What’s Going On in Saratoga, Week 3: July 31 – August 7

As I post this, it’s once again gray and wet in Saratoga, but we got some respite from the rain this week, with a couple of beautiful Saratoga mornings and warm, sunny afternoons.

We also got news that wonder-filly Wonder Gadot will likely make her next start in the Travers on August 25. We don’t often see fillies run in Saratoga’s biggest race…what a treat this will be.

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a list of ongoing, regular events. If you’re coming up later in the summer and want to know what’s going on, let me know–I’ve got the full list and hope to publish it in the next day or two.

Enjoy the Spa, cash tickets, and have fun!

Tuesday, July 31

No racing

Wednesday, August 1

At the track…

The $100,000 Shine Again for fillies and mares three and up, seven furlongs on the dirt.

First Responders Appreciation Day in the Saratoga Pavilion behind the grandstand. Honoring police officers, firefighters, EMTS, and paramedics, the day will offer free grandstand admission to all first responders with proper identification. A number of local police, fire, and emergency service departments will host activities and demonstrations in the Saratoga Pavilion; children can receive identification cards and among the exhibits will be a child’s safety seat demonstration. Children can be fitted for a free bicycle helmet while supplies last (limit two per family), and visitors to the Pavilion can experience interactive activities that simulate the experience of impaired and distracted driving and a vehicle rollover. First responders will offer presentations on first aid and CPR techniques; fire safety tips; and stress management techniques among others. Face painting and caricature drawing will be available for the kids.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: GallopNYC, which offers therapeutic riding programs in New York City.

Thursday, August 2

At the track…

The  $100,000 Birdstone for horses three and up, 1 3/4 miles on the turf.

Taste NY: Cider, Wine, and Spirit: In the Saratoga Pavilion behind the grandstand every Thursday through the meet, visitors can sample the offerings of New York’s distilleries and wineries and enjoy live music. For those 21 and older; $5 for five samples.

Aperol Thursdays at The Post. Every Thursday through the meet, sample Aperol Spritz cocktails at The Post Bar near the paddock from 3:30 to 5:30. After the races, dance to a DJ.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Yaddo Gardens

Elsewhere…

Children’s Program at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame “Horse-Themed Trivia Game.” Children ages 3 – 8 can play racing-themed games. 10 am to noon, free with paid admission.

Jockeys vs. horsemen annual charity basketball game. One of the highlights of the summer, this event is hosted by the New York Racetrack Chaplaincy, which provides a variety of services for backstretch workers and their families. For more information, to sponsor the game or a player, and to help raise funds for Puerto Rico hurricane relief, click here. All proceeds will benefit backstretch workers in Puerto Rico. 6:30 pm at the Saratoga Rec Center, 15 Vanderbilt Avenue. Admission is free, with voluntary donations requested.

At The Post with Andy Serling, broadcast live each Thursday at 8 pm from The Parting Glass. The hour-long show will be streamed and archived at ESPN Radio 104.5 in the Capial District and presented as the NYRA podcast Across The Board. This week’s guests: trainer Dale Romans, Fasig-Tipton’s Boyd Browning, and NYRA’s Glen Kozak.

 

 

 

Friday, August 3

At the track…

The $200,000 Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, 1 1/16 miles on the turf for three-year-olds.

Taste NY: Craft Beer. Every Friday during the meet, sample craft beers made in New York State. $5 gets you five samples at the Saratoga Pavilion just behind the grandstand. Noon to 5 pm.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Classic Legacy Thoroughbred Aftercare

The Last Race Showcase at The Stretch: Customers are invited to The Stretch, the new upscale, “exclusive” area on the far end of the second floor of the grandstand. Ordinarily, admission to this area begins at $30; customers may attend free from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. There will be food and drink specials and  DJ.

Elsewhere…

National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year’s inductees are Heavenly Prize as the lone contemporary inductee; trainer William Lakeland and Preakness in the historical review category; and Pillars of the Turf Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin, August Belmont I, Cot Campbell, Penny Chenery, John W. Galbreath, Arthur B. Hancock, Sr., Hal Price Headley, John Morrissey, Dr. Charles H. Strub, William Collins Whitney, Harry Payne Whitney and Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney.

The ceremony is free and open to the public and takes place in the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion on the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds on East Avenue. The doors open at 9 am and the ceremony begins at 10:30. Seating is limited.

Saturday, August 4

 At the track…

It’s the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing ahead of the yearling sales, and a big day of racing.

The $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose, a mile on the turf for fillies and mares four and up

The $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure, 1 1/16 miles on the turf for four-year-olds and up

The $200,000 Grade 3 Fasig-Tipton Waya, 10 furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares three and up

The $500,000 Grade 1 Longines Test, for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on the dirt

The $1.2 million, Grade 1 Whitney, nine furlongs on the dirt for three-year-olds and up.

NYRA Bets Seminar: Handicappers Matt Bernier, Jonathon Kinchen, and Mike Watchmaker will offer a seminar, taking place at the far end of the grandstand on the second floor. 11 am.

Josh Cellars Wine Event: Representatives from Josh Cellars will talk about the origin and history of the winery and the winemaking process from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the backyard near the Josh Cellars Frosé Bar and Festival Tent, not far from the Big Red Spring.

Woodford Reserve and singer/songwriter Jeff Brisbin at the Jim Dandy Bar. Every Saturday except Travers Day (August 25), sample Woodford Reserve Saratoga Personal Selection bourbon while Brisbin plays. 2-4 pm.

Ketel One Saturdays at The Post. Every Saturday, sample Ketel One Botanicals from 3-5 pm. Following the races, a DJ spins dance music.

Fashion Saturdays. Every Saturday, shop local apparel, accessories, jewelry, and home décor from 10:30 am – 5 pm in the Saratoga Pavilion just behind the grandstand.

The Last Race Showcase at The Stretch: Customers are invited to The Stretch, the new upscale, “exclusive” area on the far end of the second floor of the grandstand. Ordinarily, admission to this area begins at $30; customers may attend free from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. There will be food and drink specials and  DJ.

Elsewhere…

Xpressbet Saturday Morning Social at the Museum: Every Saturday, museum staff and guests will analyze and discuss the day’s races at Saratoga and other tracks.  Complimentary light refreshments will be served and Saratoga past performances will be provided. The program runs from 9-11 am and is free of charge.

Sunday, August 5

At the track…

The $100,000 Alydar, for four-year-olds and up, nine furlongs on the dirt.

The $200,000 Troy Handicap, 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf for horses three and up.

Jockey Legends Day. Some of the sport’s most accomplished and well-known riders will be on hand to sign autographs with a suggested donation to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.

Low Roller Challenge. Every Sunday and Monday (except Labor Day), play in this low-stakes handicapping tournament. Entry is $40, with $30 going towards your live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 am near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Taste NY: Food & Artisans. Every Sunday, shop food and artisan products made in New York from 10:30 am – 5 pm in the Saratoga Pavilion, behind the grandstand.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which funds and accredits Thoroughbred retirement and retraining facilities across the U.S.

Elsewhere…

Sunday Stroll: Saratoga’s Past in Greenridge Cemetery. Join the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for its weekly Sunday Stroll. This week, Jan Klassovity will tak about the unusual crypts and history of some of Saratoga’s prominent citizens. Buried here are James Marvin, instrumental in the early days of Saratoga Race Course, and Hall of Fame trainer Sam Hildreth. The tour begins at 10:30 am and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Meet at the Sackett Gates of the cemetery on Lincoln Avenue and wear comfortable shoes. $5 for SSPF members, $8 for non-members. Tours are rain or shine and tickets can be purchased here.

Book Signing: The Art of Old Friends at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Artist Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner and Old Friends founder Michael Blowen will be on hand to promote Galleithner-Steiner’s book, which includes 50 pastel paintings and pencil works of horses both past and present, including Silver Charm, Charismatic, Game On Dude, and Hidden Lake. 10 am to noon, with books available for purchase.

“After the Race” cocktail part to benefit Old Friends at Cabin Creek. The retirement farm just outside Saratoga holds its biggest event to support the retired Thoroughbreds living there, such as Commentator, Zippy Chippy, and Be Bullish. This year’s event honors Dr. Sandy Tasse, DVM, of Saratoga’s Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. Tickets are $100 in advance or $125 at the door; the event includes food, music, a silent auction, a raffle and a signature drink. Cash bar, with complimentary champagne from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. You can purchase tickets at the farm’s website using PayPal; if you’d like to pay by credit card, call 518 698 2377. Those wishing to pay by check can make it payable to Old Friends at Cabin Creek and mail it to the farm. 6:30 pm at Saratoga National Golf Course.

Monday, August 6

At the track…

The $100,000 New York Stallion Series Cab Calloway Division, for three-year-olds at a mile on the turf.

Low Roller Challenge. Every Sunday and Monday (except Labor Day), play in this low-stakes handicapping tournament. Entry is $40, with $30 going towards your live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 am near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Giveaway #2: The Saratoga umbrella—a valuable commodity in this rainy summer. Free with paid admission while supplies last. If you have a season pass or season tickets, you are guaranteed a hat if you are present on the day of the giveaway, enter through the dedicated season ticket holder lines, and pick up your umbrella by 3 pm.

