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Saratoga Race Course 2019: Closing Week At The Track—Plus A Glut Of Labor Day Weekend Fun

Look out for a full week of racing, deals, tastings and giveaways at the races, as well as fairs, rooftop opera and Zac Brown Band.

The priciest of the final three Grade 1 stakes races, the Woodward, runs during Closing Week at Saratoga Race Course. (NYRA)

So it’s the week of Labor Day and closing week at Saratoga Race Course. Thankfully, there’s a lot to do in town for those of you ready to fire up that grill and move on, post-Travers, and those of you still looking to place that last-minute bet at the track.

All of you horse racing fanatics are on tap first. Saratoga Race Course is pulling out all the stops for the end of the racing season, with an event-filled Fan Appreciation Week. All week long at the track, fans get deals on ticket packages and drink specials. Special events include:

*Italian & Irish American Day – Wednesday, August 28 – Celebrate New York’s rich Italian and Irish heritage with traditional food, entertainment and music and dancing at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion.

*Pet Adoption Clinic – Friday, August 30 – For those of you looking to adopt a new fur baby, head to the track for a Pet Adoption Clinic hosted by New York Racing Association (NYRA) at the Festival Tent. It’ll also be a Taste NY: Craft Cider & Beer day at the track.

*Woodward Or Bust – Saturday, August 31 –Following the Travers, Saturday’s $750,000 Woodward is the priciest of the final three Grade 1 stakes races on the Saratoga summer meet card.

*Final Giveaway Day – Sunday, September 1 – For those always on the lookout for a freebie, Saratoga Race Course’s final giveaway day will offer up the gem of all the giveaway days, in our humble opinion, a Saratoga zip-up hoodie sweatshirt for every ticket of admission.

*Closing Day – Monday, September 2 – Saratoga Race Course’s Closing Day falls on Labor Day Monday, and visitors to the track will be able to pick up Southwestern-style barbecue buffet meals all weekend long at the track’s 1863 Club (the new luxury restaurant/lounge/events space will begin serving barbecue meals on August 30).

Here’s a full list of all the final stakes races running at Saratoga:

Wednesday, August 28
Grade 3, $150,000 With Anticipation

Thursday, August 29

$100,000 P.G. Johnson

Friday, August 30
$100,000 Lucky Coin

Saturday, August 31—Woodward Day
Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls
Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac
Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward
Grade 3, $250,000 Prioress

Sunday, September 1
Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway

Monday, September 2—Closing Day
Grade 1, $350,000 Runhappy Hopeful
Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap

And now, here are options for those of you already looking for a bit of respite following another busy track season. The Great Escape Amusement Park in Queensbury is hosting its own Labor Day Weekend extravaganza, with an assortment of family-friendly attractions, activities and events. Want to catch some music instead? Head just a smidgen north into Lake George Village and enjoy the Adirondack Independence Music Festival, two stages worth of good vibes and great music (plus a “Late Night Rage Stage” at King Neptune’s Pub), which runs from Saturday, August 31 through Sunday, September 1 at the Festival Commons in Charles R. Wood Park.

Want to get even more creative this week? Feast your eyes on the hand-curated list of events in the Capital Region and beyond below:

Monday

Don’t miss this SPAC On Stage Series featuring the eclectic, Boston-based Red Baraat (August 26)

Get your fill of hard cider at the 2nd Annual STRIDE Brewfest at Nine Pin Cider in Albany (August 26)

Tuesday

Enjoy One Fine Day, a gala and charity benefitting Shelters of Saratoga, at Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club (August 27)

Wednesday

Fans of banjo and bluegrass music should catch Michael and Jennifer McLain & the Banjocats at The Sembrich Studio in Bolton Landing (August 28)

The 179th Columbia County Fair is running all week at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham (August 28 through September 2)

This week also marks the 200th Annual Schaghticoke Fair at the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds (August 28 through September 2)

Thursday

The 7th Annual St. Jude Gala will be serving up cocktails, dinner and silent/live auctions a Saratoga National Golf Club (August 29)

Catch a free screening of Avengers: Endgame as part of the Times Union Center’s summer movie series, “Bites Camera Action” (August 29)

Pop stars the Jonas Brothers, who were at the Times Union Center just last week, bring their Happiness Begins Tour to Madison Square Garden in Manhattan (August 29-30)

Friday

The Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band will be bringing The Owl Tour to SPAC (August 30)

Texas-born, R&B songwriter Marcia Ball will perform two sets at Caffè Lena in Saratoga (August 30)

The Basilica Back Gallery Artist in Residence Series is bringing dancer-performer Davon to Basilica Hudson for one night only (August 30)

Dance to the tunes of the ’80s, ’90s and today with DJ Stantastic at Vapor Nightclub in Saratoga (August 30)

New York City’s premier electronic music festival, Electric Zoo 2019, will be held on Randal Island’s Park (August 30 through September 1)

Greenfield Center’s Saratoga Polo Association plays its last two games of the season with the Spa Anniversary Tournament (August 30 and September 1)

Take your pick of New York Labor Day Weekend Cruises at Bateaux New York in Manhattan (August 30 through September 2)

Opera at the Rooftop kicks off a week of performances on the roof of the Saratoga Pavilion (August 30 – September 8)

Brooklyn Wildlife presents the 7th Annual Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival with more than 150 performances at various venues in Brooklyn (August 30 – September 8)

The hit rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar kicks off a two-week run at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck (August 30 through September 15)

Saturday

Putnam Place is hosting its No Standing Only Dancing party, featuring DJs TGIF and King Bully (August 31 – September 1)

Six great races will run at the same event: the 14th Annual Lake George Triathlon Festival, starting at Battlefield Park in Lake George Village (August 31)

The Run for the Horses 5K starting at the Orenda Pavilion in Saratoga will benefit the Racehorse Aftercare Charitable Endeavors of Saratoga (August 31)

Don’t miss the Sembrich Gala: An American Songbook with Deborah Voigt, the final summer performance at The Sembrich in Bolton Landing (August 31)

Originally from Greenwich, popular New York-based duo Phantogram is coming to the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park (August 31)

On the High Wire with Philippe Petit will feature the famed high-wire artist discussing his technique and career at the Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center in Tannersville, NY (August 31)

The traveling Will Kempe’s Players return to Proctors in Schenectady to put on a one-night-only performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (August 31)

Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is bringing their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour to SPAC (August 31)

The 38th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival is kicking off at the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave (August 31 – September 1)

Sunday

Rocker Peter Frampton is also bringing his Finale Farewell Tour to SPAC (September 1)

Save some room for Born 2 Brunch, a two-hour bottomless brunch plus day party at Jimmy’s NYC in Manhattan (September 1)

Watch the Tri-City ValleyCats take on the Vermont Lake Monsters at the Joeseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy (September 1)

Jeff Dingler
Jeff Dingler

Jeff Dingler is saratoga living's Senior Writer. He's a graduate of Skidmore College and a professional musician.

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