WEEKEND It List

We've got Derby Fever and we've got it bad! Congratulations to Marylou Whitney today, the "First Lady of the Oaks" for 2015! Need to brush up on the ponies before the big race day? Click here for Derby for Dummies Parts 1 and 2. Now for your Weekend It List...

clockwise from top left:

Join us today (FRIDAY MAY 1st) to help The Crown Grill at Circus Cafe celebrate in style...

The only place to be outside of Kentucky on Derby Day is the Bacon, Brews and Brims Party at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Tickets are available at the door on the day of hte event. This inaugural event features the chance to cheer on your picks inside the actual horse racing Hall of Fame, try delicious samplings of signature bacon dishes, beer wine and spirits tastings, bet with Saratogabets, prizes and more. Click here for more info.

Need to know what to wear to the Derby Party? We've got you covered ladies.

After the race head to Vapor to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight starting at 9pm. They'll be having a Pre-party with Deejay Element, $3 Coors Light, fight night menu, and more! Special VIP Lounge and Table Packages available. Call (518) 581-5775 for more info.

We've got some great parties to put on your radar for May folks, including this Gatsby themed affair for the Wesley Community and the May Day Spring Fling coming up next week for the Saratoga County EOC.

Finally, spring is here and we aren't looking back. Get some warm weather style tips here to finally put away the fleece for good (okay, until October).

 

 

 

Derby for Dummies: Meet the Jockeys

In round two of our Derby for Dummies experience we want to introduce you to a few of the jockeys who will be riding in the big race on Derby Day. Some of these guys might look familiar to you because they've been here at the Spa, but just in case you are starting from square one let's meet a few of them, shall we?

Mike Smith will be riding Far Right come Derby Day. Smith was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003, and has won the most Breeders' Cup races of any jockey. In 1998, Smith suffered major injuries in two separate spills, in March he broke his shoulder and then, in August, while leading the Saratoga meeting, he broke two vertebrae in his back, requiring him to wear a body cast for several months. But just six months after the fall he was back in racing form.

Javier Castellano will be atop Materiality on Saturday, and he began his riding career in 1996 at La Rinconada and Santa Rita racetracks in Venezuela. Since moving to the states in '97 Castellano had his first major wins In 2004, on Ghostzapper, and won several major races including the 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic, earning 2004 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year and other honors. Castellano received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2013, finishing the year leading the nation's jockeys with purse earnings of over $26.2 million.

John Velazquez, riding Carpe Diem in the Derby, was admitted to the Horse Racing Hall of fame in 2012, and as of 2014, he is the all-time leading money-earning jockey in North America. He also set a Saratoga record with six wins in one card on September 3, 2001.

Kent Desormeaux will be riding Keen Ice, and is one of only four jockeys to have won three national titles in a row. In 1989, Desormeaux set the current record for most wins in a year with 598, and he scored his 5,000th career victory on July 27, 2008 by guiding Bella Attrice to victory in the 7th race right here at the Saratoga Race Course. Speaking of Saratoga, Ray Bryan, a local Saratogian you might see out and about at the galas is a syndicate member of Donegal Racing, which owns Keen Ice and he is down in Kentucky right now ready to cheer him on. We chatted with Ray about this year's Derby, who said "Just an amazing field of three year olds. One of the best in a long time! Can't wait to see the race! Dortmund, American Pharaoh look amazing! Keen Ice looks great and will come with a long run. Just have to see what happens Derby Day." We'll be cheering on Keen Ice come Derby Day!

Where are YOU going to be watching the big race on Saturday? The inaugural Kentucky Derby Party to benefit the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Bacon, Brews, and Brims will be the place to be come Derby Day. At this must attend Derby fete, party goers will be able to watch the race inside the actual Hall of Fame, Saratogabets is going to be on site to enroll people in their rewards program and help with on-line wagering, and free wi-fi will also be available for everyone. Click here to buy tickets for the event now, and tickets will also be sold at the door at $85 per ticket. See you race fans Saturday!



Celebrate The Crown Grill at Circus Cafe Friday May 1st

On Friday, May 1st head down to The Crown Grill at Circus Cafe, two great restaurants that have now come together as one amazing spot with one menu featuring the best of the Circus Café menu items and the best of Crown Grill.

Christel and Colin MacLean, the owners of The Crown Grill at Circus Cafe, explained how they would have guests ask for menu items from the adjoining restaurants when the two were separate. They always accommodated the requests but decided to go full tilt and offer the “best of the best.” Now they can give guests two distinct dining room ambiance choices, go fun and festive with Circus or casual elegance with chandeliers, murals, and the Library dining room at Crown.

The Crown Grill at Circus Cafe has a fabulous bar menu too, with party drinks, signature cocktails, “juicetails” made with Saratoga Juice Bar cold pressed juice “the healthiest cocktail in Saratoga!,” “Mule Menu” featuring our signature Saratoga Mule: Tito’s Vodka, Fresh Presed Lime Juice from Saratoga Juice Bar and Authentic Bermuda Ginger Beer – served in a copper mug (Founded here); 11 beers on tap, and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2014 and 2015.

They boast two private back rooms for parties and corporate events and the largest sidewalk café on Broadway with fun weekly events: Thursday - Open Mic, Friday- Live Jazz, Saturday – Karaoke, Sunday - Trivia.

On Friday they're inviting everyone to help them celebrate with complimentary appetizers showcasing their delicious menu including Maryland crab cakes, crostini, empanadas, pot stickers and more. They'll have free samples of their Saratoga Mule to help make the Happy Hour a little happier crafted with Tito's Vodka, authentic Bermuda Ginger Beer and fresh pressed lime juice from Saratoga Juice Bar. Other drink specials include $4 drafts (11 on tap), $5 cocktails (Mojito, Frozen Margaritas, Cosmos) and wines by the glass. Circus Cafe is going to be turning 11 and Crown Grill will be turning 2! The weather is looking gorgeous tomorrow so come down to celebrate, we'll be there snapping pics of the partygoers, come out and get social!



Congratulations to Marylou Whitney, "First Lady of the Oaks"

Marylou Whitney and husband John Hendrickson at Skidmore's Palamountain Scholarship benefit in 2012

Marylou Whitney and husband John Hendrickson at Skidmore's Palamountain Scholarship benefit in 2012

Marylou Whitney, whose accomplishments and generosity in Thoroughbred racing and philanthropy have garnered national acclaim and admiration, will be honored by Churchill Downs with the designation of "First Lady of the Oaks" during a celebration on Longines Kentucky Oaks day on May 1st, at Churchill.

The First Lady of Oaks designation was introduced in 2009 with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® founder, Nancy G. Brinker.  The official Oaks Day ambassador selection is to honor a special female who has used her professional and personal experiences to celebrate women and the causes that women support.

“In a sport and industry that has produced more than its share of legends and larger-than-life individuals in its rich history, the racing world has never seen anyone like Marylou Whitney, and Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Oaks are honored that she has agreed to serve as the ‘First Lady of the Oaks’ for 2015,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “It is impossible to measure the impact of the passion and compassion Marylou Whitney has displayed throughout her incredible life in Thoroughbred racing and beyond. Horses and humans have had few friends, if any, more special than our ‘First Lady of the Oaks.’

“In the horse industry, she long ago achieved ‘single-name status’ enjoyed by icons throughout the world of sports and one needs only to mention the name ‘Marylou’ to generate a smile among the many lives that she has touched in a positive way. She epitomizes more than anyone the ‘Ladies First’ spirit of our Kentucky Oaks celebration, its focus on women’s health issues and, of course, the horse and the celebration surrounding one of America’s greatest races. We thank Marylou for all that she has done and the work she continues to do, and we look forward to saluting her on Kentucky Oaks Day as the ‘First Lady of the Oaks.’”

Marylou, along with husband John Hendrickson, created the Saratoga Backstretch Appreciation program in 2008. The program includes Sunday dinners and various social activities for the workers and their families throughout the six-week racing season at Saratoga Race Course.

