Celebrating on the Eve of the Saratoga Racing Season

Posted at: 07/19/2013 12:31 AM
Updated at: 07/19/2013 12:32 AM
By: Dan Levy

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Trying to predict the Saratoga Springs shopping season is like trying to handicap a race horse; past performances county, but sure things are hard to find.

As the racing season gets underway in the Spa City, business owners on Broadway become eternal optimists.

"I think everyone in town, we could sure use (a boom in business)," said Mare Barker, owner of Impressions of Saratoga Gift Shop, "'We've been very lucky, but we've felt the economy and the challenges that everybody else faces."

Barker, whose run the family retail business with her husband for 35 years, says she's especially looking forward to this summer since it marks the 150th anniversary of racing in Saratoga Springs.

At Lillian's Restaurant, the importance of the summer racing season can never be overstated. Between now and September, owner Ray Morris expects to dish out 30% of his business for the entire year.

"We wait for this all year long," Morris said, "This is icing on the cake for us. We really enjoy the month of August and the end of July and the beginning of September as well."

If the racing season is about to begin, it IS a sure bet that people will show up at Siro's Cup, a fundraising event that has raised millions of dollars for the Center for Disability Services.

"This really is the Center's Christmas Eve," says Anne Schneider Costigan, of the CDS, "This partyh as been claimed as the unofficial opening of the Saratoga Race Course and we're happy it continues."

Also if the Saratoga Racing meet is about to begin, it's also a sure bet that the First Lady of Saratoga, Marylou Whitney, will be in her glamorous glory.

"Every time the Saratoga Meet opens, it's the most exciting day of my life," said Mrs. Whitney. "With the horses, all the beautiful people, the excitement, and the parties; I love Saratoga!"

Post time is set for 1:00 P.M. Friday.