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What's Happening Opening Weekend at Saratoga Race Course

By John Durso, Jr.; Mark Bardack | 07/17/2014 01:07 PM ET
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FRIDAY, JULY 18

  • Opening Day: The 146th racing season at Saratoga Race Course gets underway with gates opening at 11 a.m. The 96th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillieswill kick off the season as the feature on the day's card. First race post time is 1 p.m.
  • Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider: Opening Day marks the debut of a new weekly attraction for the 2014 meet - Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider. The event will allow track patrons the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. As many as a dozen breweries from New York State will be featured throughout the meet. The tasting will be held from noon to 4 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion, located inside the entrance to the Reserved Seats Box Office on Union Avenue. Admission is $20 and includes 20 sampling tickets.

 

  • Hats Off to Saratoga Festival: Nearly a dozen bands will line Broadway and nearby streets from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in downtown Saratoga Springs to celebrate the return of the thoroughbreds. Musical acts include Bluz House Rockers, MaryLeigh and the Fauves, Racing City Chorus, Sirsy, El Dorados, Bob Warren, Better by Morning, Marc Berger Trio and Alan Darcy. The annual festival is presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and The New York Racing Association, Inc.

SATURDAY, JULY 19

  • TVG Diana: Saturday of opening weekend will feature the first Grade 1 of the meet - the $500,000 TVG Diana for fillies and mares on the turf. The day's card will also include the $150,000 Sanford for 2-year-olds, which will be run for the 100th time at Saratoga Race Course.

 

  • Lord & Taylor Fashion Saturdays: This new weekly event is designed to highlight the tradition of style and glamour in thoroughbred racing with a Lord & Taylor pop-up shop at the Saratoga Pavilion each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Track patrons will be invited to dress their best for the chance to be crowned Most Fashionable at Saratoga. Two winners every week will each receive a $250 Lord & Taylor gift card and have the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner's circle.
  • Hats Off to Saratoga Festival: The second night of theopening weekend festival will again feature nearly a dozen bands in downtown Saratoga Springs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. to provide fans with a memorable night of free music and entertainment. Saturday's lineup will include The Resonators and Blues Sanctuary, in addition to a number of returning acts from Friday evening's festivities. The annual festival is presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and The New York Racing Association, Inc.

SUNDAY, JULY 20

  • Coaching Club American Oaks: The day's race card will feature the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.   
     
  • Saratoga Baseball Cap Giveaway: The first giveaway of the 2014 season will pay tribute to the millinery theme of opening weekend when racing fans gather to receive a free Saratoga baseball cap, with paid admission, while supplies last. The baseball cap is sponsored by Saratoga Casino & Raceway. Guests will be able to redeemup to three vouchers at Saratoga Race Course's giveaway redemption areas, including the one they receive with paid admission and the two additional vouchers they are able to purchase at the multiple admissions line beneath the grandstand.
  • 23rd Annual Saratoga Hat Contest, presented by Lord & Taylor: Hundreds of contestants will don creative and fashionable millinery to compete in what has become a staple of opening weekend at Saratoga Race Course. Registration begins at noon under the grandstand for three categories: Kreative Kids, Fashionably Saratoga and Uniquely Saratoga. Hats will be judged after the second, third and fourth races on the track apron with the contestants vying for a variety of prizes, including a $100 Lord & Taylor gift card and special trophy frames.
  • Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Returning for the 2014 summer meet, Taste NY: Food & Artisans is a lively on-track market of up to 19 food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market will be held each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion.

MONDAY, JULY 21

  • Berkshire Bank Family Mondays: Monday will be highlighted by the meet's first Berkshire Bank Family Mondays - a weekly attraction held every Monday from noon to 4 p.m. inside the Saratoga Pavilion. The weekly event features a variety of free family-friendly activities for all ages, including face painting, arts and crafts, mascot appearances and bounce inflatables. This week's featured activity will invite attendees to participate in a puppet building workshop with The Puppet People and will also include costumed characters from The Great Escape theme park.

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