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What’s Happening: Travers Week at Saratoga Race Course

August 22, 2017 04:33 pm

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 23

John’s Call: The day’s feature race is the $100,000 John’s Call for 3-year-olds and up on the turf.

First Responders Day: The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will honor police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics during First Responders Appreciation Day. The day will feature free grandstand admission for all first responders with proper identification. NYRA will welcome local police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics to the winner’s circle for the day’s fourth race. Numerous local police, fire and emergency service departments will host activities and demonstrations at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion throughout the afternoon, including children’s finger printing and identification cards from the Saratoga County Sherriff’s Office, and a child’s safety seat demonstration from the New York State Police. Children in attendance are invited to be fitted for a free bicycle helmet, courtesy of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County. The child must be present, and bicycle helmets are available while supplies last. Fans can also experience numerous interactive activities designed to highlight the danger of impaired and distracted driving, including a field sobriety test while wearing fatal vision goggles, under the supervision of Stop DWI Saratoga County; a seatbelt convincer, which shows the impact of not wearing a seatbelt when involved in a car accident; and a driving while texting simulator courtesy of the Saratoga Automobile Museum. A variety of emergency service vehicles and equipment will be on display, including a K9 Unit SUV with a police dog from the Saratoga Springs Police Department; a fire truck and gear, jackets and oxygen tanks from the Saratoga Springs Fire Department; and a SUV and fire sprinkler demonstration from the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.

Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest: Racing fans can take part in the annual Stewart’s Shops Ice Cream Eating Contest. The competition will include categories for kids (6-12), teens (13-17) and adults (18+). Thewinners receive gift certificates for free Stewart’s Shops ice cream. Registration begins at 11 a.m. outside the Easy Goer. Contest takes place after the third race, approximately 2:10 p.m.

Travers Tickets: Fans who purchase Travers Day grandstand admission tickets in advance will 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 26, will be $15. Paid attendance will be capped at 50,000. A limited number of clubhouse admission tickets are available for $25. Clubhouse upgrades will not be available on Travers Day. Travers Day grandstand and clubhouse admission tickets may be purchased online at www.Ticketmaster.com, on the NYRA XP app, or in-person at the NYRA Box Office at Saratoga Race Course. All reserved seats, dining and hospitality are sold out for the 148th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, presented by NYRA Bets.

Breakfast at Saratoga, presented by B95.5 FM Breakfast Club: Fans are invited to enjoy breakfast on The Porch of the clubhouse while the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The morning buffet is $18.50 for adults and $10.25 for kids. Mornings at Saratoga also welcome fans to go behind the scenes with a free, guided backstretch tram tour. Tram tours begin at 7:30 a.m. and depart from the clubhouse entrance approximately every 15 minutes through 9 a.m. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are 45 minutes in length. Breakfast and tours are available daily, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF Travers Day, Saturday, August 26. Breakfast and tram tours are NOT available on Travers Day.

THURSDAY, AUG. 24

New York Turf Writers Cup: The day’s feature race is the Grade 1, $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup, a steeplechase race for 4-year-olds and up. The day will also be anchored by 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 each Thursday of the meet in partnership with the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets. Fans will be able to select five samples for $5 at the Berkshire Bank 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 new cookbook Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion from 1 to 3 p.m. The cookbook will be available for sale.

Tequila & Taco Thursdays: Each Thursday of the season, guests will enjoy specials on margaritas and tacos at The Post, as well as live flamenco guitar performances following the day’s final race.

FRIDAY, AUG. 25

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 races worth more than $1.1 million in purses exclusively for New York-breds, including the West Point, presented by Trustco Bank; the Albany, Fleet Indian, Funny Cide, Seeking the Ante, and the Yaddo.

Red Jacket Ceremony: The day will be highlighted by the induction of three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez 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, Dominguez 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.

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 Department of Agriculture and Markets. Fans will be able to sample five craft beers for $5 at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion from noon to 5 p.m.

Woodford Reserve Fridays at The Post: Racing fans are invited to continue their day at Saratoga with Woodford Reserve Fridays at The Post, the lively bar and entertainment spot located adjacent to the paddock. Each Friday of the meet will feature a DJ and dancing, cocktail samplings and trivia at The Post following the day’s final race.

SATURDAY, AUG. 26 - TRAVERS DAY

Travers Day: Saratoga’s most anticipated race - the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, presented by NYRA Bets, will return for its 148th running as the feature on a blockbuster card. The Travers is expected to include the winners from each of this year’s Triple Crown races for the first time since 1982. This year’s Travers Day will feature five other Grade 1 stakes: the $1 million Sword Dancer Invitational, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina, $600,000 Forego, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial and $700,000 Personal Ensign. Rounding out the card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.

Gates open at 7 a.m. on Travers Day, with a special first post time of 11:35 a.m. There is no breakfast on the clubhouse porch and no backstretch tram tours. There are no clubhouse upgrades on Travers Day.

— 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 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 the Travers can review a full list of track policies at www.nyra.com/saratoga/visit/saratoga-track-policies.

Taste NY: Food, Artisans & Craft Beer: Saturday will feature Taste NY: Food, Artisans and craft beer, a lively on-track market where guests can sample and shop New York food and crafts, and now enjoy craft beer tastings from select New York breweries (five samples for $5) in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The events will be complemented by handicapping tutorials and racing tips from the Bets Squad, as well as the opportunity to learn more about NYRA Bets and the all-new mobile app for Saratoga, NYRA XP.

Ketel One Party at The Post: The fun will continue each Saturday of the season with the Ketel One Party at The Post. Saturday evenings at Saratoga will feature music from a DJ following the day’s final race, cocktail samplings and giveaways.

SUNDAY, AUG. 27

Smart N Fancy: The day’s feature race is the $100,000 Smart N Fancy for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares on the turf.

Taste NY: Food and Artisans: The Sunday edition of the market will welcome guests to sample and shop New York food and crafts the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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.

Ketel One Kitchen: Sample Ketel One and club soda cocktails crafted with produce and herbs near the Fourstardave Sports Bar from 1 to 5 p.m.

MONDAY, AUG. 28

Better Talk Now: The day’s feature is for 3-year-olds at a mile on the turf for a purse of $100,000.

Berkshire Bank Family Mondays: Monday will be highlighted by Berkshire Bank Family Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Berkshire Bank 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 Scotia-Glenville Education Foundation of the Scotia-Glenville Central School District.

—The first 500 kids, ages 12 and under, to visit the Pavilion will receive a free drawstring bag filled with school supplies, courtesy of Berkshire Bank. 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.