Your Stories

Below are stories, photos and videos submitted by fans of Saratoga Race Course from around the world.  Please share your story with us too!

My wife, Pat and I were both born in Upstate, N...
Submitted by Bill & Pat from Dunwoody, Georgia from the 1980s
My wife, Pat and I were both born in Upstate, New York. After graduating from SUNY – Buffalo in 1969, I began my career with NY Telephone in Albany. I married my college sweetheart, Pat, in 1970. While living in Albany, we enjoyed frequent trips to the Saratoga Racetrack with both friends and family. In 1978, my family moved to Atlanta. Every summer, we would make our yearly trek from Atlanta with our three children to see family and friends in both the Utica area and Albany. Our trips were always planned for August to assure a visit to Saratoga. One day of each trip was always set aside to take Grandma Rozanski to Saratoga. We would set up a blanket under a large beautiful pine tree conveniently located next to the paddock area, and adjacent to the betting windows. I remember sitting on our cooler, filled with beverages and food for all ages. The children were always kept occupied with all the activities of Saratoga. TV’s were installed on a near-by tree. A short walk and we could view the race from the grandstand or the guardrail. The “classic” Saratoga setting! Saratoga is an integral part of our roots. A Saratoga painting with our names on the horses, purchased in 1989 from an artist, is hung proudly in our house. This year (2013), my oldest son, Jimmy, and I visited Saratoga August 25th, 26th, and 28th. On Sunday, August 25th, we met other members of the family, Uncle John and Aunt Irene from Whitesboro, Cousins Lisa, Mike, Joey and Katya from Castleton-on-Hudson, for a great day at the track and most assuredly, more memories. I recall the day before Travers Saturday, watching the Travers on TV in Atlanta. I was thinking, wow, in less than 24 hours, I’ll again be sitting in the stands at Saratoga, enjoying the beautiful day with family, and reminiscing about the many wonderful times we spent with my family and Grandma. Our latest visit to the Saratoga Racetrack was further enhanced by our two nights lodging in the City of Saratoga Springs. We thoroughly enjoyed the numerous restaurants, music, and friendly people. It definitely contributes to the Saratoga Racetrack experience. I know our sons are looking forward to one day bringing their children to Saratoga to keep the memories going. It is one beautiful place! A good time was had by all! We are sure Grandma and son Joey were smiling down on us, and son John Michael was wishing, for one day, he was not working in the Netherlands. Bill & Pat Doyle
My very first visit to Saratoga Race Course was...
Submitted by Kathleen from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1960s
My very first visit to Saratoga Race Course was with my mother when I was 16 years old. I was not old enough to make bets, nor did I know anything about the horses. My mother explained that some people pick their horses by using numbers associated with age, birthdates, or color of the horse. So I made my selections using my age for the Daily Double. Would you believe the Double was 1 and 6. I won $60.00. I'll never forget that day. I spent the money on a brand new pink and white Schwinn bicycle.

I've been involved in the racing game for 40+ years. I've been a player and owner. I've also had group parties at Belmont Park of over 100 people. The…
Submitted by Louis from N. Y., New York from the 2000s
I've been involved in the racing game for 40+ years. I've been a player and owner. I've also had group parties at Belmont Park of over 100 people. The game is the best, but I truly believe that Mrs. Whitney is ONE OF THE BEST!!!

My husband I had our first date at Saratoga Rac...
Submitted by Marlene from Lenox Dale, Massachusetts from the 1980s
My husband I had our first date at Saratoga Race track 31 years ago! We have never missed a season and we go every weekend. We are living our life long dream as horse owners with Westpoint Thoroughbreds. Its thrilling and there is no like Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, NY! Marlene and John
I was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY a...
Submitted by jennifer from Melbourne, Florida from the 2000s
I was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY and am very proud to say so. Even though I now live in warmer climates I love to visit every summer. I produced this video from footage shot on my recent trip home. I absolutely love Saratoga and hope that some of these sights will be special to others who have been to Saratoga and maybe encourage those who have never been, to schedule a trip there. They won't be sorry!

My father can me a crisp $10.00 dollar bill at age ten. We went to the betting window and I placed my bet only to find that after the race I had lost …
Submitted by Sharon from Fayetteville, New York from the 1960s
My father can me a crisp $10.00 dollar bill at age ten. We went to the betting window and I placed my bet only to find that after the race I had lost it all. I was absolutely furious that it was all gone. I looked at my Dad with my little determined. angry face and ask my Dad, "What am I learning and he replied, "A bad habit", and back we went to the naughty betting window. He in later years taught me that you only bring a limited amount of money to bet so that you don't get into too much trouble gambling. We had a great fun time together.

im really a nobdy in this world. im just a gu...
Submitted by thomas from waterford, New York from the 2000s
im really a nobdy in this world. im just a guy who goes to work everyday, drove a garbage truck for 20 years then got promoted to a foreman making roads and keeping them clean. nothing interesting in my life. no partner to share a laugh with, no lady to go to dinner with, nothing. i used to go to the track alot and got involved with a guy who became my freind. he somehow knew how to get into the back strecth and this is where i found heaven. we would wake up at 430 and be there in the back at 530 and just breathe in the air, watch the horses train, listen and talk to the trainers ,i once went to breakfast with alan jerkins once,a big thrill for this nobody, we would go every day,for 3 years or so, and then it happened, 911 and everything changed. from that time in 2001 to now i have not visited the track at all. i had 3 kneereplacements in that time that have failed, my best freind has passed who used to get me in the back, it was so good for me because you could park your car and sit right in front of it all day, bet, have lunch, have a drink, and just look to the skies and forget about life for awhile i know ill never experience those moments again, although there is not a day that has gone by i dont think of them. its funny, something so simple brought me so much joy its hard for me to walk now so going to the track is something i cant do my only wish in life would be able to be able to get into the back stretch one more time if only for the memories im nearly retired now ,and would love to be able to go to the track everyday if i could spend i agin in my favorite place in the would, no ,not italy, no ,not the riveria, no, not rome, no ,the place for me is claire court at 7 in the morning my dream one more time maybe one day i can buy into ahorse just to get into the back and this is to mary lou i never liked you i was jealous of your wealth then ,when i got to see the backstretch and where thses workers lived and there lives , i was overwelmed with saddness then i heard you took it upon yourself to transform the back for these workers and you became my idle, my hero, someone so wealthy even thinking to help people like these i say to you mary lou, bravo your love for the sport is 2nd only for your love for its people and i ,the jealous person at one time no longer is jealous, no longer dislikes, this person is now your number one fan god bless mary lou you are truely one of us, common folk respectfully, thomas fennell 62 middle st. waterford,n y 12188
My days at Saratoga started 60 Years ago with m...
Submitted by Edward from North Adams, Massachusetts from the 1950s
My days at Saratoga started 60 Years ago with my father and continues now with my wife. I've been to the track twice this year and will get up there a couple of times more usually parking in the Handicap parking since knee surgery kind of hobbled me a little. I can't wait for the track to open every year.

been coming to the spa since the late 60's. camped at lake luzzerne when it was in the 30's and it snowed in watertown in august. my 1st winner I st…
Submitted by DANNY from CEDARHURST, New York from the 1970s
been coming to the spa since the late 60's. camped at lake luzzerne when it was in the 30's and it snowed in watertown in august. my 1st winner I still remember, judgeable- but I can't remember if it was bobby or headley woodhouse who rode. still coming and hope to get all my brothers and sisters to take a picture like the one of my parents by the awning

My first visit to Saratoga Race Track was Openi...
Submitted by Stanley from Cohoes, New York from the 1970s
My first visit to Saratoga Race Track was Opening Day, 1974. I have not missed an Opening Day, since. 40 consecutive Opening Days.
We came to Saratoga with a fellow horse lover o...
Submitted by Brenda from chambersburg, Pennsylvania from the 1990s
We came to Saratoga with a fellow horse lover over 27 years ago, never did I think that from those 3 days would go into 2 wks. We will be back on the 20th & will stay till the end. We have been up for the 1st week of the races, but the true beauty is the last week. It took us years at staying by the lake at Brown's Beach to realize that a walk to the track is heaven. Watching the horses workout in the morning at 7, coffee by the track, going home to handicap to Andy & friends, but we miss Stewie & what ever happen to the Lawn Doctor?? Our kids hate us giving away their inheritance but they too have fallen in love with Saratoga & somehow, no matter where they are in the U.S. one of them shows up every year.

Alot of history here in saratoga. my father ralph an my 2 older brothers louie an frank saved all year for a weekend to go to races in saratoga. we …
Submitted by maria from stamford, New York from the 2000s
Alot of history here in saratoga. my father ralph an my 2 older brothers louie an frank saved all year for a weekend to go to races in saratoga. we live in brooklyn first generations of Italians. I rem the excitement all 3 sitting on front stoop counting the days, whos going win where they going to eat of course. Now that I live only hr away from saratoga I go there once a year. My dad passed on my brothers moved away, but I get this inner feeling my dad is with me an tells me what horses to play. last year I even received box seats for free a stranger came up to me an said you can have these tickets I have something to do. Saratoga is the place to be in august. I will be there soon watch an play some ponies. thanks dad for showing how to play horses, and saratoga is place to be. Maria

I first went there in early 1970,s with my firs...
Submitted by Frank from Sarasota, Florida from the 1980s
I first went there in early 1970,s with my first wife. She hated it. I never got the real flavor of it. I then returned in 1978 with a few friends and began to enjoy it more. But it wasn't until summer of 1981 when I went with my second wife that I was able to fully enjoy the whole experience. With her we began to explore the good life. 32 years later we have never missed our week in Saratoga. We have eaten at great restaurants, stayed at great resorts, wouldn't trade it in for anything. We miss " Mrs Londons" and have hoped it would return but it hasn't. Other places have come and gone but no one could replace it. Still we love it. We brought another couple up there some 20 years ago. They were not " track" people. We thought they would hate it but since they were very good friends we wanted to share it . To our surprise they loved it to no end. They returned with us every year until illness struck one of them and their journey ended. We have moved to Florida this past June and will miss the trip this year as we have had too many expenses. It will be sad , we miss our friend and will certainly miss breakfast at " Suttons" , the wonderful afternoons camping at Big Red Springs and diners with our friends at the many great restaurants. Hope to see you next year.
The Beautiful Red and White Canopy Awnings and ...
Submitted by Barbara from Mahwah, New Jersey from the 1970s
The Beautiful Red and White Canopy Awnings and Framework all around the Saratoga Racetrack were built by my father, Frank Addicks, many many years ago. I am proud to see them last, so very long and add to the atmosphere and comfort for all the race fans!! It is a very special place!

Fun taking Photos early morning .
Submitted by George from Schenectady, New York from the 2000s
Fun taking Photos early morning .

