SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The 12th annual Travers Celebration – the premier evening affair at Saratoga Race Course – will return once again to celebrate the arrival of the 143rd edition of the Mid-Summer Derby on Thursday, August 23 from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

The official party of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers, the Travers Celebration supports the Backstretch Employee Service Team, the Times Union Hope Fund and its newest beneficiary, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The elaborate event held in the At the Rail Pavilion at Saratoga Race Course will feature exquisite food stations and beverage offerings, a live and silent auction, and dancing to live music from the New York Players.

This year’s event will feature a number of new elements, including an extravagant dessert bar catered by Mazzone Hospitality featuring an eclectic mix of desserts such as cake pops and milkshakes. Mazzone Hospitality will also craft two intricate ice luges that will be positioned at the bars located inside the tent, creating a unique cocktail spectacle for attendees.

Event attendees will also have the opportunity to have their photo taken with the official trophy of the Travers. The 18K gold permanent trophy of Travers designed by Tiffany & Co. is inscribed with all past winners’ names.

Additionally, attendees will enjoy specialty cocktails at a martini bar from Ketel One Vodka. Macy’s will also host a high-end pop-up store where event attendees can peruse fashionable hats and perfume.

The centerpiece of the evening will be a thrilling live auction, which will commence with a formal presentation at 8:15 p.m. Guests will have an opportunity to bid on a number of premier items, including:

· A private dinner for 10 at any Mazzone Hospitality restaurant, including Prime at Saratoga National in Saratoga Springs, 677 Prime in Albany, Prime Bar & Grill in Clifton Park and Angelo’s Tavolo in Scotia, courtesy of renowned restaurateur Angelo Mazzone and Mazzone Hospitality.

· Two sets of luxury suite tickets for the New York Yankees v. Oakland Athletics game on Sunday, September 23, including all-inclusive food and beverage service and in-seat wait service, courtesy of Diageo and Ketel One.

· The ultimate Travers Weekend package, including a table for four in the Turf Terrace on Travers Day, parking, programs and a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites in downtown Saratoga Springs, courtesy of NYRA and Turf Hotels.

· The ultimate Belmont Stakes package, including four seats in the Garden Terrace, dining, programs, and parking, courtesy of NYRA.

· Four suite tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open, including admission, food and beverage, courtesy of Heineken.

The live auction will be supplemented with a silent auction, which will be open until 9:30 p.m. The silent auction will feature an extensive selection of luxury items, including:

· A tour of the Hearst Tower and dinner for four at New York City restaurant Sorella, courtesy of the Hearst Corporation.

· One night accommodations and breakfast and the Saratoga Arms boutique hotel in downtown Saratoga Springs, courtesy of Saratoga Arms.

· One week at a beach house in North Carolina from September 22-29, 2013, valued at $1500.

· A year’s supply of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts.

· A round of golf for four at Saratoga National including lunch at Prime at Saratoga National, courtesy of Mazzone Hospitality.

· A suite for 16 for the Tri-City ValleyCats first home playoff game at Joseph Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY, plus a $100 credit, courtesy of the Tri-City ValleyCats.

· Box seats for four for the 2013 season of the New York City Ballet at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, including dinner in the patron’s club and VIP parking, courtesy of SPAC.

· Clubhouse box for five for the inaugural Saratoga Steeplechase Festival on September 15, 2012, courtesy of the Saratoga Steeplechase Festival.

· One-of-a-kind Mariano Rivera autographed Saratoga Race Course 2012 giveaway hat featuring a rare “602 saves 9/19/11” inscription and Mariano Rivera autographed baseball, signed by the New York Yankees All-Star during his recent visit to Saratoga Race Course.

· Two season tickets for the 2012-13 Siena men’s basketball games at the Times Union Center in Albany, including access to the Premium Club sports lounge, one valet parking pass and a ceremonial jump ball, courtesy of Siena Athletics.

· Autographed prints from award-winning thoroughbred photographers Connie Bush, Barbara Livingston and Skip Dickstein.

· Weekend getaway package for two at Sunnyhill Golf Resort in the Catskills, including two night stay, golf and food service, courtesy of the Hearst Corporation.

· Silver Secretariat pendant with signed card from Ron Turcotte, courtesy of The Secretariat Foundation.

Throughout the summer, a portion of proceeds from all merchandise sold at the NYRA Stores at Saratoga Race Course will benefit the Travers Celebration and its charitable partners. Additionally, a portion of proceeds from Coca-Cola sales on track will be earmarked for both charities, as well as from group sales events at the Carousel Restaurant and At the Rail Pavilion.

The 2012 Travers Celebration is co-chaired by Mr. George R. Hearst III, Publisher and CEO of the Times Union newspaper; and Mrs. Sharon Dominguez, wife of Ramon Dominguez, winner of the 2011 and 2012 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey.

The 2012 Travers Celebration is sponsored by Macy’s, Ketel One, NEWS 10, the Times Union and NYRA.

Tickets are available for $175 per person and $125 for young adults (under 30). Tickets are available for purchase by phone at (518) 383-6183. Credit cards accepted are Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

The Travers Celebration has raised more than $1.1 million for non-profit organizations in the thoroughbred industry and throughout the greater Capital Region since its inception over a decade ago.

The Backstretch Employee Service Team is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing care and service to maintain the health and well-being of employees in the backstretch.

The Times Union Hope Fund, a component fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, raises money and awards grants to after school and summer programs serving at risk children in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties.

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered devastating on-track injuries.

The 143rd edition of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers will be run on Saturday, August 25. For up-to-date information on the Travers Celebration and other special events, please visit