Re: Just a Few Saratoga Summers Ago (397 Views)
Posted by: skitimber
Date: May 23, 2021 10:27PM
Yes the social component is important but when it feels tougher and tougher to get a fair shot, it just isn't as enjoyable. Living in NY, I went to every Belmont Stakes from '74 (missed Secretariat by a year) through 2002 and out to Belmont at least a dozen Saturday's a year. The cost of a great seat at Belmont for all (or just about all) those years, including the Belmont stakes, was $1.50 and though I might not come out ahead, I had some nice winners and was competitive on many of my solid picks. Even if I went out alone, it wasn't long before there were a few of us enjoying the day together, all sitting right above the finish line on the 3rd floor. Many of those people are likely gone now, as I was one of the younger players, and the "game" doesn't seem to care that they only get younger people now on big days, or sitting in the clubhouse eating steak or lobster on a once a year outing, Along with less camaraderie (far smaller crowds will do that!), it feels as if the game is stacked against the little guy while in the past it was stacked against the unknowledgeable.
I still bet the Derby and Breeders Cup, but the number of days I get interested has gone down little by little year by year to now just 2-4. Being young was a lot more fun than being old, but I thought racing was something I'd be enjoying just as much if not more later in life. Sad to say, I'm not.