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Equicurean The Horses. The People. The Lifestyle

COMPLIMENTARY

SUMMER 2011


Saratoga Springs... The Summer Place to be

Photo by NYRA.com

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Publisher Chad Beatty Editorial Director Marion E. Altieri

Equicurean The Horses. The People. The Lifestyle.

General Manager Robin Mitchell Creative Director Chris Bushee

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Contents

Art Director Tiffany Garland

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Saratoga Race Course Through The Years

Advertising Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Robin Mitchell

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Fasig Tipton Saratoga 2010 by the Numbers

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The Travers Celebration: New Year, New Format

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Arabian Jockey Club Americans Racing Arabians, with Joy

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The H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival A Royal Gift to Horse Racing

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Hong Kong Jockey Club Charity Becomes Them

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Dubai Camel Racing Club Old as the Desert, Modern as Now

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Svensk Galopp: Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Midnight Sun

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New York Horse Park

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Faces of Racing Sam the Bugler Virginia Kraft Payson Leroy Jolley

Graphic Designer Katy Holland Contributing Photographers Creative Photo and Graphic Sharon Castro Photography Stock Studios Photography Adam Coglianese

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Head Writer Marion E. Altieri Contributing Writers Marilyn Lane Christopher R.R. Peake Geir Stabell Copy Proofreader Christina James Printing Fry Communications, Inc. Published by Saratoga Publishing, LLC Five Case Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: 518.581.2480 fax: 518.581.2487 SaratogaPublishing.com

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Royals in Racing H.R.M. Queen Elizabeth II H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Equicurean is brought to you by Saratoga Publishing, LLC. All information contained within this publication is based on data collected from a variety of sources at the time of publication. Saratoga Publishing, LLC shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher Copyright (c) 2011, Saratoga Publishing, LLC

Cover photo by: Sharon Castro Photography

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Saratoga Race Course Through the Years....

Photos Provided by NYRA 6 | Equicurean 2011


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hrough its long and storied history, Saratoga Race Course has become the standard for excellence in horse racing and entertainment. Each summer for a magical seven weeks, the famous racetrack on Union Avenue showcases the best the Sport of Kings has to offer and has been doing so since 1863 to make it the oldest organized sporting venue in the United States. The top owners, trainers and jockeys strive to make it into the Saratoga winner’s circle, while fans from across the country flock to its gates and stroll through the turnstiles to get a chance to experience an unforgettable day of racing in the Spa City.

“From New York City, you drive north for about 175 miles, turn left on Union Avenue and go back 100 years.” Legendary sportswriter Red Smith (1905-1982) Offering directions to Saratoga Race Course in a column

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A Brief History

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aratoga Race Course, already famous for its mineral springs, held its first Thoroughbred meet just a month after the Battle of Gettysburg during our nation’s Civil War on August 3, 1863. The man most responsible for getting the four-day meet off the ground was John Morrisey, the former boxing champion and future U.S. Congressman. The first races were held at the spot now known as Horse Haven across from the current location (from the New York Racing Association media guide). Two of Morrisey’s friends, John Hunter and William R. Travers – helped build a permanent grandstand and moved the races to the same spot where they’re contested to this day. Hunter would go on to become the first chairman of the Jockey Club and Travers would be honored by having the meet’s signature race named after him. The Travers Stakes, also known as the Mid-Summer Derby, was first run in 1864

and is the most anticipated race of the entire summer. It features a field of 3year-old horses, many who have done battle in racing’s Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes). Understandably, the racetrack has gone through many renovations over past 140+ years, but much of it is reminiscent of those early days with all of its Victorian charm still intact. Racing was continued fairly uninterrupted except for 1911 and 1912 when it was not economically viable following state legislation enacted by the administration of Governor Charles Evans Hughes. The legislation outlawed all forms of wagering on horse racing. There was also no racing for three seasons during World War II. The track was closed on August 2, 2006, due to a heat wave that hit the Eastern Seaboard. It was named by Sports Illustrated (June 7, 1999) as one of the world’s greatest sporting venues of the 20th century..

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Graveyard of Favorites

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ne of the great thrills of horse racing has always been its unpredictability and no racetrack supports these feelings quite like Saratoga Race Course. Affectionately known as the “Graveyard of Favorites,” Saratoga has served as the backdrop of some of horse racing’s all time biggest upsets. None is more talked about in the annals of the sport than the defeat of the legendary Man o’ War in the 1919 Sanford Stakes. Racing as a 2-year-old, Man o’ War would fittingly be defeated by a long shot named Upset. Kathleen Jones described the race in her biography of Man o’ War: “These were the days before starting gates, and the group circled, approached the starting line as a team, and were released by signal of the starter’s flag. On this day, Man o’ War was still circling when the flag fell, and was in fact, not even yet facing the right direction.”

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Man ‘o War fell behind the field, started gaining on them as the race progressed, but didn’t have enough track to get to the lead. Both horses were applauded for their efforts that day – Upset for pulling off the miraculous victory and Man ‘o War for almost winning the race following such a distinct disadvantage to begin the race. Man o’ War would not lose again and finished his Hall of Fame career with 20 victories in 21 starts. Many will argue that Man o’ War was the greatest racehorse to ever run. Inevitably those that disagree usually point to Secretariat, who also was upset at Saratoga. After winning the 1973 Triple Crown and the Arlington Invitational at Arlington Park, Secretariat was beaten by Onion at Saratoga in the Whitney Handicap. Onion was trained by the great Allen Jerkens, who has eared the nickname “Giant Killer” for repeatedly pulling off, upsets at the Spa.


Fasig-Tipton Saratoga 2010 by the Numbers Number of horses sold: Gross Revenue: Average Price:

118 $32,515,000 $275,551

Leading Sires by Average (3 or more sold): A.P. Indy Low: $290,000 Street Cry (IRE) Low: $275,000 Smart Strike Low: $300,000

Sold 3 High: $1,200,000 Sold 5 High: $800,000 Sold: 4 High: $750,000

Avg: $705,000 Avg: $570,000 Avg: $462,500

Leading Buyers by Gross: John Ferguson Live Oak Plantation Donato Lanni, Agent

14 horses 5 horses 3 horses

$6,445,000 $1,500,000 $1,400,000

Leading Consignors by Gross: Eaton Sales Offered 24, Sold 15 Lane’s End Offered 11, Sold 10 Taylor Made Sales Agency Offered 22, Sold 15

$3,855,000 $3,790,000 $3,750,000

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The Travers Celebration: New Year, New Format Story by Marion E. Altieri Photos Provided

