Practically a lifelong racing enthusiast, my first visit to Saratoga couldn’t come soon enough.  My desire to attend was further heightened by Sean Clancy’s book that took you into the heart of all things Saratoga.  I devoured and savored that book in equal measure. 

And if there was ever a track that could live up to all the hype, Saratoga was it.  People far more talented at writing than I am have described the essence of this track better than I ever will, but it only took a handful of minutes, standing near the long path the horses walk to get to the paddock, to realize how truly unique this track is and to fall under its spell.  Nothing had prepared me for how unique it is: all the vendors around the track in tents, the jockeys walking through the crowds after leaving the track, being able to see all their silks lined up in colorful rows through the windows at the back of their quarters, not even being sure at first where the horses were going on their walk through the tree-lined path to the paddock…. At that time and later going through the backstretch, I could see why horses thrive here.  It’s probably as close to uncontained nature as they will get during their race careers. At times the trees were so thick, it almost felt like were in the woods.  Serenity, too, thrived there.

I know I will go back. There’s no question.  Aside from loving Saratoga (the track and the town, brief as my visit was), I have unfinished business: I haven’t yet made it to the racing museum or the morning workouts.  Yet  more than that, the track itself calls me back, as surely as if I too was called to the post.