The Buildup

Tomorrow’s the big day! Here’s a recap of my latest adventures…

The good news is that I made it to Saratoga! The better news is that tomorrow is opening day. And the bad news…? Honestly, there really is no bad news, except for the impending doom of being a college senior and having to figure out where I want to go with my life.

But I won’t think about that now, because did I mention tomorrow is opening day at Saratoga?!


View of the expanse where the Battle of Saratoga took place

As my mom I pulled off of Interstate 87 on Sunday and drove into Saratoga Springs, a strange sense of nostalgia washed over me. Time passes so quickly, but our recognition of places we love and fond memories we hold have this strange way of making you feel like not a single day has gone by. The scary part is that the vividness of this mental connection can make other things feel like they never happened. My last semester at NDSU might as well have been years ago, along with my travels to Kentucky for the Keeneland January sale, my visit to New York and not to mention 4 phenomenal months in Chile.

But here I am back in Saratoga, and it’s almost as if I never left.

Back to meetings at the trackside kitchen to converge with The Saratoga Special crew, interviews with fellow racing fanatics and chasing behind trainers in golf carts to find out when certain horses are going to train.


We found this big guy at the fair

So what have I been up to since you last heard from me (aside from chasing golf carts)? Well a very VERY long drive, for starters. Our route took us straight through Minnesota and up through the northern part of Wisconsin, where we encountered a 140-something mile detour due to the incredible amounts of rain and severe road washouts in and around the Ashland area. But we bounced up to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and onward into Canada, where we saw lots of trees and my first real phone booth!

A few dive-y motels later and we found ourselves in New York, where we hiked in the Adirondack Mountains and stayed in a secluded mountain lodge with a hot tub that we found for dirt cheap on Air BnB (it was a total steal!). North and east we went, crossing from Plattsburgh into Vermont where we hiked Snake Mountain, on top of which sits the foundation of an old hotel that burned down in the 1920s (plus an amazing view).

And then suddenly we were in Saratoga!!! My mom and I, being the wild, adventurous women that we are, went paddle boarding and got caught in a fast moving storm, which was actually quite scary – but don’t worry, we were rescued and I lived to tell you this tale! For the next few days we played it a bit safer, eating pizza and ice cream, visiting the Saratoga County Fair and hiking the historic Saratoga battlefields.

Basically it was awesome.


Dacita on the track this morning

Fast forward to yesterday and today. Within 24 hours I’ve watched Exaggerator (Preakness Stakes winner) train on Clare Court (Google ‘Clare Court Saratoga’ and you won’t be disappointed), Creator (Belmont Stakes winner) being ponied, walked past Keen Ice (who beat American Pharoah last year) chillin in his stall — no pun intended — interviewed Chad Brown and watched my favorite Chilean mare, Dacita, train for this Saturday’s Grade 1 Diana Stakes.

Saratoga’s back, so hold on to your hats folks ’cause here we goooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

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