This year is a BIG one for Saratoga as the Saratoga Race Course, America's oldest sporting venue, celebrates 150 Years of thoroughbred horse racing and the Saratoga 150 Celebration is going to be the biggest thing this city has ever seen! Organized by Saratoga 150 and a myriad of volunteers, the five-month-long celebration will extend from May through September 2013, and will offer more than 100 events for area residents and visitors to the region including derby parties, film festivals, fireworks, horse shows, parades, concerts, family friendly events, cash giveaways and so much more!
A visit to Saratoga to view America’s best Thoroughbred racing is a highly anticipated event for racing fans, but it could take on a real fantasy this year in celebration of the 150th year since racing began in the spa city. Five lucky fans will get to direct a $15,000 Win wager of a designated stakes race, with someone else’s money! Should the fan choose the winning horse, they will get to take home the full on-track winnings, not having spent a penny of their own cash.
On August 3, 2013, the date of the first race at Saratoga 150 years ago, Sesquicentennial Honorary Chairs Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson will present the first-prize contest winner with his or her choice of which horse to direct the $15,000 Win wager on, in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap for three-year-olds and up. The long- time racing principals and civic-minded couple are underwriting the $75,000 Saratoga 150 promotion that offers five lucky fans this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The $15,000 Win wager-choice promotion will be offered each Saturday, thereafter, throughout the remainder of the Saratoga racing meeting that runs through Labor Day. The other designated races are:
- August 10, the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap
- August 17, the $600,000 Alabama Stakes
- August 24, the $1 million Travers Stakes
- August 31, the $750,000 Woodward Stakes.
Registration for the $15,000 fan-wager drawing can be made on the sesquicentennial website.
Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson initiated the idea for the Saratoga 150 promotion because they are ardent supporters of racing, founding the almost-7-week long, popular backstretch banquet and entertainment program at Saratoga, with their personal funds in 2007. The program feeds and entertains backstretch workers each night, with more than 1,000 meals on Sundays. The well-known, philanthropic couple said that they feel that a highly-visible promotion of this type will garner widespread exposure for the excellent caliber of racing and the element of philanthropic and social intrigue that is uniquely found at Saratoga. Mrs. Whitney and Mr. Hendrickson said of the upcoming birthday activities,
“Saratoga 150 is going to be the biggest celebration in our town’s history. We want to support it in any way we can”.
Eclipse Award of Merit winner and Jockey Club member, Mrs. Whitney is the owner of Marylou Whitney Stables and the C.V. Whitney Farm in Lexington, KY. She is the owner and breeder of Birdstone, who won the 2003 Champagne, and the 2004 Belmont and Travers Stakes; and Champion Bird Town, winner of the Kentucky Oaks and Acorn in 2003. Her husband John Hendrickson serves as Governor Cuomo’s Special Advisor on Saratoga to the New York Racing Association Board of Trustees, and is CEO of Marylou Whitney Stables. A long-time owner and breeder, Marylou Whitney is credited by the greater Spa community as being a premier figure in bringing the city and racetrack back from its 1970’s downturn through her world-wide notoriety, celebrity visitations and extensive national media interviews on Saratoga. The Whitney family has been key to Saratoga society and racing since the sport began at the Spa. In 1900, William C. Whitney is widely acclaimed for saving the track from demise.
Drawings for the five $15,000 Win wagers will be held weekly, in a random, electronic-based system. Each entry will be assigned a number as it is entered on the website, and someone from the public will be asked to choose a number within the database of registered numbers; thereby picking the winner for the following week’s chance to direct the bet. Contest winners will be notified by phone and e-mail, and on the Friday that is eight days prior to their wager choice, the contest winner will be announced at the track. He or she must agree to be present at Saratoga Race Course on the day of their designated race to direct the wager.
All entrants must be 21 years of age, and a legal resident of one of the 50 states or Washington, D.C. Only one entry, per person, is allowed, and no more than three entries from any one computer. Winners must agree to abide by the rules and regulations set forth within the online registration.
The weekly contest winner, and a guest, will receive VIP Clubhouse amenities including admission, luncheon and programs from the New York Racing Association that operates Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct Thoroughbred tracks.
Questions about the registration process or winner drawings may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mamatoga will also be bringing you all the news on the fantastic Saratoga 150 Festival and all of the family friendly activities and events that are in store!