SHHA Communication 2/19/21

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

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