Plan Your Opening Saratoga Weekend With NYRA’s Full Schedule
It's finally here! Saratoga Racecourse is up and running(Pun intended). Thanks to our friends at NYRA I have a complete list of events for the entire opening weekend to share with you. Check out all the great events.
WHAT: Opening Week at Saratoga Race Course
WHEN: Friday, July 20 - Monday, July 23, 2018
WHERE: Saratoga Race Course
FRIDAY, JULY 20
- Opening Day: The 2018 season at Saratoga Race Course gets underway with gates opening at 11 a.m. Opening Day will kick off with a pair of graded stakes: Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville and Grade 3, $150,000 Lake George. First race post time is 1 p.m.
- Admission: Single-day Grandstand admission is $5 and Clubhouse admission is $8 for guests who purchase their tickets prior to the day of the event. Single-day Grandstand admission is $7 and Clubhouse admission is $10 when purchased at the gate. Admission may be purchased in advance online at Ticketmaster.com or in-person at the New York Racing Association (NYRA) Box Office at Saratoga Race Course. Limited reserved seating is available for Opening Weekend.
- Season Passes: Season admission passes are available for purchase at NYRA.comand in-person at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course, as well as at more than 150 Stewart's Shops locations throughout the Capital Region. The cost of a 2018 Grandstand season pass is $40; a Clubhouse season pass is $65. A season pass covers admission all 40 days of the meet, including Travers (reserved seating not included).
- The Stretch: Opening Day will feature the debut of Saratoga's newest hospitality area: The Stretch, located in the Grandstand at the Top of the Stretch. The major capital improvement project will offer fans an all-new private hospitality area featuring modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with breathtaking views of thoroughbreds rounding the final turn as they enter the dramatic stretch run. Ticket holders to The Stretch will enjoy exclusive access to a full-service bar, kitchen and concessions, high-definition televisions and video screens, special events, and private restrooms. Guests will also enjoy a relaxed dress code at The Stretch. Single-day tickets for premium reserved seats in The Stretch are available for purchase through Ticketmaster.com.
- Breakfast at Saratoga, presented by CDTA: Fans are invited to enjoy Breakfast at Saratoga, presented by CDTA, on The Porch of the Clubhouse while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The morning buffet is $18.50 for adults and $10.25 for kids ages 12 and under. Mornings at Saratoga also welcome fans to go behind the scenes with a free, guided backstretch tram tour, courtesy of CDTA. Tram tours begin at 7:30 a.m. and depart from the clubhouse entrance approximately every 15 minutes through 9 a.m. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are 45 minutes in length. Breakfast and tours are available daily, except Travers Day, Saturday, August 25.
- Taste NY: Craft Beer: Opening Day welcomes the return of the highly popular Taste NY: Craft Beer, which offers guests a selection of New York craft beers available for sampling each Friday in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Fans will be able to sample five craft beers for $5 at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from noon to 5 p.m.
- Woodford Reserve Bourbon Fridays at The Post: Guests will be invited to sample bourbon cocktails starting at 6 p.m. and stay on-track after the day's final race to enjoy DJ set and dancing plus trivia to win special prizes from Woodford Reserve at The Post Bar.
- Community Outreach Booth: NYRA will host Rerun, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to creating a happy life for thoroughbred horses that no longer compete at the race track.
SATURDAY, JULY 21
- Diana and Sanford: Saturday's highlights include the 80th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana, the first Grade 1 of the meet; and the 104th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Sanford.
- NYRA Bets Late Pick 5: The multi-race wager covers the last five races of every card of live racing at Saratoga. It features a minimum single-ticket payout of $150,000 daily and $300,000 on Saturdays to NYRA Bets customers nationwide online and on-track in New York. The offer is only available to NYRA Bets customers. Fans who sign up for NYRA Bets using the promo code "SPA" will receive a $200 new member bonus. Details are available at NYRABets.com.
- "Toga Toga" Daily Double: NYRA will partner with Saratoga Casino Hotel to offer a special day/night, cross-breed Daily Double wager comprised of the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana and the 10th annual $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial Pace, the premier race for standardbreds at Saratoga Harness track. The "Toga Toga" Daily Double, hosted by NYRA, includes a $1 minimum wager and will be available on-track at both Saratoga Race Course and Saratoga Harness track as well as through NYRA Bets, ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country.
