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Saratoga Race Course holds annual open house

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Albany/HV: Saratoga Race Course holds annual open house
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The summer meet at the Saratoga Race Course is just days away and fans this past weekend were treated to a preview of what they can expect this season. The 33rd annual open house was held Sunday. Our Erin Moran reports.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- "Today actually feels very special," said NYRA Vice President Rodnell Workman. "There's a nice buzz in the air. The open house has always been more of a community event."

From the music to the food and drinks and everything in between, the 33rd annual Open House at the Saratoga Race Course was in full-swing Sunday. This year has some heightened excitement, with the 150th anniversary of horse racing in Saratoga Springs taking center stage.

Workman said, "We wanted to do a big kickoff to start off the 150 celebration so we brainstormed over the last year some of the ways we could do it and culminated with expanding some of the opening house and including a big special event like a concert."

The concert from Disney Channel star Zendaya is new, but one of the long-standing traditions are the local vendors, like Saratoga Sweets, who say they're at the open house every year.

Owner Mike Fitzgerald said, "It's important for us, it gives us a chance to sort of spread ourselves out into the other counties surrounding Saratoga."

But most importantly, the open house is here for the fans and their families who support the race course each year. A day full of fun, in anticipation of an exciting 150th racing season.

Tom St. Marton of Clifton Park said, "It's probably our fourth year coming, just to get the kids out of the house and have fun."

Trisha Roth of Rotterdam said, "I can't believe how much there is to do, from mini golf, face paintings, caricatures...lots of activities for the kids."

Shauna Roth of Rotterdam said, "I don't think I've ever had my face put into a character so I'm excited for that."

Officials say expect a lot of special events this summer to celebrate the 150th anniversary. Gates open at Saratoga Race Course on Friday.

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