NYRA announces special events schedule for 2022 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced the lineup of new and returning attractions, entertainment and events for the 2022 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course.
Highlighted by the 153rd renewal of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 27 and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on August 6, the 2022 summer meet will open on Thursday, July 14 and continue through Monday, September 5.
Following the four-day opening weekend, racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays, apart from the final week, when the meet will conclude on Labor Day.
With the exception of Runhappy Travers Day on August 27, gates open to the public at 11 a.m. daily.
With exceptions on certain Saturdays and throughout Closing Weekend, first post time is generally 1:05 p.m. Eastern. For details, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.
The 2022 summer meet will feature the following events lineup:
OPENING WEEKEND, PRESENTED BY RUNHAPPY:
Thursday, July 14 to Sunday, July 17
Opening Weekend, presented by Runhappy, will feature the traditional opening day graded stakes, the Schuylerville, on Thursday, July 14 and the first Grade 1 of the season, the Diana, on Saturday, July 16. Opening Weekend will be highlighted by live musical performances from Saratoga Springs-based Soul Session on Saturday and a fashion photo contest on the same day presented by Chandon Garden Spritz.
TASTE NY PAVILION:
Every Thursday to Sunday, beginning July 14
New York-made food and adult beverages will be available for sample and purchase exclusively at the Taste NY Pavilion throughout the season. Race fans can visit the Taste NY Pavilion, located inside Gate A at the Top of the Stretch, to enjoy New York craft beer, cider, wine and spirits products, including Brooklyn Brewery, Common Roots Brewing Company, Druthers Brewing Co., Frog Alley Brewing Co., Nine Pin Cider Works, Brotherhood Winery and Old Tavern Farm Winery, and spirits from Cooperstown Distillery, Great Jones and Pick Six Vodka, among other homegrown beverages.
BREAKFAST AND BREEDING FARM TOUR:
Every Friday beginning July 15
New this year, NYRA is launching the Saratoga Breakfast and Breeding Farm Tour. On Fridays, up to 40 guests will enjoy a buffet breakfast at Saratoga Race Course before taking a CDTA trolley to Old Tavern Farm where they will participate in a 90-minute walking tour of a working thoroughbred breeding farm. Admission to the races in the afternoon is included in the package. Tickets for the experiential package must be reserved in advance at NYRA.com, while available. Inventory is limited.
SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE RAIL OF THE 1863 CLUB:
Every Sunday beginning July 17
Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the 1863 Club. Tickets are $95 and include admission, a table seat for the day, brunch buffet, soft drinks, two mimosa or Bloody Mary drink tickets per person, Post Parade program book, tax and gratuity. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at Ticketmaster.com.
BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY SUNDAYS:
Every Sunday beginning July 17
Berkshire Bank Family Sundays will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday inside the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located near Gate A at the Top of the Stretch.
NEW YORK THOROUGHBRED AFTERCARE DAY:
Thursday, July 21
NYRA will partner with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) and New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB) in hosting the second annual New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day. The day will pay tribute to an array of organizations involved in finding new homes and careers for retired racehorses. The featured race will be the Rick Violette Stakes, named for the late NYTHA President who was a founding member of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).
LUSTGARTEN FOUNDATION DAY:
Saturday, July 23
Saratoga Race Course will honor the legacy of longtime NYRA trainer Dominic Galluscio with a day to benefit the Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance scientific and medical research related to pancreatic cancer. Many of the sport’s most popular trainers will sign autographs for fans with suggested donations to benefit the Lustgarten Foundation in Galluscio’s memory.
STARS AT THE SPA SERIES PRESENTS CHARLES OAKLEY:
Sunday, July 24
Fans will have the chance to meet retired New York Knicks power forward Charles Oakley at Saratoga Race Course. Choose between a ticketed meet-and-greet for up to 50 guests in the brand-new Paddock Suite, overlooking the Saratoga paddock, featuring food, drink (beer, wine and soft drinks) and conversation with the 19-year NBA veteran who suited up for a decade with the Knicks; or a ticketed meet-and-greet at the Jockey Silks Porch that includes a photo opportunity and signed headshot. Tickets must be reserved in advance at NYRA.com. The “Stars at the Spa” series is presented by Saratoga Living.
FIRST RESPONDERS DAY:
Thursday, July 28
Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to first responders with free grandstand admission (proper ID required). The afternoon will include a Police K-9 infield show, performances by the New York State Trooper Marching Band and demonstrations by several first responder agencies.
AN AFTERNOON OF WINE WITH JOSEPH CARR:
Thursday, July 28
Founder of Josh Cellars wines and Capital District native Joseph Carr will host fans in the brand-new Paddock Suite on First Responders Day in honor of his father, who was a volunteer firefighter in Rensselaer County. The special event includes admission and ticket to the Paddock Suite, a meet-and-greet with Carr discussing Josh Cellars’ wines and wine pairings, food and beverage, and a bottle of Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon which benefits firefighter charity organizations nationwide. Tickets are extremely limited and available at NYRA.com.
SARATOGA PICNIC BLANKET PRESENTED BY SARATOGA CASINO HOTEL:
Friday, July 29
The first giveaway of the season is a great accessory to bring to the races: a Saratoga-branded picnic blanket. Presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel, the black and red plaid patterned blanket is 52” x 47” when unrolled and folds up for easy storage while traveling to and from the track. All 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.
PERMANENTLY DISABLED JOCKEYS’ FUND AWARENESS DAY:
Saturday, July 30
Joining racetracks across the country, Saratoga Race Course will host autograph signings and photo opportunities at the Jockey Silks Porch as part of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF) Day Across America. Suggested donations will benefit the PDJF.
