In honor of Del Mar and Saratoga opening week, we’ve updated our rankings for 2011 by inviting some new track denizens to rank their favorite summer haunts. The outcome? The top five remain in the same order but Del Mar (#3) is rapidly gaining on Monmouth (#2) while Saratoga pulls away (#1).
A few new tracks were mentioned this year: Churchill Downs, where you’re likely to see a future star during the Spring/Summer meet; Fort Erie, a sleeper of a track that hosts a leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and the Meadowlands, a lovely way to spend a summer evening.
Be sure to check out the comments and insights from our panelists. From exquisite hamburgers to WIFI to value playing, there’s plenty of insider information available!
As always, we assigned points for each vote 1-5 and calculated a total to arrive at the final list.
And the winners are (including their score):
1. Saratoga (14.8, was 9 in 2010)
As historic as it charming, this vacation destination evokes a time when racing was the national pastime. The entire town seems to be focused on the meet and the track feels as though it hasn’t changed in 100 years… in a good way!
2. Monmouth Park (9.8, was 7.2 in 2010)
Another historic charmer with the additional draw of the shore… oh yes, and those large fields!
3. Del Mar (8.6, was 4.6 in 2010)
And let’s not fool ourselves, when it comes to “draw of the shore” it’s hard to top Del Mar. They mix quality racing with a vibrant social scene in a beachfront setting… what’s not to love?
4. Belmont (6.6, was 4 in 2010)
Big Sandy is the beginning of summer to many. With its wide sweeping turns and lively backyard you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to kick off the summer.
5. Arlington Park (5.4, was 3 in 2010)
Touted as the most pristine track with the best customer service, this track is a must visit… especially if you like turf racing!
Also receiving votes:
Tracks with 2.4 points:
Delaware Park (1.6 in 2010)
Tracks with .8 points
Suffolk Downs (.4 in 2010)
And last but not least, here’s what our panelists had to say about their selections…