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.
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.
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.”
Joe McSorley laughed at the question. “Who taught him to jump? You can’t teach a horse to do that. You can’t,” the Kentucky horseman said, then instructed assistant Lyndsay Deaver to cue up a photo on her phone. “Find the one of him jumping the thistle out in the paddock. He would touch the ground and do it again, like a dolphin through water. It was easy for him.”
Most of the usual suspects and familiar faces were combing the sales grounds Friday in advance of today’s start to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale along with one man who is recognizable to just about every sports fan in America.
Laurence Leavy, better known as Marlins Man and known for being at just about every major sporting event in the country, was in and out of the Fasig-Tipton barn area before heading up to Saratoga Race Course for the last few races Friday. He’s always in the front row at games, perfectly centered for the television- and still-camera shots.
In advance of Equine Advocates' 14th Annual Awards Dinner and Charity Auction Thursday night at Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, local freelance writer and PR/digital media consultant Alyssa McClenning made the trip to the organization's base in Chatham, N.Y.
“Are we going to take my car, or yours?” I ask my friend while eyeing his 1998 VW Cabrio.
The 5-speed is stripped down to its black primer, the morning sun catching spots of rust.
“Let’s take mine,” he says, “it’s better on gas mileage.”
The first Saratoga condition book might be out, but Belmont's spring/summer meet still has some thrills as evidenced by a big Fourth of July card for the Belmont Derby, Oaks and more over the weekend. TIHR photographer Tod Marks was there, chronicling the action from Lady Eli, Force The Pass, Private Zone and the rest.
What a run for our great game of Thoroughbred racing. A thrilling Triple Crown series is always a good thing; the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years something we only dreamed about back in May.
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.
George Weaver eats a clementine, pats his dog on the head and begins to walk down his shedrow in Horse Haven.
Weaver trained his first winner in 2001, his stable has earned at least $1 million every year since. With 38 winners this year, he has already gone past $2 million in earnings and has a chance to eclipse his best season, when he won 50 races for $2.6 million in 2014.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen was joined by representatives of six racehorse retirement organizations in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Thursday morning to announce a cooperative coalition for racehorse aftercare, to challenge other communities to act on racehorse retirement and to officially proclaim August “Racehorse Retirement Month.”