“Like It Was Always There…”

At left, the new 1863 Club’s copper roof glistens in the afternoon sun. Photos by Cathy Duffy

1863 Club Opens

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A new era – faithful to the traditions of the past – began yesterday, July 9, at Saratoga Race Course. The opening of the comfortable, three-floor, amenity-filled “The 1863 Club” will offer racing fans attending the 2019 meet a new level of luxurious experience.

NYRA CEO and President David O’Rourke welcomes guests and media to The 1863 Club.
Views of the home stretch from the third floor balcony at The 1863 Club

Located on the Clubhouse turn, the 1863 Club is a 36,000-square foot building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. In addition to the three floors of usable space for guests, the building will be equipped with a full-service kitchen. The 1863 Club is named in honor of the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August, 1863.

While the furnishings and decor are state-of-the-art modern, the various photographs and artifacts displayed on the interior walls are stirring reminders of Saratoga Racecourse’s long and storied history…

This photograph shows Upset besting Man o’ War in the Sanford Stakes on August 13, 1919 – a major building block in developing Saratoga’s reputation as the “Graveyard of Champions”.
Harry Payne Whitney

By far the most striking feature – in a building laden with striking features – is the second-floor bridge/walkway – linking The 1863 Club to the original clubhouse…

… and by extension, you can now walk down one aisle from The 1863 Club, through clubhouse and grandstand, all the way to The Stretch, another amenity-laden area, which was opened last year. You never know who you might bump into along this path!

We overheard quite a few people remark that the walkway and the overall structure itself looked “… like it was always there.”

Which, given the context, is the finest compliment this building could receive. Enjoy the gallery.

All reservations for the 1863 Club will be processed through the NYRA Box Office by phone at (844) NYRA-TIX. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit www.nyra.com/Saratoga

Arthur Gonick – July 10, 2019

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