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Glimmerglass
Jul. 11, 2011, 08:50 PM
Time for this thread to start. Next Sunday opens the first initial racing with their 31st annual Open House. A Saratoga tradition held prior to the start of racing season at North America’s most historic thoroughbred racetrack on Sunday, July 17th.

Amongst the many things to do next Sunday -


The National Steeplechase Association will get a jump on the racing season by presenting hurdle races. No pari-mutuel wagering is available on these races which get underway every 45 minutes beginning at 1:30 p.m.

This year's Saratoga will feature more steeplechase racing then has been in several years. Overall, nine steeplechase races are carded for the upstate New York meeting, up from six originally scheduled in 2010. Sept 1st will have two steeplechase races on the card and both with wagering unlike the July 17th races.


Sunday, July 17: Saratoga Open House, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle (four-year-olds), 2 1/16 miles; $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, five-year-olds and older), 2 1/16 miles; $15,000 maiden filly and mare hurdle, 2 1/16 miles; training flat race, 1 1/2 miles.

Thursday, July 28: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Jonathan Kiser Novice Hurdle Stakes, 2 1/16 miles.

Thursday, Aug. 4: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., $75,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial Hurdle Stakes (G2), 2 1/16 miles; optional allowance, 2 1/16 miles.

Thursday, Aug. 11: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Mrs. Ogden Phipps Filly and Mare Hurdle Stakes, 2 1/16 miles.

Thursday, Aug. 18: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Michael G. Walsh Novice Hurdle Stakes, 2 3/8 miles; optional allowance, 2 3/8 miles.

Thursday, Aug. 25: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., $100,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (G1), 2 3/8 miles.

Thursday, Sept. 1: Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Filly and Mare Hurdle Stakes, 2 1/16 miles; optional allowance, 2 1/16 miles.

(pdf) Entries for the Open House (July 17) races - decent field sizes (http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/files_mf/saratogaopenhousedraft.pdf)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 11, 2011, 08:56 PM
For those unable to go to the Spa this year and without HRTV or TVG you're in luck. See below:

It does not appear that the Kings Bishop on Travers Day will be picked up live - and rumor has it that Uncle Mo is being pointed to the sprint race - however its been a few years since the Travers was aired on the major cable channel. The last time a Saratoga race was televised nationally was ESPN’s broadcast of the 2009 Travers.


2001 Saratoga racing on NBC Sports or Versus
(All Times are Eastern Standard Time)

July 23: Coaching Club American Oaks, 5-6 p.m., NBC
July 30: Diana, 5-6 p.m., Versus
Aug. 6: Whitney, 5-6 p.m., Versus
Aug. 7: Vanderbilt, 5-6 p.m., Versus
Aug. 13: Sword Dancer, 5-6 p.m., Versus
Aug. 20: Alabama, 5-6 p.m., NBC
Aug. 27: Travers, 5-6 p.m., NBC
Sept. 3: Woodward, 5-6 p.m., Versus

I'll happily be in there in the stands for the Diana on the 30th :)

foundationmare
Jul. 11, 2011, 09:06 PM
I would love to have a horse running this summer. You never know!

Glimmerglass
Jul. 13, 2011, 09:59 AM
Celebrity chef and racehorse owner Bobby Flay will deliver the keynote address at the National Museum of Racing’s 2011 Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Aug. 12th.

The 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT and is open to the public at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion on Union Avenue.

Inductees this year are Thoroughbreds Duke of Magenta, Open Mind, Safely Kept, and Sky Beauty; jockey Shelby “Pike” Barnes; and trainers Matthew Byrnes and Jerry Hollendorfer.

Duke of Magenta (I had to look him up) died in 1899 after retiring to a farm outside of Boston (Brookline, shockingly) but during his racing days won the Preakness Stakes, the Withers Stakes, the Belmont Stakes, and the Travers Stakes. He was sold at the conclusion of his 3-year-old season by George Lorillard to his brother, Pierre Lorillard. Both were tobacco heirs and Pierre perhaps best known for creating the first gated and uber elite community in the US - Tuxedo Park, NY. Pierre sent him to race in England, but those plans never came to fruition. Duke of Magenta became ill on the voyage and was sent home retired.

WhiteCamry
Jul. 14, 2011, 11:39 AM
Duke of Magenta ... during his racing days won the Preakness Stakes, the Withers Stakes, the Belmont Stakes, and the Travers Stakes ...

When you substitute the Travers for the Kentucky Derby, a Preakness-Belmont-Travers triple makes for as interesting a short list as does the regular TC:

2001 - Point Given
1967 - Damascus
1953 - Native Dancer
1941 - Whirlaway
1920 - Man o' War
1880 - Grenada
1878 - Duke of Magenta

CVPeg
Jul. 14, 2011, 01:38 PM
When you substitute the Travers for the Kentucky Derby, a Preakness-Belmont-Travers triple makes for as interesting a short list as does the regular TC:

2001 - Point Given
1967 - Damascus
1953 - Native Dancer
1941 - Whirlaway
1920 - Man o' War
1880 - Grenada
1878 - Duke of Magenta

That makes Whirlaway the only TC winner who also won The Travers...

WhiteCamry
Jul. 14, 2011, 02:38 PM
That makes Whirlaway the only TC winner who also won The Travers...
It also highlights the odd (as in "I never heard a good reason why") coincidence of Man o' War not running in the KD and Secretariat not running in the TS.

CVPeg
Jul. 14, 2011, 05:54 PM
It also highlights the odd (as in "I never heard a good reason why") coincidence of Man o' War not running in the KD and Secretariat not running in the TS.

DRF's Champions states Secretariat's loss to Onion in the Whitney was due to a temperature. Maybe he still needed to recoup afterwards?

No explanation there about MOW's missed Derby - the Preakness was his first race as a 3 year old. Wasn't the TC created years later? ...although the KD was still considered the race to run in, one would think...

Glimmerglass
Jul. 14, 2011, 08:54 PM
No explanation there about MOW's missed Derby - the Preakness was his first race as a 3 year old. Wasn't the TC created years later? ...although the KD was still considered the race to run in, one would think...

Actually it well documented that Riddle was steadfastly against MOW racing in the Kentucky Derby. Sam believed it was too early in the year for a young thoroughbred to go 1¼ miles - "still too soft with the bones".

In the Travers he set the stakes record and tied the track record, which wasn't broken until 42 years later. Interesting the Travers Stakes in 1920 was the 4th race on the card out of just 6 races held that day, including a steeplechase (race 2, The Beverwyck Steeplechase Handicap) and the Grand Union Hotel Stakes.

(pdf) The New York Times Aug 22, 1920: Man o'War Beats Grier with Ease. Peerless Three-Year-Old Races Whitney Colt Into Submission at Saratoga. All Attendance Records for Grounds Shattered. (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F70C10F73D5E10728DDDAB0A94D0405B808EF1D3)


Not only were the stands packed as usual, but the crowd stretched for a quarter of a mile along the rail in a dense mass of humanity stretching from the rail back to the stands. The crowd was so large that before the running of The Travers Stakes an announcement was made that the infield would be thrown open to the public so that all present might have a chance to see the race, which many had come to witness.

As a result, 5,000 persons crossed the track and saw the race from the infield, stretching along the rail almost to the head of the stretch, with groups scattered across the back stretch. ... No race in many years has awakened such interest as did this one today because it brought Man o'War once more into competition John P. Grier.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 14, 2011, 09:06 PM
The Travers record time for Man o'War was 2.01 4/5 on a track listed as fast.

The current Travers Stakes record remains from 1979 and held by Secretariat's son (race video from 1979 - General Assembly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ok1e0Yez_s)) - it's also the track record for the distance. The fastest time recorded in the Travers Stakes since 1979 was 2:00.80. Spa is no rock-hard landing strip like Santa Anita ;)

Spectacular Bid did not race at Spa at 3-yrs old as he was still viewed as 'on the mend' from the hoof injury with the Belmont Stakes.

The connections instead shipped him to Delaware Park for an allowance race on August 26, 1979, so around the same time as the Travers. With Willie Shoemaker in the irons for the first time, he won by 17 lengths and set the track record of 1:41 3/5 for a mile and a sixteenth, which stood for nearly 20 years. So I'm sure Bert Firestone (General Assembly's owner) was happy they could enjoy their big trophy with Bid staying away from Spa :D

camfella
Jul. 15, 2011, 06:58 PM
I don't get Saratoga. Old facility, poor seating choices unless you ooze $$'s, and crappy NY bred races. Add to that, overpriced rooms, and why do people even bother? Ego??

CVPeg
Jul. 15, 2011, 08:51 PM
Actually it well documented that Riddle was steadfastly against MOW racing in the Kentucky Derby. Sam believed it was too early in the year for a young thoroughbred to go 1¼ miles - "still too soft with the bones".

In the Travers he set the stakes record and tied the track record, which wasn't broken until 42 years later. Interesting the Travers Stakes in 1920 was the 4th race on the card out of just 6 races held that day, including a steeplechase (race 2, The Beverwyck Steeplechase Handicap) and the Grand Union Hotel Stakes.

(pdf) The New York Times Aug 22, 1920: Man o'War Beats Grier with Ease. Peerless Three-Year-Old Races Whitney Colt Into Submission at Saratoga. All Attendance Records for Grounds Shattered. (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F70C10F73D5E10728DDDAB0A94D0405B808EF1D3)
Interesting that he ran several times as a 2yo, but the KD was too early for a 3yo...
And I was born in the wrong era - I would have loved to have been in the middle of that!


The Travers record time for Man o'War was 2.01 4/5 on a track listed as fast.

The current Travers Stakes record remains from 1979 and held by Secretariat's son (race video from 1979 - General Assembly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ok1e0Yez_s)) - it's also the track record for the distance. The fastest time recorded in the Travers Stakes since 1979 was 2:00.80. Spa is no rock-hard landing strip like Santa Anita ;)

I DID get to see that Travers - a huge wet, sloppy mess! We were in awful seats at the far turn, but it was thrilling to see General Assembly's romp.


I don't get Saratoga. Old facility, poor seating choices unless you ooze $$'s, and crappy NY bred races. Add to that, overpriced rooms, and why do people even bother? Ego??

I'd guess: 1) history and tradition, 2)that it is a respite for thousands of NYCers, 3)it's not just "crappy New York breds" (which by the way, doesn't have the connotation of yesteryear) but so many train just for this meet - so it's interesting to see who brought whom out of the barn just for this, and 4) the social aspect, seeing old friends, same faces, good people. Although I have to say the most annoying part are those who don't "get racing" - you know the ones who stand up and turn around to wave to their friends coming in behind them - just as the horses are nearing the finish?!?:mad:

I'm lucky enough to live within 90 minutes of the track, but the few times I've stayed, I spent less by schlepping down to Albany - last year the Americana had great prices on the weekends since they specialize in corporate affairs during the week.

SteeleRdr
Jul. 17, 2011, 10:31 AM
Looks as though leading owner, Irv Naylor, has come through for the sport of steeplechasing again. According to the NSA, all races from today at the Open House at Saratoga will be available for live streaming!!

http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/news-cat/steeplechasing-kicks-off-saratoga-season-at-open-house/#more-2958

Kudos to Irv!

Glimmerglass
Jul. 17, 2011, 10:42 AM
Looks as though leading owner, Irv Naylor, has come through for the sport of steeplechasing again. According to the NSA, all races from today at the Open House at Saratoga will be available for live streaming!!

Kudos to Irv!

Sensational! Thanks to Mr. Naylor and SteeleRdr for passing this along.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 17, 2011, 11:39 AM
The Times Union has 200 historical photos of Saratoga Springs (the city and track) on-line for viewing ...

http://www.timesunion.com/sports/article/Historical-photos-Saratoga-Springs-through-the-1469618.php

How things haven't changed much at all: backstretch at Saratoga Race Course July 26, 1920 (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1121827&width=628&height=471")

But they have with the advent of horse trailers and the demise of shipping horses up to Saratoga via train. Still this is a great one too - to think Man o'War and Exterminator both were walked up the street Image - horses walk to track from D&H station (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1121853&width=628&height=471):


Horses are led up Circular Street (past the Batcheller Mansion) to the track on July 15, 1934. There were no horse vans back then ... all the horses came up from New York via train and then walked up to the track.

SteeleRdr
Jul. 17, 2011, 01:39 PM
Anyone trying to watch the live feed?? I can't seem to get it to work on my computer for some reason. Just a black screen with a blue "Minolta" looking trademark symbol in the bottom right of the screen. Bummed I missed the first, and now the second!

Hilldale
Jul. 17, 2011, 02:21 PM
We've been trying to get it too and only have the black screen - wanted to see the 2nd. ST Publishing is tweeting but only the winners so far.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 17, 2011, 02:44 PM
Ditto - never getting anything but the black image and logo bottom right :(

As cited (spoilers) ST Times tweets from Spa for the races (http://twitter.com/#!/stpublishing)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 17, 2011, 03:35 PM
The feed is up now but a bit late in the game ...

Glimmerglass
Jul. 18, 2011, 11:55 AM
Least anyone forgets NBC Sports this Saturday (7/23) will be airing live from Saratoga the Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, for 3-yr old fillies at 1 1/8 mi:


In that contest, Grade 1 Mother Goose winner Buster’s Ready is expected to square off against Grade 1 Acorn heroine It’s Tricky. Also likely are Black-Eyed Susan victress Royal Delta, Mother Goose runner-up Joyful Victory, and recent allowance winner Marvel Gaye. Possible for the race according to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes are Little Miss Holly and Hearts On Fire, 1-2 finishers in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks.

Other races in the near future will feature some of the old timers with household names:


On Monday, July 25th, older New York-breds will battle in the $75,000, 1 1/8-mile Evan Shipman. Probable for that race, according to Byrnes, are Ibboyee, Icabad Crane, Johannesburg Smile, Mine Over Matter, Naughty New Yorker, and Slevin. Most Happy Fella and Stormy’s Majesty were listed as possible entrants.

As for the closure of the Belmont meet (ended July 17th): Linda Rice took not only her 1,000th victory but also co-champion trainer title. That is a first for a woman at Belmont. (She previously won Saratoga outright and tied in spring 2011 for an Aqueduct title with David Jacobson). Rice finished the Belmont spring/summer meet tied with Todd Pletcher atop the trainer standings with 25 wins.

The victory appropriately came with Sextant, a 6-year-old mare owned by her father, Clyde Rice, a former trainer.

Via a quirk with her name she actually has more (http://nyra.com/belmont/stories/July172011b.shtml) than 1,000 TB victories:


It should also be noted that training under the name of Linda Rice-Appleby, she compiled a record of 21 wins, 12 seconds, 15 thirds, and earnings of $433,967 from 102 starts during 1988-89. All together, she currently has 1,021 wins, according to statistics provided by Equibase Company.

Rice joins an elite group of female trainers to have reached the 1,000 win milestone, including Stephanie Beattie, Christine Janks, Barbara McBride, and Kathleen O’Connell.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 18, 2011, 06:47 PM
Blind Luck, Havre de Grace both headed to New York (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-blind-luck-havre-de-grace-both-headed-new-york) - but unlikely to go head to head still never say never!

The Personal Ensign is one option for both ..


Blind Luck is likely to make her next start Grade 1, $300,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga on Aug. 28, trainer and part-owner Jerry Hollendorfer said. The Personal Ensign is run at 1 1/4 miles.

While Porter hasn’t ruled out running Havre de Grace in the Personal Ensign, he said “I don’t think it makes sense money-wise.”

The other is against the males in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Sept. 3rd @ at 1 1/8 miles. That's not Blind Luck's best distance.


Havre de Grace [connections said they'd like her going] against males, and Porter indicated the Woodward made the most sense from a money and timing standpoint. In 2009, Rachel Alexandra became the first female to win the Woodward, which was part of an undefeated campaign and one that led to her being named Horse of the Year.

“Maybe Blind Luck would like to join us in the Woodward,” Porter said. “She’s invited if we run.”

Though Hollendorfer has run fillies against males before – Pike Place Dancer won the California Derby before winning the Kentucky Oaks – he said he was not inclined to do that with Blind Luck, whom he said he would like to run next year as a 5-year-old.

foundationmare
Jul. 18, 2011, 07:37 PM
Camfella,

You're 100% right. You DON'T get it!

