As we approach Friday's opening day at Saratoga Race Course, I can't help thinking back to some of our more memorable moments from our 20 years of attending the track. And we can definitely expect more from our upcoming visits.
My maiden voyage to the Spa involved myself, my car and two 80 year old brothers. Huh?? I made plans to drive the two brothers up in my car and one of them was an avid horseplayer like myself. The morning started off with a nice classy breakfast at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. On to the track and after a couple races, one bnother decides to split off and go off drinking. Little did I know that he was manic-depressive and off his meds. Needless to say at the end of 10 races, he was a mess and was cursing us out and stormed out of the track. We were parked on someone's lawn and it took us 2 hours to locate our disturbed friend. We averted a potentially bad scene and a 3 hour ride home took 6 hours.
Since then, our trips have improved greatly whether we spend an afternoon in the picnic area with my wife or a day in the grandstand. Some favorite souvenirs include talking with PG Johnson and Phil Teator after a race or spotting Jim Kaat walking up to the windows to place a bet.
Our recommendation is to take your time exploring the Spa if you are going for the first time. Focus on a little of all the areas (paddock, apron, rail, picnic area) or stay in one spot and then rotate if you go multiple days.
See you in the Winners Circle.