The final is the culmination of the $300,000 Joe Gerrity, Jr. Memorial Open Pacing Series and will feature a purse of $122,500, along with a $25,000 consolation event.
“Throughout August, a distinguished lineup of racing’s top pacers competed for one of the eight slots that will go head-to-head for the $122,500 final,” said Don Hoover, Race Secretary at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “The preliminaries have been extremely close, and we are looking forward to a highly contentious featured event, and a great overall night of racing.”
“Gerrity Night” has increased in popularity since its inception in 2009, and has become the flagship event of the summer racing season. Several notable guests have already made their reservations for this year’s final on August 18, which will include a special appearance by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
The first post time is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. Race fans in attendance can purchase a program which includes a coupon for a free commemorative 2012 t-shirt.
Several notable horses will be competing in the final including Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s 2011 Horse of the Year Kelly’s Noah (post two), driven by Kim Crawford. Classic Rock Nroll (post three), winner of the $100,000 Battle of Lake Erie just four weeks ago, will also be in the lineup, driven by Dan Noble, who led the nation in driving wins for 2011. The winning trainer for last year’s Gerrity event, Josh Green, will have Dancin Yankee racing on Saturday, driven by Dan Cappello, Jr.
The Memorial Pacing Series was created in 2009 to honor the memory of Joe Gerrity, Jr. and his many contributions. A highly respected leader, inspiration and an icon for Saratoga Raceway and the horse racing industry, he was a breeder of horses in Loudonville, a licensed harness driver and became Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Racing, Inc. (now Saratoga Casino and Raceway) on April 1, 1987. Mr. Gerrity later oversaw the expansion of the facility and the installation of video gaming machines, funding the project in part himself.
He also served as a director for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State for 20 years, and also acted as treasurer for much of that time.
Mr. Gerrity passed away in October of 2005.
An additional highlight during the 13-race card for Saturday night is the New York Sire Stakes competition for the top 3-year-old pacers in New York. The combined purses for that total more than $235,000.