Just because it’s almost over doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do! Sure, the pace has slowed, but one of the best times to be in Saratoga is the post-Travers week. The mornings are crisp, the town is a little quieter, but there are still stakes races, sunrises, and sunsets to enjoy.
Enjoy it while you can, because it’s a long time to opening day 2015…
Wednesday, August 27th
At the track…
Today’s stakes race: the $100,000 P.G. Johnson, named for the Hall of Fame trainer, for 2-year-old fillies at a 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Saratoga Heritage Day: The last in NYRA’s inaugural heritage series at the track, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen and other community members will unveil the official logo for the Saratoga Springs 2015 Centennial Celebration in the winner’s circle. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Saratoga Springs.
The day will feature local singers and dancer; the Saratoga Auto Museum will have cars on display; and food samples will be available from Saratoga Garlic, Sundaes Best, and Saratoga Sweets. Various local organizations will be in attendance, including the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame; Saratoga National Historic Park; Friends of Saratoga Battlefield; The Children’s Museum at Saratoga; Saratoga Springs History Museum; Saratoga History Tours; and the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.
Thursday, August 28
At the track…
Today’s stakes races: The Grade II, $200,000 With Anticipation for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Taste NY: Wine & Cheese: Indulge in samples from various New York State wineries from noon to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion–10 tastings for $15 and 20 for $30.
Military Appreciation Day. [From NYRA release] Free grandstand admission for all United States military service members and veterans with valid military ID or proof of military service. NYRA will honor an active duty service member or veteran during each race.
United States Military Academy Master Sergeant MaryKay Messenger will perform the National Anthem, accompanied by a Presentation of Colors from members of the Navy Operational Support Center Schenectady Honor Guard and NSA Saratoga.
Veterans of World War II will be recognized in the winner’s circle following the day’s third race. The veterans are beneficiaries of the Leatherstocking Honor Flight, which transports American veterans to Washington D.C. to visit national memorials dedicated to honoring their service and sacrifices. Before the day’s third race, the participating veterans will ring the traditional Saratoga bell in the winner’s circle seven times at 17 minutes to post to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.
Artwork created by veterans participating in a program in partnership with Living Resources; the Department of Veterans Affairs; Veterans Housing and Services; and Soldier On will be on display at the Jockey Silks Room Porch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The art therapy program is designed to assist veterans as they adjust to life as civilians and heal the physical, psychological, or cognitive effects of time in the service.
Fan Advisory Council fan forum at Saratoga Race Course after the last race. Moderated by Richard Migliore, the forum will take place at the Alabama Suite, located at the beginning of the clubhouse turn, which can be accessed via the Nelson Ave. gate.
Friday, August 29
At the track…
Today’s stakes race: The $100,000 Riskaverse for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the turf.
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.
Saturday, August 30
At the track…
Today’s stakes races: The Grade I, $500,000 Forego for three-year-olds and up at seven furlongs; the Grade I, $600,000 Forego for 3-year-olds and up at nine furlongs; the Grade II, $300,000 Prioress for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs; and the Grade II, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
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.
Photo Finish Tour with Dona McAdams, presented by the National Museum of Racing. Award-winning photographer Dona McAdams will host a photography workshop at the Oklahoma Training Track from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Cost: $20 Museum members; $25 non-members. Reservations must be made in advance by calling (518) 584-0400 ext. 120.
Final Stretch Music Festival: Head downtown for the first night of the two-day Final Stretch Music Festival. Band will be playing up and down Broadway on both Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The festival is presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and The New York Racing Association, Inc.
Sunday, August 31
At the track…
Today’s stakes races: The Grade I, $350,000 Spinaway for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs and the Grade III, $150,000 Glens Falls for fillies and mares 3 and up at 1 3/8 miles on the turf.
Tom Durkin Days: NYRA celebrates Durkin’s career on the final two days of the 2014 meet, including a winner’s circle ceremony honoring Durkin’s following his final race call at Saratoga in the Grade 1 Spinaway.
Saratoga T-Shirt Giveaway: 2014’s final giveaway is a short-sleeved T-shirt, free with paid admission. Guests will be able to redeem up to three vouchers at Saratoga Race Course’s giveaway redemption areas, including the one they receive with paid admission and the two additional vouchers they are able to purchase at the multiple admissions line beneath the grandstand.
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 by New York vendors.
Summer Stroll: Circular Street and Union Avenue. Presented by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, the tour will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the southwest corner of Spring and Circular and focus on the area that was the original home to Skidmore College and its examples of Queen Anne architecture.
Final Stretch Music Festival: The second night of the downtown Final Stretch Music Festival. Band will be playing up and down Broadway on both Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The festival is presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and The New York Racing Association, Inc.
Monday, September 1
At the track…
Today’s stakes races: The Grade I, $350,000 Hopeful for two-year-olds at seven furlongs and the Grade III, $300,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on the turf.
Meet Tom Durkin: The celebration of Tom Durkin’s career will continue when Durkin returns to Saratoga Race Course to greet fans, sign autographs and take pictures in the backyard beginning at noon.
Live-money, low roller handicapping tournament. $40 entry fee. $10 goes to the prize pool, with 70% to be awarded to the first-place finisher, 20% to second, and 10% to third; the remaining $30 comprises the entrant’s bankroll. Participants must select five races on which to place live $2 win, place, and show wagers that must be placed on five different horses in five different races. Only Saratoga races will be accepted for contest play. Sign up on the first floor of the grandstand. This contest will take place every Monday.
Berkshire Bank Family Mondays (every Monday through the meet). Family-friendly activities at the track, including games and educational activities from noon to 4 pm in the Saratoga Pavilion. This week’s featured activity will allow families to enjoy a special magic show and learn simple tricks from magician John Green.