There’s nothing quite like moonlight over Saratoga, especially during racing season. This year, the lunar glow will softly light the annual Travers Celebration, as a new format is adopted to fete the million-dollar Travers, America’s MidSummer Derby. The Travers is the oldest race in America, but the spirit of this year’s party in honor of last year’s winner-- Afleet Express and his connections, owners Gainesway Farm and Martin Cherry; trainer James A. “Jimmy” Jerkens and jockey Javier Castellano—is brand-new. The Celebration will take place at Saratoga Race Course, as usual, but this year the courtyard at the Clubhouse entrance on Nelson Avenue will see the action. Extraordinary food stations and lavish beverage offerings will delight celebrants in the courtyard: the soiree, from 7:30PM – 11PM, will feature dancing to the music of The New York Players. Tickets are now available for Moonlight Over Saratoga, the Travers Celebration: this year the beneficiaries are Backstretch Employees’ Service Team (B.E.S.T.) and the Times Union Hope Fund. The event is sponsored by Macys, Northeastern Fine Jewelry and The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA). The 2011 Travers Celebration is co-chaired by Betsy Senior, co-owner of Senior & Shopmaker Gallery in Manhattan, and wife of NYRA President and CEO, Charlie Hayward. CoChair with Ms. Senior is George R. Hearst III, Publisher and CEO of the Times Union newspaper. Tickets are $175 ($125 for guests under age 30), and are available online at www.traverscelebration.everbrite.com, or by calling (518) 383-6183. Credit cards accepted are Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

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A RABIAN J O

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OCKEY

C LUB

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Arabian Jockey Club: Americans Racing Arabians, with Joy Story by Marion E. Altieri Photos by Paul Smoke

any fans of Thoroughbreds are unaware that Arabian horses race. Yet the very attributes admired most by fans of the mighty Thoroughbred—speed, stamina, intelligence, loyalty—are those that were originally developed by the Arabians. Those traits are the reasons why Mr.s Byerly, Darley and Godolphin used their Arabian stallions to create the Thoroughbred. It stands to reason, then, that running—and racing—would be a natural thing for the desert-dwelling horse. Arabian stallions race, and when they do, they run straight into the hearts of fans around the world. The Arabian Jockey Club is the American body that oversees the magnificent horses as they race and breed here in the United States. That is, the business of tethering the wind (the ethereally beautiful Arabian horse) is conducted by horsemen and women who are in love with the breed. Virtually every member of the board and membership of the Arabian Jockey Club have experiences with other breeds—many even own Thoroughbreds—and they love all horses. But their souls always come back to the lovely Arabian, the horse who captured first the imaginations of the Bedouins, over 4,500 years ago. The “daughters of the desert” have found their way around the world. Arabians reside now on virtually every continent (except Antarctica, of course). Arabian racing in the U.S. was organized in 1959, and the AJC was chartered officially as a non-profit organization in December 1987 to represent Arabian racing in the United States. The group was reorganized in 1995, and chartered as a Colorado corporation. It is now under the auspices of the Purebred Arabian Trust, and works with such prestigious race series as the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, to bring the international flavor of Arabian racing into the living rooms of Americans. Why Race Arabians in America? Why race Arabians when Thoroughbreds exist? Arabian horses are beautiful, loyal and brilliant—their uncanny ability to express affection and work with trainers makes them easy to love. Watching Arabians race is an otherworldly experience; they’re not as fast as Thoroughbreds, but real Thoroughbred fans will admit that truly great racing is less about speed than about spirit. “Heart,” as race fans call it—Arabians are all heart, and then some. It’s a good thing that fans of horse racing are discovering Arabians. In this scenario, everyone wins:

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• A fan goes to one of the insightful tracks that offer Arabian racing. • The fan witnesses a couple of Arabian races. • Decides to handicap, and realizes the potential fun here: workouts, post parades, trainers’ reputations and pedigrees are all new to the fan. • Opportunities abound for the fan to become good at a “new” sport. • Fans pay admission, bet, dine, spend—success all-around. Result? Racetracks bring in new fans, and fresh cash. Trainers and owners of Arabians gain new admirers of their horses. Racing Arabians at more American racetracks can only be good for everyone. Arabians are bringing a fresh, vibrant flavor to a beloved sport in America—and racetracks such as Sam Houston, Delaware Park, Churchill Downs and Keeneland are benefiting from the infusion of new blood. Ironic, as the Arabian horse is the oldest extant breed of horse on Earth. The AJC Does it All So obviously there’s a need for a jockey club, a group of dedicated people whose skills and passion drive them to put together races and encourage breeding and racing in the U.S. The breed is gaining a loyal following around the country, and without the Arabian Jockey Club, the owners and breeders—even fans— would be scattered, with no home base for interaction and conducting business. No camaraderie, no race sponsors. The AJC is the welcoming handshake to newbies and experienced fans and horsemen, alike; encouragement and promotion of races are but


two of the roles they fill with grace and patience. To see a group of Arabians heading for the finish line, ears pricked, tails flying in the wind—is to witness history itself. In that one instant, the finish line run, one can feel the Bedouins on their faithful mounts, tirelessly coursing the desert sands, thousands of years ago. This vision is one on which members of the Arabian Jockey Club are hooked. The image is so thrilling, so soul-stirring, that Arabian lovers never tire of seeing it. They love the feeling so much that they want the whole world to experience it; hence the organization’s daily updating of website content with news of races, awards, and visits from international dignitaries as well as their willingness to reach out to anyone who is interested in discovering the sport—even if that means teaching about the Arabian from the hoof up. Their evangelistic approach to every writer and photographer who wants in on the scene is refreshing: no one who wants to cover Arabian racing is turned away. This is not an act of desperation, but rather the wise thinking of an organization that is built upon a genuine sense of community. Arabian racing is nothing if not a community—a family of people from every corner of the world, brought together because they

love the Arabian horse with a pure, instinctual love. The connection they feel to this breed of horse also connects them to the past. For Arabian lovers in the Middle East, it is connection to their own heritage: for those in the United States and other, newer countries—it is to find the ground of understanding between cultures that don’t always “get” each other. When a western person falls in love with an Arabian, she immediately comes to appreciate the culture and people who gave rise to the great steed. Political and cultural issues melt in the eyes of the horse; it begins here, with the horse—and one of the more tangible results is the handshake felt ‘round the world. This is where the AJC shines: as more and more Americans come to love Arabian racing, the AJC brings America to places like Abu Dhabi, Germany, Sweden and Dubai. Kathy Smoke, the indefatigable president of the Arabian Jockey Club, and her hard-working board are extraordinary representatives as they travel on behalf of Arabian racing in the United States. Smoke is an exceptional diplomat, balancing 100 balls at once—and always with a ready smile, a welcoming hug and some piece of great news. The AJC may fill

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the role of parent in the American Arabian racing family—but they act as neither dictators nor disciplinarians. Smoke and her team cajole, encourage, inform, assist and work daily—365 days a year—to assure Arabian breeders, owners and fans that they are heard, that their concerns matter, and that their horses are of the utmost concern. As more and more fans of horse racing discover the ancient Arabian breed, many are curious about ownership and racing Arabians under their own silks. The AJC is the first stop on the journey to find one’s role in the sport. Whether your role is as an owner or as a fan who follows the sport from track-totrack—Kathy Smoke and the AJC are there to assist with the process. In one moment, she may be lunching with a fan who thinks he’s ready to become an owner; in the next moment, she’s mucking stalls at her own farm, and BlueToothing with an owner in need. The AJC and the Future The sport has been growing steadily during the nearly 60 years since it formally organized in the United States—both because American representatives of the Arabian Jockey Club

