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News stories tagged with "harness-racing"

Harness track in Saratoga Springs (File photo)
Harness track in Saratoga Springs (File photo)

To fund sport, harness racing ups its bet on "racino" style gambling

It's harness racing season once again here in the North Country. At county affairs across the region, local breeders and racers are competing in a sport that's been popular here since the 1800s.

Meanwhile, in Saratoga Springs, the sport's backers are once again trying to expand the amount of slot-machine gambling that goes on at the harness racing track.

Saratoga Gaming and Raceway hopes to keep its so-called "racino" open until 4 am. According to the Albany Times-Union, local government officials oppose the change.

The request is now being reviewed by the state Lottery Division.

This link between harness racing and slot-machine gambling has been controversial for years. Brian Mann's report on the debate first aired in the summer of 2008.  Go to full article
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source:  Brian Mann)
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source: Brian Mann)

North Country harness racing tradition gambles on a future

The North Country has a big presence in horse-racing, from a top thoroughbred breeder in Ray Brook, to the group of friends in Sackets Harbor who raced into the record book with a horse named Funny Cide. Their success on contemporary tracks draws from a long tradition of racing in the region. This week, we'll wrap up the summer by telling some of their stories. For many fans in the North Country, the sport of choice has always been harness racing. That means sturdy, standard-bred horses pulling drivers in stripped-down racing carts. You can still see cutthroat competitions at county fairs from Malone to Westport. But harness racing has fallen on hard times in recent years. As Brian Mann reports, new efforts to bring the sport back have meant bigger purses and also new controversy.  Go to full article

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