From Viña del Mar to Saratoga

Lifeless brown leaves crackled under the weight of feet on the grey cobblestones of the Valparaíso Sporting racetrack paddock in Viña del Mar, Chile. Their dying colors contrasted with bright red, yellow and pink pompoms braided into the manes of Chilean Thoroughbreds, leaving their saddling stalls to stride around the ring. I leaned against the paddock rail, scrutinizing the foreign race program and glancing up at Thoroughbreds walking past.

Trabajaste en Saratoga? – you worked in Saratoga?” a man in a baggy tee shirt asked me in Spanish as he walked by, racehorse in hand. Word had spread that the United States exchange student girl who hung around the track every Wednesday had worked at Saratoga Race Course in New York. Continue reading

Angles of Saratoga

I’ve barely settled into being home and I’m off again!

Time to head back to one of the greatest places on Earth for lovers of horse racing, as tomorrow I depart for beautiful Saratoga Racecourse. I’m loaded down with three times the amount of clothes and shoes that I brought with to Chile, so I do believe I’m prepared! This years pilgrimage east will take me through Canada, Vermont and the Adirondacks of New York.

Great things lie ahead in the upcoming days of racing, with the impending arrival of champion filly Songbird for the Coaching Club American Oaks, a rematch between the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes winners Exaggerator and Creator in the Jim Dandy, and the return of my favorite Chilean filly Dacita in the Diana.

To kick things off, here’s a wee glimpse down memory lane at the Saratoga season of last year…