Saratoga 2021 Summer Meet: NYRA Puts Out Purse Increases

Published on June 29, 2021, 2:49 pm
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With fans back this year at the legendary Saratoga Summer Meet, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is giving a boost to the event and subsequent racing season, increasing purses significantly.

The event, which opens on Thursday, July 15, 2021, and continues through Monday, September 06, 2021, welcomes back spectators for the first time since 2019, with last year’s meet conducted with empty grandstands due to the coronavirus pandemic. Competitors, fans, and bettors alike will be hoping that the event will provide a springboard for race meets further down the line. Let’s take a look.

Saratoga 2021 Purse Increases

The news emerged on 22nd June that purses will increase by a significant amount for the racing at Saratoga. Open stakes that originally had a $100,000 purse will see that increased to $120,000, while open maiden special weight races will receive $100,000, up from $90K.

New York-bred maiden special weights will now sit at $85,000, up by $5K. Allowance optional claiming races at Saratoga featuring non-winners of three / $100,000 claiming can look forward to a $10,000 increase, and non-winners of two / $80,000 claiming races will take home $105,000.

As well as the purse increases, the NYRA Maiden Allowance Auction Series returns this year, with the aim of encouraging owners to compete at the meet. Overall the Saratoga 2021 Summer Meet will feature 76 stakes worth $21.5 million in total purses.

Saratoga 2021 Summer Meet

The Saratoga Race Course has been used for the meet almost every year since 1864, with only a few years off due to gambling restrictions in the 1910s and travel restrictions during World War II. And it looked as though the 2020 event might be canceled as well due to worldwide disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year’s race was run “behind closed doors”, the first time in the meets’ history there hadn’t been crowds there to roar on the horses and line up at the bookies. Fortunately, 2021 is a different story, and we will see spectators in the stands and around the course, albeit in a reduced capacity.

Some favorites in the Travers Stakes include Country Grammer and Max Player both at 6/1 and Uncle Chuck at 5/2.

Why Do We Love Racing Sports?

As well as huge, iconic events like the Saratoga Summer Meet, racing across the board, be it horses, dogs or motors are all starting to resume (almost) normal service. Due to the adrenaline rush you get just from watching them, the popularity of racing sports is undeniable, and fiercely loyal fans join enthusiastic bettors following the action around racetracks or on their TV screens, buoyed by adrenaline and excitement. Let’s look at some favorite racing sports from across the globe.


A bettors’ favorite – there is no denying it, motorsport is compelling. Fast, loud, dangerous, and the smell of gasoline just adds to the enjoyment.

Formula One was one of the first major worldwide sports to adapt to the 2019-20 events, rescheduling their calendar to fit the required races in for a full 2020 season. And this year it is even more exciting – for the first time in years, a car other than a Mercedes looks at odds to win the championship in the form of Red Bull.

But away from global superstars like Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, there are all sorts of other disciplines to follow, from super bikes and stock cars to bangers and lawnmowers.

Camel Racing

An important part of the culture and history of the Middle East, camels are known as the “ships of the desert”, enabling traders and nomads to roam across the arid landscape. But camel racing is also wildly popular in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Once a casual sport – without racetracks the camels just ran about 5 km – now well-organized with high-tech tracks, professional trainers, and specific diets for the camels themselves, it is a popular form of entertainment across the area. Although bettors in the region still cannot wager on actual races, virtual camel racing with a wide variety of betting options like betting on the race winner, exacta, or trifecta, among many others, is available.

For the real-world racers, the rewards for victory are plentiful, with bundles of cash, luxury cars, and trophies – as well as glory – up for grabs.


As the 2021 Tour de France starts – albeit with a pair of spectacular crashes – the focus is on cycle racing again.

Superhuman feats of endurance coupled with speed and adrenaline make this the centerpiece of the road cycling calendar, with the iconic yellow jersey up for grabs. Very much a team sport these days, the journey is tactical, the analytics are powered by cutting edge data-driven technology and the athletes are as tough as nails.

If you are a cycling lover, you will be thrilled and exhausted just watching a mountain stage from the comfort of your sofa.

The NYRA has given the racing world a major boost, and some well-needed optimism through its purse increases for the Saratoga Summer Meet. Let’s hope the rest of the season and beyond will run smoothly for all racing sports in the wake of all this disruption.

Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.