A Day At The Races

I was a guest of America's Best Racing for this event. All opinions are completely my own

It's hard to even to know where to begin on this one. I think this may be one of the longest posts ever, so just stay with me. There will be a lot of pictures of ponies and my fucking sweet hat so I'm sure you'll be fine.

I guess I'll start with my outfit. Cuz, let's be real. When an ambassador from America's Best Racing emailed me, it's the first thing I thought about. I decided on a dress and a pair of my favorite heels but those were just accessories. The main event was my hat/fascinator.

It was actually my grandmother's from when she went on her honeymoon! It only had white feathers but I added the green and pink so that they would match my dress perfectly. I think it came out pretty great!
The ride from Hartford to Saratoga wasn't shouldn't have been a long one but we went on the wrong highway. It's ok because it was still only about 2 1/2 hours away. 2 hours if you take the correct route. That's the same to Boston and less than NYC! And let me tell you, it's just as fun as either city.

As soon as we got off the exit, there seemed to be a buzz in the air. Maybe it was the traffic. Maybe it was the excitement. Maybe it was the day drinking happening near by. Regardless of what it was, it was infectious! I mayyy have done an "I'm super pumpedddd" dance in the passenger seat..

We walked up to the entrance gate to meet the ambassadors for America's Best Racing, who would be our hosts for the day. Kindaaa in love with the scene already. Flowers, gorgeous day, historic race track, awesome outfits and horses. UM. YES PLEASE ALWAYS.
We were met by Mary Frances, who could NOT have been cuter and she gave us our tickets and we were off! (that's racing jargon for we got started. SO GOOD AT THIS) She showed us to the Carousel Bar which was a legit carousel turned restaurant and bar. Cool as shit, I know. We ate some lunch, had a drink then Chip (who was an incredible host!) Took us down to the track.
At the track I was amazed at the different types of folks around. I mean I guess the closest thing to compare it to is a casino. There are incredibly well groomed, clearly wealthy attendants and on the other end of the spectrum, there were people in trucker hats, crop tops and jorts. Apparently you can bring coolers in. How great is that? Day at the races and BYOB. Duh. Better by the minute right?
We saw the first race of the day (there were 9 total!) on the monitors up in the Carousel Bar. The second race we watched from the rail. It was SO FUCKING COOL. I mean we were right there! I learned there are actually more than just the dirt track. Some of the races are run on turf which is just grass but weird right? Some horses are better on dirt, some on turf. Who knew?
After watching that race, the girls we were with and I decided to be more invested in the next few races. AKA we were gonna do some betting.

The first race I bet on, I picked the horse because I liked it's name. I can't remember what it was. Something along the lines of Dancing Princess I believe. Really tho. But I won nothing. Boo. I wasn't even that upset tho because cheering for your horse is really fun! It's like it's kindaaa yours for those 14 seconds.

After we all lost, we went back to the bar to "hydrate" and learn how to actually bet. Jose, another ambassador, taught me how. It looks SUPER complicated but it's not. Believe me, if I can figure it out, anyone can.
After placing my first bet, we went down into the paddock. If anyone reading knows riding horses, you'll be thinking big yard, fenced in, a few horses grazing. Naht a race track paddock. This is where the horse come to show off a bit. They walk around, impress betters, get saddled up and the jockeys hop on. We met some great people while in the paddock who definitely knew their stuff. There were jockeys, trainers, owners, buyers and us. Again, fucking cool. Side note: someone make me a business card cuz I totally got asked if I had one.   I don't.
After a tour around the paddock it was back to the track. We watched another race, and I won $20.50. NBD GUYS. I picked the winner. No one even helped!!
There was a lot more walking around, a lot more betting, a lot more cheering and then Chip asked if we wanted to meet a jockey. Um, well, YEADUH. We went to where the jockeys walked back from the race. We met Javier Castellano. He was the one who won me the money too (thanks budddd) He's made $12.8 million and won 21% of the races he's ridden in. B A N A N A S. He was super nice. And, of course, short. I feel if I wasn't wearing heels he'd still be taller than me. Maybe I should start training to be a jockey..
yeaa his eyes were closed. WHATEVS GUYS.
After the 9th race of the day it was almost time to call it quits. But before we did that, we went back to the America's Best Racing tour bus for some brewskis and bonding over puppy pictures.
It was super hard to leave, especially knowing the festivities would continue all weekend long! Saratoga is celebrating 150 years this year which is incredible. Also, fun fact, Chip told us that "Bill the Butcher" from Gangs of New York was based on the real guy who founded Saratoga!

