Today is Day 37 of the Saratoga Race Course meet. Racing starts at 1:05 p.m.
RECENT STORIES FROM THE DAILY GAZETTE AT THE TRACK
“A look back at Affirmed Success,” by Mike MacAdam
The first time he raced, he broke slow, then made up his own mind to simply bull his way through the horses in front of him as jockey Jorge Chavez screamed at his fellow riders in warning: “Get out of the way, I ain’t got him!”
Toward the end of his career, five long years later, the horse needed some amount of urging from his jockey to get through the hole this time, “but he went all in. Man,” Richard Migliore marveled in recollection two weeks ago.
“And it turned out it was slightly premature, but it also secured my position, I was able to get through, and he kicked clear.
“The last 70 yards he was on fumes. But the race was won.”
“TAG at the Track: The runaway filly and her guardian goat,” by Teresa A. Genaro with photos from Erica Miller
Based on her first start, 2-year-old filly Be Your Best has learned her racing lessons well. She made her debut at Saratoga Race Course on July 31, winning by 3 1/4 lengths under jockey José Ortiz for owner/breeder Mike Ryan and trainer Horacio De Paz.
She’s still got to work on her barn manners, though.
In De Paz’s barn in Clare Court, she’s one of the few, maybe the only, horse whose stall is guarded by a gate instead of webbing. De Paz says that she’s pretty friendly and rather kind, but she developed an unfortunate habit of escaping.
“As Travers showed, Epicenter has retained his best form,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
Steve Asmussen fielded a question Sunday morning asking for an example of a 3-year-old he’s trained who experienced aftereffects later in the season from having weathered the grueling Kentucky Derby prep season and Triple Crown series.
He laughed and said, “Every single one of them that wasn’t Curlin or Gun Runner.”
Judging from how Epicenter won the 153rd Travers on Saturday, you can probably keep him off that long list.
“At 81, Bill Parcells still flashes the old intensity, but as a racehorse owner,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
The 2-year-old Thoroughbred – a baby, really, a rookie – won the first start of his career on Aug. 19 at Saratoga Race Course, and a member of the media asked the owner about the colt’s name.
The owner smiled a familiar smile, and there was also a telltale gruff needling to his voice, the kind of tone that would put an NFL rookie – or a reporter, for that matter – in his place back in the day. And quick. You’ve heard it before.
“I’ve been a Giants fan for 70 years.”
Then the owner walked out of the winner’s circle and signed autographs for a bunch of happy people who had been New York Giants fans for considerably less time.
Let’s Go Big Blue.
“Another dominating performance by Epicenter, this time in the Travers,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
The Kentucky Derby was the one that got away.
Then the Preakness was the one that got away.
On Saturday, Epicenter was the one that got away.
“Cody’s Wish upsets Forego, hands Jackie’s Warrior first-ever loss at Spa,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
One of the beauties of Saratoga Race Course is that, even though they’ve been racing here since 1863, you can still show up on any given day and see something you’ve never seen before.
Unfortunately for Jackie’s Warrior, his connections and his fans on Saturday, that meant seeing him get beat at Saratoga.
The 2021 champion male sprinter came into the Grade I Forego on the heels of a victory in the Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt that sealed his legacy as the only horse to have ever won Grade I races three years in a row at the Spa.
“Malathaat emerges triumphant in Personal Ensign,” by Teresa A. Genaro with photos from Erica Miller
Twice beaten by Clairiere this year, Malathaat emerged triumphant from the $600,000 Grade I Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
Sent off at just under 2-1 odds as the favorite, Clairiere acted up in the starting gate and broke slowly, spotting the field nearly a dozen lengths. Though the four-year-old daughter of Curlin tends to come from well off the pace, and jockey Joel Rosario was able to coax her in the late stages of the race into contact with the other four horses, she was never a factor, finishing last.
“She jumped up a couple of times [in the gate], but she was OK,” said Rosario. “She took a long time today to find her stride. It was not her day, I guess.”
“Jack Christopher gets back to winning form in Allen Jerkens,” by Mike MacAdam with photos from Erica Miller
Jack Christopher found his comfort zone again on Saturday.
And he did it on Travers Day, even if it wasn’t in the Travers itself.
Cutting back in distance after having finished a respectable third in the mile-and-an-eighth Haskell Invitational last time out, the most accomplished 3-year-old colt in trainer Chad Brown’s barn added to his sparkling resume by winning the Grade I Allen Jerkens at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
“Gufo defends Sword Dancer win; Technical Analysis takes the Ballston Spa,” by Will Springstead
Gufo defended his win in the Grade I, $750,000 Sword Dancer under red-hot jockey Joel Rosario on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
The 5-year-old horse sat seventh for the first mile and a quarter of the mile-and-a-half race, but, going six-wide entering the stretch, charged at the end to win by a half-length over Mira Mission.
The horse, trained by Christophe Clement, now has nine wins, three seconds and five thirds from 19 career starts, and $1,983,030 in earnings.
“So, just who was William Travers?” by Teresa A. Genaro
In 1867, the six-day summer meeting at Saratoga Race Course began on Aug. 7. The New York Times offered a glowing preview, praising the beauty of the women in attendance, the “unclouded brilliancy” of the sun, and the condition of the racing surface. That fourth season of racing in Saratoga, The Times claimed, “promises to be the most successful racing carnival ever held here.”
Those words must have been music to the ears of William R. Travers, whose eponymous race was carded as the first of two races (the second race comprised three two-mile heats). The president of the Saratoga Association, the organization that oversaw the track, Travers also served as a placing judge on that August day 155 years ago.
“Meet the maker behind Saratoga Race Course’s flower blankets,” by Indiana Nash with photos from Erica Miller
When Susan Garrett watches the 153rd Travers on Saturday, she’ll be zeroing in on one thing: Does the flower blanket look perfect?
Garrett, a florist and longtime Saratoga County resident, designs the intricate and hand-sewn floral pieces that adorn the winning horses at the Saratoga Race Course. Packed with hundreds of flowers, they’ve become track attractions in their own right over the last 28 years.
“I’m blessed to be able to make these pieces,” Garrett said.
“Ten years later, dead heat in Travers alive and well for those who were there,” by Mike MacAdam
To revise Roy Scheider’s iconic line from “Jaws”: You’re gonna need another boat.
One of the traditions at tradition-rich Saratoga Race Course is the canoe that has floated in the infield lake since at least 1926 and has been painted in the colors of the Travers winner’s silks since 1962.
Then Aug. 25, 2012 happened, and one canoe wasn’t enough.
“Saratoga Race Course spectators on why they make summer trips to the track,” story and photos by Stan Hudy
Thousands of people head to Saratoga Race Course throughout the summer, as horses run five days a week at the “summer place to be.”
Watching — and betting on — the races is a summer staple in the Capital Region, but the time between races and circumstances around venturing to the Spa City can be the most memorable part of the experience for many track-goers.
More than 780,00 fans have attended races this summer through last weekend, a figure that represents a 10% increase from last year at the same point. More than 44,500 people attended last year’s Travers Stakes day, and that number could grow higher Saturday for this year’s edition of the meet’s biggest race.
Throughout this summer, The Gazette asked fans at the historic race course why they made the trip to Saratoga Race Course.
TODAY’S RACING INFO
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