Page 1

cover_Layout 1 7/9/12 10:19 AM Page 1


Equicurean Polo side_Layout 1 7/3/12 1:53 PM Page 2


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 4:44 PM Page 3


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:00 AM Page 4

Photo by Sharon Castro

Publisher Chad Beatty Editorial Director Daniel Schechtman

Cover photo by: Sharon Castro Photography

General Manager Robin Mitchell Art Director Tiffany Garland

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) 2012, Saratoga Publishing, LLC

4 | Equicurean

Advertising Chris Bushee Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Robin Mitchell

Graphic Designer Eric Havens Katy Holland Contributing Photographers Sharon Castro Photography Stock Studios Photography Thomas A. Sullivan, Sr. Contributing Writers Chad Beatty Hal Chaffee Yael Goldman Dennis G. Hogan Marilyn Lane Andrew Marshall Brendan O’Meara Daniel Schechtman

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

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 4:58 PM Page 5

Equicurean

The Horses. The People. The Lifestyle.

Contents

Saratoga Polo

8

18

24

08

Welcome to Saratoga Polo

12

Saratoga Polo Schedule

18

The History of Saratoga Polo

22

Winners of 2011

24

Polo Primer

30

The New Polo Classic: The U.S. POLO ASSN. Shop @ Saratoga Polo

36

Recognizing Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson

38

A Horse of a Different Color

39

Polo Picnics

44

Famous Polo Players

46

Fan Profile: Tom Brockley

Thoroughbred Racing 39

63

54

54

Welcome to Saratoga Race Course

57

Saratoga Race Course Schedule and Giveaways

60

Saratoga 150

63

National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

68

The Trainer and the Jockey: Jackie and Robbie Davis

74

The Poetry of Motion

82

Private Stables of Saratoga

92

Linda Rice: Taking on the Boys

98

Fasig-Tipton by the Numbers, 2011

82

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |5


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:02 AM Page 6

Photos by Saratoga Polo, Sharon Castro, Thomas A. Sullivan Sr., Steve Bertone and IMAGE Photo

6 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:12 PM Page 7


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:14 PM Page 8

to Saratoga Polo

Welcome

Photo by Sharon Castro

8 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:04 AM Page 9

rom the ancient sands of Persia to the rolling greens of the historic Whitney Fields, the “Sport of Kings” continues its long and storied legacy with the Saratoga Polo Association. Returning to 2 Bloomfield Road for the start of its 114th year in the Spa City, Saratoga Polo began its season July 6, holding regular matches through Labor Day, September 2. Here, thundering hooves race across the luscious fields as riders wielding giant bamboo mallets struggle to stay balanced atop their mighty steeds, deftly guiding the tiny polo ball between two towering goal posts. Some of the finest players from around the world make the pilgrimage to Saratoga Springs each year to partake in this grand sporting tradition. Whether it’s teams from the Capital Region or other parts of the northeast, Florida, South Carolina or the dozens of players from Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, France and more, polo endures as an international phenomenon.

F

Photo by Sharon Castro

Saratogapublishing.com

Matches are every Friday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. now through Labor Day. Visit www.SaratogaPolo.com or call (518) 584-8108 for tickets and details.

Equicurean |9


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:19 PM Page 10

“Saratoga Polo, with its rich history, pastoral setting and beautiful vistas is a one-of-a-kind experience, perfect for everything from intimate parties to spectacular large-scale celebrations,” said Stephanie Pettit, an owner of Old Daley Catering and Events, who partners with Saratoga Polo this year as the association’s exclusive caterer. Besides the elegant weddings and opulent events Old Daley Catering is known for, their expertise with amazing barbecues, casual and comfort foods and the infamous Baja Truck can all be enjoyed at the Saratoga Polo grounds. At Saratoga Polo, guests can enjoy the Clubhouse, featuring excellent views of the matches, light dining fare and drinks in a comfortable, air-conditioned setting. For those who wish to enjoy the warm summer air, make your way to the Clubhouse porch, where fans can relax in corporate or personal box seating. Of course, field-side seating also offers guests a terrific view of the action. Or pack a picnic basket and enjoy the evening’s entertainment on the general admission lawn. A long-time family favorite, get up close to the excitement in a casual setting, where even the dog is more than welcome to tag along. Throughout the summer matches, over 25,000 guests are expected to attend the 19-plus tournaments. With new partners like Alex and Ani, guests visiting during the Women’s Week Celebration will be encouraged to visit the Bangle Bar for fabulous bracelets at the Whitney Field. Divot Stomps with SoleMates High Heeler High Heel protectors will be available throughout the season; red carpet photo opportunities will be aplenty with SaratogaAlive; young people will gather to sing the National Anthem (sponsored by Mamatoga and Adirondack Appliance); and music by Ten Year Vamp, Party of Three, and a special Hall of Fame hoedown on August 12 with Spurs USA Classic Country band (sponsored by Hatsational) are sure to add even more fun and excitement to this year’s festivities. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg! Raise your glass in a toast with Veuve Clicquot sabrage, bring home authentic apparel from the new U.S. POLO ASSN. shop, and come make memories that will last a lifetime with Saratoga Polo. For more information or to purchase your tickets now, visit www.saratogapolo.com.

10 | Equicurean

Saratoga Polo is honored to welcome back Siemens as a sponsor of the 2012 Saratoga Polo Season. Pictured directly above are Thomas Garrett from Siemens with his lovely wife, Flora.

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:57 PM Page 11

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |11


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:07 AM Page 12

2012 Schedule Saratoga Polo Photo by Sharon Castro

12 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 10:15 AM Page 13

ONGOING EVENTS: Fridays are Classic Car CruiseIns and Sundays are Classic Car Club Nights, sponsored by Roli’s Auto Muscle Cars. IMAGE PHOTO EVENTS and SaratogaAlive will be photographing in the stands all season long. SaratogaAlive.com will be hosting red carpets at selected matches.

Friday, July 20 Alex and Ani presents Women’s Week at Saratoga Polo Featuring The Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge • DJ Tony Platinvm at the post-match party • Alex and Ani Bangle Bar • Presentation of the Alex and Ani Cup

Sunday, July 22 Alex and Ani presents Women’s Week at Saratoga Polo Featuring The Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge FINAL • Stomp divots with SoleMates High Heel Protector Caps and get a free set of SoleMates (while supplies last) • Alex and Ani Bangle Bar • Live music at the after-match party with “Party of Three”

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |13


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:05 PM Page 14

Friday, July 27 U.S. POLO ASSN. presents the Whitney Cup Tournament • SaratogaAlive Photographers in the crowd • DJ Tony Platinvm at the post-match party • Hpnotiq & Harmonie Liqueur tasting presented by Heaven Hill Distilleries

Sunday, July 29 U.S. POLO ASSN. presents the Whitney Cup Tournament Photos by Thomas A. Sullivan, Sr.

Tuesday, July 31 Skidmore College “Polo by Twilight” Exhibition Palamountain Cup • A Skidmore College fundraiser • Visit www.skidmore.edu for details

Friday, August 3 U.S. POLO ASSN. presents the Whitney Cup Tournament • Live music at the after-match party with “Party of Three”

Sunday, August 5 U.S. POLO ASSN. presents the Whitney Cup FINAL • Members of the Whitney Family present at the Whitney Cup • Stomp divots with SoleMates High Heel Protector Caps and get a free set of SoleMates (while supplies last) • SaratogaAlive red carpet photos

Friday, August 10 Zappone Motors presents the Ram Truck Polo Hall of Fame Challenge Cup Tournament • SaratogaAlive Photographers in the crowd • The “Dip In the Road” make your favorite dip contest • Pama Pomegranate Liqueur Tasting 14 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:08 PM Page 15

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |15


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:10 PM Page 16

presented by Heaven Hill Distilleries • Alex and Ani Bangle Bar • DJ Tony Platinvm at post-match party

Sunday, August 12 Zappone Motors presents the Ram Truck Polo Hall of Fame Challenge Cup Tournament FINAL • George Dupont and Brenda Lynn from the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame present the Polo Hall of Fame Challenge Cup • After-match Hall of Fame Hoedown Party with live music from The Spurs USA Classic Country & Western Band (Spurs USA sponsored by HatSational) • Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Tasting presented by Heaven Hill Distilleries • Alex and Ani Bangle Bar • Wear your favorite chapeau for the Hat Contest

Friday, August 17 RBC Barrantes Cup Tournament • Live music at the after-match party with “Party of Three” • American Whiskey Collection Tasting presented by Heaven Hill Distilleries

Sunday, August 19 RBC Barrantes Cup FINAL • SaratogaAlive red carpet photos • Thomas Brockley from RBC Wealth Management presents the prestigious Barrantes Cup.

Friday, August 24 The Ylvisaker Cup Tournament • DJ Tony Platinvm at the post-match party • The DP Miller Associates Cup • Alex and Ani Bangle Bar 16 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:13 PM Page 17

Sunday, August 26 The Ylvisaker Cup Tournament FINAL • Stomp divots with SoleMates High Heel Protector Caps and get a free set of SoleMates (while supplies last) • Alex and Ani Bangle Bar

Friday, August 31 The SPA Anniversary Cup Tournament • Live music at the after-match party with “Party of Three” • Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Launch Party presented by Heaven Hill Distilleries

Sunday, September 2

Polo happens every Friday and Sunday from July 6 - September 2. Gates open at 4 p.m., matches begin at 5:30 p.m. at historic Whitney Field, 2 Bloomfield Road, Greenfield Center, New York. Admission to Saratoga Polo is $25 per car on the general admission side, or $25 per person at the clubhouse, with $40 tickets for premium spaces or seats. Go to www.saratogapolo.com to purchase tickets or a season pass. Call (518) 584-8108 for more information, sponsoring opportunities, corporate parties or group packages.

