THE HORSES, THE PEOPLE, THE LIFESTYLE SUMMER 2013 Complimentary
Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty General Manager Robin Mitchell Production Director Richard Hale Creative Director Jessica Kane Advertising Chris Bushee Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic Designers Eric Havens Jessica Kane Contributing Writers Patricia Older Trina Lucas Marilyn Lane Dennis G. Hogan Brendan O’Meara Robert E. Bullock Teresa Genaro Photographers Sharon Castro Photography MarkBolles.com NYRA National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame
Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
THE HORSES, THE PEOPLE, THE LIFESTYLE SUMMER 2013 Complimentary
Thank you to Sharon Castro for photographing our beautiful cover of Equicurean. www.SharonCastroPhotography.com
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Printed By Fry Communications Equicurean is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing 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 a ny means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright (c) 2013, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper
Contents SARATOGA POLO
Welcome To Polo
History of Saratoga Polo
Colorful Polo Fashion
Jim Rossi & US POLO
SARATOGA Racetrack 48
A Good Read
The Big Red Spring
Paynter The Horse
Embrace The Race
Hoffman Int’l Properties
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SUMMER IN SARATOGA
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to Saratoga Polo
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The legendary grounds of Whitney Field in Saratoga Springs, New York will be kept busy this 2013 summer season as we anticipate record crowds and exciting play at the Queen of the Spas. With eight weeks of tournaments and 16 matches, polo aficionados can’t ask for anything better!
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ON THE FIELD The Women’s Week, presented by Alex and Ani featuring the Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge, will wow the crowds once again with high intensity play, and the Whitney Cup features a great balance of polo and parties that no one should miss. The U.S. POLO ASSN. will be bringing back their line of apparel designed exclusively for Saratoga Polo. More tournament action continues as RBC Wealth Management and Thomas E. Brockley present the Barrantes Cup Tournament Zappone Chrysler presents the Ram Hall of Fame Challenge Cup. IN THE STANDS More sponsors are helping to make the season sizzle, ranging from Mamatoga, and Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio, to Saratoga Strike Zone, D.P. Miller Associates, and Saratoga Horseworks, while other sponsors joined including Saratoga Publishing, Siemens, Lemery Greisler, and Select Sotheby’s International Realty.
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WELCOME OLD DALEY CATERING AND EVENTS Old Daley Catering and Events once again is partnering with Saratoga Polo as their exclusive caterer. Dining steps up a notch as the awardwinning team hosts a number of events for their sponsors and beautiful destination weddings. Besides the opulent events that they are known for, their expertise with amazing barbecues, casual and comfort foods, and the amazing VIP Pavilion all make Old Daley the perfect match. Looking forward to their 115th year in 2013, Saratoga Polo will be bringing exciting matches and world-class polo to Whitney Field with huge crowds, fun, parties and a season in Saratoga Springs that can’t be beat. ~Michael Bucci and James Rossi Co-owners of Saratoga Polo Association
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2013 Special Events All Season Long
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Oh Say Can You Sing National Anthem Sponsored by Mamatoga and Adirondack Appliance Trophies Sponsored by Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio Printing and Scorecards Sponsored by Quill Media Group Crowd Photos Sponsored by Image Photo Polo Photos by Cliff Oliver July 12: Celebrate Saratoga Tournament
Alex and Ani Bangle Bar Party of 3 performs at Saratoga Polo after the match sponsored by Insurance Agency Group of NY July 14: Celebrate Saratoga Tournament Saratoga Living Magazine Cup
Alex and Ani Bangle Bar Hat Contest
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signature cocktails created by ten Saratoga Springs bars and restaurants featuring Moet Hennessey. SPURS USA Classic Country Band After Match Party sponsored by Hatsational DEI Hat Sale by Hatsational July 19: Alex and Ani Presents Women’s Week Featuring the Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge
Alex and Ani Bangle Bar Alex and Ani Cup July 21: Alex and Ani Presents Women’s Week Featuring the Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge
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Alex and Ani Bangle Bar Whitney Cooper Fashions Veuve Clicquot Cup Best Playing Pony Awarded by Saratoga Horseworks
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July 26: Mid Summer Celebration Tournament
Party of 3 performs at Saratoga Polo after the match sponsored by New York Horse Park & Zume Fitness
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August 9: RAM Polo Hall of Fame Challenge Cup. Tournament Sponsored by Zappone Chrysler
July 28: Mid Summer Celebration Tournament August 2: Whitney Cup Tournament
Alex and Ani Bangle Bar Party of 3 performs at Saratoga Polo after the match Insurance Agency Group of New York Heaven Hill presents The Larceny Whiskey Tasting Party August 4: Whitney Cup Tournament
Alex and Ani Bangle Bar Heaven Hill presents The Larceny Whiskey Tasting Party Best Playing Awarded by Saratoga Horseworks
August 11: RAM Polo Hall of Fame Challenge Cup. Tournament Sponsored by Zappone Chrysler
Mount Cinnamon Great Granada Getaway Giveaway
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August 16: The Hector and Susan Barrantes Cup. Tournament Sponsored by RBC Wealth Management
August 30: The SPA Anniversary Cup Tournament
September 1: The SPA Anniversary Cup Tournament
The DP Miller Associates Cup August 18: The Hector and Susan Barrantes Cup. Tournament Sponsored by RBC Wealth Management
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The RBC Wealth Management Barrantes Cup Heaven Hill presents The Pama Cocktail Party Red Carpet Photos by Smile Lounge Photo Booth NY August 23: The Yvlisaker Cup Tournament
Music Party of 3 after the match Sponsored by New York Horse Park August 25: The Yvlisaker Cup Tournament
Hat Contest SPURS USA Classic Country Band Sponsored by Hatsational! and Prospect Mortgage
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History Saratoga Springs Polo
Throughout 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 Twentieth 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, 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 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 and exclusive spa. In 2012, the Saratoga Polo brand reached a new level by the announcement of a partnership with national apparel sponsor U.S. POLO ASSN. In the 115 years 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 the world. ◊
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Polo Primer A breakdown of terms you’ll hear on a typical day at the polo field
Chukker Also called a period. There arc 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 Two mounted umpires (one for each side of the field) consult each other after each infringement and impose a penalty only if they agree. Ir they do not agree, they ride to the sidelines to confer with the third man, known as the referee.
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 tum all plays to offense. No.4, or the back, is the defensive player whose role is principally to protect the goal. 18 | Equicurean | July 2013 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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.
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.
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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.
tail Shot Hitting the ball behind and across the horse’s rump.
Hook A player may spoil another’s shot by putting his mallct 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.
