"Headed down the backstretch..."

horse and jockeyThe Saratoga Race Track, located in Sarasota Springs, New York, is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. The track was built in 1863 and was rated as Sports Illustrated's #10 sports venue of the 20th Century. Each year from late July through early September, equestrian enthusiasts gather for 40 days of racing on the famous track.

Originally built by John Hunter and William R. Travers, Sarasota has been home to the Travers Stakes, the oldest major thoroughbred race in the U.S., which is a very popular race every summer.

The track is also known as the “Graveyard of Champions” because of the numerous upsets that have happened throughout history. For example, Man o’ War lost after a 21-start streak, Secretariat lost after winning the Kentucky Derby, and Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 longshot Jim Dandy in the 1930 Travers Stakes.

Admission to the grandstand is $3 and clubhouse seats are just $5. Children under age 12 are admitted free with parents or guardian, making this a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to a true piece of Americana. For more information about hours of operation, parking, costs, maps and more, click here.

There are also several days this season on which Saratoga Race Track is offering promotions. Listed below are the 2011 promotions:

  • Sunday, July 31 – Saratoga baseball cap
  • Sunday, August 14th – Saratoga short-sleeve tee
  • Sunday, August 21st – Saratoga duffle bag
  • Sunday, September 4th – Saratoga long-sleeve tee