Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Race Course

Thursday, 02 September 2021 15:29

News & Notes: Week 8 Events At Saratoga Race Course

The Saratoga Race Course Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28. The 2021 Saratoga summer meet will include the following events and happenings:

Week 8 Race Schedule

Tune in to Talking Horses for in-depth analysis from handicapper Andy Serling and other guests.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Lucky Coin: Friday’s $120,000 Lucky Coin, the feature at Saratoga Race Course, is a 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf sprint for older horses.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Jockey Club Gold Cup and Flower Bowl: Saturday will feature the Saratoga debut of a pair of stakes previously held in the fall at Belmont Park: The Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles for 3-year-olds and up, and the $600,000 Flower Bowl, an 11-furlong turf test for older fillies and mares. The day’s card will also include the Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress for sophomore fillies sprinting 6 furlongs and the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac for sophomores going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
The final Sunday of the season will feature an 11-race card with a first post time of 12:35 p.m.

Spinaway: The Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway for juvenile fillies at 7 furlongs wraps up the graded stakes series for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga this summer. 

LABOR DAY, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

LABOR DAY, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 – POST TIME 12:35 P.M.
The final day of the Saratoga season will feature an 11-race card with a first post time of 12:35 p.m.
Hopeful: The traditional closing day feature, the 117th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds, will afford fans a preview of potential standouts in next year’s Triple Crown series and Runhappy Travers. The day’s card will also feature the Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

Saratoga Welcomes Olympic Medalist Emma White
NYRA will celebrate the accomplishments of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Bronze Medalist Emma White of Duanesburg, NY. White, who was part of the U.S. cycling team that captured the bronze medal during the Olympic Games in Tokyo earlier this summer, will appear in the winner’s circle for a race named in her honor during the afternoon.

Happy Hour Specials
Fans will enjoy numerous Happy Hour specials all day long, including a selection of cocktails for $10. Featured drinks include the Toga Peach Tea, Washington Lemonade and Chandon Garden Spritz Cocktail, as well as Cutwater Spirits’ ready-to-drink cocktails and Babe Rosé Wine. Several beers will also be available for the special price of $5, including Blue Moon Light Sky, Yuengling Lager and Brooklyn Lager.

NYRA Hometown Hero presented by CDPHP
NYRA will announce the final honoree in its Hometown Hero program, presented by CDPHP, which recognizes local essential workers for their service and dedication to the community during the pandemic. Each honoree receives the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner’s circle.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from the Rich Ortiz Trio. 

Piazza Italia
The Piazza Italia, located in the Saratoga Events Pavilion, near Gate A, will host live music featuring Nick Collucio from noon to 4 p.m. Fans may enjoy authentic Italian food and beverages at the Piazza Italia every day of the Saratoga meet, including paninis with Italian meats and cheeses, Fratelli Beretta cold cuts, Monti Trentini cheeses, Italian Bindi Gelato, Tiramisu and Peroni Beer.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Nite Train with Thomasina Winslow. 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

Saratoga Long-Sleeve Hoodie Giveaway
Fans will enjoy the final giveaway of the season - a Saratoga long-sleeve t-shirt hoodie. The gray hooded pullover, adorned with the red Saratoga logo, will be available free with paid admission, while supplies last. Limited supplies available. NYRA strongly encourages fans to limit redemption to one item per person.

Family 4-Pack Reserved Seat Package: Families can take advantage of a Family 4-Pack, which includes four Grandstand reserved seats and vouchers for two hot dogs and one soda per person for $84. Clubhouse boxes for five people are also available for $150. Packages are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or in-person at the NYRA Box Office near Gate A.

Free Drawstring Bags with School Supplies at Berkshire Bank Family Sundays
Children will receive free colorable drawstring bags with back-to-school items, while supplies last, during the final edition of the popular kid-oriented weekly event, sponsored by Berkshire Bank. Kids will be able to color their back-to-school bags as well as enjoy a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office.

Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest
Every Sunday features the Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest, available exclusively on-track with a buy-in of $40. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Hawthornes.     

LABOR DAY, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

Dunkin’ Coffee Donation to B.E.S.T
NYRA will present more than 100 pounds of Dunkin’ coffee to the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) on Closing Day of the 2021 racing season. The coffee donation is based on a pledge from Dunkin’ to supply B.E.S.T. with one pound of coffee for every win by the leading owner, trainer and jockey of the 2021 Saratoga meet.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Big Medicine. 

NewsNotes8

Published in Winner's Circle

The Saratoga Race Course Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28. The 2021 Saratoga summer meet will include the following events and happenings:

Week 7 Race Schedule

Tune in to Talking Horses for in-depth analysis from handicapper Andy Serling and other guests.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 27
New York Showcase Day: The annual flagship event to highlight the strength and success of the New York breeding program will feature six state-bred stakes headlined by the $250,000 Albany, a nine-furlong test for sophomores. The lucrative card will include the $200,000 Fleet Indian for sophomore fillies going 1 1/8 miles; the $200,000 Funny Cide, presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, for 2-year-olds sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track; the $200,000 Seeking the Ante for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs; the $150,000 West Point, presented by Trustco Bank, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf; and the $150,000 Yaddo, a handicap for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf course.

The Knight Caps, the official glee club of the United States Military Academy at West Point, will kick off the day with a special performance of the National Anthem.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 28
Runhappy Travers Day: Led by Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy winner Essential Quality, the nation’s top 3-year-olds will meet at the Spa for the marquee race of the summer season – the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. The 152nd edition of the race is sponsored by Runhappy, a champion sprinter currently standing at Claiborne Farm.

Gates open at 7 a.m. with first post time of 11:35 a.m. Breakfast and tram tours are not offered on Runhappy Travers Day.

The Runhappy Travers is the centerpiece of a card featuring seven stakes and six Grade 1s, offering $4.6 million in total purse money, including the Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Sword Dancer; Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; Grade 1, $600,000 Forego; and Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa.

For the third consecutive year, FOX will air the Runhappy Travers as the centerpiece of a 90-minute telecast beginning at 5 p.m. The networks of FOX Sports will air 6.5 hours of live racing and analysis on Runhappy Travers Day, with coverage scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. on FS1.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 29
Better Talk Now: The day’s feature is the $120,000 Better Talk Now for 3-year-olds at a mile on the turf. 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Racing action continues with today’s card featuring the With Anticipation (G3) 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Racing action continues with today’s card featuring the P.G. Johnson. 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 27

Tiz the Law Commemorative Poster Autograph Signing
Fans will have the opportunity to celebrate New York-bred Tiz the Law, last year’s Belmont Stakes and Runhappy Travers winner, during a special autograph session with owner Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stables; trainer Barclay Tagg; and jockey Manny Franco. The trio will offer autographed editions of a commemorative Tiz the Law poster at the Jockey Silks Room Porch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a recommended donation to the Backstretch Employee Service Team and the New York Race Track Chaplaincy. Tiz the Law posters are free throughout the day at NYRA Bets Squad kiosks and Guest Services locations, while supplies last.

New York Craft Beer and Spirits Specials
New York Showcase Day will highlight beverages produced and distilled in the Empire State. Fans will enjoy New York craft beer, available in a 20-ounce commemorative Jockey Boot, for $10. The craft beer specials will be available at the Fourstardave Sports Bar and nearby Druthers Brewing Company Gazebo, as well as the Saranac Brewery portable bar on the second floor of the grandstand. New York-based spirits producer Cooperstown Distillery will offer complimentary samples of its Fenimore Gin Cucumber Cooler from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Jim Dandy Bar, presented by Cooperstown Distillery. The Fenimore Gin Cucumber Cooler will be the featured drink of the afternoon available at all dining areas, including The Porch, Club Terrace and Turf Terrace.