I spent all my childhood years visiting Saratog...
Submitted by Elsie from Londonderry, New Hampshire from the 1940s
I spent all my childhood years visiting Saratoga Springs every summer. My father, who had been a jockey when young and later a trainer and horse owner himself, absolutely loved Saratoga Springs. During our stay we went to the races during the day, the harness races at night, we went to the auctions and baseball games. We also loved spending a day at the parks and strolling through Congress Park after buying popcorn and drinking mineral water from the fountain in town. There was also an event where broadway was closed down and there was "banjo" music playing on the streets; food and everyone having a great old time. I have too many great memories to share on this small space. I have pictures and videos of our stay in Mr. Henderson's old home and after in Mr. Ernest Ryder's home on Washington Street. Our journeys to Saratoga Springs began in 1948 (my father was 23 years old; I had not been born yet) all through 1980's. As my father got older it became difficult to get there by himself. We grew up and went our own ways, my mother passed away and life got very sad and hectic for him. However, I decided I was not giving up our tradition of traveling to Saratoga Springs every summer and taking my father so that he could enjoy his later years, bringing back all of his happy memories and what he loved to do. He now relives all of what he did when he was younger, when we are there and his stories are unbelievably amazing. These trips have revived him and he looks forward to it every summer! He remembers every stable he visited, every horse owner he worked for (Jenkins is the only that comes to my mind, but he mentions others, all the time as well) and every jockey who rode his horses (and the ones that didn't as well). The Jockey Hall of Fame is included in our yearly visit, it brings back great memories. He has met with people who remembered him and his work, and his heart and face fills with humbling pride when having conversations with these people (see picture attached). Saratoga Springs has revived my father, me and my family's lives. I now take my children as well (adults) with their families and some of my friends and we have a fantastic time. We've never won big money, but the memories we've created in Saratoga are priceless! I made a commitment to myself to never, ever stop visiting Saratoga, no matter where I live. I can now understand the love that my father has for horses and Saratoga Springs races. I now share the same passion and the same good taste for a great place to see these beautiful horses perform at their best... Saratoga Spring here we come again...! (The pictures below are of my father, back when he used to be younger. One of them is a cover of a magazine where he was awarded for running a horse race in Puerto Rico with other trainers, at the age of 50 and won! They also recognized him as trainer of the year, that same year. Also a recent picture of one of our trips in the Jockey Hall of fame with another person who's father had been a trainer and happened to remember my father). Hope you enjoyed my story...
My parents bought a small little motel in 1969 ...
Submitted by Laura from ROUND LAKE, New York from the 1960s
My parents bought a small little motel in 1969 just 10 miles south of the Saratoga Race Track that catered to the Saratoga racing crowd every August. I remember as a little girl all the characters that stayed there, telling me about their big win, or their almost big win, it was always cool when they won because they would give me a nice tip for cleaning their room. Fast forward 42 years later and I am now running my parents motel 'The Chamber Lane" and we still have some of those wonderful people staying here who always tell me there is nothing like going to Saratoga Race Track.

I have been coming to Saratoga Racecourse for 60 years. First with my father and grandfather and later with my boyfriend who later became my husband. …
Submitted by cheryl from bartlette, New York from the 1950s
I have been coming to Saratoga Racecourse for 60 years. First with my father and grandfather and later with my boyfriend who later became my husband. We now train harness horses and try to go to the flats everyday of the meet.

My fondest memories of Saratoga Race Track woul...
Submitted by Lisa Rose from Little Ferry, New Jersey from the 1970s
My fondest memories of Saratoga Race Track would be going with my grandparents each summer. We would get a hotel room, get all dressed up and go to the track. I remember my grandfather, Joseph Santoro was friendly with the stablemen and we always got a tour of all the beautiful horses -- we would also, meet the jockeys. Then we would go to watch the races and have something to eat. The big deal for me was to be able to pick the horses on the racing form. To this day, I still remember the name of a famous horse Secretariat who we watched race. I remember this name so well because my grandmother, Greta Santoro, her friend was a legal "secretary". I thought the name Secretariat was similar to secretary and I loved that horses name!(And, am sure I picked him). When the movie came out about Secretariat, I told my children that I have seen that horse race as a young child. Going to the racetrack made me absolutely love horses! It even prompted me to take horseback riding lessons. So Saratoga Racetrack shares special memories for me.
My father was always an avid horse racing fan, ...
Submitted by Jennifer from Brookhaven , New York from the 1970s
My father was always an avid horse racing fan, and we came to Saratoga when I was about 10. They let us place a bet and I can remember watching my horse come in dead last and crying because I felt sorry for him! Now I'm part owner of a couple of those-Lol! There is Nothing like Saratoga if you are a horse racing fan, it's like stepping back in time.

My first Travers I drove up with a friend to watch Holy Bull run in person. I'll never forget as they're turning for home and Holy Bull out in front …
Submitted by John from Rye, New York from the 1990s
My first Travers I drove up with a friend to watch Holy Bull run in person. I'll never forget as they're turning for home and Holy Bull out in front and Tom Durkin's call "and there's cause for Concern" as he and Holy Bull raced toward the finish line with Holy Bull finishing a neck in front. What a race and what a day! Have been coming back every year since.

I REMEMBER GOING TO SARATOGA RACE TRACK SEING A...
Submitted by Bonnie from Saratoga springs, New York from the 2000s
I REMEMBER GOING TO SARATOGA RACE TRACK SEING ALL THE BEAUTIFUL,PEOPLE,THE BEAUTIFUL HORSES,THE HAT'S AND FEELING SPECIAL TO BE THERE,SARATOGA IS A WONDERFUL TOWN,WIT SO MUCH TO DO AND SEE,I AM A SARATOGIAN,MY SELF,BUT HAVE STARTED A SMALL BUISNESS IN BALLSTON SPA CALLED BONBONSCLOSET AT 215 MILTON AVE, I HOPE, ONE DAY BALLSTON SPA, WILL GROW TO BE JUST AS WONDERFUL,WITH SO MUCH TO OFFER,AS SARATOGA SPRINGS,THANK YOU BONNIE EBERT
I recall how much my Uncle Joe enjoyed the Sara...
Submitted by brian from Troy, New York from the 1980s
I recall how much my Uncle Joe enjoyed the Saratoga racing season. He always talked about making it up to the track for opening day. He and I would go @ different times during the meet, and enjoyed it very much. I recall one opening day that it started raining very hard early in the morning and he said rain or shine he will be there. The next day I pick up the Times union and they had posted 2 pictures for the track headlines, 1 was Marylou riding her horse and buggy through the streets of Saratoga and the other was my uncle Joe boarding a bus in Troy with his racing form in hand heading up to the track.

My Husband, two daughters and now my four grandchildren and son-in-laws have been coming to the Saratoga race track for the last 55 years. We like …
Submitted by Anne from Albany, New York from the 1960s
My Husband, two daughters and now my four grandchildren and son-in-laws have been coming to the Saratoga race track for the last 55 years. We like to sit at the picnic area early AM (usually 8 AM), have our breakfast and then our lunch. Nothing says summer like Saratoga. Anne

Children were not allowed at the track during t...
Submitted by Carolyn from Averill Park, New York from the 1960s
Children were not allowed at the track during the races when my sister and I were growing up on Fifth Avenue near the Oklahoma Track. (Neither were lawn chairs on the grass!) However, mornings had few restrictions. We would often ride our bicycles over, riding all over the track and betting areas (where the pavement was so smooth!) Watching the horses work out sitting on our bikes was fun, as well as riding on the roads to the backstretch. There we had to walk our bikes, the only rule we encountered. Much different today!
I look forward to the Saratoga Racing Season ev...
Submitted by Deneen from Clifton Park, New York from the 2000s
I look forward to the Saratoga Racing Season every year. Each year opening day brings great memories and regardless of the weather it is the Saratoga Place to be not only during the racing season but all year long. I encourage everyone to discover Saratoga Springs it's a fabulous city.

we are a group of guys from nj who started coming to the spa in 1969 and one of our funniest stories was that we stopped on the ny thruway to ask a bu…
Submitted by joe from mt laurel, New Jersey from the 1960s
we are a group of guys from nj who started coming to the spa in 1969 and one of our funniest stories was that we stopped on the ny thruway to ask a bunch of girls where they were going and they replied some farm. asked us to go with them and we said and miss the double at saratoga you guessed it WOODSTOCK talk about a crossroads experience. eventually we gave ourselves the name SARATOGA SIX and haven't missed a year since 69. had a race named after us on our 35th anniversary I believe. we all got married had families and even grand children. but the stories are many as you can imagine over those many years. we will be there the week of aug 4th for our 44th year. we rented a home this year and being Italian love to cook and drink good wine and some have a good cigar after dinner . lots of laughs can't wait to get there.

I rode with my dad in the ambulance. We were at...
Submitted by Schuyler from Panama City, Florida from the 1950s
I rode with my dad in the ambulance. We were at the track from 5am to 10am for morning workouts. The best horses, jockeys and trainers were there. (Native Dancer, Eddie Arcaro, Sunny Jim Fitz) .Yes I learned to read the Daily Racing Form at 9. HMS (Harry M Stevens Co.) provided the stickybuns. Love the ponies!!
I.ve been coming to Saratoga on and off since i...
Submitted by Paul from Converse, Texas from the 1960s
I.ve been coming to Saratoga on and off since i was a kid with my parent since the mid 1960s. We would meet my aunts and uncles there for a long weekend of racing and golf. We always had a great time and i remember it like it was yesterday. One of my biggest thrills was when my wife and I walked through the Saratoga gates with our two grand-daughters in 2010 for the first time with them! They had a ball watching the races and having breakfast at the track!! We bring them back each year now when we come to NY for the summer -- memories we all still talk about -- thanks Saratoga and Happy 150th Birthday -- Paul (SATX)

My father, Ed MacDermott, was the Resident Manager of the track during the Centennial year. I grew up on the track and lived there until his death, w…
Submitted by Betsy from Valhalla, New York from the 1960s
My father, Ed MacDermott, was the Resident Manager of the track during the Centennial year. I grew up on the track and lived there until his death, which came much too early. My father put in the turf course, something new at the time and a type of racing that was popular in France. He also put in the "high speed" escalator, which I loved riding. Attached is an article that I received from a childhood friend , Patrick Reilly. I don't know if it successfully uploaded. Our fathers were good friends and worked together at the track. Wonderful people...wonderful memories! I return to visit every August. See you on the 9th Saratoga! Betsy MacDermott-Duffy

The first day in 1863 was on August 3rd. I was ...
Submitted by Rhea from Stillwater, New York from the 1950s
The first day in 1863 was on August 3rd. I was born on Monday August 3rd, opening day in 1953 and the biggest day this year, not surprisingly, is August 3rd. I will be 60 :)
Been to all the tracks, Kentucky Derby, Fla., N...
Submitted by George from Rochester, New York from the 2000s
Been to all the tracks, Kentucky Derby, Fla., NY..Saratoga is the best by far. Been going since 1983. Will keep going till I can't. Breakfast track side, the whole thing is just so much fun and actually relaxing. The morning workouts gives me goose bumps to here the breathing of the horse as they go by, nothing like it. I remember being there when Birdsong won the Travers, it got so dark then it rained so hard. Walked in to make my bet from park area sun shining and all, got done turned to go back and saw the dark rolling in, got my wife and ran for cover. Still everytime I come to Saratoga, win or lose, it is such a great time. Can't go wrong in such a really neat place. Thank you keeping it the way it is.

There is something so special about this track I've been coming here since I was in my teens with my Family now since pasted it reminds me so much of …
Submitted by Richard from Amsterdam, New York from the 1960s
There is something so special about this track I've been coming here since I was in my teens with my Family now since pasted it reminds me so much of the fun we had together and the Great Horse Racing we have seen some of the best race horses in the Country and memories that refresh your feelings and seeing some of them names at the front gate memories of the Horses and Great jockeys of Days gone by , almost seems like Yesterday ,

We still go up every sunday for the giveaways i...
Submitted by joan from Niskayuna, New York from the 1990s
We still go up every sunday for the giveaways it a tradiation in our family for years since they have been doing it We have a collection of t shirts hats etc etc like everyone else...........love the track and hope we still can go for years on end looking forward to the rose parade
It's a tradition that started for my in 1976 wh...
Submitted by Carol from Montvale`, New Jersey from the 1970s
It's a tradition that started for my in 1976 when I met my horserace loving husband. When our son came with us, which was every year since 1985, I spent a lot of time watching horses be saddled and collecting jockeys autographs. The track and the races are so wonderful through a child's eye. The beauty and majesty of the track cannot be put into words. You sink into the seats and your thoughts travel back a hundred and fifty years as the horses "come down the stretch."

