WHAT: Week #4 at Saratoga Race Course
WHEN: Wednesday, August 12 – Monday, August 17, 2015
WHERE: Saratoga Race Course and various locations in Saratoga Springs
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12
- Irish-American Heritage Day: The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will celebrate the culture and traditions of the Emerald Isle during Irish-American Heritage Day at Saratoga Race Course. The day-long festivities will feature Irish music, dance, entertainment and food from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. Fans are encouraged to celebrate by wearing green and decorating their backyard picnic tables with Irish-themed décor. NYRA will welcome Patricia Ward Kelly, wife of renowned actor, dancer and choreographer Gene Kelly, who was of Irish descent and best known for his roles in the classic films “Singin’ in the Rain” and “An American in Paris”. Ward Kelly will present the trophy for the day’s fifth race, named “Saratoga Salutes Hollywood Legend Gene Kelly”. Traditional Irish bagpipers from the Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band and step dancers from The Boland School of Irish Dance will greet guests at the grandstand and clubhouse entrances. Dancers with The Boland School of Irish Dance will perform trackside at approximately 2:15 p.m. following the day’s third race. Irish music and dance performances will take place at the Pavilion throughout the afternoon and acclaimed exhibits highlighting Irish culture, traditions and history will be on display. Culinary demonstrations and sampling of traditional Irish food will be available at the Pavilion and Irish-themed food and drink specials will be available at participating on-track concessions and restaurants throughout the day.
- Battle of Saratoga Handicapping Challenge: More than 215 horseplayers will vie for more than $250,000 in prize money during the sixth annual Battle of Saratoga Handicapping Challenge. The tournament will offer three berths into the 2016 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. First place in the two-day tournament, which continues on Thursday, is worth $100,000 and cash prizes will be offered to the top 25 finishers. Entry fee is $1,000 with all entry fees returned as prize money. All entries are full. This year’s handicapping challenge will be held in the upper Carousel.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host the Adult and Senior Center of Saratoga, which provides members the opportunity to participate in programs, trips and social activities. The Adult and Senior Center offers a variety of activities and daily classes to facilitate physical, mental and social enrichment, including arts and crafts, health and wellness, exercise, weekly movies, writing workshops, trips and excursions.
- Saratoga Season Pass and Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day: All Saratoga season pass and season-long reserved seat ticket holders will receive a 15 percent discount at the NYRA Store each Wednesday of the meet. The discount is available to season pass holders who present their season pass and to season ticket holders who show their new season ticket holder perks card at participating on-track locations. Tobacco and lottery sales are excluded. Season ticket holders may pick up their new perks card at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course. Season pass and ticket holders are invited to visit nyra.com/seasonperks for various other discounts and special offers that will be available over the course of the 2015 season.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13
- Fabulous Fillies Day: The New York Racing Association, Inc. will celebrate women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through Play for P.I.N.K. at Fabulous Fillies Day. The celebration will be highlighted on-track with decorative pink bunting and flowers, the iconic Sea Hero statue in the paddock will be draped with a pink horse blanket, and all New York Racing Association staff members will wear pink ribbons. Additionally, all jockeys riding in the day’s card will wear pink armbands to commemorate the occasion and pink saddlecloths will be used during the sixth race named in honor of special guest Barbara Banke. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness. Guests will have the opportunity to make monetary donations to the BCRF at numerous areas throughout the track during the day. Guests who donate will receive a free pink breast cancer awareness wristband. The centerpiece of the day-long affair will be the sold out Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon presented by Escada and Moet & Chandon in the At the Rail Pavilion. This year’s luncheon will honor Banke, owner of Stonestreet Farms and Chair and Proprietor of Jackson Family Wines.
- Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits: Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits offers track patrons the opportunity to sample varietals of cider, wine and spirits from numerous New York State distilleries and wineries. The tasting will be held each Thursday of the meet from noon to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. Participating distilleries and wineries include: 1911 Cider and Spirits Company; Cider Creek Hard Cider; Harvest Spirits; Heron Hill Winery; Hudson Valley Distillers; Kaneb Orchards; Saratoga Courage Distillery (Saratoga Pick Six Vodka); Saratoga Winery; and Thirsty Owl Wine Company. Sampling fee applies.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host Floydwarriors.com, an online organization dedicated to supporting and inspiring individuals and families from the Capital Region who have been recently diagnosed with cancer. Designed to relieve the burden of day-to-day tasks and provide support to those undergoing cancer treatment, Floydwarriors.com gives those battling cancer the opportunity to request help for housekeeping, meal delivery, childcare, and other daily needs.
- Saratoga Season Pass and Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day: All Saratoga season pass and season-long reserved seat ticket holders will receive a 10 percent discount at Shake Shack each Thursday of the meet. The discount is available to season pass holders who present their season pass and to season ticket holders who show their new season ticket holder perks card at participating on-track locations.
- “At the Post Live: Serling on Saratoga”: NYRA broadcast analyst and nationally recognized thoroughbred racing personality Andy Serling will host the fourth in a series of weekly live broadcasts on ESPN Radio 104.5 “The Team” at The Parting Glass in downtown Saratoga Springs from 8 to 9 p.m. Serling will offer weekly tips, discuss behind the scenes information about Saratoga Race Course and interact with special guests including Hall of Fame trainers and jockeys, leading racing personalities, notable industry figures and celebrity horse racing fans. The weekly broadcasts are free and open to the public.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 14
- Maker’s Mark Lake Placid: The day’s feature race is the Grade 2, $300,000 Maker’s Mark Lake Placid for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.
