Like most experiences in life, if you try something once and it isn't pleasant--you're not eager to try it again. A day at the races is a wonderful, magical experience--if you have a little heads-up about activities and events. It can be very confusing to step foot onto the grounds of a Thoroughbred racetrack for the first time--and we want to alleviate some of that angst, right out of the gate.
Now, the first thing you should understand is that, in the world of Thoroughbred racing--every single day of a race meet is a Major Sporting Event.
Unlike other major sports--say, football or baseball--the meet at a racetrack is a daily event (or nearly daily) for an extended period of time. A football team may have a game once a week during their season. Not so with Thoroughbred racing! Consider this: racing happens somewhere in the United States 364 days a year. To my knowledge, there's no Christmas racing.
Let's use the Saratoga Race Course as our example: the
Well. Like football--or perhaps more so--racing is a very complicated sport. It's not an endeavour for the frail-of-heart. And I mean being a fan! There's a lot to learn about handicapping and pedigree, for example. (And don't worry--we intend to help you learn all those things here in Racing 101 over the next several weeks.)
But the first thing you need to learn--the thing that will help you have a blast on your first day, and inspire you to return day after day--the key element to enjoying a day at the races is--calm down...