The SPA Anniversary Cup FINAL • SaratogaAlive Photographers in the crowd • Season Closing Celebration

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |17


History

NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:09 AM Page 18

The

Saratoga Polo

of

Photos provided

18 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:12 AM Page 19

T

hroughout the years, polo luminaries ranging from an iconic line of Whitneys and Vanderbilts furiously battled with iconic American polo enthusiasts such as the Ingleharts and Bostwicks. In the midst of the 20th Century, the Whitney Field lay dormant until being revived in 1978 by polo legend Tommy Glynn. Throughout the following years, players such as Peter Brant, Hector Barrantes and William Yvlisaker brought polo to a new modern era in Saratoga. In 1994, Tony DePaula, Bob Bailey and George Hearst III, with Linda and David Mansfield, purchased the Polo Club, laying the groundwork for the popularity it hosts today with its new owners, Mike Bucci and Jim Rossi. In 2004, these new owners purchased the club, and besides making polo more accessible to a broader audience, they increased its visibility with major partners that include Veuve Clicquot Champagne as sponsors of one of the largest Women’s Polo Tournaments in the United States. In 2008, plans were approved for construction of the spectacular Saratoga Retreat that will include luxury accommodations, private residences, an event hall

SaratogaPublishing.com

and exclusive spa. In 2012, the Saratoga Polo brand reached a new level with the announcement of a partnership with national apparel sponsor U.S. POLO ASSN. In the century that has passed since the first polo players graced Whitney Field, much has changed in the world, but the tradition of Saratoga Polo lives on, finding an endearing place in Saratoga, and now reaches fans across the country and around the world.

Equicurean |19


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 9:18 AM Page 20

Saratoga Polo has once again teamed with Live Nation Premium Seating to offer its patrons premium seating at Live Nation concerts. Nickelback, Bush & My Darkest Days 7/24/12

6:30 p.m.

Santana/Allman Brothers Band 7/27/12 7 p.m. O.A.R & Rebelution 7/28/12 7 p.m. Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival featuring Slipknot, Slayer and more 7/31/12 1:30 p.m. Big Time Rush & Cody Simpson 8/14/12 7 p.m. Toby Keith & Brantley Gilbert 8/19/12 7 p.m. Def Leppard, Poison & Lita Ford 8/20/12 7 p.m. Chicago & The Doobie Brothers 8/21/12 7:30 p.m. Q-Ruption 2012: Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival featuring Shinedown, Godsmack and more 9/1/12 1:50 p.m. Jason Mraz & Christina Perri 9/2/12 7:30 p.m. Fresh Beat Band 9/3/12 2:30 p.m. Florence + The Machine 9/16/12 7:30 p.m.

Top: Patrons gather at the Saratoga Polo Clubhouse.

Below: Four players await the start of play at the Whitney Field.

For more information, contact Chris Perez at (518) 583-3045 ext. 13 or chrisperez@livenation.com. 20 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:21 PM Page 21

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |21


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:24 PM Page 22

WINNERS

Photos by Thomas A. Sullivan, Sr.

22 | Equicurean

SaratogaTODAYNewspaper.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:26 PM Page 23

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |23


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:17 AM Page 24

Polo

PRIMER

Photos by Sharon Castro and Saratoga Polo

Chukker

1

Throw-In

2

A chukker begins and many plays resume with the umpire bowling the ball between the two ready teams. A ceremonial throw-in is done by a guest at the beginning of the match.

24 | Equicurean

Also called a period. There are six chukkers in a polo game (four in the Arena Polo), each lasting seven minutes. After six-and-a-half minutes, a bell will sound to indicate 30 seconds remain in the period. At the end of seven minutes of elapsed time, a horn will sound to terminate the period. If the score is tied at the end of last period of play, the game shall be resumed in overtime periods, known as sudden death.

Umpires

3

Two mounted umpires (one for each side of the field) consult each other after each infringement and impose a penalty only if they agree. If they do not agree, they ride to the sidelines to confer with the third man, known as the referee.

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:30 PM Page 25

Positions

Each of the four-team members plays a distinctly different position. Since polo is such a fluid game, the players may momentarily change positions, but they will try and return to their initial assignment. No. 1 is the most forward offensive player. No. 2 is just as offensive but plays deeper and works harder. No. 3 is the pivot player between offense and defense and tries to turn all plays to offense. No. 4, or the back, is the defensive player whose role is principally to protect the goal.

4

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |25


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:20 AM Page 26

5

Ride-Off

This occurs when two riders make contact and attempt to push each other off the line of the ball to prevent the other from striking. The horses are the ones intended to do the pushing, although a player may use his body but not his elbows.

6

Sideboards

Boards that are 9 - 11 inches along the sidelines. Sideboards are optional.

Photo by Sharon Castro

Tailshot

7

Hitting the ball behind and across the horse’s rump. 26 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:34 PM Page 27

8

Third Man

The referee sitting at the sidelines. If and when the two umpires on the field are in disagreement, the third man makes the final decision.

9

Goal

Anytime a ball crosses the line between the goal posts, it is considered a goal regardless of whether a horse or mallet causes the ball to go through. In order to equalize wind and turf conditions, the teams change sides after every goal scored.

Hook

A player may spoil another’s shot by putting his mallet in the way of the striking player. A cross hook occurs when the player reaches over his opponent’s mount in an attempt to hook; this is considered a foul.

Saratogapublishing.com

10

Equicurean |27


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:37 PM Page 28

11

Mallet

Also known as a “stick.” The shaft is made from a bamboo shoot and the head from either the bamboo root or a hardwood such as maple. These vary in length from 48 to 54 inches and are very flexible in comparison to a golf club or hockey stick.

ron Castro

Photo by Sha

Near Side

The left-hand side of a horse.

28 | Equicurean

12

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:39 PM Page 29

Photo by Sharon Ca

stro

Neck Shot

A ball which is hit under the horse’s neck from either side. This is approximately 80 percent of their game.

Saratogapublishing.com

13 Equicurean |29


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:41 PM Page 30

The New Polo Classic The U.S. POLO ASSN. Shop @ Saratoga Polo Brings Sporty Style to the Whitney Field and Beyond Story By Yael Goldman Photos by ©stockstudiosphotography.com

I

n most athletic arenas, half the fun of being a fan is dressing the part. Just pick one MLB or NFL franchise for a case in point – you can spot a Yankee fan anywhere in the country, anytime of year. But for those that share the love of the game called polo, it is not so easy to wear your heart on your sleeve. At least, historically, it hasn’t been. Fortunately for polo aficionados and enthusiasts, U.S. POLO ASSN., the fastest growing brand under the Jordache

30 | Equicurean

Enterprises umbrella, has launched a targeted campaign designed to promote polo, support its athletes and rally the sport’s increasingly diverse fan base. Jordache Enterprises – most known for its pioneering denim line and envelope-pushing advertising program, a relic of the late 1970s – took on licensing for United States Polo Association’s (USPA) trademark in 1998 and introduced an enormously successful line of high-quality lifestyle apparel and accessories for men, women and children. Now,

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:43 PM Page 31

the U.S. POLO ASSN. brand is re-emerging as the official outfitter of the sport, with more than 42 boutique stores nationwide featuring a variety of USPA-sanctioned apparel, and a growing list of competitive event and charitable sponsorships. “We love the sport; it has great caché and it has appeal to any American,” said Cliff Lelonek, president and CEO of Jordache LTD. “As the authentic maker of the clothing, we wanted to get deeply involved in the sport itself, to have a presence at major events throughout the country and make a difference to the players and fans.” Over the past two years, U.S. POLO ASSN. has sponsored major events like the Aspen World Snow Polo Championship held December 2011 in Colorado and the Charity Polo Match to Help Freddy Walk, which took place this June on the Potomac Polo Grounds in Maryland. What’s more: Jordache has become involved in season-long activities at USPA-affiliated clubs like Great Meadow Polo in The Plains, Virginia, and Saratoga Polo Association in Saratoga Springs, New York, where Jordache is newly onboard as the official apparel sponsor of the 2012 tournament season and title sponsor of this year’s Whitney Cup. U.S. POLO ASSN.’s collaboration with Saratoga Polo is especially exciting, as it ushers in a new generation of style. Jordache has partnered with Saratoga Polo for the launch of its first on-site store, introducing a groundbreaking line of cobranded merchandise that brings fresh excitement and caché to historic Whitney Field, where fans have been stomping divots since 1898. “Saratoga Polo is a very prestigious, Old-World property – it represents the over 100-year existence of the USPA, the

Saratogapublishing.com

U.S. POLO ASSN.’s collaboration with Saratoga Polo is especially exciting, as it ushers in a new generation of style.

Equicurean |31


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:45 PM Page 32

Whitney family and the heritage of [polo] in upstate New York,” said U.S. POLO ASSN. Chief Designer Jim Ryan. “It was a very natural place for us to start.” The on-site shop, named “U.S. POLO ASSN. Shop @ Saratoga Polo,” boasts a collection of bright-colored jerseyesque tees and knits (a contemporary take on great classics), along with sunglasses and other accessories that carefully blend the Saratoga icon with U.S. POLO ASSN.’s high-quality product. An exclusive line of limited edition event apparel will be unveiled for the U.S. POLO ASSN. Whitney Cup Tournament, which kicks off July 27. Additionally, Jordache and Saratoga Polo plan to host two “pop-up shops” during the 2012 meet at Saratoga Racecourse during the weekends of August 3 - 6 and August 10 -13. “Jordache has created some exceptional polo apparel – it is high-quality, affordable and honors the legacy of the field,” said Jim Rossi, co-owner of Saratoga Polo Association since 2004. “U.S. POLO ASSN. has truly taken its brand to the next level and we are thrilled to be a partner in this exciting endeavor.” For polo fans, especially Saratoga Polo fans, the ability to purchase an event-specific jersey or a tournament T-shirt brings the much greater opportunity to enjoy polo year-round, on and off the field. Rossi looks forward to the day when he can walk down Broadway in Saratoga Springs and spot polo fans in the crowd, casually displaying their love of the sport in U.S. POLO

32 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:47 PM Page 33

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |33


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:49 PM Page 34

New for 2012 Visit the U.S. POLO ASSN. Shop @ Saratoga Polo during every match. Plus, you can shop at the Style Pavilion at the Saratoga Race Course on the weekends of August 3 - 5 and August 10 - 13.

