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Saratoga Race Course launches 150th anniversary season

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Saratoga Race Course hosted its annual pre-season preview party at the 33rd annual Open House.

The annual day of family fun and attractions is billed as the Opening Ceremonies for the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course, which officially opens its gates on Friday, July 19 for 40 days of racing through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.

Open House will feature an all-new high-level event this year with a free family concert from Zendaya, star of the series Shake It Up! on the Disney Channel. The concert begins at 3 p.m. on the track apron.

Prior to Zendaya's performance, NYRA will host a pair of exhibition races on the main track in the tradition of the Newman E. Wait, Jr. trials. No pari-mutuel wagering will be available.

The backyard will play host to a variety of activities including pony rides, inflatables, face painting, caricatures and mini golf, among other games. Kids can also take part in an equine-themed art contest in celebration of the 150th anniversary for the opportunity to win a named race and present a trophy in the winner's circle during the summer meet. Activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additionally, patrons can get a glimpse into the inner workings of the track with free backstretch tours every half hour beginning at 11 a.m. at the Clubhouse entrance.