READY FOR 2019 SEA­SON

Saratoga Race Course pre­pares for busy 2019 sea­son

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Staff re­port

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> Thurs­day is a big day in the city as fans will flock to the Saratoga Race Course for its open­ing week­end.

The 2019 sea­son will get un­der­way when gates open at 11 a.m. on Open­ing Day, Thurs­day, July 11. Gates will open at 11 a.m. each day of the meet, in­clud­ing week­ends, with the ex­cep­tion of Travers Day, Satur­day, Au­gust 24. Post time for the first race

on Open­ing Day is 1 p.m.

“The sum­mer sea­son at Saratoga is al­ways spe­cial and this year will be no ex­cep­tion. From the best rac­ing in the world, in­clud­ing the 150th run­ning of the Run­happy Travers and the Spa de­but of the Turf Triple Se­ries, to the muchan­tic­i­pated open­ing of the 1863 Club, to ex­cit­ing events and en­ter­tain­ment, Saratoga con­tin­ues to of­fer an out­stand­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all rac­ing fans,” said NYRA CEO & Pres­i­dent Dave O’Rourke in a news re­lease. “We look for­ward to wel­com­ing back the own­ers, train­ers and jock­eys and en­cour­age fans to join us for what is shap­ing up to be a truly spec­tac­u­lar sea­son.”

Grand­stand ad­mis­sion is $7 and Club­house ad­mis­sion is $10. Lim­ited re­served seat­ing is avail­able for Open­ing Week­end. Grand­stand and Club­house ad­mis­sion may be pur­chased in ad­vance on­line at Tick­et­mas­ter.com or in-per­son at the NYRA Box Of­fice at Saratoga Race Course. Fans can save $2 on grand­stand ad­mis­sion for Open­ing Week­end (valid July 1113) with a voucher avail­able at par­tic­i­pat­ing Ste­wart’s Shops and Saratoga Down­town Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion lo­ca­tions.

Of­fi­cials said that Open­ing Week­end will fea­ture six stakes, in­clud­ing the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylervi­lle for 2-year-old fil­lies on Open­ing Day. Saratoga’s first Grade 1 of the sea­son will be con­tested on Satur­day, July 13: the $500,000 Diana for turf fil­lies and mares.

Fans who can’t make it in per­son can still en­joy the 2019 sea­son with an ex­panded broad­cast sched­ule for NYRA’s ac­claimed tele­vi­sion show Saratoga Live in part­ner­ship with Fox Sports. Saratoga Live will fea­ture live cov­er­age of the full Saratoga card on most days of the sea­son be­gin­ning at 1 p.m. on FS2.

Fans in at­ten­dance on Open­ing Week­end will en­joy a se­ries of spe­cial events de­signed to high­light the ex­cite­ment sur­round­ing the 2019 sea­son, in­clud­ing: Mar­i­ano Rivera Day on Fri­day, July 12; a per­for­mance by “Amer­i­can Idol” star Madi­son VanDen­burg on Satur­day, July 13; and the Saratoga pic­nic cooler give­away, pre­sented by NYRA Bets, on Sun­day, July 14, which will also fea­ture the 28th edi­tion of the Hat Con­test, pre­sented by Moet & Chan­don and Hat Sa­tiona! By DEI.

The 2019 sea­son will also be marked by the de­but of Saratoga’s new­est hos­pi­tal­ity area: the 1863 Club. Lo­cated on the Club­house turn, the 1863 Club is a 36,000-square foot, three­story, cli­mate-con­trolled build­ing fea­tur­ing dif­fer­en­ti­ated hos­pi­tal­ity op­tions and mod­ern ameni­ties. The 1863 Club is named in honor of the year of the first or­ga­nized thor­ough­bred race meet­ing in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in Au­gust 1863 at the orig­i­nal Saratoga Trot­ting Course.

The first-floor is home to The Rail at the 1863 Club, a ban­quet space which fea­tures floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows and of­fers ta­ble seat­ing for up to 500 fans.

The sec­ond-floor, pre­sented by En­core Bos­ton Harbor, fea­tures a group event space which ac­com­mo­dates up to 100 guests, and is des­ig­nated Le­gends Hall in trib­ute to the nu­mer­ous well-known train­ers and jock­eys who have made a mark at Saratoga.

