With 4th of July parades literally around the corner, the sparks haven’t really started flying yet this summer, but it’s never too early to save the date for some Saratoga Race Course swag.
That’s right, some pretty important news dropped yesterday that will have plenty of Capital Region tracksters racing to the Admission Gates opening weekend and beyond, when the 2018 Saratoga Racing Meet kicks off on Friday, July 20.
It’s no secret that phillies of the 518 fancy these freebies, do-se-doing through the turnstiles and buying multiple General Admission tickets just to get their hands on the free merch. Fun fact: a fair number of these giveaway hounds just come for the swag and don’t even stay for the races! But hey, why spend the day at the track when you can go home and cozy up with a Saratoga Race Course fleece blanket on a blazing summer day, and during all your lonely nights.
For many, Saratoga Race Course swag is is a rite of passage; for some, it’s more of a pilgrimage.
But for the vast majority of us, the giveaways are either a fun surprise, or an unwanted ball and chain for the day, disguised as a baseball cap or beach towel. Who here’s in the, “Who cares, it’s free!?” category?
I don’t think I’ve seen a bobblehead jockeys show its face in Saratoga since the mid-2000’s, but you can still find plenty on ebay for $15-30 a pop, but this year’s lineup isn’t too shabby, and while I wouldn’t pass up an umbrella (I’d have to put it in the car ASAP or I’d lose it, for sure), I am a little bummed they’re not bringing the cooler bag back; it’s a summertime staple pretty much everyone can get behind.
I would kinda love to know the process that goes into selecting the premium giveaway items each year, and who’s involved. Is there a committee? Nomination period? A vote? Or is is just a bunch of NYRA executives drinking bourbon and flipping through an Oriential Trading catalog hours before the massive order needs to be placed?
The only thing separating you and these freebies is one General Admission. Season ticket holders are guaranteed all premium giveaway items, but they have to be there on giveaway day to receive them, just like the rest of us minions.
FYI: A 2018 Grandstand season pass is $40, and if you really want to ball out, a Clubhouse season pass is $65. If you’re just planning to attend
on giveaway days less frequently than the delinquents with the season passes, single-day Grandstand admission is $7 and Clubhouse admission is $8 at the Gate. Heads up: save a couple bucks and purchase your tickets online prior to the day of your visit.
Well, now that you’re up to speed on the particulars of track entry (as if you weren’t already!) let’s meet the Class of 2018:
1. Sunday, July 22 – Saratoga Baseball Cap
This cap is the only shade you should be throwing at the track this summer.
2. Monday, August 6 – Saratoga Umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh. I do like the two tone, v. classy.
3. Monday, August 20 – Saratoga Blanket
I’m not gonna lie, I don’t usually collect this “Made in China,” garbage, but I might fold for this blanket giveaway.
4. Sunday, September 2 – Saratoga Windbreaker
You guys, this is the motherload; I mean, who wouldn’t want to break wind wearing one of those? I still spot Capital Region folks sporting Saratoga Race Course giveaway apparel from yesteryear, so you know the windbreaker is this year’s trophy.
Even though this is more Grandpa-chic than minimal Millennial, if I’m being completely honest, I would love it if the entire 2BD squad to got their hands on one of these bad boys. Sure, we’re twinning with the best of them in our set matching Hawaiian shirts, but here’s a prime opportunity to add a bonafide Capital Region accessory to our growing 2BD uniform, all for the price of a couple General admission tickets and some Shake Shack. I know there aren’t any buttons on this thing, but I know we could still go pretty deep.
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