About Saratoga Race Course
Noted as one of the “Top 10 Sporting Venues In The World” by Sports Illustrated, Saratoga Race Course is one of horse racing’s most beloved tracks. With historical ambiance and modern day amenities and style, Saratoga Race Course is the place to find top Thoroughbred horse racing July through Labor Day each year. The 40 day meet draws the top horses, trainers and owners in the world to try their luck at “the Spa”.
Known as the Graveyard of Champions, Saratoga Race Course has earned a reputation for being a challenging track for favorites. In fact, the dominant Man O’ War lost a race against the aptly named Upset here at Saratoga.
For more information on Saratoga Race Course, please visit www.nyra.com.
For information on special events at Saratoga Race Course, visit www.nyra.com/saratoga/information/events/
For directions and maps to Saratoga Race Course, visit: www.nyra.com/saratoga/information/directions/
The 150th anniversary season included the following events and happenings:
• 33rd ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, July 14, 2013
Saratoga’s signature summer preview party, Open House returned to Saratoga Race Course with a free sneak-peek into the popular summer meet just five days prior to the start of the anniversary season. The event featured a free concert with Zendaya, star of the Disney Channel hit series Shake It Up! and finalist on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars. NYRA also hosted several exhibition races on the main track in the tradition of the Newman E. Wait, Jr. trials.
• OPENING DAY AT SARATOGA: Friday, July 19, 2013
The 150th anniversary season kicked-off when gates opened at 11 a.m. followed by first post-time at 1 p.m.
• HATS OFF TO SARATOGA: Friday, July 19 - Sunday, July 21, 2013
This three-day festival celebrated opening weekend at Saratoga Race Course and included world-class racing, family fun, live music downtown and at the track, and millinery mayhem to mark the start of the racing season.
• FAMILY FRIDAYS: Beginning Friday, July 19, 2013
Fridays were all about families with the return of weekly family-friendly festivals featuring games, attractions and educational activities each Friday of the meet from noon to 4 p.m. in the event tent, near the Carousel, inside the entrance to the Reserved Seats Box Office on Union Avenue.
• 22ND ANNUAL HAT CONTEST: Sunday, July 21, 2013
The “crowning” achievement of opening weekend – visitors went head-to-head in the annual Hat Contest at the track for prizes worth hundreds of dollars. The contest incorporated a Victorian theme in all three categories to mark the 150th anniversary at Saratoga Race Course.
• UNIQUELY NEW YORK MARKETPLACE: Beginning Sunday, July 21, 2013
A new attraction for the 2013 meet – the Uniquely New York Marketplace was a lively on-track market of 13 food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State.
• JOCKEY BREAKFAST AT SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Thursday, July 25 & Thursday, August 15, 2013
Track patrons were invited to meet their favorite jockeys and get autographs at the traditional trackside breakfast on select Thursdays.
• 5TH ANNUAL COLLEGE DAY: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Saratoga Race Course welcomed college students back to their favorite course with the fifth annual College Day. All college students received free grandstand admission with valid college ID and were invited to register to win a $1,000 scholarship after each race. The first 1,000 college students to register on-track received a free commemorative College Day T-shirt.
• SHORT SLEEVE T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY: Sunday, July 28, 2013
A commemorative white, short sleeve t-shirt featuring the 2013 Saratoga logo on the front and the official Saratoga 150 anniversary logo on the back.
• 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF RACING AT SARATOGA: Saturday, August 3, 2013
The 2013 meet came to a climax when it marked the racetrack’s official birthday with a specially designed birthday cake from the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro. Coinciding with the running of the Whitney Handicap, the day was highlighted by the first in a series of five $15,000 win-wager opportunities, courtesy of Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson. Beginning August 3 and continuing each Saturday for the remainder of the meet, five lucky individuals had the opportunity to place a $15,000 win-wager on the day’s featured stakes race. Fans also received a commemorative 150th anniversary poster free with paid admission.
• EQUINE RETIREMENT DAY - SALUTE TO FUNNY CIDE: Sunday, August 4, 2013
In honor of the 10th anniversary of Funny Cide’s quest for the Triple Crown and as part of the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing (Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4), Saratoga paid homage to the only New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby. The day included a meet and greet in the paddock with Funny Cide while Funny Cide’s jockeys, Jose Santos and Richard Migliore, signed autographs to benefit PDJF. Four NY-based horse retirement organizations were on track and accepted donations throughout the day. And in grand fashion, Funny Cide led the Post Parade for the Vanderbilt.
