Stakes-packed Runhappy Travers, Whitney Days highlight 2019 Saratoga summer meet

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The 2019 meet at historic Saratoga Race Course will feature 76 stakes across 40 racing days, highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney as the anchors of two of the biggest racing days in North America.

The summer meet, which features $20.85 million in total stakes purses, will run from Opening Day on Thursday, July 11 through Labor Day, September 2. After opening weekend, racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays. Closing week will run Wednesday, August 28 through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.

On Saturday, August 3, the prestigious 1 1/8-mile Whitney, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Classic, will pair with the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.

Whitney weekend kicks off with the second jewel of the Turf Tiara, featuring the inaugural $750,000 Saratoga Oaks on Friday, August 2. The first running of the $1 million Saratoga Derby, second leg of the Turf Trinity, will go on Sunday, August 4. Both races will be contested at 1 3/16-miles on the Saratoga green and will be carried live on FOX Sports, with the Oaks to air on FS2 and the Derby to be broadcast on FS1.

Whitney Day will also include the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy for 3-year-olds and up going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf, as well as a pair of $100,000 turf routes with the Fasig-Tipton Lure and Fasig-Tipton De La Rose.

The Runhappy Travers will have its 150th running on Saturday, August 24 as the centerpiece of a card featuring seven stakes, including six Grade 1s. The Mid-Summer Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles will come after three Breeders’ Cup qualifiers, featuring the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer [Turf], the Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign [Distaff], and the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina [Filly & Mare Sprint].

Also on the docket is the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and upward and the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa for turf fillies and mares.

The traditional local prep for the Runhappy Travers, the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy, will be held on Saturday, July 27, and is joined by the Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap for older sprinters, and the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green at 1 3/8 miles on the turf. Closing out Jim Dandy weekend on Sunday, July 28, is the $200,000 Amsterdam, upgraded to Grade 2 status, for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs.

Opening Day, Thursday, July 11, will commence with a pair of graded stakes: the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies and the Grade 3, $100,000 Quick Call for 3-year-olds doing 5 ½ furlongs on the grass.

Saratoga’s first Grade 1 of 2019 will feature the $500,000 Diana for turf fillies and mares on Saturday, July 13. The next Saturday, July 20, will see the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks, with a purse upgraded to $500,000 from $300,000 a year ago, take center stage.

Among the other 18 Grade 1 races at the Spa will be $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial on July 25 and the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup on Thursday, August 22 for steeplechasers; the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap, a Breeders’ Cup qualifier for the Mile, on Saturday, August 10; and the $600,000 Alabama on Saturday, August 17.

The Rockville Centre, previously run at Belmont, has moved to July 17 at Saratoga and will go as the $100,000 Rick Violette, a six-furlong sprint for New York-bred juveniles, in honor of the late Richard A. Violette, Jr., the longtime NYRA horseman and former president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Violette enjoyed tremendous success at the Spa including last summer when Diversify captured an emotional renewal of the Whitney. A lifelong supporter of all aspects of the industry, Violette, Jr. was a founding member of the Board of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and co-created the TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program. He also co-founded TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program with a focus on providing an avenue for the retraining of retired racehorses.

The $100,000 Mahony, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for sophomores slated for August 7, is named in honor of Patrick Mahony, the longtime senior vice president of mutuels at NYRA. Mahony, who spent more than 50 years in the racing industry, retired in 2016.

Also new to the Saratoga stakes schedule is the $100,000 Stillwater, previously held at Belmont as the Lynbrook, set for July 18 and the $100,000 Galway which is slated for August 11.

Additional upgraded races for the Saratoga summer meet include the Grade 3, $100,000 Quick Call marked for July 11; and the Grade 3, $150,000 Forbidden Apple, set for July 12, which moves to Saratoga from Belmont.

Closing weekend of the 2019 Saratoga meet features the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on Saturday, August 31, headlining a day that includes the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls, the Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress and the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac. On Sunday, September 1, 2-year-old fillies will sprint seven furlongs in the Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway.

