NYRA announces stakes schedule for summer meet at Saratoga Race Course

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The 2020 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course will feature 71 stakes worth $14.45 million, encompassing 39 graded stakes and 18 Grade 1s from Thursday, July 16 through Monday, September 7.

“We’re thrilled to be racing at Saratoga this summer, and we thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his support and the support of horsemen who have worked with us to navigate the many challenges,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “While this will be anything but a traditional Saratoga season, we hope to provide a semblance of normalcy for both the local community as well as racing fans across the country.”

Under current New York state guidelines, Saratoga Race Course will open on July 16 without spectators in attendance. The 40-day meet will feature at least one stakes race every live racing day, highlighted by the 151st renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers on August 8 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney on August 1, as the anchors of two of the biggest racing days in North America.

After opening weekend, racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays.

Whitney Day, set for Saturday, August 1, will feature three Grade 1 events, led by the historic Whitney, a handicap at 1 1/8 miles with an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 7 at Keeneland on the line.

The card is bolstered by the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November; and the Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs.

The stakes-laden card also includes the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green for 4-year-olds and up on the turf and the $200,000 Caress, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares.

The Runhappy Travers, traditionally contested at the end of August, will be held this year on August 8 to properly account for the schedule adjustments and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training due to the health and safety measures instituted to mitigate risk and combat the spread of COVID-19.

The “Mid-Summer Derby” will still be contested at 1 1/4 miles for the country’s most talented 3-year-olds and is one of three Grade 1s on the day, joining the $300,000 Ballerina for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going seven furlongs in a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

The day will also see sophomore fillies compete in the prestigious Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Test at seven furlongs, with the card bolstered by the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint for older males, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Waya, a 1 ½-mile turf route for older fillies and mares.

The Saratoga meet will commence on Thursday, July 16 with a strong Opening Day card fortified by the Grade 3, $100,000 Peter Pan. The 1 1/8-miles test for sophomores was moved from its traditional home at Belmont Park to the Spa. Also on tap for the Saratoga lid-lifter is the Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville for juvenile fillies going six furlongs.

The meet’s first Grade 1 will be on the opening Saturday, July 18, when the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for sophomore fillies going 1 1/8 miles takes center stage, supported by the Grade 2, $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.

A pair of graded stakes feature on Saturday, July 25, topped by the Grade 1, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, a handicap for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs, and including the Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa for older fillies and mares on the turf.

New to the Saratoga stakes schedule are a pair of New York-bred races for older grass horses with the Lubash set for July 22 and the Dayatthespa for fillies and mares on July 29, both offering a purse of $85,000 for the 1 1/16-mile turf tests.

The $100,000 Perfect Sting, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for older fillies and mares, moves from Belmont to August 14 at the Spa.

The Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama for 3-year-old fillies going 1 ¼ miles is slated for Saturday, August 15, which will also see the second running of the $500,000 Saratoga Derby, part of the Turf Triple Series for 3-year-olds. Its filly counterpart, the $500,000 Saratoga Oaks for sophomores, will be run the next day.

Saturday, August 22 will run the Grade 1, $400,000 Fourstardave, a handicap for 3-year-olds and up going one mile on the turf. The Grade 1, $500,000 Diana for fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf will be the feature on Sunday, August 23.

A pair of stakes for sophomore state-breds originally scheduled at Aqueduct Racetrack, the NYSSS Times Square and NYSSS Park Avenue, will now be contested at Saratoga on August 27 and September 3 respectively, both offering a purse of $100,000 for the 6 1/2-furlong main-track sprints.

The Grade 1, $300,000 Forego, presented by America’s Best Racing, a seven-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up, shares center stage on Saratoga’s penultimate Saturday on August 29, with the day also offering exciting racing action with the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer, a 1 ½-mile turf route for 4-year-olds and up that serves as a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

The final weekend of the 2020 Saratoga meet will have six graded stakes. Four of those contests will run Saturday, September 5, led by the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward, a handicap for 3-year-olds and up going 1 ¼ miles. A trio of Grade 2 races will make for a strong card, including the $150,000 Jim Dandy for sophomores at 1 1/8 miles; the $200,000 Prioress for sophomore fillies going six furlongs; and the $200,000 Glens Falls for older fillies and mares competing at 1 3/8 miles on the turf.

Sunday, September 6 will be the date for the Grade 1, $250,000 Spinaway for sophomore fillies going seven furlongs, along with the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss, a handicap for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at six furlongs.

The $250,000 Runhappy Hopeful, at seven furlongs for juvenile sprinters as the traditional final Grade 1 of the Saratoga meet, brings the curtain down on Closing Day Monday, September 7.

