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What's Happening Week #4 at Saratoga Race Course

By John Durso, Jr.; Mark Bardack | 08/06/2014 11:19 AM ET

WHAT:           Week #4 of Saratoga Race Course

WHEN:           Wednesday, August 6 – Monday, August 11




Irish-American Day (International Heritage Series): The New York Racing Association, Inc. will host Irish-American Day at Saratoga Race Course. The event is the third installment of the inaugural International Heritage Series, a weekly celebration of global culture and heritage during the 2014 summer meet. The day-long festive event will feature traditional music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion.

The New York Racing Association will welcome Ambassador Consul General of Ireland Noel Kilkenny to Saratoga Race Course. The chief diplomat from the Irish consulate in New York City, the Ambassador Consul General will present the trophy for the day’s third race in the winner’s circle as part of the festivities.

Traditional Irish bagpipers and step dancers will greet guests at the grandstand and clubhouse entrances throughout the morning. Performances from Irish band Comhaltas, the Sons and Daughters of Erin Pipe Band, Capital District Set Dancers, The Boland School of Irish Dance, Farrell School of Dancing and An Clar School of Irish Dance will take place at the Pavilion and bandstand throughout the day.

Chefs from the greater Capital Region will conduct cooking demonstrations of classic Irish dishes at the Saratoga Pavilion. And exhibits highlighting Irish culture, traditions and history from the Irish-American Heritage Museum in Albany will be on display.

Battle of Saratoga Handicapping Challenge: Approximately 225 horseplayers will vie for $275,000 in prize money during the fifth annual Battle of Saratoga Handicapping Challenge. The tournament will offer three berths into the 2015 Daily Racing Form/NTRA Las Vegas National Handicapping Tournament. First place in the two-day tournament is worth $100,000 and cash prizes will be offered to the top 25 finishers. Entry fee is $1,000 with all entry fees returned as prize money.


Taste NY: Wine & Cheese: The weekly Taste NY: Wine & Cheese tasting will return to the Saratoga Pavilion with expanded hours from noon to 4:30 p.m. The event allows track patrons the opportunity to sample varietals of wine from numerous New York State wineries. Guests will receive five tastings for $10; 10 tastings for $15; or 20 tastings for $30. This week’s event will feature Heron Hill Winery; Thirsty Owl Saratoga; Swedish Hill Winery; The Saratoga Winery; Lakeland Winery; and Thousand Island Winery.


National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame: Saratoga’s feature race is the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame for 3-year-olds on the turf. The stakes will follow the induction ceremony for the class of 2014 into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are jockeys Lloyd Hughes and Alex Solis; owners/breeders E.R. Bradley and E.P. Taylor; trainer Gary Jones, and champion thoroughbreds Ashado, Clifford and Curlin. The ceremony will be held at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider: The weekly Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider tasting will return to the Saratoga Pavilion with expanded hours from noon to 4:30 p.m. The event will allow track patrons the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. As many as a dozen breweries from New York State will be featured throughout the meet. Guests receive five tastings for $5. This week’s lead breweries are Brewery Ommegang and Brooklyn Brewery.


Fourstardave Handicap: The day’s feature race is the Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap for three-year-olds and up at a mile on the turf.

Jockey Legends Day: Sixteen of the greatest riders in the history of thoroughbred racing will gather at Saratoga Race Course for the first-ever Jockey Legends Day to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Saratoga favorites Angel Cordero, Jr., Ramon Dominguez and the New York Racing Association racing analyst Richard Migliore are among the former jockeys who will sign autographs from noon to 1 p.m. outside the Jockeys Silks Room for a one-time $10 donation to the PDJF. Also scheduled to appear are Ron Turcotte and Jean Cruguet, respective riders of Triple Crown winners Secretariat and Seattle Slew; Laffit Pincay, Jr., the all-time leader in races won with 9,530; Eddie Maple, Chris McCarron, Randy Romero, Jean-Luc Samyn, Nick Santagata, Robbie Davis, Jose Santos, Manny Ycaza, Jacinto Vasquez and Jorge Velasquez. All will be recognized in a special red-carpet ceremony on the track between the fifth and sixth races.

Saratoga WarHorse: The New York Racing Association will pay tribute to the Saratoga Springs-based non-profit organization Saratoga WarHorse during a special winner’s circle ceremony. Saratoga WarHorse is dedicated to assisting veterans who are suffering from invisible, psychological wounds by providing a confidential, peer-to-peer, action-based, equine-assisted experience that initiates immediate and long-lasting empowering changes.

Lord & Taylor Fashion Saturdays: This weekly event is designed to highlight the tradition of style and glamour in thoroughbred racing with a Lord & Taylor pop-up shop at the Saratoga Pavilion each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Track patrons will be invited to dress their best for the chance to be crowned Most Fashionable at Saratoga. Two winners every week will each receive a $250 Lord & Taylor gift card and have the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner’s circle.


The Toyota Saratoga Special and Adirondack: The day belongs to the 2-year-olds with a pair of graded stakes: the Grade 2 Toyota Saratoga Special and Grade 2 Adirondack.

Toyota Tote Bag Giveaway: Racing fans will receive a Saratoga Toyota tote bag, the third giveaway of the season, free with paid admission, while supplies last. Guests will be able to redeem up to three vouchers at Saratoga Race Course’s giveaway redemption areas, including the one they receive with paid admission and the two additional vouchers they are able to purchase at the multiple admissions line beneath the grandstand.

Taste NY: Food and Artisans: Taste NY: Food & Artisans is a lively on-track market of up to 19 food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market is held each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion.


Berkshire Bank Family Mondays: Monday will be highlighted by Berkshire Bank Family Mondays – a weekly attraction held every Monday from noon to 4 p.m. inside the Saratoga Pavilion. The weekly event features a variety of free family-friendly activities for all ages, including face painting, arts and crafts, mascot appearances and bounce inflatables. This week’s featured activity is the educational and explorative Leaping Lizards and Rocking Reptiles exhibit from the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology. Kids will have a chance to meet the cold-blooded creatures, while learning about their behaviors, habitats and lifestyles.

Low Rollers Handicapping Contest: Saratoga Race Course will host a live-money Low Rollers Handicapping Contest each Monday of the 2014 summer season. The tournament allows guests the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live money and $10 to the prize pool. Participants must select five races on which to place live $2 win, place and show wagers on five different horses in five different races. Only Saratoga races are accepted for contest play. Guests are invited to register on the first floor of the grandstand before post time for the day’s fifth race.