Into The Stretch: Saratoga Events, August 21 – September 3

A week frguom right now I’ll have just finished my first back-to-school meeting and I’ll be waiting to greet my student teacher–the first time I’ve worked with one. I’ll be anticipating a chunk of multi-hour meetings and planning sessions, and then running to the train station to come back up for Labor Day weekend. How is that possible? Didn’t the meet just start?

We have been blessed the last few days with the sort of weather that brings people to Saratoga, a welcome redemption after weeks of heat, humidity, and rain.

Will it be a filly in the Travers? God, I hope so.

Some recent stories:

Meet Kris Sankar, who got his first Grade 1 win when Voodoo Song won the Fourstardave.

How are women doing in the racing industry? It depends on whom–and when–you ask.

How about this zippy filly?

In case you missed it, that rainbow after Diversify’s Whitney win was kind of too good to be true.

Which is better, winning the Alabama or hitting the lottery? Harold Lerner may be the only one who knows.

 

Tuesday, August 21

No racing

Walk-In Cocktail Party to benefit Old Friends at Cabin Creek. Stop by The Savory Pantry on Broadway and sample their varied specialty items and libations. A chef and bartender will be on hand to serve finger food and signature drinks. 5:30 – 8 pm, no tickets required. A portion of the evening’s sales will be donated to help support the retired Thoroughbreds of Old Friends at Cabin Creek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Wednesday, August 22

At the track…

The $100,000 John’s Call for three-year-olds and up on the turf at 1 5/8 miles.

Irish-American Day, in the Saratoga Pavilion behind the grandstand, featuring traditional Irish music, dance, and food. 11 am – 5 pm. Join in by wearing green and decorating your picnic tables in an Irish theme.

Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest. Contestants can participate in three age groups—kids (6-12), teenagers (13 – 17), and adults (18+)—to see who can eat a pint of ice cream the fastest. Winners receive gift certificates for Stewart’s ice cream. Registration begins at 11 am near the Saratoga Pavilion, and the contest will take place at the end of the second floor of the grandstand, facing the backyard, after the third race (approximately 2:10pm).

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Saratoga Bridges

Elsewhere…

Travers Stakes preview panel: Brien Bouyea and Michael Veitch will analyze the field for the 149th running of the Travers Stakes. 11 am to noon, free with Museum admission.

Racing for the Children, the annual fundraiser for the Belmont Child Care Association, which provides low-cost child care and early-childhood education for the children of backstretch workers. This year’s theme is “BCCA on the French Riviera” (dress code: “Riviera chic”) and the event includes dinner and a live and silent auction. Tickets are $300 and can be purchased here, where you can also see some of the auction items. 6:30 at Saratoga National Golf Club.

Thursday, August 23

 At the track…

The $150,000, Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup, four-year-olds and up, 2 3/8 miles on the turf (steeplechase)

The $100,000 Riskaverse, for three-year-old fillies, at a mile on the turf.

Taste NY: Cider, Wine, and Spirits: 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.

Cookbook signing with Julie Ann Sageer, host of PBS’ Cooking with Julie Taboulie, will sign copies of her cookbook Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen at the Saratoga Pavilion from noon to 5 p.m. The cookbook will be for sale courtesy of Northshire Bookstore–a stop at which is essential to any Saratoga visit. Then go down a block and around the corner and visit Lyrical Ballad, too.

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: Saratoga Automobile Museum

Children’s Program at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame: “I Won the Race: the Travers Stakes.” Children ages 3 – 8 will view the Travers Stakes trophies and then decorate a smaller model of their own. 10 am to noon, free with paid admission.

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 Capital District and presented as the NYRA podcast Across The Board. This week’s guests: jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., trainer Mark Casse, and owner Bob Edwards.

Friday, August 24

At the track…

New York Showcase Day, Saratoga’s celebration of New York-bred horses with a full of stakes races for horses bred in the state.

The $250,000 Albany for three-year-olds at a mile and an eighth on the dirt.

The $200,000 Fleet Indian for three-year-old fillies, a mile and an eighth on the dirt.

