Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Saratoga Race Course

It's That Time Of Year!
     In a few days the Saratoga Race Course will be opening back up.  The sleeping giant will awake with the thundering hooves of thoroughbred horses from all over the world.  Top trainers will bring the horses to challenge the best the sport has to offer, it's the SPA.  It truly is the best venue in sports, the people are friendly the air is crisp and the night life is non stop.  Saratoga Springs has it all, there isn't one thing missing from the small Victorian city.  You see people from all walks of life, from the very rich to the very poor.  It's a mix of everything but people don't seem to mind.  If you like to people watch then this is the town for you.  Celebrities like Bill Parcells are fixtures at the track, just take a walk down by the finish line and look up in the clubhouse and see how many celebrities are sitting directly in front of you.  From the hot dog vendors to the valets to the security, each person will treat you with respect.  The paddock is one of a kind, though you can't get as close as years past, the horses are still only a few feet away, so bring your camera!  Many love the picnic areas, it's quite diverse you will see retirees alongside college students and everyone on between.  One of the nicer places is sitting under a shade tree sipping a cocktail smoking a cigar. 

Jockeys Signing Autographs
     You don't see it to often anywhere else but when the jockeys are finished with a race usually you see them with security exiting the grandstand area on their way back to the jocks room, you will see kids from all ages lining up for a autograph and I've been going to the track for 50 years and not once have I seen a jockey decline a child.  That's the kind of atmosphere it is here.  It has a old time charm to the place, it's no New York City where people are running to make a last minute bet, or you see people yelling at trainers or jockeys.  It's quite calm, people have a different outlook when their here.  Peacefullness seems to come over you once you walk through the gates, your eyes start to wonder looking for friends or stars and then your looking for your spot to sit.  I'm not a big fan of the clubhouse or grandstand area but it's ok, people want a birds eye view of the race when it goes off, I would rather sit under the trees and watch it on a television with the rest of the people who sit outside.  It's fun rooting your horse on hoping for the best, but if they lose so what-onto the next race!  You always know a halfway decent handicapper somewhere offering you advice or a tip, usually they lose but it's fun to listen!  Travers day is when the best 3 year olds in the country gather on a date which is usually the 3rd week in August,  it's called the mid summer derby.  It's usually a packed house and all the prices go up including parking which I think is wrong!  They soak you enough money within the track, have you seen the prices for burgers and pizza?  This is NOT New York folks.  I try and stay away on those big days, and the giveaway days.  It's not a lot of fun trying to get somewhere and you have to move through hords of people.  Not my style. 

The Nightlife
     It's a place where you can find people music on the streets and people offering them a few dollars or you can visit a cafĂ© where top jazz musicians from around the world are playing.  Such a diverse place where the food is always top notch and the ambiance is always soothing to the soul.  Congress park seems to always have a wedding and people are playing with their kids, you can see the famous spit and spat at one end and look at the amazing flowers on the other end.  The hall of fame is one place I recommend seeing.  It gives you only the best race horses, owners, jockeys and trainers the sport has to offer.  It's very inexpensive and you won't spend all day there.  Your kids will love it.  Saratoga Lake is one place visitors seem to flock to, people love driving around the lake looking at the homes and camps wishing they had one there.  Fishing is always enjoyed on this gorgeous lake, you will see pontoon boats all year long.  There is so much to do in the Spa City, never a dull moment.  I hope you enjoy Saratoga this year, if you've never been I suggest you take a few days to visit.  It's one of the best places to vacation in the country!

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