Berkshire Bank Family Mondays. Each Monday of the meet, head to the Saratoga Pavilion behind the grandstand for kid-friendly games and activities, including the opportunity to pet a retired thoroughbred. All activities are free of charge, with the exception of one that carries a suggested donation to benefit a local school or PTA. This week’s beneficiary TBA. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: The Orchard Project, which develops innovative theater projects through residencies and other programs.

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 7

No racing

Exclusive tour of Saratoga Race Course for members of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. Join the Foundation’s executive director Samantha Bosshart and local architect Matt Hurff of Frost Hurff Architects on this members-only tour at 9:30 am. Hurff is currently overseeing several preservation prodjects at the track and designed the track’s newest facility, The Stretch. The tour includes Horse Haven, the Oklahoma training facility, the grandstand, and the clubhouse. Meet at the Whitney Viewing Stand at the Oklahoma at 9:30 am. Tickets for SSPF members are $25, and space is limited. Call 518 587 5030 for tickets and more information.

Book signing at Old Friends at Cabin Creek. Longtime farm volunteer and first-time author Bobbie Cromer will be on hand to sell and sign copies of her book Jumping The Moon, inspired by her granddaughter’s mustang Holy Smokes and his journey from a wild mustang to a successful show pony. Holy Smokes, Remy, Bobbie, and illustrator Madison Feldhaus will be at Old Friends to talk about the book and equine welfare. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the book will be donated to Old Friends at Cabin Creek and the Mustang Heritage Foundation. 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Man o’ War Spotlight Tour at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. This guided tour of the Museum features the legacy of Man o’ War and the Museum exhibit Man o’ War at 100, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his purchase by Samuel D. Riddle at the Saratoga yearling sales in 1918. Time: 11 a.m. Cost: $10 for Museum members, $15 non-members. Space is limited and reservations are required. (518) 584-0400 ext. 120 and leave your name, phone number and number of attendees for the tour.

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.

Ongoing events throughout the summer

Visit Old Friends at Cabin Creek and hang out with retired favorites like Commentator, Stud Muffin, and Zippy Chippy. The farm is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.

Breakfast at Saratoga, daily except Travers Day. Enjoy breakfast on The Porch on the ground level of the clubhouse during morning training. Breakfast is available on a first-come, first-served basis from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The buffet is $18.50 for adults and $10.25 for kids ages 12 and under.

Backstretch tram tours:  Free tram tours begin at 7:30 a.m. and depart from the clubhouse entrance approximately every 15 minutes through 9 a.m. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are 45 minutes in length.

Visit retired Thoroughbred ambassadors at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s summer program at Heading for Home, a Thoroughbred and Standardbred retirement and retraining facility just east of Saratoga. Residents at the TRF’s Second Chances program at the Wallkill Correctional Facility, they’ll spend the summer in Saratoga to meet racing fans and raise awareness of the importance of Thoroughbred aftercare. The farm will be open Tuesdays during racing season from 11am to 2pm, or by appointment with the TRF. Learn more about the horses and making an ppointment here.

Tom Durkin Tours at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Tours tae place Wednesday through Sunday (except August 3 and August 15) through the racing season from 11am to 12pm. The cost $20 for Museum members and $25 for non-members. Reservations are required and space is limited. Call (518) 584-0400 ext. 107 or email nmrvisitors@racingmuseum.net.

Third Race Call with Larry Collmus to benefit Backstretch Employee Service Team. Join racecaller Larry Collmus in the booth at Saratoga as he prepares for and calls the third race each day. You’ll get a terrific view of the track and conversation and photos with Collmus. The cost is $100 per person, 100% of which goes to B.E.S.T. To make your reservation, call 516 488 3434, ext. 100 and ask for Kristy Chao or e-mail kristy@bestbackstretch.org.

Tour of the Oklahoma training facility, presented by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in cooperation with the New York Racing Association. Tours cover approximately a mile and last for an hour. Wear sturdy walking shoes, and for insurance reasons, no children under 10 are permitted; no children in backpacks or strollers; no umbrellas. During the racing season, tours are conducted every day except Tuesdays; August 3; and August 25 and 26. Tours begin at 8:30 and depart from the Museum parking lot. Reservations are required and must be received by 4:00 pm Thursday for the weekend. Tours are cancelled in heavy rain. $5 for Museum members, $10 for non-members, which includes admission to the Museum after the tour. You can make reservations by calling 518 584 0400 ext. 120 or e-mailing nmredu2@racingmuseum.net.

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