WHAT: Week #5 at Saratoga Race Course
WHEN: Wednesday, August 19 – Monday, August 24, 2015
WHERE: Saratoga Race Course and various locations in Saratoga Springs
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19
- Italian-American Heritage Day: The New York Racing Association, Inc. will celebrate the culture and traditions of the Bel Paese during Italian-American Heritage Day at Saratoga Race Course. The day-long festivities will feature Italian music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. The day’s eighth race will be named “Buon Giorno: Italian-American Heritage Day” in honor of the celebration. Italian tenor Angelo Mazzone, Jr. will perform the classic opera song “O Sole Mio” following the race. Accordion players Ralph “Carmine” Brooks and Peter Rizzo will be joined by Italian jugglers to greet guests as they arrive at the entrances to Saratoga Race Course. Italian singer Brian DiGuiseppe will begin the day by performing the National Anthem at 11:30 a.m. in the winner’s circle. Children with the Italian American Community Center Ballerini will perform a traditional Italian folk dance trackside at approximately 2:15 p.m. following the day’s third race. Italian music and dance performances will take place throughout the day at the Pavilion and bandstand. Children will have the opportunity to create their own Venetian mask at the Saratoga Pavilion as part of the day’s activities highlighting Italian culture, traditions and history. Interactive exhibits from the American Italian Heritage Association and Museum will also be on display. Italian food will be available for purchase at the Saratoga Pavilion with all proceeds to benefit the Italian Heritage Association and Museum in Albany. Italian-themed food and drink specials will also be available for purchase at participating on-track concessions and restaurants throughout the day.
- Saratoga Umbrella Giveaway: Racing fans will receive the third giveaway of the 2015 meet: a Saratoga umbrella, presented by Toyota, free with paid admission, while supplies last.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth – Meet Jockey Kendrick Carmouche: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host Dyer-Phelps, the oldest African American ministry in Saratoga Springs, dating back to its establishment in 1862 by Miss Dyer Phelps. Dyer-Phelps is one of several AME Zion establishments located in the Capital Region that works to practice and forward their mission. Over the years, programs have been implemented to help families find low-income housing, jobs, financial planning assistance, and health and daycare services. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche, the first African-American to ride regularly at Saratoga Race Course in recent memory, will be available for autographs and photos at the Community Outreach Booth with a donation to benefit Dyer-Phelps beginning at 1:15 p.m.
- 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 20
- 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; Hazlitt’s Cider Tree; Heron Hill Winery; Hudson Valley Distillers; Saratoga Courage Distillery (Saratoga Pick Six Vodka); Saratoga Winery; SunDog Cider; and Thirsty Owl Wine Company. Sampling fee applies.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host the Backstretch Education Fund, which provides learning opportunities to backstretch workers at New York racetracks through vocational training and development programs. The fund facilitates learning opportunities for workers through two programs, which provide industry training and educational courses in English language and literacy.
- 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”: New York Racing Association broadcast analyst and nationally recognized thoroughbred racing personality Andy Serling will host the fifth 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 21
- “Free Beer & Hot Wings” Morning Show: Saratoga Race Course will welcome the return of the nationally syndicated talk radio show “Free Beer and Hot Wings” for a live broadcast from 6 to 10 a.m. Show hosts Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels, Chris “Hot Wings” Michaels, Eric Zane, and “Producer Joe” will welcome fans to join them for the morning broadcast on-track next to the Dunkin’ Donuts concession stand. The syndicated show is heard on radio stations in 25 states. The Free Beer and Hot Wings Show is broadcast locally on Capital Region rock station Q 103 FM, a member of Townsquare Media of Albany.
- 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 Brewery Ommegang and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. 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 Saratoga Bridges, which works with over 850 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to provide a full range of professional programs which enable them to live, be employed, volunteer, socialize and recreate while leading productive and contributing lives. Saratoga Bridges offers person-centered day and residential programs, employment and family support services, advocacy, outreach, clinical support, recreation, social opportunities and transportation options. Saratoga Bridges also hosts several education, support groups, legal consultation and life planning options for family members.
- 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 22
- Alabama: The day’s feature race is for the nation’s top 3-year-old fillies – the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama at the classic distance of a mile and a quarter.
- 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 Bow River Jewelry, Lifestyles of Saratoga, The National and Rumors Salon & Spa.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 23
- Lustgarten Foundation Day: The New York Racing Association will honor the legacy of trainer Dominic Galluscio with a day to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer. Numerous trainers will participate in an autograph session in front of the paddock mutual bays near the racing office with a $10 donation to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The day will be highlighted on-track with decorative purple bunting throughout the venue. All jockeys riding in the day’s card will wear purple armbands. Fans are encouraged to wear purple to show their support for pancreatic cancer awareness. Guests will have the opportunity to make monetary donations to The Lustgarten Foundation at the “May I Help You?” booths. Guests who donate will receive a free purple pancreatic cancer awareness wristband. Galluscio, who died in 2014 from pancreatic cancer, saddled more than 1,000 winners during a 34-year career on the New York Racing Association circuit and his horses amassed total purse earnings of $31.3 million.
- New Owners Luncheon: Trainers Gary Contessa and Linda Rice will be among the industry speakers participating in the New York Racing Association’s “New Owners Luncheon” at Saratoga Race Course. The ownership program provides a comprehensive introduction and overview of thoroughbred ownership for all those interested in purchasing a racehorse. The event will begin at 8 a.m. with breakfast in the At the Rail pavilion, followed by presentations and a question and answer session in the Paddock Tent with Contessa and Rice, along with owners Ed Stanco of King of Prussia Stable, Roddy Valente, and representatives from the partnerships of Parting Glass Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds. New York Thoroughbred Breeders executive director Jeff Cannizzo and equine accountant Andre Moglia will also be on hand to answer questions. Former jockey and current NYRA television analyst Richard Migliore will host the event joined by former New York Daily News handicapper and industry veteran Ernie Munick. The day also includes lunch, a backstretch tour, winner’s circle presentation, and a gift bag. Throughout the day, participants will also have the opportunity to meet many of NYRA’s leading jockeys, trainers, and owners. Registration fee is $100. To register, visit NYRA.com/newowners.
- 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.
- Travers 1864 Restaurant Week: Numerous restaurants and eateries throughout the greater Capital Region will offer special pricing and menus in celebration of the crowned jewel of the Spa racing season during the sixth annual Travers 1864 Restaurant Week. From Sunday, August 23 through Thursday, August 27, diners have the opportunity to indulge in a three-course meal at participating restaurants for the prix-fixe cost of $18.64, the year of the inaugural running of the Travers, the nation’s oldest major stakes race for 3-year-olds. For a full list of participating restaurants, visit NYRA.com. All Travers Day tickets are sold out.
- NYRA community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host the Saratoga Rowing Associations, an inclusive athletic organization that promotes the sport and culture of rowing for athletes who wish to learn, practice and compete. The organization, which has become one of the largest and fastest growing teams in New York State, supports over 160 students year-round with indoor winter training, and spring, summer and fall seasons on the water.
MONDAY, AUGUST 24
- 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 fifth Monday of the season is Stevens Elementary School, part of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District.
- NYRA Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host Read>Lead>Achieve, a philanthropic effort carried out by the sisters of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority. The goal is to inspire a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential creating a more literate and productive society. For more than a century, Pi Beta Phi has committed itself to tackling illiteracy by facilitating, supporting and promoting reading initiatives. Each initiative under Read >Lead >Achieve is supported by The Literacy Fund at the Pi Beta Phi Foundation through monetary donations, book drives, coaching, education and awareness.
- 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.