34 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:52 PM Page 35

ASSN. fashion. And it seems like Jordache has a similar goal – but on a larger scale. Eventually, the company plans to offer the Saratoga merchandise in its flagship U.S. POLO ASSN. boutiques nationwide, and will hopefully align with more USPA-affiliated clubs in the years to come, so polo fans can don their spirit from coast to coast. Jim Ryan said it best: “It’s not about souvenirs; it’s about being a fan and feeling good about wearing [the merchandise] anywhere you go.” For more information about Saratoga Polo Association or to purchase authentic U.S. POLO ASSN. merchandise, visit www.saratogapolo.com. For more information about .S. POLO ASSN., visit www.uspoloassn.com.

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |35


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:40 AM Page 36

Skidmore to Recognize Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson for Community Service Scribner Medal to be awarded at Palamountain Scholarship Benefit, July 31

S

kidmore College will honor wellknown Saratoga couple Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson with the awarding of the college’s Lucy Skidmore Scribner Medal. Named for the college’s founder, the medal recognizes a selfless dedication to others, a capacity to imagine creative solutions to social problems and a deep commitment to the community. Skidmore will present the medal at its 33rd annual Palamountain Scholarship Benefit, “Polo by Twilight,” on Tuesday, July 31, at the Saratoga Polo Field. All funds raised at the event go to the Joseph C. and Anne T. Palamountain Scholarship

36 | Equicurean

Fund, created to honor the college's fourth president and his wife for their 22 years of leadership. Anne Palamountain launched the benefit in 1979 to boost financial aid at the college, and she continues to preside over the event. “From early on, Marylou Whitney has been a staunch supporter of our cause, and she has been a constant presence at the Palamounatin Benefits over the years,” said Mrs. Palamountain. “She and John are truly our loyal and caring friends.” Said Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach, “In naming this award for the college’s founder, Lucy Skidmore Scribner, we are paying tribute to the qualities of commu-

nity engagement and lasting commitment. Mrs. Scribner established the forerunner of Skidmore College in 1903 to educate women for improved employment opportunities and cultural enrichment. She devoted her life and resources to this endeavor, overseeing its transition to a four-year college in 1922. At every stage, she worked tirelessly to help others.” The past recipients of the Scribner Medal are Anne Palamountain, the Dake family and the Wait family. For more information on the Palamountain Scholarship Benefit, go to www.skidmore.edu/palamountainbenefit or call (518) 580-5671.

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:57 PM Page 37


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:59 PM Page 38

of a

A HORSE

Different Color

Rare Equine Estate In Historic Greenwich Offers Easy-Riding Lifestyle

S

pread across a mix of densely wooded land and rolling pastures in the Round Hill neighborhood of Greenwich, Connecticut, Sandswept Hill is the rare equestrian retreat that leaves even jaded real estate professionals wowed. At more than 25 acres, it’s among the largest parcels still available anywhere in town, where pristine land is at a premium. Originally purchased prior to the establishment of local zoning laws, the newly listed property is grandfathered for unlimited development, though the estate already contains a roomy 7,500-square-foot main barn with eight comfortable stalls, an office and a feed room on the ground floor. A three-bedroom caretaker’s apartment with two full bathrooms and two additional lofts sits above the stables. Just a stone’s throw from the barn, an outbuilding houses two additional stalls and a three-bay garage with ample storage space for large equipment and supplies. Built by famed equestrian and specialty builder David Zublin of Old Town Barns, Sandswept Hill was carefully crafted with both serious sport and weekend riding in mind. The barn’s courtyard is conveniently adjacent to the ring, which gives way to a series of paddocks and paths that connect to riding trails extending well beyond the property. The public system of trails

38 | Equicurean

has been in place for some 200 years and is maintained by the Greenwich Riding & Trails Association, a vigorous non-profit promoter of horse riding and land preservation in the area. For those with an interest in the “Sport of Kings,” as it’s affectionately called, the expansive property includes a large field perfect for polo play. Additionally, the nearby Greenwich Polo Club organizes teams and matches every weekend throughout the summer. Of course, spectators are welcome too. Bring the kids, the family dog and a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon of exciting, fast-paced action on horseback! The beautiful Round Hill area of Greenwich includes the Round Hill Historic District, listed in 1996 on the National Register of Historic Places. The eight-acre area includes the postcard perfect First Church of Round Hill and its nearby parsonage, the Brown-Kenworthy House, a structure that dates back to the early 18th century and is the oldest in town. The neighborhood is about as idyllic a setting as you’re likely to find anywhere in the greater New York area. And at less than an hour’s commute to Midtown Manhattan, Sandswept Hill is an urban dweller’s oasis. You could be out of your work clothes and into your jodhpurs in no time at all! For more information about Sandswept Hill, visit www.sandswept-hill.com or contact Joy Kim Metalios of Heddings Property Group by calling 203-302-9930 or emailing joy@heddingsproperty.com. Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:01 PM Page 39

Polo Picnics A

Story by Chad Beatty Photos Provided

s the sun slowly sets on the horizon, the sky transitions from crystal blue to vibrant hues of crimson orange. Children’s laughter is quickly drowned out by the sound of approaching thunder, but it isn’t due to the weather. Eight thousand pounds of equine muscle and grace race by you guided by mounted warriors chasing an elusive polo ball. As the second chukker continues (a seven-minute period in polo) a server greets you with a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne accompanied by cheese and crackers. No, this isn’t an excerpt from a romance novel; it is a typical evening at Saratoga Polo. The new partnership between Saratoga Polo and Old Daley Catering and Events now offers field-side catering. Packages are available that include admission, soft drinks, wine and, as mentioned above, even Veuve Clicquot! So enjoy your polo picnic, whether you’re on the clubhouse side or the general admission/tailgating side, and create your own summer memories.

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |39


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:03 PM Page 40

Here’s what’s available… POLO PICNICS

Polo Picnic for Four - General admission for a carload, complete picnic for four * - $85 Premium Polo Picnic for Four - General admission for a carload with premium midfield parking, complete picnic for four * with one bottle of red or white wine - $125 *Picnic for four includes an assortment of artisan sandwiches, gourmet salads, Saratoga Water, chips and signature desserts Night at Saratoga Polo Clubhouse for Two- Clubhouse admission for two, two cocktail vouchers and a chef’s choice appetizer -$85 The Ultimate Saratoga Clubhouse Experience for TwoTwo Clubhouse admissions with reserved box seats, a full bottle of Veuve Clicquot with sabrage instruction and a chef’s choice appetizer- $150 Go online at www.saratogapolo.com and order your polo picnic today.

POLO PAVILION

The Saratoga Polo team has created a great new way to entertain your friends, clients and guests in style. Experience the tournament season at Whitney Field with exclusive privileges! Take in a match in the exclusive Polo Pavilion that includes: • Polo Clubhouse Admission • Premium seating in the Saratoga Polo Pavilion • Open bar • A bountiful selection of artisan prepared summer fare from Old Daley Catering & Events the exclusive food and beverage partner of Saratoga Polo • Sabraged Veuve Clicquot Champagne To reserve your table, call Saratoga Polo at (518) 584 8108 and choose any one or more of the 18 Friday or Sunday match dates July 6 through August 31.

40 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:06 PM Page 41

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |41


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 10:10 AM Page 42

42 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:10 PM Page 43

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |43


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/12/12 8:46 AM Page 44

Famous

Polo Players Dating back to the early 1900s the game of Polo has attracted athletes from all walks of life who wanted to try their hand at the sport of kings. Check out some of these famous players who taught us that you’re never too old, or too young, to have fun.

Clark Gable

General George Patton Winston Churchill

Theodore Roosevelt

Will Rogers 44 | Equicurean

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:14 PM Page 45

Saratogapublishing.com

Equicurean |45


Tom Brockley

NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:17 PM Page 46

Fan Profile:

F

Story by Bob Bullock

or Saratoga Polo regulars, there are many familiar faces that stick out of the crowd, but few are as familiar as Tom Brockley: fan, sponsor and lover of polo. For Brockley, senior vice president and financial advisor for the Albany-based RBC Wealth Management, polo has become an essential part of Saratoga’s summer season. During any given match, it is not unusual to see the Delmar native sitting field side explaining the sport to newcomers, presenting the famed RBC Wealth Management Best Playing Polo blanket to the winning pony or sabering a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, a Saratoga Polo tradition, during a post-match trophy presentation. As with any Saratoga Polo fan, passion for polo begins with the very first match. For Brockley, whose introduction to the Spa City began with a visit to the Saratoga Race Course at age 6 or 7, that inaugural polo experience would not take place until several decades later.

46 | Equicurean

“I first was introduced to Saratoga Polo about 10 years ago, when Mike Bucci and Jim Rossi bought the club,” Brockley said. “Having never attended live polo, I was amazed from the very first moment by the skill of the players and the agility of the ponies,” he said. From this first introduction, the veteran wealth manager was hooked. Always looking for opportunities to spend time with his clients, he saw Saratoga Polo as a great place to combine business with pleasure. From neophyte fan, he quickly entered the realm of the sponsor. “It’s a new venue for many clients. As with my first time at a polo match, most clients immediately catch polo ‘fever’ and can’t wait to see another match. As I’ve said in the past, I often get responses from invited guests that have never been to a polo match. It’s nice to be the first to have invited a client to their first polo event,” he said.

For many sponsors, acknowledging the proficiency of the player is the path to follow. But for Brockley, perhaps because of his appreciation of horse racing, he saw honoring the contribution of the polo pony as the right fit for RBC Wealth Management. “Although it is a competitive sport with highly skilled players, it is the thundering horses that people remember from a polo match. I think, and thought from the beginning, that the polo ponies deserved an award just as much as the winning teams get traditional accolades,” Brockley remarked. Will Tom Brockley be in his familiar seat in the clubhouse this year? You bet. As the lover of Saratoga and Saratoga Polo concluded, “The rich and long-standing history of Saratoga Polo, of which many people are unaware, makes this a great venue and series of events that are very important, in my mind, to the history of Saratoga summers. I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Photo by Thomas A. Sullivan Sr.

