The New York Racing Association unveiled the stakes schedule for the Saratoga meet, which will feature 76 stakes worth $21.5 million in total purses, including the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and GI Flower Bowl S., both of which were previously run at Belmont.
Both races will be run Sept. 4 and, to accommodate this change, the GI Woodward S. and GIII Fasig-Tipton Waya S. will be moved to the Belmont fall meet. The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be worth a $1 million for the first time since 2016, up from $750,000. The Flower Bowl was cut from $500,000 to $250,000 last year due to COVID-19, but will be boosted to $600,000 this season.
Whitney day will also include the GI Longines Test S.; GI Saratoga Derby, which is being run as a Grade I for the first time this year; GII Glens Falls S.; and Fasig-Tipton Lure S.
The blockbuster Travers day card will also include the GI Sword Dancer S., GI Personal Ensign S., GI Ballerina S., GI Forego S., GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. and GII Ballston Spa S. The first three on that list are Breeders' Cup Win and You're In events, just like the Whitney.
New York Showcase Day will retain its traditional spot on the calendar on Travers eve, Aug. 27, with six stakes for Empire-breds worth a total of $1.15 million.
The local prep for the Travers, the GII Jim Dandy S. will be held July 31, as will the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. and GII Bowling Green S. The GII Amsterdam S. for sophomore sprinters will take place the following day, Aug. 1.
The GIII Schuylerville S. and GIII Quick Call S. highlight the opening day card July 15 and the first Grade I of the season is the Diana S. July 17. Other Grade Is at the Spa include the GI CCA Oaks July 24; the GI Alabama S. Aug. 21; and the GI Fourstardave H. Aug. 14, a qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile.
In addition to the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Flower Bowl, the final Saturday of the meet, Sept. 4, will include the GII Prioress S. and GIII Saranac S. The GI Spinaway S. will take place Sept. 5 and the GI Hopeful S. remains in its traditional spot on closing day, Sept. 6, as does the GII Bernard Baruch H.
Additional upgraded races for the Saratoga summer meet include the previously listed $200,000 GIII Caress S. July 24, in addition to 20 stakes receiving a $20,000 boost to offer a $120,000 purse.
Beginning in 2021, the use of Furosemide (Lasix) is prohibited within 48 hours of all stakes races conducted at NYRA tracks.
Earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that live sports and entertainment venues with a minimum reserved seating capacity of 10,000 will be permitted to re-open to a limited number of spectators beginning Feb. 23 with approval from the New York State Department of Health. All attendees must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event and adhere to health and safety requirements, including mandatory facial coverings and social distancing.
NYRA will continue to closely monitor New York State-issued regulations to determine how they impact Saratoga Race Course. Additional details on fan attendance and tickets for the 2021 summer meet will be provided as information becomes available.
Click here to view the complete stakes schedule.