Neck Shot A ball which is hit under the horse’s neck from either side. This is approximately 80 percent of their game.
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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.
Sideboards Boards that are 9 to II inches along the sidelines. Sideboards are optional.
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.
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presented by Alex and Ani featuring the Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge
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“the Greatest Women’s Polo Match Ever” For fans of Saratoga Polo, the Women’s Week Tournament, presented by Alex and Ani featuring the Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge, and has become the must see matches of the whole summer. As an example, last year, on July 20, The Asperion Group Polo lead by iconic player Sunny Hale, (the highest rated women’s polo player in history,) battled the Las Vinas Team with an aggressive Tiffany Busch leading the charge. It was so good that some people have called it “The Greatest Women’s Polo Match Ever”. In overtime, Las Vinas defeated Asperion 8-7. It’s this kind of excitement that Saratoga Polo consistently brings to Whitney Field. Jim Rossi, managing partner of Saratoga Polo looks at this opportunity with excitement and satisfaction,
“Saratoga Polo was one of the first polo clubs to present a major women’s tournament. With the help of sponsors like Alex and Ani and Veuve Clicquot, we are proud to bring this fastest growing part of the sport to the Saratoga Springs destination.” Rossi continued, “The Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge is one of the top women’s tournaments in the United States.” As a tradition from Veuve Clicquot, guests at the Clubhouse will get a chance to sabre a bottle of champagne with a sword guided by their sabrage experts, and Alex and Ani will host their Bangle Bars during the Women’s Tournament and throughout the season. +Alex and Ani Presents Women’s Week featuring the Veuve Clicquot Women’s Challenge public matches
Sharon Castro Photography
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will be on Friday, July 19th and Sunday, July 21st at Saratoga Polo Association’s Whitney Field at 5:30 p.m., with the gates opening at 4 p.m. You can also get the VIP Experience at the Clubhouse Tent with food and exclusive tickets. Buy them one at a time, or a table of ten! To purchase tickets, or for more information, go to Saratogapolo.com, or call (518) 584-8108.
Sharon Castro Photography
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Fashion, Style, Color, POLO
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Beginners Guide to Polo Are you a first timer at Polo who doesn’t understand the rules of the game? Don’t let that stop you from enjoying a sport that has been passed down through the centuries and spanned continents. First played more than 2,500 years ago in the kingdom of Persia, polo has been practiced by military figures like Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Winston Churchill, George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower and corporate warriors including Averell Harriman, Will Rogers and Walt Disney.
Are there time periods? Each match consists of six period or chukkers. A chukker is seven minutes and 30 seconds in duration. Play begins at mid-field with a throw-in or bowl-in by the mounted umpire. From there, it goes end-to-end, only coming back to mid-field after a goal is scored. After an attack on goal, if a goal judge waves the flag in the air, it is an apparent goal. If he waves it down at the ground, it, in his estimation, has gone wide. After a goal is scored, the team goals exchange erasing
any advantage that might occur due to wind, sun or playing conditions. At seven minutes, a first warning horn will sound. If there is no score and the ball remains in play after the first horn, not going out of bounds or touching or crossing the boards, the play will continue for the remaining 30 seconds until the double horn sounds ending the chukker.
What about the Players? There are four players on each team.
Players carrying the number one on their back will typically stay out in front of the play toward the opponent’s goal. Players wearing the number two or three are typically the highest rated and best mounted professionals. It is their job to be the playmakers, moving from end to end and attacking the goal or feeding the number one player. The player wearing the number four will typically remain behind the action. This player is frequently the last line of defense and, if he/she moves up, the responsibility of that number four position will be passed
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to a colleague, lest there not be a hole on defense. As for player ratings, players are rated between minus two to a possible 10 goals as determined by the U.S. Polo Association. To calculate a team rating, the player ratings of the four players are added. The team with the lower rating at the beginning of the match will start out with that difference on the scoreboard.
How do they hit the Ball? There are six shots used in polo. When a player mounts, he or she mounts from the left side of the pony, just as with any equestrian sport. Shots taken from that left side are known as nearside shots. A nearside forehand is on the left side going forward. A nearside backhand is taken on the left side going to the rear. An offside forehand is the power shot in polo. It is taken on the right side going forward and can travel more than 100 yards easily. The offside backhand is on the right side going to the rear. Neck shots are taken underneath the neck of the pony and tail shots are taken underneath the tail of the pony. It should be noted that the manes of the ponies are clipped close and the tails are wrapped to enable the players to easily work on all sides of the pony without becoming entangled in the mane and/or tail.
beyond the scope of our ‘Beginners’ article) Other penalties are assessed to ensure the safe play of the game. There is no dangerous riding, two-onone defenses that would sandwich a player, bumping behind the saddle or reaching in front of a player’s pony to attempt to get at the ball. When one or both of the mounted umpires see a penalty, they will blow the play dead. If the two mounted umpires cannot come to consensus on a penalty, they will look to the sideline where a referee or third man will assist with the call. As for defense, if two players are operating on the same side of the pony, that is to say the nearside of one pony and the offside of the defending pony, a defender can try to steal or hook the ball away from the attacker. The defender can also bump, or ride off, the opposing player. Here, the bump must be clean with the defender not hitting in front of or behind the saddle, creating a dangerous riding condition. ◊
What are the Rules? When a player touches the ball, he or she establishes the line of play. An opposing player crossing that line at any angle will most likely incur what is known as a crossing infraction. Depending upon the severity of the cross or where it occurs, one of two mounted umpires can assess a variety of penalties. (The details of the penalties go
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Saratoga Polo Co-Owner Gets Elevated to National Polo Prominence By Robert E. Bullock, Photos provided For regulars to Saratoga Polo, co-owner Jim Rossi is the ubiquitous presence who, at the end of each match, draws the action to a close with the artful sabering of the Veuve Clicquot for the trophy presentation. Yet, to those who follow the national polo scene, there is much more to this local sporting impresario.
On January FIRST of this year, Jim Rossi was named the Chief Marketing Officer for the USPA Marketing, LLC. That decision meant that the gentleman from Saratoga was now in charge of everything from branding and sports promotion, to sponsorships and broadcasting all grow the sport of polo in the United States.
For nearly a decade, since Jim and co-owner Mike Bucci purchased Saratoga Polo, Jim has served as a member of the U.S. Polo Association’s (USPA) marketing committee. With the increased excitement that has come to polo across the country, there was an opportunity for the USPA to spread the word about the sport in an even bigger way with the creation of a new organization specifically focused on marketing the sport of polo, and Jim Rossi was the perfect fit for that role.
After graduating Skidmore in 1982, Jim took a passion for marketing and created a practice that included major marketing initiatives for global clients. Some of these included the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway, American Express, ATT and IBM, among others. It was the innovative marketing at Saratoga Polo, often in partnership with the USPA and the National Polo Museum and Hall of Fame, and his service as a marketing volunteer for
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the USPA, that makes Jim Rossi work well for the sport’s top marketing role. In the first few months since taking the reins of the USPA’s marketing efforts, the results have been impressive. Listed in the success column is the first national broadcast of the U.S. Open of Polo in nearly a decade, and a global broadcast commitment for this summer’s Westchester Cup in Great Britain, one of the most storied rivalries in the sport of polo. Jim points to the challenges of marketing the sport that means so much to him. “One of the challenges for us is that polo is not always viewed as a sport, or a lifestyle. There is a competitive aspect that is getting lost. We have to educate people that polo is a real sport that is exciting to watch and exhilarating to play at every level,” he said. Despite these hurdles, how does Jim view his new opportunity? “In the past 10 years I have made a big investment in the sport of polo,” he said. “I have seen first-hand through my work at Saratoga Polo and with other properties that when the stars align with players, spectators and sponsors, it is a magical experience.” ◊
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Cuko Escapite Fan favorite returns to Spa City in polo leadership role By Robert Bullock, Photos provided
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For more than a decade, Saratoga Polo fans have been mesmerized by the on-field abilities of an extraordinarily talented professional polo player from Mexico: Cuko Escapite. Recently, owners Mike Bucci and Jim Rossi announced, with great enthusiasm, that Cuko will be back in 2013 with a much expanded role: player/manager. I sat down to speak with Cuko as he prepared to make his way north from Florida to begin the Saratoga season. Here’s what we had to say.
Question: Cuko, how did you get started in polo? Cuko: I got started in polo when I was about 20-years-old. I had galloped race horses for my family since I was seven. One day, I was invited to watch a polo match. I immediately fell in love with the sport. Ever since, it was all I did or thought about. Today, it is my life.
Question: Do you have any other family members who play? Cuko: I have an uncle who played but he is retired now. Then, there are my two cousins; Ulysses and Pelone Escapite. They have played at Saratoga many times and will be back again this year.
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Question: When did you first play in Saratoga? Cuko: I started playing at Saratoga Polo in 2002 for a couple of tournaments. Since then, I have only missed a couple of summers, due to injuries.
Question: What makes Saratoga so special? Cuko: I enjoy the night life in Saratoga-the great restaurants and all the things to do, especially polo. And all of the beautiful people are in Saratoga during the summer.
Question: What makes Saratoga Polo so special? Cuko: The fans are one-of-a-kind. They are great supporters. This place is really second to none. The weather is beautiful and so is the club. The people tailgating field-side really make this club like one from the old days.
Question: What will your role be this year? Cuko: Well, I head up Polo Team Operations at the Saratoga Polo Association. This is a huge responsibility and my goal is to make sure every sponsor, every player and each spectator has a fantastic time.
Question: Any final thoughts? Cuko: Let’s play polo! ◊
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From Left to Right: Herb Pennel, Zenias Colt, Tom Wheeler and Charlie Wheeler, Sr. Photos provided
Pioneers of Polo Charlie Wheeler loves the sport of polo. He has good reason to because his family, beginning with his great grandfather Charles Whitney, were playing polo on the flat fields in Loudonville and Long Island. Horses were always a part of life, as Wheeler started young going with his parents to Pittsfield Polo; his earliest memories are of “hot walking” horses at just four years old. When riding, he was so short, he had to put his feet above the stirrups so he could post. Although he never got a chance to play polo, his passion for the sport lives through the history of his family
Charlie Wheeler, Sr. in his Polo days
as pioneers of polo in the Capital Region. In fact, you’ll see Charlie and his wife every weekend at Saratoga Polo cheering on the sport. Charlie Wheeler’s great grandfather Charlie Whitney moved to Loudonville in the early 1900s and built what was called Wyebrook Farm. He had raised Guernsey cattle and polo ponies, and was one of the main forces for polo in the region. He helped mount the Troop B Polo Team, which was on Washington Avenue. Soon after, they started getting teams together only pausing when the first World War began. After the war, Whitney worked on Old Niskayuna Road at Farrell Field just past
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Loudonville School. While that flat land became Loudonville Polo, still today you can still see some of that land where the practice field was sitting on across from what is now Cobble Hill. They played there from the early 1930s until 1941 when World War two began, in front of crowds of up to 3,000 people, competing with teams from all over the Northeast; from Montreal, West Point, and even Connecticut. Lieutenant John Waters, who later became General Patton’s son in law, was a frequent player for West Point at the Loudonville Polo Fields. After the war was over when the Farrells closed their polo fields, Wheeler’s father and uncle joined the Pittsfield Polo Club. Subsequently, they went on to win a 12-goal tourney in 1948, and a National Tourney in Oakbrook, Illinois. The brothers continued to play through the 1950s when interest in polo slowed down. It was then that Wheeler’s Uncle Tom started an indoor field in Loudonville in front of where Charlie Whitney’s original home was. This indoor polo kept up until the 1970s. Thomas B. Wheeler III and Peter O’Keefe (his step-brother) continued polo afterwards. The original team in the 1930’s had some well known local names such as Hank Evans, “Doc” Glockner, Charlie Whitney, as well as Wheeler’s father and Uncle Tom, who joined when he was 17 or 18 years old. They were the only grandfather/grandson combination playing at the time. The love for the sport of polo in Wheeler’s family continued through the late 1980s as his daughter Stephanie played at Cornell as a co-captain.
When asked what he loves about polo, Wheeler chuckles and says, “Frankly, it’s a gracious evening out.” But honestly, it’s a fast-moving sport and having watched it all my life, I understand when there are excellent players and those that are trying hard. To see a skilled player move down the field and to pass, all the way down 150 yards, it’s just a wonderful thing to see.” Now in its 115th season, Saratoga Polo pays tribute to those pioneers of polo from around the region like Charlie Wheeler, his father, his daughter Charlie Whitney and all the people who continue the legacy of this sport. ◊
Charlie Wheeler, pictured in his back yard saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Saratoga Springs Race Course Noted as one of the “Top 10 Sporting Venues In The World” by Sports Illustrated, Saratoga Race Course is one of horse rac-
ing’s most beloved tracks. With historical ambiance and modern day amenities and style, Saratoga Race Course is the place to find top Thoroughbred horse racing July through Labor Day each year. The 40-day meet draws the top horses, trainers and owners in the world to try their luck at “the Spa.” Known as the Graveyard of Champions, Saratoga Race Course has earned a reputation for being a challenging track for favorites. In fact, the dominant Man O’ War lost his only race against the aptly named Upset here at Saratoga.
General Information 2013 Saratoga Race Course Meet 40 days, July 19 to September 2, Dark Tuesdays Post times: 1 p.m. daily except: 11:35 a.m. on Travers Day, Saturday, August 24; 2:30 p.m. on Friday, August, 30; and 12:30 p.m. on Labor Day, Monday, September 2. For information prior to the meet please phone (718) 641-4700 or (516) 488-6000. For information during the 2013 Saratoga meet (July 19 to September 2), please call (518) 584-6200.
Saratoga Race Course is a 350-acre racetrack in Saratoga Springs. The 2013 meeting will be 40 days long from Friday, July 19 to Labor Day, Monday, September 2. Saratoga is the home of the 144th Running of the Travers Stakes on August 24. • Main Course: 1 1/8 Miles • Turf Course: 1 Mile • Steeplechase/Inner Turf Course: 7/8 Mile • Attendance Capacity: 50,000 • Trackside Dining: 2,200 • Total Seating Capacity: 18,000, including picnic tables and benches.
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Trackside parking: $10. Gates open at 6:45 a.m. (Refunds available until 10 a.m. No refunds on Travers Day, Saturday, August 24) General Parking: Free Oklahoma Preferred Parking: $5. Gates open at 9 a.m. Handicapped parking available at Clubhouse and Grandstand. Applicable fees apply.
Admission Grandstand Admission: $3. Clubhouse Admission: $5. Travers Day: Grandstand $5, Clubhouse $10. Reserved seating sold separately. Breakfast: No admission charge for breakfast except on Travers Day, August 24, when Clubhouse admission fee applies. No refunds on Travers Day. Children under age 12 are admitted free with parent or guardian. Admission gates open weekdays at 11 a.m. (except 8/30 and 9/2), weekends at 10:30 a.m. (except 8/24), Travers Day, August 24 at 7 a.m. Party at the Spa (8/30) at noon.
Current Day Seat Tickets Unsold seat tickets and “Sun Seat” tickets for the current day go on sale each raceday at 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Reserved Seat Booth located at Gate A (Union Avenue). (Tickets are available at 7 a.m. on Travers Day, August 24) Limit four per person. Cash, American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Ticket price does not include admission. For more information on reserved seats, call (800) 814-7846.
Coolers are permitted in the backyard, apron and Top of the Stretch areas only. Coolers are not permitted anywhere inside the building. No glass is permitted to be brought onto the premises. Coolers may contain plastic bottles or cans and are subject to search by NYRA Security personnel. Pop-Up tents and umbrellas are restricted to the backyard area only. They are prohibited on the apron and by the Paddock. However, if a pop-up tent or umbrella in the backyard is blocking another patron’s view of a TV monitor, tote board, etc., then the obstruction must be removed. It is a long-time race track tradition that you can “reserve” a bench seat with a newspaper or program. We ask that you respect this tradition, but please be aware that security personnel will not intercede in any debate regarding this matter. Backyard Picnic Tables: Another tradition is that anyone coming to the track early (after 7 a.m.) can reserve a picnic table by putting their articles on that table (one table per person). You must then exit the track when the morning breakfast patrons leave and pay to re-enter at the time the gates open for racing. After the official opening of the first floor Carousel (11 a.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. weekends; 7 a.m. Travers Day), patrons may “reserve” seating by placing their property on the table. “Reserved” tables not claimed by post time of the first race are subject to release. There is NO SMOKING permitted anywhere inside the building including the reserved seats, box area and all dining areas. Wheelchair Access Areas: There are specially marked areas for wheelchairs only behind reserved seat sections J (Clubhouse) and M (Grandstand).
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Resale of tickets: Tickets may not be resold or offered for resale at a premium in excess of the amount allowed by any federal, state or local law or regulation; the NYS legislature prohibits any resale of tickets within 1,000 feet of the Race Track’s property line.
Track Services Binocular Rentals Located on the first floor, Clubhouse and Grandstand.
For your convenience, ATM machines are at the following locations: • First floor Grandstand at the end mutual window, closest to the finish line • First floor Grandstand near First Aid • First floor Grandstand adjacent to Saratoga Silks • Picnic area, outside the Guest Services Office • Picnic area, Mutual Bay adjacent to the Reserved Seat Box Office • Second floor Clubhouse behind Reserved Seat Section C
Located on the first floor, Grandstand, behind the Carousel Mini Theatre.
Lost and Found
Located in the Security Office, first floor, Mezzanine, west end.
Race Replay Centers Located in the First Floor Clubhouse and the Carousel Mini Theatre.
Attention Fans: Please take note of Saratoga’s new and more fanfriendly dress code: •
Paddock Saddling Area & Winner’s Circle: No shorts or abbreviated wear permitted. Gentlemen—collared shirts required. • Box Seat Area: No shorts or jeans permitted. Gentlemen— suits or sports jackets required. • Turf Terrace: Neat Casual Attire. No jeans, shorts or abbreviated wear permitted. Gentlemen—collared shirts required. Management reserves the right to use its discretion to determine neat casual attire. • At the Rail Pavilion, The Porch, Club Terrace & Carousel Restaurant: Gentlemen—no tank tops. No short-shorts, cutoffs or abbreviated wear permitted. Proper attire at management’s discretion. • Luxury Suites: No abbreviated wear permitted. Gentlemen—no tank tops. Proper attire at management’s discretion. • Clubhouse: No short shorts, cut-offs or abbreviated wear permitted. No tank tops. Proper attire at management’s discretion. • Grandstand: Shirts and shoes required. People 12 years old and over must abide by the dress code.
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Meadowland Farm – A Landmark Kentucky Estate
This Landmark farm has one of the great Kentucky mansions, a 14,000 sq. ft. neo-classical mansion, a 1885-circa historical restored guesthouse and a state-of-the-art equestrian facility with 48 custom stalls, 3 grooming bays, 3 wash stalls, an indoor walker and a 240’ indoor driving arena and a 270’ outdoor riding arena. Formerly the LaCroix Farm, this stately mansion sits at the end of long tree lined drive overlooking 82 picturesque Bluegrass acres and 2 fountained lakes. Offered at only $4,500,000 www.Meadow-land.net
MARILYN HOFFMAN | HOFFMAN INTERNATIONAL PROPERTIES
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.MagnificentProperties.com DALLAS 214-698-1736 | LEXINGTON 859-523-2812
Exquisite European Equestrian Estate on 50 Fenced Acres in Argyle, Texas
20 Minutes to DFW International Airport. The 2009 main home features the highest possible quality and refinement with 12,205sf, 120 piers, Samaca Slate roof, Brown Ozark dry stack stone exterior, Venetian plaster walls, 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half baths. A 4,000 bottle wine cellar/ dining room for 12, 4-car garage, security cameras in/out, a stunning “Man Cave” game room with huge bar, balcony, poker tables, movie screen, cigar closet, fabulous antique gaming machines, train & arcade and attached guest apartment. An infinity saltwater pool/spa and stream, a professionally installed Zip Line, tree house, trolley car and “zoo”. The horse facilities include a matching show barn, an additional barn, a round pen, a 160’ x 205’ Kiser riding arena and a beautiful 20 acre hay pasture. An office building with huge garage, a 3 bedroom guest house, a manager’s home & stocked lake with fountain and so much more! Offered lavishly furnished with antiques and art, or unfurnished. See the virtual tour on the agent’s website: MagnificentProperties.com or UltimateRanches.com See the virtual tour on the agent’s website: MagnificentProperties. com or UltimateRanches. com Contact Agent Vanessa Andrews Cell: 817-901-4030
Vanessa Andrews | HOFFMAN INTERNATIONAL PROPERTIES
email@example.com | www.MagnificentProperties.com DALLAS 214-698-1736 | LEXINGTON 859-523-2812
Flat Iron Ranch
The Flat Iron Ranch - Bonham, Texas 60 minutes from the DFW Metroplex! Just listed and new to the market. A 356 acre serene, private country showplace built by a top commercial builder for his own family. This 14,000sf+- under roof, highest quality Mediterranean home, features approximately 13,000sf+- of air-conditioned luxury living space. There are several large living areas, high ceilings, huge picture windows, an elevator, wine cellar and so much more. A fabulous master suite with fireplace, a large covered terrace, his & hers separate baths and closets, three additional bedroom suites all with double sinks in the bathrooms and all overlooking the beautiful lake and gazebo below. A horse barn with 4 stalls each 20x20, a breeding stall, a large riding arena and a manager’s home. See the agent’s website for more information or for an appointment to view call Vanessa Andrews: 817-901-4030. Take the virtual tour at: MagnificentProperties.com Price $5,900,000
See the virtual tour on the agent’s website: MagnificentProperties.com or UltimateRanches.com Contact Agent Vanessa Andrews Cell: 817-901-4030
Vanessa Andrews | HOFFMAN INTERNATIONAL PROPERTIES
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.MagnificentProperties.com DALLAS 214-698-1736 | LEXINGTON 859-523-2812
The Spa City Celebrates 150 Years of Racing
horoughbred racing has no finer setting than Saratoga Race Course, which this year will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its opening. Named one of the world’s greatest sporting venues by Sports Illustrated, the past comes alive in the historic grandstand every summer as fans experience not only the best in racing, but the unmatched ambience and charm of historic Saratoga Springs.
guaranteed a minimum of 24 days of racing at the Spa. In 1963, the construction of the Northway provided a direct highway route from the Thruway exit in Albany to the racetrack. Nowadays, the population of Saratoga Springs triples to 75,000 when the thoroughbreds return each summer, with those who come for the races discovering the area’s amazing breadth of history and culture.
Already famous for its mineral baths, Saratoga held its first thoroughbred meet just a month after the Battle of Gettysburg. Staged by gambler, casino owner, ex-boxing champion and future congressman, John “Old Smoke” Morrissey, and beginning on August 3, 1863, the four-day meet drew thousands of locals and tourists who saw Lizzie W. defeat Captain Moore in the best-of-three series of races.
With more than 1,000 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, Saratoga Springs was honored with the first American Heritage Magazine “Great American Place” award and the National Trust for Historic Places’ “Great American Main Street” award. Walking Magazine cited it as one of America’s “Most Walkable Cities.”
Emboldened by the success of that first meet, Morrissey promptly enlisted his friends John R. Hunter, William Travers and Leonard Jerome to form the Saratoga Association. Its first responsibility was the construction of a new, permanent grandstand on the current site of Saratoga Race Course. Across the street, the “old course” became the barn area known as Horse Haven, with the vestiges of the original track still encircling the stables. While the summer meet routinely drew weekday crowds of more than 10,000 during the 1950s, there was concern that the Greater New York Association, formed in 1955, would run a concurrent meet downstate. In April, 1957, Governor Averill Harriman signed into law a bill that prohibited a simultaneous downstate meet and also
Saratoga Springs is home to the National Museum of Racing, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), the National Museum of the Dance, Skidmore College and many art galleries. Resplendent in Victorian architecture, it also boasts Yaddo Rose Gardens, the Little Theatre at SPAC, the Saratoga Music Hall and the Foundation for Baroque Music. Nearby, Saratoga Battlefield in Stillwater is dedicated to “The Turning Point of the American Revolution,” while Ulysses S. Grant’s Cottage at Mt. McGregor is where the bankrupt former president and Civil War hero wrote his memoirs and restored his family’s fortune. Although some may quibble with the order, it’s no wonder that Saratoga’s motto is “Health, history, and horses.” ◊
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All Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Man o’ War, War Admiral, son of own winner. was the 1937 Triple Cr
Williams Co llins Whitne y at the tr ack
1890 Saratoga Race Course
r Company 1901 Hudson Valley Moto ratoga Springs. built its first car in Sa
Au gust 13, 1913 Old Rosebud wins the United States Ho tel af ter winning th e Flash 11 days earlier.
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Novelty By TERESA GENARO, Founder of Brooklynbackstretch.com
In 1910, one of the Spa’s most historic races produced one of its most memorable winners. Novelty, a two-year-old colt owned and trained by Samuel Clay Hildreth, took Saratoga by storm. He made his first start at Saratoga on August 10, finishing third in the United States Hotel Stakes. Three days later he ran in the Saratoga Special. He had been beaten by Naushon and Iron Mask in that first Saratoga start and those two both returned in the Special. The Hildreth colt was thought to be at least a notch below his competitors and he did not attract much of the betting action at the Spa that day. Those few who did back Novelty had their confidence rewarded: he won the Special by a length and a half, with Iron Mask second and Naushon back in third. The victory would be the first of five in a merry August journey for the bay horse. Racing for the third time in eight days, Novelty defeated Textile in a match race, but even two wins in five days weren’t
enough for the Hildreth trainee to get any respect when he ran in the Hopeful; his victory in that race on August 21 was described as a “distinct surprise” by the New York Times. By August 27, when Novelty won the Rensselaer, the Times had come around, referring to the “great colt” that carried 135 pounds to his fourth victory of the Saratoga meet. In most years, Novelty would by then have run out of races to win at the Spa, but 1910 was no ordinary racing year in New York. The passage of anti-gambling laws had led the downstate tracks to decline their dates, so by special provision, three dates were transferred to Saratoga, enabling the Futurity to be run that year. And so, four days after taking the Rensselaer, Novelty added the Futurity to his Saratoga bounty. He ran in five races in three weeks, winning four of them and becoming the most celebrated and popular two year-old horse in the nation.
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Story by Brendan O’Meara, Photo courtesy of NYRA 60 | Equicurean | July 2013 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
Calvin Borel’s rise to national prominence didn’t happen overnight. “He will be most It didn’t happen remotely quick, but remembered as the nothing about Borel came easy or quickly. He likely wouldn’t have it any jockey of Rachel other way. For his efforts he rides into Alexandra, the 2009 the Hall of Fame this summer with Horse of the Year.” very own plaque at the museum on Union Avenue. He heard the news while mowing his lawn then went back to cutting the grass. His career started when most kids are getting their driver’s licenses. He dropped out of school early and studied the ways of the track under the tutelage of his brother Cecil. He rode the Louisiana bush tracks and saw his performance push him to Arkansas and Kentucky. He’s amassed over 5,000 wins, a milestone he reached earlier this year. His career earnings tally over $121 million. Borel, 46, had a career-best year in 2007 when he earned $10,007,968, consequently the first of three Kentucky Derby wins, this one aboard Street Sense. Borel is the only jockey to win three Kentucky Derbys over a four-year stretch. He won with Street Sense in the 2007, Mine That Bird in 2009 and Super Saver in 2010. He will be most remembered as the jockey of Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year. He rode her to an undefeated three-year-old season winning the Kentucky Oaks, the Preakness Stakes, the Mother Goose, the Haskell Invitational and the Woodward Stakes. Borel’s fearless riding along the fence on the racetrack gave him the name Bo-Rail. Replays of his 2007 and 2009 Kentucky Derbys illustrate his nerve. He has won riding titles at Churchill Downs, Oaklawn Park, Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park and Delta Downs. He is one of two riders who have over 1,000 wins at Churchill Downs, Pat Day being the other. Borel enters the Hall of Fame on Friday, August 9. ◊
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Five Chances to Wager $15,000 of Someone Else’s Money
On August 3, the same date of the first race at Saratoga 150 years ago, Sesquicentennial Honorary Chairs Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson will present the first prize winner with his or her choice of which horse to direct the $15,000 win wager on. The $15,000 wager-choice promotion will be offered each Saturday, thereafter, throughout the remainder of the
2013 race season. The other designated races are: • • • •
August 10, the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap August 17, the $600,000 Alabama Stakes August 24, the $1 million Travers Stakes August 31, the $750,000 Woodward Stakes
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Each individual will be chosen randomly from a contest entry form that must be completed on the Saratoga150.com website. Contestants must provide their full name, email address and telephone number on the entry form and indicate that they have read and understand the official contest rules. Email addresses, names and telephone numbers submitted for this contest will not be shared or sold. This brief overview is provided by Saratoga 150, but the Official Contest Rules should be reviewed by entrants. For more information visit www.saratoga150.com/experience/ saratoga150-contest. ◊
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It Must Be The
WATER Story By Dennis G. Hogan, Photos by MarkBolles.com, others provided
150 years and counting! Clearly, historic Saratoga Race Course offers something unique for just about everyone. Meander through the clubhouse and rub elbows with nattily attired owners and trainers, or enjoy a spirited picnic with friends under the tall pines in the backfield. Though if you wander slightly beyond the paddock you’ll come upon The Big Red Spring. To drink from it requires a leap of faith—for its taste is surely acquired. Yet the waters that bubble up to its tap may be the real reason for Saratoga’s lasting popularity for before there was racing there were the waters—and these rich mineral springs have kept people coming back for centuries.
The Iroquois called the region Kayaderossera and were reverent in their regard of ‘the Medicine Springs of the Great Spirit.’ Early settlers were kept away from these healing waters
though an exception was made in the case of Sir William Johnson, who in 1738, arrived in the Mohawk Valley from his native Ireland to establish a trading post upon his uncle’s land. Johnson developed a special relationship with the Mohawk people. He learned to speak their language and adopted many of their customs. Most importantly, he recognized them as valued trading partners. In doing so, Johnson came to be noted as an honest man and friend of the native tribes.
In 1755, Johnson and the Mohawk fought against the French at the battle of Lac du Saint Sacrement, later named Lake George, after the then presentday king. His success earned him the title of Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and he was awarded 100—thousand acres of
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Mohawk Valley land. As he grew older his health waned and he was particularly troubled by a musket ball that sat lodged in his leg years after the skirmish. To his delight, he was escorted by a band of braves to the hallowed springs near Saratoga and after four days of basking in the waters he sent word to his friend and colleague, General Philip Schuyler.
may stem from the “…indolence and luxury of a city life.”
Above: Etching of Sir William and the Mohawks. Below: Dipper Boy circa 1890
“My dear Schuyler, I have just returned from a visit to a most amazing spring, which almost effected my cure, and I have sent for Dr. Stringer of New York to come up and analyse it.” Thanks to Johnson’s musings, word was out, and the region’s waters figured prominently in the discussions of chemists and physicians. In 1793, Dr. Valentine Seaman performed what may be the first analysis of the waters. His findings, published in 1809, claimed the contents to be a mixture of iron, lime, salts, alkali and carbonic acid. He lauded the water with transformative and healing properties fit to treat all manner of ailments that saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
The curious and infirm flocked to the region, though it was all just a swampy wilderness until the arrival of Gideon Putnam. In 1789, the Massachusettsborn Putnam leased 300 acres upon which he built a sawmill whose timbers made their way down the Hudson to New York City, though in 1802, his keen entrepreneurial sense was positively visionary. He bought a single acre near High Rock Spring where he built Putnam’s Tavern and Boarding House. In 1805, he purchased an additional 130 acres and this parcel would become the village of Saratoga Springs. Putnam enclosed several of the known springs within wooden structures and built roads leading to and from them. As a steward of the springs he imposed restrictions upon their use; beware all who might sully these precious resources or make attempt to bottle the waters for their own profit. He died in 1812, though his efforts to comfort and Equicurean | July 2013 | 67
lodge the earliest visitors have secured his legacy as one of the founding fathers of Saratoga. Shortly after Putnam’s demise the nascent village fell into the hands of a righteous citizenry who viewed Saratoga’s ascent as little more than a deal with the devil. Drunkenness and debauchery did abound, and the newfound elders saw fit to outlaw alcohol consumption, gambling and any other discretion which might tread upon the sanctity of a pious life. These acts
diverted the steady stream of pilgrims away from Saratoga and toward more permissive and accommodating destinations. After all, the tiny hamlet was not the only destination for those who sought comfort from malady and ills, or a relaxing place to enjoy a drink of something stronger than mineral water. The neighboring town of Ballston had their own springs and their own merchants who sought to attract those looking to refresh, revive and renew. This competition harmed Saratoga’s once fruitful reputation. With their economy in near shambles the Saratoga elders became concerned for their own health, and in 1819, the village was declared a special township. This gave them the opportunity to govern themselves and repeal many of the restrictions that kept thirsty travelers and their money away. In 1826, Saratoga Springs was officially incorporated, though it was the arrival of Dr. John Clarke, in 1823, that truly put Saratoga Springs upon the map. Clarke was a New York City-based physician and proprietor of one of the nation’s first soda fountains. Having amassed great wealth from the sale of carbonated beverages, he retired to the
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upstate hamlet and purchased the land that included Congress Spring; first developed by Putnam years earlier. Naturally, he recognized the opportunity before him and within a few years he began bottling the effervescent and storied waters. Clarke’s Saratoga water became quite the rage though it was his shrewd marketing acumen that cemented the brand, for he refused to allow its sale to other spas—and most assuredly, not a drop was poured anywhere near the town of Ballston. And if one wanted to bathe in the heralded elixir, one would have to go to Saratoga Springs to get it—and that’s just what they did.
been realized, and the springs of Saratoga were recognized as a jewel in the crown of the Empire State. Presently, the town boasts 17 natural springs into which one may dip their cup. And no matter what it is that keeps you coming back to Saratoga, be it the great racing or a show at SPAC, to drink from these fountains is to tap the past and discover the real reason people have returned to ‘the Spa’ for generations. ◊ To download a map and a detailed description of the springs, go to www.saratogaspringsvisitorcenter.com
Thanks to Clarke, the village was again the leader in the quest for the public’s attention and their dollar. Grand and glorious hotels and lodges sprang up, and in 1833, the railroad from Albany to ‘the Spa’ was completed. From this time on, Saratoga Springs was the premiere destination for those seeking to be cured, comforted or just plain seen. Word had spread far and wide of the magical affects to be had by ‘taking the waters.’ Yet what bubbles up—must run down. Between all the bathing, bottling and use of the water as a cheap source of carbon dioxide, many of the springs that dotted the landscape were reduced to a trickle or had run dry entirely. Saratoga’s unique resource was in trouble and some feared that ‘the Queen of Spa’s’ best days were over. The state legislature took note as well, and in 1909, Governor Charles Evans Hughes signed a bill that created a State Reservation at Saratoga. Thirteen Hundred acres of land and 122 of the known 163 springs had, in effect, been wrested from private ownership and enterprise. The entire parcel was placed under restriction and no one was permitted to tap the waters for several years thereafter. Within time many of the springs returned to their effervescent selves, and thanks to the pragmatic hand of Albany, Saratoga’s livelihood was saved. Dr. Simon Baruch, was the next visionary to offer stewardship for the beloved springs, and it was his dream to create a bigger stage for the town than had ever been imagined. He hoped to develop Saratoga into a world-class destination on a par with the great spas of Europe. He died in 1921, though in 1929, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then governor of New York, appointed a commission that transformed Baruch’s dream into reality. Simon’s son, Bernard Baruch, was placed in charge of the project that saw to the construction of the elegant and stately Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt baths. A grand hotel bearing the name of town founder Gideon Putnam also rose upon the property, and in 1935, Spa State Park opened to the public. In 1966, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center added another facet to the town’s economic livelihood. Simon Baruch’s vision had saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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The Come Back Kid Paynter Beats The Odds Story By Patricia Older, Photos provided
He was poised as a three-year-old to burst onto the racing scene as one of those horses to watch—bold, beautiful and powerful. Zayat Stables’ Paynter had drawn post nine for the 2012 Belmont, his fifth start of his career. Besides I’ll Have Another, he was the only horse in the field that had run triple-digit figures. He came out of the starting gate strong and immediately took the lead, holding out against the 11 other horses, a handful of them tightly packed behind the 16.2 bay stallion, each pushing for the lead and as they rounded the top of the stretch, Union Rags, who had running in third place, began to pull up alongside him until a few feet before the finish line, nosed him out and took the win. He went onto to win the Haskell, and while the announcer later called his effort “a powerhouse invitational performance,”
he seemed not quite as strong as before, starting out in second place before falling pushing himselfto third, finally taking over the first place lead. Soon after the race, Paynter came down with pneumonia and his owner, Ahmed Zayat, spared no price in treating the promising young stallion. He quickly rebounded and was given a clean bill of health, so Zayat set his eyes on the Travers for the tenacious colt. “At the Haskell, he got everyone’s attention,” said Barn Manager Justin Zayat. “So we were all set for the Traver’s. We were excited about his capabilities.” After another thorough examination at a New Jersey clinic, Paynter, who had been personally named by trainer Bob Baffert, was cleared to return to the track.
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“He was doing great,” said Justin. “He was galloping and galloping, so we started training at Saratoga.” But shortly after arriving, Paynter again spike a fever and began having constant bouts of diarrhea. “He was spiraling downward,” explained Justin. Paynter was taken to Upstate Equine Clinic in Schuylerville where veterinarian Laura Javsicas, a board certified internal medicine specialist, quickly took a liking to Paynter. “We call her Paynter’s angel,” said Justin. “She literally stayed with that horse 24/7.” “When they brought him in he was severely dehydrated, he had a fever of 104 and diarrhea, requiring immediate treatment,” said Dr. Javsicas. The race horse began receiving antibiotics, antiinflammatory medications and intravenous fluids. Tests were run and ultrasounds performed, but the exact cause of his diarrhea could not pinpointed. Dr. Javsicas explained that diarrhea results in inflammation in the gastrointestinal, which can cause toxins to enter the bloodstream. Those toxins can cause inflammation throughout the body, a condition known as endotoxemia. One of the most devastating side effects of endotoxemia is laminitis, a potentially fatal condition for most equines; and a career ender for thoroughbreds. While Paynter struggled to recover, within two weeks he began to show signs of laminitis, the same disease that took the life of racing legend Barbaro, Seattle Slew and Secretariat. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
As Dr. Javsicas fought to save Paynter’s life, the world was also looking on. “Everyone was asking about him—he had everyone’s attention,” explained Justin. “So we decided to start answering everyone on Twitter. We wanted it to be an open book.” So, as Dr. Laura sent them text messages every couple of hours on Paynter’s progress, the Zayat team literally tweeted them out to the waiting world. “We were doing everything we could to treat it including icing his hooves,” continued Dr. Javsicas, who said it became an hour by hour battle to save the horse’s life. Even so, Paynter was still showing signs of the disease—there was some thickening of the lamina, the tissue that connects the hoof wall to the coffin bone. At least there was no rotation of the coffin bone. That is when Dr. Javsicas consulted veterinarian who is also a farrier, Dr. Bryan Fraley, and they decided to put special casts on all four legs below the fetlocks to give support to the feet and take pressure off the coffin bones “We said forget about the money, it was all about saving the horse, forget about racing—we wanted him to be alive,” said Justin. “We prayed and prayed.” There were times, he Justin, they had to seriously consider having the gentle giant euthanized. “But every time we talked about it, he’d get back up and start battling again,” said Justin, adding that no matter what test or procedure Dr. Javsicas wanted to perform on Paynter, the 1200 pound stallion let her.” He let her do whatever she had to with him.” Within another two weeks, Paynter, who had been at Upstate Equicurean | July 2013 | 71
for a month by then, began showing signs of improvement, but he had lost 300 pounds, and still had mild fevers.
