Bocce Ball: Trainer Gary Contessa (right) takes his turn during a game of bocce ball with Brooklyn Boyz Stables owner Anthony Bonomo (center) and his teammate trainer Dominick Schettino (left) during Italian-American Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 30. Bonomo’s team won bragging rights and captured the grand prize of sausage and peppers sandwiches by a score of 7-1.
Pasta Making Demonstration: Mazzone Hospitality Chef Alissa Harris shows track guests how to make fresh pasta during a cooking demonstration at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 30. The cooking demonstration was part of Italian-American Day at the historic racecourse.
Tarantella: Dancers under the direction of choreographer Louise Giuliano perform traditional Italian folk dances at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 30. The performance was part of Italian-American Day at the historic racecourse.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. hosted Italian-American Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 30. The event was the second installment in the inaugural International Heritage Series, a weekly celebration of global culture and heritage during the 2014 summer meet.
The day-long festivities featured Italian music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food in the Saratoga Pavilion.
Chefs from Mazzone Hospitality conducted pasta making demonstrations following the day’s first, second and third races. Guests also watched trainer Gary Contessa and fellow trainer Gary Sciacca face off against Brooklyn Boyz Stables owner Anthony Bonomo and trainer Dominick Schettino in a game of bocce ball near the Saratoga Pavilion. Bonomo’s team won the grand prize of sausage and peppers sandwiches.
Dancers under the direction of choreographer Louise Giuliano greeted visitors at the grandstand and clubhouse entrances. The dancers performed the traditional Italian folk dance the Tarantella on the track apron and at the bandstand.
Strolling accordion players Ralph Brooks and Ed Salvo entertained track guests throughout the day. Musical performances from Italian opera singer Kristen Shweke, Italian classic standard singer Gemma Vullo, the Franklin Micare Band, and Italian guitar duo John DiFilipo and Ed Salvo took place near the Saratoga bandstand and gazebo throughout the afternoon.
Additionally, classic Italian cars were on display near the Pavilion and at the Clubhouse and Union Avenue entrances.
Traditional Italian food was available in the Saratoga Pavilion, including sausage and peppers, cannoli, and pizzelle cookies from the American Italian Heritage Museum; espresso, chinotto, aranciata and lemonciata from Our Sons of Italy; and pizza from DeFazio’s Pizzeria.
In addition to Italian-American Day, the International Heritage Series lineup will include: Irish-American Day on August 6; African-American Day on August 13; and Asian-American Day on August 20. The final installment of the series will celebrate the history and culture of Saratoga Springs with Saratoga Heritage Day on August 27.
The 2014 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 1. For more information about events at Saratoga Race Course, visit www.nyra.com/saratogaevents.