This Week at Saratoga: August 4

Possibly the busiest week of the meet, with multiple fund-raising, education, and historical opportunities abounding as we head to the sales next week.

Highlights including an Allen Jerkens tribute evening on Thursday, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, and this weekend’s terrific slate of racing, including a Whitney for the ages, its 10 entrants boasting seven Grade I winners.

Hope your meet has been terrific so far, that you’ve had fun, enjoyed lovely weather, and cashed lots of tickets.

Week three…here we come!

Tuesday, August 4

Conformation clinic with trainer Gary Contessa.  At Contessa’s barn 54 on the Oklahoma training track, Contessa will use Thoroughbreds from his stable to illustrate the traits of a successful racehorse. Each attendee will receive a conformation poster of American Pharoah. The event begins at 11 am and parking is available in the NYRA lot near the training track.

Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover Preview: Thoroughbreds For All SaratogaFrom 10 am to 3 pm at Traylor Stable (120 Old Post Road, Ballston Spa), check out a marketplace of ex-racehorses for sale or adoption; a preview of horses in training for October’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover in Lexington; and a variety of demonstrations (click the link for details).

The $25 ticket includes a box lunch; featured speakers include Rosie Napravnik, Michael Matz, Maggi Moss, Nuno Santos, and Steuart Pittman.

At 6:30 pm, the festivities move to the Parting Glass on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs, where for a $10 donation, you can listen to a panel of trainers from racing and riding sports, who will explore the similarities and differences between training a Thoroughbred to run and training a Thoroughbred to do the 10 disciplines included in the Thoroughbred makeover.

Click for additional information and tickets.

Wednesday, August 5

Free admission at the track for Saratoga Centennial Day, commemorating the 100th birthday of the city of Saratoga Springs, and you’ll get a hot dog for 100 cents in honor of the big day. The feature is the $100,000 Shine Again, for fillies and mares three years old and up (seven furlongs, dirt).

Saratoga Season Pass and Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day: All Saratoga season pass and season-long reserved seat ticket holders will receive a 15 percent discount at the NYRA Store each Wednesday of the meet. The discount is available to season pass holders who present their season pass and to season ticket holders who show their new season ticket holder perks card at participating on-track locations. Season ticket holders may pick up their new perks card at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course. 

In the Community Outreach booth near the jockeys’ silks room: Racing City Chorus, an all men’s barbershop-style singing group based out of Saratoga Springs.

Thursday, August 6

The first steeplechase stakes of the season is the co-feature—the $100,000 Grade I A.P. Smithwick Memorial for four-year-olds and up (2 1/16 miles, turf). Co-featured is the $100,000 Quick Call for three-year-olds (5 1/2 furlongs, turf).

In the Community Outreach booth near the jockeys’ silks room: Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

The weekly Taste NY wine/cider/spirits tastings in the Saratoga Pavilion continue. Noon to 5 pm, with a sampling fee.

At The Post with Andy Serling returns to the Parting Glass this summer, every Thursday from 8-9 pm. Also broadcast on 104.5 ESPN radio, which can be streamed. (In the event of a conflict with a Yankees game, as is the case this week, At The Post will be broadcast in its entirety after the game and replayed over the weekend.) Past shows are archived as podcasts.

This week’s show is a tribute to the late Allen Jerkens, who died in March. Guests will include his son Jimmy Jerkens and former assistants Leah Gyarmati and Mike Hushion.

Jockeys vs. horsemen charity basketball game to benefit the Racetrack Chaplaincy. One of the highlights of the racing season, this event returns to the Saratoga Rec Center at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue at 7 pm. In the past, admission has been a $15 donation to the Chaplaincy, which offers a variety of supports to the backstretch community, without regard to race, religion, or social status, “with the intent of satisfying not only the spiritual needs [of the backstretch community] but also the human necessities.”  The Chaplaincy helps coordinate and provide camps and activities for the children of backstretch workers; travel to and from medical appointments; and a variety of other services.

For more information on the basketball game, call 516 835 0275.

