· Sunset Racing, Saratoga Race Course, special first post time 2:45 p.m., gates open at 12 Noon. Kicking off the first evening of Final Stretch weekend, Saratoga Race Course will feature a late-afternoon card with sunset racing at the Spa. Happy hour pricing will be available on food and beverages throughout the track, including Restaurant Row, beginning at 5 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30
· Curlin’s Historic Saratoga Debut in the Woodward, Saratoga Race Course, 5:45 p.m. Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year and the top Thoroughbred in the world, according to Timeform, will headline the field in Saturday’s running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward Stakes with a chance to move into second place on the all-time career earnings list behind Cigar. A win by Curlin in the Woodward would give him six straight Grade 1 victories, including the Preakness, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Dubai World Cup and Stephen Foster Handicap.
· Curlin Poster Giveaway, Saratoga Race Course. The first 20,000 fans will receive a special, commemorative Curlin poster designed by nationally renowned artist Peb Bellocq. The caricature print features Curlin and his connections, owner Jess Jackson, trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Robby Albarado, encircling a totem pole inscribed with the names of the Woodward’s legendary champions including Cigar, Holy Bull, Forego, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Kelso and Damascus. The limited edition print is free with paid admission.
· The Forego Handicap, Saratoga Race Course. The Grade 1 Forego, for sprinters three-years-old and up, will add to the blockbuster day of racing.
· Final Stretch Downtown Music Festival, Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. The sounds of reggae, jazz, blues, and pop will resonate throughout downtown Saratoga Springs as numerous bands line Broadway to celebrate the Spa’s waning days. Popular local and regional bands will include Solid Smoke, Aged in the Hills, Deni Bonet, Bob Warren and Friends, Big Medicine, Grain Belt, the Brian Patneaude Quartet, the Racing City Chorus and Rich Ortiz.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31
· Saratoga Cooler Bag Giveaway, Saratoga Race Course, gates open at 10:30 a.m. The perfect carry-all for a day at the track, all fans receive a Saratoga cooler bag free with paid admission, while supplies last. Just in time for the Labor Day holiday, the cooler bag features the traditional Saratoga logo and is the fifth and final of the Spa’s premium giveaways.
· The Spinaway, Saratoga Race Course. Juvenile fillies stretch out to seven furlongs in this Grade 1 affair, complemented by the Grade 3 Saranac for three-year-olds on the grass.
· Family Fun Fest, Saratoga Race Course, backyard, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Families and children gather to enjoy pony rides, caricatures, clowns, jugglers, face painting, spin art and giant inflatables. All proceeds from games, pony rides and other select activities benefit Ronald McDonald Charities of the Capital Region.
· Final Stretch Downtown Music Festival, Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. The sounds of reggae, jazz, blues, and pop will resonate throughout downtown Saratoga Springs as numerous bands line Broadway to celebrate the Spa’s final days.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
· Fan Appreciation Day, Saratoga Race Course. Free grandstand admission for all racing fans, courtesy of New York Racing Association.
· The Three Chimneys Hopeful, Saratoga Race Course. The final day of racing at Saratoga will offer fans a potential glimpse at the 2009 Triple Crown field with the 104th running of the Grade 1, $250,000 Hopeful for two-year-olds.
· All-American Labor Day BBQ, Saratoga Race Course, At the Rail and Paddock Pavilions, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Patrons can celebrate Labor Day with an all-American barbecue featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, salad, dessert and more. Price is $20 for adults and $14 for children ages 3-12, which includes Clubhouse admission and an official “Post Parade” program. For tickets, call 518-584-6200 ext 4476.
· Family Fun Fest, Saratoga Race Course, backyard, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Families and children gather to enjoy pony rides, caricatures, clowns, jugglers, face painting, spin art and giant inflatables. All proceeds from games, pony rides and other select activities benefit Ronald McDonald Charities of the Capital Region.