Saratoga Season Starts

Saratoga Racecourse has been home to horse racing for more than a hundred years. With the racing season opening on 23 July 2008, workers have been increasing their efforts to complete their renovations to the buildings and new additions in time for opening day. The New York Racing Association has invested $1 million into the renovation project, as the historic buildings were in need of care, while the upgrading and adding of food stalls, for instance, were seen as vital for coming years. In the fall, the grandstand will be the next project on the workers checklists, but for now everyone is excited and geared up for the coming six weeks of racing action.

The hundred and fortieth racing season at Saratoga will last for thirty-six days and ends on 1 September 2008. For this period, the Saratoga Racecourse has organized a season filled with magnificent racing and big horse racing events, including entertainment, special events and wonderful giveaways to make the racing meetings more thrilling and fun for spectators. New improved facilities will also meet the expectations of racing fans and give visitors a greater selection of food stalls and restaurants to choose from for refreshments.

Opening day will be a very special occasion. As the third race of the day is named after the New York Ballet Master Company, the dancers will be attending the racing and will be in the winners’ circle with the winning horse of their race. The first weekend of racing is also going to be filled with action with Friday the 25th of July 2008 being the “Hats Off to Saratoga” festival. This means that when the horse racing for the afternoon starts winding down, the streets of Saratoga will be coming alive with music, dance and celebration, with local bands setting the beat. At the Saratoga Racecourse, on the Friday and throughout the weekend, live entertainment will set the mood for racing fans. On Saturday, the Breeders Cup Challenge will attract thousands of spectators, as the graded stakes races and Grade 1 events, with a total purse amount of $1.75 million, will be the highlight of the weekend. With every admission paid, and while stocks last, on Sunday, 27 July 2008, spectators will each receive a complimentary black Saratoga Racecourse baseball cap and will be able to see the running of the $500 000 Grade 2 Jim Dandy, which is the run up race for the $1 million Travers Stakes.

As usual, spectators can keep their eyes open for the stand of Nick Martinez, who is not only a legendary equine artist, but a former jockey. This year, the focus of his display will be Curlin. From art to music, to festivities and racing, the Saratoga Racecourse is getting ready for a very exciting season and hopes that the spectators will enjoy this racing season as much as in previous years.