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2012 Saratoga Summer thread!

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  • 2012 Saratoga Summer thread!

    The line-up of big races to be aired on NBC Sports or NBC Sports Network (nee Versus) has bee released:

    Saturday, August 11 - 6:00-7:00 PM ET
    NBC Sports Network
    Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap

    Sunday, August 12 - 6:00-7:00 PM ET
    NBC Sports Network
    Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack and Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special

    Saturday, August 18 - 5:00-6:00 PM ET
    NBC Sports Network
    Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama and Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational

    Saturday, August 25 - 4:00-6:00 PM ET
    Grade 1, $1 million Travers, Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods King’s Bishop, Grade 1, $500,000 Test, Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa presented by Jose Cuervo

    Saturday, September 1 - 5:00-6:00 PM ET
    Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward. Grade 1, $500,000 Forego
    Last year's coverage with the mix of Stevens, Moss, Bailey, Pincay III, Hammond, Brothers etc all worked rather well so I'm looking forward to it.
    Last edited by Glimmerglass; Sep. 17, 2012, 09:00 PM.
  • Original Poster

    A slightly unexpected horse being pointed to the Travers Stakes: Hansen!

    ... target the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 25, with prep races scheduled in either the Iowa Derby (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows or Red Legend Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town and then the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. Dr. Hansen said the Iowa Derby is the more likely of the two races.


    • #3
      I wonder if NBCSN wil be free for these races. It seems to change daily
      "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


      • Original Poster

        I guess to morph this into a Saratoga thread I'll toss this change here too:

        Saratogian July 3, 2012: "NYRA Enhances Saratoga Juvenile Program"

        .. the field size of 2-year-old maiden races at sprint distances during the upcoming Saratoga Race Course meet will be limited to eight starters. The field size for two-turn juvenile maiden races will be limited to 10 starters.

        d. We expect this change will strengthen NYRA's juvenile stakes and allowance programs by helping horses gain the experience they need to compete successfully at higher levels.”

        “Protecting our horses is an important mandate,” said New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association President and NYRA Board Member Rick Violette Jr. “Larger fields of inexperienced young horses often result in roughly run races. This approach will offer a kinder, gentler and, perhaps, wiser introduction to racing for young horses, and could, in fact, extend their careers.

        “Owners will have a better opportunity to fairly evaluate the performances of their horses in manageable fields,” Violette added.
        I think its a solid move - one Del Mar is following suit with restricting field sizes for 2-yr olds - despite the b*tching and moaning by the chorus of naysayers that flood the PaulickReport and would find something to complain about including Heaven.


        • #5
          Great move! I'm already following Amarish who'll probably run at Del Mar next. Go ahead and start that Derby 2013 thread
          "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


          • Original Poster

            The Saratoga Open House is this Sunday!

            NSA entries for the steeplechase races July 15th (pdf)

            10-horses fields plus AEs in all five races is showing that the steeplechase community is supporting the Spa season quite well.


            • Original Poster

              The Hearst-owned Times Union paper in Albany has for a second year opened up their archive pix of Saratoga in advance of the 2012 meet.

              A few really neat gems to be found when scrolling through the 194 pictures!


              • Original Poster

                To get folks in the mood with Saratoga right around the corner here is the first TV spot for Saratoga this year:

                Video: Saratoga First weekend (2012) 30-sec - Tom Durkin 'with the call'

                The 2012 summer meet at Saratoga begins on Friday, July 20 and concludes on Labor Day - Monday, September 3.

                Racing six days a week (Tuesdays are dark) gets underway at 1 p.m., except on

                Party at the Spa days (Friday, July 27 and Friday, August 31) when first post time is 2:30 p.m.

                Travers Day (Saturday, August 25) when first post is 11:35 a.m.; and on

                Closing Day (Monday, September 3) when first post time is 12:30 p.m


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Toadie's mom View Post
                  Great move! I'm already following Amarish who'll probably run at Del Mar next. Go ahead and start that Derby 2013 thread
                  Amarish is in on Saturday at Hollywood.
                  F O.B
                  Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                  Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                  • #10
                    Just like to send congrats out to Todd Wyatt who won the first today at the Spa open house with a horse we bred called Brother Sy. He'd finished 2nd a few times, so to break the maiden over hurdles there is special! We still have Sy 's 3yo. Sister, their mom and her 5mo. Filly. Go Sy!!


                    • #11
                      I was thinking of a road/train trip to Saratoga this summer. Is there anyway to get from the train station to the track without a car? It's been a while since I was there, but don't remember much of a bus system.
                      Visit my Spoonflower shop


                      • #12
                        Back in the day the horses used to walk from the train to the track, but it's a hike. Cabs are easily available, though getting back to the station might be tough.
                        F O.B
                        Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                        Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by red mares View Post
                          I was thinking of a road/train trip to Saratoga this summer. Is there anyway to get from the train station to the track without a car? It's been a while since I was there, but don't remember much of a bus system.
                          Amtrack station to the race course is 2.8 miles which isn't too bad depending on how ambulatory you are. Sometimes it can get rather hot even upstate and after the last race not exactly a nice brisk breeze to walk a few miles in.


                          • Original Poster

                            As expected, even with NYS taking over NYRA and interfering with the slots money from the Aqueduct there is oodles of cash to makes everyone's boat rise in the harbor that is Saratoga!