Along with her energy and advocacy in raising millions of dollars for the research and treatment of cancer and other health concerns, Marylou Whitney has championed causes ranging from equine welfare to support for the arts and the quality of life for workers on the backsides of American racetracks. While her philanthropic efforts have created a remarkable legacy of care and compassion throughout her life, she has been a respected presence in Thoroughbred racing with a roster of notable victories headed by a triumph by her homebred Bird Town in the 2004 Kentucky Oaks and a victory by Birdstone in the 2004 renewal of the Belmont Stakes (GI), the final leg of racing’s Triple Crown.

Our hats will be off to you, Marylou. Congratulations on the well deserved honor.

The Saratoga Social with Marylou Whitney, Saratoga's Grand Dame, at her Opening Day luncheon at the Saratoga Race Course

The Saratoga Social with Marylou Whitney, Saratoga's Grand Dame, at her Opening Day luncheon at the Saratoga Race Course


Auction Sneaky Peek for Saratoga County EOC's 26th Annual May Day Spring Fling

The Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council's  26th Annual May Day Spring Fling fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, May 6th at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs with dinner and complimentary drinks provided by Longfellows Restaurant and The Olde Bryan Inn, as well as silent and live auctions. Today we've got a little sneak peek on what goodies you could be taking home with you that night from their stocked silent and live auction.

First up, everyone loves a day at the track, and there's no better way to watch the horses than in a private box. At the live auction you can bid on a day at the races AND top it off with a $100 gift certificate to Prime at Saratoga National. Sort of a perfect August day in Saratoga.

They also have a spectacular His + Hers + Ours package with golf at the beautiful Sagamore resort (with a cart to tool around in), hair and nails from Magique Salon, a $100 gift certificate to get something pretty at Saratoga Trunk, a Gideon Putnam Romance Package and dinner at Olde Bryan Inn.

Fine wines, exquisite pearl jewelry and some fabulous trips round out the live auction items, and the silent auction's not too shabby either. They've got SPAC tickets for Zach Brown Band and Chicago, gift certificates for a ton of great local businesses like Northshire Bookstore and Parkside Eatery, jewelry, lunches, photo shoots and more.

The May Day Spring Fling is  the major fundraising event for the Saratoga County EOC, and they rely on the community's support to continue doing the great work they do. Find out more about the EOC and what they do for our community here, and then buy your tickets for the event right here to come out and support them.


Derby for Dummies: B is for Bob (Baffert, that is)

Robin and Jenny here from Derby for Dummies, Saratoga Social's horse racing guide for those of you who might like horse racing but might also not know much about it. Maybe you're the type that chooses their horse based on the jockey silk colors, or has a "favorite jockey" at Saratoga. We don't judge you, we ARE you, so here is our guide to help you sound like you know what you're talking about come Derby Day.

Who's got two thumbs and the top two horses in the Derby right now? This guy. (illustration byPierre Bellocq)

Who's got two thumbs and the top two horses in the Derby right now? This guy. (illustration byPierre Bellocq)

Our first lesson is about trainer extraordinaire, Bob Baffert. Bob started his career in horse racing as a jockey, but when he found trouble keeping of the lbs (I mean who wouldn't) he switched it up and in his career his horses have won three Kentucky Derbies, five Preakness Stakes, one Belmont Stakes and two Kentucky Oaks.

This year Bob has two horses in Saturday’s 141st Kentucky Derby, and they might be the first and second betting choices in a field that many racing experts consider to be the most talented in many years. The likely Derby favorite is Baffert’s American Pharoah, and Bob's other horse is the second choice, the undefeated Dortmund.

First off, we have spellcheck. The letters "a" and "o" became transposed from the traditional spelling for an Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh, and that wasn't necessarily intended when owner Zayat Stables submitted a name to The Jockey Club. But, the name came about when a fan submitted the name through a contest, and that was the spelling sent on to The Jockey Club, so that's that.