Saratogapublishing.com


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:19 PM Page 47


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:21 PM Page 48


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:24 PM Page 49


NEW EQUICUREAN POLO SIDE_Layout 1 7/11/12 7:26 PM Page 50


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:01 PM Page 51


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:05 PM Page 52


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:09 PM Page 53


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:13 PM Page 54

Photo by Sharon Castro

54 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:17 PM Page 55

Saratoga Race Course

I

Story by Daniel Schechtman

t’s the Graveyard of Champions, Thoroughbred racing’s shining star at The Spa and America’s most historic, long-standing organized sporting venue of any kind. For nearly 150 years, the world’s top horses, trainers, jockeys and owners have come together for high-stakes racing from July through September at the Saratoga Race Course. Known for its beautiful grounds, its exciting, vibrant atmosphere and thrilling, jaw-dropping races, great champions of the past – Man o’ War, Secretariat, Whirlaway and more have all graced the track’s storied estate. Saratoga Race Course held its first meet August 3, 1863, a mere month after the Battle of Gettysburg dur-

SaratogaPublishing.com

ing the heart of the Civil War. Funded by the soon-to-be U.S. Congressman and bare-knuckled boxing champion John Morrissey, the track was built with the help of John Hunter and William R. Travers, who oversaw the construction of the permanent grandstand at the course’s present-day location. Since then, many great horses and jockeys have come to the historic course. Many greats have won – and even more have fallen. Known as the Graveyard of Champions, Saratoga Race Course has witnessed some of the sport’s most dramatic upsets, from the defeat of Man o’ War by the aptly named Upset, to the birth of the “Giant Killer,” Onion, when he defeated Secretariat at

Equicurean |55


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:27 PM Page 56

Saratoga Race Course the 1973 Whitney Handicap. This year, the race course celebrates the inaugural running of the Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga, beginning September 15. With purses totaling $100,000 and the opening of the infield for the first time in over 30 years, this major attraction is a welcome extension of the racing season, giving fans a new and thrilling event to look forward to. The Saratoga Race Track is laced with drama and excitement, an electric shock of energy that courses through the crowd at the sound of every bugle call, darts between pounding hooves of thundering Thoroughbreds and washes over waves of roaring fans as cameras flash at the finish line. Come Friday, July 20, 2012, the drama lives again. Join in the excitement during dozens of graded stakes races, free giveaway days, special events and more during Saratoga’s 144th summer meet. See facing page for a full list of this year’s schedule.

56 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:25 PM Page 57

RACE COURSE 2012 SCHEDULE Friday, July 20: Opening Day

Sunday, August 12: Saratoga Picnic Mat Giveaway

Saturday, August 25: The Travers

Friday, July 20-22: Hats Off to Saratoga Festival

Friday, August 17: Fabulous Fillies Day

Saturday, August 25: The Foxwoods King’s Bishop

Fridays beginning July 20: Family Fun Fridays

Saturday, August 18Sunday, August 26: Travers Festival

Saturday, August 25: The Test

Saturday, July 21: The TVG Coaching Club American Oaks

Saturday, August 18: The Alabama

Sunday, July 22: Annual Hat Contest Friday, July 27: College Day

Saturday, August 18: The Sword Dancer Invitational Sunday, August 19 Thursday, August 23: Travers 1864 Restaurant Week

Sunday, August 19: Friday, July 27: Party at the Spa, presented by Coors Saratoga Pilsner Glass Set Giveaway Light Saturday, July 28: The Diana Sunday, July 29: Saratoga Baseball Cap Giveaway Thursday, August 2: Mid-Summer St. Patrick’s Day

Wednesday, August 22: Stewart’s Shops Ice Cream Eating Contest Thursday, August 23: The New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase

Sunday, August 26: The Personal Ensign Wednesday, August 29: Salute to Veterans Friday, August 31: Party at the Spa, presented by Coors Light Saturday, September 1 Monday, September 3: Final Stretch Festival Saturday, September 1: The Woodward Saturday, September 1: The Forego Sunday, September 2: Saratoga Fleece Blanket Giveaway

Saturday, August 4: The Whitney Handicap

Thursday, August 23: Travers Celebration, presented by Macy’s

Saturday, August 4: The Prioress

Friday, August 24: American Red Cross Battle of the Brews

Sunday, September 2 Monday, September 3: Family Fun Fest and Labor Day Barbecue

Friday, August 24: The Ballerina

Saturday, September 15: Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga

Sunday, August 5: Galloping Grapes: A New York Wine Event Sunday, August 5: The Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap

SaratogaPublishing.com

Sunday, September 2: The Spinaway

Friday, August 24: Travers Eve Downtown Party

Equicurean |57


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:29 PM Page 58

Race Course Giveaways The New York Racing Association has announced four giveaway Sundays during the 2012 meet at Saratoga Race Course, which runs from July 20 to September 3. All four giveaways will feature the classic Saratoga Race Course logo, with three returning items and one brand new item never before given away during the meet. Sunday, July 29 Saratoga Baseball Cap Day This season, race fans can look forward to receiving a bright red baseball cap featuring the embroidered Saratoga logo in black and white, with a stitching of a galloping horse complimenting the cap’s visor.

58 | Equicurean

Sunday, August 12 Picnic Mat Day (new item) This year Saratoga is giving away a checkered red, black and white picnic mat, featuring the race course’s famous logo. The mat is perfect for a nice day in the park, or for using immediately in the backyard while watching all the action. Sunday, August 19 Pilsner Glass Day Raise a pint to your favorite Thoroughbred with this collectible 2012 Saratoga Race Course pilsner glass. Cheers!

Sunday, September 2 Fleece Blanket Day As the season changes from summer to fall, Saratoga Race Course has got you covered – literally. The fleece blanket makes its return for 2012 and continues to be one of the most popular giveaways of the season. All giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last. For more information, call (518) 584-6200 or visit www.nyra.com.

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:33 PM Page 59


150

Saratoga

Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:37 PM Page 60

Photo provided by NYRA.com

Mark Your Calendars, Because In 2013, Saratoga Heats Up Like Never Before

Story by Andrew Marshall

We’re only one year away from celebrating the 150th anniversary of Thoroughbred racing at the historic Saratoga Race Course. To commemorate this historic occasion, the city has already started preparing for a five-month-long celebration honoring racing in the Spa City.

60 | Equicurean

The festivities kick off in May 2013, running all the way through September, as more than 100 fun-filled events will be held for residents and visitors to the greater Saratoga Region. The opening ceremonies are scheduled for May 26, 2013, at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. That night, the premier music venue in Saratoga will host an old-fashioned picnic supper complete with music, dance groups, storytellers, stilt walkers and clowns; not to mention a variety of family-friendly activities and contests. The evening will conclude with an eye-popping Saratoga 150 fireworks display. The month of May is filled with great

events at wonderful venues all around Saratoga Springs. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will host its annual Kentucky Derby party, and Skidmore College will host the Saratoga 150 Film Festival. As the calendar turns to June, Saratoga “springs” to life as the weather gets nicer, with annual cultural events as the excitement surrounding Opening Day begins to build around the city. SaratogaArtsFest will join in the fun, highlighting the last 150 years of arts in Saratoga. For equestrian fans who just can’t wait for the season to begin, the Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show takes place every year across the street from the famous race

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:42 PM Page 61

course on the grounds owned by Yaddo artists’ community. Every July begins the countdown to Thoroughbred racing at Saratoga! Before the first call to post is played by Sam the Bugler, enjoy yourself at events like Saratoga’s All-American Independence Day Celebration, beginning with the Firecracker4 run and concluding with a beautiful fireworks display. The New York City Ballet opens their season for a oneweek residency at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, before their grand finale gala. August 3, 1863, marks the very first race ever run at Saratoga. One-hundred and fifty years later, we commemorate this event with a Bettor’s Ball at Saratoga Race Course. You can expect to hear music spanning all the way back to the 1940s, which will be sure to get you up and dancing. Admission to the ball is only $5, and proceeds from the event will benefit workers in the race course’s backstretch area. Of course, August is prime time for race fans, as the dirt starts flying and the races continue running! The historic Saratoga Race Course is home to a number of large purse graded stakes races, including the Whitney, the Jim Dandy, the Go-For-Wand, the Sword Dancer and the pinnacle of Saratoga’s racing season, the mid-summer derby Travers Stakes. Don’t forget about all the wonderful museums and galleries in Saratoga during the 150-year anniversary. The National Museum of Racing will highlight the best of the best horses, trainers and jockeys right down to where they came from and how they shaped the culture of racing. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will also induct their class of 2012, right in time for track season. The New York State Military Museum, the Tang Teaching Museum, the Brookside Museum and the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls will all be involved for the big anniversary. Special event Saratoga 150 “Friends” lapel pins and benefits will be offered through the website and the $15 “Show” medallions may be purchased at all Adirondack Trust Co. banking locations. The medallions’ three categories, “Win,” “Place” and “Show,” offer participants different levels of event participation. Those who purchase a “Win” medallion are entered into a contest to attend each of the Triple Crown events, with hotel accommodations and airfare for two. Additionally, the “Win” category will provide medallionholders with two commemorative crimson and gold lapel medallions; two admissions to the track on specified dates; two double-sided static window/door promotional decals; two admissions to the Bettors Ball; two official poster-art T-shirts; one official polo shirt; a listing in the official program; and two-for-one admission to Saratoga museums. The Win category price will be $150 initially and will increase to $200 later this summer. “Place” category medallions are priced at $50 and “Show” lapel pins are $15. If you would like to do more than just purchasing your medallion, there are sponsorship and event-hosting opportunities still available. Businesses, not-for-profit organizations and individuals requesting information on sponsorships, event hosting or general information should contact Saratoga 150 through the website, www.Saratoga150.com.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |61


