The Saratoga Summer Meet is one of the special events on the horse racing calendar. The 2022 summer meet began Thursday, July 14 and runs through Labor Day on September 5.
On this page we will look at horse racing betting odds for the 2022 races at Saratoga and more.
Saratoga horse racing odds: Season preview
By Dave Bontempo
Here comes the Summer of Paradise.
That’s long been a theme for Saratoga Race Course fans and bettors, who welcome the fabled upstate New York track’s 40-day live-racing meet from July 14-September 5.
Saratoga unfurls an impressive 77 stakes worth $22.6 million, headlined by the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes on Aug. 27 and the $1 million Whitney Stakes Aug. 6.
Travers Day will be the most lucrative card on the entire circuit. There will be more than $4 million in purses.
A popular new racing concept _ the turf racing Triple Crown circuits for fillies and mares _ becomes a major player in the Saratoga lineup and will be featured weekend of Aug. 6-7.
These races follow on the heels of the turf triple crowns inaugurated by the New York Racing Association in 2019.
The $1 million Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational Aug. 6 is the second leg of the turf crown series for male horses. It is sandwiched between the July 9 series opener and the finale at a date to be determined, both at Belmont Park.
The $700,000 Saratoga Oaks for fillies follows the same schedule.
The stakes races, combined with the Whitney, provide an exceptional racing weekend.
Other meet highlights include the$600,000 Jim Dandy, the prelude to the Travers, on July 30.
Both the Jim Dandy and the Travers were won narrowly by eventual Eclipse-Award winning Essential Quality last year. Essential Quality went on to gain third in the Breeders Cup behind Knicks Go and Medina Spirit.
The 2022 Saratoga meet will run Wednesdays through Sundays after a four-day opening weekend. There will be at least one six-figure purse every day of the meet and several cards will be loaded with them.
Here is the Saratoga Racing Schedule, according to NYRA. Some dates may change. Check schedules periodically.
- G I denotes a Grade 1 race
- G II denotes a Grade 2 event
- G III stands for Grade 3 race
- Thursday, July 14 – GIII Schuylerville and Wilton
- Friday, July 15 – GIII Forbidden Apple and Coronation Cup
- Saturday, July 16 – GI Diana and GIII Sanford
- Sunday, July 17 – GIII Quick Call
- Monday, July 18 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Tuesday, July 19 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Wednesday, July 20 – GI A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Steeplechase) and Suzie O’Cain
- Thursday, July 21 – Rick Violette
- Friday, July 22 – GIII Lake George
- Saturday, July 23 – GIII Caress and GI Coaching Club American Oaks
- Sunday, July 24 – GII Shuvee
- Monday, July 25 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Tuesday, July 26 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Wednesday, July 27 – GII Honorable Miss Handicap
- Thursday, July 28 – Birdstone
- Friday, July 29 – Curlin
- Saturday, July 30 – GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap and GII Jim Dandy
- Sunday, July 31- GII Amsterdam and GII Bowling Green
- Monday, August 1 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Tuesday, August 2 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Wednesday, August 3 – Shine Again
- Thursday, August 4 – Alydar
- Friday, August 5 – GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame and GIII Troy Stakes
- Saturday, August 6 – Whitney Day – Fasig Tipton Lure GII Glens Falls, GI Longines Test, GI Whitney, GI Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational
- Sunday, August 7 – GIII Adirondack, Fasig Tipton De La Rose and GIII Saratoga Oaks Invitational
- Monday, August 8 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Tuesday, August 9 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Wednesday, August 10 – Tale of the Cat
- Thursday, August 11 – Galway
- Friday, August 12 – Evan Shipman Handicap , John Morrissey Handicap , Johnstone Mile , and Union Avenue Handicap
- Saturday, August 13 – GI Fourstardave Handicap and GII Saratoga Special
- Sunday, August 14 – Mahony
- Monday, August 15 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Tuesday, August 16 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Wednesday, August 17 – GI Jonathan Sheppard and NYSSS Cab Calloway Division
- Thursday, August 18 – NYSSS Statue of Liberty Division
- Friday, August 19 – Skidmore and Summer Colony
- Saturday, August 20 – Alabama Day – GI Alabama, GII Lake Placid, and Smart N Fancy
- Sunday, August 21 – Bolton Landing
