From Floundering To Flourishing: How Saratoga Developed Into ‘The Summer Place To Be’

 

One of the most anticipated race meetings in the country will get underway Friday when Saratoga Race Course kicks off its 153rd season. Every year racing fans from across the country make the pilgrimage to upstate New York to see some of the best horses compete in some of the country's most prestigious races.

However, as Bob Ehalt points out in his most recent column for Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, things were not always that way for the historic facility.

“As much as picturesque Saratoga Race Course is hailed today as the nation's most popular and beloved racetrack, there was a time some 50 years ago when the Spa was not even the No.1 track in its own state,” writes Ehalt.

So what changed? Several factors have contributed over the years to the transformation of Saratoga from a track with a “rickety old clubhouse and no air conditioning” into the “crown jewel of American racing.” Probably the most important reason for Saratoga's success is actually one person – Marylou Whitney.

“Marylou was very involved in maintaining the image of Saratoga as great place to live in or visit,” said Joe Dalton, a resident of Saratoga Springs and a good friend of Whitney's.

“She was always one of the best promoters of Saratoga. She did a lot to create an image of class for Saratoga that started to come into full effect in the mid-1970s. She didn't do it by herself, though. There were hundreds of Saratogians also involved in it. It was a total community effort.”

Read more in Thoroughbred Racing Commentary

The post From Floundering To Flourishing: How Saratoga Developed Into ‘The Summer Place To Be’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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