The time to arrive at the race track in Saratoga, N.Y., is 7 a.m. Actual racing won’t commence until 1 in the afternoon, but at 7 you can enjoy a blueberry muffin, strawberries, and coffee beside the track as long-time commentator Mary Ryan describes the passing show…which is horses.
After breakfast in the cool of the recent morning when I visited Saratoga for the first time in almost 20 years, I left the track, crossed the street, and found myself in the barn area with the horses that had just worked. There I encountered a fellow who’d been motoring between the barns in a golf cart. It turned out he had considerable experience at the races.
“I’m 84 years old, and I’ve been training horses for a long time, and I’ve been to Saratoga since I was 17. Not every year, but that was the first time I came here,” Allen Jerkens said.
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