Saratoga Race Course’s 2020 Stakes Schedule Topped by Early Travers on August 8

On April 29, when the New York Racing Association (NYRA), in lock-step with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, announced that Saratoga Race Course would open this summer, but without spectators, it at least confirmed that there would be racing in Saratoga, despite the then month-long COVID-19 crisis. Then, when the Oklahoma Training Track opened its doors on June 4—to limited personnel and about a month and a half later than expected—it signaled the unofficial start of what would certainly be a strange Saratoga summer meet. And of course, with the rescheduling of first the Kentucky Derby, then the Preakness Stakes and finally, the Belmont Stakes, which is set to run this Saturday, June 20, it launched all sorts of speculation—including our own—as to how the once-in-a-lifetime Triple Crown landscape would affect the Saratoga Race Course schedule. Because, historically, the gem of the meet, the Travers Stakes, was run after the Triple Crown races were completed, but this year, could potentially serve a greater purpose, maybe as an early Derby prep race.

Well, Saratoga, you now have answers.

On June 19 (today), NYRA officially released the full Saratoga stakes schedule, which will include 71 stakes races worth $14.45 million. That is, 39 graded stakes and 18 Grade 1s from Thursday, July 16 through Monday, September 7.

The 40-day summer meet will once again be highlighted by the 151st running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes, which has been shifted back to August 8; and the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney on August 1.

After the track’s opening weekend, racing will once again be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays, with Mondays and Tuesdays dark as they were last season.

The Travers, a.k.a. the “Midsummer Derby,” which is normally run at the end of August, was shifted forward to the 8th, according to NYRA, due to scheduling adjustments based on the overall calendar for three-year-olds in training, and because of the health and safety measures put in place due to the COVID-19 crisis. The race will still be run at its traditional 1 1/4 miles; and the card will also include two other Grade 1s, including the $300,000 Ballerina for three-year-old and up fillies and mares at seven furlongs in a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint; and the Grade 1, $300,000 Test for sophomore fillies at seven furlongs. Additionally, the Travers card will include the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint for older males; and the Grade 3, $150,000 Waya , a 1 ½-mile turf route for older fillies and mares.

See the full stakes schedule below:

Thursday, July 16
Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville
Grade 3, $100,000 Peter Pan

Friday, July 17
$85,000 Shine Again
$85,000 De La Rose

Saturday, July 18
Grade 1, $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks
Grade 2, $150,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

Sunday, July 19
Grade 2, $150,000 Lake Placid

Wednesday, July 22
$85,000Lubash (NYB)

Thursday, July 23
Grade 1, $100,000 A.P. Smithwick (Steeplechase)
$100,000 NYSS Statue of Liberty Division

Friday, July 24
Grade 3, $100,000 Quick Call

Saturday, July 25
Grade 1, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap
Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa

Sunday, July 26
Grade 2, $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap

Wednesday, July 29
$85,000 Dayatthespa (NYB)

Thursday, July 30
$85,000 John Morrissey Handicap

Friday, July 31
$100,000 Coronation Cup

Saturday, August 1 (Whitney Day)
Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap
Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign
Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial
Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green
$200,000 Caress

Sunday, August 2
$100,000 Birdstone

Wednesday, August 5
$85,000 Summer Colony

Thursday, August 6
$100,000 NYSSS Cab Calloway Division

Friday, August 7
Grade 2, $150,000 Saratoga Special

Saturday, August 8 (Travers Day)
Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes
Grade 1, $300,000 Ballerina Handicap
Grade 1, $300,000 Test
Grade 3, $200,000 Troy
Grade 3, $150,000 Waya

Sunday, August 9
$85,000 Alydar

Wednesday, August 12
Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack

Thursday, August 13
$85,000 Union Avenue Handicap (NYB)

Friday, August 14
$100,000 Perfect Sting

Saturday, August 15
$500,000 Saratoga Derby Invitational
Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama

Sunday, August 16
$500,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational

Wednesday, August 19
$85,000 Bolton Landing

Thursday, August 20
Grade 1, $100,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Steeplechase)
$85,000 Tale of the Cat

Friday, August 21
$85,000 Skidmore

Saturday, August 22
Grade 1, $400,000 Fourstardave Handicap

Sunday, August 23
Grade 1, $500,000 Diana

Wednesday, August 26
$85,000 Mahony

Thursday, August 27
$100,000 NYSSS Times Square Division
$85,000 Smart N Fancy

Friday, August 28
Grade 3, $100,000 Lake George

Saturday, August 29
Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer
Grade 1, $300,000 Forego
Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam
Grade 3, $100,000 Saranac

Sunday, August 30
Grade 3, $125,000 Shuvee

Wednesday, September 2
Grade 3, $100,000 With Anticipation

Thursday, September 3
$100,000 P.G. Johnson
$100,000 NYSSS Park Avenue Division

Friday, September 4
$150,000 Albany
$150,000 Fleet Indian
$150,000 Funny Cide
$150,000 Seeking the Ante
$150,000 West Point Handicap
$150,000 Yaddo Handicap

Saturday, September 5
Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward Handicap
Grade 2, $200,000 Glens Falls
Grade 2, $200,000 Prioress
Grade 2, $150,000 Jim Dandy

Sunday, September 6
Grade 1, $250,000 Spinaway
Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap
$85,000 Lucky Coin

Monday, September 7 (Closing Day)
Grade 1, $250,000 Hopeful
$85,000 Lure

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