By Christina Schiavo, Corporate Relations Intern, Palio
It’s that time of year again; you can just feel it in the air –Saratoga Springs has come alive! The city of Saratoga is a gem, offering big city entertainment with a small city feel. Everything from Saratoga Performing Arts Center to the thoroughbred horseracing track, from the main street to the annual spectacular galas make this city a summer hotspot.
Don’t believe us? Saratoga Springs was on the Top 100 Best Places to Live ranked by Money Magazine in 2011. In addition, Saratoga’s Broadway was recently ranked number 9 on Travel & Leisure’s list of America’s Greatest Main Streets and CNN Travel included Saratoga in a list of hideaways that aren’t the Hamptons. Gallivant through town, experience the memorable shops, boutiques and restaurants that give you the sense of the exceptional flavor of Saratoga. Walk around other parts of downtown to experience the historic features such as the exquisite Painted Ladies. Spend time exploring the wide variety of museums that Saratoga has to offer, or take a relaxing stroll through glorious Congress Park. Hit a few of the popular bars down of Caroline Street for a good time. One thing is for sure, this city is nothing short of fascinating.
Events, events, events galore! Summer fun is something Saratoga knows best. ABC News voted Saratoga as one of the Best 4th of July Small-Town Celebrations. Colorful fireworks lit up Congress Park and Caroline Street was packed with people celebrating our nation’s independence! Another great summer event is the Fasig Tipton. This event is an auction gala for the Saratoga Select Yearlings that draws in local fans and celebrities from around the world.
Saratoga is famously known for health, history and horses and these values are most noticeable this time of year. The thoroughbred horses, world renowned venue, and spirit of the fans serves every year to create America’s most prestigious and captivating racing meet. There are those among us who fell in love with Saratoga at first sight.
The first horse racing meet in Saratoga ws held in August 1863 and was so successful, the Saratoga Race Course and first grandstand were built for the renewal of the meet in 1864. Founders, William R. Travers and John Hunter, couldn’t have dreamt the enchantment this racetrack would continue to provide years later. Next year marks the 150th celebration of the Saratoga Race Course and the original venue still stands today, retaining that same essence and historic design.
The Graveyard of Favorites or The Graveyard of Champions, depending upon your luck, is not only the oldest racetrack in North America, but she is the oldest sporting venue of any kind in this country. Maybe that’s where the magic comes from; knowing her roots are so deeply imgrained in the sport and more importantly, this unique city. She is truly an architectural treasure. Take time to notice her charming features such as the mahogany wood that outlines her frame. She is one of a kind and the beauty that she’ll never be replaced by a modern day structure makes for a delightful track experience.
One of the biggest draws to the Saratoga Race Course every summer is, of course, The Travers Stakes. This race is the oldest major stakes race for thoroughbred horses and was named after the founder, William R. Travers. The 2012 Travers Day is this Saturday, August 25 and this is an event you don’t want to miss! Other big annual events celebrated at Saratoga Race Course include The Alabama Stakes, The Woodward Stakes, The Whitney Invitational, and The Hopeful Stakes.
The Alabama Stakes is the filly equivalent to The Travers Stakes. This Grade 1 race is restricted to 3-year-old fillies (young, female horses) and is th elast and decisive race for the Triple Tiara – the filly Triple Crown. Named after racehorse owner, George Nicholas Woodward, The Woodward Stakes is a Grade 1 stakes race for older thoroughbred horses. The Whitney Invitational is also a race for older thoroughbred horses, 3-years-old and up. The significance of this race is it’s a Breeders’ Cup or better known as a “Win and you’re in” race. The winner of The Whitney Invitational received an automatic bid to the Breeders’ Cup Classic that takes place in November. Lastly, The Hopeful Stakes is a Grade 2 race for 2-year-old fillies and colts (young, male horses). This is a race to see! Generally speaking, the young horses that race The Hopeful Stakes go one to contend for the Kentucky Derby in the following spring as a 3-year-old horse. This year’s Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another, raced in it last year but finished sixth! Will there be a new star crowned in this year’s Hopeful?
This year, Saratoga Race Course has enhanced the on-track hospitality area by the introduction of a new Beer Garden. The Saratoga Beer Garden offers fans an impressive beer list that includes: Blue Moon Belgian White, Blue Moon Summer, Batch 19, Brooklyn Summer, Harpoon IPA, Adirondack Bear Naked Ale, Magic Hat #9, Olde Saratoga IPA, Sam Adams Lager, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, and Saranac Blueberry Blonde. Can you say yum! The Beer Garden is located just outside the Carousel.
Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.