Plans are underway for The Saratoga Special to return for its 21st publishing season with a print and digital schedule throughout the 2021 Saratoga Race Course meeting this summer in upstate New York.
The team behind The Saratoga Special will start with the first of 20 editions Opening Day Thursday, July 15 and run throughout the 40-day meet, which ends Labor Day, Sept. 6. The opening issue will follow with another Saturday, July 17 then go on Wednesdays and Saturdays for the full meet plus a much-anticipated Sales Week run of six consecutive editions Aug. 6-11.
“We’re excited to come back to Saratoga for racing’s premier meet and give fans and horsemen what they’ve come to expect with every edition of The Special,” said Joe Clancy, co-founder and co-editor of The Saratoga Special with his brother Sean Clancy. “We were sorry to miss the meet last year, but will forever be thankful for the support of our loyal advertisers and readers for sticking with us during trying times.”
The Sales Week slate starts with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday, Aug. 6 and continues through Whitney Day Friday and Saratoga Oaks Saturday, the two-day Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale Monday and Tuesday and a sales wrap-up and racing preview edition Wednesday.
The 20 issues mark an increase from the 2020 publishing schedule of 17 digital-only editions, streamlined in the midst of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic during the meet conducted without spectators. The 2021 schedule will depend on continued positive developments related to Covid-19, the support of advertisers and readers and the State of New York allowing the New York Racing Association to host spectators for live racing.
Founded in 2001, The Special covers racing like no other publication – up-front, in-depth, personal, immediate and original. The Special’s writers, handicappers and photographers are some of the best in racing.
Print distribution of the paper will be free, on track and around town with an estimated readership of 5,000 per edition. Each publication will also be available free online as a PDF.
“Our 2020 editions saw massive increases in online readership compared to 2019 and we’re excited to mix that energy with the traditional print product this summer,” said Sean Clancy. “We’ve already started assembling the editorial team to help us produce all the usual content and possibly some new features and sections that we planned to roll out for our 20th season before the pandemic.”
Managing editor Tom Law, a resident of Saratoga Springs, steered The Special through the 2020 season, covering live racing, managing a small staff and coordinating all in-person coverage. He’s back for 2021, and looks forward to a racing season that feels closer to the real thing.
“Last year was tough, but it was also a great sign that NYRA and the horsemen could pull off the meet under trying circumstances,” Law said. “The Special was there, just not quite like it always was, and the racing was stellar as always. I’m excited about another season, and look forward to sharing it all with readers again.”
Check out the Advertising Guide and Publishing Calendar for everything you need to know about The Saratoga Special for 2021.