togatrip11This past weekend, more than 20 New York City-based bloggers and writers embarked on a #TogaTrip: a day trip from NYC to the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs.

We boarded the coach decked out in true racecourse fashion. So many hats and bowties! I put on my heels, packed myself a 4-pack of Francis Ford Coppola‘s Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs, and off we went.

The event was hosted by Brand Ambassadors America’s Best Racing who brought together an eclectic group of people and their VIP guests to enjoy a beautiful day at the racecourse. Why not? We even had a chance to mingle with the friends of the owners near our boxed off seats, and get up close and personal with the beautiful horses.

The Brand Ambassador is a fan-development initiative funded by The Jockey Club. The organization works with groups like the The Thoroughbred Safety Committee, The Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, The Jockey Health Information System, and more to review every facet of equine health and to recommend actions the industry can take to improve the health and safety of Thoroughbreds.

After a wonderful brunch at Fasig-Tipton which included an endless Mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar (speaking of food, they have a Shake Shack!). We were able to meet one on one with Star Female Jockey Taylor Rice who is awesome! Taylor has had shot into the spotlight since getting her jockey’s license last year. From a family of people involved in the racing industry, Rice started out by exercising horses in the mornings before progressing to riding in races. She won the first race she ever rode in and hasn’t looked back, with over 130 victories in her young career. We alsmet with Tom Amello from Trackfacts, who gave us the 411 on how to make educated bets.

It was a perfect day and a chance to meet some really fantastic people!

Here is the recipe for one of the cocktails created at out cocktail bar:

Bloody Mary: The Perfect Racetrack Cocktail

INGREDIENTS

  • 22 ounces reduced-sodium V8
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 10 dashes Tabasco
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 ounces vodka, optional
  • Ice cubes
  • 4 cooked shrimp

PREPARATION

  1. Shake V8, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco, pepper and vodka, if using, in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Fill two tall glasses with ice and divide the Bloody Mary between the glasses. Garnish each drink with 2 shrimp. And ENJOY!

Cheers,
Mo