by Pat McKenna/Mark Bardack
Racing fans will once again have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of products made exclusively in New York State through the Taste NY program during the 2019 season at Saratoga Race Course.
Held in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Taste NY at Saratoga series will feature an array of New York wines and spirits for sampling every Thursday of the meet beginning Opening Day, July 11; and a selection of New York craft beer and cider on Fridays, beginning July 12.
Live music will accompany the tastings every Thursday and Friday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Samples will be available in increments of five for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
Additionally, New York's unique products will be highlighted during Taste NY: Food Day at Saratoga on Wednesday, July 31. The centerpiece of the event will be a lively on-track market of numerous food vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State, including crackers, granola, preserves, gelato, olive oil and dessert cakes. Fans will be able to sample and purchase products from the participating vendors at the market.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York has so many unique food and beverage offerings that are proudly grown and produced right here in our state. By highlighting these New York vendors who are making everything from craft beverages to preserves to granola, the Taste NY at Saratoga series at the Saratoga Race Course is the ideal venue for our farmers and food and beverage producers to introduce their goods to thousands of new customers and boost their business."
"Saratoga fans will once again have the opportunity to find out what we've known for a long time: some of the nation's best food and beverages are made in the Empire State," said NYRA CEO & President Dave O'Rourke. "We thank the Department of Agriculture and Markets for their partnership and look forward to offering samples of the finest New York-made products."
Participating vendors in the Thursday wine and spirits tasting include: Galway Rock Vineyard and Winery in Ballston Lake; Heron Hill Winery in Hammondsport; Old Tavern Farm Winery in Saratoga Springs; Saratoga Courage in Greenfield Center; Saratoga Sparkling Wine Co. in Ballston Lake; Saratoga Winery in Saratoga Springs; Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery in Queensbury; and Upstate Distilling in Saratoga Springs.
Participants in the Friday craft beer and cider tasting include: Adirondack Brewery in Lake George; Artisanal Brew Works in Saratoga Springs; Bad Seed Cider Company in Highland; Blue Toad Cider in Rochester; Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn; Brown's Brewing Company in Troy; Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford; Druthers Brewing Company in Saratoga Springs; Genesee Brewery in Rochester; Ithaca Beer Company in Ithaca; Keegan Ales in Kingston; Lake Placid Brewery in Lake Placid; Mackenzie's Hard Cider in Manhattan; Mad Jack Brewing Company in Schenectady; Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown; RS Taylor and Sons Brewery in Salem; Saranac Brewery in Utica, and Steadfast Beer Co. in Albany.
The Taste NY: Food Day market on Wednesday, July 31 will feature products made by: Gatherer's Granola in Rotterdam; Nothing Bundt Cakes in Albany; Pixies Preserves in Waterford; Putnam Market in Saratoga Springs; Saratoga Crackers in Middle Grove; Saratoga Gelato in Saratoga Springs; Saratoga Olive Oil in Saratoga Springs; Saratoga Tea and Honey in Saratoga Springs; and Whalen's Horseradish in Galway.
Opening Weekend at Saratoga Race Course will feature an action-packed four days filled with world-class thoroughbred racing and outstanding special events, Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14. Post time for the first race on Opening Day is 1 p.m.
Fans in attendance on Opening Weekend will enjoy a series of special events designed to highlight the excitement surrounding the 2019 season, including: Mariano Rivera Day on Friday, July 12; a performance by "American Idol" star Madison VanDenburg on Saturday, July 13; and the Saratoga picnic cooler giveaway, presented by NYRA Bets, on Sunday, July 14, which will also feature the 28th edition of the Hat Contest, presented by Moet & Chandon and Hat Sationa! By DEI.
The 2019 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will run from Thursday, July 11, through Labor Day, Monday, September 2. Following Opening Weekend, racing at Saratoga will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays. Closing week will run Wednesday, August 28 through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.
Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, including weekends, with the exception of Travers Day, Saturday, August 24.