LifeWorks Community Action Food Drive
NYRA will host its annual food drive to benefit LifeWorks Community Action. Fans who donate at least three non-perishable items at the Community Outreach Booth will receive one free grandstand admission ticket for Wednesday, September 1 or Thursday, September 2. The collection will take place at the Community Outreach Booth from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CDPHP Celebrates NYRA Hometown Heroes
NYRA will welcome the honorees of its Hometown Hero program, presented by CDPHP, to the winner’s circle for a named race in their honor. The NYRA Hometown Hero program, presented by CDPHP, recognizes local essential workers for their service and dedication to the community during the pandemic.

Cutwater Spirits Tasting
Fans will be invited to enjoy complimentary samples of ready-to-drink cocktails from Cutwater Spirits at The Cutwater Stretch from 1 to 3 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Sensemaya.

Piazza Italia
The Piazza Italia, located in the Saratoga Events Pavilion, near Gate A, will host live music featuring Nick Collucio from noon to 4 p.m. Fans may enjoy authentic Italian food and beverages at the Piazza Italia every day of the Saratoga meet, including paninis with Italian meats and cheeses, Fratelli Beretta cold cuts, Monti Trentini cheeses, Italian Bindi Gelato, Tiramisu and Peroni Beer.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 28

NYRA Bets Ice Cubes
In celebration of Runhappy Travers Day, the Resorts World Founders Room at the 1863 Club and numerous Saratoga Springs bars and restaurants will feature custom ice cubes etched with the NYRA Bets logo. The NYRA Bets ice cubes will be available at Bailey’s Café; Clancy’s Tavern; Dango’s Saratoga; Horseshoe Inn Bar and Grill; The Ice House; The Parting Glass; Trotters Pub; and The West Side Sports Bar and Grill. Limited quantities, while supplies last.

Volcan Tequila Tasting and Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Dina and the Dirty Boys from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Big Fez and the Surfmatics from 3 to 6:30 p.m. 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 29

Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club 
Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the 1863 Club. Tickets are $85 and include the buffet, soft drinks and Post Parade program book. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

Berkshire Bank Family Sundays
The popular kid-oriented weekly event will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office. 

Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest
Every Sunday features the Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest, available exclusively on-track with a buy-in of $40. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Piggly Wigglies.

Season-long Daily Events and Activities:

BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY ZONE
Fans will enjoy 40 days of the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, an interactive play area for children located near Gate A, which will be complemented by the return of Berkshire Bank Family Sundays. The popular weekly festival will include free games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday of the season inside the Berkshire Bank Family Zone.

BREAKFAST AT SARATOGA
Tram tour of our famous and historic stable area (weather permitting). The first tram leaves the main Clubhouse entrance at approximately 7:30 a.m. with additional trams leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at around 9 a.m. The Tour is available every race day (there is no breakfast on Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28). Driven by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA). 
Enjoy a morning buffet on The Clubhouse Porch while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held daily from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  No reservations are accepted for breakfast dining. $20 for adults and $12 for kids under 12. 

SARATOGA FASHION DAYS
Fashion Saturdays, which was previously held once each week, will expand to a 40-day series of pop-up boutiques featuring stylish clothing, accessories and jewelry for women and men. The Saratoga Fashion Days’ boutiques will be located in the following areas: Lifestyles of Saratoga across from the Jockey Silks Room Porch; Miss Scarlett, Saratoga Rocks and the Winning Silks Collection near The Stretch; and Bumble B Boutique near the paddock mutuels building (weekends only).

SARATOGA WALKING TOURS
History, highlights, unique architecture, and landscapes at Saratoga Race Course. Approximately 45 minutes. Daily Walking Tours bring the more than 150 years of history within Saratoga Race Course to life. Ever wonder why we ring a bell at 17 minutes to post or why there is a canoe in the lake in the infield? Take a guided tour to get to know The Spa! Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each racing day and costs $3 per person or $10 for a family. For more information on our tours, please contact our Guest Services Department at 518-584-6200 ext. 4433.

BETS SQUAD: LEARN. BET. WIN.
The Bets Squad is your one-stop-shop to learn how to bet! Learn the different types of bets, how to place a bet, how to read a program, how to use a self-service betting terminal, and how to sign up to bet from your phone on and off-track with NYRA Bets. NYRA Bets allows you to securely deposit electronically and play great racing from Saratoga to Del Mar and across the world online and from anywhere, anytime. The Bets Squad is open daily.

Published in Winner's Circle

The Saratoga Race Course Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28. The 2021 Saratoga summer meet will include the following events and happenings:

Week 6 Race Schedule

Tune in to Talking Horses for in-depth analysis from handicapper Andy Serling and other guests.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 20
Skidmore: The afternoon will feature the ninth edition of the $120,000 Skidmore for 2-year-olds sprinting 5 ½ furlongs over the Mellon turf.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21
Alabama Day: Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks winner Maracuja is set to square off in a rematch against Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama. The card also includes a pair of turf races: the Grade 2, $200,000 Lake Placid for 3-year-old fillies and the $120,000 Smart N Fancy for fillies and mares sprinting 5 ½ furlongs.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22
Summer Colony: The day’s feature is the $120,000 Summer Colony for fillies and mares going nine furlongs. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25
Features the John’s Call. 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 26
Features the Riskaverse. 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 20

NYRA Hometown Hero
Presented by CDPHP. NYRA will announce the next honoree in its Hometown Hero program, presented by CDPHP, which recognizes local essential workers for their service and dedication to the community during the pandemic. Each honoree receives the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner’s circle.

Cooperstown Distillery Tasting 
Fans will be invited to enjoy a complimentary tasting of the Cooperstown Select American Whiskey Smash from Cooperstown Distillery at the Jim Dandy Bar from noon to 4 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Switch.

Piazza Italia
The Piazza Italia, located in the Saratoga Events Pavilion, near Gate A, will host live music featuring Franklin Micare from noon to 4 p.m. Fans may enjoy authentic Italian food and beverages at the Piazza Italia every day of the Saratoga meet, including paninis with Italian meats and cheeses, Fratelli Beretta cold cuts, Monti Trentini cheeses, Italian Bindi Gelato, Tiramisu and Peroni Beer.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21

Trifecta of Tastings
Fans will be invited to enjoy several complimentary tasting events on Alabama Day, starting with Babe Wines from 1 to 5 p.m. outside The Cutwater Stretch and the Chandon Garden Spritz from 1 to 3 p.m. near the Travers Clubhouse Bar. Rounding out the afternoon will be a sampling of the Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit Rosé from award-winning Ketel One family made vodka at the Ketel One Clubhouse Bar from 3 to 5 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Dunkin’ Discover Your New Brew Sampling Event
Fans will be treated to samples of Dunkin’s signature Iced Coffee as well as the new Apple Cranberry Dunkin’ Refresher featuring Honeycrisp apple and cranberry fruit flavors during the Dunkin’ Discover Your New Brew event. Samples will be available to fans exiting the Clubhouse gates starting at 3:30 p.m. Dunkin’ will also celebrate the new fall flavors available at participating Capital Region restaurants by offering complimentary Dunkin’ cards to fans exiting through both the Clubhouse and main gates. Samples and cards available while supplies last.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Display
Fans will have the opportunity to check out the new all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which will be on display near the Clubhouse escalator throughout the afternoon, courtesy of Upstate Ford Dealer Group.

