Saratoga Race Course is the ultimate summer destination for any horse racing fan. The town of Saratoga Springs has even more to offer beyond a day at the races – there is something for everyone. The only problem is that it can be difficult to narrow down all the options!
That is where StarLadies Racing comes in. The partnership was launched in 2013 for female racing enthusiasts and these ladies know a thing or two about fun. The racing season at Saratoga is one of the most anticipated and exciting times of the horse racing season and StarLadies Racing will be getting the meet underway in style with promising maiden winner Stainless making her stakes debut in the Schuylerville Stakes (G3) on opening day!
The StarLadies have the scoop on the top 25 things you have to do while in Saratoga:
1. Go to the races! Of course, silly, this is the reason you’re in town. Pro tip – you know what makes a day at the races even more fun? A trip to the winner’s circle!
2. Equestricon is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated events of the summer at Saratoga. This event, scheduled to be held Aug. 13-15, is for new and old racing fans alike and promises to be a cannot-miss event. The StarLadies will be sponsoring a Fashion Showcase Brunch in the Reading Room on Aug. 13 – join us!
3. Siro’s. It’s changed ownership a few times and may have lost some of its luster along the way but we still love a good 2 a.m. night/early morning spent with the revelers there. Love the piano man! (The outdoor patio is the happening spot right after the races but after dinner you need to hit the indoor bar.)
4. Walk the Avenue of the Pines loop at the Saratoga Spa State Park. Or, better yet, walk the trails. Just depends on your preference for asphalt paved path vs. pea gravel and dirt. Either way, you can’t go wrong. The lithium emitted from the Saratoga’s natural springs is alive and well at the park and you’ll just feel better for having spent some time there.
5. Putnam’s Market for lunch—carry out. Big sandwiches, hearty and healthy salads. There are some more decadent food items and pastries, too, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. And, best of all, the wine market is right next door.
6. Yoga at Rise Yoga & Movement at 422 Broadway. Justin and Camacha Wolfer are the owners and they are true Yogis. They live, breathe and teach yoga—without judgment for those who live, breathe and bet horse racing.
7. Lake George. I know, it’s not the track … but they don’t race on Tuesdays so, what the heck? Head to the lake and enjoy some time in the sun as opposed to simply baking in the un-air-conditioned setting that is Saratoga Race Course.
8. Morning training. Even without a racing license you can watch the horses train either from the Whitney Viewing Stand at the Oklahoma Training Track or the grandstand at Saratoga. You’ll be glad you did.
9. Have breakfast after morning training at The Horseshoe Inn, across the street from the track on Nelson. Rumor has it that they have the best chicken Philly sandwiches!
10. Check out the schedule at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). There is almost always something you’ve been dying to see!
11. Yoga at Hot Yoga Spot, 75 Woodlawn Ave. Really hot yoga. Ok, don’t go if you don’t like really hot yoga. But if you’re into the heat and sweating (let’s call it “detoxing” to make us feel better about those Saratoga nights) this is your spot.
12. Mio Posto. It was destroyed in a Thanksgiving fire last year, but now it's reopened in Albany. It’s still ah-mazing. Order off the chalk board menu, the printed menu, or tell Danny’s (chef/owner) wife, Heidi, what you want. They’ll hook you up. You heard it here first.
13. No trip to Saratoga is complete without a drink from the Big Red Spring. While it may not be the tastiest beverage you have while in town, it is tradition.
14. Fitness Artist. Are you noticing a trend here? Work out. Go to the races. Eat. Repeat. Not necessarily in that order. Fitness Artist is chock full of personal fitness instructors who will kick you a** in 30 minutes or so. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
15. Hattie’s fried chicken. This is the best friend chicken north of Tennessee and we may have even gotten a vegetarian or two to admit to this.
16. Tushita Heaven. Crystals and incense shop on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. If you’re into that sort of thing. (We are!)
17. Osteria Danny on Henry Street. Like Mio Posto, not easy to get in to so call ahead. Like two months ahead. Best. Italian. Food. Ever.
18. Visit the Native Dancer statue at Centennial Park which is located at the intersection of Union Avenue and Circular Street at the edge of Congress Park. Pay homage to a little bit of horse racing royalty. While you’re near Congress Park, visit the carousel and then toss a couple of coins in the fountain for good luck – you’ll need it later at the races!
19. Calling all runners – there are some fantastic running routes throughout the city. One of our partners enjoys taking a spin through Centennial Park and then heading down Union Avenue and looping back behind some of the stables.
20. The Wishing Well Restaurant is a local stalwart with a great happy hour, live piano music and lobster night on Thursdays!
21. Saratoga Lake – this is another great activity for a Tuesday afternoon. Rent a kayak, try your hand at paddle boarding or just hang out and enjoy the sunshine. You can even bring a Daily Racing Form with you and study for the next racing day.
22. Saratoga Day Spa – Located at 376 Broadway, get a facial with Julie Natale and you will feel like a new person.
23. Visit Yaddo – getting into the main house for a tour can be difficult so if it is open for an event or private tour, seize the opportunity and do it! Otherwise, the rose garden is a beautiful spot for a walk and reflection.
24. Saratoga Farmer’s Market – this farmer’s market is one of the best around, hands down. Stop by and pick up breakfast, lunch or some handmade local items.
25. Check out the Fasig-Tipton Sale. The prestigious yearling sale is held Aug. 7 and 8 this year, and it could be your chance to see the next big star of the sport before he or she makes it big.
About StarLadies Racing:
StarLadies Racing was founded in 2013 by Laurie Wolf and Barbara Lucarelli, two of the founding partners in Starlight Racing. The all-female partnership was represented by their first graded stakes winner, Eskenformoney, in 2016 and closed out the year with a 25 percent win percentage and a 67 percent in-the-money percentage. Learn more at www.starladiesracing.com.