Another week at Saratoga is in the books, and some among us are already looking mournfully towards the end of the meet. We’re past the halfway point, and it feels like Labor Day is going to come much too soon.
But we’ve still got a few furlongs left, and there’s plenty to keep us busy and interested as we head to the finish line. Here’s what’s going on in Saratoga:
Tonight: The Crush and Cask liquor store presents the next in its series of wine tastings to support racing charities. Tonight’s recipient is Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement farm. Located at 170 South Broadway, the store offers a wide variety of wine and spirits, and any donations made at the tasting—which is free—will go to Old Friends.
Tonight’s event is from 6-8, and Michael Amo of Thorofan will be offering sips of vintage Dom Perignon 1988 for all who donate to Old Friends.
If you’re in Saratoga and purchasing wine or spirits, do consider taking your business to Crush and Cask. The owners love racing and support its charities.
Elsewhere: a Backstretch reader suggested that I check out her nephew’s piano-playing at One Caroline. Race Archibald plays from 6-7 and last week I whiled away a pleasant half hour listening to him. He’s accomplished and versatile, and he plays only for tips. If you’re looking for a cocktail hour option, consider stopping here. I can highly recommend the bourbon Manhattan.
Wednesday: Tomorrow is Thoroughbred Retirement Day at the track. Jeannine Edwards will be performing dressage on her retired Thoroughbred Ashkal Way, who won the 2006 Grade 2 Bernard Baruch here. How cool is it that this stakes winner is coming back in a new job?
NYRA will be presenting donations of $5,000 to Old Friends, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and the Exceller Fund, and various rescue/retirement organizations will be outside the jockeys’ silks room handing out flyers and collecting donations.
Also tomorrow: Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends, will be the featured speaker in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Guests in the Gallery program on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Blowen will talk about Old Friends, its mission, and the new farm in Greenfield Center; he will also take questions from the audience.
The program will be held in the Hall of Fame gallery and is free with paid admission to the Museum.
Thursday: It’s officially called The Post, but I call it the Paddock Bar. Each Thursday after the races, NYRA is holding meet-ups there with folks from the racing industry, and this Thursday’s guest is NYRA handicapper and Saratoga native Andy Serling.
Friday: Fabulous Fillies day at the track. At 11 a.m. in the paddock, Linda Rice will be honored for winning last year’s Saratoga training title; she’ll be joined by breast cancer survivors and supporters.
All nine races on the card are for fillies and mares (love that!), and participating jockeys and trainers have pledged a portion of their purse earnings for the day to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The annual Women’s Expo will be held in the backyard, and Betfair TVG, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, and NYRA will present BCRF with a combined donation of $25,000.
Next Tuesday, NYRA is holding a charity golf tournament at Saratoga National to benefit Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
On Wednesday, August 25th, the Belmont Child Care Association holds its major annual fundraiser. Tickets are still available, and we’re still accepting live and silent auction items.
On Saturday, September 4th, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is holding a fundraising 5K run. Go here to register and for more information.
And finally—I wrote last week about Travers Restaurant Week, chiding local establishments for not participating. Here’s a shout-out to Maestro’s, which recognizes that it makes good business sense to entice both seasonal and year-round visitors.
Throughout the year, the restaurant offers a $25, three-course prix fixe menu, a deal that my family and I assumed would be on hold through the summer, as so many local restaurants suspend special offers during racing season.
To our surprise, Maestro’s is continuing its special; our waitress told us, “Why would we forget the people who come here all year? That wouldn’t be very fair. And why should the summer visitors not get to take advantage of this?”
Why, indeed. How simple, how fair. I hope that other local establishments are listening.