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, New York
June 7, 2002
If you're looking for something different to do with your companion or family and want to be outdoors, Saratoga Race Track fits the ticket!
The track season runs for 36 days this year. Opening day is Wednesday, July 24th and it closes on Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd.
When you're making your travel plans keep in mind that Tuesdays are "dark days" and the track is closed.
Most of the prices for admission and seats have gone up this year, but only a dollar or two. For example, Grand Stand admission is $3 and Grand Stand seats are $5. Clubhouse Admission costs $5 and Reserved Seats another $8. It's really not expensive when you realize you can opt to picnic on the grounds surrounding the track, watch the horses go thru their paces before each race, watch the races in person or anywhere on the grounds via TV, and enjoy free musical entertainment throughout the day. Kids are welcome and special activities are provided for them, i.e., "Juggling For Kids" and "The Discovery Paddock". Never ending people-watching is a bonus. You may even catch a glimpse of female members of "old money" familes like the Whitneys,Vanderbilts, or Rockefellers wearing their wonderful HATS!
If you're a first-timer,a nice treat is to do breakfast at the track. An ample buffet is available at the Clubhouse porch (trackside) from 7-9:30 am. Parking is easy. You can park right on the grounds for $7. If you leave before 12 noon, they return your money. I'd advise leaving your car there for the entire day instead of getting into the pre-race parking traffic and hassle of choosing a new parking place (the closer to the track the more they charge-$10 and below). While dining, you'll get a sense of how beautiful and relaxing the track is while observing the horses working out, oftentimes surrounded by a ground mist. An announcer gives insightful info re: the horses', riders', and owners' backgrounds, how well they've done in the past, etc. It's much quieter than when the thousands of fans fill the stands for the races at l pm post time.
You can pack a picnic lunch or feast on chowder, peppers and onions, hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn, and all the usual fair-type offerings. Various beverages are available including soft drinks, Saratoga Water, beer, wine, and even champagne(when you win the big race)!
From journal The Spa City
Fort Johnson, New York
July 9, 2000
From journal Saratoga Springs NY