This year we were invited back to the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs New York as the guests of America's Best Racing. an organization initiated by The Jockey Club to promote awareness of the sport of thoroughbred horse racing in North America to a new generation.
America's Best Racing's emphasis and focus is on the fun and fashionable lifestyle associated with American horse racing.
This isn't your grandfather's day at the horse track with a cigar and a racing form!
This is a day of sport spent with fun loving enthusiasts enjoying the magnificent thoroughbreds, smart wagering, and, of course, fashion at the races!
Our hosts from America's Best Racing for the day were the lovely Victoria and the ever dapper Dan who made us feel welcome, helped us with questions about the race course and wagering, and encouraged us to have a fun-filled day!
Pre-race I explored the grounds and found a wonderful vendor, Hatsational, who sets up shop on the grounds at Saratoga selling stylish hats and fascinators to race course fashion enthusiasts! If you don't come to the races with your own hat, I promise you you'll find one that matches your outfit at this fabulous outlet.
I had a great time trying on various hats and fascinators and chatting with the sales staff. They have several locations in the greater Saratoga Springs area besides their on-track location. If it weren't for the fact that purchasing a hat would mean carrying the one I was wearing for the remainder of the day, I would have purchased one. Or two. And of course a fascinator too! Yes, they were all that beautiful!
Here are some other fashion shots from the races...
And it's not just the women who get into the fashion act...here's a father son duo in pastels
...and some pretty madcap pants!
Or maybe this is more your style?
I guess there's something for everyone at the race course!
For more race course fashion follow Twitter's #AmericasBestFashion or Instagram's #AmericasBestFashion
The Saratoga Race Course is also family friendly - just look at the playground perfect for the wee ones to enjoy!
Last year's visit to Saratoga, also sponsored by America's Best Racing was spent in the Carousel Restaurant (Read about it HERE). This year's visit was a bit different as we enjoyed an alternate aspect of a day at Saratoga with a picnic lunch on the pastoral grounds of the race course.
Yes, that's right! Saratoga Race Course allows patrons to bring in their own food and drink to enjoy on their beautiful premises, so long as everything is packed in plastic. No glass is allowed in the picnic areas - a wonderful safety precaution.
The great folks at America's Best Racing provided us with some great food and spirit! Our picnic lunch was catered by the Putnam Market of Saratoga Springs and consisted of artisan sandwiches and specialty salads and sides.
And our spirits were courtesy of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Because, after all, what's a horse race without some good Kentucky bourbon.
Andrea, the NJ Market Manager for Buffalo Trace, whipped up two vats of bourbon favorites for us all to enjoy. A Bourbon Spiked Lemonade and a Mint Julep, both made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Here's a little known fact, in order to be bottled as "bourbon" the spirits must be made in the United States! And what's more, Buffalo Trace Bourbon has the distinction of being the the oldest continuously operating distillery in America. During Prohibition the distillery was even permitted to remain operational, to make whiskey for "medicinal purposes".
I have to say that even though I'm not a Bourbon lover...Buffalo Trace was so velvety smooth that even I became a big fan of the brand. Buffalo Trace notes that its taste is "rich and complex, with hints of vanilla, toffee and candied fruit". I couldn't agree more.
After eating we strolled down to the paddock to see the race horses up close with special entry passes furnished by America's Best Racing.
And then see the jockeys being escorted to the race track.
After our visit to the paddock it was time to place our bets! We had a lot of fun pouring over the race form finding favorite names, checking out the odds, and playing our favorite name and number combinations.
In the end the cowboy came out ahead...ever so slightly...and it was a fun day at the races!
We loved standing track side and watching the post be put in place and the horses trot out to position.
Finally, before leaving, we headed into the Saratoga Pavilion where Fashion Saturday with Lord & Taylor was taking place. I even got to pose paparazzi style on the red carpet! What fun!
Our thanks to Victoria, Dan, and everyone on the ABR Tour for a fun and fashionable day at the beautiful and historic Saratoga Race Course.
Will we be back next year? You can #BetOnIt!
Saratoga Race Course
267 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
Follow them on twitter @ABRLive and @ABRVTour
Like them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmericasBestRacing
Watch them on Instagram @AmericasBestRacing
Disclaimer: We were invited to the Saratoga Race Course by America's Best Racing. All opinions are our own.