Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ready for Opening Day

Like a kid looking forward to Christmas Day, these couple of days before Opening Day at Saratoga Race Course are filled with a mix of anticipation, impatience and anxiety. It will be hot for sure. Many are already wondering if the track will close if indeed it hits the Upper 90's.

Funny how memories fade about the last time the Track had to close for heat. Most people can't remember the date and of course the recollections of the temperature high for the day are all over the map.

The date was August 02, 2006, a Wednesday. As a midweek card with no graded stakes the decision to close was far more easier than it would be for Opening Day this Friday. The decision was made relatively early, around 9 a.m. The forecast was for temperatures to approach 100 degrees, although the actual high temperature around Saratoga that day was 94 degrees. The humidity was oppressive, with humidity levels around 75%. Compare that to today where it hit about 90 degrees in the Saratoga region but humidity was only around 60%. It will be uncomfortable for sure this Friday at the track, but not as humid as cancellation day in 2006 and expect the gates to be open for business come Friday morning.

In addition to the racing card, I will be interested in checking out the streamlined food stands. In an effort to open up the walking space a bit, many of the food vendor stands have been eliminated, including a centralization of the lemonade stands. Hard to imagine the Spa without the ever present lemonade stands. There were 27 lemonade stands throughout the facility, most staffed by friendly high school and college students. Let's hope the new locations for the lemonade can be easily spotted come Friday.

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