The filming of Billy Bathgate in 1990. I went to the open casting call in August of that year, and then waited...At the time I was working at the Sag…
Submitted by Daniel from Saint Augustine, Florida from the 1990s
The filming of Billy Bathgate in 1990. I went to the open casting call in August of that year, and then waited...At the time I was working at the Sage Colleges in Albany and taking evening courses. In October, during a break in my evening course, I went to my office in the library and found a note saying that the casting director for the movie called asking me to be at the track at 5:30am for makeup and costuming (some of the extras were sick and they needed more). That morning...I arrived and was taken to makeup and was told that I would have to lose my "rat tail". For the next 5 days it was early cold mornings and long hours. I remember them telling us to stop shivering because it was supposed to be August. I was able to meet Nicole Kidman and had a pleasant conversation with her while filming a race in the middle of the night. One month later I was called to be a busboy (because I fit the costume) at the Hall Of Springs. Maybe I will include the story of the Hall of Springs filming...Congratulations on 150 years...(Just a youngster compared to Saint Augustine, coming up on 450 years)

My dad's family was from the NYC area, and ever...
Submitted by Patricia from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1990s
My dad's family was from the NYC area, and every summer they would come to Saratoga, and rent a home, for the races. My dad was born in 1917, so when I look at many of the old photographs of the track, Grand Union Hotel, Broadway, etc... I often wonder if my dad or his family is in any of them. My dad brought his family back to Saratoga to raise us because he loved the area so much. Saratoga has been and always will be home - no other place like it. I feel so fortunate that my husband and I have been able to raise our family here, and we feel like we are on vacation all summer long! Health, History, and Horses has a very special meaning to all my siblings, and now our family. The tradition lives on.
I've been coming up to The TRACK since 1970. M...
Submitted by yogi from colonie, New York from the 1970s
I've been coming up to The TRACK since 1970. My parents would spend their 2 week vacation at Saratoga . Every day they would drive UP the Northway , buy seats in the morning, and take turns picking a horse, $ 2 across the board, for a total of $6 a race. In those days, there was a window for $2 win,place and show, there also was a $12 triple combo. 2 bux to get in and $ .35 for a program and a nickle for a pencil......

We took our grand daughter to "the Spa" when she was 8-9 we set up in "Our spot" we are at the top of stretch in the back yard under grove of pine…
Submitted by Bob from CONSECON, ON, Alabama from the 2000s
We took our grand daughter to "the Spa" when she was 8-9 we set up in "Our spot" we are at the top of stretch in the back yard under grove of pines around noonish a man with a LARGE wheelie cart arrives and to his wife he says this "ourspot" the kids should be hhere shortly . He begins to set up half doozen chairs unload propane tanks campstoves cooking utensils food containers drinks and finnally a table not just a ttable it folds and is ten feet lon g In about 1/2 hour he is setup and cooking He hot dogs sausage sourkrut stew chowder buns of all sizes cold drinks and as the family arrived they seated themselves in a circle and dug in I would say 20 or so some concern about someone who had not arrrived everyone loved the food they ate drank made the odd bet talked laughed And Our Man kept serving the food he never even checked the tv moniter or the race program his job wwas feeding the family and he loved it. When the demand requesst for food ended he began to pack up first the table goeees on the cart then some coolerrs stoves etc.. etc. all in maachine like order until just a stack of chairs remain at that point My grand daughter yells I know where that goes and he slide the chairs neatly into cart a couple rachet strapps tighten and off he went . As he left he turned and said "see you next year" Thats Saratoga picnic grounds people watchin g and the best racing in the world for 7 weeks . No Place like it anywhere BOB Canada PS: Thankful only 5 hours away make a couple trips during the meet

I love going to the track. It's been in my fami...
Submitted by Yvonne from West sand lake, New York from the 1960s
I love going to the track. It's been in my family for years. I remember going there when I was a kid. My grandfather and his brothers used to race harness horses. We would visit the stalls, go to the winners circle and hang around. After they all passed my uncle continued the tradition. It always brings back great memories when I visit. Which I can do more often now that I live in the capital region. Yvonne Cooper In memory of Asia Cooper
This is an homage to my favorite trainer and cr...
Submitted by Jeannine from Rochester, New York from the 2000s
This is an homage to my favorite trainer and crush of all-time - Nick Zito! I've been wild about Nick since I first laid eyes on him in 1990. I was 22 years old and thought he was so very New York. He was handsome, intelligent, and what a wonderful voice! Nick has had such an amazing career and has been such a great ambassador for the sport of horseracing. He's always been so gracious to the press, fans, and I've never heard a bad word about him. He's also been such a great advocate for thoroughbreds after they retire. I always said to friends and family that when Nick was inducted into The Horseracing Hall of Fame that I would be there. In 2005 I was lucky enough to be in the audience to witness Nick receive his honor. The only disappointing thing in all these years, though is that I had never had the opportunity to meet him and to get his autograph. Finally on August 8, 2012 I got my chance! My friend and I went to Saratoga racetrack for the day and we were having a great time when he said let's go to the clubhouse and see if Nick Zito is around. (All my friends and family know how wild I am about Nick.) We went to the clubhouse and we were looking at the finish line when my friend mentioned Nick again. I was getting a little aggravated at him and I said Nick's not here when all of a sudden a man stood up not 500 feet from me and I would know that profile anywhere! It was Nick! I yelled out "Oh my God it's him!" I was so excited! Nick was sitting with a gentleman in the box seats enjoying the races. I couldn't believe it. My friend started bugging me about going and asking Nick for an autograph. I wanted to so badly, but I was so very nervous. I didn't want to interupt him and I was also nervous that he might not be as nice in person or the person that I had always imagined him to be. It took me a while, but I finally got up my nerve and went over to where he was sitting. I apologized for bothering him and he leaned closer to hear me. I looked into his beautiful blue eyes and thought to myself "Nick's even more handsome in person!" I felt like such a fool, but Nick was so very nice and the gentleman with him was so sweet, too! Nick signed my racing form and we chatted for a moment. The moment was over before it began, but I was so happy! I was that 22 year old girl again getting to meet the man of her dreams - Nick Zito! I went and called my sister and I was just so excited. It was such a great day and one of the highlights of my year! So thank you Nick Zito for being the wonderful, handsome, and great trainer and man that you are! I will always be wild for Nick Zito!

I was born right in the Saratoga Hospital in 1979. I graduated from Saratoga High in 1997. during the years between I have watched the horses work out…
Submitted by Brandi from Panama City, Florida from the 1990s
I was born right in the Saratoga Hospital in 1979. I graduated from Saratoga High in 1997. during the years between I have watched the horses work out when my dad worked at the track. I also worked there the summer of 1996 as a Whitecap. Saratoga has many memories, I wish I could come back more often.

I was working as a New Yoirk city policemen and...
Submitted by michael from Phoenix, Arizona from the 1970s
I was working as a New Yoirk city policemen and every year in August me and the family included mom,dad and aunts and uncles.We would rent a cabin in Lake George and spend a week there.The men would drive to Saratoga and the rest of the family would enjoy Lake Gecrge.
My first experience at Saratoga was 2011 , Whit...
Submitted by bill from freeland, Pennsylvania from the 2000s
My first experience at Saratoga was 2011 , Whitney Day, all the way up (5 HOURS) I liked a horse named Optimizer,with Robby Albarado and D. Wayne Lukas, went off at 28-1, from8-1 ML, was just there thinking greatest track and big winner on sunny afternoon life doesn't get any better, love the whole experience and will be back this year for Whitney Day CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!

I just recently started going to BEAUTIFUL Saratoga, but I surely will be visiting EVERY year. Love the town,the people,and ESPECIALLY the thouroughbr…
Submitted by Ryan from Freeland, Pennsylvania from the 2000s
I just recently started going to BEAUTIFUL Saratoga, but I surely will be visiting EVERY year. Love the town,the people,and ESPECIALLY the thouroughbred racing. Going to be there for Whitney weekend and just can't wait!!!! Great racing,and while I wish him a great recovery and success in his next venture, I will not miss RAMON DOMINGUEZ, nose ruined my day last year,LOL. Tough beat but will get it this year. Great weather and good times, hope to see you all there!!!

I have not missed an opening day at Saratoga in...
Submitted by John from Cohoes, New York from the 1970s
I have not missed an opening day at Saratoga in 52 years. One year my boss told me I could not have the day off, so I told him I quit. When he realized I was serious he gave me the time. I sit in the same area all the time and every week I see the same people from different parts of the country that come to OUR SPOT. Saratoga has so many special memories. You feel like you are going back in time when you visit there.
Saratoga is seeing woody stephens white Mercede...
Submitted by gary from delmar, New York from the 1990s
Saratoga is seeing woody stephens white Mercedes on the club house turn and some times seeing the man himself with a smile and a hey boys.

I was 12 years old in 1980 when I watched my first horse race The Kentucky Derby on television and I immediately fell in love with the sport. My paren…
Submitted by Jeannine from Rochester, New York from the 1980s
I was 12 years old in 1980 when I watched my first horse race The Kentucky Derby on television and I immediately fell in love with the sport. My parents took me to Saratoga Racetrack in the Summer of 1981 and we just happened to attend on the busiest day of the year, Travers Day. It was a beautiful day and there were thousands of people at the races. It was so exciting to see the horses up close and my dad would go up to the window and make bets for me. I was pretty shy, but I was determined to get an autograph from one of the jockeys. When I finally summoned up my courage I happened to pick one of the nicest people that I've ever met! All these years later the memory still brings a smile to my face! The person I happened to choose was Mr. Don MacBeth and even though he was rushing to get back to the jock's room he took the time to stop and sign my autograph book. He gave me the most wonderful smile and asked me how I was enjoying the races and if I was having fun. It truly made my day! After that day I watched Mr. MacBeth's career and when he passed away in 1987 at such a young age, I was truly heartbroken. Racing had lost a great man. When The Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund was started I was so happy that Mr. MacBeth wouldn't be forgotten. In the 25 years that it helped jockeys in need I always tried to contribute and tell people about how lovely Mr. MacBeth had been to me. Mr. MacBeth helped make my first visit to Saratoga so very memorable and it was one of the nicest days I've ever had and I think it's one of the reasons why I still love horseracing to this day so much. So thank you Mr. MacBeth for being a truly wonderful person. Mr. MacBeth you are missed, but you will never be forgotten.

My wife, Jan and I have been going to Saratoga ...
Submitted by Norman from Green Island, New York from the 1970s
My wife, Jan and I have been going to Saratoga Race Track since 1979. We have not missed an opening day since. We bought both of our children to the track before they were 1 year old. Now that they are adults they really enjoy coming with us on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. One year when it was the August Place to be we went 22 out of 24 days. We have celebrated many anniversaries at the track, (7/28/79). Love the track, horses, people and the wagering. Always a great time.
My first trip to Saratoga was with my older bro...
Submitted by Pete from Latham, New York from the 1960s
My first trip to Saratoga was with my older brother when I was about 12 years old. Since then I have been to every opening day for almost 50 years and will be there again this year. My son now makes the annual pilgrimage to this very special place with us. Over the years the place has taken on many changes but remains something we should treasure and to hold on to the great traditions that have evolved but endured for a century and a half.

The first place I went when I was a baby was Saratoga! Ever since then nothing, but wonderful things come from this historic place. Never missed a mee…
Submitted by Kailie from Johnstown, New York from the 1990s
The first place I went when I was a baby was Saratoga! Ever since then nothing, but wonderful things come from this historic place. Never missed a meet yet!

I fell madly in love with a beautiful woman who...
Submitted by J from Dallas, Texas from the 2000s
I fell madly in love with a beautiful woman who accompanied me to Saratoga Springs for summer racing. The woman left, but I will never leave Saratoga. I have met my very dearest friends there, and I love sharing the thrill of the races with my friends at The Spa every summer. I am hopelessly in love forever.
I was twelve years old and managed to place a b...
Submitted by John from Saratoga Spgs, New York from the 2000s
I was twelve years old and managed to place a bet on a horse named John Joseph, my name. The horse won and paid $46. and change

WORKING ON THE MAIN TRACK AT SARATOGA FOR HALL OF FAME TRAINER H.ALLEN JERKENS OUT OF BARN 7 ON THE MAIN TRACK WAS THE BEST.THE MORNINGS SPENT AT THE …
Submitted by JOSEPH from SYRACUSE, New York from the 2000s
WORKING ON THE MAIN TRACK AT SARATOGA FOR HALL OF FAME TRAINER H.ALLEN JERKENS OUT OF BARN 7 ON THE MAIN TRACK WAS THE BEST.THE MORNINGS SPENT AT THE BARN HELPING WITH THE HORSES AND THE EXCITEMENT OF GOING TO THE RACES IN THE AFTERNOON CHEERING FOR OUR STABLE , MEMORIES I WILL NEVER FORGET.

