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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

The Preakness...

...is this evening. The more I learn about the triple crown races, the more I appreciate saratoga.

First off, my sister goes down there every year to meet up with old college friends and spend a day at the races. That should be the first clue that something is wrong. My sister hates horse racing and she hates crowds. But the Preakness is not a horse race, it's a "spring break"-type party destination. Hmmm. A few more facts I have learned:

1) It costs $40 to get into the Preakness. Good lord. I almost fell out of my chair when i heard this. I know people around here who were mad when Saratoga tickets went from $2 to $3.

2) Pimlico is located in a crappy neighborhood...and it is not a particularly asthetically beautiful track. Of course, Saratoga is the exception (along with Churchill Downs) on both of the counts as opposed to the rule.

3) They open up the infield to spectators/partiers - which results in a crowd full of drunken college kids and a horrible visual background for anyone actually interested in watching the race live. My sister reported last year that they didn't even watch the Preakness.

Granted, Saratoga doesn't have a triple crown race. But it's dirt cheap to hang out there (even to go to the Travers), it's in an absolutely beautiful setting, and they've struck an excellent balacne between allowing people to do as they please with alcohol and not letting the picnic area turn into mardi gras.

Whenever someone starts moaning that the track has lost alot of its classiness or charm, all I have to do is explain the Preakness to set them straight.
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At 8:41 PM , Blogger Becky said:

Actually, I love horse racing and don't like the fact that you can't see anything from the infield at Preakness. Also, who ever said that I hate crowds?????    



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