Thoroughbred Racing and other opinions.
- Wanna bet?
I already know of two people this year passing on Saratoga because of gas. When you're looking at 400+ miles roundtrip from NYC, it's adding an additional $30 or so on to the trip, which may not sound like a ton, but I think it will keep away some casual fans and/or people who go more than once.
Attendance may actually be up, Spa may be the perfect Staycation. Flying costs are way up, so road trips less costly even with the absurd gas prices. And extra 30 bucks for the family of four a small price to pay.As for the regulars, the casual players, will still make the trip but just bet less than usual. And the true enthusiasts will be there even when gas hits ten bucks a gallon.
Attendance should be flat when compared with last year. Yes, they will lose some people who live in the metro New York City area but they will gain more locals who instead of driving away will stay home on the weekends, pack up a cooler and hit the backyard at the Spa.Also the economy in the Capital Region-Saratoga area has held pretty steady with housing prices holding and houses still selling. It is by no means a scientific result but I have been too dinner in downtown Saratoga 2 of the last 4 weekends and the restaurants and bars were all packed. My friends in Saratoga also have not noticed any turndown in the business thus far.
Fair point about stay-at-homes. I know that businesses on the Jersey Shore are counting on that too. That won't help the hotels though. I could be wrong of course, but I think 'flat' would be a major triumph this year. It ain't just the gas prices y'know.
When there was talk of Big Brown's next start being the Travers, I started making inquiries for lodging, and found the same sky-high prices and limited availability as it's been for the past how many years now....So glad the next start's at Monmouth!
If Big Brown goes in the Haskell, he could go in the Travers afterwards. The Haskell is a well-known Travers prep, as is the Jim Dandy.
Once you make it to the Spa, there is not much driving to be done. I ususally walk to/from the track and into town for dinner.Besides, we are all going to win enough to pay for gas, RIGHT???
I expect to make 4 trips, which is about the same as last year. It's about 300 mi round trip for me, and two trips will be day trips, one will be a camping trip for several days. I started saving money for gas a couple of months ago.Planning ahead.DJK