The Saratoga Horse Races by Ariana Sowa, 4 Jun...
Submitted by Ariana from Livingston, New Jersey from the 2000s
The Saratoga Horse Races by Ariana Sowa, 4 June 2012, age 9 Thump, thump, thump, thump! Go, Go, Go! He won the race! Ahhhhhhh! The crowd went crazy at the Saratoga Horse races. The Saratoga Horse races are so much fun! There is so much to do there. They have great food to eat. And they have beautiful horses. One reason, I like the Saratoga Horse races is they have so much to do there. You can get food there; you can bet on a horse. You can also watch the horse race, and go to the winner circle. You can even learn something about horses! One time I was there my brother bet on a horse and he won! It was only ten dollars but he was thrilled. The second reason I like the Saratoga Horse races is they have yummy food! They have lemonade, pizza, pretzels, water, ice cream, popcorn and lots of yummy stuff. Yum, yum. One time I was there I wanted ice cream because my brother got something to eat. There was a long line for the ice cream so we found another ice cream stand. The ice cream was so yummy and creamy. It was a nice treat at the end of a long day. The last reason I like the Saratoga Horse races is they have beautiful horses! They are big and strong. They get treated very nicely at the end of the race. They get hosed down because they get very tired. Then they look so shiny! They also have cool names. I love the Saratoga Horse races. One time I was there I bet on a horse named Blizzard. I picked Blizzard for the cool name! As you can see the Saratoga Horse races are so wonderful to go to! You see the beautiful horses. The food is yummy. There is so much to do there. I think the Saratoga Horse races are so wonderful to go there and I love it! I bring back great memories every time I go there.
First time at the Spa--Travers Day 1978. The in...
Submitted by Steve from West Long Branch, New Jersey from the 1970s
First time at the Spa--Travers Day 1978. The infield was open that day and that is where i watched as Alydar was cut by Affirmed. I was and am a big Alydar fan he finished second and was put up to first on just DQ of Affirmed. But the race was uneventful as the Alydar lost all chance of engaging Affirmed and having another great battle through the lane. Still quite an introduction to Saratoga!

My husband an I were married early Friday Morning of August 7th 1998 at Paul's Restaurant in Ballston Spa with a champaign breakfast and then spent th…
Submitted by Sara from Ballston Spa, New York from the 2000s
My husband an I were married early Friday Morning of August 7th 1998 at Paul's Restaurant in Ballston Spa with a champaign breakfast and then spent the rest of the day at the track with our guests. A grand time was had by all

I have been coming to the Spa since '78. Howeve...
Submitted by Jeff from Yonkers, New York from the 1980s
I have been coming to the Spa since '78. However, I would like to know when I will be getting paid for having the double with Allemeuse on August 2, 1986? Its been 27 years now, and I'm still waiting!
"The Track" always meant Saratoga as there is n...
Submitted by Debby from Saratoga springs, New York from the 1950s
"The Track" always meant Saratoga as there is no other place that compares! My first memories are visitng with my grandfather who was a gardener there. He could bring anything to life, but he took special pride in his "Track flowers". I remember sitting on a tree stump while he and a buddy ate lunch. His buddy was running a silver dollar through his fingers, but set it down to have his sandwich. A resident crow grabbed the silver dollar, flew up to the top of the tree and the silver dollar was never seen by us again! How my grandfather laughed as he buddy howled with his loss! My favorite time for many years was watching the horses being saddled under the trees in the backstretch. Now I enjoy watching the workouts at the Oklahoma....the sound of the hooves as they thunder around the turn....hearing them before seeing them appear out of the fog.

I have been coming to the SPA since the 70"s. Its my piece of heaven. I enjoy meeting the same friends, we get their when the gates open and settle un…
Submitted by Fred from Bourne, Massachusetts from the 1970s
I have been coming to the SPA since the 70"s. Its my piece of heaven. I enjoy meeting the same friends, we get their when the gates open and settle under our the same tree year after year... I have two fond memories; First is the Travers day when Running Groom with Jeffery Fell aboard beat Conquistor Cielo and I had Running Groom and he paid a handsome price. Second great moment was last year when "Cat Feathers" won a steeple race. The same guys I mentioned earlier had the laugh of their lives. I kept saying "Come on Cat Feathers, Come on Cat Feathers all the way down to the wire. Because before the race they all said I was crazy betting on a 24-1 won shot. Of, course Cat Feathers won....My name is Fred from Cape Cod .

Saratoga is not only a story but a saga. I have...
Submitted by Bob from Chicago, Illinois from the 1970s
Saratoga is not only a story but a saga. I have been coming to the Spa since I was a baby.This will be my 65th year and Iwill be flying in from Chicago ,where we have lived for the past 18 yrs. Years ago, as a kid,our next door neighbor was the great John Nerud, who at that time,was a trainer with a small stable.Needless to say, I saw Secretariat get beat by Onion, Seattle Slew break his maiden,Jaipur and Ridan in the greatest race of all times in the Travers.One cannot call himself a fan of the game ,if he has not set foot on the grounds of the greatest venue in the game! It is the Best of the Best
My sister and I would go to the track every Sat...
Submitted by Julie from Troy, New York from the 1970s
My sister and I would go to the track every Sat. & Sunday at 7am to watch the workouts and have breakfast!!!!!!!!!!

I am so happy to say that I was raised in the Saratoga Springs area. So lucky according to my friends from the Jersey Shore that I was raised going t…
Submitted by Tam from Manasquan, New Jersey from the 1980s
I am so happy to say that I was raised in the Saratoga Springs area. So lucky according to my friends from the Jersey Shore that I was raised going to the most awesome track in the world! I did not realize how lucky I was that my Dad would take me all the time when I was a kid. Now that I am older and seeing it through my husband's NJ eyes. I so appreciate this beautiful racetrack in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is still a way to bond and enjoy my summers with my family in upstate NY. This track has such a vibe and exciting hum the minute you are approaching the entrance!! God Bless America!

Working at the track during the early 80's was ...
Submitted by AIVARS from Ballston Spa, New York from the 1980s
Working at the track during the early 80's was very enjoyable to be a part of its past history. Guarding the canoe at night inside the old tote boards was another story.
I met a man who introduced me to horse racing a...
Submitted by LUCILLE from SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York from the 1990s
I met a man who introduced me to horse racing and most importantly Saratoga Racetrack back in 1991. I learned betting and handicapping. Every year since I have been coming to the Summer Place To Be.. Not being a Florida kind of gal; I took my savings and in 2008 bought a little house within the city limits. Not the biggest or the best...but this is the place I decided to live because I just love this town and all it has to offer. I love the racetrack in the summer and I love what MaryLou Whitney Hendrickson has given back to the city and the racetrack..............This is the place to REALLY LIVE your life!

My mom and I would come up every Sunday, set our chairs near the paddock and have a wonderful day of horses and people watching and family get togethe…
Submitted by Pamela from Troy, New York from the 1980s
My mom and I would come up every Sunday, set our chairs near the paddock and have a wonderful day of horses and people watching and family get togethers. She would even go up to Canada to get my uncle and bring him back for the month of August just for the track. This went on from the 1980's to 2000.

I was born and raised in Saratoga.From 1963 -19...
Submitted by Bob from Washoe Valley, Nevada from the 1960s
I was born and raised in Saratoga.From 1963 -1967 then from 1969- 1980 hardly missed a day of racing standing on the now red steps at the finish line in the upstairs by the Box Seats in the Club House. When we moverd to So. Jersey I made trips to "home" for the big races and loved to walk out back to the spring and watch the visitors drink the water. I would catch them watching me sip the water I was raised on, only to see them spit or make wierd faces as they tried it. Now I am in Nevada and at my resident "Race Sports Room" I wear my Saratoga Shirts and my "August place to be"button during the meet. People ask "Are you from Saratoga" Sipping my Saratoga water sent to me I proudly state "Yes, Is there anywhere else to be during the meet?" I then think the shirt, pin and the water--" Da, here's your sign"
Being a part of Saratoga is my life and history...
Submitted by Kelly from Gansevoort, New York from the 1900s
Being a part of Saratoga is my life and history. My family being the Crandalls' and O'Donnells'. My Dad was a Saratoga Firefighter for over 35 years, my Aunt a Librarian at Skidmore for 41 years. The history of our family and what we have owned on Broadway. There is so much to tell that cannot be fit into a little blog. Saratoga is my home and where I am raising my child. Wouldn't have it any other way.

My father, Ernest Caruso, started taking me to Saratoga Racetrack when I was a little girl. My father never learned how to drive, so usually we were …
Submitted by Marlene from Ballston Spa, New York from the 1960s
My father, Ernest Caruso, started taking me to Saratoga Racetrack when I was a little girl. My father never learned how to drive, so usually we were his brother, Eugene Caruso. We made the trip from Mechanicville, many times every summer. My father and uncle always wore suits and we always went into the clubhouse. My father would sit me on top of the bar while he perused the racing program. He always let me pick a horse for him to bet. My first winner was "Carnival Queen" . I'm guessing the year was 1962 or 1963.

WELL THIS IS WEAR I MET "JIMMY THE GREEK" IT W...
Submitted by ROBERT from CUMBERLAND, Rhode Island from the 1980s
WELL THIS IS WEAR I MET "JIMMY THE GREEK" IT WAS A BIG DEAL FOR ME AS HE SIGNED MY PROGRAM AND HAD MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH HIM. I SOON FOUND OUT THAT MOST ALL JOCKEY'S DID THE SAME THING IF THEY HAD THE TIME WHAT A GREAT WAY TO GET CLOSER TO ALL THE THINGS THAT GO ON AT SARATOGA MY WIFE AND I HAVE BEEN GOING SINCE 1986 EVERY YEAR NOW I BRING MY GRANDSON IN THE MORNINGS TO WATCH THE HORSES ON THE TRACK AND SEE THE LOOK ON HIS FACE, GREAT WAY TO MAKE A MEMORY.
I have been going to saratoga since i was 3 wit...
Submitted by JOHN from stillwater, New York from the 1960s
I have been going to saratoga since i was 3 with my grandfather until he died. then i started taking my son and there is nothing like going with your son on opening day.one of the best times was my uncle was a exercise rider for John Nerud and i would go to the track with him 330 in the morning and one day i got to walk Dr.Fager for cool down which was so excited for a kid. Just love the place and people nothing like saratoga in august.

Fourstardave was the key reason that I became a life long lover of Saratoga racing. He won a race at Saratoga 8 years in a row and by the time he was …
Submitted by Dave from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1990s
Fourstardave was the key reason that I became a life long lover of Saratoga racing. He won a race at Saratoga 8 years in a row and by the time he was done, he had a street named after him and had become a huge fan favorite! He still holds a record on one of Saratoga's turf courses for fastest time. I am hopeful that the Saratoga Walk of Fame will include a marker honing this amazing gelding who brought so much joy to so many racing fans in his years at Saratoga!

I cover Saratoga for HorseRacingNation.com and ...
Submitted by Matthew from Metuchen, New Jersey from the 1970s
I cover Saratoga for HorseRacingNation.com and here a couple historic articles that I have written. My blog covering the NYRA circuit is: http://www.horseracingnation.com/blogs/NYState. http://www.horseracingnation.com/blogs/Monmouth/The_Legendary_1973_Whitney_Handicap_123 http://www.horseracingnation.com/blogs/Monmouth/Four_in_a_Row_for_Forego_123
When I was 14, I begged my mom to take me to Sa...
Submitted by Jane from Monroe, Connecticut from the 1960s
When I was 14, I begged my mom to take me to Saratoga. Our first day at the track⎯August 18, 1962⎯marked one of the most celebrated renewals of the Travers Stakes in history when Jaipur and Ridan battled head and head for the entire 1¼ miles. My Jaipur prevailed by a fraction of a nose over mom’s Ridan. Annual trips to Saratoga for the Travers became a family tradition and we also saw countless champions⎯among them Secretariat, Affirmed, Kelso, Dr. Fager, and Buckpasser. (Mom also successfully picked Onion to beat Secretariat in the Whitney!) I picked Easy Goer out of his winning maiden 2-year-old race (I’ve always loved those beautifully-bred Phipps 2-year-olds⎯a highlight at Saratoga), and he became one of my favorites. And then there’s Rachel Alexandra, who raised the rafters there in her glorious Woodward victory. An unforgettable day. Before the grandstand seats were reserved and when I was still young and spry, I used to “break from the (admission) gate” to run to the stands to put our newspapers down to save our seats. I love Saratoga for its “old-school charm” and country picnic atmosphere. In fact, it seems like it was just a few years ago when they finally gave up posting the changes for each race manually on the wooden board in the infield⎯that used to be the primary source of changes for the day’s card. At Saratoga, you can sit in a lawn chair in the shade with your box lunch and have just as great a time as if you were in the clubhouse. Last summer I threw a party to celebrate my 50th anniversary at the track by entertaining family and friends for lunch at the Carousel, only a few of whom had ever been there before. It was one of the most beautiful days one could imagine and all had fun⎯one friend absolutely gushed about the place! Orb made his first start that day (finished 3rd), so I’m hoping for great things for him in the Derby. Go, Shug!! You are owed one!

