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2/19 - 12/17



  The Other Saratoga !     

Saratoga HarnessSaratoga Harness Logo

Saratoga Raceway is a half mile harness track located in Saratoga Springs, roughly thirty miles north of Albany.  Opened in 1941, exclusively for night time harness racing, it was upgraded to a racino in 2004. Originally an open air facility, the grandstand and clubhouse were enclosed in 1965, as the racing season expanded. The grandstand holds 2,000, the clubhouse 1,700 which used to includes the Chariot's Restaurant. The facility parks 4,000 cars and the stables can hold about 1,000 horses. Saratoga Raceway is open year round for simulcasting and I think you can still get a mean deli sandwich in the upper grandstand area. In the eighties the computer room was in a glass enclosed area in the lower grandstand.        

Saratoga HarnessGrand Circuit Week

Saratoga Raceway was the third harness track to open for pari-mutual wagering in the state in 1941. Since that time it has had a couple of expansions and several name changes. Running both Grand Circuit and New York Sires Stakes races, many top drivers and horses have performed at the half miler. It was once given the handle of the worlds fastest half mile track. The great pacer Niatross lost one of his two lifetime losses when he fell over the hub rail and ended up in the infield. Fortunately he was unhurt and went on to continue his winning ways.

 In 2004 Saratoga Raceway was the first track in New York to take advantage of the new racino legislation. After years of decline this would help restore Saratoga Raceway back to it's glory days.

 I remember being a regular at Saratoga Raceway during the eighties, especially after Foxboro closed down. There was quite a contrast from those bitter January nights, to the refreshing August nights after a hot day across the street at the flats. Back in those days the playground was a safe place where you could leave your kids and the infield fountains were glowing brightly. It's been a while since I've been there for live racing, I stopped at the casino a time or two. I know the playground is long gone but don't know about the fountains?.