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Saratoga suggestions

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tseals1 View Drop Down
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  Quote tseals1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Saratoga suggestions
    Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 8:48am
We're planning our first trip to Saratoga this summer. We've picked a week (Vanderbilt-Bowling Green-Jim Dandy). Now we just have to figure out how to get there and where to stay and which kid to eliminate from the will so we can afford it -- the usual vacation stuff.

Be glad to hear any tips/suggestions from Saratoga regulars on the best parts of the track to spend the day (we're more paddock than grandstand), ideas on where to stay (don't wanna spend $1,000 a night), best farm to visit, best bar to spend an evening, best ATM to rob -- the usual vacation stuff.

Any Saratoga observations welcome. Except "You haven't got a place to stay yet? You're screwed!" Rather not hear that one.

Tom

Edited by tseals1 - 12 Feb 2018 at 9:33am
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itch View Drop Down
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  Quote itch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 9:30am
Tom,

Wow, are you in for the time of your life.

I am hopeful you also are in for plenty of good advice in this thread. There are many Sim trainers who know Saratoga like the back of their hand. I was lucky enough to travel there for several days in the summer of 2015.

I have only visited once, but my best guess is that it is hard to go wrong. There are pockets of hotels in a couple different towns only like 20 miles from Saratoga. Booking this far in advance, I am sure you can get a good price.

I can make a good recommendation for a restaurant. It is called Angelo's, located in Clifton Park. There are also nice hotels in Clifton Park and it makes for a good place to stay. We had a hell of a party at Angelo's in 2015. The food is out of this world. A friend of mine is the manager and I can have him expect you if you like.

One final piece of advice: If you are going with your wife, bring along a nice pair of dark sunglasses. These will aid in the necessity of being surreptitious when you cannot help but admire all of the beautiful women of Saratoga.
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  Quote cadet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 9:53am
First off CONGRATS!!! The trip is going to be amazing! Shoot me a PM and I'll give you my cell. My wife works for NYRA and I'm up there almost every weekend.

Place to Stay:
First thing first, place to stay a few options 1) Check Air BNB, can mostly likely get a house for a few hundred a night this early (its still early) 2) If you aren't huge drinkers, and don't mind driving a big I highly recommend staying in Clifton Park (20 min drive, but cheaper hotels, and the drive isn't that bad 3) This early you most likely can get a hotel in Saratoga Springs, but might be pricey... I'd check all options. Everything is very compact in Saratoga Springs, so you can walk/uber almost anywhere listed below if you chose to stay in the city, downside is it is expensive near the track/downtown and goes down the further you get out.

Track:
If you are going for a week I'd suggest trying a few different places out at the track. Options: You can 1) reserve a picnic table near the paddock and "Back yard" 2) Pick up some sling chairs at Walgreens (I work for them so I have to say that, but anywhere else works too) and head to the track early and you can put them down right by the paddock (its perfect!) 3) I'd recommend getting grandstand seats for one day, just to experience it. I'm more of a rail rat myself, and love being near the paddock, but I really enjoy the grandstand at saratoga because its simply the best place to watch the races. But Saratoga is made for paddock folk! The other thing you MUST DO is go check out training at least one morning at the Oklahoma track and have breakfast on track at thier buffet (The food is meh, but the atmosphere is amazing)

Food:
Breakfast: The Bread Basket (Small bakery, but the tops!) & Country Corner Cafe
Lunch: On track has PLENTY of options, you can also pick up a cooler and bring in your own lunch (highly recommended), but at least once you have to go to Spring Street Deli.

Dinner: I'll just list a bunch of options and you can google what looks the best for you, but this is what you need to plan NOW! Reservations are a MUST EVERY NIGHT, unless you want McDonalds. 15 Church, Osteria Danny, Prime @ Saratoga National (AMAZING Steakhosue, expensive, but you most likely will be rubbing elbows with all sorts of horsemen) Druther's (good bar scene); Boca Bistro (Tapas), Sperry's (Great bar and great restaurant, another horseman hangout), The Mouzon House, Pennell's (Classic Family Style Italian), Lake Local (Out of town just a weeee bit, but cool place right on the lake with fantastic food)

Night Scene:
All depends if you are into it, but Hamlet and Ghost is a great place for a cocktail, and anywhere on Caroline Street is always happening. And a degenerate oasis Saratoga Harness Track and Casino.

