A Saratoga Primer

1. Saratoga Race Course is the oldest sports venue in the United States.

The track opened for business in 1863, making it the oldest sporting venue in the entire United States.  If you love horses and/or history, Saratoga is a bucket-list destination.

2. It’s one of the most elite racing meets in the world.

Over its 155-year history, Saratoga has hosted some of the greatest thoroughbreds, trainers, and jockeys on the planet.  From SECRETARIAT to AMERICAN PHAROAH, equine royalty regularly runs at Saratoga.

3. You can make a lot of money playing against favorites here.

If you’re dreaming of a huge score this summer, Saratoga is where you want to wager. The track is famously home to surprise Winners.  The great MAN O WAR, fittingly, got bested by a horse named UPSET.  While Triple Crown Winner, and record holder SECRETARIAT was beaten by a colt called ONIONThe Daily Racing Blog knows one bettor who last year made $1,200 on a fifty cent Trifecta, investing only ten dollars!  So if you want to make bank, The Spa is the place to do so.

4. Saratoga has a lot of nicknames.

The track actually has a couple of nicknames: “The Summer Place to Be” (self-explanatory) is one, and the “Graveyard of Favorites” (see point No. 3) is another.  Seemingly, the most famous nickname surrounding Saratoga is “The Spa”.  That’s because the city sits on top of natural springs with waters rumored to bring good health to humans and horses.  Saratoga became a playground for the wealthy throughout the Gilded Age thanks to the mineral water and the race meet.  There are still bathhouses and (mineral water) drinking pavilions throughout the town.

5. The nightlife is second to none.

Saratoga may look like a quaint, sleepy hamlet, but the town lights up at night in the summer.  So take your new found (track) riches to the bars and clubs on Caroline Street, and/or one of the many fine dining establishments The Spa has to offer.  There is fun for everyone at Saratoga.

6. The arts scene is unparalleled.

If you’re a culture vulture, Saratoga has got you covered.  As well as world class horse racing, the city is home to the National Musesum of Racing and Hall of Fame, the National Museum of Dance, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  If you feel the need to drink from stemware with pinky-finger extended there’s Saratoga Polo.  For subdued and sublime beauty there is Saratoga National Historic Park, as well as the Yaddo Gardens.

7. The track has really amazing food.

If you’re a foodie, you won’t be disappointed going to Saratoga Race Course.  There are in-house specialties like potato chips (which, according to legend, were originally created in Saratoga!) and food trucks galore.  Some favorites include the pulled pork mac ‘n’ cheese from the Mac Truck, and world-renowned Hatties Chicken.  DRB knows of one long-time racing fan who must always have a cup of clam chowder while he’s at the track.  Bon Appetit !

8. A perfect Saratoga morning includes a trip to the track to watch horses train.

To get the ultimate Saratoga experience, you should get to the track in the morning to watch horses train.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful, and gives you a look at the day-to-day life of elite thoroughbreds and their caretakers.  You can dine on a buffet breakfast while watching the workouts or go on a guided tour.  Whatever option you choose, the visual glory of daybreak at The Spa should not be missed.

So as you can see, Saratoga is no one-trick pony.  This year racing begins on July 11th.  Enjoy !



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