G1 Travers Week: Calendar of Events

From the NYRA Media Team:

TRAVERS WEEK HIGHLIGHTS

The 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers is Saturday, August 24. Gates open at 7 a.m. on Travers Day, with a special first post time of 11:35 a.m. There will be no breakfast or tram tours on Travers Day. The 150th running of the Runhappy Travers will be carried live on the FOX Broadcast channel as part of a special one-hour telecast beginning at 5 p.m. FS2 will have live coverage of Travers Day beginning at 11:30 a.m.

• Fans will save on Travers Day tickets with their advance purchase. General admission tickets are $10 when purchased in advance and $15 on Travers Day. Advance tickets are available in-person at the NYRA Box Office or online at NYRA.com/Travers.

• Fans will be encouraged to raise a glass of Moet & Chandon to “Toast the Runhappy Travers” on Saturday, August 24 at 1:50 p.m. Specially sized bottles of Moet & Chandon, the official champagne of Saratoga Race Course, will be available for purchase on-track so that fans may participate in this special Runhappy Travers Toast.

• Fans will enjoy the third premium giveaway of the season: a Saratoga beach towel, presented by Upstate Ford Dealers, on Wednesday, August 21. Free with paid admission, while supplies last.

• The world champion Albany Empire, fresh off their win in ArenaBowl XXXII, will headline New York Sports Dayat Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, August 21. Fans will have the chance to view the AFL championship trophy and meet several of the team’s players during the afternoon.

New York Showcase Day returns to Saratoga Race Course on Friday, August 23 with six stakes races reserved exclusively for New York-breds designed to shine a spotlight on the robust breeding program in New York State.

• Fans will have an opportunity to experience the all-new The Rail at the 1863 Club for only $75 during the lively Brunch and Bubbles event at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday, August 25.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21

John’s Call: The day’s feature is the $100,000 John’s Call for 3-year-olds and up on the turf.

Runhappy Travers 150 Flag Raising: NYRA will officially kick-off Travers Week by raising a commemorative Runhappy Travers 150 flag in the infield at Saratoga Race Course at 11:30 a.m. The flag will fly above the Spa in the days leading up to the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers, which will be run for the 150th time on Saturday, August 24.

Saratoga Beach Towel Giveaway: Fans will take home the third premium giveaway of the season: a Saratoga beach towel, presented by Upstate Ford Dealers. The circular beach towel is a colorful rendering of a thoroughbred and jockey charging down the main track with the iconic Saratoga grandstand in the background. Giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last.

New York Sports Day: NYRA will offer fans the opportunity to learn about the many teams and leagues with a home field advantage in the Capital Region during New York Sports Day at Saratoga Race Course. The Albany Empire will provide fans with the opportunity to view the Arena Football League championship trophy and meet several of the team’s players. Siena Saints men’s basketball head coach Carmen Maciariello and RPI Engineers men’s hockey head coach Dave Smith will meet with fans at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion during the afternoon. Other teams and colleges participating include the Adirondack Thunder; Tri-City ValleyCats; and University at Albany Great Danes. The teams will offer information about their upcoming seasons, as well as ticket and merchandise giveaways, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.

Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest: Racing fans can take part in the Stewart’s Shops Ice Cream Eating Contest. The competition will include categories for kids (6-12), teens (13-17) and adults (18+). The winners receive gift certificates for free Stewart’s Shops ice cream. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. The contest will take place inside the Pavilion following the third race at approximately 2:10 p.m.

Empire 6: The Empire 6, featuring a $0.20 bet minimum and 20 percent takeout, will be available through the remainder of the 2019 meet at Saratoga Race Course. The wager requires the bettor to select the first-place finisher of the final six races of the card. If one unique ticket exists, then 100% of the net pool, plus the jackpot carryover if applicable, will be paid to the winner. If there is no unique wager selecting the first-place finisher in all six races, then 75% of the day’s net pool will be distributed to those who selected the first-place finisher in the greatest number of races. The remainder will be added into the jackpot and carried to the next day’s Empire 6.The Empire 6 will offer a mandatory payout on Monday, September 2, closing day at the Spa.

