A century and a half of racing history will come alive this summer when Saratoga opens its gates on Friday for the 40-day meet that brings together the finest horses, top jockeys, and best trainers in the country in celebration of the track’s 150th anniversary.
Since its first Thoroughbred meet in August 1863, nearly all of racing’s legends have traversed the Spa’s famous oval, from Man o’ War to Kelso, Beldame to Rachel Alexandra, Personal Ensign to Sky Beauty and Easy Goer to Curlin, all of whom will be recognized as part of the anniversary festivities.
With the Grade 1, $1 million Travers on August 24 as its centerpiece, the 2013 meet offers 53 listed and graded stakes races worth $14.95 million. Supporting the “Mid-Summer Derby” are 15 additional Grade 1 races, beginning with the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for three-year-old fillies on Saturday and concluding with the $300,000 Hopeful for juveniles on closing day, September 2.
“Saratoga’s unsurpassed stakes schedule, which this year is worth nearly $15 million; the two-year-old program, which serves as a launching pad for many of our sport’s future stars, and its long-standing tradition of turf racing on our two courses make it unique among racetracks,” said P.J. Campo, NYRA’s vice-president and director of racing. “Last year, champions Wise Dan, Shanghai Bobby, Questing, Royal Delta and Trinniberg all raced here, as did Orb, Oxbow and Palace Malice, who combined to win all three legs of this year’s Triple Crown. We’re proud of the quality of Saratoga racing, and we expect racing fans to respond enthusiastically to the product.”
The leading trainers on the New York Racing Association (NYRA) circuit will make their annual trek north for the meet, including national leaders Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown — a native of nearby Mechanicville, New York — Christophe Clement, David Jacobson and Linda Rice, as well as Hall of Famers Shug McGaughey, Nick Zito and Bill Mott, the latter of whom will try to continue the tradition of winning a race on his birthday, July 29.
Augmenting the powerful New York contingent is an array of the top trainers from across the country, including Tom Amoss, Wayne Catalano, Eddie Kenneally, Charles LoPresti, Michael Matz, Graham Motion, Kenny McPeek, Dale Romans, Al Stall, and Ian Wilkes. Hall of Famers Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas and Jonathan Sheppard maintain strings at the Spa, with John Shireffs, newly relocated to New York, stabled there for the first time this year.
All will be vying for the H. Allen Jerkens training title, taken for the third straight time last year by Pletcher.
Accompanying McGaughey, Lukas and Pletcher to Saratoga will be the three winners of this year’s Triple Crown — Kentucky Derby hero Orb, Preakness winner Oxbow and Belmont victor Palace Malice, who could use the Travers as telling arguments for divisional supremacy.
Making Saratoga their summer home as well will be 2012’s Horse of the Year Wise Dan and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, who on August 3 will try to become the first horse to put together back-to-back victories in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap since Discovery, who won it three straight times from 1934-36.
This summer will see the usual plethora of classy juvenile races including the traditional six-pack of graded stakes: the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville (Friday), Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack (August 11) and Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway (September 1) for fillies along with the Grade 2, $200,00 Sanford (Sunday), Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special (August 11) and aforementioned Hopeful, taken last year by eventual juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby.
Top-notch turf racing is traditional at the Spa, with the Grade 1, $600,000 Diana for fillies and mares on July 27 and the Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational on July 27 capping the multitude of daily grass race offerings. Steeplechase racing as well gets a chance to shine, with the top jumpers in North America and abroad assembling for the Grade 1 A. P. Smithwick Memorial on August 1 and the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers’ Cup on August 22.
Competition for the Angel Cordero Jr. riding title is expected to be fierce, as the always-tough New York jockey colony looks to fill the shoes of the retired Ramon Dominguez, who won last year’s title with a record 68 winners. Among them are Hall of Famer John Velazquez, a five-time winner who is poised to surpass Jerry Bailey as the all-time leading jockey (1976-2013) at Saratoga; Javier Castellano, who has been runner-up the past three years; Derby-winning rider Joel Rosario; brothers Irad Ortiz Jr. and Jose Ortiz, and Rosie Napravnik, who will rejoin the New York colony for the summer.
Saratoga Race Course 2013 Summer Wagering
New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will present a $500,000
Guaranteed Late Pick 4 every Saturday at Saratoga Race Course and a $1
Million All Graded Stakes Pick 4 on Travers Day, August 24.
Although NYRA offers daily Pick 4’s on races 2 – 5 and the final four races of the day, the $500,000 guarantee applies only to the Late Pick 4 on Saturdays at Saratoga Race Course. The Late Pick 4 is a 50 cent minimum wager in which the bettor must correctly pick the winners of the last four races on the card, usually beginning with race eight.
