Winners crowned at 27th annual Hat Contest, presented by Hat Sationa! by DEI, during opening weekend festivities at Saratoga Race Course

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today honored the tradition of hats in thoroughbred racing with the 27th annual Hat Contest, presented by Hat Sationa! by DEI, at Saratoga Race Course. The event was one element of a series of festivities during opening weekend of the 2018 summer racing season.

The contest unfolded on Sunday afternoon when numerous participants turned out to compete in three distinct categories: Uniquely Saratoga, Fashionably Saratoga, and for younger guests, Kreative Kids.

Following the day’s fifth race Charlotte Dipaolo, of Niverville, NY, was crowned the winner of the day’s most celebrated category, “Uniquely Saratoga,” which recognizes whimsical and creative hats. Dipaolo received the grand prize of a $100 Hat Sationa! by DEI gift card for her millinery creation depicting Saratoga Race Course as Christmas in July. Rounding out the category’s finalists was second place winner Gina Forder, of Stanhope, NJ, with a festive hat in celebration of Justify and his Triple Crown achievement; and third place winner Julie Potter, of Duanesburg, NY, with a red and yellow chapeau fashioned out of an umbrella. The finalists each received gift certificates from Hat Sationa! by DEI.

The day’s most popular category, “Fashionably Saratoga,” attracted contestants donning their most beautiful hats. Following the fourth race, Freya Smith, of Tribes Hill, NY, was named “most fashionable” and awarded a $100 Hat Sationa! by DEI gift card. Maurita Smith, of Fort Johnson, NY, and mother of the category’s winner, came in second place; and Annette Pierson, of North Syracuse, NY, ranked third. The finalists each received gift certificates from Hatsationa! by DEI.

Kiarra Seymour, 10, of Saratoga Springs, NY, claimed the title of most stylish youngster in the “Kreative Kids” competition which is reserved for those 18 and under. Isabella Harris, 13, of Pattersonville, NY, finished in second place; followed by Bailey Seymour, 13, of Saratoga Springs, NY, and sister of the category’s winner, in third place. Each received the prize of fascinators from Hat Sationa! By DEI.

The day’s winners were selected by a panel of judges from FLY 92.3, B95.5, 99.5 the River, and Q103. Mary Wilson of News10 ABC served as the emcee of this year’s Hat Contest.

The 2018 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. For more information, visit

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