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:46 PM Page 62


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:50 PM Page 63

A

Journey

Through

Racing’s Storied

HISTORY Story by Marilyn Lane

W

Photos provided courtesy of the National Museum of Racing hen you walk through the doors at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, right off the bat you’re greeted with clips of great races, thrilling spectacles that deliver just as much excitement as they did on the days they were run. Beyond the lobby, the experience unfolds unto a magical journey through racing’s history. First you see great sculptures and some of the world’s finest trophies and soon your eye is caught by the vivid paintings. Stepping closer, you become mesmerized by the power and beauty of these carefully crafted horses, and equally taken with the strength and character of racing’s personalities. Horses are one of the most depicted of all animals in art, and right here in this museum you can see many of the greatest examples ever produced. The National Museum of Racing is brilliantly laid out, and before you start feeling like you’ve seen too much of one thing, the motif changes. The museum houses a likeness of the jockeys’ quarters, along with information to educate the viewer on what a day in the life of a jockey is like. There’s a portion of a real starting gate, complete with sound effects, and wow, does that ever change your perspective! That iron monster is really big – imagine it being stretched to carry 20 starters in the Kentucky Derby or what it might feel like to have a horse flip over backward in that contraption. After seeing it up close and in person, it’s hard not to imagine what it feels like to be a jockey sitting on a 1,000pound horse, accelerating from 0 to nearly 40 mph in a few strides at the sound of the bell. You can’t talk much about racing before the subject of weight enters the conversation, and here, in the museum, you’re reminded why. Several different models of jockey scales are displayed throughout, and you’ll even get to see a full skeleton of a Thoroughbred. If he were fleshed out, he’d weigh over a-half ton. Look closely at the legs; often a horse puts all his weight on just one leg while running – it’s amazing that those bones hold up as well as they do. If you have kids with you, they can get familiar with all kinds of racing gear, jockey silks and horse shoes, plus participate in some interactive games in the Children’s

SaratogaTODAYNewspaper.com

Equicurean |63


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:31 PM Page 64

Top: “Over the Post and Rail at the Virginia Gold Cup Steeplechase” by Gordon Ross, 1927 Right: Count Fleet’s Triple Crown Trophies, 1943

Gallery. There’s all the right stuff to ignite imaginations in the young and curious. Stepping into the Hall of Fame room excites you right away. You’re welcomed by an awesome display of many of the most prominent racing silks in American turf history. It’s a racing fan’s delight to recall the great jockeys who proudly stepped into the paddock wearing certain silks and remembering the horses belonging to these ‘giants’ of the turf. Next time you go to the races, note the silks – you never know when you’re but an arm’s length from ones that will one day take their place in this display. Every member of the Hall of Fame has an individual plaque with career highlights noted – you’ll wish that somehow you could ingest all of the details of every horse, jockey and trainer. I guess what I like most about this part is coming face-toface with and recognizing the democratic nature of racing. I think Mack Miller (trainer, inducted in 1987) said it best, “God, this is a great game. And the greatest thing about it is that nobody’s got it tied up.” The people in this Hall of Fame are an amazing tribute to the human spirit. I get choked up to recall any one of the induction speeches, and I strongly encourage you to listen to 64 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 4:59 PM Page 65

as many of them as you can. Perhaps you too will need a tissue or two. The passion that propels this sport is unmistakable and it has touched people from nearly every walk of life. Nowhere will you see a finer display of what can happen when you “follow your bliss.” Seek out John Henry’s plaque. That cantankerous ol’ gelding gave a lesson or two about becoming better than one’s pedigree may suggest. He was pint-sized and plain, and sold for only $1,100 as a yearling. “The grand old man” raced until he was 9, and earned a lofty $6,591,860. John Henry and his trainer, Ron McAnnally, were both elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990. The beautiful big bronzes are something you won’t want to miss. In the center courtyard is Secretariat. His 1973 Triple Crown run created more race fans than any horse since Seabiscuit. Before you leave the museum area, be sure to go to the side garden to see the statue of this national incon. His story is widely known because of Laura Hillenbrand’s book and the movie. If you have not already read the book or seen the movie, I encourage you to do both – the lessons within are invaluable and tremendously heart-rending. I had a chance to speak with museum director, Christopher Dragone, about the summer schedule. He said, “We’re really looking forward to opening the Steeplechase Gallery. This great sport hasn’t always received the attention it deserves – and it delights us to add this large and interactive

SaratogaPublishing.com

A real starting gate, housed at the National Museum of Racing.

Equicurean |65


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:03 PM Page 66

exhibit. The last components are just about ready – it’ll be allset for an August 1 opening.” For those of you not familiar with steeplechasing, you’re in for a real treat. But if you’re thinking about taking a ride on one of them, you may want to first try the race-riding simulators here in the museum. These machines are great for young riders to practice on and/or to provide fitness for riders coming back after injuries. They’ll give you a true sampling of what race-riding feels like, and when you get off that funny looking contraption, you’ll marvel even more at the athletic

66 | Equicurean

talent required of a jockey. The Saratoga racing experience simply cannot be called complete without a visit to this great museum. A neophyte or the most seasoned fan is sure to enjoy time here, perfectly situated right across Union Avenue from the race course itself.

To learn more, visit the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at 191 Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs, call (518) 584-0400 or visit www.racingmuseum.org.

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:07 PM Page 67


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:35 PM Page 68

Jaqueline “Jackie” Davis & Father, Robbie Davis

68 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:39 PM Page 69

The

Trainer Jockey and the

Story by Brendan O’Meara Photos provided by NYRA.com

T

he trainer gave Jaqueline “Jackie” Davis a leg up on Sandyinthesun on December 3, 2011, during a turf race in the chill of an Aqueduct afternoon in Ozone Park, NY. Horse and rider cantered away to the post

parade. A few nights earlier, the trainer and jockey had spoke over dinner about tactics. The trainer knew the horse wanted 1 1/2 miles, though this race was 1 1/16 miles. “Move early on the horse because he’s a long-distance horse,” the trainer said. “No, I don’t ride like that,” Jackie said, all 5-foot-nothing and 104 pounds of sprightly-blonde self. The trainer didn’t want to make her mad. Oh, my goodness, he thought. “Jackie, if you’re going slow, move up the backside a couple lengths. This horse always gallops out in front after the race,” the trainer said. “No, I don’t ride like that,” Jackie said, again. “Well, listen, Jackie, if he gets tired, blame me.” Jackie paused, looked at him and said, “Ok. I got it, Dad.”

Robbie Davis had game: strength, balance, timing and confidence in the irons. He apexed the jockey standings in New York, amounting 3,382 winners over a career that saw him get the bug in 1982. And perhaps no one more than he understood the risks of riding. William Nack recounted how Davis became broken on the afternoon of October 13, 1988, the fifth race at Belmont Park, a 1 1/16-mile turf race in his piece “The Longest Ride.” The horse in front of Davis, ridden by Mike Venezia, stumbled into Davis’ path. Venezia lost his balance and fell. Davis’ horse, Drums in the Night, didn’t jump. “I looked down and saw him under me,” Robbie said in the piece, “and my horse scissored his head with his back feet. Shattered his skull.” Venezia died instantly.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Robbie, 27 years old, in his prime, told his wife, Marguerite, he needed to “get out of here.” He wouldn’t make it back to the track until March 8, 1989, 146 days and 2,448 miles later at Santa Anita Park in California. Years later, when Jackie returned from her first semester of college studying fashion, bored by class, she heard about the North American Racing Academy and told Robbie, “I’m going.” “No way, no way my daughter is going to be a jockey.” Jackie, admitting later she’s just like her father, (we get something in our heads and it’s over) then approached her mother. Marguerite said, “You want it bad enough, you do it on your own.” Robbie then took his daughter for a car ride to have a “serious talk,” recalled Jackie.

Equicurean |69


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:19 PM Page 70

Jackie Davis “Really?” Robbie said, “You really want to do this? Why? You can get killed. Why risk your life every day? You could be a teacher.” Jackie looked him dead in the eye, “Dad, I’ve never wanted anything more.” She became a jockey, not a teacher like Robbie had hoped, “My dad’s fault,” Jackie said, “that’s what it is.” Jackie grew up riding dirt bikes like her father did, skydived, cliff jumped - just your run-of-the-mill adrenaline hound. “Dad threw us on his dirt bike. ‘It’s your fault I do this.’ Looking for that adrenaline rush.” She quenches that thirst aboard every Thoroughbred she rides; Sandyinthesun is no different. He was hard to handle in the paddock and post

70 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:23 PM Page 71

parade, but after four races he settled. Down the backside, against Jackie’s instinct, she moved him up, “Following instructions,” she said. Robbie and Jackie talk shop, and why not? Robbie has thousands of wins in 20 years –he’s seen it all– so he tells her those riders at Suffolk Downs, “move early all the time. Just wait till they commit themselves, cut to the inside, wait a 16th of a mile, then move. She’d get hung out wide, taken out for a hot dog.” “I see now, Dad,” she’d say. “Jackie, it doesn’t matter how strong you are, smart you are, how much horse you have,” Robbie said, “if you don’t save ground, you’re going to look really stupid.” Robbie’s gut twists watching Jackie ride because she will always be his little girl who only wants to wear her one black and white dress with red cowboy boots to the track. Every. Single. Day. “Jackie threw a fit if she wasn’t wearing her black and white dress.” He remembers the dainty, prissy, tap dancing, gymnastic tumbling, Barbie doll-toting girl with the “tiny fingers and hands.” And there she flies around the oval, around the turn. “I’m still not used to it,” Robbie

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |71


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:26 PM Page 72

said. “I thought I’d get used to it. Oh my God, she’ll be in a bad spot, inside of two horses, not where she’s supposed to be. ‘What the hell is she doing?’ I’m running to the bathroom; don’t know if I’ll take a crap or puke. I come back to the TV and she’s in front. She texts me, ‘How about that, Dad?’ ‘Yeah, that was something.’ She had my stomach turning; sometimes I can’t watch. I’d rather not watch.” Not today, not with Sandyinthesun blitzing into contention. Robbie told Jackie not to hit him right-handed.

