06/24/2013 4:40PM

Saratoga to celebrate its 150th anniversary on Aug. 3

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NYRA will give away Saratoga Race Course replicas on Aug. 18.

Saratoga Race Course will officially celebrate its 150th anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 3, the track’s operator, the New York Racing Association, announced Monday during a press conference designed to drum up publicity for the summer meet that starts July 19.

The 150th-anniversary celebration will take place on the same day as the Whitney Handicap. Buddy Valastro, a celebrity chef who is known as the “Cake Boss,” will present a cake to mark the anniversary during the day’s races, and all fans will receive a commemorative poster with each paid admission.

Also on Aug. 3, and for the next four Saturday cards, the track will conduct a lottery that will give the winner a $15,000 win bet on the track’s featured race. The money for the promotional wagers is being provided by Marylou Whitney and her husband, John Hendrickson, who is a special adviser to the NYRA board.

Although many of the details of the Saratoga meet have already been announced, NYRA holds a press conference roughly four weeks prior to the track’s opening in order to generate coverage for what is already one of the most popular racing events on the U.S. calendar. The meet will run from July 19 to Sept. 2, with 40 total live racing days, running six days a week.

NYRA also announced the dates for its Sunday giveaways, which often attract large crowds. On July 28, the track will give away a short-sleeve T-shirt branded with the Saratoga logo. On Aug. 11, the giveaway will be a bobblehead doll in the likeness of Fourstardave, the horse who won at least one race at Saratoga from 1987-1994. On Aug. 18, a Saratoga Race Course “replica model” will be the giveaway item, and on Sept. 1, it will be a beer stein decorated with images of “some of the most legendary Thoroughbreds to have competed” at the track, NYRA said.

Saratoga also is planning on a number of promotions during the meet. On Aug. 4, the track will honor Funny Cide, a New York-bred who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby. The always-popular “Battle of the Brews” is scheduled for Aug. 23. The track’s only twilight card is scheduled for Aug. 30, with first post of 2:30 p.m.

A $200,000 handicapping contest with a $100,000 top prize is scheduled for Aug. 7-8. The entry fee is $1,000, and the top four finishers will receive berths in the 2014 National Handicapping Championship. Daily Racing Form is a sponsor of the NHC.

Gary Mink More than 1 year ago
Always look forward to a summer trip to Saratoga. Will be there for the Whitney. Cant wait to go! Its gonna be a great meet!
russell More than 1 year ago
Ivan- If you expect Saratoga to turn into Royal Ascot with the gleam and glitter you are dillusional. Over 1/2 the people attending the races are in the backyard and many are young people from college. If racing EVER regains its glory it needs the new generation of fans. Saratoga is the greatest meet in the world and this is one thing EVEN NYRA hasn't screwed up. I go EVERY year and even though I live 30 mins from Belmont I haven't been there in 4 years. I've been to Del Mar and it's very nice but it can't compare to the Spa.
Ivan More than 1 year ago
This press event, release, communique is endemic of what's wrong with NYRA. You see why "these guys" will most probably GET THEIR #*^%! FIRED very soon by the NEW CEO? YOU SEE WHY? For CRAP like this one... . ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY YEARS! 150 -and all they came up different from previous years is a plastic toy/ "thing" that will resemble the track. Same t-shirts- same bobble heads - same ONE SINGLE twilight card - same parking problems ( a SHUTTLE every HALF HOUR is as STUPID as the bobble head)...but let me give you FIVE ideas - just five off the top of my ignorant head to the current geniuses at NYRA. FIRST IDEA; IN commemoration of the 150th Anniversary ---offer free admission to ALL LOCALS (residents of Saratoga County) ( I live 200 miles from Saratoga) as attested in their driver licenses or personal id's SECOND IDEA: EXPAND the twilight Fridays as a way to encourage ( contrary to the vision of discouraging us to patronize local businesses) and provide a social atmosphere that brings neophytes to the track. THIRD IDEA: EXPAND the college student days ( I am 40) at the track with "scholarships raffled every hour" as a way to plant "seeds" among the younger generation. FOURTH IDEA: Offer free admission to Seniors ( I said, I am 40) as a way to say THANK you on this 150th anniversary for their continued patronage.FIFTH IDEA: Offer a PICK FIVE ( you had ONE FULL YEAR to deal with the legal and regulatory issues) starting in the first race with a LOW TAKE OUT as Hollywood is doing with great success with the added benefit of encouraging early arrival at the track. and a FINAL one....STOP INSULTING US - YOUR PATRONS - YOUR CUSTOMERS with STUPID GIVEAWAYS - with Bobble-Crap or Made in China stupid toys. We are ADULTS, we ARE INTELLIGENT and for every 10,000 of those that you give away - there are 20,000 of us looking in disbelief and asking..."when are THEY GOING TO GET FIRED by the NEW SHERIFF in TOWN"?
m More than 1 year ago
Ivan- some great simple ideas. But as always, with nyra, they have difficulty with simplicities... Politics my friend....politics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ivan You are right the management wants to empty your pockets before you even make a wager.But they give a break to vendors like Carolina Barbecue who have no knowledge of the food industry but gouge the patrons out of their money.But then again NYRA rewards their big bettors with this concession
Riddle This More than 1 year ago
Wow you go to Saratoga how often?.....the college scholarship day has been going on for at least five years now....Saratoga County free admission - they would actually have to teach the admission people every place in the County.....the local restaurants hate the twilight racing as it shortens there dinner seating times as it too late for dinner....forget the free admission per se - give each paid admission a $2 betting voucher - get the folks to the windows.... Agree on two items...the pick 5 and stop the dam give aways put that money into TVs newer then 30 years old.
CHris SChott More than 1 year ago
Oh I love saratoga! Can't wait
David Smith More than 1 year ago
this track needs big updates..i know it is coming..
richard cowles More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for steve crist to review the food again.Also watching for how many wagers will be refunded due to poor breaks from the gate. It's summer again.
Went Down On Nell Carter More than 1 year ago
It seems to be a trend up there. #? has been declared a non starter
THE More than 1 year ago
You don't have to wait fro Saratoga for refunds Richard...NYRA has the worst gate crew in America.I think they scratch more horses at the gate in a month than all other tracks combined.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
the.this is probably the most accurate of all posts.take a look at yesterdays 9th race.the #1 breaks thru the gate. being a 5 horse field to begin with, no way are they scratching him as the co-second choie.they load him and open thegates.he is so discombobulated , he makes a severe left and bounces off the fence. never finished the race.so as incompetent as the gate crew is.the crooks calling the shots are worse.god forbid they had to refund money to the players.
jimf552 More than 1 year ago
Were there any audio improvements made?