Thursday, August 15, 2013

Saratoga Race Course - with America's Best Racing

This month we were invited by the folks at America's Best Racing to visit the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. This was such a wonderful event, not just because of the horse races, but also because the historic Saratoga Race Course is celebrating 150 years of horse racing.
Saratoga Race Course

And, of course, I'm a girl who loves tradition, and what could be better than 150 years of horse racing tradition! (#Saratoga150).

Traveling from Connecticut, we took CT's I-91 to the Massachusetts Pike to the New York Thruway, right through the beautiful, scenic Berkshire Mountains. It took a little over 3 hours, with a few short stops to stretch our legs. Not a bad drive at all. We left home about 8am and arrived at the course about 11:45.
The New York Thruway through the Berkshires

There's plenty of parking in the area, with private lots that charge $5.00 to $10.00. And there's even a lot that provides free general parking, however, we chose a lot that cost $5.00 because it was directly across from our entrance. The $10.00 lot is trackside, adjacent to the course. Of course, price is dependent on proximity.

Admission is so affordable! It's only $3.00 for general grandstand admission and $5.00 for the clubhouse admission.

The brand ambassadors from America's Best Racing couldn't have been nicer! I was lucky enough to team up with them for this great afternoon of lunch and cocktails in the clubhouse, and a behind the scenes tour of the Saratoga Race Track. A great big thank you to Chip McGaughey who invited me, as well as the great hospitality from John Cox, Jose Contreros and everyone else at America's Best Racing who were such wonderful and gracious hosts.
America's Best Racing
America's Best Racing

Because it was my first time there, these patient gentlemen and their female counterparts took me under their wing, and made sure we were situated with all the information we needed to enjoy a fun day at the track!

We started with the buffet lunch ($35.00) in the clubhouse, which consisted of a variety of choices from a well-stocked salad bar, and pasta, fish, chicken, and beef stations. We kept it healthy, with portioned protein and lots of salad and fruit!

Buffet at the Clubhouse Saratoga Race Course
Buffet Stations at the Club House at the Saratoga Race Course

And while everyone was looking over the racing form...I decided to concentrate on a nice glass of Riesling from the Carousel Bar.
Carousel Bar Saratoga Race Course
The Carousel Bar at Saratoga Race Course

Then the fun began - we placed our wagers on each race...sometimes winning! Sometimes losing! My best race was winning with the #7 horse, "In Trouble", in the 6th Race.  But all in all it was fun.  Never wager more than you can afford to lose, my mom always said!

Wagering at Saratoga Race Course
Wagers - you win some - you lose some!

We also had passes to visit the paddock and the jockey room! What a wonderful opportunity to see the horses, up close.  They are truly absolutely magnificent!
Paddock at Saratoga Race Course
The Paddock at Saratoga Race Course

Here's what you should know when visiting the race track.  Dress is casual but there are plenty who dress to the nines. Women are typically in dresses, and some in hats, and men are in collared shirts and trousers. While shorts and denim are worn by some, they aren't allowed in some of the more exclusive areas. There are some areas that require a jacket be worn by gentlemen.  Check the Saratoga Race Course information area for details here: http://www.nyra.com/saratoga/information/

There are grounds inside the track where you are allowed to bring in lawn chairs and coolers, etc. Please note ==> NO GLASS items are allowed. So, if you're looking to save some dollars to put towards your wagering, pack a picnic lunch, some chairs, and a couple of cans of beer or soda, and have a picnic outside!
Here's some candids from around the course.
The Saratoga Race Course Candids

There is a true sense of festivity in the air at Saratoga Race Course. Vendors, crafts, music, and loads of entertainment for every age.  Truly something for everyone!
Saratoga Race Course Saratoga Springs NY
The Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs NY
That's me and the cowboy on the right, I'm wearing vintage Lilly Pulitzer


We had a great time and need to thank America's Best Racing for sponsoring our visit. 
You can "bet" we'll be back!

Follow America's Best Racing online at: www.followhorseracing.com
Follow them on Twitter at: @ABRLive 

And be sure to visit the Saratoga Race Course soon - 
or one of the other races on the 2013 ABRV Tour
#Getinthegame





Saratoga Race Course

267 Union Avenue

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

(518) 584-6200



Have you been to the race course?

