You’ll forgive me this week if I concentrate on Saratoga Raceway.

I am partial to Saratoga.

I worked for a number of years near Woodstock and travelled up to Saratoga in the summer for my horse racing fixes.

Yeah. That’s right. I have a horse racing fix. Don’t you?

Anyway….

This summer, the troubled raceway will give away (courtesy of the NY Racing Association)two shirts, an umbrella and a baseball cap during its summer meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

NYRA, which operates horse racing at Saratoga Race Course, released the giveaway schedule recently. The number of giveaways is the same as last year.

The four free items are:

• an Irish-themed Saratoga T-shirt, on July 29

• a hat celebrating the race horse Rachel Alexandra, on Aug. 8

• a black Saratoga umbrella, on Aug. 22

• a gray long-sleeve shirt, on Sept. 5

All giveaways are free with each paid admission to the race course.

The 142nd Saratoga meet opens July 23.

Patrons will receive free general admission that day, with racing beginning at 1 p.m.

The meet will run through Labor Day weekend—a total of 40 racing days, the longest Saratoga meet in more than a century.

NYRA was approved for a $25 million state loan in June, which kept the association from having to shut down and lay off all 1,450 employees.

Without the loan, NYRA expected to run out of cash this month, which would have forced it to cancel the storied Saratoga meet.

If you have never been to Saratoga, GO. It’s an awesome place.

If you have been, then you know what I mean.

Next posting, back to talk about horses and racing.

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