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Track Season Cometh

Sunday, July 24th, 2005 · No Comments

The excitement is in the air. The plant date is in the ground at Union and Circular. The horses have arrived. Wednesday marks opening day of the 137th season of Saratoga Race Course, when our little city will be visited by more than 100,000 people per day, more than three times the year-round population.

Racing toward Opening Day:

It’s ticking toward the most important date on the city’s economic, social and cultural calendar, a day that overshadows all others.

It’s the opening of Saratoga Race Course, which will happen on Wednesday for the 137th time in its rich and colorful history.

On the track, world-class horses such as Preakness and Belmont stakes winner Afleet Alex have fans chomping at the bit for a taste of the No. 1 meet in the nation.

Away from the track, the race season drives the area’s economic engine, attracting hundreds of thousands of people, which gives downtown retail stores a sort of second Christmas shopping season.

Saratoga County’s residential and commercial construction trades have boomed in recent years, due in no small part to the track and the city’s ambiance when the horses are in town.

There are literally dozens of ways to enjoy the track, which ‘Sports Illustrated’ has listed among the Top 10 sports venues in America. Visitors may get up before dawn and watch early-morning workouts as horses thunder down the stretch with an orange sun peeking through the mist.

Saratoga Race Course is much like America itself, a melting pot of people from every social and income strata.

This mingling of experiences perhaps best explains why the track is a one-of-a-kind institution, and why at this time of year the eyes of the world are focused on the city it calls home.

In other good news, the New York City Ballet will return to SPAC for the 2006 season.

Tags: saratoga springs