A Saratoga experiment, to “see if it will catch on”

“Mr. Morrissey deserves great credit for the excellent manner in which the whole detail of his attractive entertainment is managed.”

So wrote an approving reporter in the Aug. 4, 1863, edition of the Daily Saratogian, following the first day of the inaugural racing meet in the village of Saratoga Springs. Visitors to the little track on the north side of Union Avenue − not the south side, where the track currently lies − saw two races that day. The first comprised three one-mile heats and was won by Lizzie W. The second was won by Sympathy, and both horses came back to race again in the four-day meet. Seven of the eight winners were trained by Bill Bird, an 88 percent win rate that even Todd Pletcher couldn’t dream of seeing at Saratoga.

Continue reading at the Daily Racing Form

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