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How to Win at the Races

Saratoga Race Course in the morning.

Hello Saratoga!

It’s that time of year, track season is right around the corner. Even though I am new to Saratoga, I’m quite familiar with the buzz and electricity that comes with opening day. I spent summers visiting Saratoga and grew up a mile from Belmont Racetrack. With this being the longest meet yet, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a day at the races and we wanted to share some useful tips to help you win the day!


Make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking the recommended amount of water. Typical recommendations are usually the 8 by 8 rule, 8 glasses of 8 fluid ounces. While this is a great starting point, if we wanted to get a bit more specific we would actually look to drink half our body weight in fluid ounces. This means if you weigh 100 lbs, your recommended intake would be 50 fluid ounces. Our bodies our 70% water, so make sure you are setting yourself up to succeed with proper hydration intake. We are lucky to live in a city where we can take a quick trip to the state park and fill up a couple jugs of natural spring water, so there should be no excuses here.


Choose your footwear wisely. Proper fitting shoes on a race horse can make or break their chances at beating the odds and our selection is no different for avoiding dreaded heel pain after a day on your feet. While it might not make sense from a fashion standpoint, trying to avoid footwear with an elevated heel is recommended. Having your heel propped up not only makes your leg do more work to balance it also increases tension in the calf. Another recommendation would be wearing footwear with a wide toe box. Our toes are designed to be able to grip the ground. Narrow toe boxes in shoes also make the foot and leg work harder because the base becomes smaller. They can also be a reason for bunion formation from long term use.

Your Seat

Just like your footwear matters, so does what you sit on. If you are lucky enough to snag a picnic table, try bringing a padded cushion to sit on to avoid hip and low back pain. If you are bringing your own chair, be aware that most camping or lawn chairs have a bottom that forces your tailbone to rotate under our hips which can place a good amount of pressure on our low back, specifically the discs. If you aren’t in the market to buy or replace your current chair try placing a towel roll vertically along your spine against the back of the chair. This accompanied by placing your weight in your SIT bones will help take pressure off the low back. Periodic breaks from sitting are also helpful. As we like to say, “The best posture is the next one.”


This last tip only applies if you are making any wagers during your day at the track. If you are, have some fun and a pick a long shot. My favorite is a $2 bet to win, place and show which comes out to $6 total. I was lucky enough to have this pan out on 8/23/08 at Saratoga Racetrack. Below is a video of the race that put a little extra cash in my pocket. Maybe some of you Saratoga faithful remember the day Slambino hit at 88-1.


If you have any questions about the content about, or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (518) 584-9500. I hope you have a happy and healthy summer.

- Dr. Patrick Campbell