I went to Saratoga for the first time in 2001, after vacationing in Rhode Island with my brother. The first night I stayed in Albany. I had about $75…
Submitted by James from Chicago, Illinois from the 2000s
I went to Saratoga for the first time in 2001, after vacationing in Rhode Island with my brother. The first night I stayed in Albany. I had about $750 in betting money for three days. The first day I lost about $150. In 2001, Saratoga had video terminals where you could watch the previous races of any horse running. I watched this horse Perfect Energy's maiden race in a New York State bred maiden race. He won so easily and was now moving up into an allowance race against open company against some talented horses. He was 12-1 on the board. I decided to bet $500 to place on Perfect Energy. Perfect Energy lost by a head, and paid 12.20 to place. I won $2,600 on the race and $1,000 more on the feature. I walked down Union Ave and checked to see if the Adelphi Hotel had any openings. Sure enough a room was available, and me and my friend stayed the next two nights at the Adelphi sitting on the balcony reading the racing form, eating delicious cuisine and drinking good wine. I will always remember my first time in Saratoga. It was magical.

My Father was Chief Electrician for the racetra...
Submitted by Barbara from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1960s
My Father was Chief Electrician for the racetrack in the 60's and insisted when our family came to the racetrack that we dressed appropriately......... dresses for the ladies and nice pants and shirts for the gentlemen. We were after all..... 'going to the Track'. It was an exciting, fun time getting gussied up and spending the day at the track. We even won a few dollars now and then! Very fond memories. Tradition dictated we have a bowl of the famous clam chowder also.
The year was 1968 and I took home a winner from...
Submitted by Catherine from New Britain, Connecticut from the 1960s
The year was 1968 and I took home a winner from Saratoga Race Course! That Summer I was working at the track and so was my future husband. We had both lived in Saratoga Springs our whole lives, but had never met until those hot & hazy days of August. Two years later we married and since that time, every summer we go back and take our sons and now all of our grandchildren too so they can enjoy the special life we knew. My friends from our old West Side neighborhood get together at the track each year with us; and we have the best of times, which include memories of a place where my heart will always be! The first words that each of my grandchildren learned were, when I would ask, "where is Saratoga Springs?" and they would answer "Where horse is King!" So many of my friends here in CT now annually make a trip to Saratoga. Their first one was planned by me, but they continue to love the city and its people, and all that they offer!

Have you ever spent a winter in the mountain community of Chestertown, New York, watching regal horses tip toeing on the ice and breathing in the cris…
Submitted by Elisabeth from Chestertown, New York from the 2000s
Have you ever spent a winter in the mountain community of Chestertown, New York, watching regal horses tip toeing on the ice and breathing in the crisp cold air of the North Country? I do the same as my husband manages one of the premier horse farms in Warren County. It is an amazing sight to see how the horses and staff navigate through the bitter cold air and mounting snow. The horse's manes and tails blowing to the rhythm of the howling wind. Others head to Ocala to participate in the horse business there, but we don't!....so why wouldn't I welcome the social scene in Saratoga which comes every summer season. Trading fur for fancy duds just to socialize in the spectatular fashion I really perfer. Rubbing shoulders with the thoroughbred elite. Take it from a wife of a dedicated farm manager in snow country.....I relish the opportunity to particiate in all the festivities Saratoga has to offer. I have my dancing shoes ready!!!!

Back around 1985 (when the Spa was the "August"...
Submitted by Jack from Bosrton, Massachusetts from the 1980s
Back around 1985 (when the Spa was the "August" place to be) my friend Mike and I used to charter a luxury bus and haul about 40 of our co-workers up to the spa for a day trip. The crew ranged from seasoned race-goers to people who had never stepped foot inside a racetrack. We would have coffee, donuts, racing forms, movies, etc. for everyone's entertainment on the ride. It was great to see people mingle outside of a work environment. For many it was the start of a life long love affair with Saratoga. Although we only did the bus for about three years, I still see a few folks to this day reminiscing about those trips!
Was eating breakfast while sitting at the bar a...
Submitted by Ed from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 2000s
Was eating breakfast while sitting at the bar at the Horseshoe Bar and Grill on opening day 2010. One of the grooms gave the bar staff a tip on his horse he had just tended to. Supposedly the horse was "on his toes" during the morning workout and would be running in the first race. Took a mental note of the name and went about my day. Bought a nice pair of slacks that morning for $350 and didn't expect to pay that much, but, it was opening day. My friend Ron and I headed over to bet the first race before hearing Tom Durkin yell, "they're off at Saratoga!" Was running late and had to run to the window to get the bet in. Well, my horse came in and wouldn't you know it, it paid, you guessed it, $350. Someone complimented me on my new slacks later and I exclaimed, "I feel like $350 in these!"

I've been coming to Saratoga Race track for over 30 years! I've turned so many people on to the experience of being at the greatest race track in the …
Submitted by David from Auburn, New York from the 2000s
I've been coming to Saratoga Race track for over 30 years! I've turned so many people on to the experience of being at the greatest race track in the world!One of my greatest moments that I'll never forget was when Rachael Alexandra raced against the boys and beat them on her march to being Horse of the Year! One can't imagine the electricity in the air that day.I've been to many sporting events and I can only describe it this way.Imagine being at the super bowl and every single person in that arena is cheering for the same thing!I waas able to get close enough to the winners circle to fist bump trainer Steve Asmussen and to tell Mr Jackson how great this horse was and if Zenyatta wanted to race her the come here and let's see the race at the greatest venue in the world! I still have the poster,program and 2 uncashed win tickets from that day encased in a picture frame! I've seen so many great horses there such as Four Star Dave, Cigar,Rachael,Barbaro and many more! Love watching the steeplechase races and listening to people complain that they can't handicap the races!I've met and made so many friends there.I met 2 guys back in 2000 and we meet every August and spend 5 days at the track.This will be our 13th year of meeting there.Thank you Saratoga for making my summer complete for the last 30 years! I've brought my daughter there and I'm sure someday she'll bring her children there.I'm looking forward to another exciting year of racing and seeing Rachael's baby race there in the future!!

I remember the very first time I stepped foot o...
Submitted by Cathy from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1970s
I remember the very first time I stepped foot on beautiful Saratoga Race Course. I was 14 years old and had just moved to Saratoga from Westchester County. My family frequented Belmont Race Track often and had experienced the 1977 Belmont Stakes when Seattle Slew won his Triple Crown. I was already in love with racing when we relocated to Saratoga in 1978. My first trip to the racetrack happened to be on Travers day 1978 and I am sure everyone who followed racing back then can remember what an incredible day that was. The best match up ever on a race track Affirmed and Alydar battled for the last time in the Travers. I still get chills when I think about the final stretch call. Love racing and Love Saratoga Race Course.
My father brought me to historic Saratoga Race ...
Submitted by Cindy from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1970s
My father brought me to historic Saratoga Race Course as a teenager for the first time. We brought our chairs and sat in the picnic area under the shade trees, spending the afternoon handicapping and chatting with strangers about what a special place Saratoga is. We were all in agreement that life couldn't get any better than that moment. Ten years later I began my career as a hotelier in Saratoga and my dad retired by then, became a more frequent visitor to the track, easy to find in his regular spot downstairs in the clubhouse with all the other serious handicappers. In 2008, on his last day of good health, he enjoyed an afternoon at the track, standing in 95degree heat, and won enough to treat us to pizza that night. He had a heart attack the next day and passed away a few months later. I still look for him at "his spot" everytime I visit this beautiful place.

The greatest race horse of my lifetime was by far Secretariat. I saw him win the Hopeful in an awesome display of power. My fondest memory of him and …
Submitted by Alan from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1970s
The greatest race horse of my lifetime was by far Secretariat. I saw him win the Hopeful in an awesome display of power. My fondest memory of him and Saratoga was being one of those gathered at the stable gate awaiting his arrival to Saratoga after winning the Triple Crown. Though it was only going to be a glimpse those of us gathered there felt we were there to witness true greatness a veritable equine "god".

It was 1993, my niece Michelle was 21, I was 25...
Submitted by Maureen from Corinth, New York from the 1990s
It was 1993, my niece Michelle was 21, I was 25 and we decided to head to the track for the day. We got all dressed up in our Sunday best and hopped in my brand new, fire engine red, two door, 1992 Pontiac Sunbird. We were looking good. We headed out from Corinth down Farm to Market and left on Locust Grove Road. We were so jacked to be out together alone. It was our first outing as adults. We could boldly say "See you later mom, we are going gambling." WEEEE!!! I was buzzing along, cruising up one hill and down, when suddenly a wild turkey flew in the passenger's side window, in front of the driver(me) and then out of the car. Now because I have roasted several turkeys since that time, I would say that this one was about a ten pounder. At this point, ten minutes into our foray into adulthood, Michelle was saying words she learned on the school bus and I was trying not to wet my pants. Seems totally unbelieveable. Everyone knows wild turkeys do not fly. Rather, they get a running start and jump into trees and consequently basically, "fall out" of them. Futhermore, they run across the road in packs. Needless to say we were stunned. After we prayed,we rallied. We were solid in our mission to go to the races by "ourselves" and boldly continued passing the incident off as the first in a series of good omens. We cruised into town, past St. Clements Church, and parked on Granger avenue. After all, we are Maureen and Michelle "Granger". ( another good omen). Now we left Corinth with this weather forecast,70's and sun, possible spinkles. We arrive in Saratoga to cloudly but seemingly "passing through" skies. Forced to take umbrellas by the adults, we boldly leave them in the car. We felt invincible from our near death experience. After all, everyone survived ,including the turkey. Onward and upward, under cloudy skies, we head on in. We buy our $2 Grandstand tickets head through the turnstyle and we have arrived. The women are beautiful and the men are smoking cigars and discussing bets. We don't have time to soak it all in yet, because we on a mission. The only imperative for us at this point, is placing a daily double bet for Michelle's grandma, my mom, Joyce. (This is back in the day when there was only one daily double, the first and second race. ) We get in line, we step up, we place our bet. BOOM. We screw it up. Twenty bucks later, we get it right. "We need the 4,2 exacta box on the double". Now that we have the lingo down, coupled with our strategy of horses names, favorite colors and the number 4, we got this on lock. Our bets our placed and we head to the rail under "sprinkling" skies to watch our "ship come in." We hear the bugle, we hear the announcer "And they're off!!" The gates open and so does the sky. Instantly, we are soaked. It was as if we had been tossed in the Hudson River. Everyone is driven inside and we do not see the race. The next race is postponed until the storm passes so we head to the ladies room to dry up the best we can. Are we daunted? Are we crestfallen? No way. Here we are two grown-ups, at the races...gambling, drinking champagne, having a glorious time. We are convinced everything so far, is a good omen. For all we know we bet the winner, albeit on accident, but none the less the winner. AND BOOM. The power goes out. And wait for it, for the first time in our reconning, the races are cancelled for the rest of the day. It is still pouring rain, we still do have umbrellas and we have to leave. At this point, we are roaring. The kind of laughter that sounds like madness. Still in our trek back to the car, in the pouring rain, with somehow empty pockets, We agree that this is the best day we ever had. We got in the fire engine red 1992 two door Pontiac sunbird and I drove route 9N all the way home.
The August Place To Be!!! Saratoga Racetrack me...
Submitted by Shannon from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1980s
The August Place To Be!!! Saratoga Racetrack means so much to me! Visiting the track runs deep in our family. We are originally from New Jersey and one perk to that claim-to-fame was having the honor of sitting in the "Momouth Park" box in the clubhouse. From our box we had a great view of the finish line and Mary Lou Whitney's box! It was always exciting to see who her guests that year would be! My father and his friends had an opening day tradition that started with golf, a day at the races, dinner and then an evening of card games ~ it doesn't get more Saratoga than that! My sixteenth birthday happened to fall on opening day and believe it or not....my father did not miss his opening day tradition! I will never forget My Sweet Sixteen (or the lack there of!). It was always tradition also for my father and my grandmother and myself to spend a weekend together at the track. My grandmother's birthday is also in August! The funny thing about that memory is the weather! Some years the weather was perfect and other years it was downright freezing!!! My grandmother now lives in Florida and when my father was still alive they would also go to the races down there when he visited! Who can forget Breakfast At The Track and the Backstretch Tours! Both timeless traditions. When I was young we would ride our bikes over in the mornings and back then you could visit literally any spot you wanted on your own. It was so peaceful with the sun rising and the horses getting their baths! This past year I had brought some friends to the track for their first time and I ran into someone who said that my brother was there, and since my friends had never met my brother and I asked them if they'd like to meet my brothers. They didn't think it would be possible to find them with so many people there. I just laughed because as a local you always sit in the same spot year after year so I knew I would have no trouble finding them! I now have kids of my own and our traditions continue! Going over on Travers Day in the morning is my oldest son's favorite! Watching the mad dash to score a table is so entertaining! Wow! I just have so many fond memories I could go on and on and on! Thank you for putting this celebration out there for all of us to enjoy!!!!

