
Mailing address: SHHA PO Box 171 Saratoga Springs NY 12866

Revised Paddock Stall Assignments 6/24/20

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

***Revised 6/24/2020***


For Qualifiers and Pari-mutuel Races

1, 4, 7, 10 and 1311-1
 99 stall (same row as race 2)
2, 5, 8, 11 and 1412-1
 99 stall (same row as race 2)
3, 6, 9, 12 and 1517-2
 99 stall (same row as race 2)

Race Staging Procedures

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Only three races will be in the Paddock at a time.  Please refer to the Lasix/Paddock Schedule for pari-mutuel Paddock times.  Please also review the Paddock Stall Assignments.

For pari-mutuel races, horses, trainers and grooms will be in the Paddock for approximately 30 to 45 minutes prior to the post time of their race. They may not come in earlier and must leave immediately after the race.

For qualifiers, horses, trainers and grooms will be in the Paddock for approximately15 minutes prior to the post time of their race and again, they may not come in earlier and must leave immediately after the race.

All warmups will be on the jog track before coming to the Paddock.

When your race is call up, gather all equipment and stage for departure.  If a horse is not one of the horses selected for testing, and the trainer is stabled on the grounds, the horse should be removed from the Paddock immediately after the race and returned to its barn.

If the horse is shipped in, and is not selected for testing the trainer/groom may bathe the horse in one of the Post 9 stalls(use every other stall)  If the Post 9 stall is not available, the trainer/groom should proceed immediately to one of the outside wash stalls in Barn C (previously the pool barn) to bathe the horse.  Shipped in horses racing in the last three races may return to their stall in Paddock to bathed.

If the horse is selected for testing NYSGC personnel will direct the trainer/groom to one of the designated bath stalls.

Bath Stalls for Horses Being Tested:

Races 1,4,7,10,13:  Use Race 6, stall #1 and #3

Races 2,5,8,11,14:  Use Race 6, stall #5 and #7

Races 3,6,9,12,15:  Use Race 8, stall #1 and #3

If more than two horses are selected for testing use Race 8, stall #5 and #7

PADDOCK STALL ASSIGNMENTS for Qualifiers and Pari-mutuel Races

RACES                            POST POSITION                   STALL                         

1, 4, 7, 10 & 13                1                                         1-1

                                          2                                         1-3

                                          3                                         1-5

                                         4                                         1-7      

                                          5                                         3-2

                                          6                                         3-4

                                          7                                          3-6

                                          8                                          3-8

                                          9                              9 stall same row as race 3


  2, 5, 7, 11 & 14             1                                           2-1

                                         2                                           2-3

                                         3                                           2-5

                                         4                                           2-7

                                         5                                           4-2

                                       6                                           4-4

                                        7                                           4-6

                                         8                                           4-8

                                         9                              9 stall same row as race 2


3, 6, 9, 12 & 15                 1                                              5-1

                                           2                                              5-3

                                           3                                              5-5

                                            4                                              5-7

                                            5                                              7-2

                                            6                                              7-4

                                            7                                              7-6

                                            8                                              7-8

                                           9                              9 stall same row as race 3

NYS Racing Licensing

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Licensing by Appointment – An appointment system to get people licensed at the N.Y.S. Gaming Commission Racing Office at the Saratoga Casino Hotel on 342 Jefferson Street, Saratoga Springs.  Appointments will be June 8-12, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, applicants must call the following number during regular business hours: 518-388-3457.

Documents Needed

To make the process clean and quick, applicants must bring a completed License Application, Proof of Identification, and Request for Card Scan Services – Information Form.  Other forms may be necessary, depending on circumstance.  The failure to bring completed forms will likely result in the cancellation of an applicant appointment. 

The Commission has a document that explains what is necessary to successfully navigate the licensing process.  That document may be found at the following link:

  • Instruction for Harness Racing Applicants

The various required Commission forms may be found at the following links:

  • Commission Racing License Application

  • Commission Proof of Identification Checklist

  • Request for Card Scan Services – Information Form

If applicable, the license applicant must also bring the following completed forms:

  • Investigator’s Supplement IS-1 Form

  • Parental Consent Form

  • State Public Employees Information Form


  • Certification of Compliance CS-1

Required PPE

An applicant will be denied access to the Commission Racing Office if they fail to wear a mask.  No masks will be provided for applicants.

Answers to Questions from COVID-19 Session

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Will there be a special protocol for Sire Stakes Ship in?

At this time, this cannot be answered because the State of New York may be in a different phase.  

Can  Qualifiers be  6/13 or another day prior to 6/18?


Can Sire Stakes outside the 60 mile radius qualify and or race? 


Exactly where will drivers be waiting and accessing the horses?  

As stated at the COVID-19 info session, Drivers will be outside the paddock by the locker room until time to get on their horse.  They will walk around, go in paddock gate, walk along the paddock building, and get on their horse as they leave the paddock for the track.   

If you have a bad-mannered horse, can you remove its equipment inside the paddock before bringing back to barn?

A suggestion is to obtain permission from the paddock judge to use one of the wash stalls or a urine stall for this specific issue.

New Instructions for Info for Master File Form

Monday, June 8th, 2020

The SHHA received new instructions for completing the Info For Master List:

Each person requiring access to the backstretch should complete a form for themselves.

Trainers are responsible for reviewing the reopening Policies and Procedures with their grooms and ensuring that they fill out their info for the master list, receive a copy of the COVID-19 Training Packet and sign the training acknowledgement form.

Vendors (vets, blacksmiths, feed suppliers) will fill out their own forms.

Trainers are not responsible for vendor forms, but may wish to remind anyone that comes to their barn regularly to fill out their form and turn it in at the Stable Gate.

