Saratoga Race Course Timeline

As the oldest sporting venue in the country, the Saratoga Race Course has a wealth of historical milestones. Take a look back at the important historical events since the opening of the track!

Saratoga Timeline

150 Years Of Excellence: Saratoga Historic Milestones

1863 - Saratoga Race Track opens on August 3. It was built by John Hunter, first chairman of The Jockey Club, and William R. Travers, and was originally across from Union Avenue.

1864 - Travers Stakes, the oldest major thoroughbred horse race, starts. Original racing meets only lasted four days. Now called Midsummer Derby.

1864 - The main grandstand is constructed.

1865 - Harper's Weekly runs a Winslow Homer drawing of the Saratoga Race Course.

Early 1900's - Racing meets extended to five weeks.

1911-1912 - All forms of wagering on horse racing outlawed by New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes.

1919 - Man o' War's only loss, at the Sanford Memorial Stakes against Upset.

1930 - Longshot Jim Dandy defeats Gallant Fox, 100-1 at the Travers Stakes. Saratoga Race Course earns the nickname "The Graveyard of Champions."

1943-1945 - Racing not held due to travel restrictions during the war. Races now held at Belmont Park.

1971 - The distinctive Winston Mile chute, which branched from the clubhouse at a 90 degree angle, is suspended leaving no distance available for dirt races at one mile. After a quick redemption in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was dismantled.

1973 - Secretariat defeated by the Allen Jerkens-trained Onion at the Whitney Stakes.

1986 - Concord Watch company launches its Concord Saratoga watch series.

1990 - Go For Wand buried in the Saratoga Race Course infield after suffering a facture to the right cannon bone at the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Belmont Park.

1999 - Saratoga Race Course rated "#10 sports venue of the 20th Century" by Sports Illustrated.

2002 - Fourstardave buried at Clare Court Jogging Track after suffering a heart attack at Belmont Park.

2006 - Saratoga Race Course closes for the fourth time in history due to a heat wave on August 2.

2006 - "Twilight racing" first introduced, where the first race starts at 2:45 p.m.

2009 - Racing meets extended to 40 days by the New York Racing Association.

2011 - Saratoga Race Course closes for the fifth time in history due to Hurricane Irene.

2013 - The 150th Anniversary of Saratoga Race Course!

« Saratoga 150 guide

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