Saratoga Race Course 2019: NYRA Announces Full 40-Day Racing And Stakes Schedule

The 2019 summer meet will include the 150th running of the Travers Stakes and several new additions.

Ramón Domínguez
Saratoga Race Course opens on July 11. To whet your appetite, here's Jockey Ramón Domínguez aboard Havre de Grace on his way to winning the 2011 Woodward Stakes. (NYRA)

And they’re off! Or at least soonish. NYRA announced on Friday, February 15, the full schedule for the 2019 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, which will feature a total of 76 stakes races across 40 racing days, with the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes and the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney Handicap as the centerpieces of what will no doubt be another incredible racing season at Saratoga.

Due to potential interference from construction at Belmont Park, this year’s summer meet will start a week earlier than usual—featuring five races, instead of the usual six, per week (with two dark days)—running from Opening Day on Thursday, July 11, through September 2 (Labor Day), giving fans a full eight weeks of races. And even though it’ll be the same number of races, there are quite a few new stakes coming to the race course this summer.

Whitney weekend will feature a couple of firsts this year, including the inaugural $750,000 Saratoga Oaks on Friday, August 2, in addition to the first running of the $1 million Saratoga Derby on Sunday, August 4 (both races will be broadcast live on Fox Sports). In between these two exciting new races on Saturday, August 3, will be the famed Whitney Handicap, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the BC Classic, followed by the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test Stakes.

This year will also highlight the historic 150th running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 24, with seven stakes in just one day, including six Grade 1 races. The Travers will come in the middle of the pack, following the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer Turf; the Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign Distaff; and the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina Filly & Mare Sprint. After the Travers will be the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego and the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, with the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa rounding out the card.

Also on the docket this season are a few more firsts for Saratoga Race Course. Previously run at Belmont Park as the Rockville Centre, the new $100,000 Rick Violette, a six-furlong sprint for New York-bred juveniles, will be run at Saratoga on July 17. The stakes race is named after the late Richard A. Violette, Jr., former president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA). The $100,000 Stillwater, previously held at Belmont as the Lynbrook, is also making its debut at Saratoga on July 18, in addition to the $100,000 Galway on August 11.

It may be February, but start dusting off the fancy hats and summer blazers. Soon, racing season will be upon us. Check out the full racing and stakes schedule below:

Week 1

Thursday, July 11 
Schuylerville, Grade 3, $150,000
Quick Call, Grade 3, $100,000

Friday, July 12
Forbidden Apple, Grade 3, $150,000

Saturday, July 13

Diana, Grade 1, $500,000
Sanford, Grade 3, $150,000

Sunday, July 14

Coronation Cup, $100,000

Week 2

Wednesday, July 17
Rick Violette, $100,000

Thursday, July 18

Stillwater, $100,000

Friday, July 19

Lake George, Grade 3, $150,000

Saturday, July 20
Coaching Club American Oaks, Grade 1, $500,000
Caress, $200,000

Sunday, July 21
Shuvee Handicap, Grade 3, $200,000

Week 3

Wednesday, July 24
Honorable Miss Handicap, Grade 2, $200,000
New York Stallion Series, $150,000

Thursday, July 25
A. P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase, Grade 1, $150,000
John Morrissey, $100,000

Friday, July 26
Curlin, $100,000

Saturday, July 27
Jim Dandy, Grade 2, $600,000
Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, Grade 1, $350,000
Bowling Green, Grade 2, $250,000

Sunday, July 28
Amsterdam, Grade 2, $200,000

Week 4

Wednesday, July 31
New York Stallion Series, $150,000
Shine Again, $100,000

Thursday, August 1
Birdstone, $100,000

Friday, August 2 – Fasig-Tipton Racing Festival
Saratoga Oaks, $750,000
National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame, Grade 2, $200,000
Alydar, $100,000

Saturday, August 3
Whitney, Grade 1, $1 million
Longines Test, Grade 1, $500,000
Fasig-Tipton Lure, $100,000
Fasig-Tipton De La Rose, $100,000
Troy, Grade 3, $200,000

Sunday, August 4
Saratoga Derby, $1 million
Fasig-Tipton Waya, Grade 3, $200,000
Adirondack, Grade 2, $200,000

Week 5

Wednesday, August 7
Evan Shipman, $100,000
Mahony, $100,000

Thursday, August 8
Saratoga Dew, $100,000

Friday, August 9
Tale of the Cat, $100,00

Saturday, August 10
Fourstardave Handicap, Grade 1, $500,000
Saratoga Special, Grade 2, $200,000

Sunday, August 11
Galway, $100,000

Week 6

Wednesday, August 14
Bolton Landing, $100,000

Thursday, August 15
Union Avenue, $100,000

Friday, August 16
Skidmore, $100,000

Saturday, August 17
Alabama, Grade 1, $600,000
Lake Placid, Grade 2, $200,000
Smart N Fancy, $100,000

Sunday, August 18
Summer Colony, $100,000

Week 7

Wednesday, August 21
John’s Call, $100,000

Thursday, August 22
Riskaverse, $100,000
New York Turf Writers Cup, Grade 1, $150,000

Friday, August 23 – Saratoga New York Breeders’ Showcase Day
Albany, $250,000
Fleet Indian, $200,000
Funny Cide, $200,000
Seeking the Ante, $200,000
West Point, $150,000
Yaddo, $150,000

Saturday, August 24 – Travers Racing Festival
Runhappy Travers, Grade 1, $1.25 million
Sword Dancer, Grade 1, $850,000
Personal Ensign, Grade 1, $700,000
Forego, Grade 1, $600,000
Ketel One Ballerina, Grade 1, $500,000
H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, Grade 1, $500,000
Ballston Spa, Grade 2, $400,000

Sunday, August 25
Better Talk Now, $100,000

Week 8

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

Thursday, August 29
P. G. Johnson, $100,000

Friday, August 30
Lucky Coin, $100,000

Saturday, August 31 – Woodward Racing Festival
The Woodward, Grade 1, $750,000
Glens Falls, Grade 2, $250,000
Prioress, Grade 2, $250,000
Saranac, Grade 3, $200,000

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

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


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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