NYRA Bets: NYRA Bets continues its $1 Million Single-Ticket Bonus for any NYRA Bets customer that hits the Late Pick 5 at Saratoga. Saratoga’s Late Pick 5 is open to all horseplayers across North America, but the $1 million bonus is only eligible to NYRA Bets customers placing their bets through their NYRA Bets account. The Late Pick 5, featuring a low 15 percent takeout rate and 50 cent minimum, will be offered on every card at Saratoga Race Course. For additional information on the NYRA Late Pick 5 and eligibility details for the $1 million single-ticket bonus visit NYRABets.com. New NYRA Bets customers can earn a $200 bonus when they sign up with promo code SPA and bet $200 in the first 14 days.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22

New York Turf Writers Cup and Riskaverse: The afternoon features a pair of stakes: the Grade 1, $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup steeplechase and the $100,000 Riskaverse for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.

Travers 150 Book Signing: Author and racing historian Brian Bouyea will meet fans and sign copies of his book entitled The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race at the Jockey Silks Room Porch. Books will be available for purchase with partial proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.

Taste NY: Wine & Spirits: Fans will have the opportunity to sample varietals of wine and spirits from New York State wineries and distilleries during this weekly event. Live music will accompany the tasting each Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.

Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest: Every Thursday will include the Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest, which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar with early entrants receiving a special NYRA Bets promotional item.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23

New York Showcase Day: Travers Eve will be dedicated to New York-breds during New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course. The afternoon’s card will feature six stakes exclusively for New York-breds, including the $250,000 Albany for 3-year-olds, the $200,000 Funny Cide for budding New York-bred stars, and the $150,000 West Point presented by Trustco Bank. In honor of the West Point, the National Anthem will be performed by The Knight Caps, the official glee club of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider: The Friday edition of the popular weekly tasting event will offer guests the opportunity to sample craft beers and ciders produced exclusively in New York State. Live music will accompany the tasting each Friday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.

At the Post Live with Andy Serling: Join NYRA’s Andy Serling as he talks with NYRA CEO & President Dave O’Rourke and record six-time Travers winner and Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano during a special Travers Eve edition of At The Post Live with Andy Serling from The Parting Glass in downtown Saratoga Springs at 8 p.m. The show, which is presented by NYRA Bets, airs on ESPN Radio 104.5 FM “The Team” and features interviews with racing industry newsmakers discussing the Saratoga meet. At the Post Live can also be accessed via the Across the Board with Andy Serling podcast.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 – TRAVERS DAY

Travers Day: The oldest stakes race for 3-year-olds in the United States will mark a milestone anniversary when the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers is run for the 150th time at Saratoga.

The Runhappy Travers will be one of six Grade 1s on Travers Day, including the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer; Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; Grade 1, $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor; and Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.

Gates will open at 7 a.m. on Travers Day with a special first post-time of 11:35 a.m. There will be no breakfast or tram tours on Travers Day. The afternoon will include a variety of entertainment and special events designed to celebrate the historic 150th anniversary.

The Runhappy Travers will be televised on the FOX Broadcast channel as part of a one-hour show that begins at 5 p.m. Saratoga Live will have coverage of the remainder of the day’s blockbuster card from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on FS2.

Fans will be encouraged to raise a glass of Moet & Chandon to “Toast the Runhappy Travers” at 1:50 p.m. Moet & Chandon, the official champagne of Saratoga Race Course, is available for purchase on-track. Miniature bottles of Moet & Chandon will be available for $20 at various track locations.

Fashion Saturdays: Designed to showcase the tradition of style in thoroughbred racing, the weekly event will feature women’s and men’s fashion apparel from local retailers, as well as a selection of home décor and jewelry items. The event will be held each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25

Better Talk Now: The day’s feature race is the $100,000 Better Talk Now for 3-year-olds at a mile on the turf.

Bubbles and Brunch at The Rail at the 1863 Club: Fans are invited to enjoy brunch, mimosas, bloody marys and live acoustic music while experiencing The Rail at the 1863 Club, the first-floor banquet space at the all-new 1863 Club. Tickets are $75 per person. Must be 21 years or older to consume alcoholic beverages. Reservations are available exclusively by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX.

Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest: Every Sunday will include the Low Roller Challenge Handicapping Contest, which allows aspiring handicappers the opportunity to experience the thrill of tournament play for $40, with $30 going towards live bankroll and $10 to the prize pool. Registration begins at 11 a.m. near the Fourstardave Sports Bar with early entrants receiving a special NYRA Bets promotional item.

Berkshire Bank Family Adventure Sundays: The popular kid-oriented weekly event will feature a wide variety of free family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. The theme for this week’s event is “Animal Adventure Day,” featuring an animal face painter, jungle-themed bounce house and reptile show, amongst other activities.

For more information about upcoming special events at Saratoga Race Course, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/tickets/events.

All events and activities are subject to change at the discretion of NYRA.


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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