Aug 17th 2011 09:55 pm |
My annual trip to Saratoga was a bit of a whirlwind this year. My buddy Chad and I could only make it for two days but we definitely made the most of it. In addition to two full days at the track we went to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday morning and the New York bred sales on Saturday night.
We upgraded our accommodations this year. The Super 8 in Glens Falls had its advantages over camping — although the list of these advantages is by no means extensive. Gene of Equispace and Buffalo News fame gave me the tip on the Super 8 after our first hotel choice was quite possibly the worst hotel in North America. The next time the person at the front desk offers a discount before I even see the room, I will know to run for the hills.
We packed a lot in a few days. Chad cashed a big ticket on Friday, and we both took advantage of the new Saratoga beer prices. I had my first run-in with a Shake Shack burger and have to say it tasted pretty darn good. As always, I saw some old friends and met some new ones. Our buddies Matt and Teresa of the original Gambling Tree Gang were a blast to hang out with in the Paddock Bar — the best place to be at the old Spa. While we heard many good stories over the weekend, Chad was thoroughly impressed by Mike MacAdam’s story about meeting Joe Strummer of the Clash — so thanks for that one, Mike.
As usual, a trip to the Lyrical Ballad bookstore left me a little lighter in the wallet. Lyrical Ballad is, hands down, the best bookstore for horse racing but I was a little disappointed when I saw how they were selling the collection (or at least part of the collection) of a prominent Thoroughbred photographer. The images were being sold individually at prices that ranged from $25 to $125 each. Sad that a collection such as this did not end up elsewhere instead of being broken up and sold as individual pieces. From my perspective as a researcher and historian, this collection is more valuable as a group and should be available in a public library or archive for all to enjoy. I certainly don’t blame Lyrical Ballad for making a buck, but I couldn’t help feeling a little sick as I thumbed through this important collection of images, knowing they would soon be scattered in many directions and hidden away in private spaces.
I’m taking the week off from the history research but will be back and better than ever next week. Here are a few pictures I took of my big Spa weekend:
Thank for reading and good luck!