- Fashion Saturdays: Designed to showcase the tradition of style in thoroughbred racing, Fashion Saturdays will feature women's and men's apparel and accessories from local retailers, as well as a selection of home décor and jewelry items at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fashion Saturdays is sponsored by: Bumble Beads Boutique, Complexions Day Spa, EMBRACE THE RACE®, Lifestyles, Miss Scarlett Boutique, The National and TOGA Heritage.
- Woodford Reserve and Jeff Brisbin at the Jim Dandy Bar: Guests are invited to the Jim Dandy Bar to sample Woodford Reserve Saratoga Personal Selection, crafted exclusively for racing fans at the Spa, from 2 to 4 p.m. Guitarist Jeff Brisbin will play acoustic favorites from noon to 4 p.m.
- Ketel One Saturdays at The Post: The fun will continue each Saturday of the season with the Ketel One Saturdays at The Post. Fans are invited to sample the new Ketel One Botanicals from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and enjoy music from a live DJ and dancing under the stars following the day's final race.
- Community Outreach Booth: The Community Outreach Booth will host The Wesley Community, a 36-acre not-for-profit agency in Saratoga Springs, which serves the needs of seniors, adults and pediatrics.
SUNDAY, JULY 22
- Coaching Club American Oaks: Sunday will feature the 102nd running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks.
- Saratoga Baseball Cap Giveaway: Fans will have the opportunity to take home the first premium giveaway of the 2018 season: a black Saratoga baseball cap featuring the traditional Saratoga logo emblazoned in red, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel. All giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last. Guests who purchase a season pass or season ticket plan are guaranteed to receive each premium Saratoga giveaway item based on the following guidelines: Season pass or season ticket holders must be present at Saratoga Race Course on the day of the giveaway; enter through the designated season ticket holder lines; and redeem the giveaway by no later than 3 p.m. Redemptions on Sunday will begin when gates open to the general public at 10:30 a.m.
- 27th annual Saratoga Hat Contest, presented by Hat Sationa! by DEI:Contestants will don creative and fashionable headwear in an Opening Weekend tradition at Saratoga Race Course. Participants are invited to compete in three categories: Uniquely Saratoga; Fashionably Saratoga; and Kreative Kids. Registration for the Hat Contest will begin at noon under the grandstand. The competition will take place after the second, third and fourth races on the track apron for the chance to win a variety of prizes provided by Hat Sationa! by DEI.
- Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Each Sunday of the season will welcome guests to a lively on-track market of numerous food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Participating vendors include: George's Market and Nursery in Latham; IM2 Handmade Items in Levittown; Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke; Michelle Lombard Glass Designs in Saratoga Springs; Miss Scarlett Boutique in Saratoga Springs; Nothing Bundt Cakes in Colonie; and RAD Soap Co. in Albany.
- Low Roller Challenge: Sunday will include the Low Roller Challenge which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.
- Community Outreach Booth: The NYRA Community Outreach Booth will host the Saratoga Springs Figure Skating Club, which offers a variety of programs for both children and adults, while providing a safe, fun and welcoming environment to support the exploration and growth of figure skating throughout the community.
MONDAY, JULY 23
- Caress: The day's feature race is the $200,000 Caress.
- Berkshire Bank Family Mondays: Monday will be highlighted by the return of Berkshire Bank Family Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. All kid-friendly games and activities, including the opportunity to pet a retired thoroughbred, are free of charge, with the exception of one designated activity which carries a suggested donation to benefit a local school or PTA. The beneficiary of the first Monday of the season is Lisha Kill Middle School of the South Colonie Central School District.
- Low Roller Challenge: Monday will include the continuation of the Low Roller Challenge which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.
- Community Outreach Booth: The Community Outreach Booth will host Christie's Heartoberfest, a not-for-profit organization which assists the SADS Foundation as it supports those who are predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities and their families.
All events and activities are subject to change at the discretion of the New York Racing Association.