12/27/2014 10:44AM

Saratoga slates six Grade 1's on Travers Day

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In keeping with its theory that big race days mean big business, the New York Racing Association has beefed up Travers Day at Saratoga in 2015 to include seven stakes, six of which are Grade 1s, worth $5.1 million in total.

Former Grade 1 standalone events such as the Sword Dancer Invitational – which had its purse doubled to $1 million – and the Personal Ensign – which received a 50 percent purse increase to $750,000 – have been added to the Aug. 29 Travers Day program. The Grade 1 Forego, previously run on the final Saturday of the meet, has been moved to Travers Day and had its purse increased by 40 percent to $700,000.

The Grade 1 Travers for 3-year-olds, the centerpiece of every Saratoga summer, retained its purse of $1.25 million from a year ago, as did the Grade 1, $500,000 King’s Bishop. The Grade 2 Ballston Spa, for fillies and mares on turf, had its purse increased from $250,000 to $400,000.

The last two years, with 14-race cards that included four stakes, all-sources handle on Travers Day has averaged $40.6 million. Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, said his goal is to have Travers Day 2015 handle between $70 million and $80 million.

To do that, Panza said, “We need some other big races that can attract top horses.”

The enhanced Travers Day card highlights the 2015 Saratoga stakes schedule that will include 69 stakes worth a record $18.7 million. The 2014 Saratoga meet featured 68 stakes worth $17.45 million. The Grade 2 Bowling Green, formerly run at Belmont, was moved to Saratoga for 2015, while two overnight sprint stakes for 2-year-olds – the Bolton Landing and Schenectady – were added, and two turf stakes for 3-year-olds – the Sir Cat and Tenski – were dropped.

The 40-day Saratoga meet in 2015 runs from July 24 through Sept. 7.

NYRA also bulked up the Aug. 1 card – the second Saturday of the meet – adding the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt for sprinters and the Bowling Green at 1 3/8 miles on turf to a card highlighted by the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy for 3-year-olds. The Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for 3-year-old sprinters also is on the Aug. 1 card.

NYRA officials had said previously that the Grade 1 Whitney card would be enhanced. But that Aug. 8 card lost the Vanderbilt while picking up the newly minted Grade 3 Waya for females at 1 1/2 miles on turf. Also, the Whitney had its purse cut from $1.5 million to $1.25 million so that it is not worth more than the Travers. The Grade 1 Test for 3-year-old fillies and the Lure and De La Rose – both $100,000 turf stakes – are on the Whitney program.

New York Breeders’ Showcase Day, featuring six stakes restricted to New York-breds, had its inaugural running the day after the Travers in 2014. It will have its second running the day before the Travers in 2015.

The Grade 3 Schuylerville, for 2-year-old fillies, will be joined by the Grade 2 Lake George for 3-year-old turf fillies on the July 24 opening-day card.