Glimmerglass
Jul. 18, 2011, 10:56 PM
Enjoy Saratoga, if you get the chance. That's all folks!

Timex
Jul. 20, 2011, 11:09 AM
I hope those that want to get here, do. There's just something about Saratoga that sets it apart.

That being said, things are really starting to pick up! As of the weekend it was still pretty dead, but over the past few days things have really picked up. Tons more horses, and the vans keep pulling in! Saw a half dozen Brookledge vans, several Sallee vans, Morrisey, and a few independant shippers, just as I was leaving...........

CVPeg
Jul. 20, 2011, 02:15 PM
Am so up for Saratoga this year - have more free time, several great seats, or will do backstretch tailgating for days without.

New article in the Saratogian about some concession changes - http://saratogian.com/articles/2011/07/20/news/doc4e25de36bf9c6865358189.txt
Not sure I embrace them, but all you beer drinkers will. At least the Grandstand is supposed to be less cluttered.

Plus, the 7th race on Friday will be named after Gabrielle Giffords, with her husband doing the presentation. A fund raiser for her re-election committee is being held that evening.http://saratogian.com/articles/2011/07/20/news/doc4e26fa465a714477823267.txt

Only thing is, it still feels weird - I have opening day tickets, and today's Wednesday, and I keep feeling like I'm missing it!

WhiteCamry
Jul. 20, 2011, 02:32 PM
Actually it well documented that Riddle was steadfastly against MOW racing in the Kentucky Derby. Sam believed it was too early in the year for a young thoroughbred to go 1¼ miles - "still too soft with the bones".
Yet he thought it just fine to run him in the 9½ furlong Preakness. 110 yards is such a big difference?

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2011, 01:34 PM
Could Saratoga's opening actually not go off tomorrow?

Times Union 7-21-11 "Friday's hottest tip: Warmth to show" (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Friday-s-hottest-tip-Warmth-to-show-1493599.php)


The question fans of Saratoga Race Course keep asking is, will it be hot enough to force the New York Racing Association to call off Opening Day of the thoroughbred meet?

It would be the first time in the fabled track's 143-year history that it was dark on Opening Day.

"It's going to be a tough call," trainer Rick Violette, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, said Wednesday morning on the Spa backstretch. "I am sure that NYRA will consider all the options."

Only once in the history of Saratoga has a full day of racing been called off because of heat. That came on Aug. 2, 2006, when the temperature was 96 and the heat index climbed to 107.

The odds seem low however of it happening.

NYRA sent out a release saying that additional buckets of ice would be placed around the track and the backstretch area and additional hoses would be be placed around the track.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:08 PM
Monmouth has announced they'll cancel Friday racing at the Jersey Shore (http://www.drf.com/news/monmouth-cancels-friday-card-due-heat-wave-will-race-monday-instead) - which puts more pressure on NYRA.

WhiteCamry
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:54 PM
Has any major Saratoga race ever been called on account of the heat?

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:21 PM
WhiteCamry only once has an entire days card been cancelled due to heat: Aug 2, 2006 which was a Wednesday and no major races impacted. The heat index that day was 107-degrees at the track.

TimesUnion 7-21-11 (afternoon) "Opening day still a go, NYRA president says" (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Opening-day-still-a-go-NYRA-president-says-1527841.php)


"The fundamental concern is very simple -- the health of the horse and the jockey. But I think we're going to be good to go," said Hayward, who met Thursday morning with several thoroughbred trainers who are taking extra precautions to hydrate their horses.

The forecast for Saratoga Springs on Friday calls for a high of 92 degrees and a heat index of 96, said Bob Kilpatrick, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2011, 04:35 PM
A often posted video to kick off the Spa season (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-CbAqOqBYo) :)

Two noted opening day races:


NFL star Wes Welker has rooting interest in Schuylerville Stakes

National Football League wide receiver Wes Welker’s attention will be riveted on Saratoga on Friday when Gypsy Robin, a 2-year-old filly in whom he owns a minority share, goes postward as one of the favorites in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes.


James Marvin Stakes draws deep cast of graded stakes winners on opening day (http://www.drf.com/news/james-marvin-schuylerville-top-saratogas-opening-day)

James Marvin drew an extremely deep 11-horse field that has combined to win 34 stakes races, 14 of which are graded. The James Marvin – and not the Grade 1, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt run at six furlongs here Aug. 7 – has become the prep race of choice for the Grade 1 Forego run Sept. 3.

The field, from the rail out, is: Escrow Kid, Jackson Bend, Aikenite, Ravalo, Gayego, Here Comes Ben, D’ Funnybone, Hamazing Destiny, Caixa Eletronica, Congressional Page, and Jersey Town.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2011, 05:43 PM
TV ad spot for Saratoga 2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwRU82jIgmc&feature=feedu)

I still miss the ads of my youth with the jingle of "Saratoga thoroughly thoroughbred" which you can see/hear from this a 1982 tv ad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MXgj3izoh4).

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:08 PM
An interesting stat regarding Saratoga (2010) - highest payoff trainer/jockey combo (http://www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2011/07/17/sports/web_photos/combos112809.jpg)

Guin
Jul. 21, 2011, 08:29 PM
Why would any responsible owner or trainer run a horse in this weather? Tomorrow the heat index is going to be over 100.

Even if they don't move it to Saturday, won't everyone be scratching?

foundationmare
Jul. 21, 2011, 08:31 PM
I loved the pic of the horses making it from the train station to the track! And many more trips down memory lane. I can't wait to get back there and, wow, opening day is tomorrow??? Hot as hel. Finger Lakes called today and it's good they did because it was murderous in this neck of the woods.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2011, 09:41 PM
I loved the pic of the horses making it from the train station to the track!

Yep a gem of an image. And the Times Union had a "share your memories" section to coincide with the pictures they had. With respect to that horses walked from the Delaware & Hudson station to the track: Image of the horses being lead July 15, 1934 (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1121853&width=628&height=471)


"You could get paid $3 a lead to bring (horses) to the track, and that was a lot of money in 1934. I certainly did see it. The train cars would come in (on West Circular Street) and they had big platforms and they would bring the horses off. Everyone would run around and stand around hoping they would get a chance to walk one of the horses to the track. Sometimes the horses would stretch from the railroad track, right up West Circular to Circular (where the Holiday Inn is now) and past the Batcheller Mansion and up Union Avenue. It might have been a mile-and-a-half walk. There would always be 40 or 50 people who came down to watch the horses get off the trains. In the week before the track opened, there must have been a thousand horses that came off the trains. I was pretty small in 1934, but I watched it. As I got older, I would still go down. I remember I saw all the big horses. I saw (1937 Triple Crown winner) War Admiral!" -- Augie Jordan, 80, Saratoga Springs

Image courtesy Skip Dickstein): Whitney Stakes, August 1973, winners circle - Onion (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1121982&width=628&height=471) after defeating Secretariat in a shocker.

MOW defeated in shocker to Upset, Aug 13, 1919 at the Spa in the Sanford Stakes (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1121965&width=628&height=471)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 22, 2011, 09:51 AM
As of almost 10am CST equibase is showing no scratches at Saratoga today (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR072211USA-EQB.html)

Any late scratches will be shown here:
http://equibase.com/static/latechanges/html/latechangesSAR-USA.html

Another blast from the past image :D

Image 1968 NYRA hostesses; almost like something from the Air France stewardess archives. (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1121907&width=628&height=471) Rather hip and classy although not suited for 90-degree days.

Issue 1 for 2011 - ST Times' "Saratoga Special" - July 22, 2011 (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/7-21-2011/#/1/)

(If you want the pdf version of the 'Special' - see here for that (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/7-21-2011/files/assets/downloads/publication.pdf))

As an aside, despite the heat, Uncle Mo worked on the Main Track Friday morning: 3F in 38.22 seconds (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-uncle-mo-has-first-work-easy-three-furlongs); additionally he's gained 105-lbs since the time at Winstar and Saratoga.

frugalannie
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:04 AM
Can't wait to hear how the two-year olds are looking, both fillies and colts. And how this meet will play out for several of the big names there.

Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Glimmer!

Glimmerglass
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:34 AM
Video: Uncle Mo's breeze on the Main Track this morning (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXsXY4zc_hs) (including Mike Repole helping give Mo a bath post work)

Per the Saratogian (7/22) Carr-Hughes will be producing the NBC/Versus coverage of Spa (http://saratogian.com/articles/2011/07/22/news/doc4e28dde71744e966199361.txt) - excerpts below

Most people will know of that firm from their production of the Rolex Three-Day.


Carr-Hughes Productions, a Saratoga Springs-based film production company, will be the sole producer for NBC’s first-of-its-kind “live” horse-racing television series “Summer in Saratoga.” Each weekend during the 40-day meet, the series will feature eight one-hour “live from the track” shows, three of which will air on NBC and five of which will air on NBC’s national sports channel VERSUS.

“We’re thrilled to be involved,” Hughes said of the project, which will provide the most extensive live major national television racing coverage in the Saratoga track’s history.

“We’re very excited on two fronts,” Hughes said of the deal. “First, we’re local, so we understand what the track means. Saratoga is unique in its tradition and elegance.”

With Carr and Hughes leading a primarily local team, the “Summer in Saratoga” series is in good hands to help capture the essence of the track and life in Saratoga.

“The truth is: the goal is to promote the track, but also to promote Saratoga,” Hughes said of the series. “The racing is just one part of what we’re doing; the other piece is highlighting the Saratoga lifestyle.”

The company’s team of nine full-time workers at the company’s Church Street headquarters has been working hard with a freelance crew to capture the culture of Saratoga Springs for the series. Camera operators have been out shooting primary footage of downtown Saratoga Springs, the backstretch and local tourist attractions.

Carr-Hughes will shoot live racing footage on all seven Saturdays and one Sunday of the Saratoga meet. The shows will be aired live because an on-site producer will work slide segments of the previously shot “lifestyle” footage in between the live racing coverage as it is broadcast across the nation.

One noted and sad change with the familiar sights on the Spa grounds: the former Carvel soft-serve ice cream stand (near the bandstand) is now occupied by Dunkin' Donuts. This is DD's first year on the grounds and they're notably supporting the racing atmosphere with promotions, etc.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:23 PM
As of almost 10am CST equibase is showing no scratches at Saratoga today (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR072211USA-EQB.html)

And now the scratches are reported. Not too bad all things considered.


Race: 1 Changes Time Posted
Temp Rail Distance set at 9 ft. 11:53 AM ET
#1A Brolio Scratched - Main-Track-Only 11:53 AM ET
#3 Adam Rides Again Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET

Race: 4 Changes Time Posted
#2 Abtasaamah Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#3 Satilla Shores Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#9 Indian Tale Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET

Race: 5 Changes Time Posted
#6 I Know You Know Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET

Race: 8 Changes Time Posted
#4 Ravalo Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#5 Gayego Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#11 Jersey Town Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET

Race: 9 Changes Time Posted
No Superfecta Wagering 11:53 AM ET
#2 Five Star Momma Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#3 Dorothy's Aurora Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#8 Flashy Lassie Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET

Race: 10 Changes Time Posted
#4 Slamm'n Lou Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#8 Deflationary Fears Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET
#12 Prowler Scratched - Trainer 11:53 AM ET

Most notables - from my view Gayego in the 8th the James Marvin Stakes and Flashy Lassie (although expected as she stayed in Kentucky) in the 9th Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville Stakes

Glimmerglass
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:30 PM
Finger Lakes is running today as well so Upstate, while warm, isn't stopping the racing.

Race Two (http://www.drf.com/race-results/SAR/USA/2011-07-22/D/2) (1 1/16 Miles Turf) on opening day see some familiar silks in the winner's circle: Stephen's Revenge, piloted by Eddie Castro for trainer Barclay Tagg and owner: Sackatoga Stable

WhiteCamry
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:32 PM
Why would any responsible owner or trainer run a horse in this weather? Tomorrow the heat index is going to be over 100.

Even if they don't move it to Saturday, won't everyone be scratching?
Mayhaps a good argument for night racing at The Spa?

Glimmerglass
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:44 PM
Terribly unlucky start in the 5th (2yr old fillies) for Repole Stable's Stopshoppingmaria who fell almost to her knees at the break and while tried to rally could only manage 3rd. (The horse is named for Mike's wife and her well known spending habits.)

The winner of that 5th race was the familiar Stonestreet Stables silks with 'My Miss Aurelia' piloted by Julien Leparoux and trained by Steve Asmussen.

Julien Laparoux has now back to back wins on the day.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 22, 2011, 05:09 PM
Nick Zito who had a horrible Belmont meet (final ranking #59th with a dismal 31 2-3-6) and Jackson Bend who hasn't seen the winner's circle since he was 2-yrs old ... came up with a very convincing win in the should-be-graded James Marvin Stakes. Cory Nakatani up guided the dismissed little Jackson Bend to a multiple length victory right along the rail.

I believe that after the race, Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, was to make a presentation to the winning connections.

No threat from Aikenite, D'Funny Bone, Here Comes Ben by the end of the race

CVPeg
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:01 AM
We attended yesterday - no doubt, it was hot, but not as hot and less humid than Thursday. We are lucky enough to have good seats for the days we will be going, and we both felt we had had more uncomfortable days at Saratoga in the past.

There were plenty of hoses along the fenceline, but I didn't notice any horse having a particularly hard time after a race. And I definitely have seen horses in distress after a race - here at Saratoga, and very definitely at Belmont. Guess there's some truth to the theory that the days of heat preceding had the horses acclimated to the conditions.

The rail was definitely the place to be yesterday in most dirt races - with big moves being made by those that spent their time there.

Jackson Bend was very impressive - good to see his comeback.

One jockey to keep an eye on was apprentice Irad Ortiz, who won the 6th race on Pico Dinero for Schettino. A very smooth, low slung rider, who had his horse placed well, going wide around the turn, took the lead, kept the pace down, and drew away at the finish.

In the last race, the eventual winner, Canani trained Chosen Empire, opened at 6:1, appeared to take about 10k in the last minute to make him the favorite, and blew away the field - somebody knew something!

Pletcher's Georgie's Angel won the feature with authority. The Saratoga Special (love the Clancys!) had an interesting article about lawyer/first time owner Ronnie Sheffer's experience with his new filly. Wonder how long he'll think it's this easy!

http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/7-23-2011/#/14/zoomed

Glimmerglass
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:56 AM
Opening day: 25,155 - up 13.4 percent from a rainy 2010 at the Spa.

ST Times - Saratoga Special for Sat July 23rd (pdf) (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/7-23-2011/files/assets/downloads/publication.pdf)

(Or online edition here (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/7-23-2011/#/1/))

Since people have enjoyed Barbara Livingston's contribution at the DRF - check out her images of "old" Saratoga hidden at the current track:
http://www.drf.com/blogs/old-new-past-present-everywhere-you-turn-historic-saratoga

Glimmerglass
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:11 AM
The opening wagering data - especially in light of the weather - is highly encouraging too:


On-track handle for the 10-race Saratoga card totaled $3,551,745, a 13.4 percent increase over $3,130,756 on Opening Day 2010.

Wagering at the downstate Belmont Café and Aqueduct Racetrack simulcast facilities was $407,383, resulting in a combined on-track handle of $3,959,128, up 18.5 percent from $3,341,842 last year.

All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was $15,871,449, up 18.9 percent from $13,349,050 in 2010.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 23, 2011, 01:38 PM
Saturday's scratches are 15 total for the entire days cards including Allowance Entries (http://www.equibase.com/premium/changes/SAR-changes.asp)

There will be no French landscape painter and printmaker in the 6th. Jeanbaptiste Corot is a scratch ;)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 23, 2011, 01:52 PM
Tiger Woods look out? Not likely, but hey it was for a good cause. Saratoga jockeys play round of mini golf Thursday early afternoon to benefit Retirement home, Old Friends Cabin Creek at Murphy's Golf

Photo: Julien Leparoux plays a round of miniature golf at Murphy's (http://www.saratogian.com/content/articles/2011/07/22/sports/doc4e28da8371b38025177397.jpg) (Photo credit - Erica Miller/The Saratogian)

Drvmb1ggl3
Jul. 23, 2011, 05:50 PM
Now, that was a stretch duel for the ages. What a race. It's Tricky gets up on the line over Plum Pretty, after being neck and neck from about half way around the turn.

