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Saratoga Springs, NY: The Perfect Summer Get-Away
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Saratoga Springs, NY: The Perfect Summer Get-Away

- On Location

Saratoga Springs, NY: The Perfect Summer Get-Away

Saratoga Website
and
Saratoga Thoroughbred Racing
Saratoga Racetrack
(Saratoga Racetrack Website)

Yaddo Mansion, Retreat, and Gardens
(Yaddo Website)

Congress Park and Canfield Casino
(Congress Park Website)

Saratoga Arms Concierge Hotel
(Saratoga Arms Website)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 10, 2004

References:
Post Parade Magazine (2003), The NY Racing Association, Inc.
Saratoga Springs in Yester Years (1973), Historical Society of Saratoga Springs.
Saratoga (1993), by Wheaton Coward, Jr., Coronet Press, Inc. and Michele Phillips.
Six Decades of Yaddo (1986), by John Cheever, Malcolm Cowley, Eleanor Clark, Alfred Kazin, Hortense Calisher, Gail Godwin, Yaddo Foundation.

Based on an August 2003 vacation and drawn upon many Saratoga Springs vacations.

August 24 26, 2003
Saratoga Arms Concierge Hotel
A Testimonial
(See Other Saratoga Arms Testimonials)

Saratoga Springs is a great get-away vacation, close to NYC, Boston, New Jersey, and most of New England. The perfect hotel in Saratoga Springs is Saratoga Arms, with its luxurious accommodations at reasonable prices. Of course high season is Thoroughbred Racing time, a little over one month in length at the end of the summer, and it's important to book your room early. Kathleen Smith and her staff of very attentive ladies serve elegant breakfasts, which can even be made to order. The tables are set in such a style to make one feel like royalty, with exquisite settings and wholesome and hearty foods.

At Saratoga Arms Concierge Hotel, you will have a large, white terrycloth robe to wear in your antique-filled guest room, while you watch your own television, listen to your own radio or CD player, or relax on a comfortable chair or settee. Downstairs, by elevator, if you wish, there is a wrap-around porch to observe the town of Saratoga Springs with all the fun nightlife, ice cream shops, wine bars, and flower-strewn sidewalks. Saratoga Arms even has a private parking lot.

When reserving a room at Saratoga Arms Hotel for July (SPAC, a day at the Lake, a day at Saratoga Spa, with mineral baths, healing waters, Yaddo, Congress Park, golf) or for August (Racetrack, SPAC, and many other sites, see Saratoga Website), tell the reception desk that you found them on RobertaOnTheArts.com. Tell them Roberta personally recommended them. I love this Concierge Hotel.

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August 24, 2003
Saratoga Racetrack

Saratoga Racetrack, built in 1863, is the oldest continuously operating thoroughbred racetrack and harkens back to the days of straw hats and bowties. This was the weekend of the famed Travers Stakes, and I arrived the day after Funny Cide lost. Yet, there was energy and thrill in the air at Saratoga Racetrack. I always stand in the Clubhouse (The grandstand is a bit less expensive, but not at all as lovely as the Clubhouse, with its "proper attire" dress code.) Upstairs you might even see the Whitneys or Governor Pataki, even an occasional star of stage or screen.

I like to place bets for horses to win, rather than to place (1st or 2nd) or show (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), so, if I do win, the profit is larger. On this day and the next, I placed bets for myself and for my 10 year-old niece (under the on-site betting age), Jessie, in Chicago by phone. Does that make me a bookie? Jessie bet mostly to show. Her two-day profit (no charge for bets) was $23.00. Not bad for the first time. My two-day profit was a bit less, and I paid for my own bets.

Outdoors and around the inside track, you can hear music, watch instant replays, buy pretzels, large Saratoga drinks, hot dogs, lunches, or gifts and horse prints. You can even attend handicap workshops or discussions about betting techniques, such as Exacta, Quinella, Trifecta, Pick Four, etc. Not being great in statistics or complicated math, I like to just bet to win. I bet on every race, preferring long shots, and choose the horses by name, sometimes betting on two/race. My bets are small, and two days of bets do not exceed $100.00. I have never lost more than $20.00 net and usually earn about $20.00, after my bets, but once won $200 on one race. The experience is so much fun, and the colorful jockeys in their silks, as well as horses taking off like dynamite through the starting gates create an exhilarating experience.

The traditional Bugle player stands near the Winner's Circle, and the nearby scale, where jockeys weigh in, is just inside front center fence, where I like to stand. I'm not one to sit on a chair during the race. Just sometimes in between. I check the odds on the screens and run to the betting windows in time to be back at the fence. If the horses are running on the inner turf, you can watch them on very large screens within the track and on numerous screens inside the clubhouse and around the track. There are even special enclosed booths upstairs for VIP's, with their own screens. However, I prefer peering over the front, center fence.

Saratoga Race Course
Between the Races
Around the Course
24-Aug-03
Photos by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Weekend of the Travers Stakes, Funny Cide Street
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course, A Tour
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
The Bugle Calls the Race
24-Aug-03
Photos by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


The Bugle Sounds
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




A Saddle is Weighed
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Horses Arrive
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Horses Arrive
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Horses Arrive
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Eyes on the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Winner's Circle
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Jockey is Weighed
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Big Screens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Starting Gate
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




They're Off
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




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August 25, 2003
Breakfast at the Track
Tour of the Barn Area, Paddock Show, and Starting Gate Demonstration
Saratoga Racetrack
After the Races Party at Siro's

Today I had breakfast at the track, served in the clubhouse, missing my Saratoga Arms gourmet breakfast for this standard buffet. It is served from 7AM till 9:30 AM, but the schedule gets tight, if you also want to take the tram tour of the backstretch of the track, with paddock show and starting gate demonstration. So, breakfast is early, but worth the effort, just once, for the experience. You can sit trackside, too, if you get there in time, or if the maitre d' likes you. The horses are warmed up early, and there are many a famous painting of the misty tracks with the day's racehorses picking up speed, as they warm their legs.

In the tour of the barn area, the guides show you the stables, the bathing areas, the horse trainers and hands, and they tell stories and facts about the amount of feed and hay, as well as methods for coping with sick or extra-spunky horses. Saddles and stirrups are described, and questions are invited, not ignored. The starting gate, with its tricky timing, as well as methods for enclosing recalcitrant racehorses are described, and one never knows what one might see, with the horses in warm-up and race preparation often unpredictable. We also saw the ponies and horses that keep the racehorses company in the backstretch and on the track.

Today was the second day of placing bets for Jessie and myself, and the staff at the ticket windows was, for the most part, quite congenial and patient. Yet, once a bet is placed and paid for, you own it. In the third race (out of nine), a 1 and 3/16 mile, mellow turf race, Jessie won on Music Way, horse #1, ridden by jockey, Edgar Prado (lead 2002 Saratoga jockey with 54 wins), in a bet to show. In the fifth race, a 1 and 1/16 mile, inner turf race, I won on #2, Hafta Conquer, horse #8, ridden by jockey, Richard Migliore, in a bet to win.

The after-racetrack party at Siro's was packed. Some of the guys from Ireland, who work at the track, pretended to be horse owners, carrying photos of the horses, and had a great opening line for unsuspecting women. There was live music outdoors, and Siro's also has an active party and dinner indoors. I purchased an original print of the horse, Seabiscuit, for Jessie, while at Siro's, and called her on the cell to analyze our winnings.

