Sport & Games | What Makes The Saratoga Race Course Fun

What Makes The Saratoga Race Course Fun

Tickets to the Saratoga racing season are opening up. There is much to see and do without losing a lot of money. The only sure thing is fun.


Tickets to the Saratoga racing season are opening up. There is much to see and do without losing a lot of money. The only sure thing is fun. 

The 81st season of live racing is underway. Still known to many as the Saratoga Harness track, when the track is open fans can view live races outside at the rail, in the lower clubhouse, in the Grandstand or while dining at Lucky Joe’s. And guests can watch and wager on live horse racing from tracks around the country in the mezzanine or new SaratogaBets Simulcast Center.

Named one of the world’s great sporting venues by Sports Illustrated, the past comes alive every summer in the historic grandstand as guests experience not only the best in thoroughbred racing, but the unmatched ambience and charm of Saratoga Springs. 

Saratoga was already famous for its mineral baths, but interestingly, held its first thoroughbred meet just a month after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Staged by gambler, casino owner, ex-boxing champion and future Congressman John “Old Smoke” Morrissey and beginning on August 3, 1863, the four-day meet drew thousands of locals and tourists who saw Lizzie W. defeat Captain Moore in the best-of-three series of races.

Emboldened by the success of that first meet, Morrissey promptly enlisted his friends John R. Hunter, William Travers and Leonard Jerome to form the Saratoga Association. Its first responsibility was the construction of a new, permanent grandstand on the current site of Saratoga Race Course. Across the street, the “old course” became the barn area known as Horse Haven, with the vestiges of the original track still encircling the stables.

There are a lot of fun experiences at the tracks. Here are some of the things you can expect on a trip to the Saratoga race season. 

Celebrate A Birthday

Get your birthday hat on. Wish your friend a “Happy Birthday”, tell your loved one “Happy Anniversary” or simply welcome your group with an infield board message that will rotate on the infield board following the 3rd and 6th races.

Take A Paddock Tour

A group of 15 can be escorted into the Paddock area for an exclusive, up-close view of the saddling prior to the race. There is a dress code. No shorts or abbreviated wear will be allowed. 

Named Race & Winner’s Circle Experience

Name a race in your group’s honor. Your race can be printed in the program, and you can receive five copies of the program, a win photo, and commemorative picture frame.

Upgrade Your Named Race To A Winner’s Circle Experience

You’ve named your race, now experience it from the Winner’s Circle. Your race will be printed in the program and up to 15 guests will step into the winner’s circle and have their picture taken with the winning jockey which will be printed as part of the Win Photo. You can also receive five copies of the program, a win photo, and commemorative picture frame.

Dine Where The Action Is

The Clubhouse at the races is quite popular. One can imagine it’s where one can witness the action while biting out of a club sandwich. There is the Turf Terrace, Club Terrace, and The Porch. Make reservations because they sell out fast. And adhere to the dress code. 

Season tickets for reserved seats for 2022 Saratoga meet on sale beginning March 23.

Standalone season admission passes go on sale April 1.

Related Articles
In this article:   Saratoga Springs | Summer | Saratoga Race Course | Racing | 2022 Season | Dining | Horse Racing |
Want to write for us? Submit your article. (Log in if you haven't.)