Saratoga’s Unprecedented 19 Grade 1 Stakes: $22.6 Million Purses

New York Racing Association Announces Saratoga’s 2022 Stakes Schedule

Purse Boost and Exciting Racing Events

The New York Racing Association has recently unveiled the highly-anticipated stakes schedule for Saratoga Race Course in 2022. With an impressive purse boost of $1.1 million, this year’s stakes schedule features an exciting lineup of 77 races spread over the course of the 40-day meet. Horsemen and women will have the opportunity to compete for a staggering total of $22.6 million in purses, making it a season filled with anticipation and top-tier racing action.

Travers Stakes and Whitney Day Take Center Stage

Headlining Saratoga’s stakes schedule, as it does every year, are the prestigious Travers Stakes and the highly anticipated Whitney Day. With a purse of $1.25 million, the Travers Stakes will captivate racing enthusiasts on August 27th, showcasing some of the finest 3-year-olds in the country. Another highlight of the season, the Whitney stakes, offers a purse of $1 million and takes place on August 6th. These two prominent races are just a glimpse of the 19 Grade 1 events that will grace Saratoga throughout the meet.

A Season Filled with Grade 1 Excitement

The stakes schedule commences on July 16th with the $500,000 Diana, a Grade 1 event that captures the attention of Thoroughbred enthusiasts nationwide. The thrilling racing action concludes on September 5th with the $300,000 Hopeful, showcasing promising 2-year-olds as they compete for the season’s final victory. In between, Saratoga’s audience will feast their eyes on a spectacular array of Grade 1 races, with each event bringing its own unique flavor to the track.

A Glance at the Opening Week and Special Races

Saratoga’s season kicks off on July 14th and runs through Labor Day on September 5th, offering a summer filled with unparalleled racing excitement. The opening weekend is a four-day racing extravaganza, setting the stage for an unforgettable season. One of the notable races during this exciting time is the $135,000 Wilton, marking the debut of Saratoga’s Wilson Chute. The reconstructed chute, which brings back one-mile races to Saratoga, is a reminiscent nod to the early 20th-century banker Richard Wilson, who played a significant role in the Saratoga Racing Association.

Whitney Day Welcomes Grade 1 Thrillers

Whitney Day takes center stage on August 6th, offering racing enthusiasts a thrilling lineup of Grade 1 races. The 1 1/8-mile Whitney stakes serves as the highlight, giving its winner a coveted berth in the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic. Accompanying this thrilling race are two more Grade 1 events on the Whitney undercard—the $500,000 Test Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs and the $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational, a 1 3/16-mile turf test for sophomores and the second jewel of the Turf Triple series.

Travers Day: A True Racing Spectacle

Travers Day, slated for August 27th, is a highly anticipated event and one of the most celebrated racing days in the country. The 153rd edition of the Travers, a pinnacle race for 3-year-olds, headlines an extraordinary day of racing with a total of six stakes races, including five Grade 1 events. Among the captivating races on the undercard is the $750,000 Sword Dancer, offering an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf, and the $600,000 Personal Ensign, a thrilling 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares.

Closing Weekend Showcases Top-Notch Races

As the meet draws to a close, Saratoga’s closing weekend promises to be as exhilarating as ever. September 3rd brings the Grade 1 $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup to the forefront, with its purse potentially rising to $1.25 million if a Grade 1 winner competes. The following day, the Grade 1 $300,000 Spinaway captivates the audience with thrilling races for juvenile fillies, adding to the excitement of the closing weekend.

Steeplechase and Television Coverage

Saratoga Race Course will not only offer exceptional Flat racing but will also host two Grade 1 steeplechase events. The $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial on July 20th and the $150,000 Jonathan Sheppard on August 17th provide a unique and thrilling experience for fans of steeplechase racing. Additionally, Fox Sports will provide extensive coverage of the Saratoga meet through their popular “Saratoga Live” show. Audiences can tune in to witness the action unfold on the flagship Fox network, as well as FS1 and FS2.

Conclusion

Saratoga’s 2022 stakes schedule promises a summer filled with captivating racing moments. With an impressive lineup of Grade 1 events, including the highly anticipated Travers Stakes and Whitney Day, horse racing enthusiasts and casual fans alike are in for an unforgettable experience. From the opening weekend to the thrilling closing races, Saratoga Race Course continues to be a premier destination for top-tier racing action.

FAQs

1. Can you provide more information about the Wilson Chute at Saratoga?

The Wilson Chute is a recently reconstructed chute at Saratoga Race Course that brings back one-mile races to the track. Named after Richard Wilson, an influential banker and former president of the Saratoga Racing Association, the Wilson Chute follows the original chute’s path, taking runners along the Clubhouse Turn.

2. How many Grade 1 races are included in Saratoga’s 2022 stakes schedule?

Saratoga’s 2022 stakes schedule features an impressive lineup of 19 Grade 1 events. These prestigious races attract top-quality horses and showcase some of the most thrilling action of the season.

3. What is the significance of the Travers Day at Saratoga?

Travers Day is one of the most highly anticipated racing events at Saratoga Race Course. The Travers Stakes, which has a rich history dating back to 1864, is the highlight of the day. Considered one of the most prestigious races for 3-year-olds, the Travers attracts top contenders vying for fame and glory.

4. How can I watch the races at Saratoga?

Fox Sports provides comprehensive coverage of the Saratoga meet through their “Saratoga Live” show. Fans can enjoy the thrilling races on the flagship Fox network, as well as FS1 and FS2. Tune in to witness the excitement of Saratoga’s top-tier racing action.

5. Are there any steeplechase races scheduled at Saratoga?

Yes, Saratoga Race Course will also host two Grade 1 steeplechase races during the meet. The $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial on July 20th and the $150,000 Jonathan Sheppard on August 17th showcase the exhilarating world of steeplechase racing. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness these unique and thrilling events amidst the Flat racing action.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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