The Saratoga Race Course is — as of this writing — slated to open for the season on July 16. Of course, 2020 might have other plans for horse racing. With the COVID-19 outbreak still impacting many parts of the country, our Saratoga community is waiting to hear if the track will be open to spectators this summer. In preparation, we plan to host a daily Saratoga watch party and stream the races live.
We simply don’t know what the future holds. If the meet does go forward in 2020, it could look very different. In the event the track is closed to fans this summer, we’re still going to enjoy the season in our own way.
This year, you’ll find us donning our favorite fascinator, mixing up a Saratoga Sunrise, and creating our own Saratoga magic.
Join us for daily Saratoga watch parties
That’s right, we’re hosting and hotel guests are invited! Throughout the meet on racing days, we’ll have our big screen tuned in to all the Saratoga action. We have ample space to mix, mingle, and maintain a bit of social distance, of course.
On Saturdays, we plan to raise the stakes in true Saratoga fashion. What’s in store? There will be gifts and surprise guest appearances, along with lunch and race-ready signature cocktails. We’ll also help you place your bets online. Win or lose, the revelry continues into the evening as we celebrate post-race on our open-air, wrap-around porch.
Watch this space for more details.
Stream the Saratoga horse races online
If joining us for our Saratoga viewing party is not an option, there are still a number of ways to watch the Saratoga races online.
Even in “normal” years, fans can always watch the races live on the New York Racing Association website. We also suggest tuning in to the official NYRA Facebook Page for more updates, as the race may be live-streamed there as well.
Since this year’s meet might be a very different event, expect to see other Saratoga horse racing live streams available through local networks or TV providers. We’ll update this blog post with the latest information as we see it!
Host a Saratoga viewing party at home
It’s hard to top the atmosphere on race day — but we’re sure going to try! Host your own Saratoga viewing party at home and get into the spirit with these festive tips.
Dress the part. As in, wear your afternoon best. Ladies, put on your pearls and your wide-brimmed summer hat. Gents, get out that bow tie and blazer. Just because we can’t see and be seen at The Stretch this year doesn’t mean we can’t look fantastic! (Plus, your yoga pants will still be there tomorrow.)
Sip a signature cocktail. The drink du jour at the track is a traditional Saratoga Sunrise, made with orange juice, vodka, and grenadine. If you have bourbon on hand, we also love a classic mint julep on race day!
Invite your friends. Gather friends and family to watch online together. There are all sorts of video conferencing tools available, like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. You could even organize a little informal betting pool between your group. You’ll be the host with the most in no time!
Make a virtual visit to the National Museum of Racing
Located opposite the Saratoga Race Track, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a must for fans. We’re also eagerly awaiting the completion of the museum’s renovation this summer! In the meantime, the museum still offers a few virtual ways to enjoy the tradition and history of thoroughbred racing.
Through the museum’s innovative Foal Patrol project, fans get an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the daily lives of some future Saratoga stars. Get to know this year’s magnificent mares by visiting the Foal Patrol website.
Get a taste of Saratoga
If you’re able to travel, we hope you’ll visit us in Saratoga Springs this summer and join our Saratoga watch party. Many of the most beloved local restaurants and shops are still open for business and would welcome your support.
If you’re craving a taste of the Track Shack’s famous fried chicken, don’t worry. You can still get your fix at Hattie’s original restaurant on Phila Street, which is currently offering takeout and curbside pickup.
In case you’d like to enjoy a bit of racing memorabilia at home, our neighbor Impressions of Saratoga is the go-to shop for Saratoga souvenirs. Browse their online collection of art, books, and even racing-themed gifts, all from home.