Saratoga stakes schedule unveiled; 39 graded stakes on tap

Saratoga stakes schedule unveiled; 39 graded stakes on tap
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

The 2020 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course will feature 71 stakes worth $14.45 million, encompassing 39 graded stakes and 18 Grade 1s from Thursday, July 16, through Monday, Sept. 7.

"We're thrilled to be racing at Saratoga this summer, and we thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his support and the support of horsemen who have worked with us to navigate the many challenges," NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke said. "While this will be anything but a traditional Saratoga season, we hope to provide a semblance of normalcy for both the local community as well as racing fans across the country."

Under current New York state guidelines, Saratoga Race Course will open on July 16 without spectators in attendance.

The 40-day meet will feature at least one stakes race every live racing day, highlighted by the 151st renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers on Aug. 8 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney on Aug. 1, as the anchors of two of the biggest racing days in North America.

After opening weekend, racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays.

Whitney Day, set for Saturday, Aug. 1, will feature three Grade 1 events, led by the historic Whitney, a handicap at 1 1/8 miles with an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 7 at Keeneland on the line.

The card is bolstered by the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Distaff in November; and the Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs.

The stakes-laden card also includes the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green for 4-year-olds and up on the turf and the $200,000 Caress, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares.

The Runhappy Travers, traditionally contested at the end of August, will be held this year on Aug. 8 to properly account for the schedule adjustments and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training due to the health and safety measures instituted to mitigate risk and combat the spread of COVID-19.

The "Mid-Summer Derby" will still be contested at 1 1/4 miles for the country's most talented 3-year-olds and is one of three Grade 1s on the day, joining the $300,000 Ballerina for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going seven furlongs in a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

The day will also see sophomore fillies compete in the prestigious Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Test at seven furlongs, with the card bolstered by the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for older males, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Waya , a 1 1/2-mile turf route for older fillies and mares.

The Saratoga meet will commence on Thursday, July 16, with a strong Opening Day card fortified by the Grade 3, $100,000 Peter Pan. The 1 1/8-miles test for sophomores was moved from its traditional home at Belmont Park to the Spa. Also on tap for the Saratoga lid-lifter is the Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville for juvenile fillies going six furlongs.

The meet's first Grade 1 will be on the opening Saturday, July 18, when the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for sophomore fillies going 1 1/8 miles takes center stage, supported by the Grade 2, $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.

A pair of graded stakes feature on Saturday, July 25, topped by the Grade 1, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, a handicap for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs, and including the Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa for older fillies and mares on the turf.

New to the Saratoga stakes schedule are a pair of New York-bred races for older grass horses with the Lubash set for July 22 and the Dayatthespa for fillies and mares on July 29, both offering a purse of $85,000 for the 1 1/16-mile turf tests.

The $100,000 Perfect Sting, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for older fillies and mares, moves from Belmont to August 14 at the Spa.

The Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/4 miles is slated for Saturday, August 15, which will also see the second running of the $500,000 Saratoga Derby, part of the Turf Triple Series for 3-year-olds. Its filly counterpart, the $500,000 Saratoga Oaks for sophomores, will be run the next day.

Saturday, Aug.. 22, will run the Grade 1, $400,000 Fourstardave, a handicap for 3-year-olds and up going one mile on the turf. The Grade 1, $500,000 Diana for fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf will be the feature on Sunday, Aug. 23.

A pair of stakes for sophomore statebreds originally scheduled at Aqueduct Racetrack, the NYSSS Times Square and NYSSS Park Avenue, will now be contested at Saratoga on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, respectively, both offering a purse of $100,000 for the 6 1/2-furlong main-track sprints.

The Grade 1, $300,000 Forego, presented by America's Best Racing, a seven-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up, shares center stage on Saratoga's penultimate Saturday on Aug. 29, with the day also offering exciting racing action with the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer, a 1 1/2-mile turf route for 4-year-olds and up that serves as a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Turf.

