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Catch all the action of Saratoga's 144th season of racing, here on YNN. The Spa Spot is the place for all things Saratoga - on and off the track!

Smaller crowd at this year’s opening day

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Albany/HV: Smaller crowd at this year’s opening day
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It's a hot opening weekend at Saratoga Race Course. But did that keep folks away on opening day? Our Matt Hunter is trackside, with the numbers from opening day.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- It's on to day two at the historic Saratoga Race Course. Opening day turned out to be a scorcher with temperatures in the 90s all day.

Top NYRA officials said that the weather turned out to be a deterrent for some racing fans. According to NYRA Communications Director Eric Wing, Friday's official attendance was 21,935. That’s certainly a good sized crowd; but, that's almost 4,000 fewer people than last year, amounting to a 15 percent drop.

Wing said they're mostly attributing the decline to the weather as last year it was much cooler.

"I enjoyed the day, the heat didn't bother me. There was a little bit of a breeze and I sit here under the shade,” said Ronald DiLoreto, a Vermont resident.

"We were thinking about coming....and kind of, the heat kept me away a little bit yesterday,” said Paul Ferro, a Colonie resident.

"All the tables were taken by 7:30 in the morning but the grandstands weren't full and it never had the vibe of a packed house and that surprises me,” said Harry Hunter, an Ohio resident.

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