Thurs., July 16SchuylervilleIII100,000F2YO6 F
Thurs., July 16Peter PanIII100,0003YO1 1/8
Fri., July 17Shine Again 85,000F&M 4&UP7 F
Fri., July 17De La Rose 85,000F&M 4&UP1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., July 18Coaching Club American OaksI350,000F3YO1 1/8
Sat., July 18National Museum of Racing Hall Of FameII150,0003YO1 1/8 (Turf)
Sun., July 19Lake PlacidII150,000F3YO1 1/8 (Turf)
Wed., July 22Lubash (NYB) 85,0004&UP1 1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., July 23A. P. Smithwick (Steeplechase)I100,0004&UP2 1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., July 23NYSSS Statue Of Liberty Division 100,000F3YO1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., July 24Quick CallIII100,0003YO5 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., July 25Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Hdcp.)I250,0003&UP6 F
Sat., July 25Ballston SpaII200,000F&M 4&UP1 1/16 (Turf)
Sun., July 26Bernard Baruch (Hdcp.)II150,0003&UP1   1/16 (Turf)
Wed., July 29Dayatthespa (NYB) 85,000F&M 4&UP1   1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., July 30John Morrissey Hdcp (NYB) 85,0003&UP7 F
Fri., July 31Coronation Cup 100,000F3YO5 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 1Whitney (BC)I750,0004&UP1 1/8
Sat., Aug 1Personal Ensign (BC)I500,000F&M 4&UP1 1/8
Sat., Aug 1H. Allen Jerkens MemorialI300,0003YO7 F
 Presented by Runhappy    
Sat., Aug 1Bowling GreenII250,0004&UP1 3/8 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 1Caress 200,000F&M 4&UP5 1/2 F (Turf)
Sun., Aug 2Birdstone 100,0004&UP1 3/4
Wed., Aug 5Summer Colony 85,000F&M 4&UP1 1/8
Thurs., Aug 6NYSSS Cab Calloway Division 100,0003YO1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., Aug 7Saratoga SpecialII150,0002YO6 F
Sat., Aug 8Runhappy TraversI1,000,0003YO1 1/4
Sat., Aug 8Ballerina Hdcp. (BC)I300,000F&M 3&UP7 F
Sat., Aug 8Longines TestI300,000F3YO7 F
Sat., Aug 8TroyIII200,0004&UP5 1/2 F (Turf)
Sat., Aug 8WayaIII150,000F&M 4&UP1 1/2 (Turf)
Sun., Aug 9Alydar 85,0004&UP1 1/8
Wed., Aug 12AdirondackII150,000F2YO6 1/2 F
Thurs., Aug 13Union Avenue Hdcp (NYB) 85,000F&M 3&UP7 F
Fri., Aug 14Perfect Sting 100,000F&M 4&UP1 1/16 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 15Saratoga Derby Invitational 500,0003YO1 3/16 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 15AlabamaI500,000F3YO1 1/4
Sun., Aug 16Saratoga Oaks Invitational 500,000F3YO1 3/16 (Turf)
Wed., Aug 19Bolton Landing 85,000F2YO5 1/2 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 20New York Turf Writers Cup (Steeplechase)I100,0004&UP2 3/8 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 20Tale of the Cat (NW GSS) 85,0004&UP6 F
Fri., Aug 21Skidmore 85,0002YO5 1/2 F (Turf)
Sat., Aug 22Fourstardave (Hdcp.) (BC)I400,0003&UP1 Mile (Turf)
Sun., Aug 23DianaI500,000F&M 4&UP1 1/8 (Turf)
Wed., Aug 26Mahony 85,0003YO5 1/2 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 27NYSSS Times Square Division 100,0003YO6 1/2 F
Thurs., Aug 27Smart N Fancy 85,000F&M 4&UP5 1/2 F (Turf)
Fri., Aug 28Lake GeorgeIII100,000F3YO1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., Aug 29Sword Dancer (BC)I500,0004&UP1 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 29Forego presented by America’s Best RacingI300,0004&UP7 F
Sat., Aug 29AmsterdamII150,0003YO6 F
Sat., Aug 29SaranacIII100,0003YO1 Mile (Turf)
Sun., Aug 30ShuveeIII125,000F&M 4&UP1 1/8
Wed., Sept 2With AnticipationIII100,0002YO1   1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., Sept 3P. G. Johnson 100,000F2YO1   1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., Sept 3NYSSS Park Avenue Division 100,000F3YO6 1/2 Furlongs
Fri., Sept 4Albany (NYB) 150,0003YO1 1/8
Fri., Sept 4Fleet Indian (NYB) 150,000F3YO1 1/8
Fri., Sept 4Funny Cide (NYB) 150,0002YO6 1/2 F
Fri., Sept 4Seeking the Ante (NYB) 150,000F2YO6 1/2 F
Fri., Sept 4West Point Hdcp (NYB) 150,0003&UP1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., Sept 4Yaddo Hdcp (NYB) 150,000F&M 3&UP1 1/16 (Turf)
Sat., Sept 5Woodward Hdcp.I500,0003&UP1 1/4
Sat., Sept 5Glens FallsII200,000F&M 4&UP1 3/8 (Turf)
Sat., Sept 5PrioressII200,000F3YO6 F
Sat., Sept 5Jim DandyII150,0003YO1 1/8
Sun., Sept 6SpinawayI250,000F2YO7 F
Sun., Sept 6Honorable Miss (Hdcp.)II150,000F&M 3&UP6 F
Sun., Sept 6Lucky Coin (NW SS in 2020) 85,0004&UP5 1/2 F (Turf)
Mon., Sept 7Runhappy HopefulI250,0002YO7 F
Mon., Sept 7Lure 85,0004&UP1 1/16 (Turf)
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