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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—Saratoga kicks off the festivities this week on Wednesday with the ever-popular Grade 1, $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial for steeplechasers. Additionally, Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to the late Suzie O’Cain with a 1 1/16-mile turf event for state-bred 3-year-old fillies.
The $125,000 Suzie O’Cain was previously run as the Stillwater. O’Cain, who passed away in January following a battle with breast cancer, served on the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Board of Directors; was co-chairwoman of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ (NYTB) Political Action Committee; and was chairwoman of the NYTB Media Committee.
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 watch thoroughbreds train on the main track during breakfast before taking a free, 45-minute tram tour of the backstretch driven by CDTA. Breakfast is available on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations are not accepted. Admission to the track is free during breakfast hours.
Community Outreach Booth: As part of NYRA’s season-long commitment to spreading awareness of local nonprofits, NYRA will again host one organization each day in the Community Outreach Booth, located adjacent to the Jockey Silks Room, inside Gate B. The first nonprofit to be featured this week is Wesley Community, which provides a blend of maintenance-free living, supportive care services and conveniences which empower seniors to live independently with confidence and peace of mind in the heart of Saratoga Springs.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Perennial. Click here for schedule and list of bands for the meet.
New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day: NYRA will partner with NYTHA and New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB) in hosting the second annual New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day, which will pay tribute to an array of organizations involved in finding new homes and careers for retired racehorses.
RICK VIOLETTE (NYB): The third running of the $125,000 Rick Violette at 1 1/16-miles on turf for state-bred sophomores will honor the late NYRA horseman, former president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) and founding member of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).
Taste NY Pavilion: Racing 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 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. The pavilion will be 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 TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program, Inc. and TAKE THE LEAD. Created by NYTHA, these retirement programs for thoroughbreds stabled at NYRA tracks facilitate the search for rehabilitation and retraining placements for retiring racehorses.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Chris Carey Band.
LAKE GEORGE: Sophomore fillies will take to the turf for the Grade 3, $175,000 Lake George on Friday. The 1-mile race is named after another popular upstate New York summer destination: Lake George, located about 30 miles north of Saratoga Springs.
CDPHP Hometown Heroes: NYRA and the Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP) will launch this year’s Hometown Heroes program. 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 through Friday, August 5. Five Heroes will be recognized on Friday, August 26.
Trifecta of Tequila Samplings: National Tequila Day is Sunday, July 24, and Saratoga Race Course will host a pre-celebration featuring a trifecta of tequila samplings from Volcan, Jose Cuervo Silver and Casa Noble. Sampling will take place for Volcan at the Volcan Gazebo in the backyard; for Jose Cuervo Silver at Longshots, presented by Proper No. Twelve; and for Casa Noble outside the Cutwater Stretch. Complimentary samples will be available from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for guests 21 and over while supplies last.
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: Equine Advocates will be at the Community Outreach Booth on Friday. The nonprofit is dedicated to the rescue of equines from slaughter, abuse and neglect, and has saved thousands of horses in distress since its founding in 1996.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Mark and Jill Blues.
THE CARESS and COACHING CLUB AMERICAN OAKS: The Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies headlines a card that also includes the Grade 3, $200,000 Caress, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares. The Coaching Club American Oaks is named in honor of the Coaching Club of America, which was formed in the late 1800s to encourage four-in-hand coach driving. First run in 1917, the race was moved from Belmont Park to Saratoga Race Course in 2010.
Lustgarten Foundation Day: Saratoga Race Course will honor the legacy of longtime NYRA trainer Dominic Galluscio with a day to benefit the Lustgarten Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance scientific and medical research related to pancreatic cancer. The centerpiece of the day will be a trainer autograph session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Jockey Silks Room Porch to benefit the Lustgarten Foundation. One hundred percent of all donations to the Lustgarten Foundation fund life-saving pancreatic cancer research.
Treasury Wine Sampling: Treasury Wine Estates will offer samples of its 19 Crimes Martha’s Chardonnay, Matua Sauvignon Blanc and Matua Rosé at The Starting Gate Wine Bar, located just inside the Clubhouse gates. Complimentary samples will be available from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for guests 21 and over while supplies last.
Community Outreach Booth: In conjunction with Lustgarten Foundation Day, the Lustgarten Foundation will be featured at the Community Outreach Booth on Saturday. The Lustgarten Foundation is the largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research in the world.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from Cuba Quinto.
THE SHUVEE: 2021 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Malathaat is slated to make her next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Shuvee at nine-furlongs for older fillies and mares.
Stars at the Spa Presents Charles Oakley: 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 are available and can be reserved at NYRA.com. The “Stars at the Spa” series is presented by Saratoga Living.
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, a brunch buffet, soft drinks, two mimosa or Bloody Mary drink tickets per person, the 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: The popular family-friendly weekly event will feature 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: NYRA will host Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, a sanctuary committed to the lifelong well-being of horses and the healing bond between humans and horses.
Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage: The Purdy’s Summer Concert Stage will host live music from The Hawthornes.
NYRA Bets Gift Cards: NYRA Bets Gift Cards are now available for purchase at nearly 180 Capital Region Stewart’s Shops and can be used to deposit funds automatically into a NYRA Bets account to bet Saratoga online in addition to hundreds of racetracks nationwide. NYRA Bets Gift Cards are preloaded with $50 for immediate use with a NYRA Bets account. NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download on iOS and Android at NYRABets.com.
Saratoga Live: Saratoga Live will present 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.
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