The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) plans to significantly enhance opportunities for fans to experience the Saratoga Breakfast And Breeding Farm Tour package, which debuted to sold out crowds each Friday in its inaugural season last year.
The track opens Thursday, July 13.
The tour this year will be offered every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the Saratoga meet and feature two active thoroughbred breeding farms. The tours will accommodate up to 52 guests each day beginning Friday, July 14, and concluding on Friday, Sept. 1.
The tours will be offered every Wednesday at Song Hill Thoroughbreds, 290 County Road 75 in Mechanicville, and every Thursday and Friday at Old Tavern Farm, 45 Brown Road, in Stillwater.
The package, presented by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), features a buffet breakfast at Saratoga Race Course; the opportunity to watch the thoroughbreds during morning training; a round-trip, trolley ride from Saratoga Race Course to the farms; a 60-90 minute guided walking tour of the breeding farm; and admission to Saratoga Race Course.
The package is $85 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and may be purchased at NYRA.com.
“Last year’s inaugural Saratoga Breakfast and Breeding Farm package was such a huge success that we have expanded it to three days per week and added a second thoroughbred breeding farm to accommodate demand,” said NYRA Vice President of Communications Pat McKenna. “The opportunity for fans to go behind-the-scenes to experience this side of the sport clearly resonated beyond all expectations. We thank Old Tavern Farm for helping us launch this innovative program last summer and welcome them back alongside our newest partner, Song Hill Thoroughbreds, in addition to our presenting sponsor, CDTA.”
The itinerary begins with the breakfast between 7-9:30 a.m. Guests may arrive for breakfast at any time during these hours. At 9:45 a.m., fans will board one of two CDTA trolleys at the Clubhouse for the breeding farm. Upon arrival, guests will be led on a tour by the farm’s owners and staff. Fans will return to Saratoga Race Course at approximately 11:45 a.m., well before racing post time of 1 p.m.
Song Hill Thoroughbreds, owned by Jim and Tina Bond, was established in 2005. The expansive 100-acre horse farm is home to mares, foals, weanlings, yearlings and retired thoroughbreds. It operates alongside Bond Racing Stables and is focused on breeding, sales and turning out champion thoroughbreds.
“We are truly honored to be part of the Saratoga Breakfast and Breeding Farm program as it expands in just its second year of operation,” said Tina Bond, Song Hill Thoroughbreds chief operating officer and managing partner Tina Bond, who is also vice president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.
“There is something magical about visiting the horses at their earliest stages of life and gaining a better understanding of how they are loved and nurtured as well as prepared for the prospect of a racing career. We look forward to educating and welcoming horse lovers of all ages to Song Hill Thoroughbreds this summer.”
Old Tavern Farm is a private boutique thoroughbred-breeding operation in Saratoga Springs that was founded in 2016 by Walt and Michelle Borisenok. It has been developed into a state-of-the-art facility focused on the breeding and sale of thoroughbreds to compete at the highest levels of the sport. The name Old Tavern was derived from the 19th century tavern that once graced the property.
“We are honored to once again be part of this exciting program after launching it last year in partnership with NYRA and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders,” said Old Tavern Farm founder and owner Walt Borisenok. “Throughout the inaugural season, we had the opportunity to meet hundreds of fans who gained a new appreciation for what takes place on a working thoroughbred breeding farm.”
“The Saratoga Breakfast and Breeding Farm Tour was a fantastic new addition to the Saratoga experience in 2022, highlighting the importance of the New York State breeding industry,” said Najja Thompson, executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. “We were thrilled with its inaugural success that spawned this expansion for the 2023 season.”
CDTA is the presenting sponsor of Breakfast at Saratoga, which is offered daily at Saratoga Race Course from 7 – 9:30 a.m. (excluding Travers Day).
“We are excited to continue our partnership with NYRA and enhance this year’s experience alongside Old Tavern Farm and Song Hill Thoroughbreds for the 2023 racing season,” said CDTA director of business development, Jonathan Scherzer. “This experience is a great way to connect fans and visitors to the historic Saratoga Race Course and the rich history of horse racing.”
NYRA also announced its lineup of four premium giveaways for the 2023 meet at historic Saratoga Race Course. All giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last.
The giveaway schedule is as follows:
Friday, July 21, a 64-ounce, red-and-white cooler jug presented by NYRA Bets; Aug. 11, a Dri-Fit T-shirt presented by Fox Sports; Friday, Aug. 18, a cotton white bucket hat with red Saratoga logo; and Friday, Sept. 1, a polyester tote bag.
Fans in attendance will receive a coupon for a free, premium giveaway with paid admission, while supplies last. Season ticket and season pass holders are not guaranteed a giveaway. Fans must present a coupon at designated locations on track to receive a giveaway.
The 40-day summer meet will open on Thursday, July 13, and continue through Monday, Sept. 4.
For more information about Saratoga Race Course visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.