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. Note the big spender that I am.
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. 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 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
A very good day indeed!
Question: Have you ever been to a horse track?