The most fabulous event of the summer season is about to take place and we’re all on the guest list!
Every August, Fasig-Tipton is home to one of the premier horse auctions in the world, The Saratoga Sale. This auction of selected yearlings has produced some of the top Thoroughbreds in racing history and is one of our absolute favorite events.
Located about a quarter of a mile from the Saratoga Race Course, the Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion will host the annual sale on August 6 & 7, 2018.
Although the sales exist for serious buyers, some spending north of a million dollars on a horse that has yet to run a race, this event is open to the public and has no entry fee. And for us non buyers, there’s plenty to see and savor while gawking at these four-legged beauties.
The Sales, as they are commonly referred to here, are about as ‘Saratoga’ as it gets. The two-night only event has become quite the social scene. You’ll see everything from the guy who lives down the street, in his signature shorts and flip-flops, to billionaires and royalty, who just arrived via private jet.
With cocktail in hand (yes, there is a large onsite bar which is usually our first stop), we recommend taking a stroll through the stately grounds to preview the horses as they wait their turn to strut. After walking around the stables a bit, we usually find a spot on the rail of the outdoor viewing ring, attached to the pavilion, to watch the horses warm up before entering the auction ring inside.
Eventually, we head into the Finney Pavilion, to watch a few of the sales up close. The pavilion is an auditorium style building with an auction walking ring, tiered seating, and wrap around balcony complete with an art exhibit which guests can peruse while the auction is taking place.
Once things begin, around 6:30 pm, there is no set schedule to worry about. Guests are free to enjoy the grounds, hang out at the bar, and watch the auction from inside or outside… basically come and go as you please. Things wrap up around 10:30 / 11:00 pm each night.
While you may not be in the market for a Thoroughbred, there’s no reason why you can’t browse. Like window shopping at Cartier, there’s no harm in looking. Plus, you never know, you may set your eyes on the next Triple Crown winner…then you can say you knew them before they were famous.
This article, originally published on August 7, 2017, has been updated for the 2018 Saratoga Sale.