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Saratoga Race Course Hosts Crowd of Nearly 22,000 for Free Family Concert with Disney Channel Star Zendaya at Open House

By Eric Wing; Mark Bardack | 07/14/2013 06:10 PM ET
Zendaya Concert

First concert in recent memory to be held at Saratoga Race Course in honor of 150th anniversary season

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today launched the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course with a free family concert headlined by Dancing with the Stars runner-up and Disney Channel sensation Zendaya during the 33rd annual Open House at Saratoga Race Course.

A youthful and vibrant crowd of 21,981 patrons attended the annual day of family fun and attractions, which was billed as the Opening Ceremonies for the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course, which officially opens its gates on Friday, July 19 for 40 days of racing through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.

The exciting, 70-minute high-energy performance headlined by Zendaya featured a full band, five dancers and three back-up singers against the backdrop of the track. Admission to both the concert and the event were free.

NYRA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Rodnell Workman was joined by Saratoga Springs philanthropist and well-known public figure Marylou Whitney to greet the crowd before the concert, which was the first to be held at the historic racing venue in recent memory.

“I am delighted that we were able to showcase our facility to thousands of people who might otherwise have never experienced Saratoga Race Course,” said Workman. “The atmosphere was electric and Zendaya was fabulous. The day really got the 150th anniversary season off to a flying start.”

The milestone free concert at Open House was headlined by top performing artist Zendaya, star of the hit series Shake It Up! on the Disney Channel. Zendaya’s performance comes fresh off her run as the break-out star and runner-up on this past season’s tremendously popular dance competition reality show Dancing with the Stars on ABC.

Her debut album is slated for release this fall on Hollywood Records and she is touring select cities throughout the summer season.

Open House also included several exhibition races on the main track in the tradition of the Newman E. Wait, Jr. trials. Additionally, the backyard played host to a variety of activities, including pony rides, inflatables, face painting, caricatures and mini golf, among other games.

This year’s event also continued the longstanding tradition of supporting local community and non-profit organizations through nominal fees for various games and activities and the sale of discounted food and beverages.


Zendaya at Open House: Disney Channel star and Dancing with the Stars runner-up Zendaya performs for a crowd of 21,981 patrons during the 33rd annual Open House at Saratoga Race Course. The free, family-friendly event was billed as the Opening Ceremonies for the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course.