Volcan Tequila Tasting and Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Donna Tritico Band.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22

Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club 
Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the 1863 Club. Tickets are $85 and include the buffet, soft drinks and Post Parade program book. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

Berkshire Bank Family Sundays
The popular kid-oriented weekly event will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office. 

Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest
Every Sunday features the Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest, available exclusively on-track with a buy-in of $40. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from ILL Funk.

Season-long Daily Events and Activities:

LOW ROLLER HANDICAPPING CONTESTS

Thursdays & Sundays
Thursday and Sundays at Saratoga pit yourself against your Saratoga peers on-track with the Low Roller Handicapping Contests. Buy-In: $40 ($30 bankroll/$10 prize pool) Contest ends with second to last race at Saratoga. How to Enter: Visit the Low Roller booth outside Fourstardave before the first race.

BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY ZONE
Fans will enjoy 40 days of the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, an interactive play area for children located near Gate A, which will be complemented by the return of Berkshire Bank Family Sundays. The popular weekly festival will include free games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday of the season inside the Berkshire Bank Family Zone.

BREAKFAST AT SARATOGA
Tram tour of our famous and historic stable area (weather permitting). The first tram leaves the main Clubhouse entrance at approximately 7:30 a.m. with additional trams leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at around 9 a.m. The Tour is available every race day (there is no breakfast on Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28). Driven by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA). Enjoy a morning buffet on The Clubhouse Porch while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held daily from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  No reservations are accepted for breakfast dining. $20 for adults and $12 for kids under 12. 

SARATOGA FASHION DAYS
Fashion Saturdays, which was previously held once each week, will expand to a 40-day series of pop-up boutiques featuring stylish clothing, accessories and jewelry for women and men. The Saratoga Fashion Days’ boutiques will be located in the following areas: Lifestyles of Saratoga across from the Jockey Silks Room Porch; Miss Scarlett, Saratoga Rocks and the Winning Silks Collection near The Stretch; and Bumble B Boutique near the paddock mutuels building (weekends only).

VOLCAN TEQUILA SUMMER MUSIC STAGE
Fans will enjoy live music performances each afternoon of the season from popular local and regional bands at the Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage. Strolling entertainment from Saratoga mainstays Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers and the Red Hot Dancers, amongst other acts, will also be a regular feature.

SARATOGA WALKING TOURS
History, highlights, unique architecture, and landscapes at Saratoga Race Course. Approximately 45 minutes. Daily Walking Tours bring the more than 150 years of history within Saratoga Race Course to life. Ever wonder why we ring a bell at 17 minutes to post or why there is a canoe in the lake in the infield? Take a guided tour to get to know The Spa! Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each racing day and costs $3 per person or $10 for a family. For more information on our tours, please contact our Guest Services Department at 518-584-6200 ext. 4433.

SARATOGA WALK OF FAME
In 2013, NYRA began recognizing prominent thoroughbred industry owners, trainers and jockeys who have left a significant mark on Saratoga with a commemorative plaque and iconic red Saratoga jacket presented on the eve of the Travers Stakes, Saratoga’s signature race and the nation’s oldest major stakes race for 3-year-olds.

BETS SQUAD: LEARN. BET. WIN.
The Bets Squad is your one-stop-shop to learn how to bet! Learn the different types of bets, how to place a bet, how to read a program, how to use a self-service betting terminal, and how to sign up to bet from your phone on and off-track with NYRA Bets. NYRA Bets allows you to securely deposit electronically and play great racing from Saratoga to Del Mar and across the world online and from anywhere, anytime. The Bets Squad is open daily and can be found at the following locations:

Outside Clubhouse Exchange
Under Clubhouse after entering Clubhouse exchange
Grandstand

Backyard, close to the Red Spring
The Stretch (for ticketed guests)
1863 Club Lobby (for ticketed guests)

“Dark” Day Events

MONDAY, AUGUST 23 

"TRIVIA NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM" WITH THOROFAN
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is partnering with ThoroFan for “Trivia Night at the Museum” on Monday, Aug. 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Museum. Contestants can compete individually or as a team (maximum of four people) for great prizes. Renowned track announcer Tom Durkin will serve as the “Quizmaster.” Tickets, which include two drink tickets and light food, are $15 for Museum members and $25 for non-members and may be purchased here: www.eventbrite.com/e/thorofan-trivia-night-at-the-museum-tickets-164761332581?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=escb 


Prizes will be awarded to the winner of each of three rounds, as well as to the overall points winner for the event. 

For more information, visit www.thorofan.com.

For more information about the Museum, including special events and program offerings, please call 518-584-0400 or visit our website at www.racingmuseum.org.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 24 

THE ALFRED Z. SOLOMON CHARITABLE TRUST PROGRAM SERIES STORIES OF THE TRAVERS STAKES
Join the Saratoga Springs History Museum Tuesday, August 24 at 7 p.m. in the Canfield Casino in Congress Park for special program titled Favorite Stories of Stakes as part of the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust Program Series. 


“The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race” authors Brien Bouyea and Michael Veitch take an in-depth look at the history of the Midsummer Derby, and each will discuss their favorite races in Traver’s Stakes history.  The Travers which tells many remarkable tales of racing history Books will be available for purchase and can be signed by the authors.  Masks are required for non-vaccinated individuals.

This event is free and open to the public, reservations not required.  For more information visit www.saratogahistory.org.

Published in Winner's Circle

The Saratoga Race Course Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28. The 2021 Saratoga summer meet will include the following events and happenings:

Week 5 Race Schedule

Tune in to Talking Horses for in-depth analysis from handicapper Andy Serling and other guests.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 13
Tale of the Cat: Four-time winner Wondrwherecraigis will attempt to secure his first career stakes score in the eighth running of the $120,000 Tale of the Cat, a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up who have not won a graded race in 2021.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 14 
Fourstardave Handicap and Saratoga Special: The headlining Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave for 3-year-olds and up on the turf going one mile will be accompanied by the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special, presented by Miller Lite, for 2-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 15
Galway: The fifth week of racing at the Spa will conclude with the second running of the $120,000 Galway for 3-year-old fillies on the turf sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18
Features the Bolton Landing. 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 19
Features the Jonathan Sheppard Steeplechase (G1) and the New York-bred Union Avenue Handicap. 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 13

NYRA Hometown Hero presented by CDPHP
NYRA will announce the next honoree in its Hometown Hero program, presented by CDPHP, which recognizes local essential workers for their service and dedication to the community during the pandemic. Each honoree receives the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner’s circle. Nominations are being accepted through August 15 at CDPHP.com/Heroes.

Cooperstown Distillery Tasting
Fans will be invited to enjoy a complimentary tasting of the Cooperstown Select Rye Manhattan from Cooperstown Distillery at the Jim Dandy Bar from noon to 4 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Upstate Bluegrass Band.

