All summer long people in Saratoga Springs have wondered aloud, silently or both. 

What’s it going to be like without fans?

It of course is Saratoga Race Course, but also the small upstate New York city that relies so much on the racing that’s been conducted for more than 150 years and brings with it what some equate to a traveling circus containing horsemen, fans, gamblers, support staff, associated businesses and so much more. 

The answer, or at least a glimpse into one, comes today when the 40-day Saratoga meet gets underway without spectators amidst a world of uncertainty with rising American death rates from coronavirus and an ongoing economic crisis.

“It’s really strange, right?” Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly said Wednesday afternoon. “No fans at the track is one thing but the whole city just has a very different feel."

Read the rest of the Saratoga meet preview in the July 16 digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.