What's Happening Travers Week at Saratoga Race Course
by NYRA Press Office
WHAT: Travers Week at Saratoga Race Course
WHEN: Wednesday, August 22 - Monday, August 27, 2018
WHERE: Saratoga Race Course
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22
John's Call: The afternoon will feature the $100,000 John's Call for 3-year-olds and up on the turf.
Travers Day Tickets: Fans who purchase Travers Day grandstand admission tickets in advance save $5 off the price of admission the day of the event. Advance grandstand admission tickets are $10. Grandstand admission on Travers Day, Saturday, August 25, will be $15. Paid attendance will be capped at 50,000. Clubhouse upgrades will not be available on Travers Day. Travers Day grandstand admission tickets may be purchased online at www.Ticketmaster.com or in-person at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course. Saratoga season pass holders are guaranteed admission on Travers Day.
Irish-American Day: NYRA will celebrate the culture of those of Irish-American descent during Irish-American Day at Saratoga Race Course. The day-long festivities will feature Irish music, dance, entertainment and food from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Fans are encouraged to celebrate by wearing green and decorating their backyard picnic tables with Irish-themed décor. Performances from An Clar School of Irish Dance, The Boland School of Irish Dance and Bethlehem Traditional Irish Dance will take place at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion throughout the day. Local bands Spancihill and the Grafton Street Trio will also perform during the afternoon. A number of chefs from the greater Capital Region will provide tastings of classic Irish dishes inside the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.
Stewart's Ice Cream Eating Contest: Racing fans can take part in the Stewart's Shops Ice Cream Eating Contest. The competition will include categories for kids (6-12), teens (13-17) and adults (18+). The winners receive gift certificates for free Stewart's Shops ice cream. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Horse Sense attraction located near the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. The contest will take place at the NYRA Bets Simulcast Center situated next to the entrance to The Stretch following the third race at approximately 2:10 p.m.
NYRA Bets Promotions: New customers who sign up for NYRA Bets using the promo code "SPA" will receive a $200 new member bonus. Visit NYRABets.com for details.
Play the trifecta in the day's feature to earn a 10 percent bonus. Look for the promotional schedule on NYRABets.com.
Community Outreach Booth: The Community Outreach Booth will host Saratoga Bridges, one of the largest non-profit organizations in Saratoga County dedicated to providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23
New York Turf Writers Cup and Riskaverse: The afternoon features a pair of stakes: the Grade 1, $150,000 New York Turf Writers Steeplechase and the $100,000 Riskaverse for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.
Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits: Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits offers guests a selection of cider, wine and spirits available for sampling in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Fans will be able to sample five varietals for $5 at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from noon to 5 p.m.
Cookbook Signing with Julie Ann Sageer: Chef Julie Ann Sageer, host of PBS' "Cooking with Julie Taboulie," will sign copies of her cookbook Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from noon to 5 p.m. The cookbook will be available for sale courtesy of Northshire Bookstore.
Aperol Thursdays at The Post: Guests have the opportunity to sample Aperol Spritz cocktails at The Post Bar from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Community Outreach Booth: The Community Outreach Booth will host the Saratoga Automobile Museum, which aims to preserve, interpret, exhibit, and celebrate automobiles and artifacts. The museum educates the public on the role the automobile plays in New York State and in the world.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24
New York Showcase Day: Travers Eve will be dedicated to New York-breds during New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course. The afternoon's card will feature six stakes exclusively for New York-breds, including the $250,000 Albany for 3-year-olds, the $200,000 Funny Cide for budding New York-bred stars, and the $150,000 West Point presented by Trustco Bank. The Knight Caps, the official glee club of the United States Military Academy, will perform their alma mater in the winner's circle following the running of the West Point.
Red Jacket Ceremony: The day will be highlighted by the induction of four-time Eclipse Award-winning and two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert into the Saratoga Walk of Fame during the annual Red Jacket Ceremony. The ceremony will take place adjacent to the winner's circle following the day's fifth race at approximately 3:30 p.m. During the event, Baffert will receive an emblematic Saratoga red jacket and his plaque will be formally unveiled to the public. The Saratoga Walk of Fame honors and showcases the achievements of those who have made significant contributions to the sport of thoroughbred racing and to the advancement of the Saratoga Race Course.
Saratoga County EOC Food Drive at Community Outreach Booth: The New York Racing Association will welcome the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (EOC) to Saratoga Race Course to host its annual food and essential goods drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fans are invited to donate non-perishable dry and canned goods as well as toiletries at the Community Outreach Booth, located on the Jockey Silks Room Porch and across from the Saratoga Walk of Fame. Fans who donate three or more items will receive a 2018 Saratoga baseball cap, while supplies last.