Saratoga Race Course
Breakfast at the Track
Backstretch Tour
Paddock Show and Starting Gate Demonstration
25-Aug-03
Photos by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Breakfast In the Clubhouse
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Watching Horses Warm Up
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Clubhouse Waitress
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Tour of the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Tour of the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Tour of the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Tour of the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Tour of the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Taking Care of Race Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Roberta on Tour
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Starting Gate Demo
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Visitors to the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Saratoga Race Course
Second Day Races
25-Aug-03
Photos by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Warmup of the Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Warmup of the Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Guests at the Track
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Bugle Call
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Cloudy Day Warmup
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




VIP Box
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




VIP Box
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Warmup of the Horses
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




VIP Guests
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Weighing of the Jockey
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Arrival of the Horses for the Next Race
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Arrival of the Horses for the Next Race
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Arrival of the Horses for the Next Race
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Arrival of the Horses for the Next Race
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Arrival of the Horses for the Next Race
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Arrival of the Horses for the Next Race
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Winner's Circle
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Winning Jockey
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Traditional After-Track Party at Siro's
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Party at Siro's
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Party at Siro's
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Party at Siro's
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Party at Siro's
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





August 26, 2003
Yaddo Mansion, Retreat, and Gardens
Town of Saratoga Springs
Congress Park, Historical Museum, and Canfield Casino

Over the years, on numerous lovely vacations and stays in Saratoga Springs, NY, I have found my way to Yaddo, a retreat for poets, writers, artists, performers, composers, and special guests, who look for quiet and privacy, as they initiate or complete a work in progress. In the early 90's, I was actually first in a very long line of guests, on the Yaddo lawn, who were allowed (once/century - first come, first serve) to enter the interior of the Yaddo Mansion to see the antiques, the chandeliers, and the public rooms where the artists in residence congregate.

Yaddo Mansion was built in 1893 by Spencer and Katrina Trask on a 500-acre estate. In 1900, Spencer and Katrina Trask formed The Corporation of Yaddo, and, since 1926, it has served as a retreat for artists in residence. The public is allowed onto the lawn and gardens, as well as onto the winding paths that lead into woodlands and ponds, from 8 AM till dusk, every day. Exquisite statues and staircases, archways and rock gardens, invite one to stay and contemplate. There are even a geyser and grape arbor, rose bushes and water lily pond. A few of the famous artists, who worked at Yaddo, were Truman Capote, Saul Bellow, and Aaron Copeland. See the Yaddo Website for a more complete list of resident artists.

Yaddo Retreat, Mansion, and Gardens
26-Aug-03
Photos by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Yaddo Mansion and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




The city of Saratoga Springs is famous and historical and will be discussed more in depth on future visits. Saratoga Springs is known, beyond the racetrack and gardens, for the natural healing waters in springs and fountains around town, for the natural mineral baths and spas, for the performing arts, and for the large historical mansions along Broadway that still reign majestically and mysteriously. Downtown Saratoga Springs still holds court to famous old hotels and original city buildings, plus the renowned Caffe Lena coffee house.

Congress Park, still housing the Canfield Casino used by Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell, was originally created in 1842 with a bandstand and later a World War I Memorial. The Casino is still furnished as it was in 1871, a gambling house. Richard Canfield purchased it in 1894, and the city bought it in 1911. The Historical Society of Saratoga Springs built a museum with a restored home upstairs in the Casino. The grand parlor and ballroom of the Casino are now rented for private parties and events.

Take a trip to Saratoga Springs (See Saratoga Website for directions and travel options). Reserve a room early at Saratoga Arms Concierge Hotel for the most comfort and warm hospitality, and be right in town, walking distance to almost all the attractions, including a short walk to the Saratoga Racetrack. Kathleen Smith and staff will welcome you royally. Don't forget to mention RobertaOnTheArts.com.

However, in between visits to Saratoga Springs, NY, you can watch the racetrack and other sports on multiple screens, in NYC, while dining in a traditional, Irish pub, with an extensive, hand-carved bar and the best drinks in town at Triple Crown Ale House and Restaurant.

Congress Park, Canfield Casino-Historical Museum, and Town of Saratoga Springs
26-Aug-03
Photos by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Canfield Casino-Historical Museum
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Congress Park
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Craft Fair
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Craft Fair
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Craft Fair
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Carousel
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Skidmore College
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Town of Saratoga Springs
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Town of Saratoga Springs
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Town of Saratoga Springs
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Town of Saratoga Springs
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Town of Saratoga Springs
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Town of Saratoga Springs
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Sharon Arpey of Skidmore College, Office of Special Programs
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




Roberta at the Adelphi Hotel
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net