Friday, August 7

Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.  This year’s class comprises trainer King Leatherbury, jockeys Chris Antley and Vincent Powers, horses Billy Kelly, Lava Man, and Xtra Heat, and Pillars of the Turf Alfred Vanderbilt and John Hay Whitney.  10:30 am, free and open to the public at the Humphrey S. Finney sales pavilion at Fasig-Tipton.

The ceremony’s eponymous race, the $200,000 Grade III National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame for three-year-olds is the Friday feature (1 1/6 miles, turf).

The weekly Taste NY beer tastings continue. This week: Brown’s Brewing Co. and Lake Placid Brewery. Noon to 5 in the Saratoga Pavilion, sampling fee applies.

Greg Montgomery artist signing. The artist will sign copies of his 2015 Travers Stakes poster in the lobby of the Racing Museum from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. Posters will be available for purchase.

Hall of Fame cocktail reception at the Racing Museum from 6 to 8 pm.  $50 for Museum members, $85 for non-members, open bar.

Old Friends Party On The Porch at Anne’s Washington Inn.  From 6 to 8 pm. Old Friends’ founder Michael Blowen will present the Fourth Annual Old Friends Frankel Award. Celebrities and jockeys will be on hand to autograph copies of the Old Friends DRF Special Edition Magazines. Wines courtesy of Kendall Jackson, catering by Mama Mia’s.

Saturday, August 8

Photo finish tour/photography class with Dona McAdams. This 90-minute class will take place at the Oklahoma training track at 8 am. $25 for Museum members, $35 for non-members; registration/payment required ahead of time.  Call 518 584 0400 ext. 120 to reserve your spot.

Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Pedigree & Conformation Clinic at Saratoga Race Course. This two-day event will include evaluating the conformation of Fasig-Tipton sale yearlings and racehorses in training at the Oklahoma Track; discussing pedigree theories and planning matings with top professionals; and attending the afternoon races. Speakers include Edwin Anthony, Carrie Brogden, Bob Feld, Sean Feld, Jay Kilgore, Tim Leith, Jason Litt, Tom McGreevy, Reid McLellan, Dan Metzger, Tom Morley and Mark Taylor.TOBA members: $210, NYTB members: $210, non-members: $270.  Full agenda and more information.

The Whitney Racing Festival features five stakes races:  the $100,000 De La Rose for fillies and mares four years old and up (one mile, turf); the $100,000 Lure for four-year-olds and up (1 1/16 miles); the $200,000 Grade II Fasig-Tipton Waya for fillies and mares three years old and up (1 1/2 miles, turf); the $1.25 million Grade I Whitney for three year olds and up (1 1/8 miles, dirt); and the $500,000 Grade I Longines Test for three-year-old fillies (seven furlongs, dirt).

In the Community Outreach booth near the jockeys’ silks room: Toys for Tots.

Fashion Saturdays continue, with prizes for the best dressed man and woman, including participation in a trophy presentation for the Fashion Saturday race. Participating shops on-track include Bumble Beads Boutique, Good Shot Design, Lifestyles of Saratoga, The National and Rumors Salon & Spa.

Sunday, August 9

Book signing: Summit of Champions by Michael Veitch. Saratoga’s own turf writer, teacher, and historian, Veitch will sign copies of his latest book about Saratoga in the lobby of the Racing Museum from 10:30 am to 12 pm. Books will be available for purchase.

Summer Stroll:  The Good Life on North Broadway. Join the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for a tour of the “grand Queen Annes along this famed corridor.”  Meet at 10:30 am on the northwest corner of North Broadway and Van Dam Street.

Reservations are suggested but not required; $5 for SSPF members, $8 for non-members.  Contact Nicole Totaro at 518 587 5030 or to register.

Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Pedigree & Conformation Clinic continues. See details in the listing for Saturday, August 8.

Jockey Legends Day at the track. Get an autograph for a suggested $10 donation to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Expected to sign are Angel Cordero, Jr., Ramon Dominguez and Richard Migliore, outside the jockeys’ silks room. Also scheduled to appear are Braulio Baeza, Jorge Chavez, Jean Cruguet, Robbie Davis, Pat Day, Jean-Luc Samyn, Nick Santagata, Jacinto Vasquez, Jorge Velasquez and Manny Ycaza. All will be recognized in a special red-carpet ceremony on the track after the fifth race.