The $200,000 Funny Cide, 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt for two-year-olds

The Seeking the Ante, 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt for two-year-old fillies

The $150,000 West Point presented by Trustco Bank, three-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles on the turf

The $150,000 Yaddo, fillies and mares three and up, 1 1/16 miles on the turf

Food drive for the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council. The EOC will accept donations of non-perishable and dry goods in the Community Outreach Booth near the jockeys’ silks room from 11 am to 5 pm. Suggested items include personal care items (toothpaste, shampoo, shaving cream, etc.); canned beans and vegetables; peanut butter; pasta, cereal, and rice. Peole who are food-insecure also welcome food beyond the necessities, so consider including some chocolate or other treat as well. Customers who donate three or more items will receive a 2018 Saratoga baseball cap while supplies last.

New York Thoroughbred Breeders lunch in the At The Rail Pavilion, which includes a buffet lunch, soda, coffee, tea, and a Post Parade program. $100 for NYTB members, $125 for non-members. RSVP required by August 1 (though you can try calling to see if they’re still accepting reservations). 

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: Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Fridays at the Post. Every Friday evening, enjoy bourbon cocktails and trivia at The Post bar near the clubhouse entrance. 6 – 8 pm.

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.

Red Jacket Ceremony inducting Bob Baffert into the Walk of Fame, in the winner’s circle after the fifth race, approximately 3:30 pm.

Elsewhere…

Travers Eve Member Wine and Cheese Social featuring Greg Montgomery at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Enjoy refreshments in the Museum’s Cornelius Vanderbilt Courtyard with fellow Museum members and racing enthusiasts. Artist Greg Montgomery will be on hand to sign copies of his 2018 Travers Stakes poster. 6 – 7:30 pm, free for Museum members, $10 for non-members. Posters available for purchase.

Saturday, August 25

At the track…

Travers Day! Seven graded stakes races, including Saratoga’s flagship race, named for William Travers, who helped establish Saratoga Race Course.

The $600,000, Grade 1 Forego, three-year-olds and up, seven furlongs on the dirt

The $500,000, Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, seven furlongs on the dirt for three-year-olds.

The $500,000, Grade 1 Ketel One Ballerina, fillies and mares three and up, seven furlongs on the dirt.

The $700,000, Grade 1 Personal Ensign, 1 1/8 miles on the dirt for fillies and mares three and up.

The $1 million, Grade 1 Sword Dancer, 12 furlongs on the turf for three-year-olds and up

The $400,000, Grade 2 Woodford  Reserve Ballston Spa, fillies and mares threeand up, 1 1/16 miles on the turf

The $1.25 million, Grade 1 Travers for three-year-olds, 10 furlongs on the dirt.

NYRA Bets seminar with handicappers Mike Watchmaker, Nick Tammaro and Richard Aller. 11 am at the far end of the grandstand on the second floor.

Josh Cellars wine tasting, second floor of the grandstand by section R, 3 – 6pm.

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.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Backstretch Employee Service Team, which provides a variety of services to New York’s backstretch workers.

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 26

At the track…

The $100,000 Smart N Fancy, 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares three and up.

 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.

Historic Fifth and Madison Avenues. Join the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for its weekly Sunday Stroll. This week, Debbie Studwell leads a tour of these residential streets, discussing the Victorian and Craftsman homes that line them. The tour begins at 10:30 am and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Meet at the the northeast corner of Fifth and Madison Avenues and wear comfortable shoes. $5 for SSPF members, $8 for non-members. Tours are rain or shine and tickets can be purchased here.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: CDNY Regional Synchro, a local team of synchronized skating athletes

Monday, August 27

At the track…

The $100,000 Better Talk Now at a mile on the turf for three-year-olds

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.

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:  Chango Elementary School in Ballston Lake. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Backpack giveaway: The first 500 kids, ages 12 and under, to visit the Saratoga Pavilion will receive a free drawstring bag filled with school supplies. One drawstring bag per child, who must be present to receive.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Living Resources, which provides growth opportunities for peole with disabilities.

Tuesday, August 28

No racing

ReRun’s Picnic Under The Stars to benefit Thoroughbred aftercare and celebrate Edgar Prado and his 7000 wins. The event includes live music, a silent auction, raffles, and “chef-inspired smores” around the fire pit. This casual event takes place at Saratoga National—jeans are welcome. 6-10 pm.

