Storm Delivers Blow to Travers Day Handle

A fast-approaching thunderstorm Saturday evening near Saratoga Springs that caused the Travers (gr. I) starting time to be moved up five minutes cost the New York Racing Association $5 million in total wagering, an official estimated.

The heavy storm also resulted in the cancellation of the final heat on the 12-race racing program, a 1 1/8-mile race slated for the turf.

"The safety of horses and jockeys and the integrity of wagering in the last race was the reason for the cancellation," said Bill Nader, NYRA senior vice president. The race was scheduled for the turf and the course was not safe because of the heavy rainfall, lightning and thunder."

He estimated the loss in wagering at more than $1 million at Saratoga and $5 million overall.

With the bad weather, attendance was 48,894, down from 66,122 in 2003.