by Pat McKenna, Mark Bardack
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a series of names for the various hospitality areas at the all-new 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course.
The names - which include such beloved figures as John Morrissey, Rachel Alexandra and Captain Moore - are designed to pay tribute to the history and traditions of thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course.
Located on the Clubhouse turn, the 1863 Club is a three-story, climate-controlled, state-of-the-art building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. The 1863 Club is named in honor of the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863 on the site of what is now the Oklahoma Training Track.
"As one of the oldest and most historic sporting venues in the country, we certainly have a great deal of racing legends to inspire the designation and design of our hospitality spaces. It is our hope that naming these areas after such greats of the game will encourage our fans to learn more about these extraordinary figures," said NYRA Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca. "The 1863 Club will be a tremendous addition to Saratoga and we encourage racing fans to experience this new hospitality area during its inaugural season."
The third-floor suites will each be named for some of the most memorable and talented thoroughbreds to have raced at the Spa, including Rachel Alexandra, Whirlaway, Forego, Native Dancer and Lady Eli. Additionally, the third-floor lounge area will honor Captain Moore, the first winner of a race at Saratoga on August 4, 1863.
The second-floor group event space will be designated Legends Hall in tribute to the numerous well-known trainers and jockeys who have made a mark at Saratoga. The second floor will also feature The Founders' Club, named in honor of John Morrissey, Leonard Jerome and William Travers, who are largely credited for bringing thoroughbred racing to Saratoga Springs.
Daily reservations are currently being accepted for the second-floor event space, accommodating up to 100 guests, as well as the third-floor luxury suites, with capacities ranging from 30 to 45 guests.
Group reservations are also available for The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space which features floor-to-ceiling windows and offers table seating for up to 500 guests. Guests on the first floor will also have access to a private outdoor area on the apron, offering an outstanding trackside vantage point and thrilling views of thoroughbreds rounding the Clubhouse turn.
All reservations for the 1863 Club are available by contacting the NYRA Box Office by phone at (844) NYRA-TIX.
The 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course will begin on Thursday, July 11 and run 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.
Among the season's highlights are Opening Weekend, July 11-14; the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on Saturday, August 24; and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on Saturday, August 3.
For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit www.nyra.com/Saratoga.