SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah will compete in front of a sold-out paid crowd of 50,000 fans during the 146th running of the Grade 1 Travers on Saturday, August 29 at Saratoga Race Course.
Contingent upon the champion colt starting in the Mid-Summer Derby, NYRA will raise the total purse for the Travers to $1.6 million from $1.25 million.
“This is a great day for racing fans in Saratoga, across the State of New York and throughout our nation”, said Christopher Kay, Chief Executive Officer and President. “We are honored that the Zayats are bringing Triple Crown champion American Pharoah to historic Saratoga Race Course, and plan to run ‘The People’s Horse’ in the nation’s Mid-Summer Derby. We are also deeply appreciative of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, and know that training a Triple Crown winner is an incredible, pressure-packed assignment. The New York Racing Association is grateful for Bob’s confidence, and we look forward to adding a new exciting chapter into the already rich history of Saratoga Race Course on August 29”
Gates open at 7 a.m. for ticketed patrons on Travers Day with a special first post time of 11:45 a.m. The Travers will go to post at 5:46 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBC as part of a two-hour live broadcast beginning at 4 p.m.
Advanced wagering on the Travers Day card will be available beginning on Friday, August 28 featuring $1.75 million in guaranteed wagers over the two-day period. Travers Day is historic in its own right with the addition of three Grade 1 stakes to comprise a blockbuster lineup of six Grade 1 races and a Grade 2 for a total of seven graded stakes worth nearly a combined $5.5 million on the afternoon.
Joining the Travers Day card are: the 1 ½-mile Sword Dancer Invitational on the turf, whose purse has been enhanced to $1 million; the $750,000, 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign for fillies and mares; and the $700,000 Priority One Forego at seven furlongs. These additions round out a spectacular card which already included the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina for fillies and mares; the Grade 1, $500,000 King’s Bishop; and the Grade 2, $400,000 Ketel One Ballston Spa for turf fillies and mares.
All Travers Day tickets are sold out. Fans are specifically advised not to travel to Saratoga Race Course on August 29 without tickets purchased in advance. The sell-out Travers Day follows the announcement of a paid attendance cap of 50,000 attendees in an effort to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all fans.
Clubhouse and grandstand season passes are valid and will be accepted on Travers Day. Fans possessing season passes are directed to show their pass at any of the Spa’s three gates as they normally would on all other race days.
The paid attendance cap takes into account all patrons who have made dining and table reservations on Travers Day for the following on-track locations: the Turf Terrace, Club Terrace or Lower Porch; the Fourstardave sports bar in the lower Carousel; and the reserved picnic table section in the backyard – all of which require separate admission. Those with previously confirmed reservations are encouraged to purchase their Travers Day admission in advance of August 29 by visiting the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course or calling 844-NYRA-TIX.
Both the Fourstardave sports bar and The Post will feature live entertainment and remain open until 9:00 p.m..
Preferred parking is available for $15; trackside parking for $20 and valet parking for $50 on Travers Day. Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Yaddo and Flatlands lots. A free shuttle service is available to the track from these lots.
No coolers larger than 12-by-18 inches will be allowed on the trackside apron or Top of the Stretch. Coolers are not permitted in the building or Clubhouse. No glass containers of any kind are permitted. Breakfast on the Clubhouse porch and backstretch tram tours are not available on Travers Day.
Ticketed patrons planning to attend the Mid-Summer Derby can review a full list of prohibited and permitted items at NYRA.com. All patrons are subject to enhanced magnetic screening upon entering the grounds and those attempting to enter with banned items will be asked to return those items to their vehicles or dispose of them. No storage will be provided for patrons arriving or attempting to enter the venue with prohibited items.
Travers eve will also feature the induction of prominent owners Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps of Phipps Stable and Marylou Whitney of Marylou Whitney Stables into the Saratoga Race Course Walk of Fame. The honorees will unveil their plaques during the New York Racing Association’s annual Red Jacket Ceremony, scheduled for 12:15 p.m. in the winner’s circle prior to first post for New York Breeders’ Showcase Day. The popular state-bred card will include six stakes, highlighted by the $250,000 Albany for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles.
Those without tickets to the sold-out Travers are encouraged to visit 2015SaratogaTravers.com for information about Travers Day viewing parties throughout Saratoga.
The 2015 season at historic Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com or call 518-584-6200.