Sunday, August 1, 2010

Run Nag Run!

Apparently it is just shy of a mortal sin to visit upstate New York during racing season and not go to the track.  So of course, while Brett's grandparents were in town, we had to hit Saratoga.  Brett & Heather had only been for open house and had yet to place an actual bet at the track so they were pretty pumped about checking it out while it was operational.

It was so unbelievably crowded!  The track attendance capacity is around 50,000 and the picnic area on the grounds holds another 18,000!  Great weather gets folks out up here.  Seriously, everyone in New York was there and banking on winning their fame and fortune on the ponies.  The races run pretty quickly and alternate on the three different tracks at the course.

These race fans plan ahead! They had coolers and picnic baskets laid out with lawn chairs watching the races on closed circuit televisions scattered across the grounds.  Seems weird to come to the horse races, be 100 feet from the track and just watch it on tv?  But to put it into perspective, it reminded us of Ole Miss tailgating down in The Grove.  Folks come and stay all day with their families and just enjoy being there, not really caring what the main event is.  People and alcohol were everywhere, except you didn't have to hide it here like they do in Oxford.  Feel like drinking a case of Natty Light this afternoon?  Just carry it in on your shoulder and you're good to go.

Again, the cool thing about Saratoga is that you are face to face with the action on the fairgrounds.  The horses come right by you on their way to the paddocks and you really get a chance to see things up close.  No joke, we nearly stepped on the jockeys as they were making their way from the track...they're just not very tall!

While we didn't walk away chamillionaires from this trip, it was a fun experience.  We lost our $2 bucks on the favorite who finished second...that's what we get for following Heather's strategy for always betting to win, betting on the grey horse and yelling "Run, Nag, Run" when they cross the finish line.  (It usually works) But now we know that next time we come we'll be packed up with lawn chairs, cheap beer and snacks!

Here's a look at our loss: