Hats to play feature role during opening weekend at Saratoga Race Course

Festivities to include 27th annual Hat Contest, presented by Hat Sationa! by DEI, and Saratoga baseball cap giveaway, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will honor the tradition of hats in thoroughbred racing with two events on Sunday, July 22, part of a series of festivities during Opening Weekend of the 2018 season at Saratoga Race Course.

The day will feature the second Grade 1 stakes of the season: The $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for three-year-old fillies at nine furlongs.

Hundreds of contestants will don creative and fashionable head toppers on Sunday to compete in what has become a staple of Opening Weekend at Saratoga Race Course: the 27th annual Hat Contest. Registration begins at noon under the grandstand for three categories. Hats will be judged after the second, third and fourth races on the track apron.

Kreative Kids marks the first category of the afternoon and is reserved for those 18 and under. Participants will vie for the first, second and third place prizes of fascinators from Hat Sationa! By DEI.

The Fashionably Saratoga category invites contestants to wear elegant and stylish hats after the third race. Following the fourth race, the most original artisans will compete in the Uniquely Saratoga category.

The grand prize winner in both the Fashionably and Uniquely Saratoga category will each receive a $100 gift certificate to Hat Sationa! by DEI. Second and third place winners will receive $50 and $25 gift certificates from Hat Sationa! by DEI, respectively. All gift certificates to Hat Sationa! by DEI are valid at both of the hat retailer’s locations in Saratoga Springs: 322 Broadway and 510 Broadway.

The day’s winners will be selected by a panel of judges from FLY 92.3, B95.5, 99.5 the River, and Q103. Mary Wilson of News10 ABC will serve as the emcee of this year’s Hat Contest.

The opening Sunday of the Saratoga season will also include the first giveaway – a Saratoga baseball cap, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel, free with paid admission, while supplies last.

Season pass and season ticket plan holders will be guaranteed a Saratoga baseball cap based on the following guidelines: Season pass or season ticket holders must be present at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday, July 22; enter through the designated season ticket holder lines; and redeem the giveaway by no later than 3 p.m. Redemptions will begin when gates open to the general public at 10:30 a.m.

Season admission passes are available for purchase both online at https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/ and in-person at more than 150 Stewart’s Shops locations throughout the Capital Region.

Single-day Grandstand admission is $5 and Clubhouse admission is $8 for guests who purchase their tickets prior to the day of the event. Single-day Grandstand admission is $7 and Clubhouse admission is $10 when purchased at the gate.

Admission may be purchased in advance at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course beginning Saturday, July 14 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com.

Additionally, guests on Sunday will enjoy Taste NY: Food and Artisans, a lively on-track market where guests can sample and shop food and handmade goods in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market will be held each Sunday of the 2018 meet.

The 2018 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, which includes 69 stakes worth $18.8 million in purses, will run from Friday, July 20, through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. After opening weekend, racing will be conducted six days a week, Wednesdays through Mondays. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/.

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