SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. today announced a 40-day lineup of entertainment and special events for the 2016 summer season at Saratoga Race Course.
The event schedule for the annual summer meet will feature a number of new happenings alongside returning traditions and perennial favorites. Event activities will take place in the Saratoga Pavilion, which for the first time this season will be presented by Time Warner Cable News.
The highlight of the 2016 special events schedule is the all-new NYRA Bets Lounge, which will welcome both new and experienced horseplayers alike to explore the ins and outs of racing and wagering each Saturday of the season at the Saratoga Pavilion.
Guests to the NYRA Bets Lounge will have the opportunity to receive personal tutorials on the fundamentals and strategies of wagering from professional handicappers. Various jockeys, trainers and other racing figures will visit the lounge to greet fans and answer questions about the sport. Guests will also enjoy a champagne bar and clothing boutique, amongst other features.
Opening weekend of the 2016 season, July 22-24, is presented by NYRA Bets.
The upcoming season will also feature the New York Heritage and Tourism series. The series of events on Wednesdays will include traditional celebrations to recognize the contributions of New York’s military service members, as well as those of Irish- and Italian-American heritage. The New York Racing Association will utilize the popularity of Saratoga Race Course as a platform to showcase additional tourism destinations and attractions across New York State. The series will launch on Wednesday, July 27 with a lineup of attractions from the City of Saratoga Springs which will include members of the Downtown Business Association who are participating in the newly expanded Saratoga Season Perks program.
The 2016 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will include the following events and happenings:
- OPENING DAY AT SARATOGA: Friday, July 22
The 2016 annual summer meet will kick-off when gates open at 11 a.m. followed by first post-time at 1 p.m.
- TASTE NY: CRAFT BEER: Every Friday beginning Friday, July 22
Taste NY: Craft Beer will allow track patrons the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. The tasting will be held each Friday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
- HATS OFF TO SARATOGA: Friday, July 22 – Saturday, July 23
Dozens of musical acts will line Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs to celebrate the return of the thoroughbreds on Friday and Saturday evenings of opening weekend. The festival is presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the New York Racing Association.
- FOURSTARDAVE SPORTS BAR: Daily from July 22 – September 5
Watch sporting events and simulcast racing from the enclosed comfort of the newest bar at Saratoga Race Course while enjoying a variety of craft beers and specialty drinks. Located in the lower carousel, the Fourstardave Sports Bar is accessible to the public throughout the day with special reserved tables available through Ticketmaster.com. The Fourstardave Sports Bar will remain open to the public following the last race on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
- WOODFORD RESERVE FRIDAYS AT THE POST: Every Friday beginning Friday, July 22
Racing fans will be invited to continue their day at Saratoga with Woodford Reserve Fridays at The Post, the lively bar and entertainment spot located adjacent to the paddock. Each Friday of the meet will feature a DJ and dancing at The Post following the day’s final race.
- NYRA BETS LOUNGE: Every Saturday beginning Saturday, July 23
The all-new NYRA Bets Lounge will welcome both new and experienced horseplayers alike to explore the ins and outs of racing and wagering each Saturday of the season at the Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will have the opportunity to receive personal tutorials on the fundamentals and strategies of wagering from professional handicappers. Various jockeys, trainers and other racing figures will visit the lounge to greet fans and answer questions about the sport. Fans will also enjoy a champagne bar and Lifestyles clothing boutique, amongst other features.
- KETEL ONE PARTY AT THE POST: Every Saturday beginning Saturday, July 23
The fun will continue each Saturday of the season with the Ketel One Party at the Post at The Post Bar / Shake Shack by the Paddock. Saturday evenings at Saratoga will feature music from a DJ following the day’s final race.
- 25TH ANNUAL HAT CONTEST PRESENTED BY HATSATIONAL BY DEI: Sunday, July 24
The “crowning” achievement of opening weekend, visitors will go head-to-head for prizes in the annual Hat Contest. Categories will include one designated for children, one for the most fashionable millinery and one for the most creative headwear. The contests will take place after the second, third and fourth races of the afternoon. Prizes are provided by Hatsational by DEI.
- TASTE NY: FOOD & ARTISANS: Every Sunday beginning Sunday, July 24
Taste NY: Food & Artisans is a lively on-track market of numerous 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.
- BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY MONDAYS: Every Monday beginning Monday, July 25
The Berkshire Bank Family Mondays series will feature a wide variety of family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Monday of the meet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. The event will also feature family-oriented activities in partnership with the Pediatric Dental Group of New York.
- NEW YORK HERITAGE AND TOURISM: SARATOGA SPRINGS: Wednesday, July 27
The first installment of the New York Heritage and Tourism series will highlight the race course’s home city – Saratoga Springs – as well as the yearlong partnership between the New York Racing Association and the city’s Downtown Business Association (DBA). More than 40 members of the DBA are participating in the expanded Saratoga Season Perks program in offering discounts to season ticket and season pass holders.
- TASTE NY: CIDER, WINE & SPIRITS: Every Thursday beginning Thursday, July 28
Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits will allow track patrons the opportunity to sample varietals of cider, wine and spirits from numerous New York State distilleries and wineries. The tasting will be held each Thursday of the meet from noon to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
- COLLEGE & ALUMNI DAY: Friday, July 29
Crosstown rivals will convene when students and alumni from the University at Albany and Siena College are invited to Saratoga Race Course for College & Alumni Day. Fans are invited to wear their school colors to show spirit. There will be a variety of games and activities on track to challenge the competitive spirit of each school’s students and alumni.
