Last month I spent an amazing (!!) day at the races. If you follow me on snapchat you may have seen me get pretty close to a few majestic horses - last time that happened a horse bit me. Yay for nice horses!
Saratoga, a gorgeous suburb three hours (two if you decide to pay the tolls) outside of New York City was a refreshing breath of air and will most likely be our only escape from the city this summer. Some of the residents there seem to have a second side hustle (I'm all about that!) and so we were able to quickly find relatively close parking on someone's yard. When we walked into the venue I noticed a few people were tailgating - I only thought they did that for football, so of course my mind was blown.
Once inside our gracious host Dan & Victoria quickly greeted us and gave us a tour. Outside the grounds there were quaint shops to get your shopping on, the famed Hattie's Chicken Spot, and a live band that kept the energy high all day long. I could've stayed out there listening to good music and eating to my heart's content but alas we came to see the horses and hopefully win a little bit of $$$.
We went up to our seats and had a fantastic view even with all the spectators wearing their gorgeous hats. Dan taught us how to read the scoreboard and the racing program which came in handy for when I placed my first bet. Did I mention I won my first bet and promptly got the boy a refreshing beer. I would've gotten him a new pair of blue suede shoes but that was my last winning bet of the day (sigh). Oh, and after the first race I got really really into cheering on the horses - when in Rome right!
After a few losses (sigh again) we went over to the Paddock and got to meet a few jockeys and trainers and see them prep their horses. This was pretty epic because I got to go behind the velvet rope, so to speak, and get really close to the action. In case you were wondering (cause I was too) the Paddock area is where the trainers and owners give instruction to the jockey on how to ride the horse. This is also were the horses are given a walk about to warm up their muscles and spectators can catch a glimpse of the horse's energy before the race.
After a full day of races we contemplated staying an extra night or two - but life summoned us back into the concrete jungle. The very next day (and sadly) back in New York City I found myself on a train that with ads spotlighting Saratoga. Might be my luck but also a sign to get my butt back up there and SOON.