American Pharoah takes a four-race winning streak into the Derby and jockey Victor Espinoza who will be riding him Derby Day. A lot will be riding on (see that horse racing pun we just did?!) today's post-position draw, with Baffert saying that American Pharoah still needs "racing luck" with a decent post.

Dortmund is from the third crop of foals sired by Big Brown, who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and is named in honor of the German soccer team Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund is a beast, he failed to reach his reserve price as a foal because, as his breeder explained, "He was so big; everybody was afraid of his size".

We'll be watching the race at the inaugural Kentucky Derby Party to benefit the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Bacon, Brews, and Brims. At this must attend Derby fete, party goers will be able to watch the race inside the actual Hall of Fame, and while you're there look around for Bob up there on the wall. On April 19, 2009, Baffert was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame alongside one of the best fillies he trained, Silverbulletday. Will he add the 2015 Kentucky Derby to his long list of racing accomplishments? It won't be long now to find out.

At Bacon, Brews, and Brims, Saratogabets is going to be on site to enroll people in their rewards program and help with on-line wagering. Free wi-fi will also be available for everyone. Click here to buy tickets for the event now, and tickets will also be sold at the door at $85 per ticket. See you race fans Saturday!


Flared Denim: A Saratoga Social Field Guide

Skinny and low rise is out, flared and high rise is in. We know what you're thinking, flares? AGAIN? Before you have visions of festival chic Coachella-esque styling, read our handy Field Guide to Flares, how to pull them off while looking polished and chic, and no patchouli required.

A cropped jacket is a great compliment to the flare proportions, and can really pull together the look. Pair a cropped jacket with a simple basic tee or tank, tucked in or out depending on just how pulled together you want it to look.

above clockwise from left: Laundry by Shelli Segal Cropped Open-Front Jacket, Larissa Cropped Jacket, Topshop Crop Crepe Jacket

Believe it or not, kitten heels can work with flares depending on the length of the jeans (or pants). Bring the shoes you want to wear with the look when trying on styles to make sure your hems won't be dragging. A good chunky heel always works with this look, but again make sure you get the length right so you don't have high water flares. No one wants that.

Clockwise from top left: Michael Kors Kaylee Metallic Sandals, Nina Culver Sandals, Tory Burch Peep Toe Cork Wedges, Lucky Brand Lyndell Wedges

You don't want to go over the top with the accessories since you have a lot of pant going on, but a nice chunky cuff as a singular accent piece goes a long way. We are loving the made in Maine Ropes bracelets (pictured top right) for spring and summer, a nice bold gold cuff from stella & dot (above left), and a bold monogram is always a good choice (from Fornash, bottom left).

Now for the jeans themselves. We are loving the flare in white, mainly because it softens the exaggerated silhouette just a little bit, and partly because we are just obsessed with white denim in general.

A Black and White Affair – Gatsby Style to benefit The Wesley Foundation: Tickets Now Available

A Black and White Affair – Gatsby Style to benefit The Wesley Foundation Presented by The Adirondack Trust Company is happening on Saturday, May 30th from 6 to 10pm at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club in Saratoga Springs.

Enjoy a classic evening of roaring 1920’s fun at the beautiful Saratoga Golf and Polo Club to raise funds for The Wesley Community - an organization that serves more than 700 Saratoga area seniors. The evening will feature delicious food from Chef John Ireland at Saratoga Golf and Polo Club, décor from Fine Affairs, music from Funk Evolution, classic cars from The Saratoga Automobile Museum, a sundae bar featuring ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s of Saratoga, and photos against vintage backdrops provided by TapSnap. Don’t miss this exciting evening to support The Wesley Community’s Springs building renovation.

Advance reservations are recommended. Black and white cocktail party attire with your favorite splash of color is suggested. Period attire is also welcome. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple. To make a reservation, call 518-691-1420 or go right here!


5 Questions: Blake Crocitto

Next up in our 5 Questions series is Blake Crocitto, co-owner of McGregor Links Country Club.