The third-floor lux­ury suites, which fea­ture sweep­ing views of the main track and ca­pac­i­ties rang­ing from 30 to 45 guests, are each named for some of the most mem­o­rable and tal­ented thor­ough­breds to have raced at the Spa, in­clud­ing Rachel Alexan­dra, Whirl­away, Forego, Na­tive Dancer and Lady Eli.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the build­ing is equipped with a full-ser­vice kitchen.

Daily reser­va­tions are cur­rently be­ing ac­cepted for the 1863 Club. All reser­va­tions are avail­able by con­tact­ing the NYRA Box Of­fice by phone at (844) NYRA-TIX.

Guests at Saratoga Race Course will once again en­joy 40 days of spe­cial events and ac­tiv­i­ties this sum­mer, high­lighted by the fol­low­ing dur­ing Open­ing Week­end:

• Sea­son Pass & Sea­son Ticket Holder Give­away on Thurs­day, July 11: NYRA will of­fer an ex­clu­sive give­away for sea­son pass and sea­son ticket hold­ers who are in at­ten­dance on Open­ing Day: a white cool­ing towel fea­tur­ing the red Saratoga logo, avail­able while sup­plies last.

• Taste NY: Wine & Spir­its on Thurs­day, July 11: Fans will have the op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple va­ri­etals of wine and spir­its from nu­mer­ous New York State winer­ies and dis­til­leries dur­ing this weekly event. Live mu­sic will ac­com­pany the tast­ing each Thurs­day from noon to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pav­il­ion. Guests will en­joy five sam­ples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to par­tic­i­pate.

• Low Roller Chal­lenge on Thurs­day, July 11: Every Thurs­day will in­clude the Low Roller Chal­lenge which al­lows as­pir­ing hand­i­cap­pers the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of tour­na­ment play for $40, with $30 go­ing to­wards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. En­trants will also have an op­por­tu­nity to qual­ify for the Saratoga Chal­lenge on Fri­day, Au­gust 9. Reg­is­tra­tion be­gins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstar­dave Sports Bar.

• Mar­i­ano Rivera Day on Fri­day, July 12: NYRA will host Na­tional Base­ball Hall of Fame in­ductee and leg­endary New York Yan­kees pitcher Mar­i­ano Rivera at Saratoga as part of Open­ing Week­end fes­tiv­i­ties. The visit comes one week be­fore Rivera heads to Coop­er­stown where he will be in­ducted into the Na­tional Base­ball Hall of Fame as the first unan­i­mous se­lec­tion in his­tory. NYRA will honor Rivera with a spe­cial cer­e­mony in recog­ni­tion of the all-time Ma­jor League Base­ball saves leader.

• Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider on Fri­day, July 12: The Fri­day edi­tion of the pop­u­lar weekly tast­ing event will of­fer guests the op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple nu­mer­ous craft beers and ciders pro­duced ex­clu­sively by New York State brew­eries and cideries. Live mu­sic will ac­com­pany the tast­ing each Fri­day from noon to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pav­il­ion. Guests will en­joy five sam­ples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to par­tic­i­pate.

• Madi­son VanDen­burg on Satur­day, July 13: The 17-year-old singer from Co­hoes, NY, who thrilled view­ers na­tion­wide with her vo­cal tal­ents on the pop­u­lar singing com­pe­ti­tion “Amer­i­can Idol,” will en­ter­tain fans at the track. VanDen­burg will per­form at the Don Julio stage, ad­ja­cent to guest ser­vices, fol­low­ing

the day’s first race at ap­prox­i­mately 1:10 p.m. Ad­di­tional per­for­mances will fol­low through­out the af­ter­noon.

• Saratoga County EOC Food Drive on Satur­day, July 13: NYRAwill host its an­nual food drive to ben­e­fit the Saratoga County Eco­nomic Op­por­tu­nity Coun­cil (EOC). Fans who do­nate at least three non-per­ish­able items at the Com­mu­nity Outreach Booth will re­ceive a free give­away from prior years, while sup­plies last, and will be en­tered to win tick­ets to the 150th run­ning of the Grade 1, $1.25 mil­lion Run­happy Travers and other great prizes.

• Fash­ion Satur­days on Satur­day, July 13: De­signed to show­case the tra­di­tion of style in thor­ough­bred rac­ing, the weekly event will fea­ture women’s and men’s fash­ion ap­parel from lo­cal re­tail­ers such as The Pink Pad­dock, Miss Scar­lett Bou­tique and The Na­tional, as well as a se­lec­tion of home dé­cor and jew­elry items. The event will be held each Satur­day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pav­il­ion.

