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The Calendar: What To Do In Saratoga Springs For Travers Weekend

All the top events in the Capital Region on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Travers Stakes
The Travers canoe in the infield will be painted in the racing colors of this year's winner. (Mike Kane)

This week’s Editor’s Pick for The Calendar was an easy one. It’s the weekend you’ve been waiting for all summer, the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 25. The historic Travers Stakes first ran in 1864, making it one of the oldest stakes races in the country, and it has become a cultural centerpiece here in Saratoga Springs. This year’s field for the Travers is expected to include Kentucky Derby runner-up and Haskell winner Good Magic and Wonder Gadot, who will attempt to become the first filly to win the Travers since 1915.

Though there will be full cards on both days this weekend—including the $1 million Sword Dancer and $700,000 Personal Ensign—the Travers is really the belle of the ball at Saratoga Race Course. And there’s a lot going on in advance of the big race in town over the next few days. At Saratoga Race Course on Friday, two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert will be inducted into the Saratoga Walk of Fame during the track’s annual Red Jacket ceremony. The Saratoga Walk of Fame honors and showcases the achievements of those who’ve made important contributions to the sport. The Red Jacket ceremony will take place next to to the Winner’s Circle at 3:30pm. Also on Friday evening is the Last Race Showcase, a free event from 6:30pm-7:30pm intended to showcase The Stretch, the track’s exclusive new hospitality area located in the Grandstand at the top of the stretch. There will be food and drink specials as well as live entertainment.

Prior to the race on Saturday, the New Yew Racing Association (NYRA) will host a Bets Seminar at 11am with Mike Watchmaker, Nick Tammaro and Richard Aller at the NYRA Bets Simulcast Center. (That’ll be on the second floor of the Grandstand near The Stretch.) Also on Saturday, from 3pm-6pm, will be the Josh Cellars Wine Tasting in the Upper Grandstand by section R, also near the entrance to The Stretch.

For Sunday (i.e. “the day after”), enjoy the on-track market Taste NY: Food and Artisans, featuring produce, fresh food and handcrafted products made exclusively here in New York State. The market is held from 10:30am-5pm each Sunday in the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion. Here’s the full schedule of events at the racetrack this weekend.

Check out these other (mostly) horse-related happenings around town, too.

Friday, August 24

20th Annual Travers Wine Tasting – 6-10pm at Saratoga City Center.
Washington County Fair – Going on all weekend, catch New York’s #1 agricultural fair at 392 Old Schuylerville Rd, Greenwich.
Friends of the Canfield Casino Gala – 7 – 11pm at the Historic Canfield Casino in Saratoga.
Steak & Seafood Buffet with the NY Players Live – 7 – 11pm at the Saratoga National Golf Club, 458 Union Avenue.
The Saratoga Special Tournament – Friday and Sunday at 5:30 pm at Saratoga Polo Association, 2 Bloomfield Road, Greenfield Center, NY.

Saturday, August 25

Travers Day Celebration at The Adelphi – 7pm at The Adelphi Wine and Beer Garden.
Freedom Park Summer Concert Series: Hot Club of Saratoga – 7 – 8:30pm at Freedom Park, Scotia.
5th Annual Travers Day Chicken Bar-B-Q – 3 -7pm at Clifton Park Elks Lodge No. 2466.
Jaguar Club Lawn Show – 10am – 2:30pm at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.
Back to Class Bash11am – 3pm at Boscov’s Clifton Park, 22 Clifton Country Road.

Sunday August 26

A Joyful Noise! Gospel Brunch – 1pm at Caffè Lena, Saratoga.
Albany Sports Card & Memorabilia Show – 9am – 3pm at Park Manor Hotel, 7 Northside Drive, Clifton Park.

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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