Racing Season Opens March 4 At Saratoga Casino And Raceway
Published: March 1, 2012 4:30 pm ET
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Saratoga Casino and Raceway will open for its 71st harness racing season at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. With 169 racing dates, the 2012 season will run through December 15.
Opening day will kick off with a giveaway. A complimentary commemorative baseball cap will be provided to patrons who purchase a live racing program during the matinee card. As always, parking and admission are free.
Throughout March, races will begin at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Matinee racing will take place at 12:45 p.m. every Sunday. The full season schedule is available at saratogacasino.com.
The highlight of the season will be the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pacing Series Final on August 18 with an estimated $250,000 in purses. The first leg of the series will take place on August 4 and the second on August 11. This annual series is part of the New York Sire Stakes 20-race day schedule for 2012.
"We’re looking forward to another successful season with quality racing and over $15 million in purses to distribute," said John Matarazzo, director of racing operations. "Along with enjoying our racing on-track, racing fans will be able to view and wager on our product in more than 100 simulcasting outlets in the U. S. and abroad."
Saratoga Casino and Raceway will once again participate in the Back to the Track event, a co-operative effort among the U.S. Trotting Association, its member racetracks and horsemen from coast to coast. The event will be held the weekend of July 13 - 15 and the raceway will offer a t-shirt giveaway, as well as a trip to The Little Brown Jug.
The harness track will continue to offer the 50-cent minimum wagering option on pick-fours and trifectas that it rolled out last year. Along with 10-cent superfecta and the traditional wagering menu.
Guests can also anticipate the return of the annual Fireworks Night on Tuesday, July 3. As in the past, racing will begin at 5:00 p.m. and fireworks will follow. The consistently popular 'Win, Place or Show Me the Money' handicapping challenge will also make a comeback, as well as t-shirt giveaway days.
The return of live racing also marks the re-opening of Fortunes Restaurant, overlooking the track with wagering available right from the table. Fortunes will be open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, and Sunday for brunch.
Last season was very successful for Saratoga Casino and Raceway, reporting an overall increase in all source handle of 11.7 per cent despite an industry-wide decline of 5.5 per cent in wagering dollars over 2011.
(With files from Saratoga)