• Saratoga Pic­nic Cooler Give­away on Sun­day, July 14: Fans will en­joy the first give­away of the 2019 sea­son: a col­lapsi­ble, red pic­nic cooler fea­tur­ing the Saratoga logo em­bla­zoned in white, pre­sented by NYRA Bets. The pic­nic cooler is free with paid ad­mis­sion, while sup­plies last. Sea­son pass and sea­son ticket hold­ers are guar­an­teed a Saratoga pre­mium give­away on the day of the give­away so long as they are present at Saratoga Race Course and re­deem the give­away by the des­ig­nated time.

• 28th an­nual Hat Con­test on Sun­day, July 14: Sun­day’s fes­tiv­i­ties will in­clude the 28th an­nual Hat Con­test, pre­sented by Moet & Chan­don and Hat Sa­tiona! By DEI. Fans will com­pete for great prizes in three cat­e­gories: Kreative Kids, Fash­ion­ably Saratoga and Uniquely Saratoga. Reg­is­tra­tion for the Hat Con­test be­gins at noon un­der­neath Sec­tion A of the grand­stand. Hats will be judged after the sec­ond, third and fourth races. This year’s judges’ panel will fea­ture Miss New York 2019 Lauren Molella. The 24-yearold from Mill­brook, NY, who is a col­lege pro­fes­sor, will also as­sist in the pre­sen­ta­tion of prizes to this year’s win­ners.

• Berk­shire Bank Fam­ily Ad­ven­ture Sun­days on Sun­day, July 14: The pop­u­lar kid-ori­ented weekly event, now held on Sun­days, will fea­ture a beach theme dur­ing Open­ing Week­end with free ac­tiv­i­ties such as a surf sim­u­la­tor, sand art sta­tion and her­mit crab rac­ing. The event will take place each Sun­day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pav­il­ion.

• Low Roller Chal­lenge on Sun­day, July 14: Every Sun­day will in­clude the Low Roller Chal­lenge which al­lows as­pir­ing hand­i­cap­pers the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of tour­na­ment play for $40, with $30 go­ing to­wards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. En­trants will also have an op­por­tu­nity to qual­ify for the Saratoga Chal­lenge on Fri­day, Au­gust 9. Reg­is­tra­tion be­gins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstar­dave Sports Bar.

NYRA will of­fer sev­eral spe­cial wa­ger­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for rac­ing fans on Open­ing Week­end, in­clud­ing the new Late Pick 5. Pre­vi­ously of­fered as the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 and avail­able ex­clu­sively to NYRA Bets cus­tomers, New York on-track bet­tors, and those bet­ting with a New York simul­cast­ing fa­cil­ity, the Late Pick 5 will now be avail­able to all wa­ger­ing plat­forms.

The Late Pick 5, fea­tur­ing a low 15 per­cent take­out rate and 50 cent min­i­mum, will be of­fered on every card at Saratoga Race Course. The pop­u­lar mul­tirace wa­ger, first of­fered at Saratoga Race Course in 2016, will also fea­ture the same car­ry­over pro­vi­sion of 100% of the net pool into the next day’s Late Pick 5 if there are no win­ning tick­ets.

The Bets Squad will once again be avail­able to teach fans about the var­i­ous as­pects of wa­ger­ing, in­clud­ing how to read a pro­gram book, un­der­stand dif­fer­ent types of bets and use a selfser­vice bet­ting ter­mi­nal.

The Bets Squad will be open daily dur­ing the 2019 sea­son and sta­tioned at or near the fol­low­ing lo­ca­tions: up­per Grand­stand (ad­ja­cent to the Club­house ex­change); Big Red Spring; Pad­dock Mutuel Bay; track apron on the Grand­stand; and in­side both The Stretch and the 1863 Club (for tick­eted guests only).

The Bets Squad is also avail­able to reg­is­ter fans for NYRA Bets. Fans who sign up for NYRA Bets us­ing the promo code “SPA” and wa­ger $200 within the first 14 days will re­ceive a $200 new mem­ber bonus. De­tails are avail­able at NYRABets.com.

Fol­low­ing Open­ing Week­end, rac­ing at Saratoga will be con­ducted five days a week, Wed­nes­days through Sun­days. Clos­ing week will run Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 28 through La­bor Day, Mon­day, Septem­ber 2.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/ Saratoga.

FILE PHOTO

A large crowd turned out for Open­ing Day at Saratoga Race Course last year.

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