When planning a trip to upstate New York in the summertime it’s almost impossible to miss or even consider going to the Saratoga Race Course. It’s what Saratoga is known for other than it’s fantastic spring water.
Growing up going to the track was something you did at least once a year. For a child, it’s sort of fun and magical place. Everyone gets dressed up, puts on a fancy hat, sips a delicious cocktail and watches beautiful thoroughbred horses race. It’s very idyllic and wonderfully old fashioned.
When asked by America’s Best Racing if I wanted to attend as a VIP as a part of Saratoga’s Fashion Saturday’s I couldn’t say no. America’s Best Racing covers the latest in the horse racing lifestyle and sport all over the country. I knew with ABR I would have the best track experience of my life.
Saratoga Racecourse is a place that for the most part stands still in time. The signage, branding, gardening, and architecture never changes. And in the same way the people never really change either.
The Men’s Uniform
You have men of all ages wearing the same uniform. Slacks, a button-down shirt, some sort of sport coat and a bow tie or hat to pull the whole look together. These are not your normal what and navy suits. They are floral, patchworked, bright colors and patterned. Each man definitely makes some sort of statement in whatever he decides to wear to the track.
The Ladies Uniform
Now the women are an entirely different horse. The women wear oftentimes a bright and summery dress or romper paired with some heels or wedges and a fascinator or large hat to pull the look together. Think royal wedding aesthetic. In each case it’s as if most of these people were sprung from a British polish match or high tea.
What I Wore
Although it’s not my typical aesthetic I played along and dressed the part. I did this by wearing a dress from Rent The Runway that was the Jolie floral dress from the brand Hutch. I paired that dress with some pink suede heeled sandals from target and a headband with small pearl accents. Staying away from getting an actual track hat or fascinator as I wanted to still feel myself.
Being comfortable with what you’re wearing is one of the most important things for me. If I am ever overdressed or underdressed I am out of my element and can’t focus whatsoever.
Our tickets for the day were clubhouse tickets with reservations all day in the Turf Terrace. This section “restaurant” was on the 3rd and 4th floor of the grandstand. I was greeted with gold bottles of Saratoga spring water at my arrival at the table. I was joined with 2 other bloggers their respective plus ones and Penelope Miller, the Senior Manager of Digital Media at America’s Best Racing.
Penelope gave us the lowdown on how to place bets on horses, read our programs, and the whole process of each race. It was wonderful to have someone there to answer all the questions I’ve always had about the track.
Throughout the day I drank my fair share and had some delicious food all courtesy of ABR. My favorite thing was probably the quintessential Saratoga potato chip. If you didn’t know, the potato chip was invented in Saratoga. So, of course, the racecourse serves fresh chips with French onion dip on the menu.
One of my favorite things about the whole day was our trip to the paddocks. The paddocks are a place at the track where the horses get their saddles placed on and the jockeys come to get on before the race. The owners and trainers also take one last look before post time to make sure everything is all in order.
This section of the track is beautifully manicured and so wonderful. It’s also oftentimes where media will film interviews and such before a race. We saw people from NBC sports which was exciting. It was so cool to experience as someone who grew up going to the races and always wanted to go inside the paddock area.
After our trip to the paddocks, we headed back to the grandstand for some dessert as well as to watch a few more races. With a glass of rosé and a slice of cake, it was the perfect way to end my day at Saratoga Racecourse. If you’re upstate for the day and want to experience some horse racing. It is definitely a fun thing to do and very Saratoga. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get dressed up for a day of watching the ponies play.