• BATTLE OF SARATOGA HANDICAPPING CHALLENGE: Wednesday, August 7 and Thursday, August 8, 2013
Approximately 200 horseplayers vied for $200,000 in prize money during the fourth annual Battle of Saratoga Handicapping Challenge, presented by NYRA Rewards.
• INTERNATIONAL DAY: Thursday, August 8, 2013
A new event for the 2013 meet – International Day celebrated a variety of cultures with special entertainment, performances, music and activities as well as food and drink for track patrons. As many as 10 cultures were represented and celebrated on track.
• FOURSTARDAVE BOBBLEHEAD GIVEAWAY: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Racing fans took home their own “Sultan of Saratoga” with a commemorative bobblehead doll in honor of legendary thoroughbred Fourstardave, free with paid admission.
• FABULOUS FILLIES DAY: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Saratoga Race Course celebrated women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation on Fabulous Fillies Day. All fans who wore pink received free grandstand admission. Accomplished women in New York history were honored in a special showcase.
• SARATOGA BASEBALL CAP GIVEAWAY: Sunday, August 18, 2013
A popular classic, the free black, red and white baseball cap featured the 2013 Saratoga logo on the front and the Saratoga 150 logo on the back with the image of a galloping horse on the cap’s visor.
• TRAVERS 1864 RESTAURANT WEEK: Sunday, August 18 – Thursday, August 22, 2013
A number of restaurants and eateries throughout the greater Capital Region offered special pricing and menus in celebration of the Travers during the fourth annual “Travers 1864 Restaurant Week.”
• STEWART’S ICE CREAM EATING CONTEST: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Racing fans competed in the ultimate in chilly contests at the annual Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest. Contestants were divided into three age groups – kids, teens and adults – as they battled to see who could eat a pint of ice cream the fastest.
• TRAVERS CELEBRATION: Thursday, August 22, 2013
The premier evening affair at Saratoga Race Course returned once again to celebrate the arrival of the 144th edition of the Mid-Summer Derby. The official party of the $1 million Travers, the Travers Celebration supports the Backstretch Employee Service Team, the Times Union Hope Fund and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
• BATTLE OF THE BREWS: Friday, August 23, 2013
Saratoga Race Course was host to the area’s best brews as adults enjoyed the ultimate in beer tasting during the 16th annual Battle of the Brews. All proceeds benefited the American Red Cross Adirondack Saratoga Chapter.
• THE $1 MILLION TRAVERS: Saturday, August 24, 2013
Saratoga’s most anticipated race, the Grade 1, $1 million Travers, returned for its 144th running. First post-time was 11:35 a.m. and gates opened at 7 a.m.
• VETERANS DAY: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Saratoga Race Course paid tribute to those who have served the country with a special pre-racing ceremony to honor veterans. All veterans and active duty military received free grandstand admission with military ID.
• CLOSING CEREMONIES: TWILIGHT RACING AT SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Friday, August 30, 2013
The Spa reflected upon the 150th anniversary season with a special presentation and ceremony to pay homage to the race course’s past while looking ahead to the future. The final Friday of the meet marked the sole Twilight Racing card with first post time scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
• FINAL STRETCH FESTIVAL: Friday, August 30 – Monday, September 2, 2013
The four-day festival marked the culmination of the Saratoga racing season with live music downtown and at the track, plus plenty of family fun to mark the final days of the 150th anniversary season.
• BEER STEIN GIVEAWAY: Sunday, September 1, 2013
A ceramic beer stein emblazoned with some of the most legendary thoroughbreds to have competed at Saratoga Race Course was given away free with paid admission.
• FAMILY FUN FEST: Sunday, September 1 – Monday, September 2, 2013
Families enjoyed an afternoon of kid-friendly activities in the backyard at the Family Fun Fest, which benefited the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.
The 2013 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course began on Friday, July 19 and concluded on Labor Day, Monday, September 2. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, call (518) 584-6200 or log onto www.nyra.com. For additional information about events at Saratoga Race Course, visit www.nyra.com/saratoga/information/events.