Opening weekend at Saratoga.
In the world of horse racing, there are few phrases that can come close to it. The beauty. The atmosphere. The excitement. The fun.
Saratoga is horse racing. For those who have done it, you know what I'm talking about. For those who haven't, get there. Because until you do, you haven't experienced horse racing at its finest.
Beginning when I was 24, my friends and I made the four and half hour trek from Philadelphia to upstate New York every year without fail. Win or lose, it was always the highlight of my summer. Until I moved to Lexington last year, I never missed a year.
As far as racing goes, you cannot ask for anything more. The Schuylerville. The Lake George. The Whitney. The Go for Wand. The Diana. The Vanderbilt. The Jim Dandy. Over the past decade I have wonderful memories of seeing Ashado, Film Maker, Medaglia d'Oro, Invasor, Azeri, Speightstown, Flower Alley, Bernardini and many others win during opening week. I even hit a couple nice exactas along the way.
But Saratoga is much more than racing. It's the atmosphere in and around the racetrack. The food. The drinks. The people. The weather. The camaraderie with friends and family. In fact, some of my favorite memories of Saratoga occurred after the day of racing. Going out to the fabulous downtown area in the packed restaurants and bars is what it's all about. It is truly one of the great towns in America.
Because of family and work obligations I will not be able to make Saratoga for a second straight year. I will be thinking fondly of my friends as they make that long road trip and spend their week ‘cappin from the grandstand.
For those of you who are going either this week or later in the meet, have a great time and enjoy every moment. I wish you loads of fun and may the racing Gods be with you.
** On a side note, how about Evening Attire?! Amazing. What a great story. I hope they send him to the Breeders' Cup. For those of you who wrote to me in my previous post and said he should be retired, anything to add now? Not only does he win by 8, but he breaks a track record. Awesome stuff.