The final weekend of the 2020 Saratoga meet will have six graded stakes. Four of those contests will run Saturday, Sept. 5, led by the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward, a handicap for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/4 miles.

A trio of Grade 2 races will make for a strong card, including the $150,000 Jim Dandy for sophomores at 1 1/8 miles; the $200,000 Prioress for sophomore fillies going six furlongs; and the $200,000 Glens Falls for older fillies and mares competing at 1 3/8 miles on the turf.

Sunday, Sept. 6 will be the date for the Grade 1, $250,000 Spinaway for sophomore fillies going seven furlongs, along with the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss, a handicap for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at six furlongs.

The $250,000 Runhappy Hopeful, at seven furlongs for juvenile sprinters as the traditional final Grade 1 of the Saratoga meet, brings the curtain down on Closing Day Monday, Sept. 7.

DATE
RACE
GR
PURSE
AGE
DISTANCE
Thurs., July 16
Schuylerville
G3
100,000
F2YO
6 F
Thurs., July 16
Peter Pan
G3
100,000
3YO
1 1/8
Fri., July 17
Shine Again
 
85,000
F&M 4&UP
7 F
Fri., July 17
De La Rose
 
85,000
F&M 4&UP
1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., July 18
Coaching Club American Oaks
G1
350,000
F3YO
1 1/8
Sat., July 18
National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame
G2
150,000
3YO
1 1/8 (Turf)
Sun., July 19
Lake Placid
G2
150,000
F3YO
1 1/8 (Turf)
Wed., July 22
Lubash (NYB)
 
85,000
4&UP
1 1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., July 23
A. P. Smithwick (Steeplechase)
G1
100,000
4&UP
2 1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., July 23
NYSSS Statue Of Liberty Division
 
100,000
F3YO
1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., July 24
Quick Call
G3
100,000
3YO
5 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., July 25
Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Hdcp.)
G1
250,000
3&UP
6 F
Sat., July 25
Ballston Spa
G2
200,000
F&M 4&UP
1 1/16 (Turf)
Sun., July 26
Bernard Baruch (Hdcp.)
G2
150,000
3&UP
1   1/16 (Turf)
Wed., July 29
Dayatthespa (NYB)
 
85,000
F&M 4&UP
1   1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., July 30
John Morrissey Hdcp (NYB)
 
85,000
3&UP
7 F
Fri., July 31
Coronation Cup
 
100,000
F3YO
5 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 1
Whitney (BC)
G1
750,000
4&UP
1 1/8
Sat., Aug 1
Personal Ensign (BC)
G1
500,000
F&M 4&UP
1 1/8
Sat., Aug 1
H. Allen Jerkens Memorial
G1
300,000
3YO
7 F
 
Presented by Runhappy
 
 
 
 
Sat., Aug 1
Bowling Green
G2
250,000
4&UP
1 3/8 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 1
Caress
 
200,000
F&M 4&UP
5 1/2 F (Turf)
Sun., Aug 2
Birdstone
 
100,000
4&UP
1 3/4
Wed., Aug 5
Summer Colony
 
85,000
F&M 4&UP
1 1/8
Thurs., Aug 6
NYSSS Cab Calloway Division
 
100,000
3YO
1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., Aug 7
Saratoga Special
G2
150,000
2YO
6 F
Sat., Aug 8
Runhappy Travers
G1
1,000,000
3YO
1 1/4
Sat., Aug 8
Ballerina Hdcp. (BC)
G1
300,000
F&M 3&UP
7 F
Sat., Aug 8
Longines Test
G1
300,000
F3YO
7 F
Sat., Aug 8
Troy
G3
200,000
4&UP
5 1/2 F (Turf)
Sat., Aug 8
Waya
G3
150,000
F&M 4&UP
1 1/2 (Turf)
Sun., Aug 9
Alydar
 
85,000
4&UP
1 1/8
Wed., Aug 12
Adirondack
G2
150,000
F2YO
6 1/2 F
Thurs., Aug 13
Union Avenue Hdcp (NYB)
 