So what did she do? She hit him right-handed and he ducked behind horses. The wire loomed while Sandyinthesun traded bobs with Sam’s Buck. They hit the wire and it was Sandyinthesun by a nose, by a bob. Racing luck delivered Robbie his first win as a trainer with his daughter in the irons. “Mascara rollin’,” Jackie said of the scene. “Man, Dad almost pulled me off my saddle.” Robbie recalled a big horse he rode, the speed, the power. “I knew it at the time, my whole life I was work-

“Winning a Race with Jackie on a bob... I didn’t know life could get so Good.” -Robbie Davis

72 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:30 PM Page 73

ing hard, hard, hard for something. I didn’t think it would be that good. It was so good and I didn’t think anything would top it, but winning a race with Jackie on a bob … I didn’t know life could get so good.” Brendan O’Meara is the author of “Six Weeks in Saratoga.” Follow him on Twitter @BrendanOMeara and visit his website www.brendanomeara.com.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |73


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:43 PM Page 74

Eadweard Muybridge 74 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


MOTION POETRYof

The

Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:38 PM Page 75

I

Story by Dennis G. Hogan Photos Provided

get a special thrill out of toting my camera to the racetrack. Few things compare to capturing the remarkable beauty and boundless spirit of Thoroughbred horses as they barrel down the stretch, gobbling-up ground and kicking back dirt with explosive intensity. With each stride they gather and extend, touching down for a moment, only to again lift off and be cast in flight. By gazing at the camera’s monitor and turning a small dial, one can instantaneously review these brilliant displays and attest to the fact that horses do indeed fly, yet at one time this realization was a matter of intense debate. Therein lies the tale of Eadweard Muybridge, an English immigrant with a passion for the burgeoning craft of photography, and Leland Stanford, one-time governor of California, wealthy industrialist and consummate horseman. Stanford was born March 9, 1824, in Watervliet, NY. Educated in New York State, he passed the bar and set up shop in Wisconsin, though shortly thereafter he headed for California. The year was 1852, and the gold rush was on. Mining required supplies and plenty of them, so Leland abandoned life as a barrister and opened a general store in the town of Cold Springs, just east of Sacramento. His success led to a stint in politics and a position with the Central Pacific Railroad. Stanford was elected governor in 1861, and as such he lobbied for the creation of a rail line that would connect the western territories to its neighbors in the east. He soon left politics to oversee the project full time.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |75


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:42 PM Page 76

The book, “The Horse in Motion,” by J.D.B. Stillman, published by Leland Stanford, 1882.

Leland Stanford 76 | Equicurean

With a considerable cost to human life, it was one of the greatest logistical undertakings the world had ever seen. Tireless workers blasted through mountainous terrain, and drove rails eastward until May 10, 1869, when the golden spike connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads was driven at Promontory Summit, Utah. By this time Stanford was a wealthy man, which allowed him to freely pursue his true passion: horsemanship. The mid-1800s were a heady time - ripe with exploration, discovery and a popular curiosity of all things scientific. And as an owner and breeder, Stanford pondered how scientific reasoning might improve the progeny of the Standardbred horse. He was certain that breeding would be enhanced by the knowledge of which muscles were of most importance to a horse traveling at top speed. Stanford reckoned that the first step in any such discovery would be to accurately illustrate the locomotion of the trot and the gallop. There was also a great debate between Stanford and his colleagues as to whether a galloping horse’s four legs were all off the ground at the same time. Legend maintains that a substantial wager was proposed between Stanford and James R. Keene, another wealthy horsemen whose exploits with Thoroughbreds were unparalleled for his day. Stanford claimed that ‘yes, indeed a horse can fly.’ Though scholars of the era agree that this gentleman’s wager was the fabrication of newspapermen who aimed to sell more papers – what story wasn’t more intriguing with a large sum of money at stake? Despite such hoopla, the overall complication was how to prove it? And the answer came from another nascent field of exploration: photography. Eadweard Muybridge was born April 9, 1830, in Kingston-on-Thames, England. Lured by the opportunities to be found in America, Muybridge immigrated to New York in 1852, though a few years later he set up shop in San Francisco as a publisher’s agent. Here, he sold books and periodicals to a growing population thirsty for knowledge. He was somewhat of an odd fellow: obsessive about his work and a bit of a vagabond in appearance. Ever curious, Muybridge discovered a love for the photographic image - and forever the entrepreneur, he reasoned how he might profit from the sale of great photographs. Photography was on the leading edge of scientific endeavors, though the acts required to create even the most rudimentary image were time consuming, complex and somewhat dangerous. Yet Muybridge was undaunted. He employed a covered horse cart to carry his equipment and with a flair for showmanship the words Flying Studio appeared on the side. To add further intrigue, he adopted the name of Helios, the Greek god of the Sun. With his mobile darkroom in tow, he captured numerous San Francisco landscapes, though SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:45 PM Page 77

his most heralded early works were of Yosemite. Imagine the effort extended as he traveled through a wilderness devoid of modern roads; his camera, a heavy wooden box staked upon a large tripod and the developing process a veritable race against time. His work at Yosemite was considered the finest to date, and Muybridge soon came to be known as California’s leading landscape photographer. This notoriety put him squarely in the sights of Leland Stanford. In 1872, Stanford recruited Muybridge for the task of photographing his prized trotter, Occident, with the hope of solving the mystery of whether horses take flight. At first, Muybridge was skeptical; he argued that even the latest technology did not allow for such an experiment. At the time, negatives were captured on chemically treated glass plates, and the reaction time or ‘speed’ of the emulsions applied to the plates was rather slow; could they react fast enough to capture an image of any value? And while today’s cameras offer blazing-fast shutter speeds, in this day a photographer’s best friend was his hat; he would hold it in front of the lens, and count an appropriate number of seconds before returning the makeshift cover to its original position – not exactly a method capable of providing the split-second exposure times demanded by the project.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Though always in search of a benefactor, Muybridge accepted the assignment, and in May of that year he spent a number of days at Sacramento’s Union Park Racetrack, where Stanford stabled his horses. Muybridge employed the finest lenses of the day, and thanks to his own refinements he was able to improve the efficiency of the emulsions involved. He worked tirelessly, though his best images were no more than faint silhouettes. While Stanford declared the experiment a success, critics discredited the results, calling them highly doctored misrepresentations that added little to the overall conversation. Muybridge moved on, accepting additional projects that took him to faraway lands. He returned to California in 1874, though in a most troubling turn of events he was soon arrested and charged with the murder of his wife’s lover, one Major Harry Larkyns. The trial dragged on until 1877, when Muybridge was found not guilty. Indeed, he did shoot Larkyns to death, though it was ruled a crime of passion – a pardonable excuse for the day. By this time Stanford had acquired some 8,000 acres in Palo Alto (the modern-day site of Stanford University), and his penchant for understanding the locomotion of the horse had only grown. Muybridge suggested the use of multiple cameras so as to capture not one, but a series of images that would reveal a study of continuous motion.

Equicurean |77


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:49 PM Page 78

TOP: THE IMAGE SERIES OF THE MARE, BY SALLY GARDNER (COURTESY, STANFORD ARCHIVES) LEFT: THE ZOOPRAXISCOPE (COURTESY, KINGSTON-ONTHAMES, ENGLAND)

78 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:53 PM Page 79

Stanford saw great promise in the idea, and upon ‘the farm’s’ training track a unique outdoor laboratory became the setting for a new and groundbreaking collection of photographs. Housed in a shed, a total of 12 cameras were placed side-by-side and pointed at a fence covered by a white cloth that would provide maximum contrast to the bay or black horse that was to travel by. The track below was dusted with slack lime, the main ingredient of white wash; this ensured a generous reflection of the sun’s rays upon the subject. Possibly the greatest improvement was an electro-magnetically operated shutter device capable of producing an exposure time of nearly one-thousandth of a second. The first prints were to be of a trotting horse. Most ingenuously, the wheels of the sulky in tow were equipped with a metallic covering. Conductive wires attached to each camera were run perpendicular to the trotter’s path and as the horse was driven by, the wheels made contact with the wires, completing the circuits and firing the shutter mechanisms. The electric circuit worked well for trotters, though in order to capture a galloping horse and rider the cameras were instead connected to a series of trip lines placed at the height of the horse’s chest. In order to stave-off the type of skepticism the earlier trials garnered, Stanford invited members of the press to the Palo Alto farm to witness the experiment for themselves. First up was Stanford’s prized trotter, Abe Edgington, with sulky in tow. Next came the mare, Sally Gardner, and it was her effort that convinced everyone in attendance that history had indeed been made on this day. As the mare galloped past the cameras and tripped the lines connected to the shutter mechanisms she became aware of the curious sensations upon her chest and broke from her seemingly mechanical gait. The crowd gathered as the plates were processed, and there in evidence for all to see was the photographic representation of the horse’s sudden and abrupt deviation. It was this anomaly that convinced everyone that the results were indeed a factual representation of what had been witnessed and not another sampling of trumped-up images. Stanford had what he wanted: an illustration of the locomotion of his horses, and proof that when a horse gallops, all four legs are off the ground at the same time. Muybridge received worldwide acclaim as a noteworthy photographer and innovator, and he was soon the toast of academic circles and scientific journals.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |79


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 5:59 PM Page 80

Artist’s rendering of the Palo Alto track with camera shed on right. Illustration © Gretchen Mahnkopf, 2012

