SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that “American Idol” star Madison VanDenburg will perform at Saratoga Race Course as part of Opening Weekend festivities for the 2019 season.
The 17-year-old singer from Cohoes, NY, who thrilled viewers nationwide with her vocal talents on the popular singing competition, will entertain fans at the track on Saturday, July 13.
VanDenburg will perform at the Don Julio stage, adjacent to guest services, following the day’s first race at approximately 1:10 p.m. Additional performances will follow throughout the afternoon.
Gates to Saratoga Race Course open at 11 a.m. Grandstand general admission is $7. Admission is available for purchase at the gate or in advance at Ticketmaster.com.
“In addition to being an extraordinary talent, Madison is a Capital Region hometown hero. We are thrilled to welcome her to Saratoga in celebration of Opening Weekend,” said NYRA Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca. “We encourage fans to join us for what is sure to be a memorable performance from this popular young star.”
A rising senior at Shaker High School outside Albany, NY, VanDenburg’s journey to stardom began with an audition for “American Idol” last fall. Chosen as one of 40 contestants invited to Los Angeles to appear on the latest season of the show, VanDenburg finished among the three finalists and wowed the celebrity judges with her soaring renditions of “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.”
VanDenburg’s performance is just one highlight of a blockbuster Opening Weekend that includes Opening Day on Thursday, July 11; Mariano Rivera Day on Friday, July 12; and the Saratoga picnic cooler giveaway, presented by NYRA Bets, on Sunday, July 14, which will also feature the 28th edition of the Hat Contest, presented by Moet & Chandon and Hat Sationa! By DEI.
Rivera, the 13-time All-Star reliever for the New York Yankees, will visit Saratoga Race Course on Friday, July 12, one week before he heads to Cooperstown, where he will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the first unanimous selection in history. NYRA will honor Rivera with a ceremony in the winner’s circle in recognition of the all-time Major League Baseball saves leader.
All fans on Sunday, July 14, will enjoy the first giveaway of the 2019 season: a collapsible, red picnic cooler featuring the Saratoga logo emblazoned in white, presented by NYRA Bets. The picnic cooler is free with paid admission, while supplies last.
In addition to the Saratoga picnic cooler giveaway, Sunday’s festivities will include the 28th annual Hat Contest, presented by Moet & Chandon and Hat Sationa! By DEI. Fans will compete for great prizes in three categories: Kreative Kids, Fashionably Saratoga and Uniquely Saratoga. Registration begins at noon under the grandstand with the contests taking place after the second, third and fourth races.
Opening Weekend will feature six stakes, including the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies on Opening Day. Saratoga’s first Grade 1 of the season will be contested on Saturday, July 13: the $500,000 Diana for turf fillies and mares.
Fans can save $2 on grandstand admission to Saratoga Race Course for Opening Weekend with a voucher available at participating Stewart’s Shops and Saratoga Downtown Business Association locations. The voucher is valid for use July 11 to 13 through Ticketmaster.com. Limit one transaction per person.
Following Opening Weekend, racing at Saratoga will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays. Closing week will run Wednesday, August 28 through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.
For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.