The Friday Special – July 22

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Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath headlines Friday’s Coaching Club American Oaks. Coady Photography.

The weekend is here. We know it’s hot but what better way to spend the weekend than at Saratoga Race Course?

The Grade 3 Lake George tops Friday’s 10-race card and we’re back with the second installment of the rebranded Special for days we don’t roll out a print edition. Don’t forget the picks, they’re below for Friday, July 22.

Good luck.

Worth Repeating
“I don’t think that way. I always think I’m going to have one next year and the year after…I’ve already planned my Derby horse.”
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas after missing recent Saratoga meets and whether he doubted he’d return

“He was a wonderful horseman, so it’s an honor to win a race like that, especially with a New York-bred.”
Trainer Joe Sharp after winning Friday’s Rick Violette Stakes with Practice Squad, a half-brother to the Violette-trained graded stakes winner and Kentucky Derby starter Upstart

Names of the Day
Regina, Fourth Race. The 3-year-old filly’s name mean Queen in Latin, and she is by Empire Maker.

Koala Princess, Ninth Race. The 3-year-old filly is out of Koala Queen. 

Gringotts, Tenth Race. The 5-year-old mare is by Central Banker. Gringotts is the bank in the Harry Potter series. 

Aftercare Day puts OTTBs in spotlight
Saratoga Race Course is no stranger to fences on the turf for Wednesday steeplechase races, but the fences on the dirt track Thursday were quite a sight.

“I think Tenderfoot was a little confused that there were jumps on the racetrack, which was his old career, so it was kind of a mixture of his new and old career,” Ashley Stump said of her retired racehorse.

Stump was a participant in Thursday’s New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day, which featured demonstrations that took place on the main track. She was in a group of three pairs of riders and horses representing ReRun, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that rehabilitates, retrains and finds adoptive homes for thoroughbred racehorses at the end of their racing careers. Stump’s mount was Tenderfoot, a 4-year-old gelding who retired about eight months ago, according to ReRun Executive director Lisa Molloy.

“When you see how they come along within four to six months… it’s amazing, the change that comes about in them,” Molloy said. “I grew up working in National Hunt racing in England. Riding racehorses got me all over the world, working in Europe, working in the United States. This is my way of giving back. They got me where I am today, they took me all over the world.”

And they brought her to Saratoga, with the help of Tracy Egan, executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund that provides significant funding for aftercare initiatives in the state. Egan helped organize the annual event, which occurred for the second time.

“More than 11 years ago I got support from my board members to give money to sponsor retired racehorse events,” Egan said. As a state-run organization, “We can’t make charitable donations – we can only spend money in certain ways. But we can sponsor events to support aftercare.”

Tenderfoot and Stump did not clear every obstacle perfectly, but that was not the important part of the day. What is important is that the talents of off-track Thoroughbreds are showcased to fans, and that OTTBs go to safe homes, Molloy said.

“All these horses are young, they end their racing careers so young and they have their whole lives ahead of them,” Stump said. “They are absolutely amazing. A lot of people look at off- track Thoroughbreds like they’re crazy and I can’t say that even one of mine is crazy.”

At that moment, Stump’s husband, Jason Adams yelled, “No, no, no, don’t you dare!” as Tenderfoot bobbed his head in a bucket of water as he cooled off after the demonstration.

“Oh, he will, he loves to spin his head in the water,” Stump said.

Not crazy, just playful. Stump would know, she has seven OTTBs and six came from ReRun. Stump has been riding since she was a teenager, but she also spent many years without any horses.

“I never wanted to stop,” Stump said. “Life just happens, so I had gotten out of it.”

But she got back into it when her now 16-year-old daughter Chloe Adams, who also competed Thursday on Bourbon Rising, asked for a horse a few years ago.

“We had found a horse online and were like ‘hmmm, maybe let’s go for it,’ ” Stump said. “That’s what started it, we got that one horse and then my old trainer from when I was a kid told me about Rerun and that’s when we went up. From there on it was like a kid in a candy shop at ReRun, like every time I go there. We just went up there this morning to pick up Lisa’s two horses, and we almost headed out the door with another mare.”

Quietly, out of earshot of her family, Stump added, “Which still might still happen.”
Timothy Littau

Friday’s Saratoga picks

1-Rarify, Alexis Zorba, Wico.
2-Happy Bob, Klaravich entry, Oglethorpe.
3-Amount, American Rule, Krakow entry.
4-Beachfront Bid, I’m Glad, Miss Bonnie T.
5-Future Victory, Dubb entry, Caerus.
6-Slow Decision, Ria’s Angel, Tuesday’s Child.
7-Keepmeinmind, Efficiency, Tiwanaku.
8-Violent Point, Kokopelli, Sassy Melissa.
9-Eminent Victor, Dolce Zel, Sister Lou Ann.
10-Let Her Inspire U, Leeloo, Ready A.P.

TOM LAW (13/61):
1-Alibi Ike, Clubhouse, Alexis Zorba.
2-Klaravich entry, Oglethorpe, The Prince’s Spur.
3-Amount, American Rule, Claytnthelionheart.
4-Beachfront Bid, I’m Glad, Rhombique.
5-Future Victory, Dubb entry, Our Country.
6-Makrat, Slow Decision, Ria’s Angel.
7-Keepmeinmind, Tiwanaku, Efficiency.
8-Kokopelli, Sassy Melissa, Makin My Move.
9-Skims, Eminent Victor, Koala Princess.
10-Let Her Inspire U, Leeloo, Ready A.P.

1-Wico, Rarify, Dataman.
2-Brown entry, Oglethorpe, The Prince’s Spur.
3-Hammerin Aamer, Kantamaci entry, American Rule.
4-Beachfront Bid, I’m Glad, Miss Bonnie T.
5-Caerus, Future Victory, Sonic Speed.
6-Slow Decision, Ria’s Angel, Makart.
7-Keepmeinmind, Tiwanaku, Naval Aviator.
8-Makin My Move, Palace Gossip, Sassy Melissa.
9-Koala Princess, Dolce Zel, Skims.
10-Let Her Inspire U, Reeves entry, Leeloo.

1-Alexis Zorba, Pletcher entry, Dataman.
2-Oglethorpe, Klaravich entry, Clubbing.
3-Amount, Claytntlionheart, Lastchanceatglory.
4-Beachfront, Whiskey Lullaby, Candlestick Maker.
5-Maker entry, Future Victory, Sonic Speed.
6-Slow Decision, Makarat, Tuesday’s Child.
7-Keepmeinmind, Efficiency, Tiwanaku.
8-Sassy Melissa, Palace Gossip, Kokopelli.
9-Skims, Eminent Victor, Dolce Zel.
10-Ready A.P., Leeloo, Let Her Inspire U.

1-Alexis Zorba, Datman, Wico.
2-The Prince’s Spur, Growth Capital, Clubbing.
3-Amount, Mount Travers, American Rule.
4-I’m Glad, Regina, Whisky Lullaby.
5-Future Victory, Chess’s Dream, Bricco.
6-Makart, Slow Decision, Clingman.
7-Efficiency, Complete Agenda, Skylander.
8-Get The Candy, Palace Gossip, Makin My Move.
9-Koala Queen, Dolce Zel, Skims.
10-Let Her Inspire U, Leeloo, Ready AP.