I will definitely be making my way back to the races sooner rather than later. It was an incredible time and our hosts knocked it out of the park. Wrong sport but you get it. I have to say going to a race without them won't be the same but there is so much fun to be had I seriously doubt I'll stay away for too long. It's not a old rich white dude's sport anymore! In fact, my best friend's boyfriend had a group of college buddies at Saratoga that same weekend. They go every year! If you have a track near you, even if it's a bit of a drive you gotta go. At least try it out. Win a little cash even!

I will now end my novel of a post but I do want to send a big thank you to Chip and the other ambassadors and America's Best Racing. It was a day to remember and repeat for sure.

Be sure to follow along as they tour America's best race venues on twitter, instagram and facebook. They also have a whole website and blog that you guys should check out- find it here.

19 comments:

  1. First, you look so gorgeous and your dress is adorable. Second, when I drive my new ride up to visit your ass, we're going to a horse race!

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  2. Love the hat and dress. We go to the races a bit down here and it's such an experience.

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  3. THE HATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

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  4. this all looks so fun. and you look amazing in that dress and hat. I am jealous of your style skills. I am proud when I wear earnings let alone something as cute as that!

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  5. LOVEEEE your outfit and your hair looks amazing. I'm majorly jealous of this day haha

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  6. Hey!!! Great post!! I was lucky enough to join ABR tour in New Jersey a week before you were in NY! I had such a blast too. I love your blog I didn't know you we're a ct gal like me?! Reading your post made me really wish I'd taken the offer to join them in Saratoga too!
    I'll def join you next time you wanna go to the races!! I hear Belmont is a good track too!
    <3 Kallie, www.butfirstcoffeeblog.com

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  7. That looks so fun! When I lived in San Diego we went to the Del Mar race grounds a couple of times. It was always so fun!

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  8. I've always wanted to watch horse racing!! So fun! Would it be weird if I went to some no name race dressed like it was the straight up Kentucky Derby?

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  9. so jealous! i have been to churchill downs a few times and have loved it!

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  10. I would love this. I love me some horses. :D This would be great to go to. Lucky you.

    http://owlalwaysbeme.wordpress.com/

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  11. Cute outfit and that bar looks awesome!

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  12. I am so jealous! I wish I had known they were in Jersey too, I would have made Spencer take me and worn my fanciest hat!

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  13. So so fun!! And so jealous. I won't even begin to describe the horse races we have here because they are nothing amazing like that. And you were adorbs!

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  14. I am so freaking jealous! I love going to the races but haven't been in a few years. I definitely am ready to go to the track now :D I am the perfect size for a jockey, and I have a couple relatives that have run in the Kentucky Derby! But those horses are so tall, and pretty high strung.. and well I wouldn't want to hit the ground while riding one of them. They are absolutely gorgeous horses though!!

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  15. Well y'all two look gross adorable and I hate you. And your dress is gorgeous! Looks like lots of fun..kind of dying over how mini that jockey is!!

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  16. You look so great! I am going to Saratoga for a wedding Labor Day weekend and need to find an equally impressive outfit. I love it!

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  17. Because some people recognize horse racing as the Indian Horse Racing option available despite racing’s failure to market it that way. With an educated cheering, these fans get involved in the game. The races are more thrilling.

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It means a lot to get comments from you all, I read every single one!