Other Things:
Thursday Night at the Parting Glass, Andy Serling does a live radio show, he always has great guests and its a great place to "experience" saratoga.
Lake George is close if you are into renting a boat and enjoying the water
Baseball Hall of Fame is less than 2 hour drive
Make sure you spend some time downtown walking around after the races

Farms: Don't know much about them, but Old Friends has a place nearby which most likely would cater to visitors (Silver Charm, War Emblem etc..)
Enjoys Saratoga in August
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  Quote spinround Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 11:29am
Wake up for sunrise at the track. As Cadet said, go to the Oklahoma training track and experience dawn there. There is no place more magical in the whole world. Also agree that going across the street to the grandstand for the breakfast is a fun time.

Lodging - as everyone has said you will spend more staying in Saratoga Springs proper but some of the surrounding towns including Ballston Spa, Clifton Park and Malta usually have good deals. The racetrack is right off the highway (called the Northway) so staying in a hotel at one of the towns on the Northway is a really easy drive. You didn't mention what type of accommodations you were looking for, if you want a nice experience The Desmond in Colonie, NY (suburb of Albany) is quite lovely with good amenities. It's about 30 minutes from Saratoga. If you *really* want to live it up stay at the Gideon Putnam in downtown Saratoga and spring for the mineral bath.

Places to eat - the Old Bryan Inn has been an institution in Saratoga forever. The building itself is over 200 years old. They are known for their french onion soup. When I used to live in Saratoga everyone from the track ate breakfast at Shirley's Diner (best blueberry pancakes around) after work in the mornings. I know they changed hands a couple of years ago and I have not eaten there under new ownership but have heard the quality is the same. If you go for lunch they do excellent poutine as well.
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  Quote tseals1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2018 at 10:04am
So much good information. Can we just skip to July?

We’ve been torn between the full five-day Saratoga immersion and the less expensive outside-of-town stay, and it sounds like you all think that’s an acceptable option. Good to know. Hadn’t considered something as far away as Colonie, but maybe that’s one more thing to consider.

We’ve done breakfast at Keeneland. Will absolutely do breakfast at Saratoga, maybe more than once.

Doesn’t everyone buy their sling chairs at Walgreens?

You’re right about a day in the grandstand. I don’t need the clubhouse, but the grandstand is the right thing to do at least once.

Sounds like we’re gonna need to eat dinner 12 times in five days. Reservations? People still do that?

Cooperstown will be an option if my wife slips into a coma at some point. Otherwise … next trip.

We’ve been married a long time, Itch. She usually knows which women are gonna catch my eye before I do. As long as they’re over 40 she lets it slide.
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  Quote beisbol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2018 at 2:35pm
Best thread ever. I'm jealous just thinking about it!

Unfortunately being ensconced on the wrong coast makes it unlikely for me to return to the Spa anytime soon, unless I'm lucky enough to get there as an owner. Oh, and you will need those reservations, it's mad crowded at the good spots!

Enjoy!


Horses who win races and stuff.
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  Quote frankster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2018 at 12:57pm
Trotter (Pete) and I along with the wives will be up at the SPA 1st week of Aug. (Will remember to bring the shades this time, thanks Itch! :) )

Pete knows the SPA like the back of his hand having gone up there for decades and he can chime in here with suggestions as well.

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  Quote irisharse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2018 at 9:05pm
Pete at Saratoga...lol
we were walking though Oklahoma... Pete had never seen horsesh*t out in the wild before.. or smelled it or stepped in it... he got all three done that day.. im sure he burned those shoes...lol
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  Quote rickybobby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2018 at 12:32am
I am going to have to bookmark this. I had a trip planned for Cooperstown and Saratoga when Biggio went into the Hall. Unfortunately I had to cancel and have not had a chance to plan it again. Would love to spend a week up there...baseball HOF, Saratoga track, Saratoga battle field and maybe take a small trip North to go fishing and enjoy the scenery. Maybe if I throw in a day or two to Maine my wife might go for it.
Y'all make it sound better than I thought it would be.


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  Quote rezboss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2018 at 9:57pm
The Desmond is near the airport and right off the Northway which will take you to the exit to the track, nice hotel and a bit more upscale, I've been there before. (funny I would stay there living 1/2 hour away) Clifton Park is decent place to stay with a lot of shops and your standard restaurants. The Harness track, now know as Saratoga Casino is just down the road from the flat track and now has a hotel, not sure what their rates are. Even if you don't stay in the Spa city, the casino offers another entertainment option.

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