Piazza Italia
The Piazza Italia, located in the Saratoga Events Pavilion, near Gate A, will host live music featuring Franklin Micare from 12 to 4 p.m. Fans may enjoy authentic Italian food and beverages at the Piazza Italia every day of the Saratoga meet, including paninis with Italian meats and cheeses, Fratelli Beretta cold cuts, Monti Trentini cheeses, Italian Bindi Gelato, Tiramisu and Peroni Beer.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 14

Ketel One and Volcan Tequila Tastings
Fans will be invited to enjoy two complimentary tasting events: the first a sampling of the Volcan Margarita at the Volcan Tequila backyard gazebo bar, located near the Fourstardave Sports Bar, from 1 to 3 p.m. The second tasting will offer the opportunity to sample the Ketel One Saratoga Lemonade from award-winning Ketel One family made vodka at the Ketel One Longshots Bar located on the ground floor of the Grandstand from 3 to 5 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Volcan Tequila Tasting and Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Big Medicine.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 15

Saratoga Cooler Bag Giveaway
Fans will enjoy the first giveaway of the season – a Saratoga cooler bag, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel. The red and black cooler bag adorned with the Saratoga logo in white will be available free with paid admission, while supplies last. Quantities are limited and giveaways are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club 
Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the 1863 Club. Tickets are $85 and include the buffet, soft drinks and Post Parade program book. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

Berkshire Bank Family Sundays
The popular kid-oriented weekly event will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office. 

Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest
Every Sunday features the Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest, available exclusively on-track with a buy-in of $40. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The North and South Dakotas.

Season-long Daily Events and Activities:

BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY ZONE
Fans will enjoy 40 days of the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, an interactive play area for children located near Gate A, which will be complemented by the return of Berkshire Bank Family Sundays. The popular weekly festival will include free games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday of the season inside the Berkshire Bank Family Zone.

BREAKFAST AT SARATOGA
Tram tour of our famous and historic stable area (weather permitting). The first tram leaves the main Clubhouse entrance at approximately 7:30 a.m. with additional trams leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at around 9 a.m. The Tour is available every race day (there is no breakfast on Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28). Driven by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA). Enjoy a morning buffet on The Clubhouse Porch while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held daily from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  No reservations are accepted for breakfast dining. $20 for adults and $12 for kids under 12. 

SARATOGA FASHION DAYS
Fashion Saturdays, which was previously held once each week, will expand to a 40-day series of pop-up boutiques featuring stylish clothing, accessories and jewelry for women and men. The Saratoga Fashion Days’ boutiques will be located in the following areas: Lifestyles of Saratoga across from the Jockey Silks Room Porch; Miss Scarlett, Saratoga Rocks and the Winning Silks Collection near The Stretch; and Bumble B Boutique near the paddock mutuels building (weekends only).

SARATOGA WALKING TOURS
History, highlights, unique architecture, and landscapes at Saratoga Race Course. Approximately 45 minutes. Daily Walking Tours bring the more than 150 years of history within Saratoga Race Course to life. Ever wonder why we ring a bell at 17 minutes to post or why there is a canoe in the lake in the infield? Take a guided tour to get to know The Spa! Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each racing day and costs $3 per person or $10 for a family. For more information on our tours, please contact our Guest Services Department at 518-584-6200 ext. 4433.

VOLCAN TEQUILA SUMMER MUSIC STAGE
Fans will enjoy live music performances each afternoon of the season from popular local and regional bands at the Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage. Strolling entertainment from Saratoga mainstays Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers and the Red Hot Dancers, amongst other acts, will also be a regular feature.

Published in Winner's Circle

Week five of the 2021 racing season at Saratoga Race Course beginning August 9  is actually highlighted by action off the racetrack as the yearlings sales at Fasig- Tipton take place for an astounding 100th year. 

This year the famed Fasig-Tipton catalogue of Select Yearlings at the Saratoga Sale listed 210 yearlings. They will be auctioned on Monday and Tuesday, August 9 and 10 in the Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion on East Avenue. Sessions will begin each evening at 6:30 p.m. and are open to the public. The public is invited into the auction hall and can watch the action outside at the bar area where the public mingles with the elite to watch the bidding on numerous televisions.  The public gets to view each yearling as it enters the sales ring where bidding can top $1 million for the sales topper. If you have never gone to these auctions, you should make a point to go and see the action. Admission and parking are free and food and drink are available for purchase.

Due to Covid there was no sale in 2020 (the first time since World War II that the annual Saratoga Sale was not held) but the 2019 sale saw 135 yearlings sell over the two nights for an average of $411,459. More than half the yearlings sold in that sale went for $350,000 or more so keep your hand down lest you unwittingly come to own an expensive thoroughbred.  After 100 years this year for the first time you can pay for your yearling purchase with cryptocurrency.

On the track the stakes action actually hits a mid-meet lull with a mere 8 stakes races, only 2 of which are graded. Both of the week’s graded stakes races are run on Saturday August 14 with the highlight the Grade I Fourstardave with a purse of $500,000 at a mile on the grass. The other graded stakes race on Saturday is the Grade II Saratoga Special for two-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs. The rest of the week has minor stakes for New York breds and sprinters.

Saturday’s Fourstardave is a new stakes race by Saratoga standards having first been run in 1985 as the Daryl’s Joy and then renamed the Fourstardave in 1995. Fourstardave himself was dubbed the alliterative nickname of “Sultan of Saratoga” after winning a race at Saratoga every year from 1987 to 1994. Fourstardave is one of only a few thoroughbreds buried at Claire Court on the Saratoga backstretch. The gelding started 100 times in his career and has several places in Saratoga on and off the track named after him.

The race itself is one of the few graded turf races at a flat mile which on the Saratoga course leads to a very short run into the first turn. An inside post position is therefore a big advantage. The race has been won by some tremendous horses including Hall of Famers Lure and Wise Dan the latter winning it twice. Among the 15 horses nominated for this year’s renewal 5 are trained by Chad Brown and 2 by meet leading trainer Michael Maker. One possible entrant is European star Lope Y Fernandez. Stakes winners Raging Bull and Rinaldi are also possible starters.

Saturday also sees the running of the Saratoga Special for two-year olds at the elongated sprint distance of six and one-half furlongs. The Saratoga Special has been run in one form or another since 1901 and has been won by numerous champions many of whom went on to win classic races. 

Wednesday highlights horses bred in the State of New York going a distance of ground. The Evan Shipman Handicap is run once around the mile and an eighth Saratoga dirt oval and offers a purse of $100,000. The Evan Shipman is named after the famed racing columnist for the long defunct New York Morning Telegraph.  Shipman was considered one of the world’s authorities on thoroughbred and harness racing and breeding. A colorful character, Shipman was a friend of Ernest Hemingway and a chapter is devoted to Shipman in Hemingway’s novel - A Moveable Feast. The Wednesday card also offers the Mahony - a race for three-year-olds on the grass at five and one-half furlongs for a purse of $120,000.

On Thursday the filly counterpart to the Evan Shipman is run. The Saratoga Dew Handicap at the same mile and one-eighth distance on dirt for New York bred fillies offers the same $100,000 purse as the Shipman.  Saratoga Dew was a New York bred filly who won an Eclipse Award as Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 1992. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez has trained three of the last four winners of this race. 

Friday offers a restricted stakes named after Tale of the Cat at 6 furlongs for older horses with a purse of $120,000.

Sunday completes the week with the filly counterpart to the Mahony – The Galway.  At the same distance of five and one-half furlongs but this time for three-year-old fillies it offers the same purse of $120,000.

Published in Winner's Circle

After nearly a decade of working for NYRA, Thompson continues to take the role of Executive Director for the New York Thoroughbred Breeders

Najja Thompson has been a horse racing fan since he was a child, but he never knew that he would make a career in the sport. Now, Thompson has evolved into the leaders in New York Thoroughbred racing, especially here in Saratoga Springs.