Closing Day on Monday, September 2, will feature the Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap as well as the prestigious Grade 1, $350,000 Runhappy Hopeful for 2-year-olds going seven furlongs concluding the 151st Saratoga meeting.

THE NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION
2019 SARATOGA STAKES SCHEDULE

 

DATE RACE GR. 2019 PURSE ($) AGE DISTANCE
WEEK 1
Thurs., July. 11 Schuylerville III 150,000 F2YO 6 Furlongs
Thurs., July. 11 Quick Call III 100,000 3YO 5 1/2 (Turf)
Fri., July. 12 Forbidden Apple III 150,000 4&UP 1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., July. 13 Diana I 500,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/8 (Turf)
Sat., July. 13 Sanford III 150,000 2YO 6 Furlongs
Sun., July. 14 Coronation Cup   100,000 F3YO 5 1/2 (Turf)
WEEK 2
Wed., July. 17 Rick Violette (NYB)   100,000 2YO 6 Furlongs
Thurs., July. 18 Stillwater (NYB)   100,000 F2YO 6 Furlongs
Fri., July. 19 Lake George III 150,000 F3YO 1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., July 20 Coaching Club American Oaks I 500,000 F3YO 1 1/8
Sat., July. 20 Caress   200,000 F&M 4&UP 5 1/2 (Turf)
Sun., July. 21 Shuvee Hdcp. III 200,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/8
WEEK 3
Wed., July. 24 Honorable Miss (Hdcp.) II 200,000 F&M 3&UP 6 Furlongs
Wed., July. 24 New York Stallion Series   150,000 3YO 1 Mile (Turf)
  Cab Calloway Division        
Thurs., July. 25 A. P. Smithwick Mem. (S’Chase) I 150,000 4&UP 2 1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., July. 25 John Morrissey (NYB)   100,000 3&UP 6 1/2 Furlongs
Fri., July. 26 Curlin (NW GSS OVER 1 MILE IN 2019)   100,000 3YO 1   1/8
Sat., July. 27 Jim Dandy II 600,000 3YO 1 1/8
Sat., July. 27 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Hdcp.) I 350,000 3&UP 6 Furlongs
Sat., July. 27 Bowling Green II 250,000 4&UP 1 3/8 (Turf)
Sun., July. 28 Amsterdam II 200,000 3YO 6 1/2 Furlongs
WEEK 4
Wed., July. 31 New York Stallion Series   150,000 F3YO 1 Mile (Turf)
  Statue Of Liberty Division        
Wed., July. 31 Shine Again (NW SS other than state bred)   100,000 F&M 3&UP 7 Furlongs
Thurs., Aug. 1 Birdstone   100,000 3&UP 1 3/4
  Fasig-Tipton Racing Festival        
Fri., Aug. 2 Saratoga Oaks   750,000 F3YO 1 3/16 (Turf)
  (Second leg of the Turf Tiara)        
Fri., Aug. 2 National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame II 200,000 3YO 1 Mile (Turf)
Fri., Aug. 2 Alydar (NW SS other than state bred in 2019)   100,000 4&UP 1 1/8
Sat., Aug. 3 Whitney (BC) I 1,000,000 3&UP 1 1/8
Sat., Aug. 3 Longines Test I 500,000 F3YO 7 Furlongs
Sat., Aug. 3 Fasig-Tipton Lure (NW GSS in 2019)   100,000 4&UP 1   1/16 (Turf)
Sat., Aug. 3 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose (NW GSS in 2019)   100,000 F&M 4&UP 1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., Aug. 3 Troy III 200,000 3&UP 5 1/2 (T)
Sun., Aug. 4 Saratoga Derby   1,000,000 3YO 1 3/16 (Turf)
  (Second leg of the Turf Trinity)        
Sun., Aug. 4 Fasig-Tipton Waya III 200,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/2 (Turf)
Sun., Aug. 4 Adirondack II 200,000 F2YO 6 1/2 Furlongs
WEEK 5
