Saratoga Springs, New York
Playing the ponies at the track.

From the March 24, 2003 Issue of New York

Saratoga is about three things: horses, horses, and horses. The Thoroughbred meet at the famed Saratoga Race Course is one of the sport’s premier events (not to mention a first-rate human spectacle), made all the more special by its brevity—it runs for just six weeks, from July 23 to September 1 this year. Wealthy socialites turn out in floral sundresses and seersucker suits to sip mimosas in private boxes. The unwashed masses crowd the rail, downing Bud drafts in tube tops and wife-beaters. Pretty much everyone curses like an Osbourne when, invariably, his horse doesn’t come in. Stay at the Georgian-style Gideon Putnam, set in grassy Saratoga Spa State Park, for a taste of grand, turn-of-the-last-century hotel tradition. Book a table at Brindisi’s, a thirties-style Italian bistro with worn prints of Manhattan landmarks and the best Cosmos in town. Still think you can pick a winner? From May to October, Saratoga’s harness-racing track is open at night.
— Aaron Rasmussen

Amtrak (800-USA-RAIL) runs from Penn Station to Saratoga Springs (a three-and-half-hour ride); Gideon Putnam Hotel (from $190 May 1–July 22; from $335 July 23–August 31; 800-732-1560); Saratoga Race Course (518-584-6200); Brindisi’s (518-587-6262).
Related Stories on New York Metro
Strategic Retreats (July 17, 2000)

Related Websites
Saratoga Chamber of Commerce - Official Saratoga County guide.
New York Racing Association - Saratoga Springs Racetrack information. - Outdoor information: camping, hiking, and family picnics.

Photograph: Corbis