Some small consolation for Godolphin after what happned to Rewilding earlier today.

tradewind
Jul. 23, 2011, 06:07 PM
Fabulous race I thought

Flashy Gray VA
Jul. 23, 2011, 07:18 PM
Wow, talk about grit - loved how PP fought back hard but It's Tricky had a terrific trip!

Glimmerglass
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:36 PM
Final Saturday attendance number, again despite the heat: 22,091

(Please, please be cooler says Glimmerglass who will be there next Sat for the Diana and Jim Dandy!)

Video - Sat 7/23 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lQFpnLw8fs)

A rematch between It’s Tricky and Plum Pretty could take place in the Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama here on Aug. 20. So that might be the better filly duel then say cries for NYRA to sweeten the pot to bring (http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/6786944/nyra-needs-bring-fillies-together) Blind Luck and Havre de Grace together again at Spa in the 62nd Grade 1 Personal Ensign at 1 1/4 mi.

(To do so would require, per Rick Porter, 'Grace' owner, to double up the purse. Otherwise she runs in the Grade 1 Woodward at Spa against the boys. That to be would be faaaaar more of a thrilling entry. It's exceedingly unlikely Monmouth could/would double up their Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Stakes to bring both horses to Jersey and thus neither run at Saratoga.)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:43 PM
Sunday - July 24th - race of the day at Spa will be the (9th race) Grade 2 Sanford Satkes ($150k) ( )

This is the 97th running of the famed race which produced such Champions as (http://www.nyra.com/Saratoga/Stakes/Sanford.shtml): Tom Fool (1951), Hail To Reason (1960), etc. Oh and in 1919 (as previously cited in this topic thread) a little match between Upset and Man o'War in 1919 :D

Glimmerglass
Jul. 24, 2011, 02:36 PM
Cited on another thread was the subject of horses at Saratoga and roads/streets.

Image from Barbara Livingston (http://www.drf.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_main/photos/Overdriven01.Union%20Ave.7-22-11.BL_.jpg): Overdriven, with exercise rider Patti Krotenko up, crosses Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Friday.

That horse, Overdrive [owned by Mike Repole and ridden by John Velazquez] will be the likely favorite in today's (SUN) signature race.


Overdriven will face seven rivals in Sunday’s Sanford, including Jack’s in the Deck, who won the Futurity at Belmont on July 3, and Power World, who finished second in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill on July 2.

Overdriven, a son of Tale of the Cat, debuted July 1 at Belmont. After bobbling slightly at the start, Overdriven chased the well-touted J.C.s Pride early, collared him at the quarter pole, and then gradually drew clear in the stretch. He ran five furlongs in 56.42 seconds and earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

For the good and bad of the meet - there is a fatality to cite :( Rockette’s Eswcapade (http://blog.timesunion.com/horseracing/meet-has-first-casualty-in-first-race-saturday/7595/) was euthanized on Saturday afternoon after pulling up in a race earlier on the day's card.


The 4-year-old gray filly, ridden by John Velazquez, suffered a condylar fracture of her right hind ankle.

Trainer Bill Mott raced up the track to be with his filly, who was being attended to, the and the equine ambulance was sent. The filly was able to get on the van and was taken back to the barn.

After being examined, Rockette’s Eswcapade, who had a win, a second and three thirds in her five prior races, was euthanized.

Here is hoping the first is also the last in the meet.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 24, 2011, 05:40 PM
As Tom Durkin remarked in the stretch of the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes with his call "there will be no Upset this year" ... Overdriven final odds were 1-5 (paying $2.60 for the $2 wager) and he won by about 4-lengths. Final 6F in 1:10.60

A good looking colt.

Flashy Gray VA
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:07 PM
Agreed, Glimmer - he IS a nice looking colt, very powerfully built.

Hopefully today's stakes win for Repole Stables will take the sting out of yesterday's trip out of the gate by SSM. Mrs. Repole looks like she doesn't take the advice to "Stop Shopping" from anyone! :)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 24, 2011, 11:46 PM
A rather thin crowd - just 18,791 - on hand to see Repole Stable's Overdrive take the victory

Race replay - Grade 2, $150,000 Sanford Stakes (July 24, 2011) (http://www1.drf.com/replays/savedreplays.jsp?RACE=1915)

(Maan was an early scratch while Bless the Soldier flipped in the gate, suffering several cuts that were enough to warrant a late scratch.)

Not unlike Rachel Alexandra's impact on NYRA (twice), the wagering was so lopsided that it cost the track money to cover the shortfall: (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-overdriven-looks-awesome-sanford)


Overdriven covered six furlongs in 1:10.60 and returned $2.60 as the 1-4 favorite. With $284,191 wagered on him to show out of $239,780, there was a minus-show pool of $45,550.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 25, 2011, 06:28 PM
Lots of rain all day long as Saratoga today (Monday) pulling everything off the turf. Accordingly it made for a tiny audience: just 7,839 showed up. That's believed to be the smallest Saratoga crowd since Aug. 31, 2005 when 7,700 showed up.

Naughty New Yorker scratched from the feature race today. The winner was however a well known "older" horse who has been a graded stakes finisher for a while ;) Video replay below

Video replay: today's feature (7-25-11) the $75,000 Evan Shipman stakes (NY-breds only) (http://www.youtube.com/user/NYRAvideo#p/a/u/0/k1Ty2ZNMtaw)

The last race of the day (9) a steeplechaser runner tried his hand at running on the sloppy main track - Maya Charli - and alas there was no Jonathan Sheppard like success with trainer Lisa Lewis. Maya wasn't keen on being there. Sheppard, if you'll recall, last year put in a 'chaser into a flat race and stole it.

I thought I read somewhere that 'chase jockey Danielle Hodson was recovering from injuries. I don't see her listed among the jocks for Thursday July 28th's first Steeplechase as Saratoga race The Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes (http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/files_mf/saratoga_72811.pdf). That field has 10 entries which is solid considering how stretch thin 'chasing will be for as many races as Saratoga is offering the NSA this year.

I'll still take Italian Wedding in that race for assorted reasons :)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 26, 2011, 12:26 PM
Wednesday July 27th will have as their race of the day the (8th) Lake George S. (Grade 2) (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR072711USA-EQB.html#RACE8). All eyes will be on Bobby Flay's Breeders' Cup winner - More Than Real - to see if she can bounce back after the poor 3-yr old start at Royal Ascot.

The morning line favorite for the race is Winter Memories. She is coming off back to back graded stakes wins. (http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=8336819&registry=T)

Looking over the upcoming races and entries drawn, note Friday July 29th's 3rd race an Allowance Optional $75k Claiming (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR072911USA-EQB.html#RACE3) (although no entries are in for a tag). What is interesting in this $57k pursed race at 1 1/8miles are the names:

Ice Box, Anak Nakal, Wilkinson, Ron the Greek, Convocation, and Northern Giant. All of these guys have been cited at one time or another with the Kentucky Derby chase for their respective year.

Blacklabs
Jul. 26, 2011, 06:36 PM
On one of the threads for Saratoga someone was looking for a pet sitter for their dogs while they went to the track.

Here's a link for you

http://www.care.com/visitor/captureSearchBar.do?care=pet-care-pet-sitting-dog-walking

Glimmerglass
Jul. 26, 2011, 11:43 PM
Looks like the Oklahoma track was a bit of wild and crazy place with so many horses working and near dangerous circumstances. It prompted changes effective Wed July 27th: DRF - 7/26/11 "Morning traffic jams on turf course lead to restrictions" (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-morning-traffic-jams-turf-course-lead-restrictions)


By late afternoon, track management had reacted to Monday’s potentially disastrous situation. Racing secretary P.J. Campo said that beginning Wednesday, only workers, and not gallopers, will be allowed on the course to train.

“It’s a hard balance trying to keep everybody happy,” said Campo. “For now, we’ll keep the gallopers off the course, with the outriders to police the situation. If enough trainers request to use the course for galloping, perhaps we’ll open the infield on a non-work day to accommodate gallopers. Hopefully this will correct the problem.”

Glimmerglass
Jul. 27, 2011, 03:08 PM
Regarding the chaos at the Oklahoma Training Track (which prompted new restrictions) - Barbara Livingston caught on film the wrong way running at the Oklahoma training track: he looks like a future steeplechaser! (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-morning-traffic-jams-turf-course-lead-restrictions)

Trainer Tom Bush of Get Stormy, multiple Grade 1 winner:


Bush heard the blaring sound of the horn that is activated when a horse gets loose on the track.

“I looked over and saw the loose horse beginning to turn back up the stretch [going the wrong way] along the inside fence and my heart started pounding so hard,” said Bush. “I was about as insane as you get watching the riderless horse head in Stormy’s direction. I kept turning back and forth from my horse to the loose horse so many times I don’t even remember where Ramon eventually got him pulled up.”

Glimmerglass
Aug. 1, 2011, 09:23 PM
In my absence - while at Saratoga - I have to point out this race in particular because it reinforces why Javier Castellano is almost the leading rider at Saratoga in wins (but at the very top in the meet so far by a country mile in earnings) and the lack of faith by others in the horse ;)

Video replay: Grade 1 $250,000 Ruffian Invitational at Saratoga July 31, 2011 (http://www1.drf.com/replays/savedreplays.jsp?RACE=1945)

Times Union July 31, 2011 - "18-1 longshot Ask the Moon wins The Ruffian" (http://blog.timesunion.com/horseracing/18-1-longshot-ask-the-moon-wins-the-ruffian/7786/)


Jockey Javier Castellano, who got the call on Ask the Moon at 11 this morning, piloted the 6-year-old mare to a wire-to-wire victory in the $250,000 Grade I Ruffian at Saratoga Race Course.

Ask The Moon, an 18-1 longshot, prevailed by 5 3/4 lengths to earn an automatic bid to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic through the “Win and You’re In” program.

Castellano replaced scheduled jockey Luis Saez, who didn’t make the trip to Saratoga and instead rode on the Haskell Invitational undercard at Monmouth Park.

It was a big weekend for Castellano, who also rode winning horses in the Grade I Diana and the Grade II Jim Dandy on Saturday at the Spa.

Winning trainer Marty Wolfson wasn’t at The Ruffian on Sunday. He is afraid of flying.

Btw - jockey Luis Saez, who gave up the mount, instead took 2nd on Bronx City Girl in the $100k Regret Stakes at Monmouth. That would pay just $20k for 2nd so a fraction of the payday ...

WhiteCamry
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:57 AM
Btw - jockey Luis Saez, who gave up the mount, instead took 2nd on Bronx City Girl in the $100k Regret Stakes at Monmouth. That would pay just $20k for 2nd so a fraction of the payday ...
Tsk, tsk ...

CVPeg
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:14 AM
On one of the threads for Saratoga someone was looking for a pet sitter for their dogs while they went to the track.

Here's a link for you

http://www.care.com/visitor/captureSearchBar.do?care=pet-care-pet-sitting-dog-walking

Great, thanks!:yes:

frugalannie
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:44 AM
So, Glimmerglass, what were your impressions of Saratoga? Fill in those of us who wish we were able to be there!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 2, 2011, 12:31 PM
Tsk, tsk ...

I'm not blaming Saez for taking what he thought was a better mount at another track. However for Javier Castellano could ride a three-legged horse into the winner's circle at Saratoga right now. Not bad getting a pick-up mount hours before a Grade 1 race and win it wire to wire.

Saratoga in 2011, thus far, compared to 2010 is doing better. Although the weather really has limited the meet to date. Several days of very hot and humid conditions mixed with a couple of days of downpours. Report as of August 1, 2011 (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-business-first-10-days)


Business is up slightly at the current Saratoga meet when compared with the first 10 days of the 2010 season.

Attendance for the first 10 days was 201,400, up 1.3 percent from 198,857 last year. That included a Sunday giveaway announced crowd of 40,974 compared with a Thursday giveaway crowd of 29,697 during the same 10-day span in 2010.

Ontrack handle totaled $27,728,174, up 4.5 percent from $26,531,605 last year. All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga from simulcast outlets as well as ontrack, was $133,920,502, up 1.6 percent from $131,860,879 in 2010.

There have been two more races run (99 to 97) and 15 more betting interests (846 to 831) through the first 10 days at this meet as compared with last year. There have been 44 turf races compared with 41 in 2010.

On Saturday - absent of any spinners and giveaway plus some very good weather - the attendance was 30,048 which with two graded races is decent but not sensational.

The track easily absorbed those 30k bodies without my ability to wager, drink, sit or eat compromised so it was a good day. Not a great wagering day however. I just couldn't go with Stay Thirsty (despite Javier up) in the Jim Dandy and I really thought the Augustin runner could've pulled out an upset Diana win, yet didn't. When George Strawbridge Jr. wasn't to be seen in the paddock perhaps that should've been more telling ;)

The new infield tote has gotten some complaints but frankly I liked it. Clear and bright so that regardless of gobs of sunshine you could see it and no need to squint to read the numbers either.

Overall thought compared to prior recent years it doesn't feel like the race meet is being promoted or mentioned as much in the local media. Getting even a clip of the day's signature race (save for the Jim Dandy/Diana) on an Albany TV station for the 11pm news isn't happening. AAA baseball results because a player who once went to a high school in East Greenbush for a year (I'm making this up) must be more important.

(pdf) Entries for Steeplechase races 1 & 2 Thursday August 4, 2011 - Grade 2 A.P. Smithwick Memorial and Firestone Tire Hurdle (http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/files_mf/saratoga_8411.pdf) respectively

6 horses in the Smithwick, notable Slip Away, and 10 horses in the Firestone, notable Percussionist.

This will be the first time I can recall that steeplechasing will have two consecutive races at Saratoga on the day's card.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:35 AM
Uncle Mo put in his 3rd Saratoga workout this morning on the main track track - video from NYRA here (Aug 3, 2011) @ 5f in 1:02 4/5 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8IO3uLd9-E) .... he seems to cross the Union Ave without much fuss.

Travers Day could be a big one for Mike Repole's stable with Uncle Mo in the King's Bishop and Stay Thirsty in the Travers itself.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:43 AM
In case anyone missed the slick NBC Sports intro two-parts on Saratoga:

Video (1.27 min) - NBC Summer at Saratoga Feature (pt 1) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgcZmIbFIrY)

Video (2 min) - NBC Summer at Saratoga Feature (pt 2) (http://youtu.be/y3rQn4KwtGw)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 3, 2011, 12:05 PM
Wed Aug 3, 2011 edition of the Steeplechase Times Saratoga Special (online) (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/8-03-2011/#/1/) or you can download the same edition (pdf) (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/8-03-2011/files/assets/downloads/publication.pdf)

Best quote in today's edition :D


“My daughter watches his kids, she’s the babysitter, but he’s still paying
the Florida rate. He’s winning races, he needs to pay more, he needs to pay
the Saratoga rate.”
- Jockey Edgar Prado, about Castellano’s winning streak

Today's feature race is the John Morrissey Stakes for $75k. We'll see about Naughty New Yorker as he's never been the same since the injury, retirement, then return to the track.


Race 8th (4:55PM EST). $75,000, JOHN MORRISSEY STAKES
For 3 yo’s & up
Distance: 6 1/2F

PP. Horse; Jockey ~Trainer ~ ML Odds
1. Mineswept; R. Curatolo ~ R. Rodriguez ~ 5-1
2. Mr. Windjammer; E. Castro ~ B. Brown ~ 15-1
3. Six Flings; J. Espinoza ~ B. Callejas ~ 15-1
4. Overextended; E. De Diego ~ I. Loaiza ~ 30-1
5. Naughty New Yorker; E. Prado ~ P. Kelly ~ 10-1
6. Be Bullish; J. Castellano ~ G. Weaver ~ 8-5
7. Ibboyee; J. Velazquez ~ T. Pletcher ~ 7-5

CVPeg
Aug. 3, 2011, 12:15 PM
In case anyone missed the slick NBC Sports intro two-parts on Saratoga:

Video (1.27 min) - NBC Summer at Saratoga Feature (pt 1) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgcZmIbFIrY)

Video (2 min) - NBC Summer at Saratoga Feature (pt 2) (http://youtu.be/y3rQn4KwtGw)

Reminescent of coverage in "the good ole days"...

