The storied summer meet at Saratoga kicks off on Thursday and runs through Labor Day.
If you’re making a pilgrimage to the nirvana of racing, here’s a six-pack of some things to know before you go!
1. Saratoga Race Course is the oldest sports venue in the United States. Saratoga Race Course 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 place you want to see.
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 MAN O’ WAR to SECRETARIAT up to AMERICAN PHAROAH, equine royalty runs deep at Saratoga.
3. You can make big bank playing against favorites here. If you’re dreaming of a huge score this summer, play the races at Saratoga. The track is famously home to surprise Winners. If you want to make some hay, now’s the time: Last year, some lucky bettors made $232.50 on a $2 Win wager, so there are fortunes to be made this summer at Saratoga!
4. Saratoga has many monikers. The track actually has a few nicknames: The Summer Place to Be (self-explanatory) is one, and the Graveyard of Favorites is another. But the most famous nickname surrounding Saratoga is The Spa, and that’s because the city sits on top of natural springs with waters rumored to bring good health to humans and horses.
5. The nightlife is vibrant. Saratoga may appear an idyllic, sleepy hamlet, but the town lights up in the summer. From bars and clubs on Caroline Street to fine dining, The Spa is the perfect place to have a good time this summer.
6. The arts scene is exceptional. If you’re a culture vulture you’ll love Saratoga: the city is home to the racetrack as well as the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, the National Museum of Dance, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. There’s also Saratoga Polo, the Yaddo, and so much more.