Saratoga Race Course opens its gates on Friday, and steeplechase racing—a Saratoga tradition since 1864—will be in the spotlight during the historic track’s first full week of racing, on Wednesday, July 26, and Thursday, July 27.
The jump-racing schedule gets off to a fast start with the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 26 and the $150,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) the following day. Both races will be at 2 1/16 miles on Saratoga’s inner turf course.
Nominations for the Smithwick closed on Saturday, July 15. Entries for the Kiser will close the following Saturday, and Smithwick entries close on Sunday, July 23.
The second full week of activity at the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., track also will be filled with steeplechase events. A $65,000 allowance hurdle is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 2, and the $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes is on the calendar for Thursday, Aug. 3.
The following morning, two-time steeplechase champion Good Night Shirt and the late five-time champion trainer Tom Voss will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in ceremonies at Fasig-Tipton’s Humphrey Finney Sales Pavilion.
The Smithwick is the first of two Grade 1 races at Saratoga this season. The $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) will be run Thursday, Aug. 24, at 2 3/8 miles.