Monday, October 12, 2009

A Fall Visit to Saratoga

I always imagined my first trip to Saratoga would be during a race meet; but I find myself in this amazing town in October, in the midst of blazing fall color. Here for the annual International Simulcast Conference, which is being held at the Saratoga Hilton this year, I am making the best of my spare time to see the racing sights.

On a very early morning visit to Saratoga Racetrack, I watched horses training on the Oklahoma Training Track, which will remain open until next month. There are approximately 400 horses stabled on the grounds at this time. It's an invigorating and wonderful experience to watch the Thoroughbreds snorting and blowing steam in the cold morning air of a clear fall day as they jog, gallop or breeze around the track. The infield grass was covered with a glaze of frost but the dirt track looked dry and fluffy.

I found a cozy spot to defrost in the trackside clockers' booth, where two friendly clockers gave me the scoop on the horse population at Saratoga and chatted proudly about the New York horses who would soon be heading to California for Breeders' Cup. Of course, I snapped lots of photos, and am posting a few of my favorite sights. Enjoy... wish you were here!

Saratoga Springs sign
Coming into Saratoga!

Saratoga grandstands
A view of the Saratoga grandstand.

Saratoga Clockers Stand
Clockers stand and fall colors!

Oklahoma Trianing Track, Saratoga
Early fall morning on the Oklahoma Training Track, Saratoga.

Saratoga stables
On the way to the training track.


zraces said...

WOW! These pictures are great... you never see anything from the Spa this time of year. Fall is fabulous in the Adirondacks.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Rub it in, Mary! Now that you've brought me to tears remembering what I missed not going this year. You'll have to tell me all about it when you get back. Hope you got my email before you left of places to eat, etc. Have a great time! Love the pics. I remember those views of Oklahoma so well.

beck said...


Your photos are fabulous! And probably making everyone jealous! It also reminds me of Keeneland for the October Meet. There's nothing like our old glorious tracks to help remind us of our sport's amazing history. Love your site! Keep up the fantastic work. We all owe you for your dedication to this sport on the web...

Sharla Sanders, Founder, The Second Race said...

I look forward to your posts, someday I hope to visit Saratoga, in the meantime I will live vicarously through your posts. Enjoy your trip.

Dan said...

Those are beautiful photos of my adopted hometown! I am glad you are enjoying your visit here. You may also want to take a ride up to Lake George to view the foliage.
Dan De Federicis

Unknown said...

ohhhh it is not even full color yet! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, did you meet a clocker named freddy?

Mary Forney's Blog said...

Hello Anon... Boy! I wish I could have gotten to know the two nice guys I met in the clockers' booth, but I just wasn't there long enough. One of them may have been your friend Freddy, but I can't be sure. Thanks for reading my blog! Mary

Anonymous said...

Hi, Thanks for the response. :-) Freddy's an old friend of the family. Clocking horses for 40 years.

I really enjoyed your photos of Saratoga and the Oklahoma Track. Hoping to get up there this summer... and see Fred.

Thanks! Have a great horse season.

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