Thompson became the Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders in December. After working for the New York Racing Association in the Communications Department and Human Resources since 2011, Thompson pursued the opportunity after Jeffrey Cannizzo became Senior Director of Government Affairs for NYRA.

Thompson has taken the reigns of the NYTB that promotes and advances the state’s Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry through its incentives, rewards and other programs.

He also leads a program that has grown over the past decade under Cannizzo and the Board of Directors’ guidance as horses like two-time international Grade 1 winner Mind Your Biscuits, 2018 Whitney winner Diversify, and last year’s Belmont and Travers winner Tiz the Law reflect the program’s success.

“This was a great opportunity,” Thompson said. “Jeffrey Cannizzo and the Board really ushered a great heyday for the New York-bred program with Mind Your Biscuits and Diversify. The program really took a step above to become the best state and regional program.”

Before developing a career in horse racing, Westbury, NY-native grew up being a fan of the sport with his family, including his uncle, Larry Stewart, who is a breeder in Williston, Fla. and helped produce multiple graded stakes winner Get Funky.

“He used to take me to the track, and we initially went to Belmont, Aqueduct, and OTB,” the 36-year-old Thompson said. “When we moved to Florida, we went to Gulfstream Park and Gulfstream Park West.”

Through his teenage years, Thompson continued buying and studying the Daily Racing Form while following the New York and Florida circuit. Eventually, those study habits were redirected to history and philosophy at Florida State.

Thompson considered law school after graduating from Florida State. However, he opted working for Verizon Marketing in South Florida as a way to make and save money, but he didn’t find the job as satisfying and was looking for a career change.

“I thought about the student loan debt,” he said. “That was the deterrent for me as to work for a couple of years. I really wasn’t enjoying it. I had thought about what I could do.”

Since Thompson still enjoyed going to the track, Stewart suggested a career in horse racing. Taking that suggestion, Thompson applied to positions at NYRA.

“Obviously, I didn’t have the experience to become a trainer. I was definitely interested in the business end,” Thompson said. “I sent out some letters and Julie Levine, recruiter for NYRA, contacted me for an interview. Pretty much from there, everything took off.” 

For nine years, Thompson worked in the Communications Department by writing stories, notes, and recaps before becoming a Recruitment and Employee Engagement Specialist. Also over the last couple of years, he has served as Vice President for the Turf Publicists of America.

One of Thompson’s memorable experiences during his time with NYRA was seeing the turnout for recent Hall of Fame inductee and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah’s gallop over the Saratoga track just a couple of days before the Travers in 2015.

“That is one moment that I will never forget,” he said. “It was a gallop one-time around the track and 20,000 people came for the workout. That shows the love from Saratoga and the surrounding communities just have for racing in which American Pharoah can draw 20,000 people.”

As executive director, Thompson is still connected to NYRA as a member of the Board of Directors. Beyond that, he also enjoys working with breeders and farm owners that include Old Tavern Farm, Song Hill Farm and McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, as well as legislators and other facets of the horse racing industry, to promote the program.

“I like the challenge to promote and grow the program not only at the New York-bred sales, but also attracting farm owners and working with the legislature to show the agricultural impact that farm owners and breeders make to the state with jobs and land preservation,” he said.

Along with the agricultural impact, Thoroughbred racing in New York is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact, which includes 2,600 jobs and $250 million in the Saratoga Springs region.

“People may show up to the races on a Saturday,” he said. “But behind that, it’s the person who ships the horse from the farm, it’s the farrier who shoes the horse, and it’s the feed company that sends the feed. Those are the jobs created from the racing industry and done right here in Saratoga and throughout the state.”

One of Thompson’s highlighted events in his position is the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sales scheduled for Aug. 15-16. After last year’s sales were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thompson believes there is a lot to look forward to this year’s sales.

“There is a lot of excitement and buzz going into the sale,” he said. “That will be the highlight of the program and it will display the best-of-the-best of yearlings. From what I have heard from bloodstock agents, it is the strongest book of the sale that they have seen.”

Within a decade, Thompson has watched his career evolve in a similar way that the New York-bred program has developed successfully. Though, he knows there are variables that made it happen.

“I have been blessed. Of course, there is hard work and a little bit of luck,” he said. “Things have fell into the right place for me to have that opportunity to help lead the New York Thoroughbred Breeders and help contribute to the New York-bred program. I have definitely worked hard to get to this moment, and I will continue to work hard and do my best to make sure the New York-bred program remains the best in the country.”

Published in Winner's Circle

The Saratoga Race Course Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28. The 2021 Saratoga summer meet will include the following events and happenings:

Week 4 Race Schedule
Tune in to Talking Horses for in-depth analysis from handicapper Andy Serling and other guests.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6
National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, Troy Stakes and Alydar: Friday’s Grade 2, $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, a one-mile inner-turf test for sophomores at Saratoga Race Course, commemorates the induction ceremonies that will take place across Union Avenue earlier in the day. The 37th edition of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame is part of a loaded card that includes the $120,000 Alydar, a nine-furlong test for older horses, and the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy, presented by Horse Racing Ireland, a 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf sprint for older horses.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7 
Whitney Day: Three-time Grade 1 winner Swiss Skydiver is set headline Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Whitney which offers an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The filly, victorious in last year’s Preakness Stakes and Alabama, will try to become the first female to capture the Whitney since Personal Ensign in 1988. To do so, she will have to defeat Maxfield, considered the top older horse in training, and Knicks Go, the Pegasus World Cup winner. The blockbuster Whitney Day card will also include the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test for sophomore fillies and the $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational, the second jewel of the Turf Triple series for sophomore males in its first running with Grade 1 status. Whitney Day will also feature the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls for fillies and mares on turf, and the $120,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8
Saratoga Oaks Invitational: Sunday of Whitney weekend concludes with three graded stakes highlighted by the upgraded Grade 3, $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational, the second leg of the Turf Triple series for sophomore fillies. The card will also include the Grade 3, $300,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose for turf fillies and mares, and the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for juvenile fillies. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11
Features the Mahony and the New York-bred Evan Shipman Handicap. 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 12
Features the New York-bred Saratoga Dew Handicap. 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6

NYRA Hometown Hero presented by CDPHP
NYRA will announce the next honoree in its Hometown Hero program, presented by CDPHP, which recognizes local essential workers for their service and dedication to the community during the pandemic. Each honoree receives the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner’s circle. Nominations are being accepted through August 15 at CDPHP.com/Heroes.

Babe Wines and Cooperstown Distillery Tastings
Fans will be invited to enjoy two complimentary tasting events at Saratoga: Babe Rosé wine outside The Cutwater Stretch from 1 to 3 p.m. and the Cooperstown Select Bourbon Old Fashioned from Cooperstown Distillery at the Jim Dandy Bar from noon to 4 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Display
Fans will have their first of two opportunities to check out the new all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which will be on display near the Clubhouse escalator throughout the afternoon, courtesy of Upstate Ford Dealer Group.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Stony Creek Band.