Copies of the above forms documents will be available at the Stable Gate starting Tuesday, 6/9/20.

COVID-19 Reopening

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

Qualifiers for local trainers will be June 13th and Racing resumes June 18th with a noon post. Open qualifiers will be held after the races on June 18th The SHHA would like to thank the local trainers for attending the reopening session. Trainers and their staff must review the Covid-19 training pamphlet, each must sign the Covid training acknowledgement form, along with the Info for Master List form. The trainers must collect all completed forms from their staff and service providers and return the forms to the stable gate by Thursday June 11th. Please provide all licensed essential employees with the Covid Questionnaire form, so they may have a completed form to present to Security when having their temperature taken at the stable gate everyday.

Saratoga Harness Reopening Process Timeline as of May 30, 2020

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Members of SHHA and the management team of Saratoga Casino Raceway (SCR) have been working together throughout the closure to try to get racing back as soon as possible after the Covid-19 related closure on March 22, 2020. There appears to be questions as to the efforts being taken by SCR and SHHA to be as prepared as possible for the earliest safe reopening possible. The following timeline hopefully will answer many of the current questions/concerns and bring everyone up to date.

3/22 Tracks are closed for horse racing by the NYS Gaming Commission (NYSGC) by Executive Order of the Governor.

4/2 NYSGC issues a memo to tracks and Horseperson Organizations about continuing operations including appropriate procedures for items including Racetrack Access (ie: no owner visitation allowed, gate access restrictions that had to be put in place by SCR to meet the memo standards).

4/3 SCR contacts SHHA to form a reopening committee to address issues as they evolve to be as prepared as possible for reopening consideration. Through the month of April several conference calls took place, communications with the NYSGC occurred and a formal plan was developed for presentation for reopening consideration. This preparation included an analysis of the purse account balance and estimated future funding and expenses to determine the feasibility of a prompt reopening. The plan was reviewed with the Race Secretary and it was determined that reopening with initial months modified dates and reduced purse levels was viable for SCR. The plan at that point in time was being prepared with the hope that a May 1 reopening date would be considered.

4/24 NYSGC issued a memo to tracks that reopening would not be considered until no earlier than 5/15. Issuance of our plan was put on hold until further developments were received.

5/7 NYSGC requested advance reopening plans be forwarded from tracks for their review ahead of the release of their “official “guidelines. The SCR report in its then current form was submitted to demonstrate our preparedness based on the information then available.

5/15 Governor announces that racetracks can be considered for safe reopening as of June 1.

5/27 NYSGC released their version of Guidelines for Racing Activities. Many of the provisions were included in our plan from a few weeks earlier however several specific elements that are NYS Dept. of Health driven are also included.

5/28-29- SCR working on rewording the procedures document to address item by item the Commission Guidelines. Since it is almost certain that we should anticipate a visit and review by the NYSGC and Dept. of Health it appeared to make the most sense to not push our own version as some tracks are and incorporate our previous plans into the NYSGC format. There are some elements of the Guidelines that we believe should be modified and are providing feedback to the NYSGC on those. An example being the testing procedures included for ship-ins. It appeared proper for us to include our local farm participants under the same rules related to the on track horsepersons since they have already routinely shipped in and out on a regular basis. That would exempt them from the Covid test requirement and put them in the temperature test and questionnaire requirement. This was addressed with the NYSGC and it was agreed that we can follow our suggested procedure with the recommendation of isolating the ship-ins as much as possible. It is the opinion of SCR and SHHA that the original document submitted in early May addressed many of the current requirements and any necessary modifications to be in line with the new guidelines can be timely incorporated into the document to be prepared for reopening.

6/2 the revised plan will be completed and a copy forwarded to SHHA for review and input. On June 4 a meeting or conference call will occur between SHHA representatives and SCR management to discuss any potential open issues and come to an agreement on the final operating policies and procedures document. That document will be available for distribution to all the SHHA members after any final changes are made, likely by June 5 or 6. At the same time the final required paperwork will be submitted to the NYSGC along with our proposed schedule date changes for at least June and July (two days a week). A general meeting of membership will be scheduled at the backstretch on June 6, details to be announced, to review the required procedures and any questions.

The plans mentioned as of the date of this memo forward are anticipated but subject to change as events related to the Covid issues change frequently for all businesses. Because of the volatility of the current events, there has been a hesitation to release any proposed guidelines to this point since the directives being passed down to the tracks change constantly. Our track in particular has many additional considerations to be addressed that some do not since we have an active backstretch barn area including dorms. At this point hopefully this will serve to catch-up where we currently are and how we got here. It should be emphasized that SCR management has been supportive throughout along with

SHHA to try to get our local members back racing as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Joe Battaglia-SHHA Treasurer/Secretary

Sire Stakes Qualifiers and Shipping

Saturday, May 30th, 2020

At this time, NYS has the following policy in place for trainers shipping horses out and to be allowed to return to the Saratoga Casino Hotel backstretch.

Scroll down to Racing Activities, then click on Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines.

This information is on page 5

Transport Out.  Trainers may ship to run horses at another racing facilities provided the trainer and their staff does not accompany the horse to the other track. Therefore, trainers must hire a shipper to transport the horse, designate a trainer to care and race the horse and use a driver from the other track.  The shipper may return the horse to the original racetrack property.  In this case, the ship-in policy will be followed.

Ship In. Shippers will access the racetrack property at the common gate and COVID 19 protocol will be followed. If the driver is cleared through the screening, they will be able to proceed onto the grounds to unload the horse. If the driver is not cleared, then the horse is unloaded outside the racetrack grounds into the custody and control of the trainer’s present on track licensed personnel.

Several parties are working to get this requirement changed, but until it is changed, it currently remains in effect.