On Travers Day, August 24, the guarantee will rise to $1 million in conjunction with the 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes. The Travers is supported by three additional graded events: the $500,000 Grade 1 Test, the $500,000 Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop, and the $250,000 Grade 2 Ballston Spa. The Late Pick 4 is scheduled to begin with Race 9 on Travers Day.
Handicapping Saratoga with Brisnet.comNorth America’s most prestigious race meeting kicks off on Friday, and the best reports in the business are available at Brisnet.com.
Those planning to play the majority of the Saratoga season should check out Brisnet.com/summer for savings plans on Ultimate PPs, Daily Selections, and ALL-Ways data files for the entire meeting. Buy any of the summer racing packages and receive Track Stats free!
Whether you play every day or any day, though, Brisnet.com has the information you need to cash in big at Saratoga and all your favorite tracks.
NBC and NYRA to Host “Summer at Saratoga” Series
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and the NBC Sports Group have announced the schedule for this year’s “Summer at Saratoga” series, with five live broadcasts from Saratoga, starting on August 11 and running through September 1, and including such marquee races as the Alabama, Travers and Woodward.
Last year’s NBC Sports Group coverage of the Saratoga meet marked the most extensive live national broadcast presence ever of racing from the prestigious track, and following the meet, NYRA and the NBC Sports Group announced a two-year extension for “Summer at Saratoga,” which will bring live national coverage of the Saratoga meet through 2013.
The schedule for the NBC Sports Group’s live coverage of the 2012 Saratoga meet is as follows (all times Eastern):
- July 27: Grade 1, $600,000 Diana and Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy (5-6pm on NBC Sports Network)
- August 3: Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap (5-6pm on NBC)
- August 10: Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (5-6pm on NBC)
- August 11: Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack and Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special (5-6pm on NBC Sports Network)
- August 17: Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama and Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (5-6pm on NBC Sports Network)
- August 24: Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods King’s Bishop and Grade 1, $1 million Travers (4:30-6pm on NBC)
- August 31: Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap, G1 $500,000 Forego and Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward (4-6pm on NBC Sports Network)
Bet 2013 Summer Saratoga horse racing online with TwinSpires.com and watch it live on TwinSpiresTV and NBC!
Saratoga Race Course 2013 Summer Meet
Dates: July 19 – September 2nd
Saratoga Race Course 2013 Summer Racing Schedule: 40 days. Friday, July 19 through Monday, September 2, Labor Day. No racing on Tuesdays.
Post Times: 1pm Eastern. On Travers Day, Saturday, August 24, first race post is 11:35am. For Twilight Racing, Friday August 30, first race post time is 2:30pm On Labor Day, Monday, September 2, first post is 12:30pm.
Saratoga Race Course Track Facts and Information
Main Track:1 1/8-mile oval with seven-furlong chute; 4 percent
banking on the turns; distance from final turn to the finish line is
WTC Mellon Turf: The Mellon (Outer) Turf Course is a one-mile (plus 98 feet) oval; 4 percent banking on the turns; distance from final turn to the finish line is 1,144 feet.
ITC Turf Course: The Inner Turf Course is a seven-furlong (plus 304 feet) oval; 4 percent banking on the turns; distance from final turn to finish is 1,164 feet.
Oklahoma Training Track: One-mile oval with a quarter-mile chute; 2 percent banking on the turns; distance from final turn to the finish line is 990 feet.
Oklahoma Turf Course: Seven-furlong oval; 2 percent banking on the turns; distance from final turn to the finish line is 1,024 feet.
Oklahoma Steeplechase course: Six-furlong oval, five fences.
Clare Court Training Track: Half-mile oval; 1.5 percent banking on the turns.
About Saratoga Race Course
Since opening its gates in 1863, Saratoga Race Course has welcomed champion thoroughbreds, renowned trainers, celebrated jockeys and famed horsemen onto its tracks and into the hearts of millions of racing fans – making it one of the nation’s most beloved destinations. Its character, elegance and charm have been impeccably preserved for almost a century and a half, and its beauty and tranquility have transcended generations. A truly unique summer oasis nestled in the
foothills of the Adirondacks, the Spa will today and always be affectionately known as “the summer place to be.”
Bet on racing at Saratoga Race Course and all your favorite tracks for free right here on TwinSpires.com!
