Saratoga Race Course security ban infamous stampede, enforce controlled chaos

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Every year, people travel from all over to come to the opening day at the Saratoga Race Track.

People wait in line for hours until they can finally storm through the gates.

The 7 a.m. dash, it’s a tradition every year on opening day of the Saratoga Race Track. People get in  line bright and early, all to claim a picnic table.

“Find a nice picnic table, relax and have a good time,” David Lamphere, from Canajoharie who has been coming to the track 10-22 years, said.

The tradition stampede to get inside looked a little different this year.

Security only allowed one person in at time and though they said running wasn’t allowed, many still stormed inside.

“They need to get them in. We need to get into the track. The wait is over. The season’s here.”

“I didn’t like it as much because it truly is a run for the tables, so it was different, but it was safer,” Mike Dack, from Waterford, said.

That’s the reason behind the change – safety. While some attendees didn’t like it, others felt it was the right decision.

“Too many people rushing, you could knock somebody over,” David Stann, from Buffalo, said.

“You’ve got to have respect for the older people because they can’t move out of the way fast enough. You know what I mean, so you definitely want safety first,” Donna Callins, from Buffalo, said.

“It’s not a bad thing, but I think it’s something everybody looked forward to doing,” Charlie Judge, from Watervliet, said.

No matter what, people found their spots and made themselves at home.

Now they’re ready to enjoy another track season with family and friends.

“It’s beautiful, it’s opening day. There’s nothing better than being up here in Saratoga,” Richard Kluger, from New York, said.

Now that people are learning the new rule, we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out next month at Travers.


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