By the end of the week in New York, racing will shift from beautiful Belmont Park, on Long Island, to the picturesque setting in the mountains of the Adirondacks, called Saratoga. It is truly a treat to be there. The atmosphere on the main street, is choreographed from a Damon Runyan book. The stores are all a glitter with racing paraphernalia. On the sidewalk, impromptu musicians play gaily, and even in rhythm. The restaurants are a bit overpriced, but not as much as the hotel room rates. The scene at some of the bistros is a mixed bag of shortsighted horse players and erstwhile racing columnists, each spewing their picks on the ears of anyone that will listen to their pipe dreams.
On the day of the BIG RACE, “The Travers stakes”, CBS would send a crew to cover that race. If there was a smart "roadie" in the plant he would get off that remote. Because I rate that one of the toughest, and physically hard shows to put together.The work is not for sissies, as there isn't any layout of cables. The setup requires that the cables be hoisted over the grandstand, and then down to the field and across the track. Cameras are lugged up on shoulders, as there isn't any elevators. Microphones are also treated the same way. When the race is over, and one is weary, that is when the hard part comes into play. On one particular remote there, someone, (that just came over to us from ABC-TV, he was one of the 'Boat People' as, I euphemistically called him) well, this ex-Vietnam, Marine, cut the restraining rope and let all the cables fall into a rats-nest, pile on the ground. It was after midnight, when we finally untangled that mess. the EIC, was having a conniption, as the Overtime was piling up. A difficult day, as difficult as some of the others, such as Election Day coverage in the freezing Washington, D.C. weather, or the remote to the Statue of Liberty.
Can you come up with one of your favorites?
Hard work, indeed, but, not one person asked off the next year..."How about that"