SARATOGA SPRINGS – The New York Racing Association, Inc. hosted Latino-American Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 23. The event was the first installment in the inaugural International Heritage Series, a weekly celebration of global culture and heritage during the 2014 summer meet.
The day-long festivities featured Latino music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food in the Saratoga Pavilion located inside the Reserved Seats Box Office entrance.
The afternoon included a Spanish call of the second race to the entire NYRA network by Spanish language race announcer Luis Grandison, who joined the New York Racing Association in the spring of 2014. The arrival of Grandison, a 57-year-old Panama native, established the New York Racing Association as the first racetrack operator in the United States to offer year-round Spanish language race calls.
"It was an honor to have Saratoga Race Course host a day in celebration of Latino-American culture to launch our International Heritage Series," said The New York Racing Association CEO and President Chris Kay.
"We were thrilled to introduce Luis Grandison to our racing audience at Saratoga. Our sport has a very large and dedicated following in the Hispanic and Latino communities, and his introduction will help enhance and personalize the guest experience for our Spanish speaking fan base."
Musical and dance performances from Mambo Dragons, Saratoga Savoy, Gilda Vullo and DJ Enrique Loco Lopez took place in the Saratoga Pavilion throughout the afternoon.
Traditional Latino food was also available from El Mariachi in Albany.
In addition to Latino-American Day, the International Heritage Series lineup will include: Italian-American Day on July 30; Irish-American Day on August 6; African-American Day on August 13; and Asian-American Day on August 20. The final installment of the series will celebrate the history and culture of Saratoga Springs with Saratoga Heritage Day on August 27.