Four weeks into the meet, trainer Carlos Martin looks at his string of 15 in Barn 31 just beyond the far turn of the main track, with a dozen more horses at Belmont Park, and smiles. Five wins, from 16 starts through Saturday? He’ll take it. He’ll also look at a slight change in his schedule and file that away for next year and beyond. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 21 issue of The Sarartoga Special.)
Monday’s 10-race card, a pick six carryover of $71,770 and the $100,000 Better Talk Now Stakes is about that remains for the sixth week of racing at Saratoga Race Course.
Dr. John Chandler stood alone. Facing away from the racetrack, across from the finish line, Juddmonte Farm’s president gazed from the step of the front-row box, mouth agape, smiling but silent, like he had heard a good joke but wasn’t sure he could tell it.
Bob Baffert careened between the two front rows of the clubhouse boxes, pivoted to go down the steps and then saw Chandler, still standing, smiling, silent.
The race marketed for years as the “Mid-Summer Derby” rarely resembles its 10-furlong counterpart run annually on the first in May.
Check out what the connections of the entrants for Saturday's Grade 1 Travers Stakes say about their chances in Saratoga Race Course's signature race.
On Leave entered Thursday’s Riskaverse Stakes without a stakes win on her resume. In fact, the $100,000 race was her first try in stakes company in her fifth start. While six others in the field came in off recent graded stakes tries – Pricedtoperfection, Thrilled, Marquee Miss, Enjoy Yourself, and Baciami Piccola and Sky My Sky – On Leave entered off a 1 3/4-length victory in an allowance-optional at Belmont Park July 17.
Shug McGaughey believes a little time never hurts.
McGaughey has taken his time with Stuart Janney III’s On Leave, a 3-year-old daughter of War Front entered in today’s $100,000 Riskaverse Stakes going 1 mile on the turf at Saratoga Race Course.
Sometimes a non-traditional approach is just what it takes to get the most of out a horse. That said, if you ask Niall Saville about the program for his starter in today’s 1 5/8-mile John’s Call Stakes on the turf, which includes dressage, jumping, and lots of hill work, he’ll tell you it’s just part of the usual routine.
Two huge weekends await for the season and one final day of racing remains in the fifth week of the 2016 Saratoga Race Course meeting. A nine-race card is on tap for Monday, highlighted by the $100,000 Summer Colony Stakes for older fillies and mares on the main track.
Jimmy Toner joked last week about shopping for a little assistance in his quest to solve the riddle that is Catch A Glimpse.
The air is still at 5:30 Friday morning, the sky a gentle gray glow, like an old lamp slowly finding the strength to light again. Horses trickle down veiny dirt paths through the body of the backside. The gaps around the track will open soon, allowing the faintly illuminated bays, chestnuts and grays inside.