The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will open the 40-day summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course on July 15.
NYRA said the meet will feature 76 stakes races, worth $21.5 million in total purses. The summer meet will conclude on Monday, Sept. 6.
In February, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that live sports and entertainment venues with a minimum reserved seating capacity of 10,000 will be permitted to re-open to a limited number of spectators beginning on Feb. 23, with approval from the state Department of Health.
All attendees must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event and adhere to health and safety requirements, including mandatory facial coverings and social distancing.
NYRA will continue to closely monitor state-issued regulations to determine how they impact Saratoga Race Course, officials said. Additional details on fan attendance and tickets for the 2021 summer meet will be provided as it becomes available.
The 2021 summer meet, which will offer at least one stakes race every live racing day, will be highlighted by the 152nd renewal of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on Aug. 28 and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on Aug. 7, as the anchors of two of the most prestigious racing days in North America.
The Saratoga meet will also include the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl, both previously run during the fall meet at Belmont Park.
Following the four-day opening weekend, racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays, with the exception of the final week, when the meet will conclude on Labor Day.
Whitney Day will feature three Grade 1 events, led by the Whitney at 1 1/8 miles offering an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
Completing the trio of Grade 1s on Whitney Day will be the $500,000 Longines Test for sophomore fillies and the $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational, the second jewel of the Turf Triple series for sophomore males in its first running with Grade 1 status. Whitney Day will also include the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls for older fillies and mares on turf, and the $120,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure.
Whitney weekend kicks off Aug. 6, with the Grade 2, $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame for sophomore turf milers; the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy, presented by Horse Racing Ireland, for 4-year-olds and up going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf; and the $120,000 Alydar at nine furlongs for older horses.
Whitney weekend concludes on Aug. 8, with three stakes highlighted by the upgraded Grade 3, $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational, the second leg of the Turf Triple series for sophomore fillies. The Aug. 8 card will also include the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for juvenile fillies, and the $120,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose at one mile on turf for older fillies and mares.
The 152nd edition of the Travers is the centerpiece on Saturday, Aug. 28. It will include seven stakes, including six Grade 1 events, offering $4.6 million in total purse money with automatic berths in the Breeders’ Cup to the winner of the Grade 1, $750,000 Sword Dancer [Turf], the Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign [Distaff], and the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina [Filly & Mare Sprint].
In addition, the Travers Day card will also include the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego, a seven-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and upward, and the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs. Rounding out the signature day at the Spa is the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa for turf fillies and mares.
The traditional local prep for the Travers, the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy, will be held on Saturday, July 31. It will be joined by the Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up, and the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green at 1 3/8 miles on the turf. Closing out Jim Dandy weekend on Aug. 1, is the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs.
Opening Day, Thursday, July 15, will begin with a pair of graded stakes: the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies and the Grade 3, $120,000 Quick Call for 3-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs on the grass.
Saratoga’s first Grade 1 of 2021 is the $500,000 Diana for turf fillies and mares on Saturday, July 17. The following Saturday, July 24, will see the Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks take center stage.
Closing Day on Monday, Sept. 6, will feature the Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap as well as the prestigious Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds going seven furlongs to conclude the 153rd Saratoga meeting.