Friday, 12 July 2013 14:54

Open House at the Saratoga Race Course

By Staff Report | News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — And they’re off. Well not quite, but get ready to saddle up and enjoy a fun-filled day getting a sneak peak at Saratoga Race Course’s 150th summer season this Sunday, July 14. 

This year’s event will feature a free concert with Zendaya, star of the Disney Channel hit series Shake It Up! and finalist on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars. 

The concert will be held on the apron of the race track—seating will be in the Grandstand and Club House, which are sold out, but there will still be limited standing room on the apron on a first-come, first-serve basis.  

“At the open house the bumping and pounding won’t be just the horse’s hooves,” said New York Racing Association’s vice president Rodnell Workman. “Zendaya will have a fun entourage of dancers and singers.”

The open house not only welcomes people to the track, but also generates much-needed funds for local charities. The charities set up various booths with fun activities for children of all ages. 

Don’t miss traditional family activities like puppets, carnival games, caricatures, pony rides, bounce inflatables, backstretch tours, picture magnets, face painting, live music and more.

The concert, which is the first to be held at the historic racing venue in years, comes in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.

“Saratoga Race Course is a truly tremendous sporting venue that deserves an anniversary celebration worthy of its stature in the community. Hosting a free concert with Zendaya allows us to kick off the season in a grandiose way while staying true to our tradition of affordable family fun during this annual pre-season celebration,” said Workman. “We look forward to once again welcoming families through the gates as we launch a memorable anniversary season at Saratoga.”

The milestone free concert will feature an exciting, high-energy performance headlined by Disney Channel star Zendaya, who will be joined on-stage by a full band, five dancers and three back-up singers against the backdrop of the track. 

Prior to Zendaya’s performance, NYRA will host several non-wagering exhibition races on the main track in the tradition of the Newman E. Wait, Jr. trials.

This year’s event will continue the longstanding tradition of supporting local community and non-profit organizations through nominal fees for various games and activities and the sale of discounted food and beverages. 

The backyard will play host to a variety of activities including pony rides, inflatables, face painting, caricatures and mini golf, among other games. Kids can also take part in an equine-themed art contest in celebration of the 150th anniversary for the opportunity to win a named race and present a trophy in the winner’s circle during the summer meet. Activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additionally, patrons can get a glimpse into the inner workings of the track with free backstretch tours every half hour beginning at 11 a.m. at the Clubhouse entrance. 

The 33rd annual Open House will launch a series of high-profile events and activities in celebration of the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course. The season-long celebration will be highlighted by special on-track activities and events on Saturday, August 3 when Saratoga Race Course commemorates the official anniversary of the first race in 1863.

Saratoga 2013 season passes will be available for purchase at Open House at the Reserved Seats Box Office. The passes, $75 for clubhouse admission and $35 for grandstand, are good for the entire 40-day Saratoga meet, including Travers Day on Saturday, August 24.

The 2013 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course begins on Friday, July 19 and concludes on Labor Day, Monday, September 2. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, log onto For additional information about events at Saratoga Race Course, visit

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