What is your favorite Saratoga restaurant and what is your favorite thing to order there? Druthers Brewery. Their menu is diversified and regardless of what you order the food is absolutely delicious! I've tried just about everything but my favorite has to be their Fall hot turkey meal. Stand in line- it's worth the wait!

What is your favorite local Saratoga event? My favorite Saratoga event is going to the race track; it’s the August place to be! I grew up spending time at the track with my family and have such special life long memories. The city of Saratoga always comes alive during all the seasons with so many events for all to participate in.


What is one thing you have always wanted to do in Saratoga but still have not done? My goal is to attend more fundraising, using my business as a platform to do so. There are so many in need. I would love to contribute and give back to this wonderful community. I haven’t been to Siros either.


Your perfect weekend would always include…? A round of golf (or 2 or 3), dinner out and a cocktail on my patio with family and friends.


If you were a cocktail what would you be? Crown on the rocks with a twist of lemon.

WEEKEND It List

Rough week? We hear you. Melt that stress away by painting some happy little clouds paired with a nice cold glass of pinot at Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio tonight (FRIDAY) from 7-9pm. Plus each class is only 25 bucks this month in celebration of their 3rd birthday! Click here to register.

Pilates For The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is on Saturday (4/25) from 11am to 12pm at Reform Pilates, 18 Division Street Suite 203, Saratoga Springs. This is a 50 Minute Pilates Mat Class suitable for all levels. There is no fee for the class. Donations will be accepted for a different non-profit organization each week. 100% of the donations will be given to the non-profit.

The Annual kLaVoy5k In Saratoga Springs NY is on Saturday, 4/25 starting at 9am. The Annual kLaVoy5k is a run / walk that helps raise awareness about organ & tissue donation. All proceeds raised go directly to The Center for Donation & Transplant - Donate Life. The race will start on April 25th at 9am at the warming hut area in the Saratoga Springs State Park. Race packet pick up and onsite registration at 7:30am.

Okay we are loving the Trunk Show taking place at Encounter today and Saturday. Stop by and shop the Spring collections and get a preview of what they have for Fall 2015 while sipping a mimosa.

The Annual Countdown to the Triple Crown is on Saturday the 25th at the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame at 1pm. The program is open to the public and free to attend. Racing experts Tom Amello and Jeff Carle will be on hand to offer analysis and predictions for the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby and answer questions from the audience about the Triple Crown series. There will be giveaways from the Museum’s gift shop, as well as complimentary issues of the Triple Crown preview edition of The Blood-Horse, featuring past performances of the Kentucky Derby pre-entries.

The Friends of Opera Saratoga will host "Pasta and Puccini", at 5pm on April 26th at Saratoga National Golf Club to benefit the organization and ultimately opera performances in the region. The cost of each ticket is $85 dollars and includes hors d'oeuvres, dinner, and entertainment. For more information call 518-584-6018.

Chocolate pudding, graham cracker crumb & toasted house-made fluff - seriously?! If happiness could be canned, it would look like this "S'mores in a Jar" dessert.  This decadence is available to Saratogians at Comfort Kitchen located in the downstairs level of the Saratoga Marketplace at 454 Broadway. The food, the desserts, the atmosphere...we love this place. MENTION THE SARATOGA SOCIAL AND GET $1.00 OFF THE S'MORES IN A JAR DESSERT FROM NOW UNTIL NEXT WEDNESDAY, 4/29.

We are ready to kick this fake spring weather to the curb and we want to do it with FRINGE, our latest footwear obsession. Best in black or an eye popping spring/summer shade like these. GET OUT OF HERE SNOW WE MEAN IT.

center: Tito's Mule samples and pot stickers. See you there.

 

 

Can't say we've ever heard of the 'Saratoga Club'...?

We hadn't either! So, as some of you may know, the city of Saratoga Springs is turning 100 this year and there are several celebrations planned for our little city over the coming months.. in that vein, we stumbled across this 'Centennial Series' done by our buddies at Roohan Realty and love it. They are detailing the fun, colorful history of some of our downtown landmarks in the series, like what in the world was the 'Saratoga Club' and where did it operate? Click here to find out! 

