Sale Food


When you go to a sale, you pretty much are part of a captive audience when it comes to dining. You eat what's available. Sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it's not.

My favorite sale dining experience has been at the outdoor bar on the Fasig-Tipton sale grounds in Saratoga Springs. I love the corn on the cob and the thin, stringy French fries and there's a nice choice of sandwiches. Yum.

At the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales, the crab cakes in the sale pavilion are OK and the roast beef is very rare (as I like it), but the best thing is that you just across the street from the seafood restaurant Michael's. At lunch, I get takeout, risking my life crossing the very busy street, but it's worth it. I order crab cakes or a shrimp salad sandwich.

Keeneland has made the biggest improvement with its variety of offerings in the "food mall." There are hot plate lunches, sandwiches, pizza, and an action station, where my favorite is the Asian noodle dish. You can also get these very good little apple pies in the coffee area and a tasty Cajun snack mix. For a long time, Keeneland had the longest sales along with some of the blandest food, but the food situation has changed, thank goodness. Now if we can only knock a few days off the September and November auctions.

At Fasig-Tipton Kentucky, there is a dining area next to the sale pavilion, and the food is good, but I haven't eaten there in a long time because it's hard to sit down and eat during the sale when there's work to do. Fasig-Tipton did make a welcome improvement by adding an upstairs pizza and sandwich area. Some of the downstairs sandwich stuff, like the cheeseburger and quesadilla, is pretty good. But the fare doesn't make you swoon, it just fills your stomach.

One of the very best sale meals I ever had was at Barretts. They had sea bass that was so delicious that I ate it for lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, I've never seen that dish again, and nothing since has some close, but the roast beef sandwich is tasty.

In the Ocala, Fla. area, the Hilton took over the catering of the food at OBS, and there is a pretty good variety. I like the salad plate, and they're very good about taking off the tuna and giving me two scoops of shrimp. The Adena Springs 2yo sale has a stomach-busting barbecue that now benefits charity, so you can gorge for a good cause.

Also, if you get to go to the Japanese foal and weanling sales, the trip is worth it for the food. There are a lot of tents with a variety of grilled seafood and noodle dishes, and lots of other choices. Best of all, it's all free. No one ever has to go hungry there.

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