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Frequently Asked Questions about the Saratoga Racetrack

Editor's Note (9/10/2020): 2020's summer meet at Saratoga Race Course took place without spectators in attendance. The information below reflects 2020, but we will update it with 2021 details as soon as they are released by the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

Looking for information about the Racetrack? Find answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions below.

JUMP TO: Tickets & Reservations | Special Events & Giveaways | Facilities | Contact Info & Employment | Arrival & Parking | Attire & What's Allowed

Tickets & Reservations

How long is the Saratoga Race Course summer meet?

The 2020 racing meet is 40 days long, with live racing five days a week, from Thursday, July 16 through Labor Day, which is Monday, September 7. Mondays and Tuesdays (with the exception of Labor Day) are called Dark Days, as there's no racing.

Is there reserved seating, or can I just sit wherever I want?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the seating information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

In a typical year, there is both reserved seating and free-for-all seating at the track. This doesn't apply to 2020 as the meet opened without spectators in attendance.

In previous years, those who chose to picnic in the unreserved backyard grounds of the track could bring their own chairs or even a pop-up tent, and sit wherever they wished. Those who were hoping to get a picnic table could participate in the 7:00 AM rush when the track opened for breakfast, where many people claimed their picnic table for later by putting a cooler or tablecloth on it. After they'd "reserved" their spots, they would leave until just before the gates opened for paid admission.

There were also reserved picnic tables in a designated area in previous years. These tables were limited to a maximum of six people each, and chairs, tents, and umbrellas were not allowed in this area.

Additionally, reserved tables were available in the Fourstardave Sports Bar in the lower Carousel. These could accommodate two, four, and six people. Personal coolers and outside food and beverage were not permitted in the Fourstardave Sports Bar.

Guests who wanted seats in either the Grandstand or the Clubhouse, or a reserved picnic table, would have to purchase reserved seating tickets.

What is the cost of admission?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the admission information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here as a reference for what you can expect during the 2021 meet.

General & Grandstand admission (Grandstand entrances on Union and Nelson Avenues) in 2019 was $7. Clubhouse admission (Nelson Avenue only) was $10. 2019 Travers Day admission prices were $10 in advance / $15 at the gate for General admission / Grandstand and $25 for Clubhouse admission. Children 12 and under were free every day throughout the 2019 meet when accompanied by an adult.

(Note: In 2019, if you paid general admission, then decided that you wanted to go into the Clubhouse, you could walk to the booth marked "Clubhouse Exchange" near the end of the building that's closest to Nelson Avenue. Once you paid the extra few bucks admission difference, you could get your hand stamped for Clubhouse access.)

Note: Admission did NOT grant you a seat - you must have purchased reserved seating separately or in advance through Ticketmaster or by phone.

See more information about tickets and seating »

How can I purchase reserved seating?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the seating information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

In a typical year, reserved seating could be purchased online in advance at Ticketmaster.com (where prices include admission), by phone at 1-844-NYRA-TIX or on the day of (subject to availability). As the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, there are no reserved seating sales.

In 2019, current day sales began at 9 a.m. at the Reserved Seat Sales Office, located at Gate A, on Union Avenue (7 a.m. on Travers Day). The office was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Cash, American Express, Visa and MasterCard were accepted.

See more information about tickets and seating »

How do I make Saratoga Race Course dining reservations?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the dining information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

To reserve dining areas during a typical year (2020 not included) within The Turf Terrace, The Club Terrace, and The Porch, contact NYRA Dining at 888-516-NYRA, or dining@nyrainc.com.

To reserve dining areas during a typical year (2020 not included) within the Luxury Suites, Easy Goer, and The Stretch, contact the NYRA Box Office at 844-697-2849 or boxoffice@nyrainc.com

Is there a Will Call Box Office where I can leave tickets for friends to pick up?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

In a typical year, there are three Will-Call pick-up stations at the race course: one each for the Clubhouse, Grandstand and Paddock. Visitors in previous years could call the Will Call Box Office at (844) 697-2849 to hold their tickets at a Will-Call window. Because the 2020 meet opened without spectators, there are no Will Call pick-up stations this year.

Can any picnic areas be reserved?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

In a typical year, a limited number of premium picnic tables could be reserved for every day of the meet, including Travers Day tables, which were reserved via a drawing in May. Those who were up for the 7:00 AM dash, could "claim" a table by throwing a tablecloth over it. Most track patrons honored this informal "reservation" practice, but NYRA security would not enforce should any disputes have arisen. Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, there are no picnic table reservations this year.

Is the track open for visitors to watch horses train in the spring?

In a typical year, visitors can watch spring training at the Oklahoma Training Track, but spring training is closed to spectators in 2020.

The Oklahoma Training Track, located across the street from the Race Course, opens for Spring Training most years in mid-April. Visitors are welcome to watch the horses' morning workouts each day in a typical year, but not in 2020.


Special Events & Giveaways

What are the giveaways for 2020?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the giveaway information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

There are several giveaway days throughout the Saratoga meet in a typical year. On these days, trackgoers are entitled to a free promotional gift with purchase of general admission while supplies last. NYRA typically reveals the giveaways a few weeks before the Saratoga meet's Opening Day. Although NYRA has yet to confirm that there will be no giveaway days in 2020, it is our understanding that this is one of the track traditions that will not be able to be maintained virtually.

Typical giveaway promotions range from ball caps and t-shirts to coolers, umbrellas and more. Every year, there is a different lineup of giveaways items. See last year's Giveaway Days »

When are season special event dates and details usually announced?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the special event information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

In typical summers, the Saratoga Race Course hosts family fun and special events, but unfortunately those aspects of summer at the track won't be happening in 2020 as the meet opened without spectators in attendance. Racing dates like Opening Day, Travers, Closing Day etc. are usually announced by late February, while special event dates and details, like the Hat Day and Fabulous Fillies Day etc, aren't announced until mid to late June. Please Note: our pages will be updated as soon as information is released.

What is steeplechase racing in Saratoga?

Steeplechase races incorporate obstacles and fence jumping, rather than traditional flat horse racing. The Steeplechase races happen on certain days during the meet. View the steeplechasing schedule for Saratoga here »


Facilities

Is there any air-conditioning at the track?

Some locations are climate controlled:

  • Curlin Cafe
  • 1863 Club

Is there any Internet connection available at the track?

Yes, there is FREE Wi-Fi at the track. Fans can take advantage of this amenity when they are able to return to the Race Course.

Are there designated handicapped seating areas, services, and parking?

All NYRA lots have handicapped accessible parking spaces available. (A license plate, sticker or other handicapped-parking permit, hanging from rear-view mirror - the standard documentation of the need - is required in order to use these spaces.)

NYRA also offers accessible seating options. To learn more about accessible seating, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/visit/accessible-seating or call NYRA at (800) 814-7846 or (518) 584-6200 ext. 3568. Please note that since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, seating reservations - for designated accessible seating and all other seating options - are not currently available.

Service animals are permitted at the track.

In a typical year, there are no motorized vehicles or scooters available for rent at the Race Course, so any desired arrangements for such services must be made separately.

For the most up to date info, please visit NYRA's accessible seating & services guide »


Contact Info & Employment

How do I contact the Saratoga Race Course?

For information prior to the season, call (718) 641-4700 or (516) 488-6000 or visit NYRA.com. For information or questions during the Saratoga Racing Season, call (518) 584-6200.

How do I get a job at Saratoga Race Course?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the job fair information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

NYRA typically holds a Job Fair in June prior to the racing season to fill open positions at Saratoga Race Course. Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators, there was no Job Fair in 2020. In previous years, if you missed the job fair, but still wanted to apply, or if you had specific questions, you could contact NYRA directly.


Arrival & Parking

What are my travel options for getting to Saratoga Race Course?

Saratoga Race Course is accessible by car from Interstate 87 and Interstate 90. You can also travel by air or train. Most flights will arrive at Albany International Airport which is roughly 40 minutes south of Saratoga, however private plane charters and some regional flights can land at the Saratoga County Airport. Amtrak services two routes into Saratoga from as far as Montreal and New York City.

In previous years, you could also arrive to the track in style by booking limo transportation from the airport or train station.

Where is the Saratoga Racetrack located?

Saratoga Race Course, operated by NYRA (the New York Racing Association), is located between Union and Nelson Avenues in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. The property is easily accessible by car from downtown Saratoga (Exit 13N), or directly via Exit 14 of Interstate 87. (Interstate 87 is known regionally as the Adirondack Northway, or simply, the Northway). Click here for more detailed driving directions »

Saratoga Race Course is also close to airports and the Saratoga Amtrak Station. Most flights will arrive at Albany International Airport which is roughly 40 minutes south of Saratoga, however private plane charters and some regional flights can land at the Saratoga County Airport. Amtrak services two routes into Saratoga from as far as Montreal and New York City.

In previous years, you could also arrive to the track in style by booking limo transportation from the airport or train station.

