Saratoga community gears up on eve of track’s Thursday opening day

[anvplayer video=”5184947″ station=”998132″]

The Saratoga Race Course opens for the 2023 season on Thursday. This is the 155th racing season at the track. The theme of the season is “Celebrate Saratoga.”

“I think our expectations are high. Advanced bookings at hotels are really strong. Advanced bookings for tickets – both at SPAC and at the track – are strong, as well,” said Todd Shimkus, with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. “We need the weather to cooperate, and we’re going to have a really big summer.”

Events leading up to the big day included a window decorating contest between some retailers on Broadway.

“The best part of the window decorating contest is just bringing pieces of the track celebration into our downtown,” said Deann Devitt, with the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association. “We get to celebrate people coming into town, and also show exactly what our businesses are.”

There was also a big statue and plaque being unveiled outside the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The statue represents five Hall of Fame members.

“We are thrilled to have been given the ‘Against All Odds’ statue from Churchill Downs, Inc.,” said Cate Masterson, the museum’s director. “It was at Arlington Park in Chicago and it just shipped here and arrived on Monday.”

There will be a big opening day celebration on Thursday night on Broadway. It begins at 6 p.m. near Division Street. There will also be a second set of entertainment near the parking garage by Flat Rock Park.

Take a look at some of the sights and sounds in the city as people prepared for the big opening day by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.

NewsChannel 13 will have team coverage of opening day, starting at 5 a.m., and throughout the day on Thursday on our newscasts, and on