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are going overseas to promote American racing, and because the world is coming here. The AJC is an organization whose members are dreamers, and leaders are visionaries. They stand cheek-to-jowl, a warm community of horse enthusiasts who know that Arabians should be racing on every track in America. (Great American tracks have joined the number of race courses who welcome Arabian racing. At least one state racing authority sees the light: the Commonwealth of Kentucky is working with the AJC to grow the sport in the Blue Grass, to bring in more Arabian races, promote them, and to warmly welcome those who come there to race, from across the country and around the world.) Kathy Smoke and the AJC are leading the charge, meeting racing authorities all over the United States and bringing even royalty to American tracks for these historic races. The horse owners, breeders, trainers and administrators who make up the Arabian Jockey Club come from different corners of the country. They participate in various levels. They’re wealthy, and they’re middle-class. They own one horse, whom they love with all their hearts. Or they support a herd of racers and breeders. Wherever they live, however they participate in the sport, they are well-represented and served by the Arabian Jockey Club. All are part of not merely a membership organization, but of a family that cares about individual success and personal achievement. As the sport grows in the United States, the Arabian Jockey Club will grow with it. Surely, the Sport of Kings is alive and well, and Arabians are part of the health of the sport. We might suggest, however, that the nickname be changed to the Sport of Sheikhs, to honor our new friends and colleagues. Surely the hand of friendship has been extended by our friends from the Middle East, who gave us this magnificent breed of horse. Royalty, such as HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan have brought the Arabian to the very heart of America—a nickname change might well reflect our respect for our sponsors, and our shiny, new international community of the horse. And the Arabian Jockey Club—the fine, smart, wellorganized American Arabian racing family—takes that hand and gives the handshake of welcome, to Sheikhs and commoner, alike. Their magnanimous and kind acceptance of all who love the breed is a direct reflection of the kindness seen in the eye of the horse who is the Wind of Heaven, the Pegasus of the track—the Arabian horse. www.arabingracing.org


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The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival:

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A Royal Gift to Horse Racing

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Story by Marion E. Altieri Photos by Cathy Duffy

bu Dhabi is the home of many beautiful things, but none as spectacular, intriguing or breathtaking as the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival. The royal reason for creating this event is simple: to share the vision and glory of Arabian horse racing with all the world. Most sport in America is misnamed: the World Series really doesn’t involve anyone from outside the United States, and the Super Bowl doesn’t represent the sport that the rest of the world knows as “football.” But horse racing—this is the one athletic endeavor in which competitors from all around the world come together to meet in the spirit of mutual respect and friendly rivalry. Horse racing in America involves teams from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America—and we are welcome there, as well. The epitome of this sporting egalitarianism is found in the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, an annual event that brings together the greatest Arabian equine athletes, competing in many different world venues. HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. He serves, also, as the chairman of the Emirates Racing Authority and chairman of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association. His love for the horses and his drive to promote the sport, caused him to launch his namesake festival in 2009. An underlying goal of the festival is to present purebred Arabians racing in a variety of diverse settings. In a nutshell, the festival aims to: • Keep alive the efforts of the late, great Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in the preservation of Emirati heritage and traditions, specifically to preserve equestrian sports, including Arabian horse racing;

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Photo by Paul Smoke

• Introduce Arabian horses and their profound importance in the rich heritage in the UAE to the people of the world; • Preserve the most important purebred Arabian horses in the Arabian Peninsula, and assure the continuation of their progeny; • Promote Arabian horses throughout the world, including the West. • To encourage citizens of the UAE to breed and buy purebred Arabian horses, specifically the “UAE breed.” The best and most appropriate way to achieve these goals has proven to be the series of races, which are divided into two sections: both sections are under the auspices of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup. The first section is local to the UAE: the Wathba Stud Farm Cup is a series of ten races, open only to UAE-bred Arabians. The races were organized by the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. The second half of the festival is the global section: nine races in 2011, at nine racecourses around the world. This year’s schedule included the following exciting races:


SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN ARABIAN CUP APRIL 9, 2011 SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK, TEXAS, US SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN PRIX APRIL 22, 2011 CARTHAGE-HANNIBAL, TOULOUSE RACECOURSE, FRANCE SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN ARABIAN CUP JUNE 19, 2011 DUINDIGT RACECOURSE, NETHERLANDS SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN ARABIAN CUP JULY 2, 2011 DELAWARE PARK, DELAWARE, US SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN LISTED CUP JULY 24, 2011 BERLIN RACECOURSE, GERMANY SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN LISTED CUP AUGUST 14, 2011 FRANKFURT, GERMANY

brings the finest Arabian racing to international tracks, and honors us by including us in his program. Together with the Arabian Jockey Club in the US, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival will continue its great work of educating Americans, and welcoming new participants on all levels. By bringing at least two of the Festival races to the United States every year, His Highness and his colleagues will help grow the fanbase of Arabian racing in the United States, and around the globe. His Highness’ patronage of this series is a gift, but yetmore: it is a metaphor for the world community that can be built, one horse, one human at a time. His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is a leader in his homeland, the United Arab Emirates, and an influential contributor to the American Arabian racing scene. The potential for his Festival; for the future of Arabian racing and all the great good that can come of this celebration of life cannot yet be measured. Looking to the future, we offer: Shukran, Your Highness, and Salamu Alikum.

SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN NEGRODA EUROPY AUGUST 21, 2011 WARSAW, POLAND SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN PRIX CHERI BIBI SEPTEMBER 4, 2011 CRAON HIPPODROME, FRANCE SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN PRESTIGE CUP NOVEMBER 6, 2011 ABU DHABI EQUESTRIAN CLUB, ABU DHABI The great gift that HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has given to Americans is that he puts his faith and support into our Arabian racing community. With Americans he shares the bond of unbridled love for the Arabian horse—and he wants very much to see the sport continue to grow and flourish here. Working with his associates at the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage; Wathba Stud Farm; the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Emirates Arabian Horse Society, His Highness

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HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB: CHARITY BECOMES THEM Story by Marion E. Altieri Photos Provided

here is so much that Americans in horse racing can learn from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, including how to generate, then regulate monstrous amounts of handle—and how to give back to the community the majority of the profit. It may not be a model that American courses can sustain, but it’s a grand example of horsemen reaching beyond the final turn to touch the lives of the racetracks’ neighbors. Origins: The British Bring in the Thoroughbred Hong Kong’s first horse races took place in 1841 when the British arrived and brought Thoroughbreds with them. The English, seeing the need for a racecourse, immediately drained a malarial swamp and created the