i've been going to saratoga since 1977.this year will be my 37th travers in a row. at first it was just travers weekend, now my family and i go at lea…
Submitted by michael from marlton, New Jersey from the 2000s
i've been going to saratoga since 1977.this year will be my 37th travers in a row. at first it was just travers weekend, now my family and i go at least 4 weekends during the meet.my favorite moment and there have been many was when rachel alexandra won the woodward, we have 2 seats in the clubhouse and i've never heard it that loud,it was an awesome experience,one i'll never forget.there is nothing like a beautiful afternoon at the spa. can't wait until opening day july 19th.

Well this is not to exciting except for me. You...
Submitted by John from Lake Oswego, Oregon from the 2000s
Well this is not to exciting except for me. You see I am from Portland Oregon and grew up watching live dog racing at MKC ( Multnomah greyhound club). My father always said to stay away from the horses as they had jockeys that couldn't be trusted. Whwn I was a teenager a family from NY transplanted and the world of horse racing opened up. Let's skip ahead from bus trips to Yakima Meadows, New Mexico Downs, and my beloved Longacres to Santa Anita at age 45. I ran in front of my family to see the roar of the crowd, talked with the old ladies that took your seat tickets and breathed every breath I could of the track. Let's skip a few more years to 2012 when business took me to Harrisburg PA. in July. I had, with eyes wide open watched in anticipation every summer the opening days of both Saratoga and Del Mar. This summer would be different. I would drive to Saratoga and be there first hand. Oh what a treat I was in for. Foe a west coaster and proud of it, nothing I had witnessed matched the majestic surroundings of Saratoga, the town or Saratoga the race track. The races were one thing. The event quite surely was another. In my younger days I rafted. Finally, I rafted the Colorado river. That was the pinnacle. Saratoga is the Colorado river of racing...why? I can't tell you, you must witness it for yourself.
I've been coming to saratoga race track since I...
Submitted by william from clifton park, New York from the 1940s
I've been coming to saratoga race track since I was 5 yrs old. My father would bring me and in later years my brother also. Then I starter to bring my three boys and now they bring their children. By the way I'll be 71 yrs. old August 1st. I'ts been many wonderful years at the track. Bill Lewis Clifton Park

in 2009 i trained a horse that my wife picked out of a sale at saratoga in oct, of 2006. he grew up to be a winner a the spa. it was august 24th in th…
Submitted by glenn from wilton, New York from the 2000s
in 2009 i trained a horse that my wife picked out of a sale at saratoga in oct, of 2006. he grew up to be a winner a the spa. it was august 24th in the last race of the day and his name was GOODANDACCEPTABLE. Look for his story to be published sometime this year.

Dave from Ma. Tut Dummpy (nicknames) Pete ...
Submitted by David from Shirley, Massachusetts from the 1990s
Dave from Ma. Tut Dummpy (nicknames) Pete and myself years ago used to love to listen to Harvey Pack on the infield at Saratoga How is he doing
I absolutely loved going to the track early in ...
Submitted by Emilee from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1990s
I absolutely loved going to the track early in the morning and watching the horses warm up. Something about eating a doughnut in one of the box seats and taking in a cool Saratoga morning while you listen to the sound of galloping hooves is really special.

We have been coming to Saratoga for the last 3 years and this year will be our 4th. My husband & I travel with my 2 Aunts & my Dad. Dad will be 90 thi…
Submitted by Cheryl from Fairport, New York from the 2000s
We have been coming to Saratoga for the last 3 years and this year will be our 4th. My husband & I travel with my 2 Aunts & my Dad. Dad will be 90 this year! We have some of the best memories together at Saratoga and look forward to our trip together each year. Saratoga has a very special place in our hearts!

When my grandson was 5 years old I took him to ...
Submitted by Jason from Latham, New York from the 1990s
When my grandson was 5 years old I took him to the track for a beautiful day. We got seats and ate. After watching the first race we went to watch the horses being saddled. It was very crowded that day. Ten minutes after watching the horses. He said that was OK but let's go see the other animals.
I have been coming to Saratoga since 1975 and h...
Submitted by Frank from Beacon Falls, Connecticut from the 1970s
I have been coming to Saratoga since 1975 and have gone every year since then. For the first few years, it was a day trip on Saturday to see the Alabama, a quick dinner in town and the long trip home. Initially, the trip was tied to a college reunion of sorts with about 10 good friends and families. Over the years the trip was extended to the weekend, then a long weekend and then a week at a time. My wife and I brought our infant children the first year they were born and they have attended every year since then. For the last 8 years I had the fortune to attend every weekend of the meet, as well as a full week for Alabama week. I saw some awesome horses run at Saratoga but attending Saratoga is more than watching horses compete. Just being there and experiencing the excitement and fun is worth the trip. Win or lose, the trip is the most worthwhile of any trip I take during the year. I start to look forward to the next year as soon as the last race is run on Labor Day. It is my hope that one year I can attend every race day of the meet!

I will always remember my father and mother going to the races in the 50's, then taking me in the 60's with my grand parents and then my children in t…
Submitted by Karen from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1950s
I will always remember my father and mother going to the races in the 50's, then taking me in the 60's with my grand parents and then my children in the 70's. Now that my husband and I are retired we are there almost every day of the Saratoga meet. My youngest son proposed to his wife at the track and now he and his wife and son join us for a week at the track. What memories I have.

Ah, the good old days (40’s/50’s) , Fred C...
Submitted by Michael from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1940s
Ah, the good old days (40’s/50’s) , Fred Capossela announcing “It is now post Time” which could be heard down Lincoln Ave, Union Avenue and across East Avenue. Watching all the bookie runners leaving the track at the Wright Street gate (Clubhouse) to get to a phone and call the local newsrooms with each race results. Trying to evade the Pinkerton’s to gain entrance to the track grounds and watch the races at the clubhouse fence – back in those days you had to be 18 years of age to enter the track grounds. Handing out the “tout” tip sheets after the races that announced how many winners they had won (they would pay kids $.50/$1.00) – of course the ink was still wet because they ran them off after the sixth or seventh race in hopes people would purchase their tip sheet on their next visit to the track. Enjoying breakfast in the kitchens on the backstretch, everything $2.00 or less. Having bicycle races with jockeys Pete Anderson, Scotty Schulhofer and Billy Passmore at Schrade's parking lot on the south west corner of Nelson and Wright Street. Watching the fights and the softball games at the Jockey Y that was managed by Saratogian Coach Bob Duval, some nights the fights had a referee named “Jock LaBelle”. Traversing the back stretch and the Oklahoma barns with “Whitey Baldwin” from Whitehead Horse Transportation visiting with Sonny Jim, Woody Stephens, Hirsch Jacobs, John Gaver Sr. (Greentree Stables), Allen Jerkens, Max Hirsch, and so many others. Another chore (?) was walking Lucas Dupps’s ponies after their daily work out, Luke was the outrider known as “One-Grab Luke” . We also were able to watch the steeplechases' with the water jump and the hurdles. Those days the steeplechase and hurdle fences had boards through them so a horse would have to jump not like today where they simply go through the brush, the water jump was devastating. Another job available was walking the yearlings from the D&H freight yard to the Fasig Tipin sales paddock, we were paid $.50 a horse, one would pray that no dog or a loud car would be on West Circular/Circular St/Union Ave to “spook” the yearlings that just came up to Saratoga from the farm in Kentucky. I had the job one year to unscrew the light bulbs in the tote board, box them up and they would be shipped to Belmont via Whitehead Horse Transportation’s bakery truck which also collected the White Caps uniforms for delivery to Belmont. Those days the track ran Monday to Saturday so immediately after the 8th race on the last Saturday of the meet everything was loaded and shipped to Belmont for Monday when the track opened on the Island. And last but not least you could watch the tractors hooking up to the starting gates and towing them to Belmont via Route 9..
I first went to the track with my grandfather i...
Submitted by Dennis from saratoga springs, New York from the 1960s
I first went to the track with my grandfather in the sixty. he used to deliver ice to the track in the early morning so i got to see the track come alive everyday.those were the early days when you bet on oneside of the grandstand and collect on the other side.

Having grown up in the Saratoga area, "the track" was ever-present, whether it was my teen-age years headed up with my buddies or my mother complainin…
Submitted by Steve from Ludlow, Massachusetts from the 2000s
Having grown up in the Saratoga area, "the track" was ever-present, whether it was my teen-age years headed up with my buddies or my mother complaining about the traffic it caused. It has always been a place where a quick trip on a sunny day, with thousands of people allowed you to escape even for a short time. So although I'm "grown up" now and the sights and sounds have changed, it's still a place to escape 10-12 times during the summer. This past summer "the spa" was able to help rescue a member of my family during a very challenging time. My brother was in the midst of a divorce, feeling depressed, lonely, and angry. I had spent the last few months helping him deal with the challenges associated with all of this and trying to encourage him to get out and do something for himself when his kids were with his now ex-wife. I had 4 tickets for Travers Day and I was originally going with my wife and some friends when my wife suggested that I go that day with my brothers and my father. She thought it would take his mind off of everything. It turned out she was absolutely right. It was a perfect weather day, great food and a huge crowd. My brothers each hit huge exactas, we were able to bond, talk about horses over a couple of beers. My brother told me at the end that he really appreciated the day and that it helped him realize that his life was ready for the next chapter. I hadnt really realized the impact it had made until this past Christmas. My brother presented me, my brother and father with a signed historical Travers poster with a hand written note, thanking us for a great day. I think it will be a day we wont forget and the beginning of a new tradition.

Weddings, Funerals and Saratoga..... There are...
Submitted by Dave from Douglassville, Pennsylvania from the 2000s
Weddings, Funerals and Saratoga..... There are now three occasions that keep people together. They have kept my group of seven shildhood friends together since our college years. After college we went in different directions. We are in our 50's and 60's now, but come together and meet at Saratoga every July/August.
Back in the hay day of racing my uncle took me ...
Submitted by Stanley from Malverne, New York from the 1960s
Back in the hay day of racing my uncle took me to Saratoga one Alabama day. While checking out the horses as they were walked around the old trees in the current backyard we met Clem Florio a famous public handicapper of that era. It was the year Laurie's Dancer won the race.We all spoke for a few minutes and my uncle said to Clem that her race in the Test wasn't bad at all. Clem shot back that her race was in fact very good in the Test and she was his selection in the race. The rest is history Laurie's dancer beat the heavy favorite Forward Gal and I had a great stort to tell friends to this day.