Where should I park?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the parking information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

In a typical year, general parking for the Saratoga racetrack is free, but visitors could expect to walk a long way to get to the track, itself. Those who brought coolers, children or older folks - or attended the races in inclement weather - could have found the walk a challenge, so there were also paid parking options.

In the past, NYRA has offered preferred parking and trackside parking (details below), and those who went to the track from any direction but Exit 14, would see signs and people trying to wave you into their homemade parking lots. Lawns became lots, and as a general rule, the closer to the track, the more expensive.

Preferred parking was available for a fee at the Oklahoma (training track), which is at the corner of East Avenue and Union Avenue. Spaces there were limited, but it was worth it to arrive early to have a shorter walk. The gate to the preferred parking lot at the Oklahoma opened at 9 a.m. in 2019, and was on East Avenue.

Trackside parking was the most expensive paid parking option offered by Saratoga Race Course because it was the most convenient. The entrances for trackside parking were at the Union Avenue gate and next to the intersection of Nelson and Union (heading toward downtown), and gates opened at 6:45AM in 2019.

Handicapped accessible parking spaces were available in all NYRA lots in 2019. Curbside drop off was not available.

See more parking details »

When should I get to the track?

Since the 2020 meet opened without spectators in attendance, the information below doesn't apply this year. We're keeping it here to help you plan for the 2021 meet.

In a typical year, if you have reserved seats (tickets), you can arrive any time that you wish after the gates open. When spectators are allowed to attend the races, parking is first-come-first-served, and the first post is in the early afternoon most days.

Breakfast at Saratoga is a great way for trackgoers to enjoy the track before the races begin, but there will be no breakfast at the track in 2020 for the time being due to the meet opening without fans in attendance. In a typical year, breakfast at the track is a really unique opportunity to watch the horses' morning workouts, while enjoying a delicious breakfast trackside.


Attire & What's Allowed

What should I wear?

There are different dress code policies, depending on where you are enjoying the races at Saratoga Race Course when spectators are allowed to attend. Here's a quick reference guide:

Paddock Saddling Area and Winner's Circle
No shorts or abbreviated wear permitted.
Gentlemen: collared shirts required.

Box Seat Area
Gentlemen: Suits or sports jackets encouraged on weekdays, required on weekends. No jeans or shorts.
Ladies: Dresses, skirts or slacks. No jeans, shorts, rompers, or abbreviated wear permitted.

1863 Club
The Rail: Jackets and blazers are optional. Cargo shorts, halter tops, midriff tops, athletic wear, t-shirts, frayed or torn denim or shorts, and tennis shoes are not permitted. Vests, shirts with collars, polo shirts, dresses, sweaters, pantsuits, dress jeans, dress shorts, and slacks are appropriate. The dress code does not apply to children under the age of 12, but is encouraged.
Legends Hall & Suites: Neat casual attire. No short shorts, cut-offs, or abbreviated wear. Gentlemen: no tank tops. Collared shirts required. Suits or sports jackets are optional.

Clubhouse
No short shorts, cut-offs, tank tops, or abbreviated wear permitted.
Proper attire at management's discretion.

Grandstand
Shirts and shoes required.

Dining Areas:

Turf Terrace
No jeans, shorts or abbreviated wear permitted. No sneakers or flip-flops.
Gentlemen: Collared shirts required.
Ladies: Dresses, skirts, or slack outfits.
Children ages 3-12: Neat casual.
Management reserves the right to use its discretion to determine "neat casual" attire.

The Porch, Club Terrace and the Easy Goer
Neat Casual Attire
Gentlemen: No tank tops.
No short-shorts, cut-offs or abbreviated wear permitted.
Proper attire is determined at management's discretion.

The Stretch
Jackets and ties are not required.
Stylish casual attire encouraged.

See a visual guide to dress codes at Saratoga Race Course »

Are dogs allowed at the Racetrack?

No pets of any kind are allowed at the track, except service animals, which are those necessary for medical purposes (ie. seeing-eye dog). (This is a practical rule: safety first is essential. NYRA needs to assure the comfort and safety of everyone involved, horses and humans.)

Are coolers permitted?

When fans are allowed to attend the races, coolers (max size 12" x 18") are permitted on the trackside apron and at the Top of the Stretch. Larger coolers are allowed in the backyard area. ALL GLASS CONTAINERS ARE PROHIBITED: you may bring in plastic bottles and cans, only. Coolers are subject to search by NYRA security.

Are grills permitted in the picnic area?

No. The use of small propane grills and charcoal grills are NOT permitted in the picnic area or any other area within the track. In a typical year, patrons can rent a Top of the Stretch picnic area through the Group Sales Department: 1-844-697-2849