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racetrack at Happy Valley. Racing ceased for a few years during World War II—many world tracks experienced this—but following the end of the war, racing has been in operation continuously ever since. The Hong Kong Jockey Club was formalized in 1884, and converted from an amateur organization to professional in 1971. The second race course, Sha Tin, opened in 1978. Happy Valley is the usual Wednesday night venue,


while Sha Tin is the location for all the major races held during the course of the year. Hong Kong Racing: Startling Stats Hong Kong enjoys moderate weather throughout the year, so, their season goes from September through July. Only Thoroughbreds are raced at the two tracks, 83 race days, 767 races per year. The average field size of any given race is 12.5—let’s round that up to 13. And the wagering is a staggering US$13.5 million, per race. That’s a remarkable number: think of US$13.5 million per race, x 767 races a year. The result is that annual handle is US$10.3 billion. Apparently, horse racing is wildly popular in Hong Kong; the American racing community would do well to meet with the tireless, charming Bill Nader, Executive Director of Racing at the Jockey Club. (You remember Nader as NYRA’s own Senior Vice President and Coo.) Nader and his team at the Hong Kong Jockey Club have a formula for tapping into the natural passion in the hearts of Hong Kong residents and tourists—and obviously, they’re doing very well, keeping their fingers on the pulse of the small island. It Starts with Vision… The Vision of the Hong Kong Jockey Club is simple: it aims

at being a world leader in the provision of horse racing, sporting and betting entertainment…and to be Hong Kong’s premier charity and community benefactor. The second part of that Vision may separate the Jockey Club from most other racing entities: that the contributing to the community of Hong Kong—a city of bright lights and profound beauty, but also of great poverty and need—is just as important as the desired income and status in the world horse racing. …and Culminates in Community Similarly, the Mission of the Jockey Club is remarkable in that, true-to-form in Chinese culture—respect is important. Respect of the community and individuals is important to the Chinese; the Mission Statement of the Hong Kong Jockey Club reflects this. Recognizing that respect is earned, and probably after respect is given, the Jockey Club seeks: “…to provide total customer satisfaction through meeting the expectations of all club customers and stakeholders - the racing and betting public; lottery players; club members; charities and community organizations; Government; and ultimately, the people of Hong Kong - and thereby be one of Hong Kong's most respected organizations…”

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The administrators of the Jockey Club begin with the drive to satisfy customers—individuals—and take that drive all the way up the chain to the government and the people of Hong Kong. This is the route to success for the Hong Kong Jockey Club. It may be that this model works because of the culture in which it exists, or it may be that this is a business model that can and should be emulated by every other racecourse in the world. Either way, the concept is worth investigating. The club has a long history of donating to charitable causes, but the root of this understanding—that business and community are all part of the whole—came about in the 1950s. Hong Kong was struggling to cope with postwar reconstruction, and unexpected immigration numbers that would have flattened a city/island that was less-well organized. It was then that the Jockey Club embraced its role as benefactor—and that role became integral to the operations of the organization. In 1955, the club made the formal decision to dedicate its surplus each year to charity and community projects. The club’s transparent revelation of their modus operandi is expressed thus: “…the Hong Kong Jockey Club is a company limited by guarantee with no shareholders and obtains its net earnings from racing and betting. The money remaining after payment of dividends, prize money, taxes, operating costs and investments to enhance Hong Kong's racing and betting facilities is donated to charitable and community projects…” The evidence bears itself out: In June 2011, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Day Race meeting was held at Sha Tin Racecourse. Chairman, T. Brian

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Stevenson, announced that the club would donate HK$212 million (US$27,244,004.30) to 52 partner agencies under the Community Project Grant (CPG). This project will benefit approximately 830,000 local residents in need, with a wide range of services. The Club’s overall funding for CPGs since 2005 has exceeded HK$620million (US$79,668,611.52). Would these figures be viable for American racing organizations? We can’t look at just the final figures to come to a conclusion. Those figures—how much money was donated, to which organizations—are dependent, on the Jockey Club’s income. That income is generated by betting. And betting, which only happens when race fans come to the track and wager. As the administrators of the Hong Kong Jockey Club would readily state, their organization’s ability to give greatly to the community begins with a single race fan. The fan is the key to their great success—and the fact that they bring in world-class racing, 83 days a year. These two factors, great horses and impassioned fans—are the key to income. There must be a secret that the Hong Kong Jockey Club knows, about drawing people to the track. Surely the sport isn’t popular because it’s the only game in town; this is Hong Kong, one of the world’s greatest cities. Arts, music, dance, theatre, grand dining and ample other sports abound to occupy the time of locals and visitors. It may be that the Chinese and other members of the international community just love horse racing—but how did that love grow, and how did the Jockey Club nurture it? The revelation of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s secret to success, hidden in the misty dawn at Sha Tin and Happy Valley, can create new opportunities for American and other


world racing entities. Yes, our colleagues in Hong Kong are generous—but they couldn’t be so generous, had they not the income. They know something about generating numbers like this, then distributing without reservation to their community— and that one-two action makes the Hong Kong Jockey Club one of the most well-respected and revered racing organizations in the world. Congratulations, HKJC, and thank you for the example of how it’s done. http://www.hkjc.com/home/english/index.asp

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Old as the Desert, Modern as Now Story by Marion E. Altieri • Photos Provided or centuries, camels and horses have shared a history as working and recreational animals. Boons and blessings to humans, both species offer natural attributes that have been recognized by Bedouins in the Middle East for millennia. Both animals have served as pack animals, companions—and yes, an opportunity to handicap. Australia discovered the usefulness of camels during the second half of the 1800s: Aussies imported the large, graceful beasts—“ships of the desert”—to aid in the exploration of the broad and challenging Outback. But as the use for working camels in Oz lessened, the animals were released into the wild to fend for themselves—but they fended rather well. The camel population was approximately 6,000 in 1895: there are about 150,000 feral camels in Australia in 2011. Camel racing has grown over the years: it’s extremely popular in Australia, Jordan, India, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—to name a few diverse places. The tall, elegant animal with the long, graceful neck and large feet can cover ground at 25 mph on a long race, almost 40 mph on a sprint. (Thoroughbreds with big feet often are put on the grass, for their slightly-larger peds can cover the turf while maintaining more contact with the ground. Of course the camel would need large feet to gain sure footing in the shifting sands of the desert: the physics of their feet accommodate the potentially challenging desert surface.) Camel racing is a sport shared by very different cultures, and the attitudes and methods of racing reflect the people who love

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the sport. For example: in the Outback, the Alice Springs’ Lions Club sponsors an annual fund-raiser, “The Camel Cup.” Fun is the name of the game, as the cavalier spirit of the Australians and their steeds are summed up thus: • Event organized by the Lions Alice Springs Camel Cup Committee • Camels ... temperamental, selfish, terribly unpredictable, very entertaining • Riders ... rough, boys, courageous, girls, brave, a bit crazy? • Spectators ... looking for fun, vocal, count themselves lucky they're not riders! • Camel + Rider + Spectators = The Lions Camel Cup • The image that’s evoked is of Down Under cowboys—and cowgirls—grinning, ear-to-ear, as they wave their hats around, bouncing down the racecourse on the backs of wild-eyed beasts. This event sounds like a great deal of fun for everyone involved. Note that the jockeys are humans, and that the spirit of the day is of wild abandon for a good cause. The opposite side of the spectrum is where the Dubai Camel Racing Club resides. The owners and trainers of the camels love their animals and enjoy their sport, as they represent the long history of the human/camel connection in the United Arab Emirates. (UAE) These races are real, sanctioned races—not a novelty. They are serious about their camel racing; the races feature carefully-bred camels and racecourses that are designed specifically for the sport. Everything is according to tradition. Except for the… robot jockeys.


