Since I was a little kid Saratoga Race Track has been a part of my life. My Grandmother lived on Nelson Avenue and used to rent her place out to a trainer or jockey for what then was the month of August. She and my Grandfather would leave town and go to Vermont for the month. Normally the rest of the year, especially at Thanksgiving, when we visited my Grandparents (big all day trip from Schenectady to Saratoga) we’d usually take a walk around the track grounds. As time went on, two of my sisters were very much into horses. At least once every year the entire family would get up early, have breakfast at the track, visit the Racing Museum, and then spend the day watching the races.
My dad would never wager. What he loved was the clam chowder at the concession stand. We’d go to the track for many years and saw some amazing horses run. Secretariat in “72 (The Hopeful), and ’73 (after winning the Triple Crown Secretariat lost to a horse named Onion in the Whitney). “Thoroughly Thoroughbred”, “The August Place to Be”. I started working at PYX 106 33 years ago, and I can’t think of a year when we didn’t broadcast live from the track especially on opening day. Those were some very entertaining broadcasts.
There were a couple of times when I’d do Classic Café live from the Track, located in the picnic table area, and would always be ordered to turn the volume down so no one would miss the call of the race. I’m writing this today, Opening Day 2020, at a time when none of us can go to the track. There is even a barrier set up around the track! Like so many other things, this is truly surreal. In the ongoing list of things we have never seen before, this certainly is high on the list. If my Dad was still alive he’d be missing his chowder for sure. Do you have some Track Memories?