Wed., Aug. 7 Evan Shipman (NYB)   100,000 3&UP 1 1/8
Wed., Aug. 7 Mahony   100,000 3YO 5 1/2 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug. 8 Saratoga Dew (NYB)   100,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/8
Fri., Aug. 9 Tale of the Cat (NW GSS in 2019)   100,000 3&UP 6 Furlongs
Sat., Aug. 10 Fourstardave (Hdcp.) (BC) I 500,000 3&UP 1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., Aug. 10 Saratoga Special II 200,000 2YO 6 1/2 Furlongs
Sun., Aug. 11 Galway   100,000 F3YO 5 1/2 (Turf)
WEEK 6
Wed., Aug. 14 Bolton Landing   100,000 F2YO 5 1/2 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug. 15 Union Avenue (NYB)   100,000 F&M 3&UP 6 1/2 Furlongs
Fri., Aug. 16 Skidmore   100,000 2YO 5 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., Aug. 17 Alabama I 600,000 F3YO 1 1/4
Sat., Aug. 17 Lake Placid II 200,000 F3YO 1 1/16 (Turf)
Sat., Aug. 17 Smart N Fancy   100,000 F&M 3&UP 5 1/2 (Turf)
Sun., Aug. 18 Summer Colony (NW GSS in 2019)   100,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/8
WEEK 7
Wed., Aug. 21 John’s Call (NW GSS IN 2019)   100,000 3&UP 1 5/8 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 22 Riskaverse (NW SS at 1 Mile or Over)   100,000 F3YO 1 Mile (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 22 New York Turf Writers Cup I 150,000 4&UP 2 3/8 (Turf)
  Saratoga New York Breeders’ Showcase Day        
Fri., Aug. 23 Albany (NYB)   250,000 3YO 1 1/8
Fri., Aug. 23 Fleet Indian (NYB)   200,000 F3YO 1 1/8
Fri., Aug. 23 Funny Cide (NYB)   200,000 2YO 6 1/2 Furlongs
Fri., Aug. 23 Seeking the Ante (NYB)   200,000 F2YO 6 1/2 Furlongs
Fri., Aug. 23 West Point (NYB) Presented by Trustco Bank   150,000 3&UP 1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., Aug. 23 Yaddo (NYB)   150,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/16 (Turf)
  Travers Racing Festival        
Sat., Aug. 24 Runhappy Travers I 1,250,000 3YO 1 1/4
Sat., Aug. 24 Sword Dancer (BC) I 850,000 4&UP 1 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., Aug. 24 Personal Ensign (BC) I 700,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/8
Sat., Aug. 24 Forego I 600,000 3&UP 7 Furlongs
Sat., Aug. 24 Ketel One Ballerina (BC) I 500,000 F&M 3&UP 7 Furlongs
Sat., Aug. 24 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy I 500,000 3YO 7 Furlongs
Sat., Aug. 24 Ballston Spa II 400,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/16 (Turf)
Sun., Aug. 25 Better Talk Now (NW SS at 1 Mile or Over)   100,000 3YO 1 Mile (Turf)
WEEK 8
Wed., Aug. 28 With Anticipation III 150,000 2YO 1   1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug. 29 P. G. Johnson   100,000 F2YO 1   1/16 (Turf)
Fri., Aug. 30 Lucky Coin (NW SS IN 2019)   100,000 4&UP 5 1/2 (Turf)
  Woodward Racing Festival        
Sat., Aug. 31 The Woodward I 750,000 3&UP 1 1/8
Sat., Aug. 31 Glens Falls II 250,000 F&M 3&UP 1 3/8 (Turf)
Sat., Aug. 31 Prioress II 250,000 F3YO 6 Furlongs
Sat., Aug. 31 Saranac III 200,000 3YO 1   1/16 (Turf)
Sun., Sept. 1 Spinaway I 350,000 F2YO 7 Furlongs
Mon., Sept. 2 Runhappy Hopeful I 350,000 2YO 7 Furlongs
Mon., Sept. 2 Bernard Baruch (Hdcp.) II 250,000 3&UP 1   1/16 (Turf)

 

 

Tagged on: