Highlighted by six stakes races worth $1.15 million, nearly 100 New York-breds will be competing on a special 11-race card for the inaugural "Saratoga Showcase Day" on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
Trying stakes company for the first time, Uncle Southern bounded into the lead coming out of the gate and turned back a determined late bid from Sunny Desert to win the $100,000 Union Avenue for New York-bred fillies and mares on Thursday at Saratoga Race Course.
Hall of Fame trainers D. Wayne Lukas and H. Allen Jerkens, along with track announcer Tom Durkin, who announced his retirement earlier this year and will call his last race at the Spa on August 31, will be honored in a special "Red Jacket" ceremony to commemorate their achievements.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens gave Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers contender Wicked Strong a blowout over a sloppy Oklahoma training track on Thursday morning.
The New York Racing Association, Inc. will welcome racing fans to Saratoga Race Course for its signature day of the summer season to witness the 145th running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 23.
Although it only featured four starters, the Shine Again restricted dirt stakes on July 21 looked about as tough as a race can get, with Grade 1 winners Better Lucky, Grace Hall and 2011 Juvenile Filly Champion My Miss Aurelia hooking up in an epic battle.
Grade 1 winner Centre Court will look to get her career back on track in the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa for older fillies and mares on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Grade 1 winner Bayern, 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, arrived at Saratoga Race Course around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Coup de Grace, a comfortable winner of the Grade 2 Amsterdam on July 26, will return to Saratoga Race Course to compete as the favorite on Saturday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One King's Bishop.
Grade 1 winners Tonalist and Wicked Strong will renew their budding rivalry on racing's biggest summer stage, joined by fellow Grade 1 heroes Bayern and Mr Speaker among 10 horses set to gather for the 145th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
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