Sojourn in Saratoga

Cory and Natalie Reinert at Saratoga

Racetrack types.

It’s hard to believe that Labor Day has come and gone, September is here, and school is about to start for Calvin. (For one thing, it’s 90 degrees outside.) But the locusts are singing in the linden trees and another Saratoga season is in the books, so this is it, folks. This is fall.

(And I’ll brook no arguments about fall beginning on September 22nd or whatever. September 1st is the beginning of meteorological fall, and I’m all about meteorology.)

We caught a train to Saratoga Springs for a few days before the season ended, thank goodness. Add in our Del Mar trip back in July and we are feeling pretty accomplished about hitting the Del Mar/Saratoga exacta. Two of the most beautiful racecourses in America, and yet nearly opposite in setting and composition — it made for a wonderful contrast.

Saratoga Starting Gate

A view from the backside. Saratoga.

I have a few blog posts about Saratoga floating around in the Internets, so I won’t write another here. You can visit Equestrian Ink: Writers of Equestrian Fiction for “Images from Saratoga,” a photo post with some of my favorite scenes from around Saratoga, both at the races and in town. And over at my Disney/travel/family blog, That Dis Family, I’ve written a short primer to visiting Saratoga, whether you’re horsey or not.

Saratoga is where Cory and I sat down and brainstormed the story that would become Other People’s Horses. As a muse for an equestrian writer, you don’t get many places as perfect as Saratoga. We even talked to Talk of the Track about writing, equestrian fiction, and retired racehorses, and you can watch the video at my Facebook page. I myself haven’t watched it, but I do recall that I did not cry or run away, so I guess for my on-camera debut I’m doing pretty well.

Did we come up with any new stories during this year’s sojourn in Saratoga? A few new ideas — the daily inspiration that comes from sitting at a picnic table along the backstretch, from playing with a pony, from listening to the thrum of hoofbeats on a racetrack. It was really two days after our return, watching the Travers Stakes and talking to a few people on Twitter about the tremendous finish, when I realized that I had a wonderful new story idea.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Visit: “Images from Saratoga” at Equestrian Ink

Visit: “Outside Disney: The Real Saratoga Springs, NY” at That Dis Family

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