Today is opening day and the kickoff of the 143 rd meet at the historic Saratoga Springs Race Track. Saratoga, which opened in 1863, is the oldest organized sporting venue in the United States. At a time when other tracks across the country have cut race dates and the number of carded races, Saratoga continues to race six days a week with close to 58 races each week. The summer meet will last 40 days and consist of 52 stakes with 17 of those being Grade I’s. Today’s opening day card consists of 10 races and is highlighted by the grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and the $75,000 James Marvin Stakes.
Saratoga is the home of the Travers Stakes, known to many as the summer Derby, which is the oldest major thoroughbred horse race in the country. But this weekend the big prize will be the Sanford Stakes, a six furlong sprint race open to 2-year-olds with a purse of $150,000 that will run Sunday. All eyes are on Todd Pletcher and his horse Overdriven, a good-looking son of Tale of the Cat. Overdriven breezed to an easy victory in his debut at Belmont Park. He will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Another highlight for the summer meet at Saratoga could be the return of Uncle Mo from a liver disorder which kept him out of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Uncle Mo worked out early this morning breezing three furlongs without any problems. Trainer Todd Pletcher has been pleased with the horse’s recovery and the early morning workout. Should Uncle Mo continue his progress, he is slated to run in the seven-furlong Grade I Foxwoods King’s Bishop on August 27th .