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NYRA previews summer track season at Saratoga

On Saturday, July 24, there will be a coaching club celebration in honor of the 94th running of the Grade 1 Betfair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks. Coaching Clubs originally sprung up in England in the 19th Century to preserve the pastime of driving a coach with four horses and a single group of reins, as horse-drawn mail carriages started to be replaced by railroads. There will be two antique coaches on display at the track and one will parade down the stretch.

St. Patrick's Day returns for a midsummer celebration on Thursday, July 29, with local Irish bands, Irish step dancers and the season's first giveaway, which is an Irish-themed short sleeve t-shirt.

Hoping to entice a youthful crowd, Friday, July 30, will be College Day, an annual tradition being held earlier this year to give local college students a chance to participate. Students have the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship after each race and if any students from SUNY Cobleskill and The Sage Colleges wins one, those schools will match the $1,000 NYRA scholarship with additional money toward tuition.

The rich history of Fasig-Tipton and the upcoming Select Yearling Sales will be celebrated on Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and Aug. 1, with a festival to include interactive and educational activities at the track and the Fasig-Tipton facility.

The Times Union Hope Fund and Gift of Life hope to get a boost on Friday, August 6, as beneficiaries of the Saratoga Wine Festival, where wine samples can be tasted for a set price of $25.

The Inaugural Saratoga Handicapping Tournament will be Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 11 and 12, where a limit of 100 entrants will vie for $100,000 in prize money and the chance to be part of the three-person "Team Saratoga" at the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January.

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