In the Paddock

Everyone talks about pace.

In racing it's early pace, fast pace, slow pace. Pace makes the race. That kind of stuff.

Soccer announcers, especially the British ones, talk about pace. They're talking about how fast the players are, or how much zip is on the ball once it leaves their feet. Pace makes the game I suppose.

Saratoga has pace. Actually I've noticed lately that Saratoga has three kinds of pace.

There's the pace of the racing season, the fastest pace. When there's more traffic on Union Avenue at 6 a.m. than anywhere else in town, hands down. When it's impossible to get through the intersection at Spring and Broadway in one click of the light. When the wait for a table at your favorite restaurant in town isn't an hour but three.

There's the pace of the "offseason," basically from about October through the end of April. The pace is slow then, sometimes at a crawl even, despite what the local promoters will lead you to believe. Trust me, there's little pace. The pace in November, December, January and February matches what the pace of maple syrup would be coming out of a container left on the back porch for a week during that time of year.

The pace picks up in May and it's really getting quick now that we're past the midpoint of June.

There's a lot more traffic in town - you should have seen it the other day before the Mumford & Sons concert at SPAC. Thank goodness for the bike, where there's rarely a traffic, unless you're like some of the locals and you choose to ride on sidewalk. Ah yes, the sidewalks. Another day, another column. Good thing this isn't printed, there might not be enough ink.