The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced a 40-day lineup of entertainment and special events for the 2019 season at Saratoga Race Course, which began Thursday, July 11, and runs through Monday, Sept. 2.
Gates open at 11 a.m. each day with the exception of Travers Day, Saturday, Aug. 24.
The event schedule will feature a number of new happenings alongside returning traditions and perennial favorites. Coca-Cola will return as the official sponsor of the Saratoga Pavilion, the on-track venue where NYRA hosts 40 days of special events. The Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion is where fans will gather formany activities.
Weekends at the Spa will feature Berkshire Bank Family Sundays. Previously held on Mondays, the weekly festival invites families and children to enjoy a wide array of free games, attractions and educational activities.
NYRA will continue its tradition of premium giveaways with four giveaway days: Sunday, July 14; Wednesday, Aug. 7; Wednesday, Aug. 21; and Sunday, Sept. 1.
Fans can save $2 on grandstand admission to Saratoga Race Course for opening weekend and closing week with a voucher available at participating Stewart’s Shops and Saratoga Downtown Business Association locations. The voucher is valid for use July 11-13 and Aug. 28 to Sept. 2 (excluding Sept. 1) through Ticketmaster.com. Limit one transaction per person.
The 2019 summer meet will kick-off with the traditional Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies. All season pass and season ticket holders in attendance will receive an exclusive giveaway: a white cooling towel featuring the red Saratoga logo, available while supplies last on a first-come, first-served basis.
• Special events include:
Taste NY: Wine & Spirits, every Thursday, will allow fans the opportunity to sample varietals of wine and spirits from numerous New York state wineries and distilleries.
• Thursdays and Sundays will include the Low Roller Challenge, which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going toward a live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.
• NYRA will host National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and legendary New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera at Saratoga as part of opening weekend festivities. NYRA will honor Rivera with a special ceremony in the Winner’s Circle in recognition of the all-time Major League Baseball saves leader.
• Taste NY: Craft Beer & Ciderevery Thursday will allow guests the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers and ciders produced exclusively by New York State breweries and cideries. Live music will accompany the tasting each Friday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
• NYRA will welcome the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (EOC) to Saratoga Saturday, July 13, for its annual food and essential goods drive. Fans who donate at least three non-perishable items at the Community Outreach Booth will receive a free 2018 Saratoga baseball cap, while supplies last, and will be entered to win tickets to the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers and other prizes.
• Designed to showcase the tradition of style in thoroughbred racing, every Sarurdaywill feature women’s and men’s fashion apparel from local retailers such as The Pink Paddock, Miss Scarlett Boutique and The National, as well as a selection of home décor and jewelry items. The event will be held each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.
• Also each Saturday, feaatures a Woodford Reserve bourbon event.Fans will be invited to enjoy specialty drinks and selections from Woodford Reserve at the Jim Dandy Bar from 3-5 p.m.
• The 28th annual Hat Contest on Sunday, July 14, features three categories: Kreative Kids, Fashionably Saratoga and Uniquely Saratoga. Registration begins at noon under the grandstand with the contests taking place after the second, third and fourth races.
• At Saratoga Visit Day, Wednesday, July 17, fans will have the opportunity to experience Saratoga’s leading attractions. The Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion will serve as a one-stop location to learn about the world-class cultural attractions.
• Military Appreciation Day is Wednesday, July 24. Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to active military members and veterans in appreciation of their sacrifice and service to our nation. The Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion will feature exhibits and activities throughout the day. All veterans and active duty military will receive free Grandstand admission with military ID.
• Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund Awareness Day is Saturday, July 27. Saratoga Race Course will unite with racetracks across the country with autograph signings and photo opportunities as part of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF) Day Across America.
• Paint And Sip At Saratoga is Sunday, July 28. Fans are invited to create their own masterpieces during a Saratoga-themed Paint and Sip event in the Paddock Tent. Tickets are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at (844) NYRA-TIX.
• Jockey Legends Day Presented By Fasig-Tipton is Sunday, Aug. 4.Some of the greatest riders in the history of thoroughbred racing will gather at Saratoga Race Course for the sixth annual Jockey Legends Day.
• First Responders Day is Wednesday, Aug. 7. Saratoga Race Course will honor police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. The Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion will feature interactive exhibits and activities throughout the day, in addition to fire engines and police cars on display. All first responders will receive free Grandstand admission with proper ID.
• Fabulous Fillies Day is Thursday, Aug. 8.
Saratoga Race Course will celebrate women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Saratoga will also honor local breast cancer survivors in partnership with To Life!
• Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest is Wednesday, Aug. 21. Contestants will be divided into three age groups – kids, teens and adults.
• Italian & Irish American Day is Wednesday, Aug. 28. The day-long celebration will feature traditional music, dance, food, entertainment and games at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fan Appreciation Week is Wednesday, Aug. 28 to Monday, Sept. 2 NYRA will thank its fans with a series of special events, activities and offers during closing week of the 2019 season.
For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.