A few weeks ago, when I compared Diva Day at Belmont with Women’s Day at Saratoga, commenter John S. responded with the following:
Might I suggest “Men’s Day”? A long table, right next to the bar, where I can
buy a variety of after shaves, cigars, porn mags, power tools, handguns, fishing
rods, handcrafted whiskies and also meet the Bud Girls. — John S.
Well, either John works for NYRA or he’s prescient, because in my latest edition of On the Lead, the NYRA newsletter, I came across the following:
Men’s Day will be a classy celebration on Saturday, August 9 and Sunday,
August 10. There will be a myriad of prestigious vendors lined up outside of
the Jockey’s Room area to display their wares, including hand-rolled cigars,
fine men’s clothing, Cartier watches, men’s jewelry, and much more. And
don’t forget about the Habana girls, whose smiles will certainly brighten
A few items down in the newsletter, we have:
The ladies will dominate the day on Wednesday, August 13 as Saratoga Race Course
hosts its 3rd annual Women’s Day Expo. Women will have the opportunity to peruse
products related to ladies’ health and lifestyle in the Saratoga backyard. The
racing action that day also features the girls, as the nation’s top 2-year-old
fillies will contest the Adirondack (GII).
At the risk of appearing to take all of this more seriously than I really do, I can’t help observing that the men get two days (and weekends at that—shades of the Breeders’ Cup?), while the women get one weekday; the men get cigars and pretty girls, while the women get “health and lifestyle”; the men get “prestigious vendors,” while the women get “products.” And just where, exactly, are our Habana boys?
One could certainly argue that Women’s Day is a far more sensible and useful idea than the blatant pandering of Men’s Day(s), and at least there is the tenuous connection to racing in choosing to hold Women’s Day on the day of the Adirondack. But in terms of marketing, the boys make out here hands down…I can imagine a lot of men making a stop near the centrally-located jockeys’ room to check out the vendors, while, if past years are any indication, women will have to go out of their way to get a little health and lifestyle info, as the exhibition was set up near the Big Red Spring, in the furthest reaches of the backyard.
Looking forward to checking out both exhibitions and reporting back…hey, maybe I can get my picture taken with a Habana girl?
Some other upcoming Saratoga events:
Monday, August 4th: National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Induction at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion on East Avenue. The event begins at 10:30; this year’s inductees are jockeys Edgar Prado and Milo Valenzuela; trainer Carl Nafzger; and horses Manila, Ancient Title, and Inside Information.
Monday and Tuesday, August 4th and 5th: Fasig-Tipton Preferred Yearling Sales. The grounds are open to the public and free, and you can occasionally get inside to grab a seat. It’s a bonanza of racing celeb sightings, and you might end up seeing the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner go through the ring. The sales begin at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, August 5th: Horse Society magazine hosts a fundraiser at Siro’s for Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement facility. I haven’t seen any ticket prices listed, but rumor has it that they’re between $20 and $30, for an hour of complimentary “specialty drinks,” a “celebrity MC,” and “celebrity meet and greet.” Thoroughbred racing memorabilia will be auctioned off to benefit Old Friends. 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 7th: At 7 pm at Saratoga High School, the jockeys take on a sixth grade AAU basketball team in a rematch of last year’s event, to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Donations taken at the door.