Saratoga Race Course will offer a full card of Thoroughbred racing Sept. 1 with a different twist. For this one day only during the Spa's 36-day meet, the first race post will be at 3 p.m.Admission gates will open at noon, and standard admission prices of $5 clubhouse and $3 grandstand will apply. Additionally, there will be Happy Hour food and drink specials beginning at 5 p.m. and lasting through the end of the card. "We have enjoyed great success in recent weeks with Friday twilight racing at Belmont Park and decided the Friday of Labor Day weekend is a great opportunity to adopt this strategy at Saratoga," said Bill Nader, senior vice president of the New York Racing Association. "It provides tourists with a final chance to return to Saratoga, arrive in time for Friday racing, and then stay in town for a power-packed lineup of quality stakes over closing weekend."The twilight card at Saratoga will kickoff Final Stretch Weekend at Saratoga, a big weekend with a community-wide celebration of music on Broadway in Saratoga Springs on Saturday and Sunday nights, and a Family Fun Fest featuring pony rides, caricatures, games, face-painting, clowns, and games, all benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region on track Sunday and Monday.Saratoga will host the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) for 3-year-olds and up at nine furlongs Sept. 2. Traditionally a one-turn race run at Belmont Park, the Woodward was moved north for this meet to add to the Labor Day weekend. The Woodward will share the card with the $250,000 Forego Handicap (gr. I) at seven furlongs.Fans will see the $250,000 Spinaway (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs and the $100,000-added Saranac (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at a mile and three-sixteenths Sept. 3. Every fan in attendance will receive a free Saratoga Stadium Blanket that day with each paid admission, while supplies last.
The 2006 Saratoga season comes to a close on Labor Day with a card featuring the $250,000 Hopeful (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs and $250,000 Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 11 furlongs. There will also be an All-American Labor Day Barbecue in the At the Rail tent and Paddock Pavilion on Closing Day.
Saratoga opens its 138th season July 26 and races every day except Tuesday. The annual National Football League Alumni Day, originally scheduled for Aug. 6, has been re-scheduled for Aug. 13. Also on that day will be Saratoga's salute to its all-time leading rider, retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, and all fans on track Aug. 13 will receive a free Saratoga Sports Bag with each paid admission, while supplies last.