Piazza Italia
The Piazza Italia, located in the Saratoga Events Pavilion, near Gate A, will host live music featuring Franklin Micare from noon to 4 p.m. Fans may enjoy authentic Italian food and beverages at the Piazza Italia every day of the Saratoga meet, including paninis with Italian meats and cheeses, Fratelli Beretta cold cuts, Monti Trentini cheeses, Italian Bindi Gelato, Tiramisu and Peroni Beer.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7

Bruce Johnstone Best Turned-Out Horse Award
NYRA will honor the legacy of the late horseman Bruce Johnstone by bestowing the “Bruce Johnstone Best Turned Out Horse Award” to the groom of the horse deemed by NYRA racing officials to be best presented in the paddock ahead of the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test. Johnstone, who succumbed last year to a lengthy battle against cancer, transitioned from a successful career as a trainer to management at NYRA, where he spent the last 13 years of his career as Manager of Racing Operations.

Handicapping Seminar
Popular handicapper Pete Fornatale will host a 30-minute seminar to discuss his picks for Whitney Day. The event begins at 9:15 a.m. at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders booth near the Dunkin’ concession. Attendance is free.

Wine Tasting Trifecta for Whitney Day
Fans will be invited to enjoy several complimentary tasting events on Whitney Day, starting with La Crema from Jackson Family Wines at the La Crema Sonoma Coast Experience pop-up bar located across from the Clubhouse exchange from noon to 4 p.m. Wine lovers will also enjoy samples of Whispering Angel Rosé near the Travers Bar from 1 to 3 p.m. as well as Babe Rosé outside The Cutwater Stretch also from 1 to 3 p.m. Rounding out the afternoon will be a sampling of Ketel One Botanicals from award-winning Ketel One family made vodka at the Ketel One Longshots Bar located on the ground floor of the Grandstand from 3 to 5 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Display
Fans will once again have the opportunity to check out the new all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which will be on display near the Clubhouse escalator throughout the afternoon, courtesy of Upstate Ford Dealer Group.

Volcan Tequila Tasting and Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Bluz House Rockers.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8

Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club 
Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the 1863 Club. Tickets are $85 and include the buffet, soft drinks and Post Parade program book. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

Berkshire Bank Family Sundays
The popular kid-oriented weekly event will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office. 

Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest
Every Sunday features the Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest, available exclusively on-track with a buy-in of $40. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers.

Season-long Daily Events and Activities:

Berkshire Bank Family Zone
Fans will enjoy 40 days of the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, an interactive play area for children located near Gate A, which will be complemented by the return of Berkshire Bank Family Sundays. The popular weekly festival will include free games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday of the season inside the Berkshire Bank Family Zone.

Breakfast at Saratoga
Tram tour of our famous and historic stable area (weather permitting). The first tram leaves the main Clubhouse entrance at approximately 7:30 a.m. with additional trams leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at around 9 a.m. The Tour is available every race day (there is no breakfast on Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28). Driven by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA). Enjoy a morning buffet on The Clubhouse Porch while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held daily from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  No reservations are accepted for breakfast dining. $20 for adults and $12 for kids under 12. 

Saratoga Fashion Days
Fashion Saturdays, which was previously held once each week, will expand to a 40-day series of pop-up boutiques featuring stylish clothing, accessories and jewelry for women and men. The Saratoga Fashion Days’ boutiques will be located in the following areas: Lifestyles of Saratoga across from the Jockey Silks Room Porch; Miss Scarlett, Saratoga Rocks and the Winning Silks Collection near The Stretch; and Bumble B Boutique near the paddock mutuels building (weekends only).

Saratoga Walking Tours
History, highlights, unique architecture, and landscapes at Saratoga Race Course. Approximately 45 minutes. Daily Walking Tours bring the more than 150 years of history within Saratoga Race Course to life. Ever wonder why we ring a bell at 17 minutes to post or why there is a canoe in the lake in the infield? Take a guided tour to get to know The Spa! Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each racing day and costs $3 per person or $10 for a family. For more information on our tours, please contact our Guest Services Department at 518-584-6200 ext. 4433.

Published in Winner's Circle

The Saratoga Race Course Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28.
The 2021 Saratoga summer meet will include the following events and happenings:

WEEK 3 RACE SCHEDULE

Tune in to Talking Horses for in-depth analysis from handicapper Andy Serling and other guests.

FRIDAY,  JULY 30
The day’s feature is the $120,000 Curlin for 3-year-olds on the dirt at nine furlongs and a potential prep for the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. 

SATURDAY, JULY 31 
Jim Dandy Day: A trio of graded stakes headlines the final Saturday in July as Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality is expected to lead a field of 3-year-olds in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga Race Course, the traditional prep for the Runhappy Travers. The star-studded card will also feature the Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap and reigning champion sprinter Whitmore, the 8-year-old gelding who won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in November. The Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green will be highlighted by multiple Grade 1-winning turf veteran Channel Maker.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1
Sunday’s card will feature the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for 3-year-old sprinters going six and half furlongs. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4
Features the NYSSS Statue of Liberty Division and the Shine Again. 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5
Thursday’s card features the Birdstone. 

FRIDAY, JULY 30

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Big Fez and the Surfmatics.

Piazza Italia: The Piazza Italia, located in the Saratoga Events Pavilion, near Gate A, will host live music featuring Nick Collucio. 
Fans may enjoy authentic Italian food and beverages at the Piazza Italia every day of the Saratoga meet, including sandwiches on Focaccia with Italian meats and cheeses, Fratelli Beretta cold cuts, Monti Trentini cheeses, Italian Bindi Gelato, Tiramisu and Peroni Beer.

SATURDAY, JULY 31

PDJF Awareness Day
Saratoga Race Course will unite with racetracks across the country with autograph signings and photo opportunities as part of PDJF Day Across America. Riders from the Saratoga jockey colony will sign autographs on the Jockey Silks Room Porch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a suggested donation to PDJF.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Display
Fans will have the opportunity to check out the new all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which will be on display near the Clubhouse escalator throughout the afternoon, courtesy of Upstate Ford Dealer Group.

Cooperstown Distillery, Chandon Garden Spritz and Ketel One Tastings 
Fans will be invited to enjoy a trio of complimentary tasting events: the first tasting features the Saratoga Revolutionary Rum Runner from Cooperstown Distillery, the award-winning producer of distinguished whiskeys and other handcrafted spirits, at the Jim Dandy Bar from noon to 4 p.m. The second tasting will feature samples of the Chandon Garden Spritz at the Travers Bar from 1 to 3 p.m. And rounding out the afternoon will be samples of the Ketel One Botanicals Grapefruit & Rose Botanical Spritz cocktail from award-winning Ketel One family made vodka at the Ketel One Clubhouse Bar from 3 to 5 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Volcan Tequila Tasting and Summer Music Stage 
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Nite Train with Thomasina Winslow. 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1

Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club 
Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the 1863 Club. Tickets are $85 and include the buffet, soft drinks and Post Parade program book. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

Berkshire Bank Family Sundays
The popular kid-oriented weekly event will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office. 

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from The Rodeo Barons.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5

FABULOUS FILLIES DAY
Saratoga Race Course will honor local breast cancer survivors while supporting To Life!, a Capital Region non-profit organization which provides personalized breast cancer education and support services.

SEASON-LONG DAILY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:

LOW ROLLER HANDICAPPING CONTESTS

Thursdays & Sundays

Thursday and Sundays at Saratoga pit yourself against your Saratoga peers on-track with the Low Roller Handicapping Contests. Buy-In: $40 ($30 bankroll/$10 prize pool) Contest ends with second to last race at Saratoga. How to Enter: Visit the Low Roller booth outside Fourstardave before the first race.

BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY ZONE
Fans will enjoy 40 days of the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, an interactive play area for children located near Gate A, which will be complemented by the return of Berkshire Bank Family Sundays. The popular weekly festival will include free games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday of the season inside the Berkshire Bank Family Zone.

BREAKFAST AT SARATOGA
Tram tour of our famous and historic stable area (weather permitting). The first tram leaves the main Clubhouse entrance at approximately 7:30 a.m. with additional trams leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at around 9 a.m. The Tour is available every race day (there is no breakfast on Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28). Driven by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA). Enjoy a morning buffet on The Clubhouse Porch while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held daily from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  No reservations are accepted for breakfast dining. $20 for adults and $12 for kids under 12. 

SARATOGA FASHION DAYS
Fashion Saturdays, which was previously held once each week, will expand to a 40-day series of pop-up boutiques featuring stylish clothing, accessories and jewelry for women and men. The Saratoga Fashion Days’ boutiques will be located in the following areas: Lifestyles of Saratoga across from the Jockey Silks Room Porch; Miss Scarlett, Saratoga Rocks and the Winning Silks Collection near The Stretch; and Bumble B Boutique near the paddock mutuels building (weekends only).

VOLCAN TEQUILA SUMMER MUSIC STAGE
Fans will enjoy live music performances each afternoon of the season from popular local and regional bands at the Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage. Strolling entertainment from Saratoga mainstays Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers and the Red Hot Dancers, amongst other acts, will also be a regular feature.

SARATOGA WALKING TOURS
History, highlights, unique architecture, and landscapes at Saratoga Race Course. Approximately 45 minutes. Daily Walking Tours bring the more than 150 years of history within Saratoga Race Course to life. Ever wonder why we ring a bell at 17 minutes to post or why there is a canoe in the lake in the infield? Take a guided tour to get to know The Spa! Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each racing day and costs $3 per person or $10 for a family. For more information on our tours, please contact our Guest Services Department at 518-584-6200 ext. 4433.

SARATOGA WALK OF FAME
In 2013, NYRA began recognizing prominent thoroughbred industry owners, trainers and jockeys who have left a significant mark on Saratoga with a commemorative plaque and iconic red Saratoga jacket presented on the eve of the Travers Stakes, Saratoga’s signature race and the nation’s oldest major stakes race for 3-year-olds.

BETS SQUAD: LEARN. BET. WIN.
The Bets Squad is your one-stop-shop to learn how to bet! Learn the different types of bets, how to place a bet, how to read a program, how to use a self-service betting terminal, and how to sign up to bet from your phone on and off-track with NYRA Bets. NYRA Bets allows you to securely deposit electronically and play great racing from Saratoga to Del Mar and across the world online and from anywhere, anytime. The Bets Squad is open daily and can be found at the following locations:

Outside Clubhouse Exchange
Under Clubhouse after entering Clubhouse exchange
Grandstand

Backyard, close to the Red Spring
The Stretch (for ticketed guests)
1863 Club Lobby (for ticketed guests)

Fans will not be required to provide proof of vaccination for admission to Saratoga Race Course. Non-vaccinated individuals will be required to wear a facial covering during their day at Saratoga Race Course, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. NYRA reserves the right to amend admission protocols based on updates and adjustments by New York State. 

The 40-day summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course will feature 76 stakes worth $21.5 million in total purses highlighted by the 152nd renewal of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on Aug. 28 and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on Aug. 7, as the anchors of two of the most prestigious racing days in North America. Racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays, with the exception of the final week, when the meet will conclude on Labor Day.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit www.NYRA.com/Saratoga

Published in Winner's Circle

The Saratoga Race Course Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28.
The 2021 Saratoga summer meet will include the following events and happenings:

WEEK 2 RACE SCHEDULE
Tune in to Talking Horses for in-depth analysis from handicapper Andy Serling and other guests.

Friday, July 23
The day’s feature race is the Grade 3, $150,000 Lake George for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the turf. 

Saturday, July 24 
Saturday will be highlighted by the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks, during which 3-year-old fillies will compete for a purse of $500,000 going nine furlongs. The day’s card will also include the Grade 3, $200,000 Caress for fillies and mares.

Sunday, July 25
Sunday’s card will feature the Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee for fillies and mares going two turns on the dirt. 

Wednesday, July 28
Features the Honorable Miss Handicap (Grade 2) and the NYSSS Cab Calloway Division. 

Thursday, July 29
Features New York-bred John Morrissey Handicap. 

FRIDAY, JULY 23

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from the Franklin Micare Band.

Piazza Italia: The Piazza Italia, located in the Saratoga Events Pavilion, near Gate A, will host live music featuring Nick Collucio from 12 to 4 p.m. Fans may enjoy authentic Italian food and beverages at the Piazza Italia every day of the Saratoga meet, including sandwiches on Focaccia with Italian meats and cheeses, Fratelli Beretta cold cuts, Monti Trentini cheeses, Italian Bindi Gelato, Tiramisu, Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Lambrusco and Peroni Beer.

SATURDAY, JULY 24

Lustgarten Foundation Day
Saratoga will honor the legacy of trainer Dominic Galluscio with a day to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance scientific and medical research related to pancreatic cancer. The centerpiece of the day will be a trainer autograph session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Jockey Silks Room Porch to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Display
Fans will have the opportunity to check out the new all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which will be on display near the Clubhouse escalator throughout the afternoon, courtesy of Upstate Ford Dealer Group.

Tanqueray and Ketel One Tastings 
Fans will be invited to enjoy two complimentary tasting events on the second Saturday of the season: Tanqueray gin cocktails at the Tanqueray Bar on the second floor of the Clubhouse; and cocktails from award-winning Ketel One family made vodka at the Ketel One Clubhouse Bar. Both tastings will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Must be at least 21 years old; while supplies last.

Volcan Tequila Tasting and Summer Music Stage 
Saratoga Race Course will celebrate National Tequila Day with a complimentary tasting of tequila cocktails at the Volcan Bar in the backyard near the Fourstardave Sports Bar. The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Wyld Blue.

SUNDAY, JULY 25

Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club 
Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the 1863 Club. Tickets are $85 and include the buffet, soft drinks and Post Parade program book. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

Berkshire Bank Family Sundays
The popular kid-oriented weekly event will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office. 

Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage
The Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage will host live music from Reflections Soul Ensemble.

LOW ROLLER HANDICAPPING CONTESTS
Thursdays & Sundays
Thursday and Sundays at Saratoga pit yourself against your Saratoga peers on-track with the Low Roller Handicapping Contests. Buy-In: $40 ($30 bankroll/$10 prize pool) Contest ends with second to last race at Saratoga. How to Enter: Visit the Low Roller booth outside Fourstardave before the first race.

SEASON-LONG DAILY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:

BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY ZONE
Fans will enjoy 40 days of the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, an interactive play area for children located near Gate A, which will be complemented by the return of Berkshire Bank Family Sundays. The popular weekly festival will include free games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday of the season inside the Berkshire Bank Family Zone.

BREAKFAST AT SARATOGA
Tram tour of our famous and historic stable area (weather permitting). The first tram leaves the main Clubhouse entrance at approximately 7:30 a.m. with additional trams leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at around 9 a.m. The Tour is available every race day (there is no breakfast on Runhappy Travers Day, Saturday, August 28). Driven by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA).

Enjoy a morning buffet on The Clubhouse Porch while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held daily from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  No reservations are accepted for breakfast dining. $20 for adults and $12 for kids under 12. 

