SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – In advance of the 146th running of the $1.25 million Travers at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 29 featuring a blockbuster card including six Grade 1 races, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced that paid attendance for the Mid-Summer Derby will be capped at 50,000.
NYRA officials also today announced that all Travers Day reserved seating, dining and clubhouse admission are sold out. Grandstand general admission is available for $10. General admission can now be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, as well as in-person at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course, or by phone at 1-844-NYRA-TIX. There is a purchase limit of 8 general admission tickets per person.
“With the blockbuster card built for this year, we anticipate interest in attending the Mid-Summer Derby to be at an all-time high, and all tickets to be sold out in advance of Travers Day,” said NYRA Chief Executive Officer and President Christopher Kay. “Similar to what we successfully implemented for the 2015 Belmont Stakes and to further ensure an enjoyable experience for our horseplayers and fans, we will cap paid attendance at 50,000 for Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course.”
Joining the 146th running of the Mid-Summer Derby for 3-year-olds on Travers Day, Saturday, August 29 will be the addition of three Grade 1 races to the card: 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.
NYRA officials anticipate that all Travers Day tickets will be sold out in advance of August 29. For their convenience, fans are strongly encouraged to purchase general admission tickets in advance, and to allow plenty of time to arrive and depart Saratoga Race Course that day. Gates open at 7:00 am, with first post scheduled for 11:35 am on Travers Day.
Implementation of the Travers Day attendance ceiling was made following consultation with security officials and facility experts. This step was a key component of NYRA’s success during this year’s Belmont Stakes, which resulted in a better experience for horseplayers and fans at Belmont Park. Pedestrian and traffic flow was improved as a result of the attendance cap, with security and guest services team leaders able to more effectively manage the large crowds for this mega event.
An extensive and widely-praised communication plan was also implemented for the Belmont Stakes which offered clear, extensive information for all fans planning to attend the event. NYRA officials will again be highly visible in the time preceding the Travers to offer specific event information and travel tips related to Travers Day. Social media team members will also work closely with guest services, facilities and security officials to quickly address and respond to any issues identified by patrons.
Fans planning to attend the Mid-Summer Derby can review a full list of prohibited and permitted items at NYRA.com/Saratoga. All patrons are subject to enhanced screening upon entering the grounds and those attempting to enter 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 weekend will officially kick off on Friday, August 28 with New York Showcase Day, featuring six New York-bred stakes. The day 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 11:30 am.
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.