Racing fans skip track for air conditioned OTB terminal

Posted at: 07/19/2013 6:31 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

ALBANY - Want to know who wasn't at the track? Lots of people, apparently. But that doesn't mean they missed out on the excitement of opening day. They just wanted to enjoy it, a bit more comfortably.

For many people, going up to Saratoga on opening day is a tradition. But with record breaking temps, they were happy to break that tradition.

To get in you had to pass through a turnstile many sat in the grandstand. Some people even wore hats. But this isn't Saratoga.

The summer place to be for many today wasn't the track at all. It was the OTB on Central Avenue in Albany. “It's 101 degrees, here you get track odds good food you sit down and relax, it's cool,” said one woman.

Cool, temperature wise, is one thing the track on its 150th opening day was not.

At the OTB there were no lines, cold drinks, comfy seats and, most importantly, air conditioning.

“It's nice cool relaxed, easy to get up to the machines and back,” said another woman. and they're off at Saratoga! All the excitement of the races. without the headache. It's a lot easier for me all bets may not have been winners, but the decision to play the ponies inside, was the one sure bet. “This is the best place, you can come over,” said a man.

There are seven restaurant and bars in Rensselaer and Albany counties that offer Off Track Betting.