The Saratoga jingle?
“Is there a Saratoga jingle?” asked Meagan Coleman of Cooperstown.
Darn right there is. All you have to do is match four consecutive syllables to four consecutive rising notes — “Sar-a-tog-a!”
“As soon as you said it, we knew what is was,” said Coleman, who spent a sunny Sunday at Saratoga Race Course with sister Lindsay Hayes and mother Colleen Coleman, who also live in Cooperstown.
The jingle has been used at the race track and in radio and television commercials for several years. In the commercials, there are actually two “Sar-a-tog-a!” verses — followed by track announcer Tom Durkin declaring “It is now … post time! And … party time!”
Seems like the jingle has always been part of July and August. Even race course public relations specialists don’t know how it started, or how long it’s been used.
The Colemans and Hayes were happy to sing the piece.
“It’s upbeat and it’s catchy,” said Colleen Coleman.
During an informal Daily Gazette survey, dozens of people said they knew the jingle, and just about all were willing to sing it on camera, and offer reviews of the composition.
“It sticks in your head,” said Amanda Fassbender, 14, of New Windsor, Connecticut, after she sang the jingle with her sister Rachel, 12, and two friends.
“It’s nice and short,” added Rachel.
Becky Kendall of Saratoga Springs and her friend Trevor Hines of Boston were ordering drinks at a grandstand bar when they took the “Sar-a-tog-a” challenge.
“I just love it,” Kendall said. “Everybody knows it. It’s simple and to the point.”
Mary Davis of Voorheesville decided against singing on camera, and her daughter was shy, too. But son Scottie, 9, was more courageous and gave “Sar-a-tog-a” a whirl.
“They sang it on the way in the car,” Mary Davis said.
Rana Meehan of Cohoes said it seems like she’s been singing the song for decades. She had a large contingent of family members in the picnic area Sunday and had no problem assembling a choir for a double-take “Sar-a-tog-a” performance.
Jean Pelletier of Schenectady was also in the middle of a family performance. Like others, she likes the jingle for its short, catchy notes.
There’s another consideration, too.
“It means summer,” Pelletier said.