This Week at Saratoga, August 19

We saw a heck of a horse race on opening weekend with the Coaching Club American Oaks, when I’m a Chatterbox and Stopchargingmaria duked it out to the wire. I’m a Chatterbox got there first but was disqualified…will we see a rematch in this Saturday’s historic Alabama Stakes?

We’ve also got the popular umbrella giveaway, an evening of racing theater at the National Museum of Racing, a luncheon for new owners, and a day honoring the late Dominic Galluscio.

I’ll update frequently, as new events are announced. Click on the links in each entry for more information.

Have an event you’d like publicized? E-mail me if it fits into one of those categories; no commercial events, though feel free to get in touch if you’d like to talk about advertising.

Coming to Saratoga for the first time? Check out my guide to the track at Hello Race Fans.

Visiting later in the meet? Here’s everything going on this summer, opening day to closing day.

Check them out and enjoy Saratoga, week 5…

(photo credit NYRA/Adam Coglianese)

Wednesday, August 19

New York Race Track Chaplaincy Brunch honoring Fay and David Donk at 11 am at Saratoga National Golf Club.

Tom Durkin serves as the master of ceremonies at this event that honors two people whose commitment to and support of backstretch workers is tireless and unstinting. Fay served as the president of the board of the Belmont Child Care Association from its inception until last year.

Tickets are $100. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 518-226-0609.

Meet and greet Kendrick Carmouche beginning at 1:15pm by the Jockey Silks Room for autographs or photos with him for a suggested donation in support of Dyer-Phelps, the oldest African-American ministry in Saratoga Springs.

Italian-American Heritage Day: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion and throughout the track, where you’ll find food, dance, children’s activities, and entertainment.

We’ve also got the Saratoga umbrella giveaway, free with paid admission while supplies last

The feature is the $100,000 Bolton Landing for New York-bred two-year-old fillies (5 1/2 furlongs, turf).

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. 

Grant and His Saratoga Connections. Join the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation and the Friends of Grant Cottage to learn more about the Saratoga people and places connected to Ulysses S. Grant’s visit.  Meet at 1 pm at Grant Cottage, 28 Mt. McGregor Road in Gansevoort (a short drive from downtown Saratoga).

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

Thursday, August 20

The feature race is the $100,000 Union Avenue for New York-bred fillies and mares, three years old and up (6 1/2 furlongs, dirt).

In the Community Outreach Booth by the jockey silks room: Backstretch Education Fund

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 guests:  Siena basketball coach Jimmy Patsos and Thoroughbred owner Jerry Crawford of Donegal Racing, which campaigned Paddy O’Prado and owns Keen Ice.

Friday, August 21

The Friday feature: the $100,000 Schenectady for New York-bred two-year-olds (5 1/2 furlongs, turf).

The regular Friday Taste NY beer tasting takes place in the Saratoga Pavilion from noon to 5 pm. This week: Saranac and Brooklyn Brewery. Sampling fee applies.

Community Outreach Booth near the jockey silks rooms:  Saratoga Bridges

Saratoga Season Pass and Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day: All Saratoga season pass and season-long reserved seat ticket holders will receive a 10 percent discount at participating vendors in the Artist’s Village each Friday of the meet. 

Walter May presents “This Was Racing: An Evening with Joe Palmer.”  May, a Kentucky-based actor, director, and playwright performs this one-person show as racing writer Joe Palmer, “telling great racing stories from the view of the famous turf writer” in the Hall of Fame at the Racing Museum at 5:30 pm. Free for Museum members, $10 for non-members.

Saturday, August 22

The Track at Saratoga: American’s Grandest Race Course will be shown on WMHT, Albany public television at 11 am.  Produced in 2013 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Thoroughbred racing in Saratoga, the film features Allan Carter, the historian at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame; Paul Roberts, author of The Spa: Saratoga’s Legendary TrackSamantha Bosshart, executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, and yours truly. It also includes appearances by Tom Durkin, Todd Pletcher, Bill Mott, and Nick Zito.

If you love Saratoga Race Course, you should watch it. It’s really good.

The feature races are the $100,000 Troy for three-year-olds and up (5 1/2 furlongs, turf) and the $600,000 Grade I Alabama for three-year-old fillies (1 1/4 miles, dirt).

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. Lifestyles will donate a portion of its sales to Backstretch Employees Service Team (BEST).

