Joining thousands of racing fans for the 150th Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on Saturday, August 24? The race, which is the oldest stakes for 3-year-olds in the country, isn’t the only event you should be getting excited about. Experience Travers to its fullest with a week of fun events in Saratoga Springs and a stellar lineup of Grade 1 races on Saturday.
Celebrate the 150th Travers Stakes All Week with Fun Events in Saratoga
On August 21 at 11:30 am, three-time Travers-winning trainer Shug McGaughey and six-time Travers-winning jockey Javier Castellano raised NYRA’s commemorative Runhappy Travers 150 flag over the Saratoga Race Course infield, thereby officially kicking off Travers Week. Over the next several days, you can experience fun, Travers-themed events here in the Spa City.
On Wednesday, visit the Saratoga Springs History Museum in the Canfield Casino from 7 pm to 8 pm for The Travers: 150 Years of America’s Greatest Race. Brien Bouyea and Michael Veitch, co-authors of a book by the same title, will discuss the history of Travers and their writing process. Attendees can also purchase copies of the book and have them signed.
Friday evening is full of Travers Week festivities — the only downside is you’ll have to choose between them. Spend an evening sampling fine wine at the 21st Annual Travers Wine Tasting at the Lodge at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres, and an auction. The event runs from 6 pm to 10 pm, and tickets are required.
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is hosting a Travers Eve Wine and Cheese Social on Friday from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. For a small fee, guests can enjoy socializing with other racing fans, light refreshments, and a book signing with Brien Bouyea and Michael Veitch.
Dance Friday night away like it’s the Gilded Age at The Canfield Casino Gala, from 7 pm to 11 pm. The event features live music, dancing, gourmet food, an open bar, magicians, tarot card readers, a silent auction, and tours of the Saratoga Springs History Museum. Tickets cost less if you purchase them ahead of time, but they’re also available upon arrival.
Searching for something to do after the races on Saturday? Look no further than The Adelphi Hotel‘s Travers Stakes Tent Party. The festivities will last from 7 pm to 11 pm, and admission is free. Enjoy the cash bar and an evening of live music and dancing.
Travers Day at the Track
You’ll want to arrive at the Track early on Saturday: gates open at 7 am, with the first post time at 11:35 am. There won’t be a Clubhouse Breakfast or backstretch tram tours on Travers Day.
Plan ahead and reserve your spot online for the Saratoga Bridges 30th annual Travers Day at the Races, happening from 11 am to 3 pm. Attendees will enjoy drinks and a buffet at the Easy Goer Restaurant, seating in The Clubhouse, and a copy of the Post Parade. Tickets are required and often sell out.
At 1:50 pm, fans can “Toast the Runhappy Travers” with small bottles of the Track’s official champagne, Moet & Chandon, which you can purchase on-site for $20.
Although the Travers Stakes is the highlight of the afternoon, the day boasts five other Grade 1 stakes. Don’t forget to bet on the $850,000 Sword Dancer, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina, $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor, and $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. There’s also the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.
In addition to all of the Travers festivities, you can still look forward to weekly events, like Fashion Saturdays, where you can shop merchandise from local retailers at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.
Racing season might be almost over, but the excitement isn’t winding down yet! With so many races and fun activities, the 150th Travers is shaping up to be one for the books.