Makeup & Martinis!

It was Makeup and Martinis time again on Tuesday night at Complexions Spa and we had so much fun sipping yummy drinks and getting makeup tips from their experts! If you are into the 'less is more' approach to makeup, this was the night for you. After prepping our skin, Complexions makeup artist extrodinaire Zac worked with us in small groups perfecting a flawless, nude look that was totally natural looking- it just evened out our skin tones, covered any blemishes and gave us a perfect spring glow.  We then played with doing big lashes and shaped brows for our fresh spring look... oh, and did I mention the martinis? SO GOOD. It was the perfect girls night! Check out our mini-gallery below with photos & we begged Denise Dubois to share her yummy Martini Recipe, so here it is:  

Derby Style: For the Fillies

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When we think warm weather in Saratoga Springs, we think Lilly Pulitzer. After all, Lilly herself used to come up here and watch the races in the summer! This season as always there are oodles of Lilly choices perfect for Derby Day, a little bit fun, a lot of pep, and 100% prep. We've paired all this lovely Lilly with the chicest sun hat we've seen this year so far from Bungalow LA. Wear it for the Derby and keep wearing it all summer long. Grab some local Lilly at The Pink Paddock on Broadway.

1. Darcelle Full Skirt Party Dress 2. Alley Gator earrings   3. Karen Wedge Ankle Strap 4. Rose Palisades Hat 5. Alexa High Collar Shift Dress 6. Madeline Wayfarer Sunglasses

Vineyard Vines always has a place in style for Derby Day, and we are particularly loving their Derby Day accessories this year.

clockwise from top left: We NEED this straw clutch in our lives. The scalloped leather! OMG! A grosgrain bow in a deep pink make this Derby hat a sophisticated choice for race day. The sweetest seersucker bow gives this simply pretty hat the prettiest touch. Want to go fascinator? We are in love with this pink ribbon one, just fun enough without being over the top.

Derby Day is the unofficial start to seersucker weather, and if you want to give a nod to sweet southern style this race day look at these absolutely sweet seersucker dresses from Lauren James. The oversized bow details add that little bit of flair you need for drinking juleps and cheering on ponies in the Racing Hall of Fame.

Did you get your tickets yet for the only place to be outside of Kentucky for Derby Day? Cheer on your picks inside the actual horse racing Hall of Fame at the Bacon, Brews and Brims event at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame featuring delicious samplings of signature bacon dishes, beer wine and spirits tasting, prizes and more. Click here to nab your tickets before they sell out!

Circus Cafe & Crown Grill Have Something to Celebrate

The Circus Café and The Crown Grill Room are coming together with One Menu featuring the best of Circus Café menu items and the best of Crown Grill (with separate gluten free lunch and dinner menus)! They will be giving guests 2 distinct choices for dining room ambiance first with Circus – fun, festive…or Crown casual elegance with chandeliers, murals, the Library dining room and more.

Featuring a great bar menu with party drinks, signature cocktails, “juicetails” made with Saratoga Juice Bar cold pressed juice “the healthiest cocktail in Saratoga!,” the “Mule Menu” featuring their signature Saratoga Mule: Tito’s Vodka, Fresh Presed Lime Juice from Saratoga Juice Bar and Authentic Bermuda Ginger Beer – served in a copper mug (Founded there); 11 beers on tap and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2014 and 2015.

The Circus Café and The Crown Grill Room boasts two private back rooms for parties, corporate events and the largest sidewalk café on Broadway! They are excited to host fun weekly events: Thursday - Open Mic, Friday- Live Jazz, Saturday – Karaoke, Sunday - Trivia.

We want to personally invite YOU to come celebrate with them on Friday, May 1st. Click the photo above for all the info, we'll be sipping mules and sampling crostini as we help them celebrate two very special anniversaries.

 

In the PINK {accessories we're loving now}

We're in love with pink lately, actually more like rose. With Mother's Day on the mind we found the loveliest rose gold pieces perfect for spring to summer (including some gorgeous local buys you can find right here in Saratoga).