The track at Saratoga was first opened for horse racing in 1863. To put that in perspective, it was two years into the Civil War. There were no battles of that war in this area. Every summer for six weeks, Saratoga is all about the races. I told you in a previous post that there are families in Saratoga who rent out their lovely houses for thousands of dollars for that six week time, go on vacation , and make enough money to pay for their vacations and for months of mortgage payments. The race horse owners who rent the mansions, expect maid service, use of the families’s china,and silver as well as privileges at a club for this exorbitant rent. They are willing and able to pay for comfortable places to stay.
Here are my daughter Katie and her daughter Alice waiting to enter the track.
The grounds, buildings and flowers are beautifully kept and the old world atmosphere is unique in tracks today, we were told on our tour. Many have remodeled and modernized. I, personally, love the Victorian feel of Saratoga.
We were headed for breakfast and to watch the horses warm up. This begins at 7 AM and is quite delightful, in spite of our early hour drive from Troy. The races begin after the track officially opens for the day at 11 am. We are not gamblers, so eating and seeing the horses work out was just plenty for us.
We were just under this awning with a great view of the track. The breakfast was a substantial buffet with return visits welcome.
After breakfast, we went on the tour of the stables and the other side of the track. From a perspective of that far side, you can see the clubhouse and where we ate breakfast.
Alice is getting an up-close look and stories about the starting gate and how the high strung racers often fight entering the gates. Some need to be blindfolded if they refuse to be taught to enter, calmly. When the gates fly open for the race to begin, they are expected to fly. No wander there is some confusion for the animals.
There are living quarters for the grooms and the horse caretakers as well as stables and everything needed for the care of the horses. Here is a horse on the way for a workout on the track.
The exercise boys or girls follow instruction from the jockey and or the trainer for the daily exercise regime.
We were finished by 10:15 and hurried out in time to retrieve the $10:00 parking fee, because we weren’t staying for the races.
Fun morning for three generations of Bell ladies!
Love these two! Thanks for a lovely morning. . . . .