The first four days of the Saratoga meet saw epic heat, drenching downpours, a Pick 6 carryover, a parade of longshots, and a memorable renewal of the Coaching Club American Oaks.
It also featured plenty of activity away from the racetrack, with much more to come. Here’s a look at some upcoming activities and events:
Tuesday, July 26, 7:00: The first of three lectures by Paul Roberts of Turnberry Consulting on historic race courses. Tonight’s talk focuses on Ascot and takes place at the Saratoga Arts Center. This series is sponsored by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation; tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Call to reserve your spot.
Wednesday, July 27, 7:00: The horsemen take on the jockeys in an annual basketball game that raises money for the Racetrack Chaplaincy at the Saratoga Rec Center, 15 Vanderbilt Avenue. The horsemen will be looking to avenge last year’s defeat. Expected to participate are Javier Castellano, Kent Desormeaux, Ramon Dominguez, Alan Garcia, John Velazquez, PJ Campo, Todd Pletcher, Rick Schosberg, Terry Finley and Elliot Walden. Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero, Jr. will coach the jockeys, while trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will lead the horsemen. Tickets cost $15, with proceeds to benefit the Chaplaincy and the people of the backstretch at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga.
Friday, July 29: Twilight racing, Party at the Park! (It’s also College Day at the track.) Post time is 2:30, and following the races, guests can enjoy live music, food, and drinks at The Post (aka the Paddock Bar), Shake Shack, and Blue Smoke.
Also on Friday, Peaceful Acres, which offers therapeutic riding and an equine assisted experiential living program, will be at the community outreach booth outside the jockeys’ room. Stop by to learn more about their programs.
Saturday, July 30, 10:30 – 11:30: Jockeys will sign the calendar photographed by Barbara Livingston. Featuring shots of Calvin Borel, Javier Castellano, Kent Desormeaux, Mike Smith, and Ramon Dominguez, among others, the calendar costs $13.99 and benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. The signing will take place outside the jockeys’ room.
Monday, August 1: Those jockeys are busy people! Now they’re playing softball against the Philadelphia Orchestra at the East Side Recreation Field on Lake Avenue at 7 p.m. The game is sponsored by NYRA and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center; admission is $2 with children under 12 free. Proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Tuesday, August 2: The second of Paul Roberts’ lectures on historical race courses. This one will focus on historic structures remaining in world racing. At the Saratoga Arts Center, reservations preferred. Sponsored by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.
Wednesday, August 3: Peaceful Acres’ Halters Off fundraising event at the Saratoga Arts Center from 5 – 8 pm will feature Champagne and canapés and a fine art show and sale, along with a silent auction and raffle.
Thursday, August 4: Equine Advocates holds its annual fundraiser at the Saratoga City Center. Arlington Park’s Richard L. Duchossois will receive the Ellen & Herbert Moelis Equine Savior Award for Philanthropy, and jockey Kent Desormeaux will receive the Bo Derek Award of Merit.
All proceeds will directly benefit Equine Advocates Horse Rescue, Sanctuary and Humane Education Programs. Tickets are $250 per person.
Sunday, August 7, 7:00: Join the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at the Saratoga City Center for an evening of cocktails, dinner, dancing, and fundraising, hosted by Bobby Flay and Carolyn Conley. Frank Stronach will receive the Earle Mack Thoroughbred Retirement Champion Award, “in appreciation of his outstanding efforts on behalf of retired Thoroughbred horses.” Tickets are $250.
My new favorite spot for retail adult beverages is the Crush and Cask at 170 South Broadway in Saratoga. It offers an excellent selection of wine and spirits, and its proprietors, Patty and Jeff Novo, are fans of both racing and racing charities. In that spirit (yes, yes, pun intended…), the store will host two fundraising wine tastings this summer.
On Thursday, August 11, the tasting will benefit Old Friends; on Wednesday, August 17, it will benefit the Belmont Child Care Association. Both will take place from 6-8. Tastings are free, but a paltry $2 donation is suggested, with proceeds going to the charities. Come by, donate, partake, and buy! Support this local business that supports both racing and racing charities, and check them out on Facebook.