Off to the Races!

Well, the long ride was a bit of a bust this weekend. The plan was to bike down to the Saratoga Race Track, but the forecast was for showers in the afternoon.  So, we went out for a quick 16 mile ride and went to the track via car, meeting up with mom, sis, and one of the nieces.

The track is only open for part of the summer, but it is a huge draw for the area.  It is the oldest organized sporting event in the US.  I didn’t know that!

The neat thing about the track is that you can get up close and personal with the horses (sort of).

The paddock area can be walked around and you often see the horses being led around from the stables, like this:

The grounds have a very old fashioned feel to them:

There were tons of people on Saturday.  It was  big televised race day, which we didn’t know.  The Whitney race was run that night.  The track grounds open at 7:30, but the first post time isn’t until 1.  People come with coolers and EZ-Up tents and make a day of it.

The track itself:

There are different courses.  The very inside ones are turf and the outside ones are dirt.  Here are some horses just warming up before loading in the gate.

I don’t know much about betting and such and really don’t follow horse racing at all except for the run for the Triple Crown, like most people.

I still don’t get the betting, but I did bet on 1 race today.  My bookie:

I didn’t care so much for the odds – I picked one because I like the name: Sabercat. :mrgreen:  Note the big spender that I am.

Go #7!

Races go by so fast (video)! I claimed a spot right by the far rail to get an unobstructed view.  You have to save a spot early for each post or you can’t see (if you are a shortie).

I think Sabercat came in last…

We then had some lunch.  A fair amount of choices to eat at the track, but I had my eye on a lobster roll!

This was really good and had quite a bit more lobster than I was expecting for track food, but then again, it was a $10 sandwich.  The only thing missing was that the bun be toasted.

I also had some dates with peanut butter that we packed along, and my mom brought some peanut butter M&Ms.

(this was not all I ate of these…)

My sister and I did goofy faces for the camera.  Laughed when we saw we both made the same face!

As I was taking this pic, some guy went by and said “Beautiful”, which made us all laugh. :mrgreen:  My hair was pinned back by this time because I had horrible humidity frizz.

Lots of entertainment at the track, too.  This group was kind of zydeco-ish.

You don’t even have to actually go see the race outside if you don’t want.  There are places to sit and watch the races inside.

Or even in the picnic area on these pole TVs.  The funny thing is that there is a ton of milling around and talking except from the 60 seconds or so every half hour when a race happens, then everyone stops whatever they are doing and pays attention.

One more race video. This was the far inside turf.

It’s pretty quiet and then the crowd gets really loud as the horses come by.  It’s hard not to get swept up in all the excitement.  The most exciting races are the ones on the far rail which is right by where I stand in these videos. The horses thunder by and you can feel it in your bones.

After we had our fill of losing watching the races, we headed downtown because I had a Groupon!


I tried a lavender cupcake.

It’s purple!

It was good.  The lavender flavor was very subtle.  The nice thing?  It started raining while we were there, which justified us not biking down there :mrgreen:

Happy time!

A very good day indeed!

Question:  Have you ever been to a horse track?

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24 thoughts on “Off to the Races!

  1. Kimberley

    Yes…a long time ago. The local casino we go to has racing, but we usually hit the slots.

    Lavender cupcakes??? Wow! Spectacular. I can’t believe the lobster roll didn’t have a buttery toasted bun. It still looks good though.

    Too bad you couldn’t ride…you did inspire me to ride six miles on the bike at the gym yesterday. I was going for five, but it passed without me noticing so I just kept going to six.

    Nice family pics!!!
    Kimberley´s last blog post ..Challenge Update #6

  2. Shelley B

    I’ve been to the Del Mar racetrack a few times – my Grandmother lived nearby. I thought it was pretty old-fashioned, too, much like where you were today. Maybe that is the nature of horse tracks? Any case, it’s charming!

    Also, I’m intrigued by the lavender cupcake – color, flavor and everything!
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..Friday Mishmash – (Boat) Driver’s Ed Needed!

  3. Alison

    Humidity frizz? I think you look adorable!

    I wouldn’t even know what to expect from a lavender-flavored cupcake!

    One of my friends has been to the Kentucky Derby twice and she thought it was an incredible experience. Looks like it was a fun day for you and you had a bunch of family there to share it with!
    Alison´s last blog post ..Weekend Shenanigans

  4. Fran

    What a lovely, lovely day!

    I’ve never been to a race track but funny thing is that I watched a program on TV last week where they visited horse races too and I said to the hub that it would be fun to go there someday. You’re post of today only confirmed that.
    Fran´s last blog post ..A day in my life: Saturday August 6, 2011

  5. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    I’ve never been to the horse races. Oaklawn, which is where a lot of the early season races are held, is over in Hot Springs, AR, but I’ve never managed to make it over for the season. Must put that on my to-do list.

  6. Helen

    I have never been to a horsetrack but we have both OTB and casinos around here so I’ve seen it on TV. Little Helen got to go to the Preakness Stakes as a VIP this year and loved it!
    Helen´s last blog post ..Re-Entry

  7. Jody - Fit at 53

    Your bookie is soooooooo cute! My hubby loves the horse races – his mom did too & would always bet on gray horses. What fun for you all * that sis & you pic – priceless. You look like twins!

    Man, that cupcake looks amazing – did it taste lavender?

    Yup, I have been to horse races in my years with the hubby! 😉
    Jody – Fit at 53´s last blog post ..Gratitude Monday

  8. Biz

    What a fun day! I love the race track, we used to go all the time, but now its too many stairs for my husband to walk 🙁

    Our kids liked it too – they used to watch the jockey’s come onto the track and after the races they would throw out their goggles and the kids would try to catch them.

  9. Susan @ PrimalRecipe

    Hey this is so funny because I LIVE in Saratoga! You did an awesome job sharing your experiences there. The track is so much fun, and such an important part of our city. It brings in a ton of tourism and keeps the area looking nice.

    The only thing I dislike about track season is that I have to pay for parking I usually don’t have to pay for and the traffic is horrible. You can’t hardly drive through town!

    I usually try to stay away from the cupcakes but the other place in town that has amazing ones is the Bread Basket! YUM!
    Susan @ PrimalRecipe´s last blog post ..Primal Recipe: Toasted Coconut

    1. Lori Post author

      It is crowded down there! We normally like to bike down to avoid having to park, but the rain kept us from doing that.

      I had a Bread Basket cupcake and it was so dense and heavy. Good, but quite rich.

  10. Linda Kuil

    Lori- my father-in-law’s girlfriend’s son is cooking at Saratoga right now! He was at Belmont and then he had the opportunity to go upstate for 6 weeks or so. They were up there to visit him a week ago. They said it was beautiful.

  11. Linda Kuil

    Oh, and the Lobster Roll here at Lunch on the east-end of Long Island was $17 when I had it a few years ago!

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