This Week at Saratoga, July 23

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

I’m a little slow out of the gate this year with the Saratoga events, but I’m hoping to make up lost ground as we head up the backstretch, early in this 2017 Saratoga meet, the 148th at Saratoga Race Course.

By the time we get to Labor Day, we’ll have seen 40 days of racing, 37 graded stakes, dozens of 2-year-olds, and more opportunities to donate your winnings to charitable causes than you can keep track of…unless you check in here regularly, so that you can keep track of the myriad racing, historical, and charitable events of the summer season; I’ll update frequently, as new events are announced. Click on the links in each entry for more information.

Below you’ll find a list of events for the next few days, with those happening at the track listed separately each day from those happening elsewhere.

Daily/weekly events are noted each week and are listed at the end of the post.

Want to see the whole summer? Hang in there. I hope to have the whole list up within a couple of days.

Have an event you’d like publicized? E-mail me if it has something to do with racing or Saratoga history, or if it’s a non-profit that might be of interest to a local and racing audience. No commercial events, please, but if you want to advertise it, get in touch and we’ll talk.

Enjoy it, folks. We’ve been meaning for this all year, and it’s here, and here we are, in what Andy Serling calls “the best place in the world.” Who could disagree?

 

 

Sunday, July 23

At the track…

Stakes races:

Grade I, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks, three-year-old fillies on the dirt (1 1/8 miles)

Hat giveaway: Fans will have the opportunity to take home the first premium giveaway of the 2017 season: a red and white Saratoga baseball cap, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel. All giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last. Season pass and season ticket plan holders are guaranteed a Saratoga premium giveaway item on the day of the giveaway contingent on the following: Season pass or season ticket plan holders must be in attendance at Saratoga Race Course, enter through the designated season ticket and pass holder lines and redeem the giveaway by 3 p.m. Redemptions will begin when gates open to the general public.

 

Low Roller Handicapping Contest: The contests will be held on Sundays and Mondays in the Lower Carousel near the Fourstardave Sports Bar. Entry into the contest is $40 with $30 going towards your live bankroll and $10 towards the prize pool. Players may submit up to two entries per contest; registration begins at 11 a.m.

NYRA Bets & Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Opening weekend will feature the Saturday debut of Taste NY: Food and Artisans, an on-track market in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion (back of the grandstand, near the top of the stretch) that will feature food and crafts by New York makers. This event will also take place on Sundays and will include handicapping tutorials and racing tips from the NYRA Bets Squad.   10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 In NYRA’s community outreach booth, located near the jockeys’ silks room: Veterans and Community Housing Coalition

Hat contest, 26th annual Saratoga Hat Contest: 1:30 to 2:50 pm under Section B of the grandstand. Judging for the Kreative Kids category will take place after the second race, approximately 1:35 pm; for Fashionably Saratoga after the third, approximately 2:10; Uniquely Saratoga after the fourth, approximately 2:45.  Prizes provided by Hat Sationa! by DEI.

Elsewhere

Sunday Summer Stroll: Post Time! with the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. This week’s tour explores the Saratoga Race Course area along Union Avenue, featuring the Reading Rooms, the National Museum of Racing, the Oklahoma training facility, and the Fasig-Tipton Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion.  Meet at the southeast corner of Nelson and Union Avenues at 10:30 am. Tours last approximately 90 minutes and require walking and standing on various terrain. $5 for Preservation Foundation members, $8 for non-members. (The Preservation Foundation offers a weekly Sunday walk, each with a different theme.)

Racing Partnership and Syndicate Day at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Representatives from several syndicates will make presentations and answer questions about being an owner in a partnership group. Admission is free and food and drink will be available. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Monday, July 24

At the track

Stakes races: $200,000 Caress, fillies & mares four-year-olds and up, 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf

Saratoga Perks members and season pass holders get a 10% discount on most on-track concession stands, NYRA merchandise stores, and Shake Shack. (Does not apply to restaurant dining, group sales, or Dunkin’ Donuts) (weekly)

Berkshire Bank Family Mondays, Saratoga Pavilion on the backyard side of the grandstand, near the top of the stretch. Enjoy kid-friendly games and activities and pet a retired Thoroughbred, all free of charge, with one designated activity carrying a suggested donation for a local school or PTA. Today’s beneficiary is the Brown School in Schenectady. (Weekly)

In NYRA’s community outreach booth, located near the jockeys’ silks room: Saratoga Regional YMCA

Saratoga Perks Discount to season pass holders at Saratoga Race Course concession stands, NYRA merchandise stores and Shake Shack. (Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.)

Elsewhere

Children’s Program: Get Ready for the Races and Make Your Own Jockey at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Recommended for children ages 3 through 8, this program offers kids the chance to learn about jockeys and design one using plastic eggs. 10 am to noon, free with paid admission.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s “Hay, Oats & Spaghetti” dinner. Owners Giuseppe and Lauren Grisio are turning over their restaurant Bravo! (3246 South Broadway) to this fundraiser for the TRF. Your $85 ticket includes beer, wine, and an Italian buffet, and the evening includes a raffle and silent auction. To reserve tickets or for additional information, click the link or call 518 226 0028.