Wouldn't you have just loved to live in an age when every front page had results of the big races? (Who would have predicted future priority given to WWF and X-treme sports?!?)

I just visited my mother yesterday, and she was talking about when she and my father used to take the train up from NY... :yes:

Xctrygirl
Aug. 3, 2011, 12:27 PM
Ok very excited... need to tell all my fellow COthers who happen to be at the Spa tomorrow to have cameras ready and shooting for Lad's nephew in the 7th race, the Birdstone Stakes... he's the number 6, Chestnut colt, Goldolphin horse.



Saratoga - August 4, 2011
STAKES


Birdstone S.

Purse $75,000.For Three Years Old And Upward. No nomination fee. $1000 to enter, starters to receive a $750 rebate. A supplemental nomination fee of $200 may be made at any point prior to entry. The added money and all fees to be divided 60% to the owner of the winner, 20% to second, 10% to third, 6% to fourth, and 4% to fifth. Three year olds 119 Lbs. Older 123. Non- winners of a sweepstakes at a mile or over since February 1, 2011 allowed 2 Lbs. Four races 4 Lbs. ( Maiden, claiming, starter, and restricted allowanceraces not considered in allowances). A presentation will be made to the winning owner. Closed Friday, July 29, 2011 with 16 Nominations. One And One Eighth Miles.


#6

Sangaree (KY)

6/H L R Maragh 119

S bin Suroor


6/1

Owners: 1 - 6 - Godolphin Stable
Breeders: 6 - Stonerside Stable
Equipment Changes: 6 - Sangaree - Blinkers On

I am excited and hoping that adding the shades will do the trick. "Lil Roodle" as he was nicknamed long ago is a half to Congaree and out of Lad's half sister. He's been a nice stakes horse and was part of Baffert's contigent for a long time.

I have yet to get a chance to meet him but I met his mom, big brother and a younger brother as well.

Go get 'em buddy!!!

~Emily

Glimmerglass
Aug. 3, 2011, 12:36 PM
I just visited my mother yesterday, and she was talking about when she and my father used to take the train up from NY... :yes:

Only one better - Saratoga racetrack fan dies at age 105 (http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Saratoga-racetrack-fan-dies-at-105-1665735.php):


Up until 2008, Rose Vener was a fixture at Saratoga Race Course and attended every single meet since 1921. Back then, she and her father traveled to the track on horse and buggy.

When she turned 100, the track named a race in her honor: The Rosie Vener.

It begs the question: where did they keep their horse/buggy while watching the races? NYRA is already slightly challenged with the car parking.

The blog Colins Ghost digs up whatever happened to Jim Dandy (http://colinsghost.org/2011/07/what-ever-happened-to-jim-dandy.html) - long and short the guy was run more often (to little success) than an July air conditioner in Texas.

The field for the Saratoga’s 84th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap, drawn this morning and to be aired on Versus + Grade 1, $250,000 Test (filly/mare sprint):


PP. Horse (State of birth); Jockey Wgt Trainer Morning Line Odds
1. Flat Out (FL); A Solis 117 C Dickey 4-1
2. Friend Or Foe (NY); J Lezcano 115 J Kimmel 8-1
3. Morning Line (KY); J Velazquez 118 N Zito 10-1
4. Giant Oak (IL); S. Bridgmohan 119 C Block 5-1
5. Tizway (KY); R Maragh 118 H J Bond 6-1
6. Mission Impazible (KY); J Castellano 118 T Pletcher 6-1
7. Rail Trip (KY); R Dominguez 117 R Dutrow Jr 12-1
8. Headache (KY); M Mena 116 M Maker 20-1
9. Rodman (KY); E Prado 114 M Hushion 20-1
10. Apart (KY); J Leparoux 118 A Stall Jr
11. Duke of Mischief (FL); J Bravo 117 D Fawkes 8-1

Glimmerglass
Aug. 3, 2011, 03:32 PM
NBC/Versus coverage of the Test Stakes and Whitney Handicap this Saturday (5-6pm EST) and then Sunday coverage on Versus again the Vanderbilt and Honorable Miss (5-6pm EST).

Wonderful to see two consecutive days of Saratoga racing on something other than TVG/HRTV


COMMENTATORS: Saturday’s coverage will be hosted by Laffit Pincay, III alongside analyst Randy Moss. They will be joined by handicapper Bob Neumeier and the Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman. VERSUS will take the race call from the Saratoga track announcer, the legendary Tom Durkin.

ABOUT THE BROADCAST: In addition to the four grades stakes races, coverage will include two feature stories. On Saturday, there will be a feature about Al Stall, the trainer of Apart, who won the Whitney last year with Blame – the horse that went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic defeating Zenyatta.

Sunday’s feature will look at the owners of Noble’s Promise, a group of everyday people who pooled $10,000 to buy the horse. For some, it is their first trip to Saratoga . This feature will also recount the owners’ Kentucky Derby experience, as Noble’s Promise ran in the 2010 Derby .

NBCSports.com will feature highlights and features from every race, plus online-only features by NBC Sports and VERSUS' on-air talent.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 3, 2011, 05:19 PM
Today's feature race is the John Morrissey Stakes for $75k. We'll see about Naughty New Yorker as he's never been the same since the injury, retirement, then return to the track.

A great race - when the replay is up I'll post. However the end results reaffirm my earlier opinion (http://equibase.com/static/chart/pdf/SAR080311USA8.pdf) - I think Naughty New Yorker should be retired (again) with his dignity intact. Come on, folks. He's not the same horse and I think its dumb the connections continue to run him. He finished last in the John Morrissey some 19 3/4 lengths behind the winner. (For perspective with the 7-horse field the 5th place horse in the field was only 4 1/2-lengths off the winner.)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:36 PM
By the way - who was "John Morrissey" (aka "Old Smoke") for whom today's stakes race was named? Actually exceedingly important in where Saratoga is today ... a fascinating character if ever there was:

Video (ESPN) on the founder of Saratoga Race Course (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vpD-Im8iHU)

Race Replay - Race 8 - Spa - John Morrissey Stakes (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/SAR/2011/8/3/8/john-morrissey-s)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 4, 2011, 01:18 PM
Today's Grade 2 $75k A.P. Smithwick Memorial Stakes - man Brian Crowley can ride 'em like he stole 'em. It's ugly as sin to watch the more common euro style but obviously effective.

You could've placed a daily double wager on this race (1st) and the 2nd which is also a steeplechase. Note that Percussionist (IRE) is a scratch.

On the heels of the Smithwick I'd be looking seriously at Jonathan Sheppard's entry of Royal Rossi with Crowley up in the next race ;)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 4, 2011, 01:35 PM
As an aside - Royal Rossi - in the steeplechase has already won at Sartoga: he won a race on July 17, 2011 (http://equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=7679540&registry=T) so your man is being wheeled back for Sheppard pretty quickly.

Mabou, as noted on HRTV, won his last race (against 3 others) by 83-lengths. And Ber Certain last raced in October 2008 at Fair Hills, NJ. Interesting mix of stories here with the field.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 4, 2011, 01:50 PM
WOW, wow with the 2nd steeplechase race of the day!

having seen the win photo I'm shocked NYRA didn't call it a dead heat. A flared nostril at best was the difference. What a sensational drive to the finish there.

Royal Rossi will go to the top of this list (http://equibase.com/stats/View.cfm?tf=meet&tb=horse) tomorrow :D

sportinghorsepolo
Aug. 4, 2011, 02:12 PM
I swore it was a dead heat! Watched the replay a few times, could have gone either way but those nostrils damn sure looked matched! What a day for Sheppard/Crowley!!!

Mabou got claimed:(

Glimmerglass
Aug. 4, 2011, 02:58 PM
Royal Rossi will go to the top of this list (http://equibase.com/stats/View.cfm?tf=meet&tb=horse) tomorrow :D

I was incorrect on the above. He won't go to the top with 2 starts 2-0-0 at Saratoga as his first win was at the Open House and that doesn't count towards horse-trainer-jockey-owner stats for the meet. Sorry Royal Rossi about that regardless the win today by a true sliver of a nose was sensational.

At least Crowley has a damn fine amount of loot in his pocket from winning races 1 & 2 on today's card.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 4, 2011, 04:32 PM
Another wow wow wow race at the Spa!

The Birdstone Stakes ended up being one hell of a slugfest from the backside to the finish! Damn!! Neither was going to give up. More guts and determination were shown in that race than any of the TC races this year.

I won't spoil it but will post the video when available.

Xctrygirl
Aug. 4, 2011, 05:14 PM
Nice to see that some of Lad's family knows how to run!!!


Great job "Lil Roo"

~Emily

(BTW, wanna see an impressive list... look who he's been second to in his career... Lots of Great horses)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 4, 2011, 06:25 PM
The best I can do for providing a replay right now - see at right on the link - the $75k Birdstone Stakes (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/SAR/2011/8/4/7/birdstone-s)

Watch it! You won't be disappointed

As an aside because we're citing Birdstone Marylou Whitney and hubby John Hendricks got in a charity bidding war (http://blog.timesunion.com/tablehopping/24586/marylou-whitney-husband-buy-charity-dinner-for-100k/) which each other and ended up spending a small fortune to benefit the Saratoga Hospital Foundation. Saratoga will certainly miss her when she is gone ....

Glimmerglass
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:03 PM
Reminder - Versus (aka "NBC Sports Network") is airing now live SUNDAY August 7th:

Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Grade 1) for 3-year-olds and up run at 6 furlongs on the main track.
Purse: $250,000. TV: VERSUS (5-6 p.m. EST)


The field
PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Noble's Promise A.Garcia McPeek 8-1
2 Bank Merger Leparoux bin Suroor 10-1
3 Atta Boy Roy Castanon Lund 15-1
4 Hamazing Destiny Lezcano Lukas 5-1
5 Calibrachoa Castellano Pletcher 8-1
6 Sean Avery Bravo Iwinski 20-1
7 Apriority Dominguez Fawkes 3-1
8 Trappe Shot Velazquez McLaughlin 7-5

Also to be aired live the $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap.

That should be a mortal lock for the hard charging 6-yr old, Tar Heel Mom!

Xctrygirl
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:19 PM
Also to be aired live the $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap.

That should be a mortal lock for the hard charging 6-yr old, Tar Heel Mom!

Who just as a reminder is Scrappy T's little half sister!!! (Same dam....duh)

~Emily

Flashy Gray VA
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:34 PM
Tar Heel Mom is something else!

Am cursing my lack of Versus for the Vanderbilt. :no: I have a soft spot for Atta Boy Roy. :lol:

Glimmerglass
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:00 PM
Also to be aired live the $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap. That should be a mortal lock for the hard charging 6-yr old, Tar Heel Mom!

Class act. She brings her game to the races and just rocks the house. Wasn't the wagering favorite but was mine :)

Race play - G2 Honorable Miss at Spa (http://www1.drf.com/replays/savedreplays.jsp?RACE=1985) - a wicked six furlongs in 1:10.42!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:05 PM
Hmm "Jersey Joe" Bravo is brought in from Monmouth to ride a long shot .. whatdaya think is gonna happen :)

Race replay: Grade 1, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (http://www1.drf.com/replays/savedreplays.jsp?RACE=1984)

Hint hint .. if you look at the G2 Honorable Miss just before it: take the lead and never give up running to the wire .. its a good strategy ;)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:17 PM
I have a soft spot for Atta Boy Roy.

Valorie Lund, with the piece done on Versus, doesn't ship him cross country via flight rather old school trailer with a big pit bull dog. I think they cited something like 20,000 miles in being hauled around! Wow.

Anyhow - just to catch folks on Saturday's big race with Marylou Whitney on hand to present the trophy with 34,412 on hand! :D

Video replay: Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap" (http://bcove.me/4vn4hc6w)

Props to Finger Lakes noted trainer H. James Bond - Mr. "007" saddle cloths!

foundationmare
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:23 PM
My daughter galloped for him a few years ago at Palm Meadows and she said it was her best gig ever! We live and work in his stomping grounds and are very proud of him. Okay, I'm very proud. I loved his emotional response!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:59 AM
Rick Porter (Fox Hill Farm (http://rockportharbor.com/2011/08/07/havre-de-grace/)) is indicating that Havre de Grace may take on Blind Hill at Saratoga. Aug. 28th is the Personal Ensign Stakes, which is the day after the Travers Stakes. NYRA has not made any indication they'll bump the purses from $300k to $600k as initially requested by Porter to get HdG in that race.


August 7, 2011

Larry and I spent quite a bit of time talking about the best spot for Havre de Grace’s next race yesterday morning after watching a couple of my horses breeze. We now think that the Personal Ensign is probably our best spot because it gives us more time until the prep races at Belmont October 1st. That would set us up perfectly for the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. Nothing is etched in stone yet, but this looks like the game plan that Larry and I agree on.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 9, 2011, 05:54 PM
Proof that sometimes less is more:


Wagering at Saratoga Race Course, on-track, downstate, and across the country, continues to outpace 2010 totals through week three of the meet (16 days), according to The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA). Attendance was up through Saturday but is now down because of one less giveaway day so far this year.

Attendance through week three (16 days) was 325,809, down 5.4 percent from 344,252 in 2010.

On-track handle totaled $47,896,094, up 7.7 percent from $44,463,694 last year.

Wagering at the downstate Belmont Café and Aqueduct simulcast facilities was $7,938,916, resulting in a combined on-track handle of $55,835,010, up 14.1 percent from $48,924,020 in 2010.

All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was $216,977,480, up 1.0 percent from $214,748,425 in 2010.

Average betting interests per race through week three were 8.6 (1,372 total) compared to 8.5 (1,311 total) for the first 16 days of 2010. Turf races totaled 65 with 12 taken off the turf, compared to 70 on and 12 off in 2010.

- Source: The New York Racing Association (Aug 8, 2011) (http://nyra.com/saratoga/stories/Aug082011e.shtml)

On Friday August 12th HRTV will air the 2011 National Racing Hall of Fame and Museum induction services. The race named in its honor is race 7 a Grade 2 Turf race (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR081211USA-EQB.html#RACE7)

Tomorrow - Wed Aug 10th - race 1 will have Silver Timber the 8-yr old is in the $44k race with a $50k claiming tag. He's making his 41st career start and comes off two prior graded races (a G2 and G3) where he finished 8th. I still like the old man a lot and hope he can return in form.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 9, 2011, 06:18 PM
Video: NYRA - Uncle Mo's work this am in prep for the King's Bishop (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWbbpm5E43I)

A feisty Mo worked 5f in company with Caixa Eletronica, who had won the Grade 3 Westchester.

Flashy Gray VA
Aug. 9, 2011, 06:59 PM
^^^ Repole: "we're getting closer ..."

Hmmmmm.

Let the conspiracy theorists try to interpret that comment!

CVPeg
Aug. 9, 2011, 09:39 PM
Tomorrow - Wed Aug 10th - race 1 will have Silver Timber the 8-yr old is in the $44k race with a $50k claiming tag. He's making his 41st career start and comes off two prior graded races (a G2 and G3) where he finished 8th. I still like the old man a lot and hope he can return in form.

I saw that, too. They did so much with him after the claim. Love him as well - my partnership horse, who I now have, used to race against him a couple of years ago. If he's done, I just wish they'd give him a grand retirement. He is a nifty horse - loved those Batman black blinkers and the way he could scramble.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 10, 2011, 01:27 PM
And class (plus heart) prevails with the 1st at Saratoga: Silver Timber puts a few lengths between himself and the field at the wire.

CVPeg
Aug. 10, 2011, 01:43 PM
Loved it - especially that gutsy move on the rail. He looks in great shape still!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 10, 2011, 06:40 PM
Thursday Aug 11th's Steeplechase Race: $70,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps, which is the first steeplechase stakes race for fillies and mares ever run at historic Saratoga Race Course.

