The track has had its ups and downs and was deteriorating by the end of the 1800s. In 1896 there was no season due to increased competition from other tracks and it was only in 1901, when a group headed by William C. Whitney bought the track that improvements were made and its reputation restored. Anti-gambling laws meant closure for two years in 1911 and 1912, but the track has operated continually since.
We spent two days at the track, watching the races and took a walking tour of the facilities. It was a very pleasant experience but we felt no particular compulsion to make any bets. It was clear that there is no way to systematically play a horse race, unlike a casino game. For example, at one point the main track was too wet so the horses were switched to the inner turf track, which would mean that the odds for the horses, which had been calculated based on their running on a dirt track, were now pretty meaningless. Given Saratoga's traditional cruelty to race favourites, it seems like throwing money away.
Walking up the museum, you will see a long line of jockey figures. Each is dressed in the colours of a particular stable that has horses racing at the track.