Saratoga Race Course 2013 Summer Meet Stakes Schedule
|Fri., Jul. 19||James Marvin||III||$100,000||3&UP||7 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Fri., Jul. 19||Schuylerville||III||$150,000||F2YO||6 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Sat., Jul. 20||84 Lumber Shuvee Handicap||III||$200,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Sat., Jul. 20||TVG Coaching Club American Oaks||I||$300,000||F3YO||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Sun., Jul. 21||Sanford||II||$200,000||2YO||6 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Mon., Jul. 22||Evan Shipman (NYB)||$100,000||3&UP||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Wed., Jul. 24||Lake George||II||$200,000||F3YO||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Thu., Jul. 25||Smirnoff Sorbet Quick Call||$100,000||3YO||5 1/2 (Turf)|
|Fri., Jul. 26||Curlin||$100,000||3YO||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Sat., Jul. 27||Jim Dandy||II||$600,000||3YO||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Sat., Jul. 27||Diana||I||$600,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/8 (Turf)|
|Sat., Jul. 27||Prioress||I||$300,000||F3YO||6 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Sun., Jul. 28||Amsterdam||II||$200,000||3YO||6 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Mon., Jul. 29||Honorable Miss Handicap||II||$200,000||F&M 3&UP||6 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Wed., Jul. 31||John’s Call Presented by Sportech||$100,000||3&UP||1 5/8 (Turf)|
|Thu., Aug. 1||John Morrissey (NYB)||$100,000||3&UP||6 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Thu., Aug. 1||A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Steeplechase)||II||$100,000||4&UP||2 1/16 (Turf)|
|Fri., Aug. 2||Sportech Caress||$100,000||F&M 3&UP||5 1/2 (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 3||De La Rose||$100,000||F&M 3&UP||1 Mile (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 3||Whitney Invitational Handicap||I||$750,000||3&UP||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Sun., Aug. 4||Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap||I||$400,000||3&UP||6 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Mon., Aug. 5||Waya||$100,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/2 (Turf)|
|Wed., Aug. 7||NYSS Cab Calloway Division||$100,000||3YO||1 Mile (Turf)|
|Thu., Aug. 8||NYSS Statue of Liberty Division||$100,000||F3YO||1 Mile (Turf)|
|Fri., Aug. 9||National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame||II||$200,000||3YO||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 10||Fourstardave Handicap||II||$500,000||3&UP||1 Mile (Turf)|
|Sun., Aug. 11||Adirondack||II||$200,000||F2YO||6 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Sun., Aug. 11||Saratoga Special||II||$200,000||2YO||6 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Mon., Aug. 12||Coronation Cup||$100,000||F3YO||5 1/2 (Turf)|
|Wed., Aug. 14||Troy||$100,000||3&UP||5 1/2 (Turf)|
|Thu., Aug. 15||West Point (NYB) presented by Trustco Bank||$150,000||3&UP||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Fri., Aug. 16||Yaddo (NYB)||$150,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 17||Sword Dancer Invitational||I||$600,000||3&UP||1 1/2 (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 17||Alabama||I||$600,000||F3YO||1 1/4 (Dirt)|
|Sun., Aug. 18||Woodford Reserve Lake Placid||II||$200,000||F3YO||1 1/8 (Turf)|
|Mon., Aug. 19||Union Avenue (NYB)||$100,000||F&M 3&UP||6 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Wed., Aug. 21||Albany (NYB)||$150,000||3YO||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Thu., Aug. 22||New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase||I||$150,000||4&UP||2 3/8 (Turf)|
|Fri., Aug. 23||Ballerina||I||$500,000||F&M 3&UP||7 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Sat., Aug. 24||Kettle One Ballston Spa||II||$250,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 24||Foxwoods King’s Bishop||I||$500,000||3YO||7 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Sat., Aug. 24||Test||I||$500,000||F3YO||7 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Sat., Aug. 24||Travers Stakes||I||$1,000,000||3YO||1 1/4 (Dirt)|
|Sun., Aug. 25||Personal Ensign Invitational||I||$600,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Mon., Aug. 26||Saratoga Dew (NYB)||$100,000||F&M 3&UP||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Wed., Aug. 28||P. G. Johnson||$100,000||F2YO||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Thu., Aug. 29||With Anticipation||II||$200,000||2YO||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Fri., Aug. 30||Riskaverse||$100,000||F3YO||1 Mile (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 31||Bernard Baruch Handicap||II||$250,000||3&UP||1 1/16 (Turf)|
|Sat., Aug. 31||Forego||I||$500,000||3&UP||7 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Sat., Aug. 31||Woodward||I||$750,000||3&UP||1 1/8 (Dirt)|
|Sun., Sep. 1||Saranac||III||$150,000||3YO||1 1/8 (Turf)|
|Sun., Sep. 1||Spinaway||I||$300,000||F2YO||7 Furlongs (Dirt)|
|Mon., Sep. 2||Glens Falls||III||$150,000||F&M 3&UP||1 3/8 (Turf)|
|Mon., Sep. 2||Three Chimneys Hopeful||I||$300,000||2YO||7 Furlongs (Dirt)|