Saratoga Raceway’s 76th season of live harness racing began in February, with officials at Saratoga Casino Hotel looking to build off the success of 2016, where a record all-source parimutuel handle exceeded $78 million.
“We recognize the importance of delivering an exceptional harness racing product to our guests, as that entertainment option can only be offered regionally here at Saratoga Casino Hotel,” said John Matarazzo, director of racing operations at Saratoga Casino Hotel. “We look forward to welcoming back all of our racing fans as we gear up for another exciting season.”
A top highlight of the upcoming racing season will include the ninth annual Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace, which will feature one dash for $260,000 on July 22. Last year’s Gerrity Champion and 2016 Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It JiggleIt, will receive an automatic invitation into this year’s race.
“Our horsemen are all looking forward to getting back to racing, as they will be competing for nearly $16 million in purses this season,” said Tom McTygue, president of the Saratoga Harness Horsepersons Association.
Officials said the 2017 racing season will continue to build on an increased social media presence. Fans are encouraged to follow @SaratogaCasino on Twitter and Instagram, as well as to use #SaratogaHarness to share photos and videos of their experiences at the track.
Pre- and post-race coverage, behind the scenes looks into the paddock, and exclusive race insight from track announcer Mike Sardella are some of the highlights planned. An upcoming social media contest for Saratoga Harness fans will include the top prize of an all-expense paid trip to this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Thursday racing has been scheduled at an earlier 12:15 p.m. post throughout the year. The full 2017 season schedule is available at www.SaratogaCasino.com.
Saratoga Casino Hotel, located on Crescent Avenue in Saratoga Springs, features over 1,700 slots, electronic table games, Vapor nightclub, two full-service restaurants with buffets, a casual dining restaurant, three full-service bars, deli and a variety of guest services including valet parking and coat check. The 117-room hotel features a Morton’s The Steakhouse. Reservations are available at www.saratogacasino.com.
Operating hours for the gaming facility are 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. every day.