Frequently Asked Questions about the Saratoga Racetrack
Editor's Note (6/17/21): The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has announced that Saratoga Race Course will re-open to fans at 100% capacity for the 2021 summer meet.
Looking for information about the Racetrack? Find answers to some of the 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 2021 racing meet is 40 days long, with live racing five days a week, from Thursday, July 15 through Labor Day, which is Monday, September 6. 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?
There is both reserved seating and free-for-all seating at the track.
Those who choose to picnic in the unreserved backyard grounds of the track can bring their own chairs or even a pop-up tent, and sit wherever they wish. Those who are hoping to get a picnic table can participate in the 7:00 AM rush when the track opens for breakfast, where many people claim their picnic table for later by putting a cooler or tablecloth on it. After you've "reserved" your spot, you can leave until just before the gates open for paid admission.
There are also reserved picnic tables in the Miller Lite Picnic Paddock. These tables are limited to a maximum of six people each, and chairs, tents, and umbrellas are not allowed in this area.
Additionally, reserved tables are available in the Fourstardave Sports Bar in the lower Carousel. These can accommodate two, four, and six people. Personal coolers and outside food and beverage are not permitted in the Fourstardave Sports Bar.
Guests who want seats in either the Grandstand or the Clubhouse, or a reserved picnic table, have to purchase reserved seating tickets.
What is the cost of admission?
General & Grandstand admission (Grandstand entrances on Union and Nelson Avenues) in 2021 is $7. Clubhouse admission (Nelson Avenue only) is $10. 2021 Travers Day admission prices are $15 for Grandstand admission and $25 for Clubhouse admission. Children 12 and under are free every day throughout the 2021 meet when accompanied by an adult.
If you pay general admission, then decide that you want to go into the Clubhouse, you can walk to the booth marked "Clubhouse Exchange" near the end of the building that's closest to Nelson Avenue. Once you pay the extra few bucks admission difference, you can get your hand stamped for Clubhouse access.
Note: Admission does NOT grant you a seat - you must purchase reserved seating separately or in advance through Ticketmaster or by phone.
How can I purchase reserved seating?
How do I make Saratoga Race Course dining reservations?
To reserve group hospitality areas, like The Spa Verandes, 1863 Club, and Easy Goer, contact the NYRA Box Office at 844-697-2849 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a Will Call Box Office where I can leave tickets for friends to pick up?
There are three Will-Call pick-up stations at the race course: one each for the Clubhouse, Grandstand and Paddock. Visitors can call the Will Call Box Office at (844) 697-2849 to hold their tickets at a Will-Call window.
Can any picnic areas be reserved?
A limited number of premium picnic tables can be reserved in the Miller Lite Picnic Paddock for every day of the meet. Those who are up for the 7:00 AM dash, can "claim" a table in the general admission backyard area by throwing a tablecloth over it. Most track patrons honor this informal "reservation" practice, but NYRA security will not enforce should any disputes arise.
Is the track open for visitors to watch horses train in the spring?
The Oklahoma Training Track, located across the street from the Race Course, opens for Spring Training in mid-April. Visitors are welcome to watch the horses' morning workouts each day.
Special Events & Giveaways
What are the giveaways for 2021?
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. Every year, there is a different lineup of giveaway items.
For the 2021 summer meet at Saratoga, there will be a Saratoga Cooler Bag Giveaway presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday, August 15, and a Saratoga Fleece Hoodie Giveaway on Sunday, September 5.
When are season special event dates and details usually announced?
Racing dates like Opening Day, Travers, Closing Day etc. are usually announced by late February, while special event dates and details, like Fabulous Fillies Day, aren't announced until June-July. Get details on this year's special events »
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 »
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.
Service animals are permitted at the track.
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.
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?
NYRA holds a Job Fair in June prior to the racing season to fill open positions at Saratoga Race Course. If you want to apply, or if you have specific questions, you can 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.
You can 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.
You can also arrive to the track in style by booking limo transportation from the airport or train station.
Where should I park?
General parking for the track is free, but visitors can expect to walk a long way to get to the track itself. Those who bring coolers, children or older folks - or attend the races in inclement weather - could find the walk a challenge, so there are also paid parking options.
NYRA offers preferred parking and trackside parking (details below), and those who go to the track from any direction but Exit 14 will see signs and people trying to wave you into their homemade parking lots. Lawns become lots, and as a general rule, the closer to the track, the more expensive the parking.
Preferred parking is available for a fee at the Oklahoma Training Track, which is at the corner of East Avenue and Union Avenue. Spaces there are limited, but it is worth it to arrive early to have a shorter walk. The gate to the preferred parking lot at the Oklahoma (on East Avenue) opens at 9 a.m.
Trackside parking is the most expensive paid parking option offered by Saratoga Race Course because it is the most convenient. The entrances for trackside parking are at the Union Avenue gate and next to the intersection of Nelson and Union (heading toward downtown). Gates open at 6:45AM.
Handicapped accessible parking spaces are available in all NYRA lots. Curbside drop off is not available.
When should I get to the track?
If you have reserved seats (tickets), you can arrive any time that you wish after the gates open. 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. It is held every racing day from 7:00am-9:30am (except Travers Day and Labor Day). Breakfast on The Porch of the Clubhouse at Saratoga Race Course 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.
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.
No short shorts, cut-offs, tank tops, or abbreviated wear permitted.
Proper attire at management's discretion.
Shirts and shoes required.
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 Cutwater Stretch
Jackets and ties are not required.
Stylish casual attire encouraged.
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?
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.