Saratoga Race Course essentials: Aug. 4, 2022

Trainer Todd Pletcher, right, speaks to NYRA’s Acacia Clement after the draw for the 95th running of the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
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Trainer Todd Pletcher, right, speaks to NYRA’s Acacia Clement after the draw for the 95th running of the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

Today is Day 16 of the Saratoga Race Course meet. Racing starts at 1:05 p.m.

RECENT STORIES FROM THE DAILY GAZETTE AT THE TRACK

“Life Is Good 6-5 favorite in six-horse Whitney field,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller

What does a horse with a five-race winning streak, the last four of which were graded stakes, have to do to be a favorite?

Well, don’t run in the Whitney against Life Is Good, for one thing.

Life Is Good is the 6-5 morning-line favorite for the 95th running of the nine-furlong Grade I $1 million Whitney at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, after a six-horse field was drawn on Wednesday morning.

~ Read More At The Track

“Borisenok, Brown Road Racing encouraging women to get involved with thoroughbred ownership,” by Teresa A. Genaro with photos from Erica Miller

Michelle Borisenok may have raised a few eyebrows with her comments at a conference for new and existing racehorse owners last week.

“It’s not so much about winning,” she said of Brown Road Racing, a partnership that she founded in 2018. “For us, it’s about education and it’s about the experience.”

A week later, talking at her farm overlooking Saratoga Lake, she elaborated on that mission.

She created Brown Road Racing to attract and educate women about the experience of thoroughbred ownership, a natural progression from the women’s leadership work she’s been doing for decades. A graduate of the College of Saint Rose in Albany, she is an honorary member of the college’s Women’s Leadership Institute, to which she and her husband Walt donated $1.2 million to renovate the Institute’s Albany headquarters, which is now named the Michelle Cuozzo Borisenok ’80 House. Among the building’s uses is as housing for BOLD Women’s Leadership Network Scholars. Through centers at six Northeast institutes of higher education, BOLD “cultivates courageous leadership” for students and graduates of the member institutions.

~ Read More At The Track ~

“Sneak peeks: Young trainer O’Brien, three weeks at the Spa, and what’s to come,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller

The future has arrived.

The past will be here shortly.

A promising long career as a trainer is in the making for Joseph Patrick O’Brien, the apple-cheeked 29-year-old from Ireland whose last name invokes the decades of success enjoyed by his father, Aidan.

Joseph O’Brien was an interesting presence at Saratoga Race Course on the second Friday of the meet, as he flew across the Atlantic Ocean to saddle two maidens.

We’re not expecting to see his father, the long-time head trainer for one of the most powerful racing operations in the world, this weekend, but he does have a horse in Saturday’s $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational, Stone Age, who arrived on Sunday.

~ Read More At The Track ~ 

“Epicenter gets back to the winner’s circle, in the Jim Dandy,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller

There were two different definitions of the word “relieved” for trainer Steve Asmussen on Saturday.

There was pressure on Jackie’s Warrior to set a Saratoga Race Course historical precedent in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt in the eighth-race stakes. He did that, with an easy win.

Then in the ninth race, the Grade II Jim Dandy, relief came in a different form.

Against three talented rivals, Asmussen’s hard-luck colt, Epicenter, faced the prospect of heading back to the barn without a pit stop and photo in the winner’s circle, again.

~ Read More At The Track ~ 

Scott Blasi, assistant trainer to Steve Asmussen, walks Jackie’s Warrior schooling in the paddock between races at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (ERICA MILLER/THE DAILY GAZETTE)

“Jackie’s Warrior makes Saratoga history with dominating Vanderbilt win,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller

How many people can exclaim “Immortality, baby!” at Saratoga Race Course and not sound like a blowhard bettor with an inflated opinion of the chalky dime superfecta they just hit?

Steve Asmussen pulled it off on Saturday, and it didn’t sound absurd at all.

The Hall of Fame trainer has had his share of Saratoga moments, including becoming the all-time leader in career victories in North America at last year’s meet.

Jackie’s Warrior had been responsible for four such memorable moments for Asmussen and his barn, and made it five on Saturday when he won the Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt in such comfortably dominating fashion that veteran jockey Joel Rosario may have had the easiest assignment of his career.

With the win, Jackie’s Warrior became the first horse ever to win Grade I races in three consecutive seasons at Saratoga, where they’ve been racing since 1863.

~ Read More At The Track ~ 

“A convicted felon, an old racehorse, and a Second Chance for both,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller

“Look at that dig,” Tyler Frame gushed last Sunday morning, admiring how a Thoroughbred vigorously reached out and pulled its forelegs through the dirt surface during training hours on the main track at Saratoga Race Course.

The subject of the “powerhouse” hindquarters, the engine of muscle pushing the horse’s forward momentum, came up more than a few times, too.

And if a gray walked by, forget it. Frame all but swooned.

In December of 2013, Frame, then known as Tyler William Murray, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of second-degree arson in Washington County (Maryland) Circuit Court. He was sentenced a month later to 15 years at the Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville for his role in a three-week arson spree that caused almost a half-million dollars in damage.

Little did he know, but somewhere out there was an old retired Thoroughbred, also with 13 “counts” against him, who Frame, now 30, says turned his turbulent life around.

~ Read More At The Track

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Categories: At The Track, Sports

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