Wednesday, August 29

At the track…

The $150,000, Grade 3 With Anticipation for two-year-olds on the turf at 1 1/16 miles

College and Alumni Day. The Saratoga Pavilion behind the grandstand will offer activities and giveaways.

Fan Appreciation Week, through closing day on September 3. The New York Racing Association will offer a series of special events, activities, and offers.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Catholic Charities of Albany

Thursday, August 30

 At the track…

The $100,000 P.G. Johnson for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf

Fan Appreciation Week, through closing day on September 3. The New York Racing Association will offer a series of special events, activities, and offers.

Taste NY: Cider, Wine, and Spirits. 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: Saratoga Regional YMCA

Children’s Program at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame: “Make a Horseshoe Photo Frame.” Children ages 3 – 8 will learn about the different types of shoes horses wear, then decorate their own horseshoe photo frame. 10 am to noon, free with paid admission.

Friday, August 31

At the track…

The $100,000 Lucky Coin, 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf for horses four years old and up.

Fan Appreciation Week, through closing day on September 3. The New York Racing Association will offer a series of special events, activities, and offers.

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: Saratoga WarHorse Foundation

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Fridays at the Post. Every Friday evening, enjoy bourbon cocktails and trivia at The Post bar near the clubhouse entrance. 6 – 8 pm.

Saturday, September 1

At the track…

The $250,000, Grade 3 Glens Falls, 1 3/8 miles on the turf for fillies and mares three and up

The $300,000, Grade 3 Saranc, nine furlongs on the turf for three-year-olds

The $350,000, Grade 1 Spinaway, seven furlongs on the dirt for two-year-old fillies

The $750,000, Grade 1 Woodward, nine furlongs on the dirt for horses three years old and up.

Fan Appreciation Week, through closing day on September 3. The New York Racing Association will offer a series of special events, activities, and offers.

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.

In the community booth, located outside the jockeys’ silks room: Gurtler Brothers VFW Post 420

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, September 2

At the track…

The $250,000, Grade 2 Prioress, for three-year-old fillies at six furlongs on the dirt.

Fan Appreciation Week, through closing day on September 3. The New York Racing Association will offer a series of special events, activities, and offers.

Giveaway #4: Saratoga windbreaker, free with paid admission while supplies last. If you have a season pass or season tickets, you are guaranteed a windbreaker if you are present on the day of the giveaway, enter through the dedicated season ticket holder lines, and pick up your windbreaker by 3 pm.

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: Hope Soars, which raises funds for and awareness of Parkinson’s disease.

Elsewhere…

Summer Stroll: “Queen Annes on Circular Street and Union Avenue. Join the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for its weekly Sunday Stroll. This week, Linda Trela leads a tour of the area that was home to the Young Women’s Industrial Club of Saratoga, which would later become Skidmore College. The tour begins at 10:30 am and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Meet at the southwest corner of Spring and Circular Streets and wear comfortable shoes. $5 for SSPF members, $8 for non-members. Tours are rain or shine and tickets can be purchased here.

Monday, September 3

At the track…

The $250,000, Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap, for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the turf

The $350,000, Grade 1 Hopeful, seven furlongs on the dirt for two-year-olds

Fan Appreciation Week, through closing day on September 3. The New York Racing Association will offer a series of special events, activities, and offers.

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: Capital Region Toys for Tots   

Ongoing

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.

Silks design contest. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is partnering with Gulfstream to offer children age 18 and under the chance to design a set of racing silks. Designs can be submitted to the Museum through August 31. Gulfstream Park will choose a design, which will be worn by a jockey in a race during Gulfstream Park’s winter meet. Designs can be submitted at the Museum or by e-mailing nmrpgasst@racingmuseum.net. One entry per person.

Photo Finish juried photography exhibition. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is now accepting submissions of photographic work connected with Thoroughbred racing in America by both amateur and professional photographersRacing scenes, portraits, workouts, retirees–you can choose how to interpret the theme. A panel of judges from the racing and arts communities will select the photographs that will be displayed in the von Stade Gallery at the Museum beginning on January 19, 2019. Application forms are available at the Museum; at each Photo Finish backstretch photography tour (see above for details on tour this week on August 12 and 13) and can be downloaded here. Contact Museum Curator Victoria Reisman at nmrcollections@racingmuseum.net or (518) 584-0400 ext. 113.

 

 

 

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