Feast for the Eyes


A little gazpacho goes a long way. The 12 oz. bowl at the Putnam St. Market stand on the racecourse’s Restaurant Row for $5 is a zippy-tasting concoction that’ll satisfy your appetite.  If you’re looking for something a little spicy, try the Manhattan clam chowder at the stand underneath Section J, also for $5.  Add a douse of red hot sauce and a few Saltine crackers and you’ll have your mouth watering in no time.

Good food can be found at the racecourse in abundance. The Shake Shack may not have become the wait-an-hour-for-a-hamburger joint that it is in New York - yet.  But one taste of a patty with the Shake Shack’s special sauce and you’ll be hooked like the thousands who pay homage to it.  Blue Smoke, operated by the same restaurateur, hasn’t caught on in the same way but has mighty good bar-b-cue. People swear by the Hattie’s fried chicken sandwich. Oh my God, Hattie’s – it’s the Spa city’s number one eatery.

Speaking of tasty, the Hat’s Off to Saratoga hat contest was a feast for the eyes. Kim Brooking of Saratoga Springs, a freelance exercise rider, won the first prize in the Fashionably Saratoga category for a black and white fascinator that ran hoops around one side of her head.  How nice that Kim works in the sport. She bought her hat at a local shop called Frivolous. The Hat’s Off to Saratoga hat contest was the first hat contest Brooking ever entered.


Photo: Kim Brooking, exercise rider, wins the Hats Off to Saratoga hat contest.

On the other hand, Chorus Music won her second Irish Linnet Stakes. The six-year-old Curragh Stables mare won her first Irish Linnet in April at Belmont. Stakes races with the same name are held at different racetracks occasionally. But Chorus Music’s two triumphs in two different stakes of the same name on the same racing circuit in the same year may be two for the record books.

The winner of the third race, Hysterical Cat, won his first start and then raced seven more times, over the course of nearly a year, before winning for the second time. The colt’s first victory was in a maiden special weights 5-furlong dash for two-year-olds; the second in a $35,000 claiming race a half-furlong longer.  Both triumphs took place at the Spa.  In his maiden win, Hysterical Cat was the betting favorite.  This time, his first place finish triggered a 10-cent trifecta that paid $2200.

The elevator that runs from the clubhouse to Restaurant Row is still broken.  So, too, is the north end tote board.  Rumor has it that a downstate-based cleaning crew of 25 people is back on the job after being told that local workers would replace them.  

Tuesdays are dark days, so return here on Wednesday for the next installment of Vic Zast’s Saratoga Diary



Photo: Kim Brooking, exercise rider, wins the Hats Off to Saratoga hat contest.

4 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Gary Tasich

What was the first prize?

25 Jul 2011 11:20 AM
Giddyup

Hey Vic if you can tear yourself away from the buffet tables would you see if there are any more of those hats about. I'm sure Steve & Lenny would like one for their next edition of "And There Off".

25 Jul 2011 4:11 PM
christopherlally

VZ

Thanks for the photos. The hat is smashing. When I first viewed it from the clubhouse on Sunday, I could see the hat was terrific but it was the little black dress that caught my eye. Thanks again for the pics.CML

25 Jul 2011 8:48 PM
Moodygirl

I was expecting to see some nice pictures of horses & scenery, not a hat. That's a man for yah. Nice hat & glad she won, especially since she is an exercise rider. But not a feast for the eyes for me.

27 Jul 2011 2:56 AM

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