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Saratoga Race Course Opening Day 2014

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Updated: 7/18 9:48 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – People from near and far waited to walk through the gate as Friday was Opening Day at Saratoga Race Course.

Johnny Murray and his friends made sure to be first in line to get a good spot inside the track. This year it may have been a little easier to get a picnic table as the track added 100 more in selected areas of the backyard, which has become a popular spot for families and friends during the live racing.

Thousands attended opening day festivities, with many hoping to win some money, but it's not just about betting. Being at the track is a real experience and a tradition for many. Some of those in attendance say they’ve come to the track every year for the last 10, 20, even 40 years.

"It's just the place to be. It's been fun every year I've been so many years. I love the fact of wearing hats, which most places you can't wear anymore. So it's an excuse to dress up wear a hat,” said Ginger Miller of Albany.

"It's in my backyard and it's the place to be. I love it here. I've been coming 35 years maybe, maybe even more than that,” said Harold Barrett of Menands.

"It's a tradition, because it's very fun to come see all the summer start in Saratoga and we bring our whole family. My parents come, my daughter and a lot of our friends,” said Jennifer Bergbom of Saratoga.

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