Read that again. And think about this: the ancient Arab culture is a community that often self-refers to its storied past. They’ve contributed so much to the western world that we almost cannot count all the ways: art, music, literature—even the numbers we use to count. Their society is older than most Americans can fathom. But most Arab people live with at least one foot in the present, and an eye to the future. The glories of original Arab traditions blend seamlessly with contemporary society and perhaps nowhere as elegantly and eloquently as in Dubai and the UAE. All this reverence for history and tradition—and yet, camels are jockeyed through the course by robot jockeys. Tiny jockeys, remote-controlled by the camels’ owners (who follow the race outside the fence, in 4x4s). The reason for this concession to the 21st Century is simple: in 2002, Dubai outlawed human jockeys—usually children. So robots were designed that could be controlled by the owners, making the owners far more involved in the race than their peers in horse racing. In modern Arab society, camels are used also for festivals and special events, such as weddings. Camel races often are organized to celebrate many of these events. Often at the end of the event, the owner and animal are honoured with an improvised poem—testimony to the courage and nobility of both human and his camelid. While these impromptu and community-based races form the

backbone of the sport, the Dubai Camel Racing Club is the formal organizer of all sanctioned camel racing, on racetracks designed specifically for the purpose. Camels are classified in groups locally known as Lafaya, Yazaa, Thanaya, Hoal and Zamol, according to age. Ages are associated with specific classes. As with horse racing, there are rules and laws by which participants are expected to adhere. The goal is to grow the sport by being as professional as possible, to mirror the great legacy of horse racing in the Emirates. All camels are under the watchful eye of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates. Saratoga has a connection with the Dubai Camel Racing Club and the sport, for both HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid All Maktoum and his brother, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum—great horsemen, whom Saratogians know as neighbors and colleagues—support the camel races and the Dubai Camel Racing Club. The concept of camel racing may seem foreign to most Americans, but the sport is a vital connection to a long heritage—a reminder that the past plays a role in the definitions of the present and the future. The intersection at which these three points in time meet may very well be the back of an animal whose ancestors roamed these lands millions of years ago. The camel sat patiently, waiting for the horse to join him in the desert—and together they ran into the hearts of desert-dwellers, and the world.

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SVENSK GALOPP: Neither Rain, nor Snow, nor Midnight Sun…

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Story by Marion E. Altieri Photos Provided Americans might be surprised to find out that horse racing is wildly popular in Sweden. When we think of Scandinavia, the mind goes to snow and midnight sun. The image of horses pounding down the stretch on a track in the Swedish countryside may be a novel concept to us, but it has been a reality that goes back to the early 19th Century. Swedish racing draws an international audience. Americans can learn much from our colleagues at Svensk Galopp, the Swedish horse racing authority. As America was still establishing herself as a country— two years before our War of 1812—Sweden was busy setting up a horse racing program. In 1810, the first horse races took place in Sweden—and almost overnight, the sport became wildly popular. Svensk Galopp, the Swedish Jockey Club, was founded in 1959 to encourage, build and regulate horse racing in the beautiful, challenging Swedish countryside. The birth of the national organization that was willing to take the responsibility for administration of all the rules and racing in Swedem was a great idea. The proof of the lutfisk is in the tasting.


he activities of Svensk Galopp are overseen by a board that is comprised of genuine horsemen and women, people who actively participate in the sport. No figureheads or appointees who do the job for the sake of getting a good box at the track. This well-oiled machine is the racing authority because its board members care so passionately about the horses and the sport. Sweden boasts of three race courses: Täby Galopp in Stockholm, Jägersro Galopp in Malmö and Göteborg Galopp in Göteborg. They also host one race meet per year at Strömsholm; the major race there is the Swedish Grand National. An official training camp in Stockholm keeps horses busy and toned when they’re not racing. To accommodate both the weather and the horses’ needs according to the season during which racing happens at the three tracks, each track features a different surface. Täby Galopp has a sand and turf track, Jägersro, a sand track only and Göteborg Galopp, turf only. The three tracks host eight race meets per year, a total of 90 days—and yes, they race year-round, even in the dead of the Swedish winter. While 90 percent of the races are for Thoroughbreds, approximately 10 percent of the races held each year feature Arabian horses. (At this time, there are about 1,190 Thoroughbreds and 60 Arabians in training.) Board member, Mats Genberg is uber-active in both worlds. He works tirelessly as the President of the Scandinavian Arabian Racing Association, and as Secretary and Executive Board Member of IFAHR, the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities. Genberg’s work assures that events such as the Al-Nujaifi Scandinavian Arabian Derby takes place, rain or shine (this year, it was rain)—and thus helps grow both the sport and the international flavor of the Arabian horse racing community in Sweden. (For example: Dr. Mohammad Al-Nujaifi, sponsor of the aforementioned race, is from Iraq.) The purses in Sweden have a broad range: about 10 percent of the races offer a purse of $200,000SEK (Swedish Krona), $31,813.20USD. Five percent of the races offer purses of twice that, or $63,669.76USD. This figure reflects both breeds of horses. Horses and jockeys travel all over the three countries of Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) to race, for a total of nearly 200

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races a year. These three nations work together to build the fanbase, and make the business side as easy as possible for horsemen. Think of them as the NYRA of the North. Speaking of North; life in Sweden doesn’t grind to a halt simply because it snows. If the threat of snow caused the wholesale cancellation of events, no Swede would do anything, ever. Racing happens even after a snowstorm. In winter, the grounds directors salt the tracks—and drive tractors all night long, in order to prevent freezing. It’s unlikely that tracks in New York, Minnesota and Maine will change their M.O. anytime soon—but it’s food for thought. Perhaps more dialogue between American, European and Middle Eastern tracks would come in handy—if for no other reason than to confab on beating the weather, whether ice and -25F, or scorching desert heat. In 2012, Sweden will celebrate the 200th anniversary of their entry into the world horse racing community. In two hundred years, they’ve grown a lively family of jockeys, trainers, owners and administrators who care obsessively about horses. They’ve organized, and are well-represented by Svensk Galopp in all matters pertaining to the sport. Working with the other Scnadinavian countries and nations, Svensk Galopp will continue to promote and reward the beautiful, swift horses who capture the human imagination and touch the heart. Even IKEA can’t compete with horses for the hearts of Swedes—or the admiration of Svensk Galopp’s colleagues, fans and horsemen. To Svensk Galopp, and the future of racing: Skoal! For more information: www.svenskgalopp.se

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Story by Christopher R.R. Peake Photos Provided