The race is named in honor of Lillian Bostwick Phipps - a leading steeplechase owner from the 1950s into the 1970s. Sister of Racing Hall of Fame jockey George A. “Pete” Bostwick, she campaigned two Hall of Fame steeplechase horses, Oedipus and Neji. Mrs. Phipps was the champion steeplechase owner 11 times, in 1950-51, 1954-57, 1965-67, and 1969-70. She also was the mother of socialite designer Lilly Pulitzer ;)

PDF - Entries here for all 9 horses - Race 1, Post Time 1pm EST (http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/files_mf/saratoga_81111.pdf)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 10, 2011, 10:41 PM
Rick Porter (Fox Hill Farm (http://rockportharbor.com/2011/08/07/havre-de-grace/)) is indicating that Havre de Grace may take on Blind Hill .. Aug. 28th is the Personal Ensign Stakes ...

Don't book your tix just yet as "Blind Luck's next start is still not set" (http://www.drf.com/news/del-mar-blind-lucks-next-still-not-set)


[Still open] options are the $300,000 Personal Ensign Stakes for fillies and mares at Saratoga or the $1 million Pacific Classic against males at Del Mar. Both races are over 1 1/4 miles. Blind Luck has never run against males.

“There are pros and cons to either race,” Hollendorfer said. “This is not an easy race here.”

Glimmerglass
Aug. 10, 2011, 11:01 PM
This Saturday - August 13 - yet again Versus (a/k/a NBC Sports Network channel) will broadcast from Spa the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (Grade 1-Turf) from 5-6 p.m. EST.

Who is entered? Well M/M Bert Firestone's solid runner - Winchester - for one! In 2010 he won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) and Manhattan (G1), and placed in four graded stakes prior to a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1). The six-year-old didn't make his 2011 return until the off-the-turf Stars and Stripes S. (G3) on July 23, recording a decent second over the Polytrack at Arlington Park.


PP. Horse <> Jockey. Wgt. Trainer <> ML Odds

1. Drosselmeyer (KY)<> J Lezcano. 116. W I Mott <> 8-1
2. Grassy (KY)<> J Castellano. 118. C Clement <> 5-1
3. Rahy's Attorney (ON) <> E-J Wilson. 116. I Black <> 8-1
4. Bim Bam (FL) <>D Cohen. 116. R Moquett <> 2-1
5. Boisterous (KY) <> J R Velazquez. 116. C R McGaughey III <> 4-1
6. Al Khali (KY) <> A Garcia .118. W I Mott<> 15-1
7. Teaks North (FL) <> E Castro. 123. J Sallusto <> 3-1
8. Winchester (VA) <> C H Velasquez. 120. C Clement <> 5-2

By the way - why is this race called the Sword Dancer? Answer (http://saratogian.com/articles/2011/08/09/sports/doc4e41ecc7ecc8e364183851.txt):


The Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap, a Grade I on the turf, is named for the late Mrs. Isabel Dodge Sloane’s Brookmeade Stable colorbearer, Sword Dancer, who was named Horse of the Year in 1959, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977.

His final record was 39: 15-7-4 plus accolades of U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1959); U.S. Champion Male Handicap Horse (1959); the aforementioned United States Horse of the Year (1959)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 11, 2011, 10:59 AM
Just curious but with today's running of the inaugural $70,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps for fillies/mares only in steeplechasing it brought up this question: has the current Phipps Stable (http://www.breederscup.com/bio.aspx?id=15529) (as owned by Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps and his children) had a 'chaser on their roster?

Glimmerglass
Aug. 11, 2011, 02:37 PM
This weekend Versus with their coverage (Saturday's $500k Sword Dancer) will be joined in a commentary role by Rosie Napravnik. She is still on the mend and won't be seen otherwise during the Saratoga meet. Hopefully she'll have better "luck" than her older sister Jazz did today:

In the $75k Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes over hurdles (http://equibase.com/static/chart/pdf/SAR081111USA1.pdf) it was Jazz's trainee "Farah T Salute" who was declared a non-starter. That is why the inquiry sign went up at the end of the race. "Farah" just dwelled and would not break with the field whatsover. She wasn't even the longest price in the race.

Farah T Salute won the $30,000 Crown Royal Hurdle at Callaway Gardens in Georgia last November. However this year the eight-year-old bred and trained by Jazz Napravnik was pulled up in the Henley and finished seventh in the Valentine. Doesn't sound like she wants to this career anymore.

No word yet on the condition - they both looked fine and walked away - with Jonathan Sheppard trained Beating the Odds with Brian Crowley up. They fell at the 3rd hurdle in the race.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 12, 2011, 09:58 AM
Numerous outlets will be airing live on the web this morning's Hall of Fame Induction ceremony from Saratoga Springs: example

http://www.drf.com/events/saratoga-national-museum-racing-hall-fame#live-video

It starts at 10:30 a.m. ET. Another direct live feed link (Keeneland's Broadcast Services is helping produce the video)

http://www.racingmuseum.org/

Celebrity chef and racehorse owner Bobby Flay will be the keynote speaker.

(pdf) Friday August 12th's edition of the Saratoga Special (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/8-12-2011/08-12-11.pdf) - it includes details on the inductees

Glimmerglass
Aug. 14, 2011, 08:36 PM
The good and bad - Thursday's $75,000 Lucy Scribner Stakes at Saratoga Race Course did result in the 3rd death at this meet. Michael Trombetta trained Doing Great had a heart attack of sorts :(


Doing Great died of "cardiovascular collapse," according to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, the chief examining veterinarian for the New York Racing Association.

Saturday's showcase race was the $500k Grade 1 Sword Dancer with M/M Bert FIrestone's Winchester - who I had to wager on:

Video: Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational. (http://www1.drf.com/replays/savedreplays.jsp?RACE=1993)


Twenty-four years after winning the Sword Dancer Invitational at Belmont Park with Theatrical, owners Bertram and Diana Firestone were in the Saratoga winner's circle after Winchester, a son of Theatrical, won Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational.

Ironically, Theatrical won it when the horse who beat him, Dance of Life, was disqualified from first by the stewards. Saturday, Winchester had to withstand a claim of foul by the rider of the third-place finisher, Al Khali, to maintain the victory.

Firestone, who turns 80 on Thursday, flew to Saratoga from Virginia along with his wife. The Firestones bred both Theatrical, who is 29 and is still at a farm in Kentucky, as well as Winchester.

"He's a good horse, I know he's a good horse," Bertram Firestone said of Winchester. "He did what we thought he was going to do."

From the Saratoga Special: (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/8-14-2011/08-14-11.pdf)


Saturday morning, the Firestones woke up on their farm in Upperville, Va., watched their daughter Alison school one of their show horses, flew to Saratoga and led in their latest stakes winner.

“It was an exciting race, twice” said Bert Firestone, referring to the objection.

“It was a perfect ride. He’s a real pro, it’s fun to watch him run but he can sometimes give you heart failure waiting for him to go.”

The Firestones have campaigned six champions, including Theatrical who won the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 1987.

“The horse has to come first and then they’ll last. These two owners are wonderful with that. We’ve been very careful with them in their training and racing, we never abused them, they last longer,” Clement said. “At the end of the day, it’s still the horse, still the owner, still the people back at the barn, that’s why we love to win with Winchester today, great teamwork, great owners, the whole team, the grooms, riders, they’ve all tried hard hard, he’s not that easy to train, the whole team has been together.”

Winchester doesn’t make it easy in the morning, just in the afternoon.

“He’s actually a little bit naughty when he trains,” Clement said. “He can stop, he can be reluctant, so we’ve learned to train him, we never fight him and we just go with the flow. When they’re that good, it doesn’t matter.”

The Firestones originally campaigned Winchester in Ireland, where he won once in five starts.

Sunday's spotlight race: video - Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes (fillies) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V03VLmTgELM)

Quite a fight to the finish!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 14, 2011, 08:40 PM
The longest winner thus far in the meet - Ess Shape: (chart) Race 11, Aug 13, 2011: winner at 66-1 odds (http://equibase.com/static/chart/pdf/SAR081311USA11.pdf)

The Frank Martin-trained Ess Shape rallied down the outer portion of the main track to win Saturday’s nightcap, a $20,000 claimer, paying $134 in the process. (Martin’s last winner at the Spa was Contender’s Emotion on Aug. 25, 2005.)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 15, 2011, 02:25 PM
This Thursday - August 18th - is again another steeplechase double with races 1 and 2 being over hurdles. Folks will enjoy one entry for the 2nd race the ($70k Michael G. Walsh Novice S.) being Mr Hot Stuff

Entries (equibase) for 8-18-11 at Saratoga (http://www.equibase.com/static/entry/SAR081811USA-EQB.html)

Race 1: $53k non-winner, optional claimer @ Two And Three Eighth Mile distance race with 13-entries

Race 2: $70k Michael G. Walsh Novice S. @ Two And Three Eighth Miles with 9 entries

Glimmerglass
Aug. 15, 2011, 05:18 PM
On a very wet and sloppy Monday at Saratoga it was the 106th running of the Saratoga Special (G2) presented by Three Chimney's for $150,000

Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz for Chadds Ford Stable and ridden by Javier Castellano just kicked ass in the race. Despite being all over the track down the stretch, he still left the field way behind in the slop.

Union Rags broke his maiden at DelPark on July 12th with 1 3/4-length victory.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 15, 2011, 06:25 PM
Video: race replay - Grade 2 Saratoga Special (Aug 15, 2011) (http://www1.drf.com/replays/savedreplays.jsp?RACE=2021)

By the way - while it was a total purse of $150,000 (meaning just $90k for 1st) the Chadds Ford Stable (owner) made substantially more with the bonus!


Union Rags ($8.50) earned $290,000 for the win, including a $200,000 bonus paid by Fasig-Tipton and the New York Racing Association to the owner of the first 2-year-old purchased at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale to win a graded stakes at Saratoga.

It begs the question - is that considered $290k in graded stakes money? Meaning almost a guaranteed Kentucky Derby slot. I do believe that bonus funds (if tied to a Graded race) do count towards that amount.

MightyBobbyMagee
Aug. 15, 2011, 07:34 PM
High remarks from Castellano re: Union Rags. Read here. (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/64552/union-rags-romps-in-sloppy-saratoga-special)



"When I showed up and worked the horse (Union Rags) in the morning, it was unbelievable. I’ve never worked a horse like that and I’ve been very fortunate to ride horses like Ghostzapper and Bernardini. I’ve been a very lucky, fortunate guy, but this horse is unbelievable and special.”

Glimmerglass
Aug. 15, 2011, 08:22 PM
In case anyone wanted to follow the tweets of Bob Baffert:

http://twitter.com/#!/Midnightlute

frugalannie
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:24 PM
Glimmerglass, thanks for the report on the Saratoga Special. I've been awaiting news of Union Rags. Runs pretty well for a youngster!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2011, 09:44 AM
Glimmerglass, thanks for the report on the Saratoga Special. I've been awaiting news of Union Rags. Runs pretty well for a youngster!

Yep - it was going to be a good race. Of course there is also this Saratoga Special, too, as profiled by Claire Novak (http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/6864708/special) ;)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2011, 01:30 PM
Article and pictures: Times Union "Can't bet on these Spa critters" (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Can-t-bet-on-these-Spa-critters-2034596.php) - pets of the backstretch

(excerpt)


Trainer H. James Bond, who always has his Labrador retriever, Charlie, by his side, said he once paired a goat with a racehorse named Along Came Mary, winner of the Montauk Stakes in 2002.

"As long as that goat was close by, she was fine. If not, the stall would come down," Bond said.

The goat was protective and loyal, too. It chased Bond's clients out of the barn. When Along Came Mary retired, the goat would have nothing to do with another horse and quickly followed the racehorse into retirement.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2011, 01:42 PM
Not cited widely and probably overlooked by Winchester's victory, but the old campaigner from Canada - Rahy’s Attorney (age 7)- with Emma-Jayne up in the Sword Dancer was injured during the race despite the valiant 2nd place finish :(

Aug 16, 2011 "Rahy's Attorney retired with injury" (http://www.drf.com/news/woodbine-rahys-attorney-retired-injury)


Wilson pulled up Rahy’s Attorney on the backstretch, and the horse was vanned off.

“Emma thought something was not right,” said Ian Black, who has trained the 7-year-old gelding throughout his career. “But he cooled out okay.”

Rahy’s Attorney was back in his stall at Woodbine on Sunday and seemed to be none the worse for his experience.

The next morning, however, a problem was discovered.

“When we got him out Monday morning, he had a little filling in his left pastern,” Black said. “We decided to ultrasound it and found a lesion on his superficial digital tendon.

“If it was somebody a little younger, you could probably give him six months off and bring him back.

“But he’s done so much for everybody involved. It was hard enough to see him vanned off in one piece. You’d hate to see something really serious happen.”


Rahy’s Attorney will go home with an overall record of 14 wins, 10 seconds, and 4 thirds from 41 starts for earnings of more than $2.2 million.

“He’ll get another life, either as a pony or a riding horse,” Black said.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2011, 11:15 PM
A bit too early to call him a new John's Call for the year over year success at the Spa, yet there is a chance for Awakino Cat to take Wed (Aug 17) $75,000 Troy Stakes for the third consecutive year.

Awakino Cat, a 6-year-old gelding trained and partly owned by Linda Rice, is 4 for 5 at Saratoga, including victories in the 2009 and 2010 Troy, run at 5 1/2 furlongs. Awakino Cat’s only loss on the Saratoga turf came in his career debut four years ago.

Entries - Race 9 off at 5:30pm EST - Troy Stakes (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR081711USA-EQB.html#RACE9) (Turf @ 5 1/2 furlongs)

Friday August 19th's signature race is the filly/mare NY State-bred restricted $100k Yaddo Stakes (named for the adjacent artist colony pronounced like "shadow") with, among others Gitchee Goomie. She has a career record of 12: 4-6-1

(Irony with a race named after his legacy considering that Spencer Trask was openly against gambling (http://books.google.com/books?id=JlIEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=spencer+trask+gambling&source=bl&ots=o_n4lXKu7k&sig=wrHiL1AjzCI9KRUODP5kl9JhGSE&hl=en&ei=zDJLTrrAOujt0gGHhNDqBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=spencer%20trask%20gambling&f=false) and was vilified by the Saratoga community for being against the local bread and butter of summer.)

As for Michael Matz and his success with Union Rags the DRF has a bit more on the juveniles parked with him (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-matz-thinks-highly-his-juveniles)


Union Rags was initially sold by his breeder Phyllis Wyeth as a yearling for $145,000. In February, Wyeth bought the horse back at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old-in training sale at Palm Meadows for $390,000.

Matz said Union Rags won’t run back in the Grade 1 Hopeful here Sept. 5 because he believes that race is too close to the Special. Union Rags also was on his way back to Fair Hill on Tuesday, but could return to New York for the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont on Oct. 8. The Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland also is possible.

Union Rags was the third 2-year-old winner of the meet for Matz. On Sunday, he won a 1 1/16-mile turf maiden race with the filly Welcome Dance. On Aug. 7, he won a maiden race with the first-time starter And Why Not, a $775,000 daughter of Street Cry owned by Helen Groves, Matz’s mother-in-law. Matz said And Why Not is a candidate for the Grade 1 Spinaway here Sept. 4.

Union Rags effectively pinhooked by IEAH Stable: they bought him for $145,000 at the Saratoga sale in 2010 (http://albarchive.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=15501744), but he was re-acquired by breeder Phyllis Wyeth (a/k/a Chadds Ford Stable) for $390,000 at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old sale in March. So don't feel bad for Michael Ivarone, et al with missing out on the $200k bonus.

For the Middleburg, VA folks its noted Phyllis Mill Wyeth's parents once owned the famed Hickory Tree Farm (http://www.middleburgcountryproperties.com/properties/hickorytree/index.html)


Mrs. Wyeth's husband, celebrated artist James Wyeth, is a son of honored artist Andrew Wyeth. Mrs. Wyeth's mother is Alice Mills, who owned Hickory Tree Farm in Virginia. Mrs. Wyeth's late father, James P. Mills, founded Hickory Tree and raced such goods ones as champion Devil's Bag and grade I winners Gone West and Believe It

Glimmerglass
Aug. 17, 2011, 04:53 PM
As mentioned before the chances of Blind Luck racing against Havre de Grace at Saratoga are seemingly slim - despite Porter/Jones reconsidering 'Grace' for the Personal Ensign. And now you can tell that just inducted Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is getting sick of the topic ;)

Times Union Aug 17, 2011 (http://blog.timesunion.com/horseracing/blind-luck-vs-havre-de-grace-at-the-spa-dont-bet-on-it/8031/)


Hollendorfer said he is not going to worry about where Havre de Grace goes. He says his decision — and he is part owner of Blind Luck — will be based on what is right for his horse.

