Racing begins June 2 in Saratoga; Night of Champions to be held on Sept. 10 at Yonkers

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) today released the approved schedules for the 2021 racing season, announcing that this season’s Night of Champions Finals will be hosted at Yonkers Raceway on September 10. Finals for the Excelsior Series will be held at Vernon Downs on September 11. The full 2021 NYSS and Excelsior Series schedules can be found here.


“The New York Sire Stakes would like to thank the seven harness tracks in New York for working through the challenges that this year brings and helping us to produce another strong schedule for New York-bred horses,” said Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund. “We are excited to see what the new race season brings as our champions return and the offspring of past champions hit the track for the first time.”


The New York Night of Champions purses will be $200,000 for each of the eight divisions. Purses for the Excelsior Finals have been approved at $50,000 for each divisions. All divisions feature five preliminary legs, plus an extra Excelsior leg at Goshen that carries a purse but no points for 3-year-olds.


Conditions have been finalized and posted for the Excelsior Series and County Fair Series, with minimal changes from last year. You can view Excelsior Series conditions here and County Fair conditions here. Purse levels have remained the same for both series.


The NYSS would like to remind horsemen that the 2021 stakes payments for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds must be made online or postmarked by Tuesday, Feb. 16, due to the President’s Day holiday.  To make your payment online, visit A generic payment form can also be found here to mail a payment.


If your payment is returned for any reason, please save all documentation and dated materials, including postmarks.


If you have any questions, contact the New York Sire Stakes at or 518-388-0178.  


About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund:
The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.


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