Alabama Day to feature annual fundraiser for the Lustgarten Foundation in memory of late trainer Dominic Galluscio

Trainers’ autograph-signing to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research will be signature event of the day along with a special appearance by two members of the 1980 Miracle on Ice Hockey Team

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host multiple events on Alabama Day, Saturday, August 19, beginning with an annual fundraiser for the Lustgarten Foundation to honor the memory of longtime trainer Dominic Galluscio. 

Headlined by the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama, presented by Keeneland Sales, Saturday’s program also includes the Grade 2, $200,000 Lake Placid. Gates open at 11 a.m. with first post scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

Each year, NYRA pays tribute to the legacy of Galluscio with a day to raise awareness and funds for the Lustgarten Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance science and medical research related to pancreatic cancer.

NYRA will name a race in honor of Galluscio, who passed away in 2014 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. A popular and respected figure among his peers, Galluscio trained more than 1,000 winners and earned more than $31 million in purses during a career that began in 1981 and took place primarily on the New York circuit.

The centerpiece of the day will be a trainer autograph session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Jockey Silks Room Porch. Suggested donations will benefit the Lustgarten Foundation.

Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas, Shug McGaughey, Todd Pletcher, Steve Asmussen and Nick Zito are among the trainers scheduled to sign autographs (lineup subject to change). One hundred percent of all donations will help fund life-saving pancreatic research. 

Also being remembered on Saturday will be farrier Ray Amato, Jr., who died in 2021 from pancreatic cancer. Amato, Jr. was a familiar and important member of the New York racing community, having teamed for many years with his father Ray. Together, they shod hundreds of stakes winners, including two Kentucky Derby winners (Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming in 2017) and three Belmont Stakes winners (Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017). 

Miracle on Ice hockey team members meet fans and present trophy for the Lake Placid  

Alabama Day will also include appearances by two leading players from the 1980 Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey gold medal winning team to coincide with the 40th running of the Lake Placid.

Mark Johnson and John Harrington will be at Saratoga Race Course where they will pose with fans for photos for approximately 45 minutes, take part in the ceremonial call for “Riders Up” prior to the Lake Placid and award the trophy to the winner of the race.

Johnson is currently head coach of the University of Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey program and just recently became a horse-farm owner. He is best known as the leading scorer for the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team.

Harrington, who is currently head coach of the Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks women’s hockey program, tallied an assist on the game-winning goal versus the USSR widely known as the “Miracle on Ice” game.  

To further commemorate the historic Olympic gold-medal win by the Miracle Hockey Team, Saratoga Race Course will debut Miracle on Ice Golden Ale, courtesy of Northway Brewing Company. The beer will be available for sampling Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19 from 12 – 5 p.m. in the Taste NY Pavilion.

Fans can purchase the 12-ounce Miracle on Ice Golden Ale in a keepsake can for $9 at the Taste NY Pavilion, Michelob Ultra gazebos, Cutwater gazebo and Bud Light portable. Miracle on Ice Golden Ale will be available Friday through Sunday, August 18-20, to fans 21 and older.

Partial proceeds from the sale of the special label brew will benefit the “Monument to a Miracle” fundraising initiative. Friends of the 1980 Miracle Hockey Team, LLC is a nonprofit organization, which is raising funds to build a life-size statue in Lake Placid to honor the “Miracle on Ice” Hockey Team.

Clyde May’s Alabama-Style whiskey to debut on Alabama Day

To coincide with the 143rd running of the Alabama, Clyde May’s Alabama-style whiskey will make its debut at Saratoga Race Course. Fans will be given the opportunity to sample the whiskey in a cocktail called The Alabama Smash from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday outside The Porch, while supplies last.

The Alabama Smash is made from Clyde May’s Alabama-style whiskey, ginger beer and fresh blackberries.

The Alabama Smash will be available for purchase throughout Alabama weekend, August 18 – 20, at The Porch, Club Terrace, Turf Terrace, Modelo Finish Line and Miller Time Fourstardave Sports Bar.

The Alabama and Lake Placid will headline FOX SARATOGA SATURDAY beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern. Coverage will get underway on FS2 beginning at 1 p.m. with continuing coverage at 6 p.m. following the conclusion of the broadcast on FOX.

Highlighted by the 154th edition of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 26, the 2023 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course continues through Monday, September 4.

Racing is conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays, apart from the final week, when the meet will conclude on Labor Day.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course visit

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