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Oklahoma Training Track opens for spring training

Oklahoma Training Track

SARATOGA SPRINGS (WRGB) - The Oklahoma Training Track opens Monday April 16th in preparation for the 2018 racing season.

The start of spring training signifies the official countdown to the 2018 season. We are less than 100 days away from opening day at the Saratoga Race Course.

The rainy, cold weather put a damper on things at the training track. The track was quiet Monday morning. No race horses were out training, only outriders Lucas and Moon who were trotting around in case someone showed up.

We're told horses don't mind the cold, but some trainers delayed their trips.

Trainer Phil Gleaves and his 10 horses were the only ones in the stables early Monday morning. They arrived from Florida on Sunday, but were not training yet.

"They got in at 10:30 yesterday morning, so I'm giving them today off so even if it was nice and sunny today they wouldn't be training." Gleaves said. "We'll let them get use to it, get acclimated, and then start galloping and breezing, and then four of these horses will race the 1st week in May at Belmont."

Gleaves says most of his horses are two years old and new to racing. He's hoping to spot some talent in the bunch because he has big goals. He won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course his first year as a trainer in 1986. He says he hopes to win it again next year when these horses are old enough to race in the Travers.

The 2018 meet runs Friday July 20th through Labor Day. After opening weekend, racing will be conducted six days a week, Wednesdays through Mondays.

This year's meet will include 69 stakes worth $18.8 million.

Tickets for the upcoming season are on sale at : nyra.com/saratoga/tickets

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