- Got an email the other day from Tom Federlin, the persistent Saratoga real estate agent: With only 20 days till opening days it is time to make that last minute reservation. Here are a few homes that still are available.
His list follows. I guess that '48' available homes qualify as "a few." In addition, under Travers Week, we're told: Too many to list. Call for suggestions.
Here's a suggestion: how about a last minute fire sale? (not to be taken literally.)
We've had this discussion before, and as I've said, I certainly could be wrong. But I'd be shocked if we don't see appreciable declines, on the order of 5-10%, in attendance and wagering at Saratoga this year. If I am wrong, then man, this is a really hearty (and rich) bunch!! No, the subprime mortgage crisis has not hit many parts of NY State as hard as elsewhere in the country; in fact, you'd hardly even know that there's a problem in NYC at all, at least based on price. And I know that the more fortunate amongst the upscale Saratoga crowd are likely barely fazed by the higher prices at the pump. But I can't imagine that the meeting can possibly escape unscathed, and this anecdotal sign of a glut of housing inventory at this late date can't be a good sign.
NASCAR is certainly feeling the pinch.
Nascar and the tracks that host Sprint Cup races do not release official attendance figures, but according to Nascar estimates, attendance figures have been lower at 10 of 17 races this season. Attendance has gone up at only one race, the season-opening Daytona 500.This past weekend's races in Daytona, in a state which has been particularly hard hit, was reported to be down 20-30%.
Attendance has dropped at four of the last six races, most notably at the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway, where an estimated 115,000 fans attended a Sprint Cup race June 15. A crowd estimated at 145,000 attended the same race a year ago. [NY Times]
There probably aren't many similarities between most auto racing and horse racing fans. But one thing they do have in common is that they will travel long distances to see the prime events, such as the upcoming Saratoga meeting. Hard for me to think that at least some racing fans won't be content to watch the action at home or at their local track this year.
- Easy win for Mint Lane in the Dwyer; Ready's Image was the 7-2 second choice, a bizarre price given his awful Woody Stephens, and his unimpressive seasonal debut. Pletcher's colt finished dead last, far behind the penultimate runner, the second time in two days that the slumping trainer earned that dubious distinction (Tale of the West in the Prioress).
Mint Lane's front-running fractional splits were 23.55, 23.04 (effectively clinching the race), and then 24.41, 26.33, and 6.95. That final eighth would translate to a quarter of 27 4/5. The undefeated three-year old trotter Deweycheatumnhowe (it's the year of the run-on name in harness racing) came home in 27 2/5 in taking his elimination of the Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands on Friday night (a key prep for the Hambletonian). That was his fastest quarter of the race. Makes a lot more sense, don't it? Soon we'll be hearing about how the Polytrack at Del Mar is taking out the "speed" and ruining the game. Don't believe the hype.