The first dark day is in the books, and we’ve got another gorgeous day at Saratoga on tap. Week 1 featured great racing, beautiful weather, and encouraging handle and attendance numbers. Here’s hoping for more of the same as we kick off Week 2…
Wednesday, July 23
At the track…
Early post time of 12:25; first race is a steeplechase.
Today’s stakes race: the Grade II Lake George on the turf, 1 1/16 miles for three-year-old fillies
The weekly international heritage festival series kicks off with Latino-American day, featuring traditional music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion located inside the Reserved Seats Box Office entrance. Musical and dance performances will also take place near the Saratoga bandstand and gazebo throughout each afternoon.
The rest of the series includes Italian-American Day on July 30; Irish-American Day on August 6; African-American Day on August 13; and Asian-American Day on August 20. The final installment of the series will celebrate the history and culture of Saratoga Springs with Saratoga Heritage Day on August 27.
Thursday, July 23
At the track…
Today’s stakes race: the $100,000 Quick Call for three-year-olds, 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf
Friday, July 25
At the track…
Today’s stakes race: the Curlin for three-year-olds at a 1 1/8 miles on the dirt.
Taste NY Craft Beer and Cider tasting (every Friday through the meet). Taste beverages produced by as many as a dozen New York State breweries. Tastings will be held from noon to 4 pm in the Saratoga Pavilion, located inside the entrance to the Reserved Seats Box Office on Union Avenue. Admission is $20 and includes 20 sampling tickets.
College Day, presented by Toyota: College students get the chance to win one of numerous $1,000 scholarships, 2014 Saratoga grandstand season passes, and other prizes. Students may register in the backyard near the Big Red Spring beginning at 11 a.m. All college students who register will receive a $5 voucher.
NYRA will also celebrate the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Champions from Union College with a race named in their honor. Union Head Coach Rick Bennett will present the trophy to the winner of the day’s race.
Northeastern Fine Jewelry will offer racing fans the opportunity to win a picnic lunch for 20 people at the track by posting a Twitter selfie taken at Saratoga Race Course on College Day. Contest participants must follow @NEFJewelry on Twitter and tag Northeastern Fine Jewelry in the tweet.
Greg Montgomery will sign his 2014 Travers poster at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Signed posters are available for $50.
Saturday, July 26
At the track…
Today’s stakes races: the $200,000 Grade II Amsterdam at 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt for three-year-olds and the $600,000 Grade II Jim Dandy, the local Travers prep at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt for three-year-olds.
Lord & Taylor Fashion Saturdays (every Saturday through the meet. A Lord & Taylor pop-up shop in the Saratoga Pavilion will be open from 10:30 am to 6 pm. Two people each week will be named Most Fashionable at Saratoga and win a $250 Lord & Taylor gift card and the chance to present a trophy in the winner’s circle during the meet.
Photographer Juliet R. Harrison will sign copies of her book Track Live: Images and Words at Saratoga Saddlery from 5-8 pm on Broadway.
Sunday, July 27
At the track…
Today’s stakes races: the $200,000 Grade III Shuvee Handicap for fillies and mares three and up, 1 1/8 miles on the dirt.
Pilsner Glass Set Giveaway with paid admission, while supplies last. Note the new giveaway policy: you can buy up to two additional vouchers at a time and redeem up to three at a time.
Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund Day. Every jockey riding at Saratoga on Saturday will be available during a one-hour autograph session outside the silks room beginning at 11:30 a.m. For a $5 donation to the PDJF, fans can receive autographs from Hall of Famers and rising stars alike, including John Velazquez, Edgar Prado, Javier Castellano, Rosie Napravnik, Rajiv Maragh, Jose and Irad Ortiz, Jr., Julien Leparoux, Taylor Rice and Joel Rosario.
Later in the day, a field of 13 jockeys will break from the starting gate and compete in a one-half furlong foot race on the main track. For a $5 donation, guests will be able to “bet” on their choice and be entered for a chance to win a VIP Day at the Races for two on Travers Day, August 23 along with other prizes.
Taste NY Food and Artisans (every Sunday through the meet. Up to 19 food and artisan vendors set up shop in the Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 am to 5 pm, featuring products made exclusively by New York vendors.
Summer Stroll of historic Fifth and Madison Avenues with the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. Discover the architectural and development history of these two “grand residential streets, both lined with elegant Victorian and Craftsman houses.” The tour begins at 10:30 a.m. at the northeast corner of Nelson and Fifth Avenues. Tickets are $5 for Preservation Foundation members and $8 for non-members, payable at the time of the event or online.
NYRA New Owners’ Luncheon at 8 a.m., beginning with breakfast on The Porch at Saratoga Race Course, followed by presentations and Q&A session with trainers Mark Hennig and James Bond, along with owner Roddy Valente, the racing partnerships of West Point Thoroughbreds and Parting Glass Racing, equine accountant Andre Moglia and New York State steward Stephen Lewandowski.
Included in the $100 registration fee is lunch in a luxury suite, a backstretch tour, a visit to the paddock to see the horses being saddled before a race, a winner’s circle presentation, an official program, and a gift bag.
Throughout the day, guests also will have the opportunity to meet many of NYRA’s leading jockeys, trainers and owners.
For more information call Horsemen’s Relations at Saratoga Race Course (518-584-6200, ext. 2205) to reserve a spot. Space is limited.
Monday, July 28
At the track…
Stakes race: the $200,000, Grade II HRTV Honorable Miss Handicap, six furlongs for fillies and mares three and up.
Berkshire Bank Family Mondays: Monday will be highlighted by Berkshire Bank Family Mondays – a weekly attraction held every Monday from noon to 4 p.m. inside the Saratoga Pavilion. The weekly event features a variety of free family-friendly activities for all ages, including face painting, arts and crafts, mascot appearances and bounce inflatables. This week’s featured activity will invite families to get a glimpse at what life was like for children at the end of the 19th century with a mobile version of the “Days Gone By” exhibit from the Scotia-Glenville Children’s Museum. The exhibit will feature various toys, game, appliances and horse-related items from the 19thcentury.
Tuesday, July 29
Guests in the Gallery: Tom Durkin at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Tom Durkin will discuss his career in racing with program host Jeff Carle at 11 a.m. Free with paid Museum admission.
“If Wishes Were Horses,” to benefit ACTT Naturally, which re-trains Thoroughbreds using natural methods, at Oliva Vineyards on Rt. 4 between Schuylerville and Fort Edward, from 4-9 p.m. The event will feature local wines, craft beer, food, live music, and a silent auction; tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the gate. Children are welcome, and those under 15 get in free.
ACTT’s founder, Valeria Buck, who worked for trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Todd Pletcher, will give a demonstration of her natural horsemanship methods with her 10-year-old chestnut gelding, Three Lions.