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.
As the final horses were led from their stalls to the walking ring the crew from Hurstland Farm gathered around the stall of Hip 248, waiting for the call over the public address system.
“Dad why did I like Fourstardave so much?” Kelly Wheeler asked her father, laughing because she couldn’t quite remember how she got hooked on the big chestnut gelding.
“OK, this is good,” Wheeler, an assistant to Eddie Kenneally, hangs up with her father and begins to recount the story of her Horse Who Changed Everything.
The final preparations for the six Hurstland Farm yearlings cataloged for next month's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings is well underway in Midway, Kentucky. Check out the photos from Sunday, July 17 and compare a few with how they looked back in the middle of February.
The first article in this series about Nicolette Merle-Smith and her OTTB mare, Blazing Beryl, offered hints that their journey to the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover might be a seamless journey sans major challenges.
The winding road of the summer steeplechase season doesn’t alter course this week and stays at the same venue that offered a pair of jumper flat races Sunday for a pair of jump races Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia.
Another Triple Crown season in the books, Royal Ascot past the halfway point, summer racing underway and a serious countdown to the start of the Saratoga Race Course meeting. If you’re counting – and who isn’t really? – it’s just five weeks away.
ST Publishing, publishers of the daily newspaper The Saratoga Special and the racing website This Is Horse Racing, will team for the third consecutive year with the New York Thoroughbred Breeders to produce a commemorative program for the organization’s Annual Awards Banquet this spring.
Jimmy Jerkens walked from one end of his low-roofed barn to the other, stopping at each stall to talk about each occupant. With every stop, Jerkens began, “This is…” A man of few words, Jerkens, like his Hall of Fame father Allen, knows his horses, talking about one whose appetite is getting better, one who has a rub from a martingale and another who tries hard every time. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 20 issue of The Saratoga Special.)
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.