This week will mark the start of another 40-day summer meet at the iconic Saratoga Race Course in New York. Horse racing fans from all around the state and the country are set to converge at the track for its opening day on Thursday, July 13, 2023. This season will feature more than 70 stakes events with horses competing for over US$20 million in purses.
Once more the 40-day meet will be highlighted by the Grade 1 Travers Stakes in August which returns for the 154th running. It is set to conclude on Labour Day, September 4, 2023, and it is projected to draw thousands of fans during the meet. The opening weekend runs through Sunday, July 16, and after that, the meet will switch to a five-day racing format.
Opening Weekend Promises Some Thrilling Races
Thursday’s opening card will feature the Grade 3 Schuylerville, which is the ninth race on the 10-race card and the highlight event for the day. Friday’s card includes the Coronation Cup and the Wilton, while Saturday’s card will be highlighted by the Grade 1 Diana as part of the day featuring a pair of Grade 3 races, the Sanford and the Kelso.
Overall, the opening four-day racing weekend will feature 19 Grade 1s with three of those racing a total purse of US$1 million or more. In addition to that, the 154th edition of the US$1,125,000 Travers will be contested on August 26, 2023, as the final of the six Grade 1 stakes. The others are Personal Ensign, Ballerina, Forego, H. Allen Jenkins Memorial, and the Sword Dancer.
In the meantime, the New York Racing Association remains devoted to spreading awareness of the local non-profits and will host one organization each day via the Community Outreach Booth. The opening weekend will welcome the Jewish War Veterans Post 36 – Saratoga Springs, Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga, United Way of the Greater Capital Region, and Operation Adopt a Soldier.
NYRA also reminded that the Berkshire Bank Family Sundays, a family-friendly event hosted every week during the meet will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event offers numerous free activities, games, attractions, and educational experiences at the Berkshire Bank Family Zone. It is situated inside Gate A close to the Saratoga Race Course Box Office.
Previously, NYRA reported that it has found an agreement with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to become the curator of the Saratoga Walk of Fame. Some items that will be displayed throughout the summer include informational panels about each Hall of Fame category, panels and bios recognizing the HF Class of 2023, video spots of select members and a virtual reality jockey experience.
The Track is Major Economic Boost
Recently, Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency issued a study assessing the economic impact of the track on the local economy. It found that the world-class Thoroughbred track generates approximately US$371 million in financial benefit for the region every year as well as creating over 2,900 job positions.
Source: “Saratoga Race Course meet set to begin” The Saratogian, July 12, 2023