“I don’t care what (Porter) is doing,” Hollendorfer said. “What he does with his horse has no bearing on what I am doing with my horse. If I was going to the Woodward or the Molly Pitcher or whatever, I would not have to just beat his horse. I would have to beat them all.”

Grade 1 $500,000 Alabama field was drawn.
Distance 1 1/8 miles
To be aired on NBC Sports (5 - 6pm EST)


PP. Horse ... Jockey .. Trainer. ML Odds

1. Royal Delta…..Jose Lezcano…..Bill Mott…..6-1
2. Pince Pie….John Velazquez…..Anthony Dutrow….15-1
3. Plum Pretty…..Martin Garcia….Bob Baffert…..2-1
4. It’s Tricky…….Eddie Castro…..Kiaran McLaughlin…..9-5
5. St. John’s River…..Robby Albarado…..Andrew Leggio Jr….5-1
6. Inglorious………Luis Contreras…….Josie Carroll…. 6-1

Glimmerglass
Aug. 17, 2011, 05:45 PM
A bit too early to call him a new John's Call for the year over year success at the Spa, yet there is a chance for Awakino Cat to take Wed (Aug 17) $75,000 Troy Stakes for the third consecutive year.

Doubtful he would've won with the strength of Bridgetown (Pletcher/JV) who toyed with the field. That said Rice's Awakino Cat shot himself in the foot by not breaking from the gate on time. He spotted the field a few lengths at the start of the sprint race.

He's a closer but was too far behind to make it a fair fight. He took a fast closing 3rd but well behind the Eugene Melnyk owned sprinter. Eugene Melnyk named the colt for his primary home these days of Bridgetown, Barbados. In fact he's purportedly that nation's richest permanent resident.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:51 PM
This Thursday - August 18th - is again another steeplechase double with races 1 and 2 being over hurdles.

Race 2: $70k Michael G. Walsh Novice S. @ Two And Three Eighth Miles with 9 entries

Maybe someone should buy the NSA starter a watch ;) Utterly bizarre that they sent off the field 3-minutes before post time. It caught the betting public, Tom Durkin, and the networks completely off guard. As Tom remarked when they were already over the first hurdle "the train left the station a bit early".

Mr. Hot Stuff was scratched well before the race, however a sentimental favorite trained/owned by Sheppard - Italian Wedding - was in there. Durkin however did not have the correct name with the saddle cloth - so he proclaimed the wrong winner.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 18, 2011, 04:00 PM
One of those "you just cannot believe it" stories. Cue the banjos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ98z4__H-g)


A Kentucky man fleeing from New York Racing Association security Thursday drove his car into Saratoga Lake and then stood on the vehicle as it sunk and shouted at land-bound police, authorities said.

"I can't swim a lick," Daniel Burgess, 49, shouted at police, according to witnesses. "I'm going down with the car."

Saratoga County sheriff's deputies used a boat to pull the man to safety. The vehicle eventually sank.

The incident began at Saratoga Race Course where Burgess and his wife are exercise riders, police said.

Burgess drove away from the track, crossed the Route 9P bridge and then pulled into the parking lot at the Saratoga Lake Boat Launch, according to police.

A witness, Corrie Mersereau, said Burgess drove his white Ford sedan around the parking lot before stopping at the water's edge. He emptied his exercise equipment onto the shore than drove the vehicle into the water, said Mersereau, a lake steward.

Burgess was handcuffed and taken to the hospital.

Times Union 8-18-11 "Man drives car into lake, yells at cops" (with pictures) (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Cops-Man-drives-car-into-lake-yells-at-cops-2108163.php)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 18, 2011, 04:44 PM
Sad and biting commentary from the DRF's Steve Crist blog of today (8-18-11) (http://www.drf.com/blogs/spa-day-24-81811) - although hard to say he doesn't have a valid point:


Catching up on the early races on a 10-race card that began with two 2 3/8-mile steeplechases:

1st: The Invincible Jonathan Sheppard ran 1-2 with the uncoupled entry of Parker's Project ($30.40) and 2-1 fave Port Morsbey, beaten 5 1/4 lengths while finishing 11 lengths clear of the others. it was 49 lengths from 1st to 6th, and only 4 of the 9 non-Sheppard trainees even completed the race. Baltic Shore fell, Brave Prospect lost his rider, and Jimtown, Dr. Wheat and Cuse all left the course. Steeplechasing at its best is entertaining and a great second career for flat runners, but a race like this paints an unappealing picture of it and makes it seem less than ready for prime-time exposure at Saratoga.

2nd: Sheppard again in the 2nd as Italian Wedding ($6.30) won the Mickey Walsh Novice Stakes, where the 4-2-1 finishers in the July 28 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes returned to run 1-2-3. Only 29 lengths from 1st to 6th this time, and 6 of the 8 finished the race without leaving the course. The Sheppard-Sheppard double paid $81.50.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 18, 2011, 06:18 PM
The showhorse thing didn't work out so what about a return to the track? That's the case with Cribnote (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-cribnote-makes-first-start-2008). I recall betting on him a couple of times.


Handicappers have rarely had to make assessments on horses running off a 1,050-day layoff, but such is the case in Saturday’s first race at Saratoga, in which Cribnote, the runner-up in the 2008 Hopeful Stakes, makes his first start in nearly three years in a first-level allowance race for New York-breds.


Cribnote underwent knee surgery following the Champagne and never seemed to come back to his previous form while training. Cribnote also developed a rare disease that made him unable to assimilate sugars and starches, which resulted in him having muscle problems. He was retired by Red Diamond Stable, of which Dana Reis is the managing partner.

After a failed attempt in turning him into a show horse, Reis asked Violette if he would be interested in taking him back and putting him in training.

See SAT Aug 20, Race 1, PP #3 (http://www.equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082011USA-EQB.html#RACE1) the ML favorite

Madeline
Aug. 19, 2011, 02:43 PM
Sad and biting commentary from the DRF's Steve Crist blog of today (8-18-11) (http://www.drf.com/blogs/spa-day-24-81811) - although hard to say he doesn't have a valid point:

Golly, I don't see the problem. First of all, they carded an allowance/optional claiming jumping race that drew 11 starters. Actually, it drew 12 plus an AE. One scratch due to the death of the managing partner of the ownership group and the ensuing paperwork snafu.
Six finished. One fell at the last, unfortunately causing another to lose his rider. The other three , as has become traditional in jump races, pulled up before the last rather than risking another fence for bravado.

Is Crist implying that somehow Sheppard's dominance at Saratoga is a problem? How could that be? Jonathan has been the dominant trainer of jumpers for a few decades now, and he has been stunningly successful at the Spa. I believe he was straight up leading trainer one year, despite running mainly just jumpers. He sent out a horse who lit up for the first time in a year or so. Horse jumped great and put some distance to the field.

Second race drew 8, Italian Wedding won by a length. Everyone stood up , one pulled up 3 out after making it clear in tha paddock that he didn't want to play, and another was distanced and pulled up before the last.

I suspect that if they were running flat horses 2 3/8 miles, some of them would pull up when distanced. So far the jump races have had fields of 8,6,8,9,11,and 8. I think that the jumpers have done themselves proud at the Spa.

CVPeg
Aug. 22, 2011, 09:09 AM
Yea, I'm not sure I get the point either - except that if you're not a horseman, and only a bettor, as so many are today, you are miffed that your horse had some occurrence happen during the race. But that is part of steeplechasing. As Crist said, "Steeplechasing is at its best entertaining", so he's really whining that it doesn't fit into his betting plans. I think the big bettors continually depict themselves as the most significant of horse racing fans, and could care less about what the majority want to see. They certainly act that way at the window. And yes, I agree that they spend alot of money at the track.

But I'm sick of hearing how they need to have all accomodations for them. Take a look at the throngs at Saratoga and tell me how many are there to play "professionally", and sadly take a look at who shows up at Belmont or Aqueduct regularly. And yes, I know there are thousands playing off site, but that includes the casual bettor/enthused fan. Now that their opinions are definitely highly considered, I wish they'd stop counting out the general public in their demands. I find Crist's work interesting, but often disagree.

Let's not keep removing what makes the meet so unique and wonderful.

CVPeg
Aug. 22, 2011, 09:23 AM
I am surprised by the lack of discussion generally this weekend regarding Winter Memories' fate in this race. Many are discussing it as if she just got boxed in, and then had little left for the one questionable opportunity she had to finally break away, placing the failure firmly at her feet.

I really guess there was no continuous conspiracy in that race, and that the favorite is often targeted. But you couldn't have choreographed a better demise for the favorite than in the Lake Placid. I played the rerun several times, and they really "took care" of her.

Can't complain as I did cash a ticket on Hungry Island, but only because of the odds. I didn't really think Winter Memories would lose, and was more enthused about watching her run a great race. In a way it is sad that we couldn't have seen what she might have done had she been given the chance.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 22, 2011, 10:40 AM
Golly, I don't see the problem. First of all, they carded an allowance/optional claiming jumping race that drew 11 starters. Actually, it drew 12 plus an AE. One scratch due to the death of the managing partner of the ownership group and the ensuing paperwork snafu.

Six finished. One fell at the last, unfortunately causing another to lose his rider. The other three , as has become traditional in jump races, pulled up before the last rather than risking another fence for bravado.

I won't get into Crist's mind, but I doubt there is a complaint about one trainer dominating the ranks. In fact its not exactly a secret hunch play to have gone for the Sheppard early DD (R1 & R2) and net a fat $80+ payoff for $2.

However I have to say that it was disappointing (and not much can be done I suppose) when back to back steeplechase races result in fallers with both races. It's hard to draw in new fans from this type of venue when they're seeing horses hitting the ground. I don't care how much TVG's Jimmy Dugan says "99% of the time they're fine" it still is something that makes everyone wince.

I never did see any comments as to who was to blame on letting the field for the feature steeplechase race go off 3-min too early. However that is completely unacceptable as it leaves money on the table. An extra 5-minutes from the horses not yet in ready formation adds more money for all.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 22, 2011, 11:03 AM
I am surprised by the lack of discussion generally this weekend regarding Winter Memories' fate in this race.

Maybe people were still fixated on The Alabama :D I thought that St. John's River could've pulled it off and why would a 'Bayou trainer' make only his 2nd trip ever to Saratoga if she wasn't a top chance? I kept waiting for her closing kick but it never arrived. Oh well.

I never did expect Inglorious to do well nor did she. She's not a dirt horse - two prior failures - and it wasn't going to change just because she won on the biggest race in Canada on synthetic.

Video: Grade 1 $500k Alabama Stakes - Aug 20, 2011 (http://bcove.me/0afma8h3)

Saturday had 33,380 go through the turnstiles and they got to see who is the leading contender for becoming the Eclipse Award 3-year old filly.

With the aforementioned Sunday spotlight race:

Video: 1 1/8 mi $150,000 Grade 2-T Lake Placid Stakes - Aug 21, 2011 (http://www1.drf.com/replays/savedreplays.jsp?RACE=2043)


Hungry Island, with Alex Solis up, who returned $21.40 to win, completed the distance in 1:53.77 over the yielding course and may now be pointed to the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park on Sept. 18,said trainer Shug McGaughey.

“I wish it hadn’t rained but the ground had a little give to it when she broke her maiden,” said McGaughey. “She’s a good filly who has done everything we’ve wanted this year. We skipped the Lake George because I didn’t want to rush her back off her last win at Belmont knowing we had this race, the Garden City and the Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland coming up. And if all goes well we might be able to make all three with her.”

Glimmerglass
Aug. 22, 2011, 11:17 AM
Image (Skip Dickstein/TU) Alex Solis giving Hungry Island a kiss on the neck (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1546227&width=628&height=471) after winning the 28th running of The Woodford Reserve Grade 2 Lake Placid.

So no Blind Luck or The Factor at Saratoga this year. Both are staying in Del Mar. Blind Luck appears to be taking on the boys (http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/6880784/blind-luck-stay-home-skipping-personal-ensign-molly-pitcher) in Sunday Aug 28 The Grade 1 $1 Million Pacific Classic - just the 3rd time ever for such an entry. While Baffert is pointing The Factor to the Pat O'Brien Stakes. Who knows maybe Uncle Mo scared him off from Saturday's King's Bishop?

Interestingly Blind Luck may take on the boys in an historic effort and so too will, potentially, her chief rival: Havre de Grace. She's going for the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes on Sept. 2 ... if she wins that her connections are making the bid they want for Horse of the Year. As we'll recall only one female has ever won the historic Woodward — Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in 2009. That win cemented her HOY title. This should be one heck of a race!

From white hot to ice cold: Johnny Velazquez hasn't won since taking the first four races on Friday. Zero on Saturday and Zero on Sunday.

It opens the door to maybe three way race for the jockey title if JV has a few more bad days: Ramon Dominguez (31 wins); John Velazquez (41); and Javier Castellano (33)

Madeline
Aug. 22, 2011, 12:13 PM
However I have to say that it was disappointing (and not much can be done I suppose) when back to back steeplechase races result in fallers with both races.


I believe that last year there were 5 jumping races and no fallers. So far this year there have been 50 starters with 2 fallers. Not perfect, but not a faller in every race.
There were no fallers in the second jump race last week.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 22, 2011, 03:25 PM
A bit off topic with the Yaddo Handicap having been held Friday. Regardless this is a great opportunity if you're an architectural junkie like me.

Yaddo News: September 18 with have (4) two-hour long tours of the mansion (http://yaddo.org/yaddo/news.shtml?story_id={6CEC6390-4994-4521-BBA4-49826BBA804A})

The huge stone mansion (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Yaddo.jpg) is almost never, ever open to the public whatsoever. These guided tours of the historic Yaddo Mansion (and other sites on the private portion of the estate) are being conducted for the first time since 2003, and only the fifth time in its history.

Video sampler of the c.1895 mansion (http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid769549532?bctid=1123445931001)

The gardens are available daily for tour during the Saratoga race meet. The $40 charge for the mansion tour goes towards its restoration.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 23, 2011, 05:50 PM
Despite poor weather impacting the number of races on the grass the numbers are still up for the meet thus far: NYRA 8-22-11 "Attendance, On-Track Wagering Up; All-Sources Even After 28 Days At The Spa" (http://www.nyra.com/saratoga/stories/Aug222011d.shtml)


Attendance through week five (28 days) was 632,600, up 3.7 percent from 609,943 in 2010.

On-track handle totaled $85,582,029, up 9.9 percent from $77,862,507 last year.

Wagering at the downstate Belmont Café and Aqueduct simulcast facilities was $13,496,697, resulting in a combined on-track handle of $99,078,726, up 15.5 percent from $85,770,387 in 2010.

Tomorrow - Wed August 24th - the draw for Saturday's 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers will be done on-line. See @ 11 am EST

http://www.nyra.com/Saratoga/TraversDraw.shtml

NBC Sports will air the Travers and Kings Bishop spring live on Sat 8-27 starting at 5pm EST. It looks to be a sensational day of racing really worth tuning in. Mike Repole is certainly hoping he takes both races which would be an amazing feat.

Then again I still recall Lost in the Fog winning the Kings Bishop - unknowingly with a tumor - to honest applause. Video replay from 2005 - kicking butt, taking names and leaving this planet all too soon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifVbIoeiuxI)

Thursday's steeplechase race entries (pdf) $100,000 The New York Turf Writers Cup (Grade 1-NSA) (http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/files_mf/saratoga_82511.pdf)

I believe this will be the first race for PA-based Daniell Hodsdon (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/danielle-hodsdon-blends-best-both-worlds) (aboard Sheppards Nation Builder) since an injury in the spring.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 23, 2011, 06:02 PM
One of those "you just cannot believe it" stories.