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or the last five years, a group of dedicated Saratogians has worked on a plan to create New York’s Horse Park. First came the concept. A location was identified, and the fundraising began in earnest. Approximately five million dollars is needed to purchase the property, and the team is optimistic. In 2006, Marsha Himler presented the horse park concept to a supportive Saratoga City supervisor: The main selling point was the amount of money it would bring into the city and the county. Over 12,000 horses reside in Saratoga County, more than in any other county in the state—a statistic that confirms that this is the most logical place to build the New York Horse Park. The Mission Statement of the New York Horse Park is “…to provide competitive, recreational and learning opportunities for youth and adults” as that all relates to equine activities. This not-for-profit venture will have a profound economic impact for the Saratoga region, as the major tourist attraction draws visitors from every corner of the globe. New York State hosts a broad range of equine-related activities: high school rodeos; Barrel Racing Association events; riding camps; horse shows for Western, English, conformation and riding games; Young Riders’ 4-H shows; riding instructors’ certification classes; pony pulls; open all-breed shows … the list goes on and on. These activities take place all over the Empire State: Saratoga County is the natural place to provide a home for all these activities, and more. The rule of thumb regarding horses who travel is that they bring on average two-and-a-half people with them (driver, rider, maybe a groom). The local economy will benefit from this statistic, as well: farriers, veterinarians, transportation, feed, tack, hay and straw, sawdust and wood chips will be needed to accommodate the horses and their people. Add to that the revenue from the aforementioned hospitality community (hotels, restaurants)—and you can begin to envision the infusion of cash into the local economy that will be a direct result of the park’s activities. An article in the Albany Times Union on October 25, 2009, reported on a study released in 2008 by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. The study concluded that a regional horse park with an arena that seats 4,000 - 6,000; two covered show rings, three outdoor rings and 600 stalls would bring a minimum of $700,000 a year to the county and create between 230 and 480 (permanent) jobs. In the two years since the results of the study were released, the expected income and job numbers have increased considerably. Additionally, the presence of a covered arena will guarantee that the horse park can conduct competitions yearround, adding to the roster of four-season activities that will

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contribute to the economy even when the weather is inclement. The Board of the New York Horse Park cites a study from 2008, that touts the potential for 38- 59 horse-related events at the park per year, and about as many clinics, other-animal shows, auctions and spectator events such as concerts. Himler and Dot Christensen (a board member who works tirelessly) have found what the board considers to be the perfect location: 108 acres just west of Exit 16 on the Northway (I-87). The New York Horse Park will meet a myriad of needs of the equine community as a whole and Saratoga County in particular. Saratoga is home to the country’s oldest Thoroughbred racetrack; world-class, high-goal polo; a renowned harness track; and several well-respected horse shows. The presence of the state’s horse park is a natural addition to this unique location. The New York Horse Park’s time is now, the place is here. This is one attraction that will belong to everyone, and benefit all.

“…TO

PROVIDE

COMPETITIVE, RECREATIONAL AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS”

THIS

NOT-FOR-PROFIT

VENTURE WILL HAVE A PROFOUND ECONOMIC IMPACT FOR THE

SARATOGA

REGION, AS THE MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION DRAWS VISITORS FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE.

NYHP Inc. is a 501© not-for-profit corporation. For more information: info@nyhorsepark.org www.nyhorsepark.org

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Sam the Bugler

Faces Racing of

Story by Marilyn Lane Photo Provided

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n 1992, the former NYRA bugler hit a Pick-6 for $130,000 and decided right there and then that it was time to retire. The real winners that day would turn out to be NYRA and the New York racing fans: NYRA’s recruiting efforts took them to C.W. Post College, where they found Sam Grossman. Until that point, Sam had never set foot on a racetrack, but he was intrigued with the open position. A few trips to Aqueduct and a successful flight through three auditions put the talented young musician on a different track. Little did NYRA know then that Sam had found much more than a job; he discovered a conduit to channel his passion for life. Sam the Bugler was destined to become one of racing’s best ambassadors.

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It takes only 16 seconds to play Call to the Post, but Sam often finds reason to add lively extras to celebrate the excitement that’s promised by the upcoming race. And he always finds time to mix with the crowd as he makes his way to and from the winner’s circle preceding each race. More often than not he spends his time between races entertaining patrons with his wide repertoire of music. Name the tune, and the next thing you know, Sam is playing a fine rendition of a favorite song. People fall in love with his zest; he possesses an almost uncanny sense of the right musical selection to fit the mood. If you want to talk about music history or theory, the holder of both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music will engage enthusiastically in that conversation. Before the NYRA job, Sam studied with key members of both the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia orchestras. His friendships and the sharing of musical talent continues with many classical musicians. Sam’s popularity was celebrated in 2005 with the production of a bobblehead doll for one of the


track’s giveaway days. Thirty thousand dolls were offered, and at day’s end none remained. If you wish to have a Sam the Bugler Bobblehead, go to eBay and for a price you might find one. And what does Sam have to say about his Saratoga gig? “This one is our most precious.” He spends the rest of the year plying his trade at Belmont Park and Aqueduct. “I’m here for six weeks a year to entertain over a million people who are charming and polite and quite refreshing. It’s like going to a different planet.” (What Sam says of Saratoga is true for so many people. We get the rainy days and sometimes some smoldering hot ones too, but one thing that never dampens is the enthusiasm for great racing.) Sam’s commitment to the racing public has far-reaching benefits for a lot of people. Whether it is the Ronald McDonald House, a special need for someone on the backside or an equine charity event, Sam can be counted on to do his part. His custom-made 51” horn is one straight tube, built exclusively for Sam by Zigmant Kanstut of Arcadia, California. You can almost imagine the “olden days,” before individual mail delivery; there was a mail coach and when it pulled into town a horn was played to alert citizens of the arrival of the mail. Hence today we have the coach horn. The First Call, in its original use, is a military signal that precedes morning Reveille. The tune that calls horses and riders to the starting gate before every race is known as Call to the Post. Sam the Bugler keeps this grand old tradition alive, a key part of the racing experience. There are 250 days of racing on the NYRA calendar, and Sam is the man on the horn for nearly every one of them. In recent years Pimlico has requested his services for the Preakness, and the folks at Churchill have him come in for the Kentucky Derby. He doesn’t play Call to the Post on the first Saturday in May: Churchill hires him to entertain the patrons on this biggest of all days in American racing. In 2009, Sam collaborated with Boguslaw Lustyk and several other musicians at a fundraiser for four popular racing-related charities. At this event, coined Painting Music-Playing Painting, six musicians representing voice, violin, cello, saxophone, guitar, and Sam with both his coach horn and a trumpet, played improvisations of a series of paintings produced by Lustyk to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth. The paintings moved on to major shows in Chicago and throughout Europe. But something important to racing transpired that night too. The musical talents of the saxophonist blew Sam the Bugler away, and that triggered spontaneity and some very exciting music from the whole group. Boguslaw was

moved by the whole experience, and especially thrilled by Sam’s ambitious contributions. This year the worldacclaimed artist has returned to Saratoga with a new series of musical paintings, based on none other than Call to the Post. Upon hearing of Boguslaw’s new series Sam responded, “I’ll never forget that night of music and the way that girl played. I still wonder how so much knowledge and ability could come out of someone too young to have the experience to produce what she did. I am very, very excited to learn that Boguslaw is back and with a whole series on Call to the Post. It doesn’t get any better than this!” But it does get better: the excitement and excellence of Saratoga racing once again has reached far beyond the track itself. Lustyk and the equally-noted artist Frankie Flores have joined together to produce “Call to the Post.” The piece features the portrait painting Frankie did of Sam in 2009 and Lustyk’s painting, “Call to the Post.” This collaboration of artistic energies is a tribute to the talent that Sam the Bugler Grossman brings to Saratoga and its famed racecourse every day of the meet. Truly Sam has hit the chord that exemplifies what it really means when a person takes a role and plays it with all his heart and soul.