Taste NY: Craft Beer: This weekly event offers guests a selection of New York craft beers available for sampling in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Fans will be able to sample five craft beers for $5 at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from noon to 5 p.m.
The Last Race Showcase at The Stretch: NYRA invites fans who are in attendance to experience The Stretch for free from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Stretch is Saratoga's exclusive new hospitality area located in the Grandstand at the Top of the Stretch. There will be food and drink specials and live DJ entertainment. Fans can enjoy the new amenities at The Stretch, including a private bar, concessions, hi-def video screens and televisions, and dramatic views of the Stretch run.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 - TRAVERS DAY
Travers Day: Saratoga's most anticipated race - the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers will return for its 149th running as the feature on a blockbuster card. This year's Travers is sponsored by Runhappy, a champion sprinter currently standing at Claiborne Farm.
In addition to Kentucky Derby runner-up and Haskell winner Good Magic, the Runhappy Travers field is expected to include Wonder Gadot, who will seek to become the first filly to win the Travers since 1915. Other probable starters include Jim Dandy winner Tenfold, Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso, Belmont Derby winner Catholic Boy, Belmont Stakes runner-up Gronkowski, and Haskell runner-up Bravazo.
The Runhappy Travers will be one of six Grade 1s on Travers Day, which will also featurethe $1 million Sword Dancer, the $700,000 Personal Ensign, the $600,000 Forego, the $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina, and the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. Rounding out the impressive card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.
Gates open at 7 a.m. with a special first post time of 11:35 a.m. All guests are subject to enhanced screening upon entering the grounds and will not be permitted to run once inside the property for their safety. This policy will be strictly enforced.
There is a strict limit of one picnic table per person that may be reserved in the backyard. Re-selling of picnic tables is not allowed and will result in expulsion from track grounds.
Fans planning to attend Travers Day can review a full list of track policies at www.nyra.com/saratoga/visit/saratoga-track-policies.
NYRA Bets Seminar: Join Mike Watchmaker, Nick Tammaro and Richard Aller at the NYRA Bets Simulcast Center for a handicapping seminar to discuss their picks for the day. Find them on the second floor of the grandstand near The Stretch. The seminar begins at 11 a.m.
Fashion Saturdays: Designed to showcase the tradition of style in thoroughbred racing, Fashion Saturdays will feature women's and men's apparel and accessories from local retailers, as well as a selection of home décor, spa care and jewelry items at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Josh Cellars Wine Tasting: Fans are invited to enjoy a wine tasting with Josh Cellars from 3 to 6 p.m. in the upper grandstand by section R, located adjacent to the entrance to The Stretch.
Ketel One Saturdays at The Post: The fun will continue with Ketel One Saturdays at The Post. Fans are invited to sample the new Ketel One Botanicals from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Community Outreach Booth: The Community Outreach Booth will host the Backstretch Employee Service Team, which aids the hard-working men and women employed to take care of the horses in the barn area.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26
Smart N Fancy: The day's feature is the $100,000 Smart N Fancy for fillies and mares on the turf.
Low Roller Challenge: Sunday will include the Low Roller Challenge which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.
Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Each Sunday will welcome guests to a lively on-track market of numerous food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.
Woodford Reserve at the Jim Dandy Bar: Guests are invited to the Jim Dandy Bar to sample Woodford Reserve Saratoga Personal Selection, crafted exclusively for racing fans at the Spa, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Community Outreach Booth: The Community Outreach Booth will host the Capital District New York Synchronized Skating, which represents athlete skaters from across the Capital Region.
MONDAY, AUGUST 27
Better Talk Now: The afternoon will feature the $100,000 Better Talk Now for 3-year-olds on the turf.
Berkshire Bank Family Mondays: Monday will be highlighted by Berkshire Bank Family Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. All kid-friendly games and activities, including the opportunity to pet a retired thoroughbred, are free of charge, with the exception of one designated activity which carries a suggested donation to benefit a local school or PTA. The beneficiary of the sixth Monday of the season is Chango Elementary School in Ballston Lake.
Berkshire Bank and Hannaford Supermarkets Backpack Giveaway: The first 500 kids, ages 12 and under, to visit the Coca-Cola Saratoga will receive a free drawstring bag filled with school supplies, courtesy of Berkshire Bank and Hannaford Supermarkets. One drawstring bag per child, who must be present to receive.
Low Roller Challenge: Monday will include the continuation of the Low Roller Challenge which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar.
Community Outreach Booth: The Community Outreach Booth will host Living Resources, a non-profit organization which provides services to individuals with a broad range of disabilities and impairments, including brain injury survivors and veterans.
All events and activities are subject to change at the discretion of NYRA.