For the second year in a row, the New York Racing Association is moving a major 2-year-old stakes at Saratoga. The changes were part of the completed 2005 stakes schedule announced Dec. 9.There will be 189 stakes carrying collective purses of $37.5 million run at Saratoga, Belmont, and Aqueduct next year. Of the stakes, 118 are graded and 39 are grade I.This year, two stakes for 2-year-olds--the Saratoga Special (gr. II) and Adirondack (gr. II)--were dropped completely from the schedule. They were the middle races in the Saratoga series for juveniles that began with the Schuylerville (gr. II) and Sanford (gr. II) and concluded with the Spinaway (gr. II) and Hopeful (gr. I).Also in 2004, the Spinaway and Hopeful were moved forward two weeks from the last weekend of the meeting. Now, they are moving again, this time back one week to coincide with Travers weekend.At Saratoga next summer, the Hopeful (gr. I) will be run on the same card as the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 27. The Spinaway will be run the preceding day."The development of 2-year-olds is one of Saratoga's important roles," racing secretary and handicapper Mike Lakow said in a release. "By moving the Hopeful and Spinaway to Travers weekend, we can allow more time for 2-year-olds to break their maidens and run in those races."The other big change in the schedule, which was previously announced, was the movement of the Wood Memorial (gr. I) from three weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) to four weeks out. This year's running will take place April 9.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said all options regarding the New York Racing Association franchise remain on the table while his administration wrestles with various ideas for the future of racing in the state.