Steeplechase Festival coming to Saratoga in September

The Saratoga Springs community will celebrate its legendary relationship with thoroughbreds at the inaugural Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga, a day of racing and spirited activities set for Saturday, Sept. 15. Proceeds from the first annual Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga will benefit both local and equine charities.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will be the host benefactor, teaming up with the National Steeplechase Association (NSA) for this unique event experience, and will make available Saratoga Race Course for this community celebration. What’s more, the famed infield will be accessible for the first time in more than 30 years, for sponsor and entertainment activities under corporate tents providing an exclusive, intimate view of the races.

“We are excited to partner with the National Steeplechase Association for the first-ever Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. “The most historic and prestigious racetrack in the country will be a fitting venue for this family-friendly event that will benefit local and equine charities.”

Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga officials said they were gratified for the support of both NYRA and the NSA.

“Steeplechase race meets are a wonderful way for members of the community to come together for a festive day of sport and socializing,” said Barry Potoker, local Committee Co-Chair for the event. “The tradition of Saratoga Race Course provides the quintessential venue for this unique kind of experience, and we are grateful for NYRA’s generosity. The Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga will offer a wide range of sponsorship and entertainment opportunities for both national and regional businesses to get broad exposure at an exciting, high-profile event.” 

The Steeplechase Festival at Saratogawill present at least five races, four of them over hurdles and carrying purses totaling $100,000. The feature race will be the $50,000 Saratoga Steeplechase Cup.

“The Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga will be a very important addition to our fall championship season,” said NSA Director of Racing Bill Gallo Jr. “Its strong purse structure will attract top-notch horses aiming for major races later in the fall.”

In addition to the thrill of the non-pari-mutual races, other festivities will include music, equine exhibitions & shows, 5k walk/run on the famous Saratoga Race Course, celebrities, an authentic barbeque along with other food selections, special carriage rides on the dirt race track, vendor village, and much more! As is the tradition at the Spa, a free giveaway is planned for all paid admissions.

The Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga will wrap up a busy summer of world-class horse racing in Saratoga Springs. The season kicks-off with the Open House, the NYRA-sponsored Sunday afternoon of racing and activities for community members on Sunday, July 15.

A committee of community leaders, including the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, is at work planning the details of this inaugural Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga. The event will include one-of-a-kind sponsorships and entertainment opportunities, plus the festival’s charitable beneficiaries will be announced in the near future. A website, promotional and sponsorship opportunities brochures will be developed in the coming months with all the important information about this new and unique celebration. In addition, there is a pre-event party being planned for the evening of Friday, Sept. 14 to be held at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

For further event information and for sponsorship/entertainment opportunities, please contact Barry Potoker at 518-366-0946 or or Bob Giordano at 518-527-1496 or


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