Times Union 8-18-11 "Man drives car into lake, yells at cops" (with pictures) (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Cops-Man-drives-car-into-lake-yells-at-cops-2108163.php)

And now he's without his truck and a job ...

TU 8-23-11 "Racing board punishes rider who drove car into lake" (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Racing-board-punishes-rider-who-drove-car-into-2137729.php) - excerpt


Citing his character, the state Racing and Wagering Board on Tuesday denied Daniel Burgess, 49, a license to work as a groom and rider at Saratoga.

"After careful consideration, you are hereby notified that the board refuses to issue you a license to participate in racing in the state of New York, for which you applied on Aug. 14, 2011, for the following reasons ... your experience, character and general fitness are such that your participation in racing or related activities would be inconsistent with the public interest, convenience or necessity, or with the best interests of racing generally," the board's licensing office told Burgess in a ruling obtained by the Times Union.

The Kentucky man also omitted in his application that he had violated racing rules in Indiana, according to the state Racing and Racing Board. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission suspended Burgess in June 2010 for failing to provide "all information regarding his criminal history," a board source said.

There are 1,934 licensed grooms at thoroughbred race tracks in New York and 967 exercise riders.

Madeline
Aug. 23, 2011, 07:07 PM
Thursday's steeplechase race entries (pdf) $100,000 The New York Turf Writers Cup (Grade 1-NSA) (http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/files_mf/saratoga_82511.pdf)

I believe this will be the first race for PA-based Daniell Hodsdon (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/danielle-hodsdon-blends-best-both-worlds) (aboard Sheppards Nation Builder) since an injury in the spring.

Almost. She trode One Giant Step to a 4th last week in the second race.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 24, 2011, 11:14 AM
The meet's showcase race the 142nd Running of the Travers Stakes for $1M at 1 1/4 mi. From this morning's live draw for the Sat race


PP. Horse. .. ML Odds
1. Bowman's Causeway ... 12-1
2. Rattlesnake Bridge ... 8-1 (with JV up)
3. Moonshine Mullen ... 20-1
4. Ruler on Ice ... 6-1
5. Malibu Glow ... 20-1
6. Raison d'Etat ... 10-1 (Bill Mott trained)
7. Coil ... 3-1
8. J W Blue ... 20-1
9. Stay Thirsty ... 5-2
10. Shackleford ... 9-2

Looks like a very competitive field.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 24, 2011, 03:57 PM
Saturday August 27th is really going to be a blockbuster with graded race after graded race. It's a shame NBC is just going to be airing just 1-hours worth of coverage with the Travers and Kings Bishop.

Entries Race 8: $200k Ballston Spa S. (Grade II) (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082711USA-EQB.html#RACE8)
Approx. 3:28 PM EST with a field of 9

Entries Race 9: $100k Victory Ride S. (Grade III) (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082711USA-EQB.html#RACE9)
Approx. 4:03 PM EST with a field of 10

Entries Race 10: $250k Ballerina S. (Grade I) (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082711USA-EQB.html#RACE10)
Approx. 4:38 PM EST with a field of 7 including Tar Heel Mom!

Entries Race 11: $250k Foxwoods King's Bishop S. (Grade I) (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082711USA-EQB.html#RACE11)
Approx. 5:12 PM EST with a field of 8

Then the 142nd Grade 1 $1,000,000 Travers Stakes at Race 12 off at approx. 5:45 pm EST

One horse making her maiden start - race 5: (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082711USA-EQB.html#RACE5) a $60k maiden for 2-yr old fillies: the Phipps owned and bred Trophy Wife (Giant's Causeway - Pleasant Home, by Seeking the Gold) :D

Trained by Shug McGaughey she'll be ridden by Alex Solis. I'm surprised nobody had registered a filly with the name .....

CVPeg
Aug. 24, 2011, 04:25 PM
Believe earlier in this thread we were discussing favorite calls.

In today's 5th at Saratoga, 100,000k MCl - the favorite won by five - the result was,

"and Hannibal Lecter had this field for lunch":lol::lol:

Glimmerglass
Aug. 24, 2011, 05:09 PM
"and Hannibal Lecter had this field for lunch":lol::lol:

That's a gem :D Obviously a lot of folks knew that 2-yr old horse, Hannibal Lecter (http://equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=8546054&registry=T), had built up an appetite as he went from being 15/1 on the morning line to 8/5 at post time.

Twitter - Saratoga race feed (http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23saratoga)

Twitter - DRF's Inside Post feed (http://twitter.com/#!/DRFInsidePost)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 24, 2011, 05:44 PM
So no Blind Luck or The Factor at Saratoga this year. Both are staying in Del Mar. Blind Luck appears to be taking on the boys (http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/6880784/blind-luck-stay-home-skipping-personal-ensign-molly-pitcher) in Sunday Aug 28 The Grade 1 $1 Million Pacific Classic - just the 3rd time ever for such an entry.

Nada on that attempt by Blind Luck in the Pac Classic (http://www.nctimes.com/sports/equestrian/racing/article_5e94fde7-564c-5340-927f-5ac311f59421.html). She still won't come to Saratoga but is going to skip that 'win and you're in' race at Del Mar too.


"I'm trying to get to the Breeders' Cup," said Hollendorfer, who is two wins away from becoming only the fourth trainer in history to win 6,000 races. "It's tempting to run for $1 million, but I think the Pacific Classic is coming up extremely tough.

"I don't think my filly is really liking the Del Mar race track."

As for Hannibal Lecter (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-spa-babies-aug-24-race-5) its worth reiterating that nothing should've suggested such a powerful effort or the short odds in advance. He trainer was ice cold in his JV success:


Trainer John Toscano Jr. is 0-3 over the past five years with juvenile debut runners in maiden claiming dirt sprints (0-1 at Saratoga). Toscano is 1-52 (2%, $0.17 ROI) with all debut runners since January 1, 2001.

Video - NBC Sports promo for Saturday's races (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZASd7LK9gA)

CVPeg
Aug. 24, 2011, 10:04 PM
Nada on that attempt by Blind Luck in the Pac Classic (http://www.nctimes.com/sports/equestrian/racing/article_5e94fde7-564c-5340-927f-5ac311f59421.html). She still won't come to Saratoga but is going to skip that 'win and you're in' race at Del Mar too.



As for Hannibal Lecter (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-spa-babies-aug-24-race-5) its worth reiterating that nothing should've suggested such a powerful effort or the short odds in advance. He trainer was ice cold in his JV success:



Video - NBC Sports promo for Saturday's races (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZASd7LK9gA)

Is he on the same feed, or around the corner in the same barn as Gary Gullo's Funky Munky horses? ;)

Iride
Aug. 25, 2011, 08:47 AM
Is it true Shackleford had a colic episode last weekend? Or was that a different horse scheduled to run Saturday, anyone know?

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 10:20 AM
Is it true Shackleford had a colic episode last weekend? Or was that a different horse scheduled to run Saturday, anyone know?

No info from my end. Nothing has been suggested/hinted at with him and Dale has been if anything saying he's great. Video of Shackleford's breeze over the main track 8/24/11 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjnbZX_772Q)

Plus he rolled last week quite happily for a while (http://www.st-publishing.com/cms2/index.php/the-special-mainmenu-76/17-saratoga-news/1943-shackleford-rolls-and-rolls) - not in distress.

For today's steeplechase - thanks Madeline for the correction with Danielle Hodsdon! - the $100,000 The New York Turf Writers Cup (Grade 1-NSA) there is a pretty large (actually physically smaller) dark horse in the field - from Ireland:

See pg 14 "Irish horse Dirar launches U.S. bid" (http://www.st-publishing.com/digital/8-25-2011/08-25-11.pdf)


... Dirar was good enough to win the Ebor Handicap on the flat last summer in England. The son of King’s Best owns nine career wins, four over jumps, and lifetime earnings of $392,482.

He also holds the distinction of winning races on back-to-back days in 2009, taking hurdle races at Uttoxeter July 23 and Southwell July 24 after starting a three-race winning streak nine days earlier at Worcester.

[Trainer Gordon Elliot] believes the horse is sitting on a good effort.

“There aren’t many opportunities for the horse in Ireland anymore, he’s highly handicapped and he has to have good ground. It’s a race we’ve thought about for the last year so we shall find out. The owners are good people and want to have a bit of fun. Here we are.”

The connections are focused with him to race in the $250k Grand National at Far Hills, NJ. He'll also be ridden by Irish jockey Barry Geraghty (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2011/0824/1224302892888.html)

Side story in that he'll be riding against his brother in the race:


The famous Saratoga track in upstate New York will see a ‘battle of the Geraghtys’ tomorrow with former champion jockey Barry Geraghty taking on his brother Ross on board Gordon Elliott’s Dirar in a $100,000 race.

Last year’s Ebor winner Dirar is one of 10 horses lining up for the New York Turf Writers Cup over two miles and three furlongs. Also in the race is the ex-Irish Decoy Daddy, to be ridden by Ross Geraghty who is now based in the US.

Brilliant! As the Guinness ads would say (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K8Osz9RnvY)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 10:55 AM
Morning line is 5/1 on Dirar (IRE) in the Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase

Ever wonder where the money came from for the owners of this year's Travers Stakes? Albany Business Journal Aug 25, 2011 (http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/morning_call/2011/08/travers-owners.html?ana=twt)


• Stay Thirsty (9th spot in starting gate; 5-2 odds): Owned by Queens native Mike Repole, who was the owner who won the most at last year's Saratoga meet. Repole co-founded Glaceau, which makes Vitaminwater, and sold the business to Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) for a reported $4.1 billion.

• Coil (7th; 3-1): Owners include Michael Pegram, who owns a number of McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) franchises and two casinos in Nevada. Partners Karl Watson and Paul Weitman own multiple car dealerships in the Southwest.

• Shackleford (10th; 9-2): Co-owned by Michael Lauffer, who runs his family's JML Oil & Gas, in Kentucky, and W.D. Cubbedge, involved in the natural gas business in Kentucky.

• Ruler On Ice (4th, 6-1): Co-owned by George Hall and his wife, Lori. George Hall is founder and president of Clinton Group Inc. , an investment company in Manhattan managing $6.6 billion of capital.

• Rattlesnake Bridge (2nd, 8-1): Owned by Nicholas Brady, who served as U.S. secretary of the Treasury from 1988-93. Brady was formerly chairman of banking firm Dillon Read & Co. Inc.

• Raison D'Etat (6th, 10-1): Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, of Saudi Arabia. The prince owns Juddmonte Farms.

• Bowman's Causeway (1st, 12-1): Owned by noted Wall Street trader Martin "Buzzy" Schwartz, who made his fortune as an independent trader. The horse is trained by Mechanicville native Chad Brown.

• Moonshine Mullin (3rd, 20-1): Owned by Richard Johnson. He also owns Cox Johnson Corp., based in Omaha, Nebraska. The company plans and produces boat, sports, and travel trade shows and exhibitions.

• Malibu Glow (5th, 20-1): Owned by Raymond Hill III, who has owned horses since 2005.

• J W Blue (8th, 20-1): Owned by Stuart Grant, an attorney in Delaware. Grant also own the Camden Training Center in South Carolina, and a 350-acre farm in Kentucky.

More detail on the jockey, trainer, owner - here from the NYRA Travers Media Release (pdf) (http://www.nyra.com/Saratoga/2011%20TRAVERS%20EQUINE%20ADDENDA.pdf)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 11:06 AM
Another horse wheeled back relatively soon at Saratoga - Caixa Eletronica (http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=7414237&registry=T) - for his 3rd start at the meet: (7/22) James Marvin Stakes, (8/15) Starter Handicap, and now (8/26) another Starter Handicap.

What is impressive in 2011 is the weight assignment he'll have to tote Friday: 131-lbs (12 more then most) yet is the ML favorite (http://www.equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082611USA-EQB.html#RACE3)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 12:51 PM
Next weekend's Grade 1 Woodward runner - the mare Havre de Grace

Video: Del Mar Havre de Grace work & bath 8/23/11 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIOEzvpZxgE)

Coinciding perhaps was this weeks announcement that Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin is to document in IMAX his kayak trip (http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/features/green/2011/08/globetrotting_tv_naturalist_ex.html) from Glimmerglass to Havre de Grace. Neither the horse nor I will be involved :D

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 01:14 PM
Mabou at 16-1, with Robby Walsh up, kicked away what was left of the field in the New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase Handicap. Dirar (IRE) made a run of it and I thought was going to dash off ... that is until Mabou rolled on by and kept rolling by 5 3/4 lengths

$2 Exacta paid nearly $274.50

A couple of separate spills ... three taken out and I think all Sheppard trained: Sermon of Love, Nationbuilder, and another. None hurt. Mabou had just been claimed in his last race (8/4/11) by David Jacobson for Drawing Away Stable. Previously Tom Voss trained and Ken Ramsey owned. This was trainer Jacobson's first steeplechase start.

sportinghorsepolo
Aug. 25, 2011, 02:06 PM
WOW What a move by Mabou! What a good boy, my old barn favorite:yes:
I saw Sermon of Love following the pack after his fall but didn't see Decoy Daddy, I hope he's ok....
(edit-got word that everyone, horse and jockey came out ok)

replay-http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/SAR/2011/8/25/1/new-york-turf-writers-cup-steeplechase-h

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 03:35 PM
DRF - Turf Writers Cup (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-mabou-rallies-win-ny-turf-writers) - Jacobson snags a Grade 1 no less.


The win gave David Jacobson the first graded stakes winner of his training career and came with the first horses he has ever started in a steeplechase event.

The New York Turf Writers was marred by three spills, one of which led to the disqualification of the fourth-place finisher and 8-5 favorite, Divine Fortune, who was placed last after bumping several times with Decoy Daddy approaching the ninth fence. None of the riders or horses involved in the incidents appeared to be seriously injured.

Jacobsen claimed Mabou out of a fifth-place finish here on Aug. 4. Mabou, an 8-year-old son of Dynaformer, had won his only other start this year by 82 lengths while competing under a $20,000 claiming price.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 04:12 PM
With the rains ... this afternoon's races are all on the wet main track - no turf - and with its scratches galore! 8-25-11 Equibase notified changes at Spa (http://equibase.com/static/latechanges/html/latechangesSAR-USA.html)

The seventh race went from 12 entries to 4 runners, for example.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 25, 2011, 04:53 PM
Video (at right) replay of the Grade 1-NSA NY Turf Writers Cup 8/25/11 (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/SAR/2011/8/25/1/new-york-turf-writers-cup-steeplechase-h-gr-1)

note - all fallers (rider/horse) are ok per the NYRA press office

Madeline
Aug. 25, 2011, 06:35 PM
A couple of separate spills ... three taken out and I think all Sheppard trained: Sermon of Love, Nationbuilder, and another. None hurt. .

Decoy DAddy ( trained by Foley) went down on the turn. He took Sermon of love ( Sheppard) out. Straight to It( Trained by Fisher) fell at the last.

Divine Fortune ( Sheppard) was DQ'd from 4th to 6th for bothering Decoy DAddy. I don't know if it was for what DF did in the turn or over the next to last fence...

Madeline
Aug. 25, 2011, 07:03 PM
With the rains ... this afternoon's races are all on the wet main track - no turf - and with its scratches galore! 8-25-11 Equibase notified changes at Spa (http://equibase.com/static/latechanges/html/latechangesSAR-USA.html)

The seventh race went from 12 entries to 4 runners, for example.

According to the Equibase charts:

Race 1- Steeplechase, inner turf, 1 trainer scratch. 9 starters

2: Scheduled for dirt, no scratches, 6 starters
3: Scheduled dirt, no scratches, 7 starters
4: Inner turf, 3 MTO's scratched, 7 starters
5: Scheduled dirt, No scratches, 7 starters
6: Inner turf, 1 trainer scratch, 2 MTO scratch, 9 starters
7:Sched turf, moved to main.2 trainer scratch, 2 MTO scratch, 1 vet scratch, 3 off turf. 4 starters
8:Sched turf, moved to main. I trainer scratch, 3 MTO, 7 starters
9: Sched turf, moved to main. 3 also eligibles out, 1 MTO, 5 off turf. 5 starters

Not a wholesale washout. Only 3 races were moved turf to dirt. In those races, 6 MTO's scratched, even though they were racing on MT. In the 7th and 9th races, 8 scratched because of surface change.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 26, 2011, 12:02 PM
Today's feature race is so named for the NJ-born "Park Bench Statesman" (http://www.knowitall.org/legacy/laureates/baruch%20bernard%20m.html) who made a fortune on Wall Street.