85,000
F&M 3&UP
7 F
Fri., Aug 14
Perfect Sting
 
100,000
F&M 4&UP
1 1/16 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 15
Saratoga Derby Invitational
 
500,000
3YO
1 3/16 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 15
Alabama
G1
500,000
F3YO
1 1/4
Sun., Aug 16
Saratoga Oaks Invitational
 
500,000
F3YO
1 3/16 (Turf)
Wed., Aug 19
Bolton Landing
 
85,000
F2YO
5 1/2 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 20
New York Turf Writers Cup (Steeplechase)
G1
100,000
4&UP
2 3/8 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 20
Tale of the Cat (NW GSS)
 
85,000
4&UP
6 F
Fri., Aug 21
Skidmore
 
85,000
2YO
5 1/2 F (Turf)
Sat., Aug 22
Fourstardave (Hdcp.) (BC)
G1
400,000
3&UP
1 Mile (Turf)
Sun., Aug 23
Diana
G1
500,000
F&M 4&UP
1 1/8 (Turf)
Wed., Aug 26
Mahony
 
85,000
3YO
5 1/2 (Turf)
Thurs., Aug 27
NYSSS Times Square Division
 
100,000
3YO
6 1/2 F
Thurs., Aug 27
Smart N Fancy
 
85,000
F&M 4&UP
5 1/2 F (Turf)
Fri., Aug 28
Lake George
G3
100,000
F3YO
1 Mile (Turf)
Sat., Aug 29
Sword Dancer (BC)
G1
500,000
4&UP
1 1/2 (Turf)
Sat., Aug 29
Forego presented by America's Best Racing
G1
300,000
4&UP
7 F
Sat., Aug 29
Amsterdam
G2
150,000
3YO
6 F
Sat., Aug 29
Saranac
G3
100,000
3YO
1 Mile (Turf)
Sun., Aug 30
Shuvee
G3
125,000
F&M 4&UP
1 1/8
Wed., Sept 2
With Anticipation
G3
100,000
2YO
1   1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., Sept 3
P. G. Johnson
 
100,000
F2YO
1   1/16 (Turf)
Thurs., Sept 3
NYSSS Park Avenue Division
 
100,000
F3YO
6 1/2 Furlongs
Fri., Sept 4
Albany (NYB)
 
150,000
3YO
1 1/8
Fri., Sept 4
Fleet Indian (NYB)
 
150,000
F3YO
1 1/8
Fri., Sept 4
Funny Cide (NYB)
 
150,000
2YO
6 1/2 F
Fri., Sept 4
Seeking the Ante (NYB)
 
150,000
F2YO
6 1/2 F
Fri., Sept 4
West Point Hdcp (NYB)
 
150,000
3&UP
1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., Sept 4
Yaddo Hdcp (NYB)
 
150,000
F&M 3&UP
1 1/16 (Turf)
Sat., Sept 5
Woodward Hdcp.
G1
500,000
3&UP
1 1/4
Sat., Sept 5
Glens Falls
G2
200,000
F&M 4&UP
1 3/8 (Turf)
Sat., Sept 5
Prioress
G2
200,000
F3YO
6 F
Sat., Sept 5
Jim Dandy
G2
150,000
3YO
1 1/8
Sun., Sept 6
Spinaway
G1
250,000
F2YO
7 F
Sun., Sept 6
Honorable Miss (Hdcp.)
G2
150,000
F&M 3&UP
6 F
Sun., Sept 6
Lucky Coin (NW SS in 2020)
 
85,000
4&UP
5 1/2 F (Turf)
Mon., Sept 7
Runhappy Hopeful
G1
250,000
2YO
7 F
Mon., Sept 7
Lure
 
85,000
4&UP
1 1/16 (Turf)

Top Stories

There is not a single Breeders' Cup race with a bi...
Few Breeders' Cup races have received the increase...
Unlike last year, the upcoming $2 million Breeders...
A couple of weeks ago, trainer Mark Casse told Hor...
Sackatoga Stable’s multiple Grade 1 winner Tiz the...