It's finally here, the much anticipated start of the 2022 Saratoga Racing Season! Whether you're here for a weekend, a week, or even longer, this is an exciting time of year and Saratoga is ready to celebrate.

Opening Day is Thursday, July 14, and marks the beginning of "Opening Weekend."  The fun begins on Thursday night when the Downtown Business Association invites you to Celebrate Saratoga with live performances downtown from 6pm-9pm. Then, get ready for a weekend full of excitement at the track!

Promotional flyer with Celebrate info

Celebrate Saratoga

Celebrate Saratoga, presented by 4 Pillar Funding, is a performance-driven event welcoming people to downtown Saratoga for the Opening Day of the Saratoga Race Track. The event showcases downtown retailers, restaurants, and live music. Soul Session's Garland Nelson's Motown tribute ensemble Reflections will be performing live on the main stage in front of the Spa City Motor Lodge, while local performers will play at notable landmarks throughout downtown. Meet Upset and Poppy - the miniature horses, in front of The Dark Horse, enjoy local grub and find out who wins this year's Window Decorating Contest, presented by NYRA.

In combination with the Celebrate Saratoga event, storefront windows in the downtown area will be decorated as part of the celebration welcoming faces to the Saratoga Race Course. Window decorations will be judged by legendary horse racing announcer Tom Durkin, popular NEWS10 ABC Saratoga Race Track reporter Cassie Hudson, and local Family Ties actor and financial consultant Scott Valentine. The winners will be announced on the main stage Thursday night and broadcast live on NYRA-TV.

Jeff playing guitar in front of brick wall at Caffe Lena


Worried about parking? Not necessary, as we have plenty of options. Click here for downtown parking options.

Crowd of people standing by the fence at the track

Opening Weekend at the Track

Opening Weekend, presented by Runhappy, will feature the traditional opening day graded stakes, the Schuylerville, on Thursday, July 14, and the first Grade 1 of the season, the Diana, on Saturday, July 16. The gates open at 11am with first post at 1:05pm. Opening Weekend festivities will be highlighted by live musical performances from Saratoga Springs-based Soul Session on Saturday and a fashion photo contest on the same day presented by Chandon Garden Spritz.

The daily general admission pricing is $10/clubhouse and $7/grandstand (admissions are higher for both Travers Day Clubhouse ($30) and Travers Day Grandstand ($20) on August 27).

Parking at the track can be difficult and a little chaotic. Click here for tips and tricks for finding the best (and least expensive) parking at the Saratoga Race Course. 

Most importantly, have FUN! Whether you're planning on dressing up for a day in the Clubhouse, or looking for a more informal experience, there's something for everyone and there's certainly nothing like the excitement of a heart-pounding race as you cheer your horse to victory. 

Multi-pic poster showing Upset the  Horse with appearance info

Other Opening Weekend Events You do Not Want to Miss

  • July 14, 2022 - Travers poster signing with local artist, Greg Montgomery. Get your 2022 Travers poster signed by the artist himself at Impressions of Saratoga from 6pm-9pm during the Celebrate Saratoga event. 
  • July 15, 2022 - "Landaluce" book signing. Join The Dark Horse Mercantile from 6pm-8pm for a book signing with author, Mary Perdue.
  • July 15, 2022 -  Meet Upset, Saratoga's own Miniature Dark Horse, as he strolls Broadway from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Upset is a 33 inch tall real live miniature horse. The mascot for The Dark Horse Brand, he is named after the only racehorse to ever beat Man o' War. 
  • July 16 - Saturday Morning Social, presented by Julie and Co. Realty. Join National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame staff for complimentary coffee and donuts, and a book signing with Mary Perdue, author of the new book, "Landaluce: The Story of Seattle Slew's First Champion." 9am-11am (Handicapping seminar at 10am) Cost: Free.