Horse Racing enthusiasts know that summer in New York is Saratoga season. Every year gamblers and horse lovers gather at the Saratoga Race Course for a day of fun, and if you’re lucky, fabulous prizes. Last Saturday, we left city life behind and ventured upstate to the quaint city of Saratoga Springs with our friends at America’s Best Racing, for their annual #TogaTrip. We arrived midday and enjoyed a quick brunch at Lillian’s Restaurant, one of the popular local eateries before heading to the renowned track. Built over 150 years ago the Saratoga Race Course has the unique distinction of being one of the oldest sporting venues in the U.S.
This season at the track, Saturdays are all about style. On “Fashion Saturdays”, visitors show off their very best. Stylish hats and fascinators were stretched out as far as the eye could see as race fans vied for the coveted best dressed award. The contest celebrates historical tradition of style at the races. Way back in the early days of horse racing wealthy men and women came to the track in their finest garments. Fashion was as much of a sport back then as racing itself. Big ornate hats are one of the most popular statement pieces worn at the races. If you don’t own a hat you can easily purchase one at one of the kiosks in the Saratoga Pavilion. While you’re there, you can also take advantage of the many snack and beverage vendors throughout the space.
Though the shopping and snacking are superb we were there to watch the races. We climbed into the Reserved Grandstand Seats and enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the race. The seating is conveniently located just a few steps from the betting counters for easy betting. Whether you are a longtime fan of the sport or a newbie it is impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of the races. On our visit the track was full of excitement for the “$1.25 Million Whitney”, one of the season’s biggest races. From the moment the horses leave the gate, there is a buzz in the atmosphere as gamblers cheer and scream for their horses. Even if you don’t have a bet placed you will find yourself cheering right along with your neighbors. Once the winner crosses the finish line feel free to chat with other race fans in between races, the folks at Saratoga are friendly and eager to share their good time.
After a few great races we ventured outside away from the excitement to get up and personal with a few of the beautiful beasts we watched on the track. The horses are paraded around a much smaller track offering fans a closer look then tied up in the stables for a quick meal and some much-needed water. While at the stables guests can pet and take photos with the jockey and their steed.
Unfortunately the Saratoga races are not a year-round event so you had better get there fast. The racing season at Saratoga started on July 24th and will have is season closing day on September 7th. Gather the troops and head up to Saratoga, for an exciting day at the races.
To learn more about America’s Best Racing, head over to their website.