The feature is the $100,000 Alydar for four-year-olds and up (1 1/8 miles, dirt).

Low Rollers Handicapping Contest for $40 buy-in ($30 going towards live money and $10 to the prize pool). Participants must place live $2 win, place and show wagers on five different horses in five different races. Only Saratoga races are accepted for contest play.  Register on the first floor of the grandstand by the lower Carousel before post time for the day’s fifth race. The tournament will be held each Sunday and Monday of the meet.

Taste NY: Food and Artisans will be in the Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 am to 5 pm, offering products such as jams, honey, baked goods and hand-crafted soap.

In the Community Outreach booth near the jockeys’ silks room: Knights of Columbus Saratoga Council #246.

The Foods of Anne Burrell, a fundraiser for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.  Beginning at 6:30 at the Canfield Casino, the evening will include fine dining, specialty cocktails, an auction of stallion seasons and “unique experiences,” and a vodka infusion bar Tito’s handmade vodka.

Tickets are $375 each. Contact Sue Finley at for more information.

Monday, August 10

Golf tournament at Saratoga National to benefit The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, which provides funding for equine veterinary research. Registration is at 10:30 am, followed by brunch at 11 am, a shotgun start at noon, and a cocktail reception at 4:30 pm, with dinner and an awards ceremony from 5-7 pm.

Your registration fee includes brunch, golf, cart, green fees, on-course refreshments, open bar, and buffet dinner.  Dinner-only registration is also available.

Contests include team prizes, closest to the pin, and longest drive.

If you register by today (July 20), you get an early bird discount of $275 for individual golfers and $1,100/foursome.

Click here for more information on registration and sponsorships or contact Nancy Kelly at 518 226 0609

The Monday feature is the $100,000 New York Stallion Series Cab Calloway division for three-year-olds (one mile, turf).

Low Rollers Handicapping Contest for $40 buy-in ($30 going towards live money and $10 to the prize pool). Participants must place live $2 win, place and show wagers on five different horses in five different races. Only Saratoga races are accepted for contest play.  Register on the first floor of the grandstand by the lower Carousel before post time for the day’s fifth race. The tournament will be held each Sunday and Monday of the meet.

In the Community Outreach booth near the jockeys’ silks room: THE STANLEY CUP. Yes, that’s right. The Cup!

The booth will host Double H Ranch from nearby Lake Luzerne, which provides programs and support for children with serious illness and their families. A fundraiser will be held from 1:30 – 3:30, with fans getting the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Cup.

Family Monday in the Saratoga Pavilion from 11 am to 4 pm offers a variety of activities for children, including the opportunity to pet a retired Thoroughbred.

Each Monday, schools and PTAs have an opportunity to fundraise for their operations, wth both The New York Racing Association and sponsor Berkshire Bank offering matching grants. This week’s featured organization is the Scotia-Glenville Education Foundation

Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale at the sales grounds on East Avenue. The sale begins at 7 pm, but people will gather earlier to socialize and gawk at pricey equine babies. Open to the public, but the pavilion is reserved for the people who will be doing the bidding, with others hanging out behind the pavilion near the walking ring and bar. The sale continues Tuesday night.

Tuesday, August 11

Book signing:  A Brush With Greatness. Author Edward L. Bowen and artist Robert Clark will sign copies from 10 am to 1 pm in the lobby of the Racing Museum.  Books will be available for purchase.

Book signing: James Goes to Hippotherapy. Author Carolyn Huston will sign copies of her children’s book from 10 am. to 3 pm in the lobby of the Racing Museum. Books will be available for purchase.

Presentation: Editor Field Horne and several authors included in “Saratoga Springs: A Centennial History” will discuss the history of this resort town at 10 am at Northshire Bookstore on Broadway.  More details about the book here.

Fasig-Tipton yearling sale. See yesterday’s listing for more details.

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