My first trip to Saratoga was in 1987. My two friends, Steve and Joe who I frequented Monmouth Park and Garden State Park with were in. Not knowing ho…
Submitted by Greg from Nashville, Tennessee from the 1980s
My first trip to Saratoga was in 1987. My two friends, Steve and Joe who I frequented Monmouth Park and Garden State Park with were in. Not knowing how close Saratoga was we flew from Newark to Albany and rented a car. We left early Sunday morning and flew back early Tuesday morning as we all had Sundays and Mondays off. We had such a blast that Joe and I decided to go back at the end of the meet. It was the last 2 days of racing that year and when we got to the airport we found out our flight was delayed to Albany. While hanging out at the Gate we noticed that Julie Krone was on the same flight. We chatted for a few minutes and met her Fiance at the time who I believe his name was Jerry. Julie said she had 2 mounts and it was her first time riding at Saratoga. She said she would probably miss her first mount due to the delay. We finally got to Albany and as I was checking in at Car Rental Julie walked up to us and asked if her and Jerry could hitch a ride since the Trainer of her first mount couldn't pick her up due to the delay. Joe and I were pretty excited as Julie was BIG in the Jersey circuit. It was a fun ride to the track and we were able to park in the Jockeys lot. Julie missed her first mount and didn't win on the second. I believe the name of one of the Horses was "The Boss". If my memory is correct later that day a nasty thunderstorm hit and split a tree in the infield while knocking out power canceling the last race. It was a wild day! Steve, who is Joes brother, did not believe the Julie story for years until a few years ago when Julie was at Saratoga signing autographs....I walked up to her with Steve and she remembered and confirmed the story. Even though I now live in Nashville TN. I still make it to Saratoga every year with Steve and Joe. Hope it never ends.

After attending the racing at Saratoga for my 4...
Submitted by James from Endwell, New York from the 1970s
After attending the racing at Saratoga for my 46th consecutive year, only missing opening day twice due to my service in the Air Force, I have many fond memories. Prior to the paddock changes, my wife and I would always bring our chairs and sit under the trees in the backyard. For several years we would sit with a nice older gentlemen who went by the name of "Doc". I never knew what his full name was, but we would always connect yearly and enjoy the Saturdays in the backyard. He would give me his money to make his bets, and his winning tickets to cash. Between races we would discuss politics, sports and even horse racing. When we watched Affirmed and Alydar in the Hopeful we said, "these two could be fun to watch next year". Well, then came Travers day, we were packed in the backyard, most of the 50,000 plus in attendance were back there, it seemed. You had to leave your chair once a race was over just to get a bet in for the next race. (this was the 1970's and wagering technology was far from modern day). Well anyway, Doc was an Affirmed fan, and I was an Alydar fan. When Alydar was making that move on the inside (identical to the one two weeks earlier when he romped in the Whitney against older horses) I jumped up and said "this race is over". Then, all of a sudden Affirmed cut off Alydar, who had to abruptly retreat. The fact that he recovered, and fought back to finish second was miraculous in itself. I looked at Doc and said - "you know, he's (Affirmed) coming down". Doc took his tickets out of his pocket and ripped them up - he just smiled as I got up to head to the cash window. I can't remember exactly what year Doc was no longer there, but I always think of him each year when I stand at the paddock fence and look over to the old spot where we used to sit.
Found this Parade Program from the Saratoga Cen...
Submitted by Jim from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1960s
Found this Parade Program from the Saratoga Centennial, which was held 50 years ago in 1963. Should bring back some happy memories for some of you old-timers who were there!

The most exciting time at the Saratoga Race Course was the day when my sister and I saw Rachel Alexandra win the Woodward in 2009. My sister wasn't …
Submitted by Lisa J from Poughkeepsie, New Jersey from the 2000s
The most exciting time at the Saratoga Race Course was the day when my sister and I saw Rachel Alexandra win the Woodward in 2009. My sister wasn't feeling well that day, and we had a late start traveling upstate from Poughkeepsie, N Y, but we eventually arrived, and hurriedly found our seats. When Rachel took off from the gate, we just knew she was going to give the boys a run for their money, and so, she did! As she came around the turn in front of the grandstand , there was unbelieveable frenzy and excitement, and Tom Durkin was beside himself as she closed in, and crossed the finish line! The crowd was wild even for a few moments after she won, and the excitement of that day will always be a wonderful experience to share through the years with all the fans who attended on that historic day! ~ Lisa Jean

My family and I have been coming up to the Sar...
Submitted by Lisa J from Poughkeepsie, New York from the 2000s
My family and I have been coming up to the Saratoga Race Course since 1994, and it is always a wonderful experience: the gorgeous horses, the exciting races, the food, drink, and music ... everything! Then after the races, its off to the city of Saratoga Springs for further festivities! The most memorable race, of course, was watching Rachel Alexandra's win in the Woodward in 2009 ...... Saratoga, without a doubt, is the BEST "Summer Place to Be!" - Lisa Jean
As a child in NYC, family friends took me to La...
Submitted by pierangela from flushing , New York from the 2000s
As a child in NYC, family friends took me to Lake George Camp Ground where they went every year but my parents never let me go; living in a foreign countries, I received pictures of their daughter's wedding there - Silvie Fayolle - and thought I would never visit again. I continued my life in Uruguay, South America (where an older brother - Ricardo Shaw - once owned race horses) and South Africa with my father - Ricardo J. Shaw; a diplomat. Later and married with children, I returned to the states where I met one of my best friends - a heart and soul dedicated professional for the race tracks, in Queens - Patricia Megerdichian. For years she would be sent the summers to Saratoga and I would visit with family for a week end; my favorite was the end of August with the end of season track souvenir giveaways or for the music festival known as 'battle of the bands'..and the local delectable(s). I also re-visited Lake George for incredible pictures in civil war clothes, the beach, the steamboat, the fort..and the camp. At Saratoga, my teenage daughter - Jimena Urioste, always with a love for horses, was offered a summer job that set her with pocket money to cover her needs for the school year - an excellent opportunity; she is now a school teacher mother of three and finishing training for principal. She still vacations in Saratoga with her Cespe family. So many stories, so many pictures, so many years, such great memories of friends come and gone ... but the elegant Saratoga atmosphere still lingers. While my friend worked at the race track 24/7, I would visit the bath house and do the water tour, the art galleries (even a Cadillac exhibit), historical museums and Christmas shop for the family in the classy stores of Saratoga that still keep the traditional charm of horse carriage days and elite living. A NYC friend's son - Juan Rodriguez - (for years later renown at the New York Post) once worked at the Saratogian newspaper and we were able to enjoy a quick glance of its printing shop. At the track, my young children went on 'fun day' with face painting, jockey simulation pictures, etc. Being myself a stamp collector, I would relish in the 'Saratoga-only' postal stamping and specials while also supporting sales at the local drive; be it for the police or the fire department. Regular visits to the track were a must: for the early back track tour in the morning mist, to later see our good friend for a minute, have a family lunch, listen to a Dixie band, enjoy the art exhibits and, of course, bet on a 'favorite'..or on a 'whim'. Saratoga holds one of the best parts of my life; interesting and enjoyable at nine years of age as well as now at 58 !

For the past 30 plus years I have been very lucky to be on the backstretch of Americas #1 racing venue. Saratoga Race Course. Shooting the breeze with…
Submitted by Frank from Loudonville, New York from the 1970s
For the past 30 plus years I have been very lucky to be on the backstretch of Americas #1 racing venue. Saratoga Race Course. Shooting the breeze with great trainers like Laz Barrera, Woody Stephens, Allen Jerkens and being around great champions like It's In The Air, Affirmed, East Goer, Forty Niner, Street Sense, Funny Cide and many more.

When my husband and I were first dating, he bro...
Submitted by Diane from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1980s
When my husband and I were first dating, he brought me to Saratoga for the first time. His family owned a summer home in the Adirondacks. Going to the races on the way to the camp was a tradition for his family. I fell in love with Saratoga on my first visit. I sometimes joke with my husband that that trip was why I married him. We lived in PA then NJ, but as soon as we were able, we bought property in Saratoga Springs. We have been living here for 20 years now. We raised 2 incredible daughters, one whose birthday often falls on opening day. We take advantage of as many events as we can fit in during the racing season. I still love Saratoga and love my husband for bringing me here!
As an avid horse fan, I've been going to Sarato...
Submitted by George from Paramus, New Jersey from the 1970s
As an avid horse fan, I've been going to Saratoga since 1974. I try to photograph interesting points of views most people would miss when visiting the Spa. The picture posted was the grand prize winner this past Summer by Times Union. Every trip is highlighted by a great dinner at Longfellows or The Ripe Tomato. Just being in Saratoga during the early morning workouts and meeting other photographers, whom share the same passion is rewarding enough for me. Forego

As a local working in one of the offices at the Track the last few summers I get to experience a different view then most as I work alongside the staf…
Submitted by Lisa from , New York from the 2000s
As a local working in one of the offices at the Track the last few summers I get to experience a different view then most as I work alongside the staff that comes up from Belmont & Aqueduct for the summer. Some employees have been making Saratoga their summer home for over 30 years & have amazing stories of "back in the day" and how much has changed yet also stayed the same. There is nothing quite like arriving in the quiet early morning hours before the chaos of thousands emerge at the Track. My job there differs from any other job I'll ever have again in that you just never know who's going to walk into your office on any given day. Many a celebrity has caught me off-guard and I always do my best to act unphased while inside I'm hysterical! I also was allowed to bring my 9 year old to work sometimes and he would chase all the jockeys down for autographs, buy fresh lemonade & take a plate of cheesefries to the fence with him as he gleefully awaited to see if he picked a winner for that race. Ramon Dominguez payed special attention to him and it's a memory he'll always have. This year the staff also pulled together in a last minute notice to make special arrangements for a little girl with cancer who wanted to see the horses & jockeys before the races. Every department brought me something to give her - a horseshoe, riding goggles, crop, etc... and it truly made her day.

One of my fondest memories was one I shared wit...
Submitted by Sandy from Saratoga Springs, New York from the 1970s
One of my fondest memories was one I shared with my dad watching the races from the infield. It was so exciting seeing the race from that perspective! He reassured me that my pick would make a move and not to worry. Just spinning around and following the horses was something I will never forget.
One of the most exciting parts of having world-...
Submitted by Kathleen from Troy, New York from the 2000s
One of the most exciting parts of having world-class racing at Saratoga is that a day at the track is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the history of our area as well as the history of horse racing. I was able to meet jockey Ron Turcotte and donate to the PDJF when he visited Saratoga last summer.

Always remember watching the horses behing saddled under the oaks with my father.
Submitted by Bob from Hadley, New York from the 1970s
Always remember watching the horses behing saddled under the oaks with my father.

been coming to saratoga for over 20yrs ,took my...
Submitted by joseph from tuxedo, New York from the 2000s
been coming to saratoga for over 20yrs ,took my mother here a few yrs back she as lived in ireland all her life and on her way home she said to me ,thanks son thats the nicest place i have ever been and i am 75 yrs old. so it was a moment i will never forget and i tell everyone if u never been to saratoga u have never been.got to love da spa.
A few years ago while watching the thoroughbred...
Submitted by Roger from London, Alabama from the 2000s
A few years ago while watching the thoroughbred races from Woodbine (Toronto) I was first exposed to the Saratoga Race meet. The idyllic setting, friendly atmosphere and the added bonus of steeplechase races intrigued me and I decided to celebrate my 60th birthday with a trip to the Spa. We were fortunate to end up staying at the Locust Grove Motel, where Peter the owner and the other guests made us feel very welcome. They all shared their considerable knowledge of New York State racing and I was able to forewarn them about the outside speed of some Woodbine shippers! Since that first trip, we have made a yearly pilgrimage to Saratoga to spend a stress free week enjoying our spot under the maple tree in the paddock during the day, and relaxing on the balcony at the Locust Grove in the evening. The friendliness and warmth of the New York State racing fans and the beauty of the historic Saratoga Race Course give us memories to stave off the cold nights of the Canadian winter. Eagerly we await the posting of the racing schedule for the next season so we can plan our trip and start to daydream about our next trip to Saratoga.