Sunday, August 23

NYRA New Owners’ Luncheon. This introduction to horse ownership will feature trainers Gary Contessa and Linda Rice, owners Ed Stanco and Roddy Valente, and partnerships Parting Glass Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds. Jeff Cannizzo, executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders and Andre Moglia, an equine accountant, will also be present.

Hosted by Richard Migliore and Ernie Munick, the event starts at 8 am and includings breakfast, lunch in the paddock test, a backstretch tour, winner’s circle presentation, and gift bag. Tickets are $100. Click for more info and to register.

Summer Stroll: Queen Annes. Join the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for a tour of the downtown area that was formerly home to the Young Women’s Industrial Club of Saratoga and that later became Skidmore College (before its move to North Broadway). Meet at 10:30 am at the southwest corner of Circular and Spring Streets.

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

The Sunday feature is the $100,000 Tale of the Cat for three-year-olds and up (six furlongs, dirt).

Lustgarten Foundation Day featuring a trainer autograph signing by the Paddock Mutuel Bay. The day honors the late trainer Dominic Galluscio, who passed away last year from pancreatic cancer. Get a trainer autograph from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. with a $10 donation to the Lustgarten Foundation. Jockeys will wear purple armbands, and customers are encouraged to wear purple.

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.

Community Outreach Booth by the jockey silks room:  Saratoga Rowing Association

Monday, August 24

The feature is the $100,000 Summer Colony for fillies and mare three-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.

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 select concession stands each Monday of the meet. More info here.

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.

Community Outreach Booth by the jockey silks room: Read>Lead>Achieve

Tuesday, August 25

“So You Bought a Horse, Now What?” This fan education seminar with trainer Gary Contessa will focus on Thoroughbred ownership and the relationship between owners and trainers, including what to look for at the horse sales, how partnerships work, and training methods. The program will be driven by questions from the audience and begin at 11 am in the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Racing. Included with paid Museum admission.

One Fine Day Centennial Soirée to benefit Shelters of Saratoga.  From 1 to 4 pm at the Union Gables bed and breakfast on Union Avenue, this event will feature live music, signature drinks, and “delectable fare,” and the indefatigable talents of Tom Durkin as master of ceremonies.

100% of silent auction proceeds will benefit Shelters of Saratoga, the mission of which is to “provide individuals with safe shelter, supportive services and sustainable strategies to end homelessness in the Greater Saratoga region.”

Tickets are $75 and should be purchased by August 18.

Lasix forum, hosted by the New York State Gaming Commission at 10 a.m. as Empire State College in Saratoga. The day-long event will feature panels on the history of Lasix use in the state; current research on the medication; and veterinarians’ and trainers’ opinions on its use. Among the questions that will be considered:  Is Lasix administration appropriate for the equine athlete? What should the Commission consider when evaluating present Lasix administration protocols? Should present medication protocols regarding Lasix be reconsidered? What does recent academic research illustrate regarding the utilization of Lasix for the equine athlete? What are recent developments in regulatory practice globally regarding Lasix administration?

The presentations will be streamed at the Commission’s Web site, and the forum is free and open to the public. It will be held in room 143 at Empire State College’s campus located at 113 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Click for details, including expected speakers. 

Race Riders Roundup to benefit ACTT Naturally, which transitions Thoroughbreds from the racetrack to second careers.  Honoring Hall of Famers Julie Krone and Angel Cordero Jr, the event will include live music, an equine fashion show, live and silent auctions and a 50/50 raffle.

Thoroughbred owners, trainers, and jockeys are expected to attend. Tickets are $50 or $90 for two. Libations included and food vendors will be on-site. 4-8 pm at the Yaddo Horse Show Grounds on Union Avenue.

Wednesday, August 26

The mid-week feature is the $100,000 John’s Call for three-year-olds and up (1 5/8 miles, turf).

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. 

Racing for the Children to benefit the Belmont Child Care Association, which offers low-cost child care and early education to the children of NYRA’s backstretch workers. A casual, low-key, fun event that is one of the best parties of the summer (OK, I’m biased because I’m on the board, but it’s also true), it will feature a live and silent auction, trainer and jockey auction spotters, Todd Pletcher as the auctioneer and NYRA’s Andy Serling as the host.

The event begins at 6:30 in the Hall of Springs and tickets are $250 ($150 tax deductible). For more information, contact Joanne Adams at 516 488 2103 or jadams@belmontchildcare.org.

Coming to town later in the meet? Here you go! All the events, all the way to Labor Day…

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