Any jubilation the two men may have shared was shortlived, for in 1882 Stanford saw fit to publish, “The Horse in Motion,” by J.D.B. Stillman MD. The book, based upon the studies at the Palo Alto farm, neglected to give Muybridge due credit for his contributions to the work. This caused numerous problems for Muybridge; primarily, his claim as the driving force behind the project was dismissed and his reputation was sullied. He brought suit against Stanford although the court ruled that Muybridge was simply an employee; since Stanford had paid for the work, it was decided that he held the right to disseminate it as he chose. Stanford returned to politics in 1885 and remained a senator from California until his death in 1893. And though the affair cost Muybridge much prestige, his legacy would be far reaching. Prior to these discoveries the majority of equine artwork exhibited horses at full gallop with their front and rear legs fully extended. Yet Muybridge’s studies of equine locomotion would forever change that perception. From this time on, artists would more realistically portray animals within their true and natural gaits. He also deserves a healthy footnote within the annals of cin-

80 | Equicurean

ematic history. His major invention, the zoopraxiscope, provided the first examples of projected continuous motion. Muybridge placed consecutive images from his studies at Palo Alto onto a disk. As the disk spun, the images emanating from the device created the illusion of a horse in motion. With much fanfare he traveled throughout the world exhibiting the zoopraxiscope, and it may be claimed that, at least conceptually, the device would influence the earliest technology of the motion picture industry. Muybridge went on to continue his unique work under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. Here his labors included intensive photographic studies of both animals and humans in motion. He died in 1904, yet to this day his published works on locomotion remain an inspiration and valuable reference for artists, athletes and the medical profession. The collaboration between Leland Stanford and Eadweard Muybridge adds a colorful snapshot to the lexicon of America’s vast history; an amalgam blended by scholars who seek the truth, critics who discredit it and newspapermen who aim to profit from it. Yet in this tale, one thing is for sure – it all began with a horse.

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:03 PM Page 81

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |81


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:07 PM Page 82

82 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:11 PM Page 83

S

Private

tables of aratoga

SaratogaPublishing.com

Story by Marilyn Lane Photos by Sharon Castro

ost historians agree that Saratoga Race Course was at its visual peak during the 1890s, when the striking architecture and stunning botanical designs reached their zeniths. But behind the scenes, “Something was rotten in the state of Denmark.” Sullied ethics had fast-tarnished the image of racing, and reformers were quick to close in. Trainers were taking their horses elsewhere, swearing not to come back until management changed. Abrupt change would have to come quickly to save racing at The Spa. The influential William Collins Whitney stepped forward to head a group of Jockey Club members, and together they purchased the floundering track to sweep away the scandalous past. With the reins in Whitney’s hands, renewed optimism set the pace. The track was enlarged, the Grandstand doubled in size, the Clubhouse was remodeled and a vast new Saddling Shed was added to the Paddock area. Lavish plantings and carefully designed walkways created a park-like setting. Backstretch property was expanded and new stabling built. The guidelines of the master plan also allowed for private stabling compounds, beginning with Sanford Court in 1901.

M

Equicurean |83


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:15 PM Page 84

“Gilded Age” at Saratoga Race Course, unknown artist, circa 1890 - Courtesy of Minnie Bolster

Sanford Court

Amsterdam carpet magnate General Stephen Sanford and his son, John, had been successfully breeding and racing horses since the early 1880s. Their impressive equines would soon enjoy an equally impressive stabling complex. On a two-and-a-half acre private lot on the west side of Nelson Avenue, the pair constructed two large barns with a courtyard, a small two-story residence and a one-level kitchen. The complex was an extension of the popular Queen Anne architecture of the era. Sanford Court’s unique style was unparalleled in the backstretch community, and is still visible today, in spite of declining condition. The stable was privately operated into the 40s. In recent years, at least one of the Sanford Court barns has served as a receiving barn. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott stabled in the second barn for at least one season in the 90s, and more recently Linda Rice. In 2009, Rice became the first woman to secure the Saratoga trainer title.

August Belmont II Stables

In 1902, August Belmont II built a private training park on a 13-acre parcel directly across the street from the Sanford complex. His earlier personal stabling had been disrupted with the reconfiguration of the racing oval. Belmont would spare no details in his new digs. He built three barns around a courtyard with stalls for 84 horses; one for training, another for yearlings and the third for his polo string. As was typical of the day, there was a kitchen, dining hall and a blacksmith’s workshop. A summer cottage stood proudly amongst the tall evergreens along with a tennis court and graceful gardens. A $10,000 lighted tunnel was installed under the half-mile training track so training was not disturbed by traffic. To further protect the stable’s privacy and tranquility, a dense hedge was rooted along the Nelson Avenue side. The enclave was nicknamed “Surcingle,” in 84 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:19 PM Page 85

reference to a leather strap commonly used to teach young horses to accept girth pressure. In the second decade of the 20th century, a different kind of pressure put factions at war in Europe. August Belmont II was 65 years old when the United States entered World War I in 1917. At that time, he decided to curtail his racing interests in order to dedicate all of his energy to the Army duties for which he volunteered. Belmont’s entire crop of 1917 foals were destined to sell. The rest is history, but what isn’t recorded is whether Belmont’s already ‘big red’ colt was stabled in the “Surcingle” yearling barn prior to his sale. I like to think he was; those stables were designed to afford

A

Photo Provided

Clare Court / Belmont Stables circa 1940 - Courtesy of National Museum of Racing / NYRA

SaratogaPublishing.com

ugust Belmont II’s wife, Eleanor, originally applied the name My Man o’ War to a colt foaled in 1917 at Lexington, Kentucky’s Nursery Stud. The name was intended to honor her husband’s military service and the uncertainty as to the end of World War I. Before consigning the colt to the Saratoga yearling sales in 1918, the personal sublimation was removed and it was Man o’ War who extracted a final bid of $5,000 from Samuel Riddle.

Equicurean |85


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:23 PM Page 86

racing excellence, and it would be fitting for “de mostest hoss that ever waz” to have sprung from that setting. Belmont’s stable complex was renamed Clare Court in honor to Tom and Anne Clare, track superintendents from 1924 - 1960.

Madden Court

John E. Madden, a highly successful owner, breeder and trainer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries built stables on land positioned along the center of the backside of the main track. His former barn area is known today as Madden Court. Records are vague about which barns Madden actually built. The area, however, offers peaceful barn settings, and Madden produced winners – lots of them – while stabled there. Madden is the only horseman to reside in both the Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and the Harness Horse Hall of Fame. He bred an astonishing 182 stakes winners, including five Kentucky Derby winners, four Belmont winners, and Sir Barton, the very first Triple Crown winner. He was called the “Wizard of the Turf.” Kent Hollingsworth stated in his biography, “Mr. Madden is the only millionaire breeder of Thoroughbreds who trains, develops and races his own horses. He leaves nothing to chance. Every detail about his stable – the quantity and quality of the food, ventilation, disposition of every horse, the kindness of attendants – is planned and must be rigorously carried out.” Men and horses from these stables contributed hugely to the racing annals of Saratoga. The barns have long-since been absorbed into racing association ownership. Fortunately, other exclusive stables emerged on private properties.

Darley Stables

The largest equine estate borders Saratoga Race Course on Nelson Avenue. The 106-acre equine paradise is one of many worldwide racing centers owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and Ruler of Dubai. The legendary stable operates under the management of Sheikh Mohammed-owned Darley Stables.

Pictured above: The Darley Stables 86 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:27 PM Page 87

This property was first developed by Spencer Trask’s father in the late 19th century, and backed up to Spencer’s own estate, Yaddo. The elder Trask operated his picturesque land as a profitable farm until he sold to Edward F. Simms in 1920. Simms also owned and developed Xalapa Farm in Paris, KY, one of the most historically beautiful farms in the Bluegrass. He brought his elevated aesthete to Saratoga and soon erected stables, a blacksmith shop, trainer’s cottage and a one-mile training track. In 1930, John Hay (Jock) Whitney purchased the estate and named it Greentree (the Whitney family already owned the highly successful Greentree Stud in Kentucky and appendages thereof in New Jersey, Florida and South Carolina). Greentree Stud and Stable was one of the most enduring and successful Thoroughbred breeding and racing stables in the United States. The family-run operation bred 225 stakes winners all-told, including many champions. Whitney died in 1982 and left the property to his wife, Betsey Cushing Whitney. Greentree Stud and Stable dissolved in 1994, and their famous silks of salmon pink and black striped sleeves were permanently retired. The fact that manuscripts and archives were turned over to the Yale University Library defines the historical significanse of the Greentree operation. They occupy 84 boxes! It symbolizes the passing of an era. After Mrs. Whitney’s death in 1998, the Saratoga estate was put on the market. Robert and Janice McNair purchased the property in 2000 and renamed it Stonerside. The couple facilitated extensive renovations but masterfully maintained the estate’s tranquil beauty. Bill Mott had leased the training facilities prior to the McNair purchase and continued to train there through 2004. During this time, Mott trained the famous Cigar. That champion retired with earnings of $9,999,815, set a North American earnings record and won backto-back Horse of the Year titles in 1995 and 1996.

Pictured above: The Darley Stables SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |87


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:30 PM Page 88

Darley Stables began leasing the property in 2005 and purchased it in 2008. In 2006, their fleet runner, Bernardini, won the Preakness, Jim Dandy, Travers Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup and was named champion 3-year-old. His son, Stay Thirsty, won the Travers in 2011, and is prepping for major races in Saratoga this year. Darley installed an all-weather Polytrack surface to the track and replaced the aging stables, doubling their capacity from 46 to 92 stalls. In a feat to be admired, they maintained the historic profile of the original structures. They applied the same sensibility when replacing a deteriorated house with state-of-the-art living quarters for stable employees.