- Monday, August 22 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Tuesday, August 23 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Wednesday, August 24 – John’s Call
- Thursday, August 25 – Riskaverse
- Friday, August 26 – Albany, Fleet Indian Funny Cide, Seeking the Ante West Point Handicap and Yaddo Handicap
- Saturday, August 27 – Travers Day – GII Ballston Spa, GI Forego, GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, GI Personal Ensign , GI Sword Dancer, GI Travers
- Sunday, August 28 – Better Talk Now and GI Ballerina
- Monday, August 29 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Tuesday, August 30 – Dark: No Live Racing
- Wednesday, August 31 – GIII With Anticipation
- Thursday, September 1 – P.G. Johnson
- Friday, September 2 – Lucky Coin and GII Prioress
- Saturday, September 3 – GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and GIII Saranac
- Sunday, September 4 – GI Spinaway
- Monday, September 5 – GIII Bernard Baruch Handicap and GI Hopeful
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Saratoga Race Course
- Address: 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
- Owner: New York state
- Operator: The New York Racing Association
- Main Track: 1 1/8 mile oval racetrack
Saratoga Springs is also home to the National Museum of Racing. Along with the 1 1/8 mile (9 furlongs) main dirt track, Saratoga has a second 8-furlong turf track and a 7-furlong inner-turf track. The main dirt track is 4 inches of sandy-loam cushion over 10 inches of clay, silt and sand base. The 8-furlong Mellon Turf Course and inner turf course has 8 inches of sandy topsoil that is covered by Kentucky Bluegrass turf.
At more than 150 years old, the grounds at Saratoga maintain a historical feel, but the technology featured gives visitors a modern, convenient experience.
Nicknamed ‘The Spa’ for the nearby mineral springs, Saratoga has 76 stakes races worth more than $21 million in purses scheduled for the 2021 meet.
Key races and dates
The Saratoga stakes schedule is headlined by the 153rd running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, Aug. 27. Known as the ‘Midsummer Derby’, the Travers is the oldest major thoroughbred horse race in the United Stakes. It’s the most prominent race at Saratoga on the most popular day or racing during the summer. Since 1904, the race has been contested at 1 ¼ miles and is open to 3-year-old Thoroughbreds.
The $600,000 Grade II Jim Dandy is one to watch and draws some of the top 3-year-olds on July 31. The 1 1/8 mile race is also a prep for the Travers. It is named after Jim Dandy, who won the 1930 Travers Stakes at odds of 100 to 1, beating Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox. That historic upset is one of the big races mentioned in reference to Saratoga’s peculiar reputation as the “Graveyard of Champions.”
The $1.25 million Grade I Travers headlines the Aug. 28 card that includes eight graded stakes including seven Grade I races with three ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup qualifying races.
Other major races at Saratoga are the $1 million Whitney on Aug. 7, which is also a ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifying race to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The following week on Aug. 14 is the $500,000 Fourstardave and awards the winner entry to the FanDuel Dirt Mile at the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar.
In total, 20 Grade I races are scheduled at Saratoga with four in July starting with the $500,000 Diana on July 17 for fillies and mares on the turf.
The August and September races of most interest include: (BC = Breeders’ Cup qualifier)
- Aug. 7: $500,000 Longines Test for 3-year-old fillies
- Aug. 7: $1 million Whitney (BC) for older horses
- Aug. 7: $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds on the turf
- Aug. 14: $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (BC) for 3-year-olds and up on the turf
- Aug. 21: $600,000 Alabama for 3-year-old fillies
- Aug. 28: $600,000 Forgo for older horses
- Aug. 28: $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial for 3-year-olds
- Aug. 28: $500,000 Ketel One Bellerina (BC) for fillies and mares
- Aug. 28: $600,000 Personal Ensign (BC) for older fillies and mares
- Aug. 28: $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer (BC) for older horses on the turf
- Aug. 28: $1.25 million Travers for 3-year-olds
- Sept. 4: $600,000 Flower Bowl (BC) for older fillies and mares on the turf
- Sept. 4: $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (BC) for 3-year-olds and up
- Sept. 6: $300,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds
In total, there are seven major stakes races at Saratoga that are also “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup qualifying races.