One of my favorite experiences at Saratoga was when Rachel Alexandra ran against the older male horses in the 2009 Woodward Stakes. There were flags…
Submitted by Todd from the 2000s
One of my favorite experiences at Saratoga was when Rachel Alexandra ran against the older male horses in the 2009 Woodward Stakes. There were flags hung all downtown with the colors of Stonestreet Farm with "Run Like a Girl" scrolled at the bottom. The buildup and excitement of that race was bigger than any other that year. I wormed my way into the paddock before the race and got some great photos of Rachel and her connections. When the race finally went off, the huge crowd hung on every word from track announcer Tom Durkin. The splits were increadible...the field was not letting Rachel get away with an easy ride by any means. They pushed her hard from the very start but no one could get by her. At the wire the crowd roared over Durkin. I have never heard a crowd that loud at the Spa. She had run and won an increadible race and beat the boys! When Calvin Borel brought her back to the winners circle, people were in tears and still as loud as when she crossed the wire. I still get chills when I watch the race on You Tube...see below

i have been coming to Saratoga for a long, long...
Submitted by bob from the 2000s
i have been coming to Saratoga for a long, long time and it never fails to live up to all of my hopes and dreams. life changes for the 6 weeks at saratoga. People are friendlier, the pace of life is more enjoyable and high hopes and dreams abound. there is an unexplainable buzz, an impossible to put into words aura that simply lives up to and surpasses any pre-existing thoughts about the meet. a perfect day is waking early and getting the form, looking it over with a hot coffee and a bagel, nervously looking at your watch to check the time and realizing it is moving way to slow to get the races started but moving just about right to enjoy this heavenly morning. you go back to the hotel, and listen to everyone awaking with their stories of how today will be the day, you shower and head on over to the track. you smile at people you have never seen and you converse with people you will probably never see again, but that does not matter, because you and the stranger share a common bond. you are both at the spa and life is good at this moment. where else, you think to yourself, would you rather be. no where on earth is your internal answer. you get that lump in your throat somewhere around 12 or 12:15 as the pace of the people, the workers, the security people, the parking attendants starts to pick up. it is near. you have done your homework, your handicapping, your figuring and now one last time before post 1 you internally feel like today is the day. as they load up for the first race a rush of enthusiasm runs through your body and then BANG they are off. you feel like a little kid again, you bob and weave as your horse breaks, then settles, then comes out at the top of the lane and then powers on home. if you win the sensation is overwhelming. if you lose, there is no time to wallow post 2 is in 29 minutes and all hopes reappear. 5 hours later you are completely drained. emotionally, physically and spiritually as if you were involved in a marathon for the day. but the drainage only lasts for as long as it takes you to walk out the gates. the drainage is instantaneously replaced by the promise of tomorrow. and that promise is shared by everyone, strangers yes, but friends on a mission to thoroughly enjoy each and every moment of today, tomorrow and the next six weeks. today is sept. 13th and i am already thinking about next July and the hopes and dreams that come with the opening of another season at the greatest sports venue on earth.
I have being going since 1968 My father work at...
Submitted by John from the 1960s
I have being going since 1968 My father work at the arrowhead Inn in the 40'sand also worked at Siros in the 50's I have not missed a meet since I started going.

As a reality TV show producer and creator trying to develop a program about Saratoga and horse racing; I love sharing the stories of the “characters” …
Submitted by Mark Anthony from the 1980s
As a reality TV show producer and creator trying to develop a program about Saratoga and horse racing; I love sharing the stories of the “characters” and racing which “The Sport of Kings” brings to the masses. For 25 consecutive years, I daily attended Saratoga Race Course. I truly had the “time of my life” there. But none greater than each time I touched a horse and in turn, Saratoga horse racing touched me. My name is Mark Anthony DiBello and I love Saratoga!

For me the day I look most forward to every yea...
Submitted by Terry from the 1970s
For me the day I look most forward to every year is Opening Day at Saratoga. It's about getting together with family in the backyard area, wagering, watching each race from a different vantage point, smoking a stogie. The experience is like no other, at Saratoga, you're not only a part of history but some of the best horse racing in the world. Saratoga is the place to be!
I worked eight summers at the track. My favori...
Submitted by Joyce from the 1980s
I worked eight summers at the track. My favorite days were the mornings Woody Stephens would come to the clubhouse and have coffe. A very sweet man, used to make me laugh. One of my all time favorite people involved with racing.

I've been going to Saratoga every August since I was at my father's knee. I've been blessed to witness many of the memorable moments over the last tw…
Submitted by Bobby from the 2000s
I've been going to Saratoga every August since I was at my father's knee. I've been blessed to witness many of the memorable moments over the last twenty years and hope for many more. We as lovers of the visceral beauty of the horse, as well as this great sport, are truly fortunate to have a shangri-la such as Saratoga Race Course in which to revel.

I grew up in Upstate NY where my father worked ...
Submitted by Gary from the 1970s
I grew up in Upstate NY where my father worked many, many hours every week. He used to sneak away from his business every so often and take me to the race track. The race track brings back strong feeling of the time we spent together. I can still smell the white owl cigars and remember how he would explain to me how to read a racing form. After High School, I moved away and lived in the NY City area for many years. In 2007, I won the World Series of Poker and bought a house 3 blocks from the race track. As I walked down the street toward the track, all of those memories came right back to me. I now smoke an occasional cigar and teach my own son how to read a form. Great bonding moments in life that the Saratoga Race Track has created for my family. I will continue to pass on these memories to my children and future grandchildren.
I had never been up to Saratoga before.I decide...
Submitted by Mike from the 2000s
I had never been up to Saratoga before.I decided there would be no better time to go than to see Rachel Alexandra try to make history in the Woodward.I had been to some big races before.This race had the feeling of a triple crown try.I remember people saying up at Saratoga the day before the race Rachel might be hurt.And I started to wonder did I make this trek for nothing?I went to the Woodward with my good friend John.The day of we were both really nervous as well as excited.We stood at the rail by the eight pole to watch the race.During the post parade we heard this gasp and looked down the track.Someone said Rachel reared up and Calvin jumped off her.I said to myself is this a bad omen?Is she coming unglued from her long campaign?Well the race went off and for 1:48 my heart was in my throat.Rounding the turn for home everyone was screaming as loud as they could.When she crossed the finish line in front I had never heard a crowd that loud.I slapped my friend Johns back so hard I think he still has bruises till this day.I remember Tom Durkin after the race say"Folks we have two more races left if your heart can take it"I will never feel the way i did that day to be in presence and witness the greatness by Rachel Alexandra The Great!

sitting with sonny fitz in the paddock asking him how do you become a trainer and why are you still training his answer was it takes a lot of time &…
Submitted by michael from the 1950s
sitting with sonny fitz in the paddock asking him how do you become a trainer and why are you still training his answer was it takes a lot of time & hard work the love of the animal

My dad first took me to Saratoga when I was 9 y...
Submitted by eugene from the 1960s
My dad first took me to Saratoga when I was 9 yrs old in 1960. After that, I was hooked. Probably my biggest thrill to date at The Spa was sitting next to Cappy watching him call a race. It was such a thrill. Saratoga will always have a special place in my heart. It's simply the best!
I can remember running through the gates and up...
Submitted by Mike from the 1970s
I can remember running through the gates and upstairs to put down newspapers on certain seats. I would "claim" them each time I was w my great Aunt and Uncle. Nothing made me feel more important as a nine year old then being the "seat boy". Also, being there to see Secretariat in person is a day that I still remember, and never will forget.

I remember the first time I was at the track with my late grandfather, roughly 15 years ago. I was very close with him and he was excited to bring me…
Submitted by Keith
I remember the first time I was at the track with my late grandfather, roughly 15 years ago. I was very close with him and he was excited to bring me there for my very first time. Needless to say, he spent the day holding his head frustrated from the day of betting. I will never forget how the track gave me a valued memory with my grandfather for the rest of my life.

We always race to the Paddock area to stake our...
Submitted by Jon
We always race to the Paddock area to stake our claim with friends and family. We watch each horse in awe and make that last pick before post time. It's an experience that we enjoy each time we visit the Saratoga Race Course. Where else can you see such beautiful horses up close and personal.
I remember going with my grandfather and sittin...
Submitted by Diane
I remember going with my grandfather and sitting near the jockey's area. We would watch the weigh ins, and them playing ping pong hoping to get autographs. He would let me pick horses to bet on and if we won we would stop for dinner on the way home.

One of my fondest memories of Saratoga is having breakfast for the first time at the track. I have never seen such a beautiful and peaceful place as …
Submitted by Colleen
One of my fondest memories of Saratoga is having breakfast for the first time at the track. I have never seen such a beautiful and peaceful place as I watched the horses getting their exercise on the track before the races and all the excitement started.

The afternoons at Saratoga Race Track are excit...
Submitted by Sue
The afternoons at Saratoga Race Track are exciting and I love them! But the quieter side of the season I look forward to are the early mornings my family and I head to the morning workouts. The beauty and power of the thoroughbreds running through the morning mist - in the setting that is uniquely Saratoga - is a summer experience we never miss!
Going to the track for opening day with the sam...
Submitted by Terri & Paul
Going to the track for opening day with the same group of friends is an annual tradition for us. There's nothing like hearing the excitement of the crowd when they roar "and they're off at Saratoga" for the 1st race!

One very special time at the racetrack was one of my best friends bachelorette party. We had brunch and drinks in the covered "At the Rails Pavilion"…
Submitted by Sara
One very special time at the racetrack was one of my best friends bachelorette party. We had brunch and drinks in the covered "At the Rails Pavilion". We were able to bet on the horses, watch the jockeys and horses enter and exit the track and sit at the outdoor tables at the finish line. We had a wonderful time.

My first time visiting the track was on opening...
Submitted by Bridget
My first time visiting the track was on opening day of 1992. We had just moved into the area from the Midwest. It was an amazing experience. I could not believe the atmosphere at the track!
One of my favorite memories and time to be at t...
Submitted by Kathleen
One of my favorite memories and time to be at the track is early morning. A walk to the track in the cooler morning air with a cup of coffee in one hand and my camera in the other, is a great way to start the day. The track is magical in the morning in a way that is so different than other times of day. The light is beautiful and there are sounds you hear - hooves on the dirt, laughter from the rider and a quiet calm in the grandstand - that can't be heard at any other time of day.

One foggy summer morning while having breakfast at the track the announcer told us she had a special guest. Up rode Woody Stephens who stopped for a …
Submitted by Jim
One foggy summer morning while having breakfast at the track the announcer told us she had a special guest. Up rode Woody Stephens who stopped for a brief interview.

I went 5 for 6 in the pick 6 once. Had the fir...
Submitted by Jeff
I went 5 for 6 in the pick 6 once. Had the first 5 winners with the favorite in the 6th. He placed 2nd. $579 is not bad though.
I was at Saratoga Race Course enjoying a beauti...
Submitted by Annamaria
I was at Saratoga Race Course enjoying a beautiful afternoon with friends. We were in a box overlooking the finish line. It's quite an experience to see the horses thundering past you racing for the finish line. The roaring crowds and the hope that your horse is going to win by a nose always creates excitement. This particular afternoon my friends and I pooled $10 each (there were four of us). We have a $40 pot of money to bet with each race. We were up and down with our winnings all day. By the last race we had $8 left. It was two minutes to post and we decided to throw all the money on a trifecta. We each quickly threw out a number. We didn't even look at the program. Our tactics for picking our numbers were totally haphazard and we ended up winning $1,200.00!! You can only imagine our excitement and the excitement of those around us. Everyone was so happy for us. We couldn't stop jumping up and down!


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