At any rate, a summer picnic at the track cannot be missed, and this year we made plans to attend the Saratoga Race Course.
Mark and I have to make an appointment to further investigate the city of Saratoga Springs. (also beautiful) and attend the Horse Racing museum. Mark has never been, which I find incredibly odd since he is such a fan.
Perhaps you are aware of why Sarartoga's was an important city in the 1800's or maybe not, but I can share this little secret about the place. It is home to many natural springs once thought to cure ailments of all kinds. Bath houses were very popular years ago and Saratoga had the spring to fill them. There is one spring located on the Race Course property free water for anyone thirsty....
We has been coming to Saratoga for years. I have been for as long as Mark and I have been married, and remember the days (usually the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend) when they offer family days and free give-a-ways. This year we missed both in an attempt to play of the poor weather conditions predicted for the next two days, Family fun days has games, bounces houses, pony rides, balloons, clowns and lots of fun for the kids. The Sunday give-aways are usually t-shirts, glasses or other Saratoga labeled items. We have gotten multiple shirts, umbrellas, wine glasses, blankets, and coolers. We missed some great ones like the Saratoga folding chair...oh well.
This year we went to simply enjoy the day.
Inside the track area. Years ago people could walk out to the center area. There is a lake in the middle and a canoe rests upon it with the name of some horse (another story I have been told before, but never really listened).
Mark's aunt comes every year and attends nearly every day, She scored us a picnic table at the early entrance time( they open early and allow people to get seats etc. then close before the actual park opens around 10am).
Dont worry if you don't have an Aunt to score you a table early, there is always space for folding chairs under the old trees that fill the grounds and you can always purchase seats in the boxes. Although this year there were so many more tables then I ever remember. I was told they were left over from Travers weekend and they we being sold at $100- a pop. WOW!!!
Once you have your seat, eat a nice sandwich and stand for the National Anthem...it is soon time to examine your book, pick your favorites and then get a good look at your winner at the paddock before it is RACE TIME..
These guys have been playing here for years, The dancing was a nice bonus.
We also ran into Sam the Bugler. You know Sam...he has been announcing the start of the Saratoga races for years...da da da don don don don don da da..and their off!!!
Then the jocky's emerged from the jocky room. Mark reported that he used to wait outside the jocky room and ask for autographs just like many of these kids here.
Ben was thrilled to be taller then most of these guys.
There were some wins and more losses. Mark explained that we had just bought some very expensive jewelry (even at 1/2 off). His way of joking about his losses. I certainly feel like I walked away the biggest winner. Only $20- spent and I have some jewelry to remember the day.. one loosing win, place, or show ticket stub, and nearly done with the book I brought with me to read. Add the bonus of feeling pretty gosh darn good too with a bit of that wine affecting my head. I am ready for next year...must bring more wine next time....
Here is my post on travelbuddy about Saratoga from a few years ago.
http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/102587/more-horses-9 if you are interested in more about my thoughts on Saratoga Race Course.
After a day at the races we were hungry and had a nice dinner at The Peppermill in Glens Falls before the boys cached in some of their winnings (Their Aunt won and dolled out some $$$$) at the go cart track. We had a 1/2 off second players admission. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS look in those tourist area books that you can find anywhere in tourist towns...you will almost always find a coupon on two....
Ice CREAM was great...now time for bed, we have a big day planned at the Great Escape for tomorrow.