NYRA to celebrate New York Sports Day at Saratoga Race Course
by Pat McKenna / Mark Bardack
ArenaBowl XXXII champion Albany Empire to visit the Spa
Afternoon to include third giveaway of the season: Saratoga beach towel
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will offer fans the opportunity to learn about the many teams and leagues with a home field advantage in the Capital Region during New York Sports Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, August 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fans in attendance will also take home the third giveaway of the season: a Saratoga beach towel, presented by Upstate Ford Dealers. The circular beach towel features a colorful rendering of a thoroughbred and jockey charging down the track. Giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last.
The Albany Empire, fresh off their win in ArenaBowl XXXII, will offer fans the chance to view the Arena Football League championship trophy and meet several of the team's players during New York Sports Day.
Additionally, Siena Saints men's basketball head coach Carmen Maciariello and RPI Engineers men's hockey head coach Dave Smith will meet with fans at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion during the afternoon.
The Pavilion will feature displays and exhibits from regional sports teams and athletic programs between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The teams will offer information about their upcoming seasons, as well as ticket and merchandise giveaways.
Other New York Sports Day participants include the Adirondack Thunder; Tri-City ValleyCats; and University at Albany Great Danes. Representatives and mascots from the participating teams will gather in the winner's circle for the day's fifth race, which is named in honor of New York Sports Day.
"The passion we witness each day from our fans is certainly part of what makes Saratoga such a special place. We look forward to highlighting nearby teams and athletic programs that benefit from the same enthusiasm of Capital Region fans who make this area such an exciting place for sports," said NYRA Director of Guest Services Will Alempijevic. "We encourage everyone to join us as we kick off Travers Week with a day dedicated to celebrating local sports."
New York Sports Day comes just three days before the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 24.
General admission tickets for Travers Day are $10 when purchased in advance and $15 on Travers Day. An extremely limited number of Clubhouse admission tickets are available for $25. Clubhouse upgrades will not be available on Travers Day. Tickets may be purchased on-track at the NYRA Box Office or online at NYRA.com/Travers.
Gates open at 7 a.m. on Travers Day, with a special first post time of 11:35 a.m.
The 150th running of the Runhappy Travers will be carried live on the FOX Broadcast channel as part of a special one-hour telecast on Saturday, August 24 beginning at 5 p.m. FS2 will have live coverage of Travers Day beginning at 11:30 a.m.
The Runhappy Travers is the centerpiece of a card featuring seven stakes and six Grade 1s, including the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer; Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; Grade 1, $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor; and Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.
Racing at Saratoga Race Course is held five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays. Closing week will run Wednesday, August 28 through Labor Day. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.