One of the most important events on the horse racing calendar is the Saratoga Summer Meet. The 2021 summer meet starts Thursday, July 15, and ends on Labor Day, September 6.
In February, the New York Racing Association (NYRA), announced that Saratoga Race Course would be reopened to all fans at 100% capacity for its 2021 summer meet. The NYRA announced in June that it would be increasing its purse schedule for summer meet. All open stakes races with a purse of $100,000 or more will now see an $20,000 to $120,000 increase.
Saratoga Race Track: Best Bets
Saratoga Race Track is a historic track that hosts some of the largest graded-stakes races in the country. It is a popular destination for horse racing enthusiasts in North America. Saratoga Race Track hosts daily racing on dirt and turf from late July through Labor Day weekend. It features 35 graded stakes race, including 15 Grade 1 races.
Saratoga is also well-known for its annual Fasig Tipton auction of young horses, held each summer during the race meet. This brings together the largest racing stables, owners, and trainers to purchase next generation of racing champions.
Saratoga’s stakes schedule is a must-read for horse racing fans who want to bet on the best thoroughbred horse racing in North America.
The (G1) Whitney was traditionally the kick-off to the major stakes season. It is typically run in late July and early August. The Whitney is open to horses aged three and older. It covers 1 1/8 mile over dirt tracks and has a $1.25 million purse. The Breeders’ cup ‘Win and you’re In’ series gives the Whitney winner an automatic spot in the Breeders’ cup Classic. Fort Larned won in 2012 the Whitney, and then went on to win at 9-1 the BC Classic.
The (G1) Alabama Stakes, despite its name, has been held at Saratoga since 1882. It is open to fillies three years old, racing 1 1/4 mile on dirt for a purse $600,000. The Alabama, which is the last leg of the US Triple Tiara (the female equivalent of the Triple Crown) and one of few races that are run at the “classic distance” for fillies in North America, is considered one of the most important races in North America. The Alabama is typically held in mid August.
King’s Bishop Stakes
The (G1) King’s Bishop Stakes is open to horses three years old and can be run seven furlongs on dirt. It has been part of the Saratoga race schedule since 1984. It currently offers a prize pool of $500,000. The King’s Bishop winner (Runhappy and Drefong) has been the Breeders Cup Sprint race’s winner in each of the last two years.
Sword Dancer Stakes
The (G1) Sword Dancer Stakes, which is run over 1 1/2 miles on Saratoga’s main turf course, is one of the most prestigious turf events in America for horses three years and older. It offers a $1 million purse. The Breeders’ Cup Turf considers this race a major prep race. In mid-August, Main Sequence won it. They then went on to win the BC Turf.
Personal Ensign Stakes
The (G1) Personal Ensign is for fillies and mares three years and older. It runs 1 1/8 mile on dirt and has a purse of $750,000. Since 1948, the race has been run under many names. In 1997, it was named after Personal Ensign, an undefeated Hall of Fame mare. It is a significant prep for the Breeders Cup Distaff. In 2011, Royal Delta, a two-time winner of the Distaff, won the race.
Late August is the time when Saratoga’s summer racing meet hosts its feature race. In reference to the Kentucky Derby which takes place in the early spring, the (G1) Travers are often called the Summer Derby.
Horses three years old and older are eligible to compete in the Travers. This is often the first time that horses have been in the Triple Crown series for three year-olds. The Travers race is 1 1/4 miles on dirt with a purse of $1.25million.
The Travers’ winners’ list includes many of the most successful horses to have ever raced. These include Kentucky Derby winners Thunder Gulch (1995), Street Sense (2007) and Arrogate (2016), who was a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner.Last Updated on October 11, 2021