In early July I received an invitation out of the blue from a gentleman named Chip McGaughey, Brand Ambassador for America’s Best Racing to a VIP day at Saratoga Race Course full of lunch, cocktails, and some good old pony betting. So…if you know anything about me…those happen to be a few of my favorite things. I gladly accepted the invitation and marked my calendar for August 2nd.
I knew very little, if anything about America’s Best Racing. Luckily I was sent a nice package in the mail that outlined a bit more about the company and their mission, and I was quickly intrigued. To quote their website,
“America’s Best Racing is a multi-media new fan development and awareness-building platform, initiated by The Jockey Club, designed to increase the profile and visibility of North America’s best Thoroughbred racing events, with a primary focus on the sport’s lifestyle and competition.” – (Visit their site)
To help promote their efforts, America’s Best Racing Brand Ambassadors set out on a cross-country RV tour hitting racetracks such as Churchill Downs, Gulfstream, Monmouth, Belmont, Saratoga, Del Mar and Santa Anita…just to name a few. The #ABRVtour came into Saratoga, and everyone knew it. After all, one really couldn’t miss the huge tour bus that was parked outside of the Parting Glass and at the track! The ABR crew picked two great weekends to be in town, and I was delighted to start off The Whitney Stakes / Saratoga150 weekend with them. From the moment I met the ABR Brand Ambassadors, it was clear that I was with a group of young professionals that enjoyed their job, and also enjoyed the sport. Each member of the team had their own special connection to the Horse Racing world, and I really enjoyed learning about their diverse backgrounds. We had a catered lunch in the Carousel at Saratoga Race Course where the Brand Ambassadors provided handicapping advice, and shared their experiences with us about the year-long tour they have been on. Soon after lunch we received Paddock passes for the day to see the horses, jockeys and owners before the races went off…it was a great day.
Well, lets be honest. I’m biased because I think every day at the track is a good day, but it was! Now that I reflect on that day in particular that I spent with ABR…what I enjoyed the most was that I was spending the day with people my age, who know and love the sport of Horse Racing, and although I love, live and breathe the town of Saratoga…I sometimes find it hard to find many 20 something’s that really grasp the game.
Knowing that the Brand Ambassadors were in town for about 10 days, I knew that our paths were sure to cross again. I saw them at the Fasig Tipton yearling sales the following Monday and Tuesday, where I got to talking with Brand Ambassador (and Fashion Expert) Mary Frances Dale, who was interested in setting up a Saratoga Style Themed photo shoot and video montage to highlight the spirit of Saratoga. We met for lunch and I was so happy to help connect Mary Frances and the ABR team to some key local establishments that could make this photo shoot a success. The shoot was set for Saturday, August 10th — right before the FourStarDave Gr. 2 stakes and as a featured model, I had so much fun during the shoot! First off, the location for the photo shoot was spectacular, as we were photographed in an old Victorian home on Circular Ave.
A gorgeous spread of delicious treats from Putnam Market, including all the makings for a Saratoga Sunrise Cocktail. Hair and make up from Pin Up’s Blow Bar. Clothing provided by Encounter and Piper Boutique. The finishing touch being the spectacular hats and fascinators by Christine A. Moore. We played croquet (well I attempted to) in the backyard before walking through town to the Racetrack. I’m not sure how much more perfect this day could have been, but somehow it got better.
The other models and I were dressed to the 9’s as we walked down Union Avenue with a camera man accompanying us as we entered the track. We were joking all afternoon that we were on the set of The Real Housewives of Saratoga County, and it really felt like it. That is until we ended up in the Paddock with actual Housewives. Yes, the Real Housewives of New York City just so happened to be filming at Saratoga that day, go figure! Bravo TV representatives came up to us and asked if we wouldn’t mind being filmed with Real NYC Housewife Sonja Morgan. What a great ending to a fun week with American’s Best Racing. They sure know how to create an experience for their fans!
Simply put, I’m an advocate for America’s Best Racing. I plan to follow the remainder of this year’s ABRV Tour and I can’t wait to see what is in store for this company and the Horse Racing community! #GetInTheGame and follow along with me: Facebook * Twitter * Instagram