Saratoga Notebook: Attendance, Handle Off; Frankel, Bailey Roll On

Saratoga Notebook: Attendance, Handle Off; Frankel, Bailey Roll On
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Left Bank, proven spinter and miler attempting to enhance his resume in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney.
While on-track attendance and handle for the first week of the Saratoga meeting were off last year's record numbers, trainer Bobby Frankel and jockey Jerry Bailey were even hotter than they were in 2001.

The on-track total attendance of 155,827 was down 10.7% from the opening week of last season. A change in the stakes schedule may have had an impact: the Whitney Handicap, which attracted a crowd of 38,091, on the first Saturday in 2001, will be run on the second Saturday, Aug. 3, this year. By comparison, the Test-Diana program on July 27, drew a crowd of 28,412.

The on-track handle of $17.9 million was 4.4% below the 2001 figures, but the total handle on Saratoga's races was up nearly $5 million, or $5.8% to $91,332,313.

Bailey completed the week with four more winners Monday afternoon, to push his total to 15 victories, nine more than Jose Santos and Jorge Chavez. Bailey has won four of the seven stakes run so far in Saratoga's 134th season.

Frankel has saddled three stakes winners: Tates Creek in the Diana, You in the Test and Nunatall in the Lake George. Last year, Frankel won with 10 of 21 starters, six of them in graded stakes. He's hitting at a .500 pace with five wins from 10 starts.

"Bobby can't do anything wrong here," said trainer Joe Orseno. "I've got to think that he'd be very tough if he led the lead pony over there in certain races and tried to win.

Spa Notes
NYRA track announcer Tom Durkin on his fitness program that has led to a noticeable drop in weight: "I lost a jockey last year."... Trainer Bobby Frankel said Tuesday he will probably send Chiseling, winner of the Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park, to the Secretariat at Arlington Park rather than run him in the National Museum of Racing Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 5.

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