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Saratoga Race Course, Preservation League of New York State Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

"Preservation League 40" will run on August 3, the 150th Anniversary of Racing in Saratoga

ALBANY, NY- July 31, 2013 - The Preservation League of New York State is honored to join the festivities surrounding the sesquicentennial of the debut of horse racing - the sport of kings - at the historic Saratoga Race Course. A named race, the Preservation League 40, will commemorate the League's ongoing fortieth anniversary celebration on August 3, the 150th anniversary of the first day of thoroughbred racing in Saratoga.

The Preservation League, a statewide not-for-profit with headquarters in Albany, has been protecting New York's historic buildings, districts and landscapes since 1974.

"The Saratoga Race Course, the oldest continuously-operating thoroughbred racetrack in the country, has a wealth of Victorian structures, including the turreted grandstand and many horse barns - some of which date from the 1840s," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "The essential character of the Saratoga Race Course lies in the composite of historic buildings, landscape, and traditions. In fact, the complex was named to the League's Seven to Save list of endangered places in 2008 to call attention to the importance of this architectural icon."

The Saratoga Race Course includes 350 acres, 3 tracks, and more than 200 structures. Under the management of the New York Racing Association, new buildings have been carefully designed to complement existing structures.

Following the Seven to Save designation in 2008, the League made a Preserve New York grant of $9,000 to the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for a cultural resource survey of the Saratoga Race Course. The survey, completed by Landmark Consulting of Albany, gathered data about the properties to ensure that future changes have no adverse impact on the historic context of the complex. "For example, Clare Court, a small, bucolic plot in the backstretch, is the track's oldest group of barns," said Anne H. Van Ingen, the Chair of the Preservation League's Board. "These barns housed great thoroughbred champions, and this enclave was the 'summer camp' for the horses of early racing luminaries - Vanderbilt, Astor, Whitney and others. We must ensure that Saratoga's structures - grand as well as humble - are honored and protected."

The Preserve New York Grant program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The total support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 is over $1.7 million to 279 projects statewide.

"As we launch our 40th Anniversary celebration in 2013, the Preservation League is exploring not just the past, but the future of historic preservation," said DiLorenzo. "We are truly delighted to mark this milestone in our organization's history as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of thoroughbred racing at Saratoga. We commend Saratoga Race Course for the continued stewardship of this remarkable historic resource."

The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development, and education programs all across the state.

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