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Virginia Kraft Payson

Story by Marilyn Lane Photo Provided

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irginia Kraft Payson grew up loving sports and horses. By age 8 she had her own horse and rode with unbridled enthusiasm. It was natural, then, that when the fourth generation New Yorker hunted down a journalism job, she passed over the “ladies’” magazines in favor of an opportunity at Field and Stream. At the time it was the magazine for outdoor sports. She left Field and Stream to get in on the ground floor of an innovative new sporting magazine. She went through the ranks of Sports Illustrated like Zenyatta through her conditions. For most of her 26-year career she was associate writing editor of the prestigious magazine. During this time she authored five books; piloted hot air balloons; became the first woman to compete in Alaska’s World Championship Sled Dog Race; and was inducted into the Underwater Hall of Fame at Grand Bahama Island. Forever traveling and armed for adventure, she hunted for more than just the right words. Her big-game hunting partners included King Hussein of Jordon; Generalissimo Franco of Spain; Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; the Shah of Iran; and two kings of Nepal. Many biggame trophies prove she knew when to pull the trigger. The adventurous outdoorswoman adapted to new sporting challenges like cigar to dirt. But off to the races, she was not. Spectator sports simply did not fit her style. In 1977, Virginia Kraft married Charles Shipman Payson. They met first when she covered a story about his hunting lodge in Florida. “I continued to work at the magazine for a year after I married Charlie,” said Payson. “…he was older than I, and he worried about what would keep me busy after he was gone. He wanted me to find something that would involve me as the magazine had.” Mr. Payson’s first wife, Joan Whitney Payson, and her brother, Jock Whitney,

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ran the famed Greentree Stable. But amazingly, like Virginia, Mr. Payson had been too busy with other things to turn his interest to racing. Then October 16th, Charlie’s birthday, came around, and “…We decided to celebrate it by going to see Secretariat.” Big Red whetted their interest: they bought a yearling a few days later at the Fasig-Tipton October sales. A Big Brown or Mine That Bird he was not: he was ruled off in his third start. Mrs. Payson isn’t a woman who despairs: when a challenge is in range, she reaches for it. The process with the racehorse that refused to race yielded the perfect mentor for her brewing interest in racing. The young trainer Blaine Holloway couldn’t get the colt on track, but he could teach a willing student about conformation and the importance of conditioning a horse’s mind. In 1979, Holloway and the Paysons took a $300,000 budget to the Keeneland September Yearling Sales. With one eye looking for quirky behavior, and the other focused on conformation, Mrs. Payson bought six horses. She disclosed proudly, “They all won and one was a stakes winner.” The next year she learned another lesson: handsomely turned-out yearlings do not necessarily become good racehorses. Mrs. Payson had invested a million dollars, and not a single winner came from the five “pretty” horses. She called on the courage and dexterity that led her to be the best in her field at Sports Illustrated, and aimed to become a success in the horse business. She reports that, “I felt a natural proclivity toward the industry. I really loved it and I wanted to become very involved. I decided that in order to get good horses I


would have to breed my own.” Next came Payson Stud, 130 bluegrass acres purchased from Greentree. The brilliant Ted Carr was hired to manage the new farm. “Ted was a great horseman, but he didn’t like working for a woman and he didn’t try to hide the fact.” She left what she didn’t know up to him, but in those areas where she felt equipped—she made the decisions. Carr de Naskra (1981) was a member of the first crop foaled at Payson Stud. (Payson is not the breeder of record: she purchased the in-foal mare from a friend in ’80. That friend wanted out when he witnessed another of his mares savaging her foal. Payson subsequently bought ‘Carr’ and his dam.) In ’84 Carr de Naskra was King at Saratoga. He won the Jim Dandy by more than 12 lengths, and came back with a victory in the Travers. He was the first of many top runners from Payson Stud. Mrs. Payson offered, “Breeding is the most fascinating part of

HORSE St. Jovite

Farda Amiga

Vindications

Rutherienne Milesius

Uptown Swell L’Carrier

Salem Drive Lac Quimet One Caroline Northern Sunset Carr De Naskra

the business. The racetrack is my report card.” Virginia Payson was named New York Breeder of the Year in 1997. A lot of people have gotten lucky in the horse business, but the ones who stay lucky have to earn it. Few, if any, breeders have been more successful with smaller numbers of mares. The largest number bred at Payson Stud in a single year was 16, and according to Payson, considerably fewer most years. She quickly hands off credit to her mentors: Blaine Holloway and Abram S. Hewitt. The late Mr. Hewitt was the preeminent authority on American thoroughbred pedigrees. But knowledge is never enough—you have to apply it. Mrs. Payson did just that when she overruled Ted Carr’s disapproval of a mating selection for her mare, Mindy Malone. She’d done her homework and welcomed the chance to prove she could pass the test. The resulting foal was Milesius! The Paysons purchased the somewhat defunct St. Lucie Training Center in 1980 and immediately brought it back to a firstclass facility. The motto of Payson Park is: “Our business is making horses happy. Happy horses win.” The “luck” Mrs. Payson enjoys is in direct proportion to the informed decisions she applies to every detail. She does the right things for the right reasons. First horse to be named champion in In her words, “I approached breeding Ireland, England and France like writing. I went to all of the experts European Horse of the Year in 1992. and listened carefully to what each had to offer and developed my beliefs from 3-year-old filly Eclipse Champion 2002 there.” Her belief has always been to do the best by each horse. She sent horses to Undefeated 2-year-old Eclipse Europe because she found their training Champion 2002 philosophies to be more gentle than in the United States. She built private stables in Grade 1 winner of $1,298,670 Saratoga and purchased Payson Park so she could more closely emulate the Winner of the Lexington Stakes and Grade 1 European racing experience. Manhattan Handicap twice. Earned $800,923 She now owns 16 horses who reside in her beloved “Geriatric Division” at Payson GR. 2 winner of $990,589 Park. This tells us a lot about Virginia Kraft At one time leading NY-Bred Payson: It would behoove the industry to Winner of All-Time earned $1.7 million listen when she speaks of breeding, racing, sales ethics and how to care for horses. Gr. 2 Winner, Millonaire Virginia Kraft Payson is in the industry’s pantheon precisely because she is a horseGr. 2 Winner of $800,000 plus, Sire woman who knows, loves and is fascinated by horses. Her success in the horse racing Gr. 2 Winner of First 5 Starts industry is testimony to her hunger for information and the wisdom to apply it Kentucky Broodmare of the Year in ‘95 judiciously. Her legacy is one of courage, insight and vision—truly befitting a queen Leading New York Sire in 1990 of American racing.

