Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. The Saratoga clock is running – for us, for horses, for horsemen. The meet starts a week from tomorrow which means the first edition of The Saratoga Special goes to press a week from today. Yikes. There's some great racing this weekend too, we'll probably miss most of it while selling, packing, driving, organizing.
First, a message from the Shameless Commerce Division
Going Strong at the Gymkhana
Maryland trainer Jazz Napravnik hosted an after work gymkhana competition at her Flying Horse Farm Tuesday night and the event was a winner with a myriad of personalities taking part. Photographer Maggie Kimmitt made the trip and captured plenty. The players included trainer Will Phipps and jockey Rosie Napravnik, oh and $800,000 earner Devil's Honor. See Photo Gallery.
Take A Number
144: Combined number of workers – including Kentucky Derby winner Orb – on May 13 and June 2, at Belmont Park.
24: Combined number of workers – including Kentucky Derby winner Orb – on July 3 and 10, at Fair Hill Training Center.
2: Winners trained by Jimmy Day at Colonial Downs July 5.
6: Jumpers entered in a mile and a half allowance at Colonial July 10.
1: Win for trainer Speedy Smithwick on the Colonial Downs card July 10.
1: Win for trainer Eva Smithwick on the Colonial Downs card July 10.
6: Wins for jockey Alex Cintron July 10 (three at Delaware Park and three at Penn National).
85,700: Career earnings for Sheppard's Pie before breaking her maiden at Penn July 10.
“Quite lively.” – Bruce Jackson, on Orb’s behavior the first (and so far only) time he went for a hack in the fields at Fair Hill
“And he’s from Brooklyn.” – Shug McGaughey on the cowboy look of fellow trainer Charlie LoPresti
“Probably that a good horse will make the trainer look good, quite frankly. There's no doubt good horss make good trainers. I know a lot of people have been very good trainers that never had the opportunity to train a horse like that.” – Trainer Graham Motion, on what he learned from Animal Kingdom
“When that horse hit the front in the Preakness, nobody was more excited than the feed man and the tack man.” – D. Wayne Lukas on Oxbow
“I’m convinced he’s like a bear. He hibernates the rest of the year and then when he’s up here he never sleeps.” – Chad Brown on TIHR’s and The Saratoga Special’s Sean Clancy
“I almost foundered in there, I had to pull up.” – Reeves Racing’s Finn Green, on the deli at Fair Hill
“The cowboy told me what to do.” – Rookie Fair Hill exercise rider, after getting directions from trainer Arnaud Delacour (a Frenchman in a western saddle)
“As long as you’re sponsoring, I’m up for anything.” – Lukas discussing dinner plans with Hall of Fame football coach and frequent Oklahoma training track visitor Bill Parcells
“I saw the first quarter and said ‘Oh shoot.’ Maybe it wasn't shoot but it started and ended the same.” – Dogwood Stable’s Jack Sadler, on his reaction to Palace Malice’s opening fraction in the Kentucky Derby
“It's a good year for slugs.” – Fair Hill Training Center’s Kathee Rengert, on the damp weather
“It's far.” – Saratoga Special co-founder, Paul Wasserman, when asked about his first trip to Finger Lakes
"How many ads did he try to sell today?" – TIHR's Joe Clancy, when told to write like Sports Illustrated's Gary Smith
"Where are the hounds?" – Laurel-based trainer Tim Keefe, when seeing a video of five horses breezing at Richard Valentine's in Virginia
“Normally you would wait for a sunny day. This year, no rain is good enough.” – Delacour, on scheduling a workout at Fair Hill
"Don't go washing out on us now." – Delaware Park's Bessie Gruwell, to a nervous ad rep
"On the backwall, in the baseball cap." – Auctioneer at Tattersalls after selling a horse
“What were you doing over there, checking on jumpers?” – McGaughey assistant Robbie Medina after TIHR’s Tom Law got off his bike near the Fifth Ave gate on the Oklahoma
"Not necessarily a change, a lot of our clients were looking for Derby type horses, in order to do that, you have to come up with some pedigrees that you think are going to stretch out, sometimes those are later to come around.” – Trainer Todd Pletcher, when asked if he had changed his approach to building his 2-year-old band
“If you’d have asked me I would have guessed Commentator.”— Ian Wilkes when told Fort Larned stood a chance to become just the second horse to win back-to-back editions of the Whitney. Discovery won 3 straight from 1934 to 1936, while Commentator (2005 and ‘08) and Kelso (1961, ’63 and ’65) are the other multiple winners