At the Spa: NY's Saratoga marks 150 years of thoroughbred racing with events, festivals
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Saratoga Springs' racetrack opened a month after the Battle of Gettysburg and it's still going strong as it marks its 150th anniversary this summer.
The track is the centerpiece attraction in a town that's also known for mineral springs, Victorian charm and upscale hotels, shops and restaurants.
The first horse races were held there Aug. 3, 1863. Over the next 150 years, Saratoga's racing season became part of America's sporting and cultural fabric, attracting everyone from blue-bloods to gangsters. It remains America's most successful racetrack and oldest sports venue. It draws visitors from around the world to catch the races while soaking up the city's other charms.
The 150th anniversary is being marked with events including concerts, exhibits and festivals. The racing season begins July 19 and end Labor Day.