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Travers Week 2019: Everything To Do In Saratoga The Week Of The Historic 150th Running Of The Travers Stakes

Look out for racetrack giveaways, wine tastings, book signings, SPAC concerts and more as Saratoga gets ready for its biggest weekend of the year.

A scene from the 2018 Travers Stakes. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

It’s that time again, Saratogians. Get ready for Saratoga Springs to be at or above capacity all week and especially, this weekend. Parking will be scarce, and there will be thousands of extra “locals” to rub elbows with. That’s because this Saturday, August 24, marks the historic 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes, the oldest major Thoroughbred race in the country, and the gem of Saratoga Race Course’s summer meet.

The Travers Week festivities begin early, with a Travers 150 Celebration throughout Downtown Saratoga on Tuesday, August 20 (a dark day). From 5:30pm to 8:30pm, venture out on Broadway to experience live entertainment and music, horse racing-themed window displays in certain stores, as well as a jockey meet-and-greet and autograph sessions outside of Impressions of Saratoga.

Additionally, here’s a full lineup of the events happening in Saratoga—and the featured races at Saratoga Race Course—this week:

Wednesday, August 21
Wednesday’s another Race Course Giveaway Day, with fans getting a free Saratoga beach towel for every ticket of admission (arrive early as there’s a limited supply). Wednesday is also New York Sports Day at the track, celebrating different local sports teams that call the Capital Region their home. From 11am to 5pm, head to the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion for Sports Day displays, ticket giveaways and activities with members from local sports teams. Also featured on the Wednesday card: the $100,000 John’s Call.

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

Friday, August 23:
No Travers Week celebration would be complete without heading over to the 21st Annual Travers Wine Tasting from 6-10pm on Friday, August 23. This beloved track-season fundraiser will be held at The Lodge at Saratoga Casino Hotel and will raise funds for LifePath Albany (formerly Senior Services of Albany). Also for wine-lovers, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will be hosting its Travers Eve Wine and Cheese Social from 6-7:30pm. Enjoy wine and other beverages, plus hors d’oeuvres and a book signing of The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race with co-authors Brien Bouyea (saratoga living‘s sports editor) and Michael Veitch, a local author/historian.

The Friday card at Saratoga Race Course includes New York Breeders’ Showcase Day:
$250,000 Albany
$200,000 Fleet Indian
$200,000 Funny Cide
$200,000 Seeking The Ante
$150,000 West Point
$150,000 Yaddo

Saturday, August 24: TRAVERS DAY!
Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers
Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer Invitational
Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina
Grade 1, $600,000 Forego
Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial
Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign
Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa

Sunday, August 25
$100,000 Better Talk Now

Also capping off Travers Weekends will be one of the Bubbles & Brunch events at the track’s new 1863 Club. Enjoy a medley of buffet items plus bottomless mimosas and bloody marys, all before a day at the races.

To add to the fun of Travers Week, there’s a whole lot of other entertaining events in and around Saratoga and the Capital Region. (Our guess is that you won’t be looking to venture too far away, with the Travers over the weekend.) Take a look at a list of all the other great events below:

Monday

Superstar pop band the Jonas Brothers is coming to the Times Union Center in Albany (August 19)

Get in a little exercise at the 7th Annual Saratoga Casino Hotel Monday Night Mile, starting on Jefferson Street in Saratoga (August 19)

Take a hayride, eat some fried dough and ride the ferris wheel at the Washington County Fair all week in Greenwich (August 19-25)

Tuesday

Catch a film screening and reception of the documentary Born to Rein at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga (August 20)

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation will serve up some delicious barbecue at its first annual “Summer Night BBQ at the Barn” fundraiser at Saratoga Winery (August 20)

The inaugural Aurora Games kicks off with a week of women’s sporting events at Albany’s Times Union Center (August 20-25); check back for exclusive coverage and photographs at saratogaliving.com

Wednesday

Metal-heads can get their thrash on at Knotfest Roadshow 2019, which features Grammy-winning nontet Slipknot at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC)  (August 21)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo will discuss his latest novel, Chances Areat Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center in Saratoga (August 21)

Proctors in Schenectady presents “Rush: Cinema Strangiato 2019,” a worldwide fan event, featuring the best performances from Canadian classic rock band Rush (August 21)

Take part in a free Bluegrass Jam at Fort Edward’s Little Theater on the Farm (August 21)

Thursday

Don’t miss the season’s final Upbeat on the Roof performance with bell’s roar at Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery (August 22)

Caffè Lena in Saratoga presents its Bright Series with Irish artist Wallis Bird and a pre-show Hangin’ & Sangin’ Podcast (August 22)

Friday

Santana With Special Guests The Doobie Brothers will be performing the Supernatural Now Tour 2019 at SPAC (August 23)

Don’t miss one of Lake George Village’s free Friday at the Lake concerts this week with local bands Soul Session and Yellow Dog at Shephard Park (August 23)

Enjoy Friday Night Live, a Klezmer and New Orleans Jazz-style Shabbat, at Congregation Beth Shalom in Clifton Park, with the Adirondack Klezmer and Jazz Band (August 23)

The Canfield Casino Gala takes place in Saratoga, with all proceeds benefitting the Saratoga Springs History Museum (August 23)

The Albany Berkshire Ballet will perform Paula Weber’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a two-act ballet based on the famous Shakespeare play) at The Egg in Albany (August 23)

Catch a one-night-only performance of The Man in Black, a Johnny Cash tribute show at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls (August 23)

Boaters, get ready for a free public show, with the 46th Annual Lake George Rendezvous at the Lake George Village docks on Beach Road (August 23-24)

Fans of astrology will have to check out Neon Nights: Leo vs Virgo Affair 2019 at Putnam Place in Saratoga (August 23-24)

All weekend, famed American jazz trumpeter (and Tonight Show Band leader) Doc Severinsen will be performing at Caffè Lena in Saratoga (August 23-25)

The Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation is launching this year’s The Hudson Eye, a weeklong contemporary art exhibition at various venues throughout Downtown Hudson (August 23 through September 2)

Saturday

Jaguars at Saratoga, a Jaguar-only show, will be held on the lawn of the Saratoga Automobile Museum (August 24)

The Hyperion Quartet, the North Country’s leading chamber group, is giving a 20th Anniversary Concert at The Sembrich Studio in Bolton Landing (August 24)

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers KISS are bringing their End of the World Tour to SPAC (August 24)

Two-time Grammy-winning artist Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience will kick off the 2019/2020 Premiere Season of the Park Theater in Glens Falls (August 24)

Celebrate Hispanic culture all day at the 2019 Albany LatinFest in Albany’s Washington Park (August 24)

Catch the comedy of George Lopez’s The Wall Live in Concert! at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady (August 24)

Enjoy great food and music at the Capital District Ukrainian Festival at the Ukrainian-American Citizens Club in Cohoes (August 24)

Sunday

Go for a run and raise money for charity at the What Would Trevor Do Run N’ Roll for Hope 5K starting at The Warming Hut in Saratoga Spa State Park (August 25)

Head over to the National Museum of Racing and take a special Photo Finish Tour of Saratoga Race Course’s famed Oklahoma Training Track (August 25)

Pet lovers can’t miss the CDJW Help A Dog BBQ & Pet Fest at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta (August 25)

Take a Summer Stroll through the restored historic West Side of Saratoga Springs and learn about the Irish and Italian history there (August 25)

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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