This Week at Saratoga: Closing Week

Keen Ice and Javier Castellano get to American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza. Photo credit for this & cover photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Keen Ice and Javier Castellano get to American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza. Photo credit for this & cover photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Saratoga lived up to its legacy as the “Graveyard of Champions,” but racing fans got an exciting renewal of the Travers on yet another beautiful day at Saratoga, and Javier Castellano set a new record for Travers victories, winning the race for the fifth time.

One week ago, but there’s still plenty to keep you busy at the track this week, even as you enjoy the post-Travers quietness. For a lot of people, this is their favorite week of the meet.

Scroll down for details of this week’s fan appreciation initiatives, and then a daily schedule of events.

Tours of the Oklahoma training facility. Offered by reservation every day except Tuesday by the National Museum of Racing. Tours begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Museum parking lot and reservations are required—weekend reservations are required by 4 p.m. the previous Thursday.

No tours are offered on August 7 or Travers weekend, August 29-30.  No children in backpacks or strollers, and tour participants must be at least 10 years old.

Sturdy walking shoes are suggested, and the cost is $5 for Museum members, $10 for non-members, which includes admission to the Museum after the tour.

For reservations or more information, call the Museum’s Education Department at 518 584 0400 ext. 120 or e-mail nmredu2@racingmuseum.net.

Tours of Old Friends at Cabin Creek: the Bobby Frankel division, the Thoroughbred retirement farm a short drive from Saratoga. Visit equine luminaries Will’s Way (Whitney and Travers winner), New York’s own beloved Be Bullish, and the lovable loser Zippy Chippy. The farm is open for tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At Saratoga Race Course

Mondays: Family Mondays, with activities for children including face painting, crafts, a bounce house, etc. and a weekly low roller handicapping contest.

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.

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 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. 

Thursdays:  Taste NY wine, cider, and spirit tastings

Fridays:  Taste NY craft beer tastings

Saturdays:  Fashion Saturdays

Sundays: Taste NY food and artisan vendors and low-roller handicapping contests

Every race day: Join race caller Larry Collmus in his booth for the third race to support Backstretch Employees Service Team. Up to six people can participate each day for $100 per person, with all proceeds going to support BEST’s work with backstretch workers.

Every race day: Take a free 45-minute tour of the backstretch. No reservations are accepted; tram tours begin at 7:30 am and depart every 15 minutes until approximately 9 am. Tours leave from the Wright St. entrance to the track, near the clubhouse. No tours on Friday, August 28 or Saturday, August 29 (Travers weekend) or Labor Day.

Starting today, NYRA is offering a series of “fan appreciation” initiatives.

Through closing day, customers can renew or purchase season passes for next’s year meet at this year’s prices:  $35 grandstand, $55 clubhouse. Purchases must be made in person at the NYRA box office at Gate A. Daily grandstand admission is $5, clubhouse $8, so the pass is a bargain if you’re a regular customer, and it guarantees admission to the Travers.

Wednesday, Sept 2 through closing day: BBQ in the At The Rail Tent. The buffet costs $38 for adults and $28 for kids 12 and under, including tax, tip, and clubhouse admission.

From Friday, September 4 through closing day, season pass holders, sseason ticket tolders, and NYRA Wagering Account members will receive 20% of the buffet price.

Resrevations can be made by calling 844-NYRA-TIX.

 

 

Exclusively for Saratoga season pass, season ticket holders and NYRA Wagering Account members: 

  • 25% discount on merchandise at NYRA stores from Monday, August 31 through closing day (tobacco and lottery sales excluded).
  • 15% off at select concession stands, including Fourstardave, Toga Burgers, Paddock Pizza, Finishline Sabrett, Sams and Clams and Panini from Monday, August 31 through closing day.
  • Free Saratoga walking tours from Monday, August 31 through closing day.
  • 10% off at the Shake Shack on Thursday, September 3. 
  • 10% off at participating vendors in the Artist’s Village on Friday, September 4.

You must show your season pass or season ticket holder perks card.

Visit the Saratoga Pavilion to enter contests to win a variety of prizes, including watching a race from the roof or the winner’s circle; a visit to the paddock; and gift cards.

Monday, August 31

The Monday feature is the $100,000 Better Talk Now 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.

Photo opportunity with the Travers trophy at the Community Outreach Booth near the jockeys’ silks room. Get your photo taken with the trophy for a $5 donation to Capital Distrinct YMCA. 1-3 pm.

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.

Tuesday, September 1

New York State Gaming Commission Aftercare Summit, 10 a.m. at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion on the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds. Topics are expected to include the history and status of aftercare programs by New York Thoroughbred HOrsemen; accredited organizations; Standardbred aftercare; approaches to aftercare at racetracks. Click for a list of scheduled participants. Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 2

Military Appreciation Dayfree grandstand admission for all United States military service members and veterans with valid military ID or proof of military service.

Veterans of World War II and the Korean War will be recognized in the winner’s circle following the day’s second race, named in honor of Military Appreciation Day.

Artwork created by veterans participating in the fine arts program of the Veterans Services Project at Living Resources will be on display at the Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program supports local military veterans who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injuries.

In the Community Outreach Booth: Toys for Tots Foundation. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will monetary donation and new, unwrapped toys to distribute as holiday gifts to children in need.

In the Saratoga Pavilion: a rock climbing wall, dog tag machine and football toss with the New York National Guard; pull-up bar challenge with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; disc golf with Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs; hand-cycle demonstration from STRIDE Adaptive Sports; ring toss and t-shirt giveaways from the Veterans Miracle Center; face painting with a $2 donation to Operation Adopt-A-Soldier; and temporary tattoos with a donation to the Disabled American Veterans. Fans will also have the opportunity to write thank you cards to service members with Stars for Our Troops.

The feature is the $200,000 Grade II With Anticipation for two-year-olds (1 1/16 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. 

Thursday, September 3

The feature race is the $100,000 P.G. Johnson for two-year-olds (1 1/6 miles, turf).

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

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 Shake Shack each Thursday of the meet. 

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.

Friday, September 4

Closing weekend begins with the $100,000 Evan Shipman for New York-breds, three years old and up (1 1/8 miles, dirt).

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.

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. 

Saturday, September 5

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Run for the HorsesChoose a 5K, a virtual run, or a half-mile kids’ fun-run to raise money for the TRF. Check-in is at 7 am at the Orenda Pavilion in the Saratoga State Park. The run will also benefit local aftercare organizations ACTT Naturally, Heading for Home, Old Friends at Cabin Creek, and ReRun.

The final Saturday of the meet features four stakes races:  the $200,000 Grade III Glens Falls for fillies and mares three years old and up (1 3/8 miles, turf); the $300,000 Grade III Saranac for three-year-olds (1 1/8 miles, turf); the $600,000 Grade I Woodward for three-year-olds and up (1 1/8 miles dirt); and the $350,000 Grade  I  Spinaway for two-year-old fillies (seven furlongs, 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, September 6

Long-sleeved t-shirt giveaway, and the feature is the $300,000 Grade II Prioress for three-year-old fillies (six furlongs, 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.

Monday, September 7

Closing day.  But two more stakes races before we go:  the $250,000 Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap for three-year-olds and up (1 1/6 miles, turf) and the $350,000 Grade I Hopeful for two-year-olds (seven furlongs, 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.

 

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