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NYRA ready to start seating lottery

NYRA ready to start seating lottery

Your application to sit front and center at Saratoga Race Course will be opened Monday, along with a

Your application to sit front and center at Saratoga Race Course will be opened Monday, along with all the other applications that fill nine cabinets.

The seating lottery is still generating as many applications as in past years, even though the whole process was delayed by the lack of resolution at the state level on who would run New York racing, said New York Racing Association spokesman John Lee.

Applications were due March 21 at NYRA, which waits 10 days before opening them, Lee said.

After the first wave of clubhouse and grandstand seats is allocated by the lottery, there will still be seats available, as there were in past years, Lee added.

The seat applications were mailed out in February, four months later than usual but just days after the state Legislature and NYRA agreed on a new franchise.

The 104th season runs from July 23 to Sept. 1. For a schedule of races, visit http://www.nyra.com/Saratoga.

NYRA has confirmed its plans for all the traditional festival activities this summer.

The annual open house is set for Sunday, July 20, and once again will benefit nonprofit organizations and be geared toward families, with equine demonstrations, handicapping seminars and backstretch tours.

The Hats Off to Saratoga Festival will be the highlight of opening weekend with a downtown music festival on Broadway on Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26, Sunset Racing on Friday, the Breeders’ Cup Challenge on Saturday; and the traditional hat contest that Sunday.

NFL Alumni Day at Saratoga will be held Monday, Aug. 11, this year instead of on a Sunday, and fans can meet football stars and collect autographs.

The Travers Festival takes place from Saturday, Aug. 16, to Sunday, Aug. 24, with a chili cook-off, the Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Bonanza, the Battle of the Brews and the annual Travers Celebration fundraiser held at the track. This year’s gala will honor Street Sense, who won the 2007 Travers Stakes, and the people who helped propel him to victory.

This year’s $1 million Travers Stakes will be run Saturday, Aug. 23, for 3-year-olds.

Final Stretch Weekend kicks off with Sunset Racing on Friday, Aug. 29. Another music festival will play downtown on Saturday and Sunday and the Family Fun Fest will fill the track on Sunday, Aug. 31, and Monday, Sept. 1, to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.

And the annual Labor Day barbecue ends the meet on Monday.

“The New York Racing Association is working diligently to make this a summer to remember for our loyal and dedicated fans at Saratoga Race Course,” said Charles Hayward, NYRA president and chief executive officer. “Saratoga promises to feature the sport’s most exciting racing in every single divisional category for juveniles, 3-year-olds, older horses, sprinters and turf horses, as well as the most fan-friendly and welcoming events and activities.”

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