Today is Day 8 of the Saratoga Race Course meet. Racing starts at 1:05 p.m.
RECENT STORIES FROM THE DAILY GAZETTE AT THE TRACK
“Secret Oath-Nest matchup makes for intriguing CCA Oaks on Saturday,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
It’s the big rematch.
It’s the master against the former student.
It’s two fillies who were confidently sent to run against males in respective legs of the Triple Crown, and performed well, if not winning.
There are multiple juicy storylines heading into Saturday’s Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks at a mile and an eighth on the main track.
Meanwhile, trainers D.Wayne Lukas and Todd Pletcher are just trying to win a race.
“Dolce Zel noses out stablemate to give Brown sixth Lake George win,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
Anyone who hangs around Saratoga Race Course probably knows by now that trainer Chad Brown is from Mechanicville.
As reported in the Saratoga Special, he even ran into his former first-grade teacher at the track last Saturday, when Brown’s horses filled out the superfecta in the Grade I Diana by finishing 1-2-3-4.
So it’s not unusual for him to come across old friends looking for tips when he makes his way through the grounds. On Friday, the pressing question was which of his two fillies in the Grade III Lake George was better, and his answer proved prophetic: “It’s close.”
So close, in fact, that Brown’s two horses, Dolce Zel and Eminent Victor, nearly dead-heated for the win in the Lake George, which would’ve added another remarkable feat for his barn on the heels of the Diana domination.
“Another big rematch looms on Sunday in the Shuvee,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
Round 2 of the filly/mare rematch weekend at Saratoga Race Course takes place on Sunday, when Clairiere and Malathaat will hook up in the Grade II Shuvee, a steppingstone to the Grade I Personal Ensign on Travers Day.
The two 4-year-old daughters of Curlin have raced against each other five times – which represents half of Malathaat’s career starts – and Clairiere has finished ahead of Malathaat just once.
But it was the most recent one.
“Jack Christopher takes on Taiba in Haskell,” by Mike MacAdam
The spotlight at Saratoga Race Course will turn to the 3-year-old colts next weekend with the Grade II Jim Dandy, but in the meantime, the division takes center stage in New Jersey on Saturday for the $1 million Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
The race drew eight horses, and the two most lightly raced horses in the field, the Chad Brown-trained Jack Christopher and the Bob Baffert-trained Taiba, are nearly co-favorites on the morning line.
Jack Christopher (3-2) is undefeated from four starts and will be racing longer than a mile for the first time in the nine-furlong Haskell, and 7-5 favorite Taiba has run just three times and is coming off a 12th in the Kentucky Derby out of Tim Yakteen’s barn while Baffert was serving a suspension.
“Chatting with … Jason Blewitt,” by Will Springstead with photos from Erica Miller
Jason Blewitt is a familiar name to horse racing fans in New York. Now an account representative with West Point Thoroughbreds, Blewitt spent nearly 17 years with the New York Racing Association, first in the press box and later as television host. He was in front of the camera for NYRA’s initial seasons of Belmont Live and Saratoga Live.
From there, Blewitt moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he led the TV coverage at Gulfstream Park for the Stronach Group.
Blewitt grew up in Floral Park, one town over from Belmont Park, so he’s literally never been far from the horses. But Saratoga Race Course holds a special place in his heart.
“It’s a special, special place,” Blewitt said. “My wife is from Saratoga Springs, so one of the greatest gifts that’s ever happened to me in my life, Saratoga Race Course was the cause of that, and horse racing was the cause of that.”
“Livingston delves deep to put together exhibit of Raftery’s racing photos,” by Teresa A. Genaro
You know that feeling when your phone storage is getting low, and you realize you have 10,000 photos on it, and you keep avoiding going through them to figure out which ones you should keep?
Multiply that by 250, and you’ll have some idea of the daunting task that faced award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston when she acquired Jim Raftery’s vast archive of horse racing negatives, all 300 boxes of them.
In 1998, Livingston acquired her first collection of negatives, those of James W. Sames III. Initially intending to buy one print, she ended up with a big box of negatives, discovering in it photographs of Triple Crown winners War Admiral (1937) and Whirlaway (1941).
“That box was full of history,” said Livingston, who grew up in East Glenville and attended Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake schools before graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in photography. “After that, I was on the lookout for people with collections of negatives that they didn’t know what to do with.”
TODAY’S RACING INFO
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Categories: At The Track, Sports