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Today, NYRA released the full 2021 stakes schedule, which has at least one named stakes race every live racing day. In addition to the popular Travers Day and Whitney Day, this year’s schedule will include the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl, which in past years have taken place during the fall meet at Belmont Park.

  • Opening Day (July 15): Featuring the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville and the Grade 3, $120,000 Quick Call
  • Whitney Day (August 7): Featuring the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney, the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test, the Grade 1, $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational, the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls, and the $120,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure
  • Travers Day (August 28): Featuring the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, the Grade 1, $750,000 Sword Dancer, the Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign, the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina, the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego, the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, and the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa
  • Closing Day (September 6): Featuring the Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap and the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful
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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Annnd … they’re off.

As in, almost all proof of vaccination and other restrictions and requirements are off the list of rules for fans at Saratoga Race Course this summer, opening the grounds to 100% capacity when the 153rd meet opens on July 15.

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The development comes a day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo removed many health protocols at most public places, including outdoor sports venues, in light of the state reaching 70% of adult New Yorkers having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Don’t miss our free Saratoga picks!

The New York Racing Association had announced on May 27 that Saratoga would be open to near capacity, provided patrons showed proof of full vaccination, with a few sections of the grandstand designated for non-vaccinated people who would be subject to social distancing and other protocols

Now, fans will be allowed in without showing proof of vaccination, which applies to all areas that are open to the public within the facility, including the popular backyard picnic area.

Season admission passes and weekly plans went on sale last Wednesday with a proof of vaccination requirement, but that has been dropped. Don’t miss our free Saratoga Picks

Single-day tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. next Wednesday, June 23, via Ticketmaster.com. Single-day dining reservations in the Turf Terrace, The Porch and Club Terrace will be accepted beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, also at Ticketmaster.com.

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“As New Yorkers collectively reach this major milestone in the fight against COVID-19, NYRA thanks Governor Cuomo for his leadership in achieving this goal and for the opportunity to welcome fans back to Saratoga this summer,”NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a release. “This season will be a celebration like no other in Saratoga’s long and storied history and we are thrilled to open the gates to the best fans in racing in just a few short weeks.”

Non-vaccinated individuals will be required to wear a facial covering at Saratoga, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Don’t miss our free Saratoga Picks

Win-Place-Show Bets

Betting on horse racing can be fun and easy. There are several different wagers offered each race, but these are the three most basic:

  • The first is a “win” wager. Betting a horse to win is just as fun as it sounds – the horse must win the race in order for you to win the wager.
  • Next, is a “place” wager. This is betting on a horse to finish in the top 2. You win the wager if your horse finishes first or second.
  • Betting a horse to “show” means selecting a horse who you think will finish in the top 3. You win the wager if your horse finishes first, second, or third.

Because of the difficulty of a win wager, it will yield the highest payoff of these three wagers. A show wager will yield the lowest payoff but offers the greatest chance of winning.

The minimum bet for a win, place or show wager is only $2.

Exacta Bets

If you’ve mastered the art of win, place and show wagers, try an exacta. An exacta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, but yields a higher payout. You bet an exacta by selecting a minimum two horses to finish first and second. These horses must finish first and second, in that order, for you to win the wager.

If picking two horses in order sounds too difficult, you can “box” your wager. A boxed wager will win if your horses finish 1st and 2nd, in any order, making it more likely for you to win.

The minimum bet for an exacta or exacta box wager is only $2.

Trifecta Bets

If you’ve mastered the art of win, place and show wagers, try a trifecta. A trifecta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, as well as exacta wagers, so it yields a higher payout than any of those bets.

You bet a trifecta by selecting a minimum three horses to finish first, second, and third. These horses must finish first, second, and third, in that exact order, for you to win the wager.

If picking three horses in order sounds too difficult you can “box” your wager. A boxed trifecta wager will win if your horses finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, in any order, making it more likely to win.

The minimum bet for a trifecta wager is only 50 cents and you can bet a trifecta box for as little as $3.

If you’re a beginning bettor you probably want to place your bets at a mutuel window with a live mutuel teller before using self-service betting machines and mobile applications. Here’s what you should do when you get to the betting window:

  1. Have your money in hand, so that once you’re at the counter, you’re ready to make your bet
  2. State the track’s name
  3. State the race number you are betting on
  4. State the amount of money you are betting
  5. Say the type of bet you are placing
  6. Finally, state the horse’s program number

It should sound something like this, “Churchill Downs, Race 11, $2 to win on #4.” After you’ve handed the teller your money, make sure you take your betting ticket and store it in a safe, or lucky, place. If your bet wins, you’ll need to return to the betting window and give the teller your ticket to collect your winnings.

