"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 12, 2017

Aug. 9 - Saratoga Springs, NY

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.” —Henry Van Dyke

Our friends in Oneonta called us Sunday to tell us they were going to the races in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday...they wanted to know if we'd like to join them. Of course we wanted to! We're always up for a new adventure. We drove over to Oneonta on Tuesday and enjoyed an evening in Cooperstown. We wandered around town, look at a few of the famous baseball places, did a tasting at Cooperstown Distillery and had a wonderful dinner at the Hawkeye Bar & Grill in the Otesaga Hotel. On Wednesday we spent a great day at the races in Saratoga Springs. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Cooperstown Distillery
Otesaga Resort Hotel was built in 1909 and is full of charm and gracious hospitality of a bygone era. It's located on the southern shore of Otsego Lake and offers fantastic views from its dinning rooms and luxurious guest rooms. 
We enjoyed a great meal in a fantastic setting on an evening with perfect temperatures...it made for an impeccable ending to a wonderful day.  
Our dinner at the Hawkeye over looking the lake
The view of Otsego Lake from our table. This lake is the source of the Susquehanna River, which runs all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.
Oklahoma Training Track is located across the street from Saratoga Race Course. It's where the trainers bring their horses for spring training before the races start in July. The jockeys, trainers, horses and stable hands live here during the race season. We were lucky to get a behind the scenes look at things since we were with George and Maryann.
Saratoga Race Track opened in 1863 and has been the home of the Travers Stakes since 1864, the oldest major thoroughbred horse race in the United States. The racecourse has been in use almost every year since 1864, with only a handful of exceptions. The Saratoga meet originally lasted only four days, but has been lengthened gradually over the years and now runs for 40 racing days traditionally ending on Labor Day.
The racetrack offers viewing of the races from luxury suits, the club house, general grandstands, restaurants and picnic areas. (click on picture to enlarge)
The picnic areas offer a relaxed way to enjoy the races...there is entertainment, arts and crafts booths, a playground and food and drink venders.
We had a table in the Club House; where we enjoyed a nice lunch and had a great place to relax between races. This is the view from the Club House of the grounds.
Prior to each race, a bell is hand rung at exactly 17 minutes prior to scheduled post time for each race to call the jockeys to the paddock. Patrons can get close up views of the horses being led to the paddock as the path from the stables runs through the picnic grounds.
The Paddock is a small, fenced area that holds horses for saddling and exercising before the race starts. We had special access to the area because Maryann and George are breeders. It really gave us an up close look at the horses and it was fun to watch the jockeys, owners and breeders. It made the experience so much better.
A look at the Paddock. This is Sea Hero - an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers Stakes. Since 2011, Sea Hero has been the oldest living winner of the Kentucky Derby.
George and Stan waiting to place a bet. We won a few and lost a few and had a great time. Maryann was the big winner.

There are three separate tracks in the main course at Saratoga Race Course:
  • a main dirt track which is 1 1⁄8-mile (9-furlong)
  • a 1-mile (8-furlong) turf track, known officially as the Mellon Turf Course
  • an inner turf track which is 7 furlong 
Thursday morning we hung around Waterhill Farms with Maryann and George...there's always a little work to be done and we enjoy helping out.
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2 comments:

  1. Saratoga was my home for 20 years, a wonderful place. It looks like you had a great day too.

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    1. It's a great place and we had perfect temps for the day. Hopefully they will have horses running next year. We will definitely be back.

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