This weekend marks the biggest event at the Saratoga Race Course all year – Travers Day.
There are special rules in effect for Travers Day and tickets are getting scarce – get all your details here, along with all the other great events happening during the week.
Photo courtesy of NYRA
Travers Day Tickets Going Fast
With a sold-out crowd anticipated for Travers Day on Saturday the 26th, NYRA is strongly encouraging fans to purchase tickets in advance; admission will be capped at 50,000. Clubhouse general admission, reserved seats, dining and hospitality are all sold out.
Limited grandstand general admission is currently available for purchase. Tickets are $10 and are available online at Ticketmaster.com, in person at the NYRA Box Office at the track, or by phone at 1.844.NYRA.TIX. There is a limit of eight general admission tickets per person.
Guests on Travers Day should leave extra time to arrive and may be subjected to enhanced screening. Attendees will not be allowed to run once inside, and this will be strictly enforced.
There will be no breakfast on the Clubhouse Porch and backstretch tram tours will not be available.
Wednesday, August 24th
The featured race for the day was the $100,000 John’s Call for 3-year-olds and up on the turf.
What was on tap for Wednesday was Lake Placid/Adirondack Day, in continuation with NYRA’s Heritage and Tourism Series. The history, culture, and tourism of the Adirondack region was celebrated with numerous activities such as log stamping, shoe-making, basket weaving, and mountain bike demonstrations. The event also included craft beer and local food samplings. Guests had a chance to get their photo taken in a traditional bobsled and experienced the Adirondacks through virtual goggles. Live music was performed by Brad Hester.
Wednesday was also the Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest, with three categories of competitors: kids aged 6 to 12, teens aged 13 to 17, and adults 18 and up. The winners received a gift certificate for free ice cream at Stewart’s Shops.
The community outreach booth highlighted Racing City Chorus, an all men’s barbershop-style singing group native to Saratoga Springs. This group is committed to preserving and promoting the art of barbershop style music.
Thursday, August 25th
The day’s featured race is the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup, a steeplechase race for 4-year-olds and up. The day will also include the $100,000 Riskaverse for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.
Thursdays are part of the Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits program, with five samples for $5 available at the Saratoga Pavilion from 12pm to 5pm.
The fun continues after the races with At the Post Live: Serling on Saratoga. Thoroughbred racing personality Andy Serling will be at The Parting Glass hosting the live broadcast on ESPN Radio 104.5 “The Team” following the day’s last race.
Fans can also check out Tequila Avion & Tacos Thursdays at The Post, the bar and entertainment spot right near the paddock after the day’s final race. Enjoy Latin music, dancing, and food and drink specials.
Friday, August 26th
Friday is Travers Eve! The day is featuring the popular state-bred card including six stakes, highlighted by the $250,000 Albany for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles.
The customary Red Jacket Ceremony will be honoring Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stables and award-winning trainer Bill Mott into the Saratoga Walk of Fame. Both inductees will receive the traditional red jacket along with their plaques.
Taste NY: Craft Beer is still happening, with five samples of New York craft beers available for $5.
The Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council will be showcased at the community outreach booth, and NYRA is hosting a food drive to benefit this group. Guests who donate three canned or nonperishable items will receive a free Saratoga collectible. The Saratoga EOC is a nonprofit who develops opportunities and solutions to promote healthy families and a caring community.
After the day’s final race, head on over to The Post for Woodford Reserve Fridays to enjoy a DJ, dancing, trivia contests, and cocktail sampling.
Saturday, August 27th
The big day is here! Travers Day, the most anticipated day of the season, is featuring the 147th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers along with five other Grade 1 stakes: the $1 million Longines Sword Dancer Invitational at 1 1/2 miles on the turf, the $500,000 Ballerina for filly and mare sprinters, the $700,000 Priority One Jets Forego at seven furlongs, the $750,000 Ketel One King’s Bishop, the $750,000 Personal Ensign for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles, and the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa for turf fillies and mares.
There will be a meet and greet with retired race announcer Tom Durkin, when fans can have a chance to get an autograph, happening from 12pm to 2pm at the Durkin Replay Center inside the Fourstardave Sports Bar. Advance tickets are required, which can be picked up at the bar on Saturday between 10:30am and 11:45am.
The community outreach booth will be highlighting the Backstretch Employee Service Team, the nonprofit organization who helps the hardworking employees who take care of the horses in the barn area.
After the day’s final race, head on over to the Ketel One Party at The Post with a DJ, trivia contests, and prizes.
Sunday, August 28th
The day’s featured race is the $100,000 Smart N Fancy for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares on the turf.
Taste NY: Food and Artisans continues on with vendors featuring New York State products like jam, baked goods, and handcrafted soap.
Sunday will include the Low Roller Challenge from NYRA Bets, allowing aspiring handicappers the chance to play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool.
Team in Training will be at the community outreach booth – this group heads up the flagship fundraising program for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which paves the way to cures through community participation. The Saratoga Springs Synchronized Skating Program will also be on site, promoting the sport of synchronized skating.
Monday, August 29th
The day’s featured race is Better Talk Now for 3-year-olds at a mile on the turf for a purse of $100,000.
The Family Monday 4-Pack special offer will be happening this Monday and the following Monday, with four grandstand reserved seats (including admission), four hot dogs, and four sodas for $44. The package is available for purchase by calling 1.844.NYRA.TIX.
Berkshire Bank Family Mondays will be featuring the School Backpack Giveaway – the first 500 kids, aged 12 and under, to visit the Saratoga pavilion between 11am to 4pm will receive a free drawstring bag filled with school supplies; there will also be kid-friendly games and activities, including the chance to pet a retired thoroughbred.
Monday continues with the Low Roller Challenge from NYRA Bets for aspiring handicappers.
The community outreach booth will be highlighting Hope Soars, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness of Parkinson’s disease while working towards a cure.
For more information on the Saratoga Race Track, check out our race track guide.