Backstretch Gives You A Front Row Seat for the Real Race Meet
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The old, historic red-and-white Racecourse takes a beating – on Friday, Saturday and Sunday particularly – when it appears the “Watching Where I Am Walking Is Against My Religion” convention is back in town again…
Monday’s are a lot nicer. A day of healing and recovery before a dark day of rest. The beginning of calm, before the next weekend’s storm wave.
Monday’s – more oxygen for both human and equine creatures. Sign me up.
But I want something more. Actually, something less… and so i make my way…
…around the far turn…
And for me, no matter what kind of day I am having, it can’t help starting to get better.
Now, don’t get me wrong – i’m not trying to tell you that I discovered anything new here. This is not one of those ‘scoops’ that journalists are supposed to crave. This is a time-honored tradition at a Racecourse of time-honored traditions, and yet I find it remarkable that many race lovers have never poked around here. They do tours of the backstretch in the morning, and I consider the access I get to it during the race day to be the best part of my media credential.
This only makes sense.
Gee, would I rather sweat my kischkas off in your clubhouse box or hang here? Where there always seems to be a breeze…. Hmmm….
And lest you think that this is only some proletarian rant – the horse owner / sportsman that I met for the first time sitting next to me at our picnic table (no reservations required) both fell in love with #6 (above) in the fourth race. I called him Mr. BigBlack, though his real name is Joopster. Well, Joopster wired the field of maiden claimers under Irad at 5 1/2 – paying a respectable $6.70… and yes, you can bet back here – which Mr. Owner did and I did a little. Like I said, a day getting better.
Oh BTW, that same $6.70 goes a long way towards paying for your lunch – which in my case today was a 5-buck cheeseburger that can make Shake Shack cry at any price, and – wait for it – a $2.25 Bud, which makes every other bar at the Racecourse weep!
I rest my case with the same ease that i rest my legs on my front-row picnic table.
Guess where i’ll be today?
August 7, 2017