Friday, July 22, 2011

Saratoga Race Meet Starts Today

In 2007, I pushed my Honda Valkyrie from Idaho to a little motel in Burnt Hills, New York. I spent the next ten days commuting N. to Saratoga Springs each day except Tuesdays- when they don't race.

A crappy room in a Saratoga Springs motel is 300 bucks a night during the race meet. I was more than happy to commute from Burnt Hills and my 50 dollar a night room. I partied with my neighbors at the motel- 4 older couples who had been going to Saratoga on opening week for something like 20 years. Friendships like that are fantastic.

I absolutely love Saratoga Springs. The main drag through town is decorated in horse racing themes. Statues of horses, colorful owners silks, outside dining. Quaint and charming. I ate breakfast each day at some place very close to the track. It was always packed and I'll be damned if I can think of the name of it.

Here's some photos.

The day I first arrived, I couldn't find the track. It is smack dab in the center of town, surrounded by houses. Many of the residents make good money selling parking spaces on their un used lots and lawns. I usually got a discount on the big Valk.

One day I won every race. I have done that three times in my life. (won every race on a card) Hows that for handicapping?

The race course is just as historic as the town is. It is well kept. If heaven looks anything like Saratoga Springs- I'm not gonna mind dying a bit. So while I can't be at Saratoga, I 'll have to settle for Les Bois today- gazing at the monitors and rooting in whatever horses I have bet on. The opening day at Saratoga is one of my favorite days of the year. Like the Kentucky Derby, I just don't miss it.

Saratoga Springs


Toaster 802 said...

OH boy. I think I found the first thing in the year I have been reading you I disagree with.


I lived in 'Toga for 20 years. Went to high school there. All my bro's are still in the area. My bride grew up 4 blocks from the track and her folks still live in the same house.

...God, I hate that town in August.

Back in the day, I worked in every kitchen worth anything on Broadway and Caroline street. I even did a season in the executive kitchen at the track.

If you ever plan on coming back, let me know. I'll show you the side of Saratoga worth seeing.

I just recently found this blog about 'Toga. Worth checking out. Her attitude is about right for anyone who grew up there!

I got some great bros to hang out with also. They will rib ya about what you ride, while making sure your beer is cold and your plate full. And isn't THAT what is really important??

Brian said...

LMAO! checked in with a locals perspective. Gawd how I know that feeling.

In Hailey each year, we had our version of Saratoga. Only much shorter. Three or four days of brawling, shooting guns, rodeos and drunken cowboys, murder, all of it around the 4th of July. To this day, my favorite day is the 5th of July. I was very proud to tell reporters that.

I can't imagine the disruption the meet must cause. It looked like chaos while I was there. So I am gonna read nancy's blog. Please go to the valkyrie page on Ebay and then the Harley page. You will note that valkyrie owners score their bikes 5 out of 5 in satisfaction. Harley owners score their bikes 4.5. I have replaced a starter switch and one battery in ten years of hard riding. A fucking Harley would have had two engine rebuilds, the seals replaced three or four times, and gawd knows how many other things. If Honda made Harleys, they'd be perfect.

Thanks for checking in. Got my form spread in front of me. Two hours ! Yeehaw!

davecydell said...

Decades ago I loved Pimlico, Laurel and My Beloved Bowie.
But I hated Preakness Day. All the "one timers" came out and trashed the place.

Except for that Preakness when William H. Wolfendale III ran one of his claims back and lit up the board. He made a habit of claiming a worn out, jogging it in the pines east of Bowie, (for mental improvement) and then, well, lighting up the boards.

Everything's gone but the Whisk(e)y.

Brian said...

Ah all that reminiscing makes perfect sense to me. Instead of running these poor horses into the ground, I gotta friend that actually claims them and then uses them to hunt elk with. Really.