Race 9 off @ approx 5:30pm EST - the Grade 2T for $200,000 The Bernard Baruch Handicap @ 1 1/8M on the turf although the temporary rail distance changed to 12 ft. That change poses an issue for the lovely Get Stormy who took the race last year along with the Fourstardave:

Get Stormy back in Bernard Baruch (http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/6894979/get-stormy-seeks-repeat-bernard-baruch-handicap):


The 2010 Bernard Baruch was contested on the inner turf course with the temporary rail down, but this year the race is carded over the Mellon course and, according to Bush, will be decided with the rails up.

"They told me they are going to run this race on the Mellon with the rail out, and that bothers me," Bush said. "It probably won't make a difference, but you'd think they'd want to see the best horses, which you have in Grade 1 and Grade 2 races at Saratoga, run on the very best ground and that's not the case if they run this race with the rail out."

Race 4 - the $75,000 Easy N Dirty Stakes (for NY-breds) will now have just 5 runners (2 scratches this morning) of which there is a coupled-entry. [Driven by Success & Be Bullish]

What about Hurricane Irene? It doesn't appear to be likely changing anything on Saturday with the Travers Stakes. Saratoga won't get heavy rain until later Sat evening, but Sunday looks ugly.

They have the $300k Grade 1 Personal Ensign (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082811USA-EQB.html#RACE10) (already with a small field of 6) and also the $75k Distorted Humor Stakes (http://equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082811USA-EQB.html#RACE9) (with just 5-entries) which could be in jeopardy.

No hunch plays that I can see with 'hurricane' themes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV9yB5PyI1w) on Sunday.

http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Saratoga+Springs+NY+12866

Monmouth Park and Parx have already cancelled racing for Sunday. Suffolk has no Sunday racing.

Flashy Gray VA
Aug. 26, 2011, 01:04 PM
^Appreciate the Irene forecasting update for the Spa in particular, Glimmer.

At a minimum Sunday is going to be a total washout in all likelihood.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 26, 2011, 02:38 PM
Another horse wheeled back relatively soon at Saratoga - Caixa Eletronica (http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=7414237&registry=T) - for his 3rd start at the meet: (7/22) James Marvin Stakes, (8/15) Starter Handicap, and now (8/26) another Starter Handicap.

What is impressive in 2011 is the weight assignment he'll have to tote Friday: 131-lbs (12 more then most) yet is the ML favorite (http://www.equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082611USA-EQB.html#RACE3)

And he won! As tweeted by the DRF (http://twitter.com/#!/DRFInsidePost):

Shades of Peat Moss! Caixa Electronica ($4.60) turns back all comers under 131 lbs. for 15th win; 6-year-old is made of iron.

Caixa dug in against anything tossed at him and won by a head over Lucas Brady who toted just 119-lbs.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 26, 2011, 04:28 PM
Not yet cancelled although one would expected Monmouth Park to nix racing tomorrow (SAT) in addition to the cancelled Sunday. 8-26-11 Evacuation Orders (http://beta.app.com/article/20110826/NJNEWS/308260066/0/plckForumPage=ForumCategories/Town-by-town-evacuation-orders-for-Monmouth--Ocean-counties)


Monmouth Beach: Mandatory evacuation was a part of a declaration of emergency that took effect at noon Friday. Evacuation has a deadline of 8 p.m. Saturday. Officials are advising residents with pets to arrange to have them boarded with friends or in facilties away from the oceanfront with its significant storm surge expected.

As seen on google earth - the track is relatively close to the shore (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&gs_upl=1289l1289l0l1787l1l1l0l0l0l0l195l195l0.1l1l 0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1583&bih=764&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=Monmouth+Park,+175+Oceanport+Avenue,+Oceanport,+ NJ+07757&fb=1&gl=us&hq=Monmouth+Park,+175+Oceanport+Avenue,&hnear=0x89c2254f8c6944c3:0x4f4ae99574e7b448,Oceanp ort,+NJ+07757&cid=0,0,3511008219850213038&ei=Sf9XTvmEDuTq0gGY-9S2DA&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=image&ved=0CAQQ_BI)

What will be an interesting wrinkle is that Travers starter Ruler On Ice, won't/can't get shipped out of trainer Kelly Breen’s Monmouth Park base until Saturday (http://www.newjerseyweather.com/). I'm sure leaving at the crack of dawn but traffic could be unexpectedly thick.

Yes in the 6th Race Jose Lezcano did use his goggles - after loosing his whip - to try and get his mount to go in the stretch. Durkin "Now the rider's whipping him with his goggles!" They finished 2nd by a maybe a half length.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 27, 2011, 07:25 PM
Additional proof that "less is more":


A crowd of 43,050 witnessed Stay Thirsty hold off Rattlesnake Bridge in the “Mid-summer Derby,” a decrease of 5.9 percent from last year’s attendance of 45,764 on hand for Afleet Express’ thrilling nose victory.

On-track handle for Saratoga’s races was $8,172,452, a decrease of 0.6 percent from last year’s total of $8,218,975.

Sunday racing has been nixed due to the impending heavy rains for the Upstate NY region.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 27, 2011, 08:13 PM
From NYRA:


The Grade 1 Personal Ensign, originally scheduled for Sunday, will be re-drawn on Wednesday, August 31 and run Saturday, September 3 on a card that will also include the Grade 1 Woodward and Grade 1 Forego.

It makes for quite the big last hurrah at the meet!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 27, 2011, 08:26 PM
Replays from today's action:

2011 Travers Stakes (142nd edition) for $1M, Grade 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzqGFauYXA4)

2011 Grade 1, $250k Kings Bishop Stakes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxmKOKD1fVY)

2011 $250k Grade 1 Ballerina S. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdTUYRU3doU)

2011 $200k Grade 2 Ballston Spa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B85V7QV95TU)

2011 $100k Grade 3 Victory Ride (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZauJJEkSnw)

Race 5 - Maiden Special $60k for 2-yr fillies (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtGFHkE9gCw)
(The previously cited on this thread Phipps stable homebred Trophy Wife took 3rd)

Race 2 - Maiden Special $60k for 2-yr colts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySo-UbB9lzM)
(Fire On Ice (http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=8701958&registry=T) completely demolished this field)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 28, 2011, 09:04 PM
Rather unfortunate: Hilda's Passion comes out of Ballerina victory with a season-ending injury (http://www.drf.com/news/saratoga-hildas-passion-comes-out-ballerina-victory-season-ending-injury)


...a non-displaced condylar fracture of her right front leg trainer.

“She’ll go to Rood and Riddle Clinic for surgery tomorrow,” Pletcher said. “It’s pretty minor, one clean line, and she could return to race again. It’s one of those decisions we’ll have to wait and make after the surgery. As far as I know the owners were considering bringing her back to race again next year.”

Glimmerglass
Aug. 29, 2011, 11:02 AM
The heavy flooding in Vermont, the collapsed buildings in Troy, the swollen Hudson and Susquehanna Rivers .... all of that is going on but so too is racing at Saratoga.

Sunday's cancellation - just the 2nd full day to have that occur EVER in the history of the oldest sports venue in the United States - doesn't mean Monday is cancelled too.


With racing scheduled to continue on Monday, NYRA has already made the call that there will no turf racing during the nine-race card. Races, four, six and nine will be run on the main track. The fourth race, originally carded for 1 1/16 miles on the grass, will be run at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt. The sixth and ninth races, will come

Damage on the track property was mostly downed trees on the Spa backstretch and Oklahoma Training Track and one in the infield. A tree fell near the Pletcher stables. No injuries ...

By the way here is a great collection of NYRA pictures that are released by the track itself: NYRA News - Media Images - Grid Layout (http://twitter.com/#!/NYRAnews/media/grid)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 29, 2011, 02:02 PM
Today's 1st race with the place finisher one of my favs with a name: R1 8-29-11 Saratoga (http://equibase.com/static/chart/quick/SAR082911USA1-EQB.html) Shankopotamus

Glimmerglass
Aug. 29, 2011, 07:53 PM
On the business side - things are still looking good for Saratoga inspite of a recession and hurricane ;)

On track-wagering is up at Saratoga Race Course through six weeks, while attendance was down slightly, according to NYRA.

There has been one fewer day of racing because Sunday’s card was canceled due to Hurricane Irene.


NYRA Press Release Aug 29, 2011 (http://nyra.com/saratoga/stories/Aug292011c.shtml)

On-track wagering at Saratoga Race Course remains positive compared to 2010 totals through week six (33 days) of the meet, despite the cancellation of racing on Sunday due to Hurricane Irene, according to The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).

Attendance through week six (33 days) was 733,844, down 0.8 percent from 739,623 for 34 days in 2010.

On-track handle totaled $103,165,617, up 4.3 percent from $98,900,040 last year.

Wagering at the downstate Belmont Café and Aqueduct simulcast facilities was $15,595,450, resulting in a combined on-track handle of $118,761,067, up 9.1 percent from $108,901,417 in 2010.

All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was $436,380,750, down 5.0 percent from $459,484,857 in 2010.

Average betting interests per race through 33 days of the meet were 8.1 (2,696 total) for 331 races compared to 8.3 (2,773 total) for 333 races in the 34 days of 2010. Turf races totaled 129 with 37 taken off the turf, compared to 150 on and 24 off in 2010.

Racing and activites still on tap this last week of Saratoga ....

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

Party at the Spa, presented by Coors Light; 2:30 p.m. post time: NYRA will host the meet’s second Party at the Spa, presented by Coors Light, which features a special 2:30 p.m. first post time. The fun will continue after the races at Saratoga hot spot, The Post, adjacent to the Paddock. The after-hours party will include a mix of great food, drinks, and live music from the Sean Dolan Band.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

Super Saturday at Saratoga: The Spa will celebrate the final Saturday of the 2011 meet with three Grade 1 races: the $750,000 Woodward; the $250,000 Forego; and the $300,000 Personal Ensign, which was rescheduled following its postponement on Sunday, August 28, due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.

The Woodward and Forego will be shown live on Versus from 5 to 6 p.m., marking the eighth and final “Summer at Saratoga” program broadcast nationally by the NBC Sports Group.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

The final day of the 2011 meet will feature a special first post time of 12:30 p.m.

The Three Chimneys Hopeful: The traditional final feature race, the 107th running of the Grade 1, $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful for 2-year-olds, will afford racing fans a preview of potential standouts in next year’s Triple Crown series and Travers Stakes.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 30, 2011, 03:24 PM
To the owner who yachted up the Hudson River to see the Travers Stakes - please move it :D Image - "Cortina" moored by flooded Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (http://www.timesunion.com/mediaManager/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=1560877&width=628&height=471)


Who owns this yacht? (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Dinosaur-Bar-B-Que-closed-but-cleanup-under-way-2147325.php#)

The 100-foot ship tied up outside the flooded Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is generating speculation about possible owners.

Does it belong to Yankees superstar shortstop Derek Jeter? The ship was driven up the Hudson River from New York before Hurricane Irene hit Sunday. Or is it owned by billionaire financier George Soros? Soros is an investor in the popular restaurant chain. Both have been named by local officials as potential owners.

But the ship's captain, Nick Murphy, and a broker who listed the ship for sale at $3 million in 2009, declined to reveal the owner.

The ship is registered in the Cayman Islands.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 30, 2011, 06:01 PM
JT at the Spa? You never know

Tweet 8-30-11 from sportswriter Claire Novak (http://twitter.com/#!/ClaireNovak/status/108577192946040832)


fascinating fact of the morning: apparently @jtimberlake owns part of a cpl racehorses in training with James Bond here in #Saratoga

Glimmerglass
Aug. 30, 2011, 09:54 PM
Thursday (September 1) will be the final steeplechase race of the meet - (pdf) $56,000 The Ninepins Hurdle (http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/files_mf/saratoga_90111.pdf) with a healthy field 12-entries including Lonesome Nun and a seemingly rare South Carolina-bred runner with Saluda Sam ;)

Before I depart on vacation it's worth reiterating to set those DVRs for Saturday's racing at Saratoga with Versus having live 2-big graded affairs at 5pm - 6pm EST.

Havre de Grace up against the boys in the Grade 1 $750,000 Woodward (http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/editorial/article.cgi?id=23495) (at 1 1/8 miles - well in her sweet spot!) trying to pull off what only Rachel Alexandra did. And the Grade 1 $250,000 Forego Stakes.

Due to just the 1-hour of air time Versus will not broadcast live the rescheduled Personal Ensign (Grade 1) however it would be logical if they did air that $300,000 race. Expect Bobby Flay's Super Espresso (last seem taking 2nd in the Ruffian) to do rather well in this race.

For those interested in the future of the race course and complex you might want to see what the plans are with expected capital investments into Saratoga:


Charlie Hayward, president and CEO of NYRA, and Paul Roberts, director and consultant of Turnberry Consulting, will unveil the capital improvement projects during a formal presentation for media and horsemen at 11 a.m. Thursday (9/1) in the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion at East and Madison avenues.

A community forum with public comment will then be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Saratoga Springs City Center.

Funding for the projects will come from revenue generated by 4,500 video lottery terminal (VLT) machines and 500 electronic table games at Aqueduct Racetrack.

According to statute, NYRA will receive four percent of revenues from these VLTs for capital improvements – or an estimated $27.6 million annually – based on figures provided by the VLT operator, Genting New York LLC.

An extensive historical analysis and studies of the backstretch and frontside of Saratoga Race Course were recently completed by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, with assistance from NYRA and Turnberry Consulting US, Inc., of London. The potential projects presented by NYRA are the results of those studies and analysis.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 31, 2011, 12:27 AM
Some really fine shots (as per usual) from Barbara of the subtle and often unseen color that is Saratoga's working gears:

http://www.drf.com/blogs/saratoga-scenes-more-spa

CVPeg
Aug. 31, 2011, 06:39 AM
Some really fine shots (as per usual) from Barbara of the subtle and often unseen color that is Saratoga's working gears:

http://www.drf.com/blogs/saratoga-scenes-more-spa

As always, these are exceptional - great way to start the morning. Thanks for the link.

Iride
Aug. 31, 2011, 08:13 AM
Some really fine shots (as per usual) from Barbara of the subtle and often unseen color that is Saratoga's working gears:

http://www.drf.com/blogs/saratoga-scenes-more-spa

Fantastic. Agree with CVPeg :)

sportinghorsepolo
Aug. 31, 2011, 10:41 AM
I'm going to Saratoga for the races tomorrow, and would like to watch the morning workouts beforehand. Any hints/tips, and what time should I get there to watch (figure 5:30-6?)?
TIA:yes:

Madeline
Aug. 31, 2011, 12:13 PM
I'm going to Saratoga for the races tomorrow, and would like to watch the morning workouts beforehand. Any hints/tips, and what time should I get there to watch (figure 5:30-6?)?
TIA:yes:


Buy breakfast and bring it in. If you eat at the fancy restaurant, you cannot hear Mary Ryan's commentary, and you can't see as much. Go to MCDonalds and sit in MAryLou Whitney's box. The free backstretch tour is fun, watch gate training from the backstretch. Escape at the end of the tour and go across the street and up a bit and watch horses swim. See a few harness horses train. Maybe even polo ponies. Don't miss the Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Bet on winners. Have fun.

CVPeg
Sep. 5, 2011, 11:11 PM
Congratulations to Terri Pompay for Currency Swap's win in the Grade 1 Hopeful today. Terri is from Saratoga, and was a junior rider at a barn I was at a long time ago, then started exercising horses at Saratoga. She is a trainer at Monmouth and Gulfstream. This is her first Grade 1 win. Loads of prestige, let alone a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders Cup Juvenile - and who knows what next year?:yes:

And Havre de Grace's win Saturday in the Woodward was fantastic. The race was so thrilling, and the crowd so enthusiastic. A great finish to the meet.

Swear I'm going to buy a shack in town one of these days - not only for the races, but to roll out of bed and watch the works. ;)