Visiting the Saratoga Race Course

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!


America's Best Racing invited me and the boy up to the Saratoga Race Course to immerse ourselves into the sport. It would be our very first introduction to horse racing but with two amazing hosts (hi Dan & Victoria!) by our side, we left leaving like pros. Well, almost.


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.


If you're near the Saratoga Race Course I totally recommend it as something to add to your bucket list and if you can take someone a horse racing aficionado with you. Saratoga too far? Try visiting another one of their racetracks by clicking here.

Photos by Victor Cerejo.