On any given morning, if Joe Sharp isn’t at the barn he’s probably on the track galloping one of the nearly 40 horses in his string at Saratoga Race Course. That was the case earlier in the meeting when The Saratoga Special’s Annise Montplaisir caught up with him for a stable tour. Sharp was just heading to the track on Dolphus, a 2-year-old half-brother to Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.
Chad Brown’s is feeling the pressure heading into the 36th day of racing at Saratoga Race Course and the $100,000 P. G. Johnson Stakes.
Not because he’s clinging to a three-win lead over Todd Pletcher in search of his first training title at Saratoga.
Over in Bill Mott’s barn at the harness track Tuesday morning, one horse gets ready to train. The dark bay 2-year-old gelding looks a picture – white blinkers with orange trim, white saddle pad with an orange C inside of a black circle, four white polos, sheepskin cover on the yoke, attentive, upright ears.
Joanne Nielsen is charming, gracious and one of the most appealing people you will meet in the Thoroughbred business. And, oh yes, for about 40 years, by dint of single-minded year-round hard work fired by a passion for her calling, she has bred some outstanding horses in New York.
A very memorable Travers Stakes is in the books and there’s only a shade more than week to go in the 2015 Saratoga Race Course meeting. Still plenty of time to get out of the hole, pick up some shipping money or to pad the already swelled bankroll.
The crowd on both sides of the paddock chute chanted.
“Thank. You. Bob.”
“Thank. You. Bob.”
“Thank. You. Bob.
Bob Baffert, grasping his son Bode with his left hand, waved with his right. As the chant faded, Baffert walked to the end of the chute and made a left to go to the box seats.
The day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Time to see if Triple Crown American Pharoah can pass another test and add the Travers Stakes to his glittering resume.
Bob Baffert likens the task that awaits Triple Crown winner American Pharoah today at historic Saratoga Race Course to being like a “mini Kentucky Derby.”
The 146th running of the Travers Stakes is the latest stop on what now feels like a victory tour for the colt, who marched into history this spring with victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. He’s the first winner of the Triple Crown in 37 years and will try to become just the second horse to add the Travers to his resume forever immortalized by the rare sweep.
Triple Crown American Pharoah drew post-position No. 2 in the field of 10 entered Tuesday night for Saturday’s 146th running of the $1.6 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Seven years ago, he led the Woodward for a mile. Six years ago, he tried the Grade 1 at Saratoga again and finished sixth. Today, he stands around and waits for the love of his life.
And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I like to think he likes me, he knows me and he waits here for me to pull in the driveway in my truck, but I don’t know,” said Trish McLaughlin, the proud owner of retired Grade 1 stakes campaigner Past The Point. “He’s got a home for life with me. I love him.”
A majority of the horses in the stable of 49-year-old Charlton Baker are New York-breds, including Moonlight Song, winner of the John Morrissey Stakes earlier in the meet for owner Albert Fried Jr. He won two races from 10 starters heading into today’s card, the same number of winners he posted in 2014 and 2013.