- Taste NY: Craft Beer: Taste NY: Craft Beer offers track patrons the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. The day’s featured breweries are Empire Brewing Company and Adirondack Brewery. The tasting will be held each Friday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. Sampling fee applies.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host Ladies of Charity Saratoga, a Catholic non-profit organization dedicated to serving the sick, poor and otherwise marginalized populations in the community. Founded in 1982, the Ladies of Charity Saratoga work to carry out the organization’s mission by raising funds and distributing them to local charities across Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties, including soup kitchens, food banks, shelters and tuition support programs.
- Saratoga Season Pass and Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day: All Saratoga season pass and season-long reserved seat ticket holders will receive a 10 percent discount at participating vendors in the Artist’s Village each Friday of the meet. The discount is available to season pass holders who present their season pass and to season ticket holders who show their new season ticket holder perks card at participating on-track locations.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15
- Fourstardave Handicap and Adirondack Stakes: The day’s feature race is the Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap for three-year-olds and up at a mile on the turf. The day’s card will also include the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack for 2-year-old fillies.
- H. Allen Jerkens Day: The New York Racing Association, Inc. will pay special tribute to the man known reverently by the racetrack community as “The Chief” during a day in honor of the late Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, who died in March following a legendary career. Jerkens trained 3,859 winners who earned nearly $104 million, placing him 11th and 14th, respectively, among trainers all-time. The day will include a named race in honor of Jerkens, as well as video tributes throughout the afternoon. Concession stands will offer a special 10 percent discount throughout the day on Coors Light, which was a favorite beverage of Jerkens. Fans are invited to visit the new Saratoga Walk of Fame, in which Jerkens is enshrined, to learn more about his legacy in racing and special connection to the Spa.
- Fashion Saturdays: Designed to highlight the tradition of style and glamour in thoroughbred racing, the weekly event will feature various local fashion retailers and spas throughout the season. Prizes for the best dressed man and woman will be awarded each Saturday afternoon, including participation in a trophy presentation for the Fashion Saturday race, presented by Saratoga Living. Participating shops include Circles, Hatsational by DEI, Lifestyles of Saratoga, The National and Rumors Salon & Spa.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a Saratoga Springs non-profit organization which cares for thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack. TRF currently cares for 900 retired horses and is the oldest and largest equine sanctuary of its kind in the
- Saratoga Special: The day’s feature race is the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special for 2-year-olds.
- Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Returning for the 2015 summer meet, Taste NY: Food & Artisans is a lively on-track market of nearly 20 food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. Products include jams, honey, baked goods and hand-crafted soap, amongst other items. The market will be held each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion.
- Low Rollers Handicapping Contest: Sunday will feature the return of the Low Rollers Handicapping Contest, which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live money and $10 to the prize pool. Participants must select five races on which to place live $2 win, place and show wagers on five different horses in five different races. Only Saratoga horses are accepted for contest play. Guests are invited to register on the first floor of the grandstand by the lower Carousel before post time for the day’s fifth race. The tournament will be held each Sunday of the meet.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host The St. Baldrick’s Foundatoin, a non-profit organization which raises funds for childhood cancer through partnerships, advocacy initiatives and its well-known head shaving events. St. Baldrick’s is recognized as an international platform for childhood cancer awareness and research funding, with 849 grants at 349 institutions around the world. Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano will sign autographs at the Community Outreach Booth from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a minimum suggested donation to St. Baldrick’s.
MONDAY, AUGUST 17
- Berkshire Bank Family Mondays: Monday will be highlighted by the newly expanded and enhanced Berkshire Bank Family Mondays, presented by Mister Softee from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. The weekly family festival will enable families and children to experience and enjoy a wide array of games, attractions, and educational activities against the backdrop of historic Saratoga Race Course, including the opportunity to pet a retired thoroughbred. Schools, PTAs and non-profit organizations will have an opportunity to fundraise for their operations during Berkshire Bank Family Mondays. Both the New York Racing Association and Berkshire Bank will supplement the money that they raise each week with matching grants. The featured organization for the fourth Monday of the season is Chango Elementary School, part of the Shenendehowa Central Schools District.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host Old Friends at Cabin Creek, which is a thoroughbred aftercare farm in Saratoga County. The volunteer organization is donation based and works to provide a natural, forever home to retired equine athletes, while also offering the public an up-close and personal experience with thoroughbreds.
- Saratoga Season Pass and Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day: All Saratoga season pass and season-long reserved seat ticket holders will receive a 15 percent discount at select concession stands each Monday of the meet. Participating locations include Four Star Dave, Toga Burgers, Paddock Pizza, Finishline Sabrett, Sams and Clams and Panini. The discount is available to season pass holders who present their season pass and to season ticket holders who show their new season ticket holder perks card at participating on-track locations.
- Low Rollers Handicapping Contest: The contest which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play returns for a second day. Guests are invited to register on the first floor of the grandstand by the lower Carousel before post time for the day’s fifth race.