Saratoga Springs is ready to race

Local businesses and law enforcement are lined up and ready to race as Saratoga Springs prepares to open the racing season.

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- "We started preparing when the season ended last year."

Saratoga Springs Lt. Bob Jillson says gearing up for track season is a similar job each year - figuring out staffing, being in touch with NYRA, and bracing for more people to be in town.

"A lot of times petit offenses, property crimes, for the most part we haven't seen an influx in violent crimes,” Jillson said.

But he says the department is ready for it. This year, it's also preparing itself for Travers Day, which will fall on the same day as country headliner Luke Bryan's concert down the road at SPAC - likely causing some traffic backups.

"You're going to have 30,000 people there at SPAC and as they're coming in for the concert, so as they're coming in for the concert, our travers people will just be heading home, so just need to get prepared as best we can," Lt. Jillson said.

Over on Broadway, Joyce Locks' products are a Saratoga staple. Prep at Hatsational started months before opening day, bringing in hats from all over the world. Locks calls this time the shop's Christmas season.

"We're ready, we're stocked on everything, we're ready to rock and roll," Locks said.

New English hats in stock this year, and a new haberdashery for men, open just on the other side of Locks' 510 Broadway store - just in time for opening day on Friday.

"I can't wait, we prep basically a year in advance and we work hard to get there, this is the exciting part."

Fashion - or enforcement - all can agree, there's excitement, across the board.

"It's a lot of fun,” Jillson said. “We want everyone to come and have a good time, but respect our city."

Lieutenant Jillson says the department is finalizing some details with the new ridesharing agencies in the region this year. He says Uber and Lyft drivers will have a designated spot at the track to pick up and drop off.

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