Saratoga Race Course

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Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Race Course is a horse racing track in Saratoga Springs, New York. It opened in 1863, at the 267 Union Avenue.

History of Saratoga Race Course

1863 Saratoga Race Course opened on August 3, 1863, built by John Hunter, who became the first chairman of The Jockey Club, and William R. Travers.

1864 Since 1864, the Saratoga track has been the site of the Travers Stakes, the oldest major thoroughbred horse race in the United States, which is the main draw of the annual summer race meeting. The Saratoga meet originally consisted of only four days, but over time was lengthened to four weeks. The same year, the main grandstand is constructed on the Saratoga race course.

1865 Harper’s Weekly runs a Winslow Homer drawing of the Saratoga Race Course.

1930 – When Jim Dandy defeated Gallant Fox at the Travers Stakes, Saratoga Race Course acquired the nickname “The Graveyard of Champions.”

1943 to 1945 – racing was not held at Saratoga Race Course due to travel restrictions during the war. During those years, the stakes races that should have been held at Saratoga Race Course were contested at Belmont Park instead.

1960’s – Saratoga race course’s grandstand was renovated, doubling its seating capacity. Furthermore, race meets were lengthened to five weeks, and today became a six-week meeting ending on Labor Day. 

1999 – Saratoga race course topped #10 among the sports venue of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated.

2006 – “Twilight racing” was founded.

2013 – The Whitney Viewing Stand was created so guests could overview the horses training at the historic Oklahoma Training Track on August 3, 2013.

Nicknames of the Saratoga Racetrack

Saratoga Race Course has two well-known nicknames — The Spa (for the nearby mineral springs) and the “Graveyard of Champions” (for the upsets that have occurred there). Man o’ War suffered his only defeat in 21 starts while racing at Saratoga Race Course. Secretariat was also defeated at Saratoga Race Course by Onion after winning the Triple Crown. Lastly,  Gallant Fox was beaten by Jim Dandy in the 1930 Travers Stakes.

Track Details and Other Facilities

Track Details

  • Tracks
    • Like the other two tracks operated by the New York Racing Association, Aqueduct and Belmont Park, the Saratoga race course has three separate tracks in the main course.
      1. A main (dirt track): a 1+1⁄8-mile (9-furlong or 1,811 m) circumference with a chute for 7-furlong events and a chute for 1-mile events known as the Wilson Chute.
      2. A 1-mile  turf track:  officially known as the Mellon Turf Course in honor of the Mellon family.
      3. An inner turf track (steeplechase), the circumference of which is ⅞ mile.
  • Training Track
    • Saratoga race course also has a training track named The Oklahoma Training Track, located across Union Avenue from the main course (originally named Horse Haven). 
    • Its usage is for warmups and training. 
    • Initially, it was the main course of the Saratoga Race Course, where it was inaugurated in 1863, while the main grandstand was opened at the current site in 1864.
  • Other Track Features
    • Saratoga race course also has distinctive features. Before each race, a bell is hand rung exactly 17 minutes before the scheduled post time to call the jockeys to the paddock
    • There is a mineral spring called the Big Red Spring on the picnic grounds where patrons can use the water.
    • It is what made Saratoga Springs famous. There is also a gazebo on the infield.

Other Facilities

  • Full-Service Dining Options
    • The Turf Terrace Dining Room – 3rd and 4th floor of the Clubhouse
    • The Club Terrace – 2nd floor of the Clubhouse (behind box seats)
    • The Porch – Track level of the Clubhouse
  • Carmen M. Barrera Horsemen’s Lounge 
    • An equestrian lounge formerly known as the Saratoga Room. 
    • It is a drop-in lounge open to licensed owners and trainers.
    • It offers assorted beverages.
    • It islocated just off the Porch on the first floor of the Clubhouse.
  • Group Hospitality Areas
    • Stella Artois Spa Verandas – At the Top of the Stretch
    • Tailgate at the Turn – Near the 1863 Club
    • Easy Goer (Formerly The Upper Carousel) – Inside the Grandstand
    • 1863 Club (Legends Hall & Luxury Suites) – On the Clubhouse turn
    • The Festival Tent – In the backyard area
    • Big Red Spring Tent – In the backyard area
    • Paddock Suite – Above the renovated Post Bar

Race Schedule and Major Events & Races

Saratoga Racetrack Schedule

  • 🐎 Live Racing Schedule
    • The first post is 1:05 pm every racing day with the following exceptions:
      • 12:35 pm on Whitney Day 
      • 11:35 am on Travers Day 
      • 12:35 pm on Closing Weekend 
      • 12-race cards
  • 🐎Gates Open
    • General Day – open at 11:00 am 
    • Travers Day – open at 7:00 am

Feature Events

Saratoga 1

Graded Stakes Races

  • Grade II
      • 🐴Amsterdam Stakes
      • 🐴Ballston Spa Stakes
      • 🐴Bowling Green Stakes
      • 🐴Glens Falls Stakes
      • 🐴Honorable Miss Handicap
      • 🐴Flower Bowl Stakes
      • 🐴Jim Dandy Stakes
      • 🐴Lake George Stakes
      • 🐴Lake Placid Stakes
      • 🐴National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes
      • 🐴Prioress Stakes
      • 🐴Saratoga Special Stakes
      • 🐴Shuvee Stakes
  • Grade I
      • 🐴Alabama Stakes
      • 🐴Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap
      • 🐴Ballerina Stakes
      • 🐴Coaching Club American Oaks
      • 🐴Diana Stakes
      • 🐴Forego Stakes
      • 🐴Fourstardave Handicap
      • 🐴H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes
      • 🐴Hopeful Stakes
      • 🐴Jockey Club Gold Cup
      • 🐴Personal Ensign Stakes
      • 🐴Saratoga Derby
      • 🐴Spinaway Stakes
      • 🐴Sword Dancer Stakes
      • 🐴Test Stakes
      • 🐴Travers Stakes
      • 🐴Whitney Stakes

Location and Access to the Racecourse

  • Saratoga race course is located at 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866.
  • General Admission:
    • Single-day admission tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased in advance on Ticketmaster.
    • Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.
    • Reserved seating is sold separately.
  • Prices:
    • Grandstand Admission: $7
    • Clubhouse Admission: $10
    • Travers Day Admission: $30 for Clubhouse; $20 for Grandstand


Other racetracks are sorted and listed on the page “List of Racetracks”. To view the full list, hit the button below. You can also check the horse racing types and breeds to have a lot more in-depth knowledge about horse racing. 

Saratoga Race Course

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