The Payson Stables

Another private stabling complex can be found closer to the Oklahoma Training Track. Virginia Kraft Payson owns two sta-

bles, each with a Caroline Street address. When asked about their history, she replied, “I bought property from the founders of Sperry’s Restaurant.” Mrs. Payson went on, “Mrs. Sperry told me that the barn at 357 Caroline St. was the oldest barn in Saratoga. Because of its historical significance, I spent more money restoring it than it would have cost to build new.” Payson was out to create a park-like setting for her horses and acquired several more lots across the street. In all, she put together 5-plus acres and added paddocks and plenty of grazing areas. Mrs. Payson reported, “In 1980, I built a new barn across the street and there are two stables for lead ponies nestled in too. Kiaran McLaughlin won the training title out of those barns in 2008.” Asked about this year, Mrs. Payson offered, “Nick Zito is going to return his horses to these stables. Nick was here when with Birdstone when he was a 2-year-old.” Owned by Marylou

Pictured: The Payson Stables

88 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:35 PM Page 89

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |89


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:38 PM Page 90

Whitney, Birdstone won the Champagne Stakes at 2 and went on to win the Travers and Belmont Stakes at 3. It was he that foiled Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown bid. This year, Nick moves into the Payson Stables with a Hall of Fame plaque to his name. Amongst his chargers is the gritty and highly accomplished Jackson Bend. James Bond stabled in Mrs. Payson’s barns for 13 years. When asked about her charge, L’Carrier, he was obviously happy to talk about him. “What a nice horse. He finished second to Cigar in the ’95 Breeders Cup Classic and third to him (Cigar) in the inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup. He was once the leading NY-bred horse. He wound up earning $1.7 million.” L’Carrier was out of Payson’s blue hen mare, Northern Sunset, and by her own Carr de Naskra (winner of the ’84 Travers and leading New York sire in 1990). Until his death in 2008, Carr resided along with 15 others retirees in her beloved “geriatric division” at Payson Park, in Indiantown, FL.

H. James Bond Stables

In more recent years, Bond has raced from his own 40-stall private complex located on the harness track side of Gridley Street.

This year, as always, the stable moved north as quickly as the Oklahoma Training Track opened in the spring. You can’t miss the “007” stable plaques. Grade 1 winners Behrens, Buddha, Devious Course, Mongoose, Tizway, Will’s Way and Val’s Prince were all developed under Bond’s tutelage. He’s been New York bred/trainer of the year five times, and to put that in perspective, consider that Hall of Fame and perennial New York trainer, Allen Jerkens, has but four such titles. When you talk with Bond he confirms the obvious; “First and most of all, I’m a race fan. I love horses and can’t do enough for them.” A lot of fans and many of the most educated ones will tell you that trainers like Bond make it easy to be a fan. I asked Mr. Bond what advantages he felt private stables offered and he was quick to answer, “You can control your environment, you don’t have someone putting a sick horse next to you or some crazy kicker - you can order feed and bedding in bulk because you have proper storage space. The help love it (Bond employs 18 people in his Saratoga racing stable), and when I’m ready to move in, all I have to do is unlock the gate. I know what I’ll find because when we close for the winter everything gets painted, the stall floors

H. James Bond Stables

90 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 6:42 PM Page 91

leveled...� That private stables have played such an important role in the careers of so many great horses is not an accidental happenstance. Building stables requires a big commitment and not all of it is capital; an equally important ingredient is horse sense. Space and stabling designed for the well-being of horses improves their chances to perform well. Long walks to and from the track are in themselves healthy for horses. So when you’re forced to wait for equine athletes to cross city streets, observe them carefully. There may be a champion amongst them.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |91


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:48 PM Page 92

92 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:52 PM Page 93

Taking on the

Linda Rice

T

Boys

Story by Brendan O’Meara Photos provided by NYRA.com

rainer Linda Rice hid behind a pair of trademark sunglasses and stared out onto the track on Closing Day of the 2009 Saratoga meet. She watched the field load for the Hopeful Stakes. Of particular interest were horses named Aikenite and One Note Samba. She didn’t train them. She didn’t own them. She didn’t even have a horse racing. And she certainly wasn’t rooting for them. After all, these two horses posed the only threat to her becoming Saratoga’s first female leading trainer. At this point she had been guaranteed a share of the Saratoga training title with perennial goliath Todd Pletcher. But who wants to share? No woman had ever been leading trainer at Saratoga in its previous 140 race meetings. Which was why she watched this race as intensely as she watched any of her previous 20 wins. For you see, Pletcher had racked up 19 wins, and with Aikenite and One Note Samba running, he had two shots to make it 20. And, yes, a few weeks ago, Rice had given this moment some thought. But that’s all it was, a thought. At 5:57 p.m., the gate blasted open and One Note Samba struck the lead. It lasted for just a quarter mile for every split he lost ground. Aikenite picked it up. Rice watched. Aikenite climbed from 12th to

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |93


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 5:56 PM Page 94

Linda Rice revisits the Winner’s Circle for her 1,000 win. seventh and turned for home breezing by horses. Aikenite passed four more to finish in third place. Rice had done it. The thought she entertained just a few weeks prior became a reality.

Linda is the youngest of four children, the only girl, delivered by Jean and Clyde Rice in 1964. Her oldest brother, Bryan, remembers her being “in their hair,” getting to sit wherever she wanted, being handed the new towel, “little things brothers complain about.” She was always an animal lover, particularly of horses, so when Clyde told the family they’d be leaving the swamps of Wisconsin to try a life at training horses in Pennsylvania, all six 94 | Equicurean

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:01 PM Page 95

Rices hopped aboard for the collective gamble. “It was a positive thing, all-in,” Bryan said. “We started to find out if it fed us. It was must-win. Did we enter a horse where it could win? Is that horse entered; can we claim him? Enter poorly, scratch, and enter better. We simply had to make more every day than we spent. ‘Well, we’ve got to win races.’” All the while, Linda soaked it in. She spent her time at the track with her father, inspired by black-and-white images of Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes by 31. “I raised my family at the racetrack,” Clyde Rice said. “We had a farm seven miles from Penn National. Linda grew up helping. She was always in the secretary’s office during the races reading the ‘Form.’ By the time she was 10 or 11 years old, she was a good handicapper.” Perhaps this was one of her greatest lessons at the track: gauging which horses were entered properly, which horses had a chance, and, as a result, which horses kept clients happy and paying the bills. It would serve her well in the future.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Linda Rice (center) wins the Saratoga Training Title.

Equicurean |95


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:06 PM Page 96

Bryan remembered riding horses on the farm and the three boys being more reckless, as boys are. With Linda, because she was the baby, they had “to be more delicate. We got her dumped a time or two so we had to recapture her confidence.” And recapture it she did, whipping around that oval entertaining images of jockeying like her hero, Julie Krone. “We didn’t encourage that,” Clyde said. The years crept forward into the 1980s, and the Rices were in the black. Linda felt drawn into racing’s orbit, but how could she break the news to her father? During the Keeneland September sales – which she’d been attending with her father since she was 9 – they were stuck in traffic on Route 64 East. Linda felt like she was sitting there for an hour as they waited for the accident to be cleaned up in the Kentucky fog. Linda was 17 years old, on the precipice of her future, about to make decisions that would affect the rest of her days. Her father wanted to know her plan for the rest of her life. Linda said she wanted to train horses. “Well, it would be a lot easier if you were one of my sons,” he said, echoing the sentiment that racing had

96 | Equicurean

always been a man’s game. Linda felt deflated. After all, her father was a leading trainer, so she thought he would be more excited. “It did not derail me. I took a big sigh and knew it would be an uphill battle from that moment on,” said Linda. Her father later said, “When she decided to train, we were delighted.”

“For a long, long time, she had to convince people to spend money on horses,” Clyde said. “Still, to this day, she’s accomplished more with horses. The people who spend money still can’t believe a girl can train. But they can.” Linda forged ahead and soon entered the fiercely competitive New York circuit. She never felt welcome. “I got to New York in 1991. When I first got there, a lot of the trainers were not friendly.” That would change. As her brother Bryan knew, she had the capacity to study and analyze the horses and condition book, to put horses where they belonged. She grinded through the 90s and established her name, winning prestigious stakes races like the Adirondack and Spinaway. In 2000, she conditioned Things Change to wins in the Saratoga

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/11/12 6:10 PM Page 97

Special, Sanford and the Hopeful. Then came 2009, when her barn at Saratoga primed for a historic girl-vs.-boys run. Linda watched Rachel Alexandra beat the boys in the Woodward Stakes and saw herself in that performance. It was the most excited she’d ever been watching a horse race. Two days later, she nosed Todd Pletcher, “Filly against the boys,” she said. But for Rice, “No experience matched winning the Saratoga title,” she said. She often gets emailed by horse owners – not only her own – who thank her. “After I won the title, they congratulated me because they have two daughters, or three daughters, and they were excited by the result.” Linda said afterwards that she hopes she is an example for others who struggle to accomplish something no one else has done before. As Saratoga’s first female leading trainer, it would seem that, yes indeed, she already has. Brendan O’Meara is the author of “Six Weeks in Saratoga.” Follow him on Twitter @BrendanOMeara and visit his website www.brendanomeara.com.

SaratogaPublishing.com

Equicurean |97


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/10/12 7:09 PM Page 98

Fasig-Tipton the Numbers Saratoga 2011 by

Leading Buyers by Gross: John Ferguson Mark Johnston Blandford Bloodstock LTD

13 horses 5 horses 4 horses

$8,530,000 $1,400,000 $1,380,000

Taylor Made Sales Agency Gainesway Lane’s End

Offered 18, Sold 12 Offered 14, Sold 10 Offered 9, Sold 6

$4,715,000 $3,280,000 $3,010,000

Medaglia D’Oro Low: $360,000

Sold 7 High: $1,200,000

Average: $583,571

Leading Consignors by Gross:

Leading Sires by Average (3 or more sold): Bernardini Low: $110,000

Unbridled’s Song Low: $185,000

98 | Equicurean

Sold 13 High: $1,200,000 Sold 5 High: $1,200,000

Number of Horses Sold: 103 Gross Revenue: $32,892,000 Average Price: $319,340

Average: $544,230 Average: $422,000

Photo provided courtesy of the National Museum of Racing

SaratogaPublishing.com


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/3/12 2:06 PM Page 99


Equicurean Thoroughbred side_Layout 1 7/3/12 2:09 PM Page 100

Equicurean 2012  

Saratoga Publishing's 2012 issue of Equicurean Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you