It’s Whitney Week at the Spa and the excitement is sizzling with racing action, cool events for the adults and the kids and the 13th annual Jocks vs Horsemen Hoops for Charity Game. There are ways to participate in supporting charities that help all facets of horse racing and the surrounding Saratoga community.
You can have Breakfast at Saratoga, Brunch at The Rail, sample spirits from Cooperstown Distillery and Cutwater, sip wine from Josh Cellars, Crimes Martha and Whispering Angel. Enjoy music on the Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage with bands such as Lustre Kings and Alta Havana.
The Spa throws down the stakes this week. Along with the G1 Whitney will be the Alydar, the G2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame that coincides with the induction, the G3 Troy, the G1 Longines Test and G1 Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational both on Whitney Day. Also on Whitney Day are the G2 Glenn Falls and Fasig-Tipton Lure.
Closing out the weekend is a triple play of the G3 Saratoga Oaks Invitational, G3 Adirondack and Fasig-Tipton De La Rose.
Speaking to Triple Plays—the NYRA Triple Play is offered for the first time at Saratoga Race Course.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3
Community Outreach Booth: The Retired Racehorse Project will lead the racing week at the Community Outreach Booth. The nonprofit is dedicated to placing retired thoroughbreds in second careers by increasing demand for them in equestrian sports as well as serving the farms, trainers and organizations that transition them.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Johnny Kribs Band. For complete Summer Concert Stage season schedule click here.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 4
The Alydar: Art Collector headlines a field of three other graded stakes winners in Thursday’s $135,000 Alydar, a nine-furlong test for older horses. The Alydar honors Calumet Farm’s Hall of Fame thoroughbred who finished second to Affirmed in all three legs of the 1978 Triple Crown.
Jockeys vs. Horsemen Hoops Game: The 13th annual jockeys vs. horsemen charity basketball game, which benefits the programs of the New York Race Track Chaplaincy, will be played at 6:30 p.m. at the Saratoga Springs Recreation Center. Fans will be able to participate in raffles and one lucky fan will leave with a custom, autographed bobblehead of champion jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. Admission is free.
Taste NY Pavilion: The Taste NY Pavilion, located inside Gate A at the Top of the Stretch, features New York craft beer, cider, wine and spirits products, including offerings from: Bolton Landing Brewing Company, Brooklyn Brewery, Common Roots Brewing Company, Druthers Brewing Co., Frog Alley Brewing Co., Northway Brewing Company, Paradox Brewery, Nine Pin Cider Works, Brotherhood Winery and Old Tavern Farm Winery, and spirits from Cooperstown Distillery, Great Jones and Pick Six Vodka. It is open from noon until 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and from noon until 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Community Outreach Booth: NYRA will host the Race Track Chaplaincy of New York, which serves the unique community of backstretch workers and their families based at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack through extensive programs and services that minister to their needs.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame and Troy Stakes: Multiple graded-stakes winner Wit will make his turf debut in Friday’s Grade 2, $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, a one-mile inner turf test for sophomores. Wit captured the Sanford Stakes last year at Saratoga.
Top turf sprinter Golden Pal will attempt a stakes victory at Saratoga Race Course for the third straight year in the Grade 3, $300,000 Troy for 4-year-olds and upward sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs over the Mellon turf.
Prior to the start of racing on Friday, eight new members will be enshrined in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The ceremony will get underway at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion and is free to attend.
Cooperstown Distillery and Cutwater Canned Spirits Samplings: In honor of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame induction, fans can enjoy complimentary samples from Cooperstown Distillery at the Cooperstown Clubhouse Bar, located on the second level of Saratoga Race Course. With its flagship location in Cooperstown, NY, Cooperstown Distillery features a Hall of Fame signature series of decanters available for purchase at the Taste NY Pavilion at Saratoga Race Course.
Additionally, samples of Cutwater Spirits canned cocktails will be available at the Cutwater gazebo near Guest Services.
Both samplings are available for guests 21 and older from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. while supplies last.
CDPHP Hometown Heroes: Fans can submit nominations for the Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP) Hometown Heroes program through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, August 5. Hometown Heroes are individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to improving the quality of life for residents in their communities. Nominations may be submitted at CDPHP.com/hero. Heroes will be recognized at Saratoga Race Course on Friday, August 26.
NYRA Triple Play: Offered for the first time at Saratoga Race Course, the NYRA Triple Play is a Pick 3 wager with a $3 bet minimum and a takeout rate of 19 percent. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Saratoga meet, the NYRA Triple Play will feature a trifecta of specially selected races. Each NYRA Triple Play will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool. Wagering on the NYRA Triple Play will be available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country.
Community Outreach Booth: CAPTAIN Community Human Services, which strengthens communities by supporting and empowering people of all ages to reach their goals of personal growth and self-sufficiency, will be at the Community Outreach Booth on Friday.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Stony Creek Band.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 6
Whitney Day: Whitney Day features a 12:35 p.m. first post.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will have three chances to win his fourth Grade 1 Whitney when he saddles Life Is Good, Americanrevolution and Happy Saver in Saturday’s $1 million nine-furlong test for older horses. The 95th renewal of the Whitney will offer a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.
NBC will present live coverage of the Whitney as part of a 1-hour broadcast beginning at 5 p.m.
The afternoon will also include the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test for sophomore fillies and the Grade 1, $1 million Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational, the second jewel of the Caesars Turf Triple series for sophomore males. The Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls for fillies and mares on turf and the $135,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure round out a blockbuster Whitney Day card.
Knicks Go won the 2021 edition of the Whitney
Whitney Day Wine Sampling Trifecta: Fans can enjoy samples of Josh Cellars wines at the Josh Cellars gazebo located inside the main gate across from the Saratoga Walk of Fame; Treasury will offer samples of 19 Crimes Martha’s Chardonnay, Matua Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé at The Starting Gate; and Whispering Angel tastings will be available near the Clubhouse exchange. Complimentary samples are from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for guests 21 and over while supplies last.
Community Outreach Booth: NYRA will host the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) at the Community Outreach Booth on Whitney Day. The TAAaccredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retrain, retire and rehome thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Since 2012, the TAA has granted more than $24.5 million to accredited aftercare organizations in support of more than 13,700 thoroughbreds.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Alta Havana.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 7
Saratoga Oaks Invitational, Adirondack and Fasig-Tipton De La Rose: Whitney weekend concludes with three stakes highlighted by the Grade 3, $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational, the second leg of the Turf Triple series for sophomore fillies. The day’s card also includes the Grade 3, $200,000 Adirondack, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for juvenile fillies, and the $135,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose at one mile on turf for older fillies and mares.
Berkshire Bank Family Sundays: The popular family-friendly weekly event features a wide variety of free activities, games, attractions and educational experiences from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone, located inside Gate A near the Saratoga Race Course Box Office.
Community Outreach Booth: The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which honors the sacrifice of New York firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001, rounds out this week at the Community Outreach Booth. Tunnel to Towers provides mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first-responder families with young children and builds custom-designed smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders. It is also committed to eradicating veteran homelessness and aiding the victims of major U.S. disasters.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Captain Squeeze.
ALL MEET LONG …
Breakfast at Saratoga driven by CDTA: Guests are invited to enjoy a breakfast buffet at The Porch every live racing day (excluding Runhappy Travers Day and Labor Day) from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The buffet is $25 for adults and $12 for children under 12. Fans can also watch thoroughbreds train on the main track before taking a free tram tour of the backstretch driven by CDTA. Breakfast is available on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations are not accepted.
Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club: Fans are invited to enjoy a brunch buffet while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the venue’s first-floor banquet space. Tickets are $95 and include admission, a table seat for the day, brunch buffet, soft drinks, two mimosa or Bloody Mary drink tickets, Post Parade, tax and gratuity. Reservations are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX or online at Ticketmaster.com.
NYRA Bets Gift Cards: NYRA Bets Gift Cards are available for purchase at nearly 180 Capital Region Stewart’s Shops. NYRA Bets Gift Cards are preloaded with $50 for immediate use with a NYRA Bets account to bet Saratoga online along with hundreds of other racetracks. NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and available for download on iOS and Android at NYRABets.com.
Saratoga Live: Saratoga Live presents daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit NYRA.com/SaratogaLive.
All events and activities are subject to change at the discretion of NYRA.
NYRA Press Office/Edited/Intro by Maribeth Kalinich
Main Photo: Artorius at the break of the Curlin. (Susie Raisher)