Las Vegas, NV - Live horse racing betting returns from Saratoga Race Course! The 2013 Saratoga Race Course stakes schedule, highlighted by the 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes on August 24, features nearly $14.95 million in purse money.
The 1 1/4-mile Travers for 3 year olds is one of four graded stakes races on August 24, the others being the Grade 1 Foxwoods King's Bishop, Grade 1 Test, and Grade 2 Ketel One Ballston Spa Handicap.
There are 18 Grade 1 races in total over the course of the 40 day meet. The first Grade 1 race will be contested on Day 2 when 3 year old fillies compete in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks at 1 1/8 miles. For the first time the Coaching Club American Oaks will be complemented by the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap, a new addition to the Saratoga stakes schedule.
In addition to a pair of Grade 1 races, the July 27 card will feature the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy for 3-year-olds, Saratoga's premier prep for the Travers. Saratoga will also present the Grade 1, $600,000 Diana Stakes for filly and mares on the turf and the Grade 1 Prioress for 3-year-old filly sprinters.
Older horses will be showcased the following weekend, the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing, when Saratoga presents the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on August 3 and the Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs on August 4. Last year's Whitney winner, Fort Larned, went on to win the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic.
The Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap for older turf horses will be the sole graded stakes on August 10, a Saturday that marks the midway mark of the meet. The 1 1/16-mile Fourstardave was one of five graded stakes wins in 2012 for Wise Dan, who was later named Horse of the Year.
For the second year, the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes at 1 1/4 miles for 3-year-old fillies and the Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at 1 1/2 miles on the turf for 3-year-olds and up will share the spotlight on the fifth Saturday of the meet, August 17. Questing and Point of Entry, the respective winners of last year's Alabama and Sword Dancer, were named Champions at the 2012 Eclipse Awards.
Saratoga will run Grade 1 races on the day before and the day after the Travers. On Friday, August 23, filly and mare sprinters will compete in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes race. Older females will go long on August 25 when they compete in the $500,000 Personal Ensign Stakes.
The final three days of the meet will all include at least one Grade 1 race. Both races on Saturday, August 31 will be for older males as Saratoga will host the $750,000 Woodward Stakes at 1 1/8 miles and the $500,000 Forego handicap at seven furlongs. The final Saturday card also includes the Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch on the turf, also for 3-year-olds and up.
Saratoga will present seven graded stakes for 2-year-olds during the meet, and the first Grade 1 for juveniles will be contested on Sunday, September 1 when fillies compete in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes. The Grade 3 Saranac Stakes race for 3-year-olds on the turf will be part of the undercard.
Closing day will include two graded stakes: the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds and the Grade 3, $150,000 Glens Falls Handicap for filly and mare turf horses. Shanghai Bobby, the 2012 Champion Two-Year-Old Male, won the Hopeful during his 5-for-5 campaign.
Guaranteed Pick 4 Wagers to be Featured at The Spa: The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will present a $500,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 every Saturday at Saratoga Race Course and a $1 Million All Graded Stakes Pick 4 on Travers Day, August 24.
Although NYRA offers daily Pick 4's on races 2 - 5 and the final four races of the day, the $500,000 guarantee applies only to the Late Pick 4 on Saturdays at Saratoga Race Course. The Late Pick 4 is a 50 cent minimum wager in which the bettor must correctly pick the winners of the last four races on the card, usually beginning with race eight.
On Travers Day, August 24, the guarantee will rise to $1 million in conjunction with the 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes. The Travers is supported by three additional graded events: the $500,000 Grade 1 Test, the $500,000 Grade 1 Foxwoods King's Bishop, and the $250,000 Grade 2 Ballston Spa. The Late Pick 4 is scheduled to begin with Race 9 on Travers Day.
By guaranteeing the wagers, NYRA will supplement the difference if either pool is less than the advertised amount.
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