SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has announced the stakes schedule for the 2023 summer meet at the historic Saratoga Race Course, which will include 71 stakes worth $20.8 million in total purses.
Highlighted by the 154th renewal of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 26 and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on August 5, the 40-day summer meet will open on Thursday, July 13 and continue through Monday, Sept. 4.
Following the four-day opening weekend, racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays, apart from closing week, when the 2023 summer meet will conclude on Labor Day.
Saratoga Live, the acclaimed television show produced by NYRA in partnership with FOX Sports, will return for its eighth season to provide expansive on-site daily coverage of the summer meet to a nationwide audience on the networks of FOX Sports.
Opening Day, Thursday, July 13, kicks off the season with the Grade 3, $175,000 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies with the following day to feature the $135,000 Wilton for sophomore fillies to be contested out of the Wilson Chute and the $150,000 Coronation Cup, a turf sprint for sophomore fillies.
Opening Weekend is highlighted by the first Grade 1 of the Saratoga season in the $500,000 Diana for turf fillies and mares on July 15. That day’s card will include the Grade 3, $175,000 Sanford for juveniles on dirt; and the Grade 3, $175,000 Kelso, formerly the Forbidden Apple, at one mile on turf for older horses.
Whitney Day on Saturday, August 5, provides a trio of Grade 1 events, led by the Whitney at 1 1/8 miles for older horses offering an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 4 at Santa Anita.
Completing the Grade 1s on Whitney Day will be the seven-furlong $500,000 Test for sophomore fillies and the $600,000 Saratoga Derby Invitational, at 1 3/16-miles on turf for sophomores. Whitney Day will also include the Grade 3, $300,000 Troy for older turf sprinters, and the restricted $135,000 Lure at 1 1/16-miles on turf for older horses.
The Travers Festival, which offers nine stakes including six Grade 1s from Wednesday, August 23 through Saturday, August 26, is headlined by the 154th edition of the 1 1/4-mile Travers on Saturday, August 26.
The lucrative Travers Day card features five Grade 1 stakes and an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup to the winner of the Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer [Turf] and Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina Handicap [Filly and Mare Sprint.]
The complete stakes schedule for the 2023 summer meet is available at www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/stakes-schedule.