by Pat McKenna, Mark Bardack
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - In the surest sign that the annual meet at Saratoga Race Course is fast approaching, the famed Oklahoma Training Track is now officially open for spring training for the thoroughbreds who will compete at the historic Spa later this summer.
The start of spring training signifies the official countdown to the 2019 season, which will run for 40 days beginning Thursday, July 11 through Monday, September 2. Following Opening Weekend, Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14, 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.
The Oklahoma Training Track and Whitney Viewing Stand will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 to 10:30 a.m. beginning Saturday, April 20. The training track and Whitney Viewing Stand will be open daily from Thursday, July 11 through Labor Day. Prior to July 11, public access is available via Gate 3 on East Avenue. Free parking is available near the Oklahoma Training Track.
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) currently has a variety of offerings available to fans as they make plans for the 2019 meet, including:
• Full-Season Ticket Plans
A full-season ticket plan includes a reserved seat in the Clubhouse or Grandstand for all 40 days of the meet. Season ticket packages for the Grandstand and Clubhouse are available for purchase through NYRA Account Manager. Full-season ticket plans are also available for premium reserved seats in The Stretch and can be purchased through the NYRA Box Office by phone at (844) NYRA-TIX or via email at [email protected].
• Weekly Ticket Plans
A weekly ticket plan offers racing fans a reserved seat in the Clubhouse or Grandstand for five consecutive days of the meet from Wednesday through Sunday (Thursday through Sunday for Opening Weekend; and Wednesday through Monday for Closing Week). Weekly ticket plans may be purchased online through NYRA Account Manager. Reserved seats for the 150th running of the Runhappy Travers on Saturday, August 24 are available exclusively through the purchase of either a weekly or season ticket plan.
• Season Admission Passes
A season pass provides fans with admission to all 40 days of the meet, including Travers Day. Season passes do not include reserved seating. The cost of a 2019 Grandstand season pass is $50. A Clubhouse season pass is $75. All season pass and season ticket holders are eligible for enrollment in the Saratoga Season Perks program, which includes discounts on-track and at more than 50 participating off-track locations, including local restaurants, merchants, service providers and entertainment venues in partnership with the Saratoga Downtown Business Association. Discounts at participating partners are valid from June 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020 with a Saratoga season pass or season perks card. Season passes may be purchased at NYRA.com/Saratoga.
• The Stretch Single-Day Premium Reserved Seats
Fans can secure single-day premium reserved seats in The Stretch, a private hospitality area featuring modern and upscale amenities with outstanding views of the final turn. Ticket holders to The Stretch enjoy exclusive access to a full-service bar, kitchen and concessions, high-definition televisions and video screens, special events and private restrooms. Guests also enjoy a relaxed dress code at The Stretch. Single-day premium reserved seats in The Stretch are available at Ticketmaster.com.
• Fourstardave Sports Bar and Miller Lite Picnic Paddock Flex Plans
Fans can secure a reserved table for Travers Day in the Fourstardave Sports Bar and Miller Lite Picnic Paddock exclusively through the purchase of a flex plan. A flex plan offers fans the opportunity to reserve a table on seven dates of their choosing, including Travers Day, at the Fourstardave Sports Bar and Miller Lite Picnic Paddock. Reserved table flex plans are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX.
• 1863 Club Group Hospitality Offerings
Fans can make group reservations for the 1863 Club, the three-story, climate-controlled, state-of-the-art building that will debut for the 2019 season. Group reservations are 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. Reservations are also 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. All reservations for the 1863 Club are available by calling the NYRA Box Office at (844) NYRA-TIX.
• Group Hospitality Offerings
Full and partial space reservations for additional group hospitality options at Saratoga Race Course are currently available in the following hospitality areas: Paddock Tent; Festival Tent; Big Red Spring Tent; Top of the Stretch; Miller Lite Party Tent; and Easy Goer. Group sales reservations are available by contacting the NYRA Box Office by phone at (844) NYRA-TIX or via email at [email protected].
Among the highlights of the 2019 season 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 NYRA.com/Saratoga.