Whitney to headline Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing at Saratoga Race Course
by Pat McKenna; Mark Bardack
The 90th running of the prestigious Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney, one of North America's premier races, will headline a day of world class thoroughbred racing and special events at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 5.
The nine-furlong Whitney, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic, will pair with the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test for 3-year-old fillies, and the Grade 3, $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya for turf fillies and mares on the first "must-see" card of the meet. Also on Saturday are two additional turf stakes: the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure and the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose for fillies and mares.
Limited reserved seats and hospitality can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, in-person at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course, or by phone at 1-844-NYRA-TIX.
"The Whitney is a true highlight of the summer calendar at Saratoga, and we are pleased to witness the 90th anniversary running," said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. "This year's race may well turn out to be a showdown between Gun Runner and Keen Ice, two of the sport's top horses who are each very familiar to fans of Saratoga by virtue of their performances in the Travers. Both horses are coming into this race off of a major graded stakes victory, and we look forward to seeing them compete in this year's milestone edition of the Whitney."
Saratoga Race Course will honor the winning connections of the Whitney with a special custom-designed horse blanket made of hundreds of Marylou Whitney pink roses.
The Whitney will also be distinguished by a sterling silver, three-handled chalice trophy that is designated for the winning owner. The trophy is adorned with the Whitney crest to commemorate one of Saratoga's most prestigious and historic races.
The Whitney will go to post as race number 9 at 5:46 p.m. The Whitney will be broadcast live on NBC and will be preceded by coverage on FS2 beginning at 2:30 p.m. in a special edition of Saratoga Live.
The Whitney will be the final leg of a $1 million guaranteed Pick 4 and will also be part of the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5, available exclusively to NYRA Bets members nationwide and to bettors in New York wagering on-track or through a simulcast facility.
NYRA Bets members are also eligible for a guaranteed minimum $300,000 payout on Saturday in the event that an account holder is the sole winner of the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5. The $300,000 guaranteed payout is available only to NYRA Bets members on Saturdays until the end of the Saratoga summer meet. Every other race day of the meet there will be a guaranteed $150,000 payout to a sole winner of the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5, who wagers using NYRA Bets.
Saturday will mark the beginning of the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing, which celebrates the partnership between NYRA and Fasig-Tipton as a prelude to Fasig-Tipton's annual Saratoga sales at the Humphrey S. Pavilion on August 7, 8, 12 and 13. The festival includes the "Best Turned Out Horse" award, during which Fasig-Tipton will recognize the hard work that goes into daily grooming with a special prize for the groom of the best-turned-out horse participating in the Whitney. The award will be presented to the winning groom in the winner's circle prior to the race.
Fans on Saturday are also invited to visit Taste NY: Food and Artisans at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The lively on-track market features a variety of local food, fashion and artisan vendors offering products made exclusively in New York State. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about NYRA Bets and the all-new NYRA XP mobile app.
On Whitney Day, the Community Outreach Booth will host Christie's Heartoberfest, a non-profit organization which assists the SADS Foundation as it supports those who are predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.
The 2017 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit http://www.nyra.com/.