Saratoga ready to open for season

SARATOGA SPRINGS (AP) — The 40-day thoroughbred meet at Saratoga Race Course begins today, headlined by the $150,000 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies.

Opening weekend features six stakes, including the first Grade 1 of the season on Saturday, the 81st running of the $500,000 Diana for turf fillies and mares. The 150th running of the Travers Stakes is Aug. 24, and the Spa also will debut its Turf Triple Series.

Highlights of the first weekend include an appearance Friday by former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 21.

New this year is the three-story 1863 Club. The 36,000-square-foot building, with a walkway over the paddock, cost $30 million.

This year the track is open for two extra weeks through Labor Day. Mondays and Tuesdays will be dark.

By Paul Wager

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