SARATOGA FASHION DAYS
Fashion Saturdays, which was previously held once each week, will expand to a 40-day series of pop-up boutiques featuring stylish clothing, accessories and jewelry for women and men. The Saratoga Fashion Days’ boutiques will be located in the following areas: Lifestyles of Saratoga across from the Jockey Silks Room Porch; Miss Scarlett, Saratoga Rocks and the Winning Silks Collection near The Stretch; and Bumble B Boutique near the paddock mutuels building (weekends only).

VOLCAN TEQUILA SUMMER MUSIC STAGE
Fans will enjoy live music performances each afternoon of the season from popular local and regional bands at the Volcan Tequila Summer Music Stage. Strolling entertainment from Saratoga mainstays Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers and the Red Hot Dancers, amongst other acts, will also be a regular feature.

SARATOGA WALKING TOURS
History, highlights, unique architecture, and landscapes at Saratoga Race Course. Approximately 45 minutes. Daily Walking Tours bring the more than 150 years of history within Saratoga Race Course to life. Ever wonder why we ring a bell at 17 minutes to post or why there is a canoe in the lake in the infield? Take a guided tour to get to know The Spa! Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each racing day and costs $3 per person or $10 for a family. For more information on our tours, please contact our Guest Services Department at 518-584-6200 ext. 4433.

SARATOGA WALK OF FAME
In 2013, NYRA began recognizing prominent thoroughbred industry owners, trainers and jockeys who have left a significant mark on Saratoga with a commemorative plaque and iconic red Saratoga jacket presented on the eve of the Travers Stakes, Saratoga’s signature race and the nation’s oldest major stakes race for 3-year-olds.

“We hope our guests will enjoy Saratoga’s newest attraction which is designed to highlight the contributions of our industry’s leading pioneers and achievers for decades to come.”

BETS SQUAD: LEARN. BET. WIN.
The Bets Squad is your one-stop-shop to learn how to bet! Learn the different types of bets, how to place a bet, how to read a program, how to use a self-service betting terminal, and how to sign up to bet from your phone on and off-track with NYRA Bets. NYRA Bets allows you to securely deposit electronically and play great racing from Saratoga to Del Mar and across the world online and from anywhere, anytime. The Bets Squad is open daily and can be found at the following locations:

Outside Clubhouse Exchange
Under Clubhouse after entering Clubhouse exchange
Grandstand
Backyard, close to the Red Spring
The Stretch (for ticketed guests)
1863 Club Lobby (for ticketed guests) (NYRA Bets VIP Concierge is located here)

Published in Winner's Circle

Her horses are running well, but they are getting claimed quickly, as she still seeks her first career win.

Many new trainers find it challenging to win their first race, especially with a small stable.

Michelle Giangiulio’s experience is not much different. However, along with trying to get her first career victory, she has a difficult time of keeping horses.

Since becoming a trainer earlier this year, Giangiulio started four separate horses. While each horse ran well with either a second- or third-place finish, three of those horses have been taken by other owners or trainers through the claiming box.

Wagon Boss was the latest horse taken from her following his third-place finish in the first race of Saratoga Race Course’s Opening Day card.

After the race, Giangiulio went into the racing office and learned that 11 trainers submitted a $12,500 claim for the 8-year-old gelding. Eventually, Jeffrey Englehart became the new owner and trainer of Wagon Boss after the “shake,” a lottery process used when there are multiple claims on a horse.

“I went into the racing office, and it was packed. I didn’t realize they were shaking on my horse,” she said. “My horses keep getting claimed and we are losing shakes. It is tough when you have only 3-4 horses, then you lose one. The hardest part is keeping stock. You never know when you will get another one in [the stable].”

Giangiulio fell into that situation with her first career start and just one horse: Parade Field. She entered that 5-year-old gelding for a $20,000 claiming tag at Aqueduct on Feb. 15. After Parade Field was claimed with his third-place finish, that put her in a difficult situation – no horse to train.

It took a couple of months for Giangiulio to regroup with the help of Marshall Gramm, a founding partner of Ten Strike Racing, Associate Professor in Economics at Rhodes College and two-time qualifier for the National Handicapping Championships. Along with Wagon Boss, Gramm sent her two other horses: Easy Shot and True Castle.

“Marshall Gramm has been so great by sending me horses,” Giangiulio said. “He has been really trying to help me out. He’s really supportive. He actually sent Wagon Boss to Indiana Grand after he claimed him. He told me this horse might be OK going long at Saratoga for $12,500. He looked fantastic.”

While it can be discouraging to lose horses through the claiming box, Giangiulio has a sense of affirmation knowing that owners and trainers are interested in her horses because of their condition going into a race.

“I think it says a lot,” Giangiulio said. “The horses look good. They are running well. Every horse that I have run, except for True Castle, has been claimed. Everyone tells me that it is a good thing. It feels good that someone takes my horses because they are in the right spot. At the same time, it’s part of the mixed emotions because I lose a horse.”

Since being a child and teenager, Giangiulio has always enjoyed being around horses. The South New Jersey native started working and riding show horses while going to Hammonton High School.

After graduating from high school, she became interested in working with Thoroughbreds and crossed the Delaware River to Parx Racing, just north of Philadelphia where Juan Carlos Guerrera, trainer of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile champion Spun to Run, hired her as a groom and an assistant.

Giangiulio got her first glimpse of New York racing in 2014 when she travelled with Guerrera to bring Classic Giacnroll to Aqueduct for the Jerome Stakes and Withers Stakes. Attracted to the New York racing scene, Giangiulio left Parx for Aqueduct and Belmont to work for various trainers, including Chad Brown, Jena Antonucci, Joe Sharp, Thomas Morley, and Kelly Breen.

Giangiulio did not come to Saratoga until 2016 when she was an assistant to Sharp. While Sharp spent most of that season staying in Kentucky, she helped the stable win four races that meet.

“We had a good meet that year,” she said. “Joe had a second baby, so he wasn’t up here as much. I had to run everything up here. We had a solid team. It was fun. From Parx to Belmont, that was a big jump. When I went from Belmont to Saratoga, I said, ‘I am in the big leagues.’ It was awesome.”

That is not the only awesome experience for Giangiulio since coming to New York. Three years ago, she got a chance to see one of her favorite horses who made history: Triple Crown winner Justify.

She had always been fond of the son of Scat Daddy after winning his debut with a 9 ½-length margin in 1:21.86 for seven furlongs at Santa Anita. While Giangiulio was working for Morley, Justify was stabled across the street at John Terranova’s barn prior to the Belmont Stakes.

“I absolutely fell in love with Justify,” she said. “When he first ran, I knew he was going to be a Triple Crown winner. The way he was put together was perfection. He was stunning and a monster of a horse.”

Through many memorable experiences with horses for more than a decade, Giangiulio is hoping to build off of that as a one-person stable right now. While the days can be long, especially starting at 4 a.m., she does like to be her own boss.

“I love not having a boss,” she said with a little laughter. “For my whole life, I wanted to be my own boss and train my own horses. Everyone who I worked for was great and they knew what they were doing, but I love to see what I can do and see a horse progress from decisions that I made.”

“It’s really rewarding,” she added. “I knew all along that I could do it with all of the horses running good. That has been a really awesome part. I cannot be disappointed at all. I have a lot to look forward to the future.”

Published in Winner's Circle
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