Saratoga Track Tips for the Average Joe
Saratoga Track season has once again blessed the Summer calendar with its presence.
It's finally back. There is a very short list of things in this life that I look forward to more than Saratoga Racecourse reopening its gates every summer. And like the opening of NFL training camps, filling out a march madness bracket, or waiting for the new season of House of Cards to drop, I've been counting down the days where I can fully immerse myself in the oasis that is Saratoga. From the endless amount of drinks and cigars I'll ingest, to the stack of 10 cent superfectas (boxed) I'm sure to punch in, Saratoga is the closest thing to a can't-miss good time that upstate New York has to offer. So in that vain let me share a few tips of advice I've picked up through the years of walking through the turnstile of Saratoga.
1) You don't know as much as you think about betting horses, and that's OK! Let's be serious, playing the ponies is a tough racket. We routinely see horses with odds of 15-1 cross the finish line first whereas in other professional sports those odds rarely cash in. So lower your expectations. Soak in the randomness of it all. You wouldn't pay $15 for a movie and expect to get $30 back on the way out the door if the film was good, would you? Accept the fact you may lose a few bucks in exchange for the rush of the race. Think of it as part of the admission at the gate. Don't be the guy who's pissed off for the next half hour because your "sure thing," a horse named 'Tell Me Have You Seen Her?' didn't beat eight other horses you've never heard of.
2) Don't be the drunk guy. We've all seen him at Saratoga. Ten drinks deep, shirt unbuttoned half way down his chest, cursing to himself while biting on a stubby, unlit cigar. His repeated screams during the race quickly go from "Come on 9! Come on 9!" to "You're a dog 9! I hope they put you down, 9!" I've seen this up close and it ain't pretty. Do NOT be this guy. You shouldn't be "getting the spins" at 2:48 p.m. If you can't hold it together at the track, how are you supposed to make it through the Horseshoe afterward?
3) Dress accordingly. Look, I get it. Saratoga is the place to see and be seen. Sometimes I've found that there's this burden on some of us to go above and beyond in the clothing department. There's a fine line between looking sharp and trying too hard. Last year I went to the track with my friend,
Mike Stopera, who wore a three-piece baby blue suit. Did he look suave as hell? Sure did. Did he accumulate the same amount of sweat as a P90X workout? Naturally. My guy had a case of swamp-ass to the point where when he sat down it sounded like someone jumping in a pool. Find the balance that's right for you in this regard.
4) Lastly, for my men out there, wear dark shades. Nobody, especially your significant other, should be able to follow the trail of your eyeballs. Saratoga may be as well known for it's accumulation of sundresses as it is for the horses, but it's not worth a elbow to the soon-to-be bruised ribs from your wife. Remember to bring your shades and enjoy the track this summer!