It is with great melancholy that I post this week’s happenings, as at least one of them will be taking place after I return to Brooklyn. I can’t believe that Saratoga is almost over, and nearly every day I come face to face with a reminder that before too long, the old Spa will be quiet.
But until then, much to do, much to see, much to attend! So here we go:
Tuesday: This week’s tasting at the Crush and Cask at 170 Broadway in Saratoga benefit the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Hosts Patty and Jeff Novo will host the tasting from 6 – 8 p.m. It’s free of charge, but all donations at the door will benefit the TRF. Among the four wines to be tasted will be two proseccos (a personal favorite); the Lodge and the Cupcake Lab will furnish snacks and TRF will offer unique items to be auctioned.
Wednesday: The Belmont Child Care Association’s annual fundraiser at the Gideon Putnam. This year’s event is rodeo-themed and will honor D. Wayne Lukas and John and Leona Velazquez for their contributions to the BCCA. Tickets are $250 and are still available; we’re also still looking for volunteers if you’d like to help. Contact me or the BCCA directly.
Thursday: An annual rite in my family is a trip to the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy, but we’ll get started early this year with San Gennaro day at the track. (Editorial note: I fully acknowledge the cultural disconnect here: Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples and “Gennaro” is a first name in Italy; not a surname. My paternal progenitors hail from Sicily, and our name was something until different until my grandfather hit Ellis Island, where it was changed to “Genaro.”)
Track visitors will find a celebration of Italian culture and heritage featuring traditional Italian food and drink as well as Italian dance, music, games and entertainment. Homemade meatball subs and “genuine Brooklyn” cannoli (I’ll be the judge of that, thank you very much) will be on offer as well. I wonder if I can get some Sambuca anywhere at the track?
Thursday evening: The Parting Glass will hold a roast of jockey Richard Migliore; expected to attend, among others, are Ramon Dominguez, Shaun Bridgmohan, and Javier Castellano. The night is a fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and the Parting Glass will raffle off two box seats for Travers Day.
The event is free and open to the public. More information at the Parting Glass Racing Facebook page. The event starts at 7 at the Parting Glass, 40 Lake Avenue.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: No need to make any plans for the weekend, other than to attend three terrific days of racing. Friday brings the Grade II Bernard Baruch; Saturday we’ve got FIVE stakes races (Grade III Victory Ride, Grade II Ballston Spa, and Grade I King’s Bishop, Ballerina, and Travers); and on Sunday Rachel Alexandra returns to the Spa in the Grade I Personal Ensign.
Monday, August 30th: Head to the East Side Rec on Lake Avenue for a charity softball game to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. The jockeys will take on some regional personalities in a game that starts at 7:00; gates open at 6:00 and the jockeys will be available after the game for a meet and greet. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children. For more information, contact John J. Steve at 518-379-6251 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.