- PERMANENTLY DISABLED JOCKEYS’ FUND AWARENESS DAY: Saturday, July 30
Saratoga Race Course will unite with racetracks across the country on Saturday with autograph signings, photo opportunities and a jockey foot race as part of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF) Day Across America.
- NEW YORK HERITAGE AND TOURISM: MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY Wednesday, August 3
Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to active military members and veterans in appreciation of their sacrifice and service to our nation. All veterans and active duty military will receive free grandstand and clubhouse admission with military ID.
- WHITNEY DAY AND THE FASIG-TIPTON FESTIVAL OF RACING: Saturday, August 6
The Grade 1, $1.25 million Whitney, one of North America’s premier races for older horses, will top the card of a blockbuster day of racing that includes the Grade 1, $500,000 Test for 3-year-old fillies and the Grade 3, $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya for turf fillies and mares. Also on August 6 are two additional turf stakes for fillies and mares: the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure and the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose. Fasig-Tipton will host international horsemen and women during the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing prior to The Saratoga Sale on August 8-9.
- NEW YORK HERITAGE AND TOURISM: IRISH-AMERICAN DAY: Wednesday, August 10
Saratoga will bring racing fans extra luck during Irish-American Day. The day-long celebration of culture and heritage will feature traditional Irish music, dance, food and entertainment at the Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- FABULOUS FILLIES DAY: Thursday, August 11
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. The centerpiece of the day will be the Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon, presented by ESCADA and Moet & Chandon. This year’s luncheon will honor Jessica Steinbrenner of Kinsman Farm.
- JOCKEY LEGENDS DAY: Saturday, August 13
Some of the greatest riders in the history of thoroughbred racing will gather at Saratoga Race Course for the third annual Jockey Legends Day. The day’s activities will feature a special red carpet ceremony.
- NEW YORK HERITAGE AND TOURISM: ITALIAN-AMERICAN DAY: Wednesday, August 17
The charm and spirit of Italy will come trackside when Saratoga Race Course hosts Italian-American Day. The day-long celebration of Italian culture and heritage will feature traditional Italian music, dance, food, entertainment and games at the Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- LUSTGARTEN FOUNDATION DAY: Saturday, August 20
Saratoga will honor the legacy of trainer Dominic Galluscio with a day to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance scientific and medical research related to pancreatic cancer. The day will feature an autograph session with various Saratoga trainers.
- NEW YORK HERITAGE AND TOURISM: LAKE PLACID/ADIRONDACKS: Wednesday, August 24
Saratoga Race Course will highlight the majestic Adirondacks region, including the home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid. The day-long event at the Saratoga Pavilion will feature activities, exhibits and entertainment which showcase the great attractions of Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties in upstate New York.
- STEWART’S ICE CREAM EATING CONTEST: Wednesday, August 24
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. Saratoga season passes are currently on sale at more than 200 Stewart’s Shops locations.
- SARATOGA RED JACKET CEREMONY: Friday, August 26
The New York Racing Association will honor the newest inductees in the Saratoga Walk of Fame with a commemorative red jacket. Past Saratoga Red Jacket honorees include all-time Saratoga leading riders John Velazquez, Jerry Bailey and Angel Cordero, who were inducted in 2013; top trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Allen Jerkens; and longtime New York Racing Association race announcer Tom Durkin, who were each inducted in 2014; and prominent thoroughbred owners Marylou Whitney and Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps, who were each inducted in 2015.
- TRAVERS DAY: Saturday, August 27
The 147th running of the $1.25 million Travers will be the centerpiece of a supercharged Travers Day. Joining the Mid-Summer Derby for 3-year-olds will be five other Grade 1 stakes: the $1 million Longines Sword Dancer Invitational, the $500,000 Ballerina for filly and mare sprinters, the $700,000 Priority One Jets Forego, the $750,000 Ketel One King’s Bishop and the $750,000 Personal Ensign for fillies and mares. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa for turf fillies and mares.
- SEASON PERKS FAN APPRECIATION WEEK: Monday, August 29 -Monday, September 5
The New York Racing Association will thank its most loyal fans, season pass and season ticket holders, with an exclusive series of special events, activities and offers during closing week of the 2016 season at Saratoga Race Course, highlighting the Saratoga Season Perks program.
- NEW YORK HERITAGE AND TOURISM: BREW CENTRAL NY: Wednesday, August 31
The final installment of the New York Heritage and Tourism series will highlight the tradition of craft beverages in Central New York. The day-long event will feature activities, exhibits and entertainment which showcase the renaissance of craft beer, hard cider, spirits and wine in Central New York and celebrate the region’s history as the hop capital of the country.
- FINAL STRETCH FESTIVAL: Saturday, September 3 – Sunday, September 4
This two-day festival will mark the culmination of the Saratoga racing season and invites racing fans downtown to enjoy free musical entertainment on both Saturday and Sunday evenings. The festival is presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the New York Racing Association.
- CLOSING DAY: Monday, September 5
The 2016 meet will come to a close with the traditional final feature race, the 112th running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds, which affords racing fans a preview of potential standouts in next year’s Triple Crown series and Travers.
The 2016 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course begins on Friday, July 22 and concludes on Labor Day, Monday, September 5. To purchase season and weekly ticket plans, visit www.nyra.com/saratoga/information/2016-saratoga-ticket-information. For daily seats, visit Ticketmaster.com. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, call (518) 584-6200 or visit www.nyra.com/saratoga.