How do you pick your horses? Favorite Numbers? Favorite Names? 

Or ...???

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

**************

Disclaimer:  We were invited to the Saratoga Race Course by America's Best Racing. All opinions are our own.

26 comments:

  1. We have friends who go there all the time and say its such a nice area. Let us know when you're going next time, we'd love to meet you there!

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    1. It is really a lovely destination and we had such fun! Can't wait til' next year to go back again! We'll definitely meet up! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. The food there looks delicious... And I love your dress!

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    1. Thank you so much! We really enjoyed the race track and had such a fun day. We have this on our short list of MUST DO's for next summer. It was fun!

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  3. Looks like a great day! That track looks like a throwback with the fancy hats and the Carousel bar, unlike some of the more seedier things you see at some tracks today. I'd love to go check that out one day :)

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    1. Sarah, it was my first time there, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I think I was picturing old men slouched over racing forms with cigars hanging out of their mouths! (LOL)

      But instead it's a real festival with a "party-like" atmosphere, full of young families, young couples, and lots of singles. A tiny bit upscale, but not so much that it's pretentious. And loads and loads of fun!

      It's really a "happening" place. You must definitely go!

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  4. Great dress!! Love all of the colors. I am glad you included the what to wear section. I always thought people dressed up only for the Celebrity filled one that happens earlier in the year. I guess, maybe dressing up for these races is part of the tradition of these events. Great post!

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    1. Thank you!

      I love my Lilly Pulitzer resort wear, and lately I haven't had much of a chance to wear them anywhere! Next time I go, I'm definitely adding a hat or fascinator.

      There was so much great fashion and to die for accessories...it was just like Derby Day!

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  5. What a beautiful day for the races! Gotta love those hats! :)

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    1. Oh, I do love me a good hat. But I do hate having "hat-head" - LOL!

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  6. It looks like you had so much fun! I've never been to the races but I think it would be so much fun!

    xx Kait

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    1. Kait, it is certainly a fun way to spend an afternoon. Hope you have a racetrack out west in CO that you can visit! It's a great experience!

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  7. 1) You are killing it in the vintage LP- Lilly would be proud! 2) So impressed that you were able to make the healthiest choices at that yummy-sounding buffet! 3) Now I want to go check out a horse race!

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    1. Well, thank you, thank you! Like you, I have to dress a bit conservatively for my FT work, so I relish the opportunities I get to get all girly! Lilly is one of my favorite summer looks, and this was the ideal place to wear it. Next year, I'm adding a fascinator!

      Yes, I was proud that we stayed so healthy and kept to the lean proteins, fruits, and salads that were in abundance. They also had a dessert table that I visited...but...honest...I just had a few nibbles!

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  8. My friend went to this a few times since her boyfriend was working up in that area I keep meaning to make my way there, perhaps next summer! This really looks like a good day trip!

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    1. yes! I promise you it is worth the trip. Next year I think I'll make it a weekend getaway as there are so many great places to visit in town. Saratoga Springs is a beautiful area.

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  9. Cool! I've never been to a horse race, despite having been obsessed with the sport as a child after reading The Black Stallion series. :)

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    1. Oh, Jen, I remember the Black Stallion series too! These horses are magnificent. So beautiful!

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  10. This is totally on my to-do list now, Bonnie!! It looks like so much fun. ( I always wanted to wear one of the big fluffy hats!!)

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    1. Me too Jenny! I can't wait to go back! Definitely wearing a hat and dressing to the nines! It's a fun trip and a great place. The area is beautiful, so much to do! (so little time!!! LOL)

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  11. Looks like it was a lovely day. Great info too!

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    1. Thanks Beth! Glad that the information was helpful!

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  12. I am always surprised when something survives time so well and continues in the same fancy and fashion as it always did. Horses are such magnificent and sweet creatures!

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    1. They are, and I'm so glad the tradition of making the race track a special destination continues!

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  13. I think I might like to go just for the food!

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    1. And that's a great reason! The food is fab!

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