It's on Its way. Can you feel It? Does your heart beat a little faster, knowing that It's almost here, and with It, friends and colleagues whom you've not seen in a dog's age? Is the electricity in the air--the pure, raw energy of anticipation--making you smile a little more broadly? Are your Facebook notifications and invitations all geared toward It these days?
"It" is the Saratoga meet, graciously brought to life once again by the New York Racing Association, known around these-here-parts as simply, NYRA. Thoroughbreds--graceful, luscious ballet dancers with a swing in their steps--have been at the Oklahoma since April 15th, doing Plies and Arabesques, their sensual walk inspiring hopes of fortune and the intoxicating, heady experience of standing in the historic winner's circle.
What's making you giddy at the thought of July 23rd? What does Opening Day--and every day--of the Saratoga meet mean to you?
To some of us, it's the opportunity to picnic in the back, and teach our children about Thoroughbreds, and teach a four-year-old to handicap. The only racetrack in the country--in the world?--at which the horses actually walk through the yard, itself, past thousands of fans on their way to the Paddock and, perhaps, history books. That thought, alone, is all kinds of Beautiful.
To others, it's the opportunity to see their horses race for the first time, ever--and at Saratoga, for God's sake! Still others experience it as a way to make some extra cash: renting out houses and apartments; parking cars; working concession stands at the world's greatest and most thrilling, 40-day Annual Convention...