SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10.COM) — The Oklahoma Training Track will undergo significant upgrades for the first time in several decades. The New York Racing Association’s renovation project was approved by the Franchise Oversight Board on Monday.
“We’re pleased to be able to embark on a significant capital improvement project that’s an investment in safety as well as the future of the Saratoga Race Course,” said NYRA Director of Communications Pat McKenna.
As part of the project, NYRA will install a limestone base layer, rider protection safety rail, and modernized drainage system throughout. The surface will also be leveled, while certain areas will be widened by 10-12 feet to accommodate a growing number of horses on the track seven months of the year.
Much of the work will mimic what NYRA did to Saratoga’s main track prior to the 2020 meet.
“It was extremely successful. Really good reviews from trainers, from riders,” said McKenna. “And it’s especially important at Saratoga because of the severity of the storms that we often see in July and August.”
The modernized drainage system was often complimented by trainers following significant rain events at Saratoga over the summer.
“To have a truly modernized drainage system, while it’s not the most exciting topic to talk about, it’s incredibly important for the consistency of surface that these world class athletes are riding over,” McKenna added.
The project is expected to be completed by the time the Oklahoma Training Track opens in April 2021.