03/08/2012 4:04PM

Saratoga to hold day of steeplechasing


While the traditional Saratoga racing season will end on Sept. 3, one additional day of steeplechase racing will be held at the fabled facility on Sept. 15.

The New York Racing Association in conjunction with the National Steeplechase Association announced Thursday that Saratoga will hold the inaugural Steeplechase Festival, a day of racing and other activities to benefit both local and equine charities.

The festival will consist of at least five races, four of them over hurdles, with purses totaling $100,000, topped by the $50,000 Saratoga Steeplechase Cup. Wagering will not be offered.

“There’s no better place to kick off our fall championship season,” said NSA president Guy Torsilieri. “Saratoga is synonymous with high-quality racing and a high-quality racing experience. We look forward to sharing the steeplechase experience with the Saratoga Springs community.”

In addition to the races, other activities will include music, equine exhibitions and shows, a 5K walk/run on the track, as well as a vendor village.

Saratoga will open its infield – something that is not done during the regular racing season – for sponsor and entertainment activities under corporate tents.