It’s Tuesday, and we’re taking a bit of a breather…from the track at least. I’m spending today at Albany Law School’s Racing & Gaming Institute, presenting on Thoroughbred retirement and listening to panels talk about OTB and medication and racing legislation.
But with no Saratoga racing to occupy our time today, here’s a look at what’s going on in Saratoga in the next few weeks:
Tuesday, August 2 (tonight!): The second of Paul Roberts’ lectures on historical race courses. This one will focus on historic structures remaining in world racing; Eight Wonders of the Racing World: Here & Abroad will take attendees on a historical journey through Paris, Sydney, Buenos Aires and beyond. 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.
Also on Wednesday, writer Mike Kane will talk about trainer Frank Catrone, the Saratogian who won the Kentucky Derby with Lucky Debonair in 1965. The presentation is at 7:00 at the Saratoga Springs Public Library; the event is free.
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.
Saturday, August 6: Whitney Day!
The Belmont Child Care Association will be at NYRA’s community outreach booth behind the jockeys’ room at the track. They’ll offer starting gate Christmas tree ornaments for a suggested donation of $10, as well as information about Anna House and upcoming local events.
If you’re looking for something to do after the historic Whitney Handicap, walk across the street to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and catch the showing of Paul Wagner’s documentary Thoroughbred: Born To Run at 7:00. The screening is free.
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.
Monday, August 8: The Race Track Chaplaincy will host its sixth annual breakfast at Saratoga Race Course from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Held at the At The Rail Pavilion, the event will feature guest speaker Elliot Walden, president and CEO of WinStar Farm, and an exclusive trunk show of the newest equestrian line from Peacock Alley Fine Linens. Tickets are $75 and all proceeds benefit the Race Track Chaplaincy of America – New York Division. To purchase tickets or for more information, please call Nancy Kelly at 518-226-0609.
Monday and Tuesday, August 8 and 9: The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sales. Bring your checkbook and take home a gorgeous, well-bred yearling…or hang out in the back, have a drink, and watch pricey horseflesh go by amid hundreds of socializing onlookers.
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.
Monday, August 15: The jockeys come together again to help out the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Come to the Stadium Cafe on Broadway for a “Taste of Saratoga” and vote on your favorite dish prepared by some of Saratoga’s top jockeys; the event will also feature guest jockey bartenders and a silent auction.
Tickets for the event, which begins at 7 p.m., are $50 and can be obtained at the restaurant or at 112 Congress St.
Monday, August 22: They play basketball, they play softball, they cook…and they sing! Head to Vapors Night Club at Saratoga Raceway for “Riders Up,” an evening of karaoke, dinner, and dancing to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. The event starts at 6 pm; tickets are $100. Buy tickets and get more info at www.pdjf.org.
Wednesday, August 24: Join the Belmont Child Care Association for a country fair to benefit the children of the backstretch workers. Cocktails and silent auction begin at 6:30, followed by dinner and a live auction. The event takes place at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. Contact the BCCA for tickets and more information.