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Saratoga Turf Races Switched After Jockeys Air Concerns

The New York Racing Association took the seventh, ninth, and tenth races on the Aug. 6 card at Saratoga Race Course off the two turf courses just prior to the start of the sixth race after the track’s jockeys raised concerns about the condition of the courses.

The move came after the racetrack had its third fatal equine injury in four days when the 4-year-old filly Ever Summer suffered a catastrophic left front injury and was humanely euthanized while racing on the final turn of the fourth race, an allowance optional claiming race on the inner turf course.

“NYRA moved the final three turf races (7,9,10) of Sunday’s card to the main track in consultation with the jockeys, who expressed concern with the overall condition of the courses following heavy rains throughout last week,” said Pat McKenna, NYRA’s vice president for communications. “NYRA will be evaluating both turf courses over the next two days and will adjust the temporary rail positions for Wednesday’s live racing program (Aug. 9).”

NYRA officials met with jockeys after the fifth race of the day.

Also in Sunday’s fourth race, Frivole  was pulled up and vanned off. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode, Ever Summer, was cleared to resume riding after the spill.

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Previously at the Spa there were fatal injuries to Maple Leaf Mel in the Test Stakes (G1) on Aug. 5 and Sopran Basilea in the Aug. 3 Glens Falls Stakes (G2T) on the inner turf course.

Two days earlier, heavy rain forced a cancelation of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2T) on the turf and the final four races on the Aug. 4 card.

The seventh race was a $52,000 maiden claiming race, the ninth a $70,000 starter allowance race, and the 10th a $50,000 maiden claimer.

The surface switch created havoc for sequence bettors as the three off-the-turf races became “all” races in the Pick 6 and late Pick 5.

In the Pick 4 that started in race four the seventh race became an “all” race, while in the Cross Country Pick 5 the ninth race (5th leg) became an “all” and in the Grand Slam races 7 and 9 became “all” races.


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