April Start Slated for Long Finger Lakes Meet

Finger Lakes, one of the New York racetracks in line to install video lottery terminals later this year, unveiled a 161-day schedule for 2002 that as usual features five-day racing weeks for the most part. The meet is scheduled to begin April 13 and conclude Nov. 30.

The five-day weeks won't begin until May 19. Finger Lakes general manager Christian Riegle said the track will race four-day weeks until that time to help build up the horse population.

"The longer time period takent o build up to a five-day-a-week schedule will enhance the efforts of horsemen to build healthier stables early on," Riegle said. "We are hopeful that will translate into a more consistent quality of racing in the form of fuller fields and expanded cards throughout the meet."

Most racing will be held on a Friday-through Tuesday schedule.

Finger Lakes, located in western New York, has long served as a sort of "farm club" for developing New York-breds. Among the horses developed there recently is the filly Shesastonecoldfox, who as a 2-year-old competed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park for trainer M. Anthony Ferraro.

Finger Lakes hosts the New York Derby and New York Breeders' Futurity, two state-bred stakes.