Attention Saratoga drivers: prepare for more start-y, stop-y traffic on Union, Fifth and East Avenue, thanks to the presence of those mammoth Sallee trucks—and their precious equine cargo.
That’s because on April 17, the Oklahoma Training Track will once again be open for business, marking the beginning of Saratoga’s spring training season and the unofficial kickoff of the Saratoga Race Course summer meet. This year’s 40-day meet will begin a week earlier than usual on July 11, stretching to its usual conclusion on September 2 (Labor Day). As saratoga living previously reported, this was because of the construction-shortened season at Belmont Park.
This year’s summer meet marks the 150th anniversary of the Travers Stakes and will see the first-ever runnings of the new $100,000 Rick Violette on July 17; $100,000 Stillwater on July 18 and $100,000 Galway on August 11, all previously run at Belmont. The track itself will get a luxury upgrade as well, with the grand opening of the three-story 1863 Club.
Open since 1904, the Oklahoma Training Track is where many of the racetrack’s most famous Thoroughbreds have put in work before the summer season gets underway. It’s also a popular hub for some of Saratoga’s winningest trainers, including Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown.
Interested in learning more about the Oklahoma Training Track? The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will begin leading its annual tours of the track’s grounds this June.