The Saratoga Race Course is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and the upstate destination has plenty of summer festivities on and off the track to mark the occasion. NY1's Travel reporter Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
One might not bet on it, but a popular trifecta at Saratoga Race Course this summer just might be 1-5-0. This summer marks the sesquicentennial of the upstate, Victorian-style race track.
"It's just a wonderful way to celebrate, 150 years is a big number," says a visitor.
"It's horse racing through the years, it's this this wonderful community, all these different elements that make it very special," says Rodnell Workman of the New York Racing Association.
Once a playground strictly for the elite, Saratoga Race Course has over the years gotten off its high horse.
"Now when you come and look in our backyard, it's everybody, it's family, it's kids, it's grandma, it's mom and dad, it's buddies, it's girlfriends, it's all of that," Workman says.
A traditional way to start the day at Saratoga is with breakfast on the Clubhouse Porch, watching the horses do their morning workouts.
"We like it because we are right next to the paddock, get to see the horses, and we're in the shade," says a visitor.
Off-track, a historic anniversary event takes place August 2, with the Floral Fete, an old-fashioned parade of hand-decorated carriages, bicycles and wagons culminating with a free ice cream social.
"You are really stepping back in history... when you come to Saratoga to see what things were like, you know, in 1863," says Charles Wait of the Saratoga 150 Committee.
There is only one way to top off a trip to Saratoga, and that's with millinery madness.
"I put Styrofoam around it and I decorated it with ribbon to make it look like a carousel. And I put horses around it to make it look like the racetrack," says one girl wearing a handmade hat.
The Saratoga 150 celebration lasts through the end of September. For more information, visit saratoga150.com.