                            NY Post July 15, 2012 "Increased payouts will bring better competition to ’Toga"

                            The 144th summer stand at the Old Spa — which opens this Friday and runs through Sept. 3 — is the first in which prize money will be supplemented by VLT revenue from the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct. As a result, purses at Saratoga — already among the highest in the nation last year at $670,000 a day — will balloon this season by more than $10 million, to a projected daily average of $930,000.

                            The effect on the quality of races being offered was immediate. The bottom claiming price in the first condition book (July 20-Aug. 6) has been raised to $20,000, just four races for New York-bred maiden claimers are listed, and purses for several major stakes races have been doubled.

                            Shackleford, who won the 2011 Preakness under Jesus Castanon (above) and captured this season’s Met Mile, could race in the Woodward or Forego this season at Saratoga.

                            The Test and King’s Bishop, for example, have soared from $250,000 to $500,000; the Personal Ensign from $300,000 to $600,000. The Travers, the highlight of the stand on Aug. 25, remains at $1 million.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by Grand Splash View Post
                              Just like to send congrats out to Todd Wyatt who won the first today at the Spa open house with a horse we bred called Brother Sy.
                              Nice job! The other results from today's open house races. Per the article the two flat (NSA regulated, not NTRA) training races were nixed due to powerful storms that rolled in.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Glimmerglass;6439225Amtrack station to the race course[/url
                                is 2.8 miles which isn't too bad depending on how ambulatory you are. Sometimes it can get rather hot even upstate and after the last race not exactly a nice brisk breeze to walk a few miles in.
                                Thanks, 3 miles isn't bad, heck that will just allow me eat whatever I want.

                                I was lucky enough to be stationed there one summer. What I saw on a map didn't quite jive with what I remembered. Then again, I spent most of my time in the booming metropolis of Ballston Spa.
                                Visit my Spoonflower shop


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by red mares View Post
                                  Then again, I spent most of my time in the booming metropolis of Ballston Spa.
                                  Quaint town and certainly a metropolis compared to nearby Amsterdam, NY - once the epicenter of US carpet making - and the birth place of actor Kirk Douglas. That rolling-hill city, unlike its European namesake, also once was a major racing player far beyond just Saratoga.

                                  Congressman Stephen Sanford, a leading player in carpet manufacturing in Amsterdam, created his Hurricana Stud farm near Amsterdam. The Sanford Stakes at Spa is named in honor of him.

                                  The stable owned Kentucky Derby winner (1916) George Smith [the real name of the uber great handicapper Pittsburgh Phil] and was at stud there in Amsterdam before being given to the US Army for remount duty; Sanford was also the first American stable to win the English Grand National Steeplechase with Sergeant Murphy in 1923.

                                  Anyhow, sadly, not much life at all is to be found there now but it makes for an interesting ghost town to drive through en route to Saratoga and then through Ballston Spa

                                  It will be interesting to see at the Saratoga meet if Ken & Sarah Ramsey will take the owners title as they just did for the Belmont meet ended. Nothing like a Kentucky-based outfit making one-time highly visible Repole Stables almost invisible in their own backyard.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    The "pressure" is on for Spa with opening day - tomorrow - Friday July 20th - to show the West Coast up Del Mar's opener Wed July 18th rocked the house yet again with people and wagering:

                                    The crowd on Wednesday's opening day at Del Mar, announced as 47,339, set a single-day record for the track, eclipsing the record set last year of 46,588, also on opening day.

                                    This marked the eighth straight year that the attendance on opening day was higher than 40,000, and the eighth straight year it went up from the previous opening day.

                                    "Opening day is a phenomena that's hard to describe," Joe Harper, Del Mar's president and chief executive officer, said as dusk fell on Wednesday night. "It's a crazy day. It's taken on a life of its own."

                                    The handle was $14,176,153. It was $13,268,662 on opening day last year.
                                    As folks may recall 2011's opener at Saratoga was hampered by wicked hot temps and 2012 doesn't look any better .... a flashback

                                    The announced attendance was 25,155 [Fri July 22, 2011]. The opening day program was in jeopardy because of the weather, but with a high temperature of 94 degrees and a heat index of nearly 100, the show went on.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      For those going to Spa and looking to meet Commentator here is your chance:

                                      Commentator, two-time winner of the Whitney Handicap (G1), is on loan to Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division in Greenfield Center, New York. The satellite farm is located about 20 minutes from Saratoga Race Course.

                                      Commentator, who was campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, retired in 2009 with 14 wins from 24 starts and earnings of $2,049,845. The Distorted Humor gelding won the Whitney in 2005 and 2008 and earned six other stakes victories, including the 2008 Richter Scale Sprint Handicap (G2).

                                      He was retired to Old Friends in Georgetown in October of 2009.
                                      This a temporary swap of Zippy Chippy for Commentator between the two Old Friend's facilities. Details below ...


                                      I visited Commentator just days after he arrived in Georgetown back in 2009. He still looked tough as nails then.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        A brand new twitter user and timely with the Spa meet starting


                                        FRI race 8 - James Marvin S. (Grade III) will have little Zito trainee 'Jackson Bend' with Rosie Napravnik up.

                                        More on the well-liked but very feisty 5-yr old Jackson Bend.