“From New York City you drive north for about 175 miles, turn left on Union Avenue and go back 100 years.” That quote is attributed to legendary NYC sports scribe Red Smith when he wrote on how to get to Saratoga Race Course.
The town of Saratoga resides in a vacuum as it relates to horse racing.
Some might consider a lack of change to be a negative, but for Saratoga, as a town and a racetrack, that is not the case.
The things that remain the same are universally positive and revolve around a genuine love and appreciation of horse racing.
Twenty-four hours a day, for almost seven, heavenly weeks, the town radiates Thoroughbred racing.
Whether it be mornings at the main track or the Oklahoma training track, afternoons at the races, or evenings in the restaurants and bars, people gather to celebrate all that is right with the game.
In Saratoga you get crowds of 300-500 people attending live radio broadcasts featuring trainers, jockeys, owners, and various personalities in the sport.
The town pulsates with a love and appreciation for a sport that is of great importance to many of us.
In 2020 Covid-19 kept the grandstands empty at tracks across the country, so people watched and wagered from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Since 2020 attendance has been down at other racetracks, thanks not only to Covid, but also the proliferation of simulcasting and internet wagering.
That is not the case at Saratoga. The allure of Saratoga overcomes this.
Safe to say that anyone who comes to Saratoga just once finds themselves returning year after year. Over time this has built the Saratoga race meet into an annual reunion of lovers of the game.
This is perhaps the most special part of the Saratoga experience, in that you see people every year that you have gotten to know over the course of a lifetime.
A lifetime spent in awe of the magic of horse racing.