SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. today announced the schedule of entertainment and special events for the 2014 summer season at Saratoga Race Course.
The lineup for the annual summer meet will feature 40 days of exciting special events, including a number of exciting new weekly happenings alongside returning traditions and perennial favorites.
The 2014 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will include the following events and happenings:
• 34th ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, July 13
Saratoga’s signature summer preview party, Open House will return 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 New York Racing Association will also host the Newman E. Wait, Jr. Trials, presented by The Adirondack Trust Company, at the Oklahoma Training Track. Traditional Open House activities will take place on the main track from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• OPENING DAY AT SARATOGA: Friday, July 18
The 2014 annual summer meet will kick-off when gates open at 11 a.m. followed by first post-time at 1 p.m.
• HATS OFF TO SARATOGA: Friday, July 18 – Sunday, July 20
This three-day festival, underwritten in part by The New York Racing Association, celebrates opening weekend at Saratoga Race Course and includes world-class racing, live music downtown and at the track, and millinery mayhem to mark the start of the racing season.
• TASTE NY: CRAFT BEER & CIDER: Beginning Friday, July 18
A new weekly attraction for the 2014 meet – Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider will allow track patrons the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. As many as a dozen breweries from New York State will be featured throughout the meet. The tasting will be held each Friday from noon to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion, located inside the entrance to the Reserved Seats Box Office on Union Avenue. Admission is $20 and includes 20 sampling tickets.
• LORD & TAYLOR FASHION SATURDAYS: Beginning Saturday, July 19
This new weekly event is designed to highlight the tradition of style and glamour in thoroughbred racing with a Lord & Taylor pop-up shop at the Saratoga Pavilion each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Track patrons will be invited to dress their best for the chance to be crowned Most Fashionable at Saratoga. Two winners every week will each receive a $250 Lord & Taylor gift card and have the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner’s circle during the 2014 Saratoga meet.
• 23RD ANNUAL HAT CONTEST: Sunday, July 20
The “crowning” achievement of opening weekend, visitors will go head-to-head for prizes in the annual Hat Contest, presented by Lord & Taylor.
• TASTE NY: FOOD & ARTISANS: Beginning Sunday, July 20
Returning for the 2014 summer meet, Taste NY: Food & Artisans is a lively on-track market of up to 19 food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market will be held each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion.
• BASEBALL CAP GIVEAWAY: Sunday, July 20
The first giveaway of the 2014 season will pay tribute to the millinery theme of opening weekend when racing fans gather to receive a free Saratoga baseball cap, with paid admission, while supplies last. The baseball cap is sponsored by Saratoga Casino & Raceway.
• BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY MONDAYS: Beginning Monday, July 21
Mondays are all about families with the return of weekly family-friendly festivals featuring games, attractions and educational activities each Monday of the meet from noon to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion.
• INTERNATIONAL HERITAGE SERIES: Beginning Wednesday, July 23
The inaugural International Heritage Series is a weekly celebration of global culture and heritage featuring traditional music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. The International Heritage Series lineup will include: Latino-American Day on July 23; Italian- American Day on July 30; Irish-American Day on August 6; African-American Day on August 13; and Asian-American Day on August 20. The final installment of the series will celebrate the history and culture of Saratoga Springs with Saratoga Heritage Day on August 27.
• TASTE NY: WINE & SPIRITS : Beginning Thursday, July 24
A new weekly attraction for the 2014 meet – Taste NY: Wine & Spirits will allow track patrons the opportunity to sample varietals of wine from numerous New York State wineries for $30. The tasting will be held each Thursday of the meet from noon to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion.
• 6TH ANNUAL COLLEGE DAY: Friday, July 25
Saratoga Race Course will welcome college students back to their favorite course with the sixth annual College Day.
• PILSNER GLASS SET GIVEAWAY: Sunday, July 27
Racing fans will raise a toast to Saratoga’s second giveaway of the 2014 meet: a set of Saratoga Race Course pilsner glasses, free with paid admission, while supplies last.
• YOUNG PROFESSIONALS DAY: Monday, July 28
Saratoga Race Course will welcome young professionals from around New York State for a professional development and networking summit highlighted by a day at the races.
• THE $1.5 MILLION WHITNEY: Saturday, August 2
The Whitney, one of North America’s premier races for older males on the dirt, will top the card of a blockbuster day of racing that includes five stakes. Joining the Whitney Day program will be the Grade 1, $500,000 Test for 3-year-old fillies, the Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap for older sprinters, and the $100,000 Lure Stakes. The $100,000 De La Rose will also once again be part of the Whitney Day festivities this year.
• TOYOTA TOTE BAG GIVEAWAY: Sunday, August 10
Racing fans will line up to collect their own Saratoga Toyota tote bag, the third giveaway of the season, free with paid admission, while supplies last.
• FABULOUS FILLIES DAY: Friday, August 15
Saratoga Race Course will celebrate women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation on Fabulous Fillies Day.
• TRAVERS 1864 RESTAURANT WEEK: Sunday, August 17 – Thursday, August 21
A number of restaurants and eateries throughout the greater Capital Region will offer special pricing and menus in celebration of the Travers during the fifth annual “Travers 1864 Restaurant Week.”
• STEWART’S ICE CREAM EATING CONTEST: Wednesday, August 20
Racing fans will compete in the ultimate in chilly contests at the annual Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest. Contestants will be divided into three age groups – kids, teens and adults – as they battle to see who can eat a pint of ice cream the fastest.
• THE $1.25 MILLION TRAVERS: Saturday, August 23
Saratoga’s most anticipated race, the $1.25 million Travers, will return for its 145th running. The Travers is one of four stakes scheduled for the day and shares the card with the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina for filly and mare sprinters and the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa for filly and mare turf horses. First post-time is 11:35 a.m. and gates open at 7 a.m.
• SARATOGA SHOWCASE DAY: Sunday, August 24
Sunday, August 24 will be dedicated to the best New York-breds as Saratoga hosts the inaugural Saratoga Showcase Day, featuring the Albany, West Point, Yaddo, Fleet Indian, Funny Cide, and Seeking the Ante.
• VETERANS DAY: Thursday, August 28
Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to those who have served the country with a special pre-racing ceremony to honor veterans. All veterans and active duty military will receive free grandstand admission with military ID.
• FINAL STRETCH FESTIVAL: Saturday, August 30 – Sunday, August 31
The two-day festival, underwritten in part by The New York Racing Association, will mark the culmination of the Saratoga racing season with live music downtown and at the track to mark the final days of the 2014 summer meet.
• SHORT SLEEVE T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY: Sunday, August 31
Enjoy a day at the races in a commemorative short sleeve t-shirt, free with paid admission, while supplies last.
• TOM DURKIN DAY: Sunday, August 31
Racing fans will be invited to celebrate the legendary career of track announcer Tom Durkin as he calls his final race at Saratoga.
The 2014 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course begins on Friday, July 18 and concludes on Labor Day, Monday, September 1. 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.