STARS AT THE SPA SERIES PRESENTS TERESA GIUDICE:
Sunday, July 31
Fans will have the chance to meet The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice at Saratoga Race Course. Choose between a ticketed meet-and-greet for up to 50 guests in the brand-new Paddock Suite, overlooking the Saratoga paddock, featuring food, drink (beer, wine and soft drinks) and conversation with the TV personality; or a ticketed meet-and-greet at the Jockey Silks Porch that includes a photo opportunity and signed headshot. Tickets must be reserved in advance at NYRA.com. The “Stars at the Spa” series is presented by Saratoga Living.
Saturday, August 6; special first post time of 12:35 p.m.
The day’s card will be headlined by one of the meet’s signature races: the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney, which offers an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Whitney Day will also include the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test and the Grade 1, $1 million Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational, the second jewel of the Caesars Turf Triple series. Additionally, Saratoga Race Course will honor local breast cancer survivors while supporting To Life!, a Capital Region non-profit organization which provides personalized breast cancer education and support services.
THE BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES, PRESENTED BY ANHEUSER-BUSCH AND SARATOGA EAGLE:
Wednesday, August 10 to Sunday, August 14
The world-renowned Budweiser Clydesdales will make their return to Saratoga Race Course for the first time in approximately 15 years. Special appearances will be planned for several days throughout their much-anticipated visit. The Clydesdales were first introduced to the American public by Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser, on April 7, 1933, to commemorate the repeal of Prohibition.
LONG-SLEEVE T-SHIRT PRESENTED BY FOX SPORTS:
Friday, August 19
Fans can showcase their enthusiasm for Saratoga Race Course with the second giveaway of the season: a long-sleeve T-shirt. The ringer-style shirt is white with red sleeves. It is emblazoned with a red Saratoga logo on the chest and white NYRA Bets and FOX Sports logos on each sleeve. Two adult sizes will be available: medium and extra-large. All 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.
Wednesday, August 24
A series of special events and fundraising opportunities will take place at Saratoga Race Course to commemorate Ukraine Independence Day, which marks Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the former Soviet Union.
MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY:
Thursday, August 25
Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to active military members and veterans in appreciation of their sacrifice and service to our nation. The West Point Parachute Team, Color Guard and Band will perform. All veterans and active-duty military will be honored with a special ceremony in the Winner’s Circle and receive free grandstand admission with military ID.
STEWART’S SHOPS DAY AT THE RACES:
Friday, August 26
NYRA will celebrate its longstanding partnership with Stewart’s Shops with a special ice cream-focused event. Racing fans can stop by nearly 180 Stewart’s Shops locations in the greater Capital Region to purchase their Saratoga Race Course grandstand season pass, now through Opening Weekend, or NYRA Bets Gift Cards, which are preloaded with $50 to bet online with NYRA Bets, now through Labor Day.
RUNHAPPY TRAVERS DAY:
Saturday, August 27; gates open at 7 a.m. with special first post time of 11:35 a.m.
The 153rd running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers is the centerpiece of a blockbuster card that will include the Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer that includes an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf; the Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign; the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego; and the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial. Rounding out the card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa. Runhappy Travers Day will feature performances from the Siena College Band throughout the day.
MINI UMBRELLA PRESENTED BY NYRA BETS:
Friday, September 2
Let your Saratoga pride shield you from inclement weather with the third and final giveaway of the season: a mini umbrella presented by NYRA Bets. The umbrella is red and white and features the traditional red Saratoga logo and black NYRA Bets logo. All 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.
STARS AT THE SPA SERIES PRESENTS BERNIE WILLIAMS:
Sunday, September 4
Fans will have the chance to meet former New York Yankees All-Star centerfielder Bernie Williams at Saratoga Race Course. Choose between a ticketed meet-and-greet for up to 50 guests in the brand-new Paddock Suite, overlooking the Saratoga paddock, featuring food, drink (beer, wine and soft drinks) and conversation with the four-time World Series champion and jazz musician; or a ticketed meet-and-greet at the Jockey Silks Porch that includes a photo opportunity and signed headshot. Tickets must be reserved in advance at NYRA.com. The “Stars at the Spa” series is presented by Saratoga Living.
Saturday, September 3 to Monday, September 5; special first post time of 12:35 p.m.
The 2022 summer meet will come to a close with the traditional final feature race, the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds, which affords racing fans a preview of potential standouts in next year’s Triple Crown series and Runhappy Travers.
Season-long daily events and activities include:
BREAKFAST AT SARATOGA, DRIVEN BY CDTA
Breakfast at Saratoga welcomes guests to enjoy a morning buffet at The Porch with a view of the thoroughbreds training on the main track. Breakfast is available every live racing day from 7 to 9:30 a.m., excluding Runhappy Travers and Labor Day. Fans can also go behind the scenes with a free, guided backstretch tram tour, driven by CDTA. Tram tours run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and depart from the clubhouse entrance approximately every 15 minutes. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are 45 minutes in length. Available every live racing day with the exception of Runhappy Travers Day and Labor Day.
BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY ZONE
Fans will enjoy 40 days of the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, an interactive play area for children located near Gate A, which will be supplemented by Berkshire Bank Family Sundays.
PURDY’S SUMMER CONCERT STAGE
Fans will enjoy live music performances each afternoon of the season from popular local and regional bands at the Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage, including The Garland Nelson Band, The Lustre Kings, Franklin Micare Band, Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra, Doc Scanlon, Donna Tritico Band, Captain Squeeze and The McKrells, among many others. This year’s summer music stage is sponsored by Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor in Saratoga Springs.
For additional information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: The start of the 2021 edition of the Saratoga Dew won by Dancing Kiki. (Chelsea Durand)