GRADE

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Le roy J o ll ey

Story by Marion E. Altieri Photo Provided

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ictionary.com defines “taciturn” as, “inclined to silence; reserved in speech; reluctant to join in conversation.” Leroy Jolley is the very soul of “inclined to silence” and “reserved in speech.” He doesn’t talk much, but when he does he speaks softly and his words are full of wisdom and insight. Warm with love for his horses, Jolley’s few words speak volumes - a smart horseman would do well to pull up a lawn chair and spend a week just watching the great master at work. Jolley is one of the few trainers who have been around since the 1950s—one might say that he’s old school. He got his trainer’s license at age 19—but by that time he’d been working with horses for 12 years. Born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, he learned his art in the barn of his father, trainer Moody. His deep understanding of equines is the result of over half-acentury of in-the-trenches work, and the osmosis of information from his sire. He was destined to become a trainer—no other career could have tempted the true horseman away from his treasured charges. Old school, but not old-fashioned. Insight like his cannot be transferred by reading a book or attending classes. His methods are a reminder that not everything (or everyone) who’s new and modern is best. Contemporary training may produce slick, runway model horses, but too often those horses are brittle. Relatively few could compete with the great horses of even 30 years ago. By-and-large, the horses who race these days are the result of the “get ‘em to the track fast” philosophy, and that way of thinking doesn’t always produce a strong, healthy horse who can last and make history. Statistics about Jolley’s achievements are on the Racing Museum website, but he’s much more than stats. The quality of the achievement and of the horses matters far more than mere numbers. For those who need numbers: Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. Trained six champions—so far—including two Kentucky Derby

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winners, Foolish Pleasure (1975) and the brilliant Genuine Risk (1980). (Genuine Risk was the first filly to compete in all three Triple Crown races. She came in second in the Preakness and Belmont.) On any given day, the great man can be found at his barn doing the job that he performed originally for his dad: hotwalking a horse. Feeling down the horse’s legs, taking note of the fineness of the skin around the horse’s nose. Reveling in the quietude of the backstretch. It is not an exaggeration to say that Leroy Jolley is one in a million, a shining example in a sport that badly needs to see how it’s done, right. He is the classic Good Man. How many hall of fame trainers do you see hotwalking their own horses? Truly, an intimate relationship with his horses is vital. Many young fans may walk right by the “older” gentleman with the brilliantly-blue eyes and heavenly smile and not realize that they are in the presence of true greatness. The hall of famer may not mind the relative anonymity among the masses, for he seeks not the spotlight. His taciturn nature keeps him in the background, quietly observing the world and the chatterers who talk much but listen rarely. To paraphrase the biblical proverb: in quietness and confidence is Leroy Jolley’s strength.


Royals in Racing In the musical, “Camelot,” Guinevere and Arthur ponder the question, “What do the simple folk do?” A better question might be, “What do the royal folk do– in the world of horse racing?” From the Middle East to the United Kingdom, royals around the world are fascinated by the horse—and we, mere mortals, are fascinated by their fascination. But Commoners have something in common with queens and sheikhs, for the horse is truly the great equalizer. The royals may own more horses than we—but the feeling we share toward these most-noble of creatures is precisely the same.

Office of Courtesy of the dan HH Sheikh Ham

Photo Pro

vided

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HRM

Queen Elizabeth I I A Life in Racing and Breeding Thoroughbreds by Geir Stabell, Globeform.com and Marion E. Altieri

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er Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is an active participant in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. Her role as a breeder and owner of racehorses in England makes fascinating reading. The racing world knows that Ascot racecourse belongs to the British Crown, but not as much is known about the history of the Queen's horses. Today’s history lesson: the royal steeds. Her Majesty’s program reflects that of most owner-breeders: the best fillies enter the paddocks and enjoy a racing career, then become broodmares after their racing days are over. Most of the Queen's horses come from families that have been sporting the royal silks for generations. Books have been written about Her Majesty as a horsewoman: we must distill her considerable experience and involvement here to this page. A few notes: Aureole was Her Majesty’s first horse: the son of Hyperion (foaled 1950) was bred and owned by King George VI, but he didn’t make it to the track before the King died. He won the prestigious King George VI and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, and was runner-up in the Derby at Epsom. That race alone has often been mentioned as Queen Elizabeth's starting point as a high-profile horsewoman. A keen rider herself, the Queen pays more attention to racing than to any other sport. In fact, many will argue that she pays more attention to the Thoroughbreds than to any other subject, period. (But fans of racing think that this is a great thing.) There is little doubt, however, that the Queen knows the pedigrees of her horses better than any advisor she has ever had on her payroll. These horses are all part of her family—she loves them with a most endearing affection. The majority of her horses come from the finest English pedigrees, but that is not the reason why she loves them. All horsepeople know the profound intimacy with their horses, and Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is no exception. Whether she is riding her favorite mount, attending the Kentucky Derby, or watching one of her homebreds tearing down the stretch—she just outand-out loves horses. Her history with the breed and her wins—and losses—are a matter of record. Someone, somewhere, has written it all down in a book. The spirit of Her Majesty’s relationship with horses is far-more interesting a topic than sheer numbers. It might impress us that she owns hundreds of horses—but real horsemen care more about her relationship with those animals in her care. Equicurean magazine is happy to report that the Queen of England, as we Americans call her, is in love with horses, and gives to her steeds the best care available, anywhere. That, and a kiss on the nose and a peppermint, makes for the “Royal Treatment.”

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HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum: by Marion E. Altieri

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he American Thoroughbred racing community is enamoured of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Together with his brother, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he has brought an exotic, thrilling ride to the sport. The result of his involvement is that our sport is second-to-none in the world. But do you know that he’s the top owner and breeder of Arabians, as well? The names, Invasor, Jazil, Intidab and Mustanfar are familiar names in the American Thoroughbred racing and breeding pantheon. These magnificent racers belong to HH Sheikh Hamdan, a royal gentleman who has become a household name due to his careful breeding theory and shimmering champions. The Dubai World Cup, Triple Crown races, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Whitney and the Travers are but a few of the races taken by his spectacular horses. His beautiful Kentucky farm, Shadwell, is home to the above-named stallions, but most Americans are not familiar with his other farm, and his passion for Arabian horses. Shadwell in the UK is home to both Thoroughbreds and Arabians. His Arabian operation produces the highest-quality Arabian horses: in fact, His Highness’ Arabian program is the winningest racing program for Arabians in the world. He’s won major races, and more of them in the UK (the rest of Europe) and Dubai, than anyone on Earth. That would be an outrageous claim, if it wasn’t true. But Sheikh Hamdan has poured his heart and soul into his Arabian operation, and the program and his methods prove themselves time after time. As a breeder, His Highness is excellent; the same care and intelligence that goes into breeding his Thoroughbreds is brought to the Arabian shed, as well. Stallions such as Chndaka, Kaolino and the greatest Arabian racehorse, Madjani, belong to His Highness’ stud. Madjani, alone, won the Khayala Classic three times—he is a champion of champions. (As you know, the Khayala Classic is the first race on the dance card on Dubai World Cup Day.) Many of his stallions stand in the United States, a boon for the Arabian breeding industry here. To have such noble horses of superior pedigree and ability standing here is a gift to our industry—and bodes very well for the future of Arabian racing in America. The products of these marvelous horses will take to the track in a few years, and prove the wisdom of this transoceanic move. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum is a leader, a horseman and a businessman with very few peers. His

presence in the world of horse racing and breeding industry is appreciated by virtually everyone who knows him and his reputation. The U.S. Arabian community, in fact, would love to see his Arabians racing in America in the near future. The celebration of the melding of our two cultures has begun with his Thoroughbreds, and his Arabian stallions-inresidence here; hopefully, we’ll see his beautiful Arabians tearing down the stretch at America’s favorite racetracks soon.

Equicurean 2011 | 49


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