 Tuesday, July 25

No racing

Elsewhere

Handicapping 101 with Tom Amello at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Longtime handicapper and racing analyst Tom Amello will lead an introductory seminar to educate racing fans about the basic elements of handicapping, including how to read and understand past performances and review racing terminology. 11 am to 12:30 pm. Free.

 Zippy Chippy Day at Old Friends at Cabin Creek. This Thoroughbred retirement facility celebrates its loveable loser, the horse that went winless in 100 races.  Suggested donation: $10. Catered lunches are available for an additional cost.

 

Daily through the summer

(note that some events do not take place on Tuesdays, when there is no racing)

Backstretch tours at Saratoga Race Course. Every day except Tuesday, 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 Travers Day or Labor Day.

Walking tours of Saratoga Race Course. Learn why there’s a canoe in the infield lake and why the winner’s circle bell is rung at 17 minutes to post. This guided tour lasts about 45 minutes and take place at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm each racing day (note: no tours on Tuesdays). $3 per person or $10 per family. Contact Guest Services at 518 584 6200 x4433.

Walking tour of the Oklahoma training facility. Offered by reservation every day except Tuesday by the National Museum of Racing. Tours begin at 8:30 am 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 4 or Travers weekend, August 27-28.  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. The tour covers approximately a mile and lasts for approximately 90 minutes.

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 Thoroughbred retirement farm. Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. Visit Commentator, Be Bullish, Cool N Collective, and Will’s Way among others, learning about their racing days and how they’re enjoying being spoiled in retirement.

Join NYRA race caller Larry Collmus in his booth for the third race to support Backstretch Employees Service Team. Up to nine people can participate each day for $100 per person, with all proceeds going to support BEST’s work with backstretch workers. To reserve a spot, call (516) 488-3434 ext. 100 or (518) 587-3720.

Every Sunday

Low Roller Handicapping Contest: The contests will be held on Sundays and Mondays in the Lower Carousel near the Fourstardave Sports Bar. Entry into the contest is $40 with $30 going towards your live bankroll and $10 towards the prize pool. Players may submit up to two entries per contest; registration begins at 11 a.m. (Also held every Monday)

NYRA Bets & Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Opening weekend will feature the Saturday debut of Taste NY: Food and Artisans, an on-track market in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion (back of the grandstand, near the top of the stretch) that will feature food and crafts by New York makers. This event will also take place on Sundays and will include handicapping tutorials and racing tips from the NYRA Bets Squad.   10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday Summer Strolls with the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. $5 for Foundation members, $8 for non-members. A complete list of the walks is here.

Every Monday

Low Roller Handicapping Contest: The contests will be held on Sundays and Mondays in the Lower Carousel near the Fourstardave Sports Bar. Entry into the contest is $40 with $30 going towards your live bankroll and $10 towards the prize pool. Players may submit up to two entries per contest; registration begins at 11 a.m. (Also held every Sunday)

Saratoga Perks Discount to season pass holders at Saratoga Race Course concession stands, NYRA merchandise stores and Shake Shack (also valid on Wednesdays and Thursdays). Discount does not apply to lottery, tobacco, alcohol, restaurant dining, group sales or Dunkin’ Donuts.

Every Wednesday

Saratoga Perks Discount to season pass holders at Saratoga Race Course concession stands, NYRA merchandise stores and Shake Shack (also valid on Mondays and Thursdays). Discount does not apply to lottery, tobacco, alcohol, restaurant dining, group sales or Dunkin’ Donuts.

Every Thursday

Saratoga Perks Discount to season pass holders at Saratoga Race Course concession stands, NYRA merchandise stores and Shake Shack (also valid on Mondays and Wednesdays). Discount does not apply to lottery, tobacco, alcohol, restaurant dining, group sales or Dunkin’ Donuts.

Every Friday

Saratoga Perks Discount to season pass holders in the Artists’ Village at the track.

Free admission at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame after 2 pm.

Woodford Reserve Fridays at The Post: Following the end of racing, a DJ sets up at The Post bar near the Clubhouse entrance, where Saratoga customers can enjoy dancing, cocktail sampling, and trivia.

Every Saturday

NYRA Bets & Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Opening weekend will feature the Saturday debut of Taste NY: Food and Artisans, an on-track market in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion (back of the grandstand, near the top of the stretch) that will feature food and crafts by New York makers. This event will also take place on Sundays and will include handicapping tutorials and racing tips from the NYRA Bets Squad.   10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ketel One Party at The Post: The fun will continue each Saturday of the season with the Ketel One Party at The Post. Saturday evenings at Saratoga will feature music from a DJ following the day’s final race, cocktail samplings and giveaways.

 

 

 

 

 

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