DATE EVENT CONDITIONS DISTANCE PURSE
Fri., July 24 SCHUYLERVILLE (G3) 2YO F 6 furlongs $150,000
Fri., July 24 LAKE GEORGE (G2) 3YO F 1 1/16 miles (T) 200,000
Sat., July 25 DIANA (G1) F-M 3YO & up 1 1/8 miles (T) 500,000
Sat., July 25 SANFORD (G3) 2YO 6 furlongs 150,000
Sun., July 26 COACHING CLUB OAKS (G1) 3YO F 1 1/8 miles 300,000
Mon., July 27 LUCKY COIN 4YO & up 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Wed., July 29 HONORABLE MISS (G2) F-M 3YO & up 6 furlongs 200,000
Wed., July 29 A.P. SMITHWICK MEM. (G1) 4YO & up 2 1/16 miles (T) 100,000
Thu., July 30 JOHN MORRISSEY 3YO & up* 6 1/2 furlongs 100,000
Fri., July 31 CURLIN 3YO 1 1/8 miles 100,000
Sat., Aug. 1 JIM DANDY (G2) 3YO 1 1/8 miles 600,000
Sat., Aug. 1 ALFRED G. VANDERBILT (G1) 3YO & up 6 furlongs 350,000
Sat., Aug. 1 BOWLING GREEN (G2) 4YO & up 1 3/8 miles (T) 250,000
Sat., Aug. 1 AMSTERDAM (G2) 3YO 6 furlongs 200,000
Sun., Aug. 2 SHUVEE H. F-M 3YO & up 1 1/8 miles 200,000
Sun., Aug. 2 CARESS F-M 4YO & up 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Mon., Aug. 3 CORONATION CUP 3YO F 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Wed., Aug. 5 SHINE AGAIN 3YO & up 7 furlongs 100,000
Thu., Aug. 6 QUICK CALL 3YO 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Fri., Aug. 7 HALL OF FAME (G3) 3YO 1 1/16 miles (T) 200,000
Sat., Aug. 8 WHITNEY (G1) 3YO & up 1 1/8 miles 1.25 million
Sat., Aug. 8 TEST (G1) 3YO F 7 furlongs 500,000
Sat., Aug. 8 WAYA (G3) F-M 3YO & up 1 1/2 miles (T) 200,000
Sat., Aug. 8 LURE 4YO & up 1 1/16 miles (T) 100,000
Sat., Aug. 8 DE LA ROSE F-M 4YO & up 1 mile (T) 100,000
Sun., Aug. 9 ALYDAR 4YO & up 1 1/8 miles 100,000
Mon., Aug. 10 NYSS CAB CALLOWAY 3YO 1 mile (T) 100,000
Wed., Aug. 12 BIRDSTONE 3YO & up 1 3/4 miles 100,000
Thu., Aug. 13 NYSS STATUE OF LIBERTY 3YO F 1 mile (T) 100,000
Fri., Aug. 14 LAKE PLACID (G2) 3YO F 1 1/8 miles (T) 300,000
Sat., Aug. 15 FOURSTARDAVE (G2) 3YO & up 1 mile (T) 500,000
Sat. Aug. 15, ADIRONDACK (G2) 2YO F 6 1/2 furlongs 200,000
Sun., Aug. 16 SARATOGA SPECIAL (G2) 2YO 6 1/2 furlongs 200,000
Mon., Aug. 17 SARATOGA DEW F-M 3YO & up* 1 1/8 miles 100,000
Wed., Aug. 19 BOLTON LANDING 2YO F 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Thu., Aug. 20 NY TURF WRITERS CUP (G1) 4YO & up 2 3/8 miles (T) 150,000
Thu., Aug. 20 UNION AVENUE F-M 3YO & up* 6 1/2 furlongs 100,000
Fri., Aug. 21 SCHENECTADY 2YO 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Sat., Aug. 22 ALABAMA (G1) 3YO F 1 1/4 miles 600,000
Sat., Aug. 22 TROY 3YO & up 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Sun., Aug. 23 TALE OF THE CAT 3YO & up 6 furlongs 100,000
Mon., Aug. 24 SUMMER COLONY F-M, 3YO & up 1 1/8 miles 100,000
Wed., Aug. 26 JOHN’S CALL 3YO & up 1 5/8 miles (T) 100,000
Thu., Aug. 27 RISKAVERSE 3YO F 1 mile (T) 100,000
Fri., Aug. 28 ALBANY 3YO* 1 1/8 miles 250,000
Fri., Aug. 28 FLEET INDIAN 3YO F* 1 1/8 miles 200,000
Fri., Aug. 28 FUNNY CIDE 2YO* 6 1/2 furlongs 200,000
Fri., Aug. 28 SEEKING THE ANTE 2YO F* 6 1/2 furlongs 200,000
Fri., Aug. 28 WEST POINT 3YO & up* 1 1/16 miles (T) 150,000
Fri., Aug. 28 YADDO F-M 3YO & up* 1 1/16 miles (T) 150,000
Sat., Aug. 29 TRAVERS (G1) 3YO 1 1/4 miles 1.25 million
Sat., Aug. 29 SWORD DANCER (G1) 3YO & up 1 1/2 miles (T) 1 million
Sat., Aug. 29 PERSONAL ENSIGN (G1) F-M 3YO & up 1 1/8 miles 750,000
Sat., Aug. 29 FOREGO (G1) 3YO & up 7 furlongs 700,000
Sat., Aug. 29 BALLERINA (G1) F-M 3YO & up 7 furlongs 500,000
Sat., Aug. 29 KING’S BISHOP (G1) 3YO 7 furlongs 500,000
Sat., Aug. 29 BALLSTON SPA (G2) F-M 3YO & up 1 1/16 miles (T) 400,000
Sun., Aug. 30 SMART N FANCY F-M 3YO & up 5 1/2 furlongs (T) 100,000
Mon., Aug. 31 BETTER TALK NOW 3YO 1 mile (T) 100,000
Wed., Sept. 2 WITH ANTICIPATION (G2) 2YO 1 1/16 miles (T) 200,000
Thu., Sept. 3 P.G. JOHNSON 2YO F 1 1/16 miles (T) 100,000
Fri., Sept. 4 EVAN SHIPMAN 3YO & up* 1 1/8 miles 100,000
Sat., Sept. 5 WOODWARD (G1) 3YO & up 1 1/8 miles 600,000
Sat., Sept. 5 SPINAWAY (G1) 2YO F 7 furlongs 350,000
Sat., Sept. 5 SARANAC (G3) 3YO 1 1/8 miles (T) 300,000
Sat., Sept. 5 GLENS FALLS (G3) F-M 3YO & up 1 3/8 miles (T) 200,000
Sun., Sept. 6 PRIORESS (G2) 3YO F 6 furlongs 300,000
Mon., Sept. 7 HOPEFUL (G1) 2YO 7 furlongs 350,000
Mon., Sept. 7 BERNARD BARUCH (G2) 3YO & up 1 1/16 miles (T) 250,000