Win-Place-Show Bets

Betting on horse racing can be fun and easy. There are several different wagers offered each race, but these are the three most basic:

  • The first is a “win” wager. Betting a horse to win is just as fun as it sounds – the horse must win the race in order for you to win the wager.
  • Next, is a “place” wager. This is betting on a horse to finish in the top 2. You win the wager if your horse finishes first or second.
  • Betting a horse to “show” means selecting a horse who you think will finish in the top 3. You win the wager if your horse finishes first, second, or third.

Because of the difficulty of a win wager, it will yield the highest payoff of these three wagers. A show wager will yield the lowest payoff but offers the greatest chance of winning.

The minimum bet for a win, place or show wager is only $2.

Exacta Bets

If you’ve mastered the art of win, place and show wagers, try an exacta. An exacta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, but yields a higher payout. You bet an exacta by selecting a minimum two horses to finish first and second. These horses must finish first and second, in that order, for you to win the wager.

If picking two horses in order sounds too difficult, you can “box” your wager. A boxed wager will win if your horses finish 1st and 2nd, in any order, making it more likely for you to win.

The minimum bet for an exacta or exacta box wager is only $2.

Trifecta Bets

If you’ve mastered the art of win, place and show wagers, try a trifecta. A trifecta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, as well as exacta wagers, so it yields a higher payout than any of those bets.

You bet a trifecta by selecting a minimum three horses to finish first, second, and third. These horses must finish first, second, and third, in that exact order, for you to win the wager.

If picking three horses in order sounds too difficult you can “box” your wager. A boxed trifecta wager will win if your horses finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, in any order, making it more likely to win.

The minimum bet for a trifecta wager is only 50 cents and you can bet a trifecta box for as little as $3.

If you’re a beginning bettor you probably want to place your bets at a mutuel window with a live mutuel teller before using self-service betting machines and mobile applications. Here’s what you should do when you get to the betting window:

  1. Have your money in hand, so that once you’re at the counter, you’re ready to make your bet
  2. State the track’s name
  3. State the race number you are betting on
  4. State the amount of money you are betting
  5. Say the type of bet you are placing
  6. Finally, state the horse’s program number

It should sound something like this, “Churchill Downs, Race 11, $2 to win on #4.” After you’ve handed the teller your money, make sure you take your betting ticket and store it in a safe, or lucky, place. If your bet wins, you’ll need to return to the betting window and give the teller your ticket to collect your winnings.

Wagers have different bet minimums. You can make a wager for as little as ten cents ($0.10) playing the Superfecta or $1 for a Win bet. Although these are the minimums, many guests wager more and $5, and $10 Win bets are quite common. NYRA also has designated windows for guests wagering a minimum of $50 per wager.

  • State the NAME of the track.
  • State the RACE NUMBER.
  • State the AMOUNT of the bet.
  • State the TYPE of bet.
  • State the NUMBER of the horse.
  • Example: “Belmont, 4th race, $10 to Win on 5.”

The track handicapper sets the morning line, which are the odds he believes the horses will be at post time. As money is wagered, the odds change continuously until post time, and are determined by the amount of money wagered on each horse.

Wagering at all NYRA tracks closes when the starting gate opens. Final odds cannot be posted until the race is in progress. There is a slight delay due to the high volume of last-minute wagering at simulcast sites across the nation as final odds are calculated by the totalisator system. No wagering site has the capability to accept bets after the start of any NYRA race.

The Internal Revenue Service requires reporting of payouts on wagers or group of identical wagers that exceed odds of 300 to 1 and pay in excess of $600. IRS regulations also require automatic 24% withholding on payouts that exceed $5,000. Please note that for non-US residents, IRS regulations require automatic withholding of 30% on wagers that exceed odds of 300 to 1 and pay in excess of $600. Windows designated for IRS winning tickets are located on all floors. Patrons must present a picture ID (driver’s license or non-driver’s state ID, federal, state, or city ID, passport, or NYRA ID).

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Last month, NYRA announced that the 2021 summer meet at Saratoga will begin on Thursday, July 15, and conclude on Monday, September 6. Following the four-day opening weekend, racing will be held five days a week, Wednesdays – Sundays, with the exception of the final week, which ends on Labor Day. Sign up for our free Saratoga picks!

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