And gain he did, 40 pounds the first week, 30 another. It looked like Paynter was on the road to recovery.
While the battle with the laminitis seemed to have worked, Paynter was not out of the woods yet. It would take several ultrasounds later, Dr. Javsicas spotted the problem—the initial infection had caused another—an abscess on the cecum, an appendix-like portion of the intestines which helps with digestion.
“He had started dancing on his toes and having fun,” explained Justin, noting that they still weren’t fully thinking yet he would ever race again. “And we began to realize that maybe we can take him a step further.”
Now the doctor and the owners were faced with a new life threatening condition. Treatment for the abscess is one of two methods— long-term antibiotics or surgery. Paynter could still die. “We were concerned because he had already been on antibiotics for a month and if we left it, it could cause more problems—the other intestines could adhere to it or it could cause widespread infection,” explained Dr. Javsicas. But surgery on the nowunderweight horse was just as dangerous. “Because he had lost so much weight and had other issues, he was not your straight-forward surgical patient,” Said Dr. Javsicas. Paynter was put on a special high calorie diet and get him ready to go to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School for the surgery. Within days after the surgery Paynter began to return to his old self, frolicking and feeling feisty. He soon went to a rehab center to put on weight. “We told [Bruce Jackson] he had an agenda and that was to put weight on Paynter,” said Justin.
So Paynter return to Baffert, who admits he has a special spot in his heart for the affible thoroughbred. “We said, ‘See if he wants to race,’” continued Justin. “And he was galloping, and galloping strong.” Deciding to give the tenacious colt another chance to stretch his legs on the race track, the Zayats entered him in a seven-furlough allowance race on June 15 at Hollywood Park. “I was excited for him,” said Justin. “He is, after all, the people’s horse—he had brought all these people together and not just race fans—all kinds of people who love him and want him better.” It was like Paynter had never been away. From the moment the gates open, he took the lead and before he crossed the finish line, had opened it up to five solid lengths. “It is his comeback race,” said Justin. “He is an amazing horse.” As for the future, Justin said they are taking their time with the stallion, but noted they were considering bringing him back to Saratoga for the 2013 meet. “We may bring him back for the Whitney or the Woodward, we are considering it” said Justin. “Everyone loves Paynter and so do we.” ◊
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Story by Brendan O’Meara, Photo courtesy of NYRA
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Horses were her jungle gym. At the age of six months, Rosie Napravnik, the country’s most celebrated jockey in “I want to be 2013, crawled under, around and even climbed on top of horses. It a jockey and was a prearranged marriage 25 I’m going to be years and counting. leading rider,” Rosie is the youngest of Rosie said. three and her sister, Jasmine “Jazz” Napravnik, six years her senior, always had a little, red-headed shadow in her wake wherever she went. “She was quite the tomboy,” says Jazz, “always trying to keep up with the older kids.” Being the youngest came a sense of ownership, as in everything belonged to her. “When I was showing a pony as a small child she got to sit on him between classes,” says Jazz. “Getting her off was the difficult part. It was her pony according to her. There’d be crying until she could sit back on the pony again.” Jazz watched and looked over at her sister, listened to her sister, listened to her ambitions. When Rosie was seven she turned to her sister and said, “I’m going to win the Triple Crown.” Jazz looked at her sister and watched as Rosie took a step back. “Okay, I’m in Maryland,” Rosie said. “I’m going to be leading rider in Maryland.” Which, of course, in 10 year’s time, she would. Fear. Jockeys can’t have it. If they do, it must be buried deep down and contained. Fall down, get back up. Rosie was six years old, full of spunk and energy from playing soccer, gymnastics, figure skating, and, of course, riding horses. She was given her first pony, a hand-me-down, and Jazz and Rosie goofed around, careening around the farm. Rosie’s pony was feisty and tough to manage and bucked her off and she slammed down on the earth and broke her arm.
“She got up and stomped off after that pony,” Jazz says, “got the pony and wanted to get back on. But we told her she had to get a cast first.” Rosie would suffer a spinal compression, fractured vertebrae, a broken wrist, a broken finger, a broken tibia, and a broken fibula. Rise. Rosie had reached a point where the only place to turn was the racetrack. Ponies were too slow now. Five-foot-two and barely 100 pounds, she fit the mold. She was too young, but the skill she showed with and for horses had those at the farm thinking they were in for something special. At 13, she rode a horse that ran off on just about everyone else at the farm, even the men. Rosie simply galloped along without wasting any voltage. “All of us were amazed,” recalls Jazz. “We couldn’t figure out how she ran these horses the boys couldn’t gallop half the time.” They thought that here was a special talent and they wondered just how far she would go. Maybe the Triple Crown wasn’t so far fetched an idea. Horses run for Rosie. Rosie took a year off. She was 15. Her inner circle fretted. Would her idle hands take up the pipe? Hoist cheap beer? Mold the clay of her life into implements of destruction? Rosie knew horses weren’t like a pair of figure skates she could throw in a closet until the ice froze over again. She wanted to feel what it was like to be a teenager before she passed the point of no return, before she went down horse racing’s rabbit hole. Jazz maintained, “Look, she has a plan. She’s taking this year off. You force it on Rosie Napravnik her this year she’s going to resent it next year. That’s when the beginning of the rest of her life will start. Jazz galloped horses at Pimlico Race Course in Equicurean | July 2013 | 75
Baltimore while she attended Towson University. February 9, 2004 approached—Rosie’s 16th birthday—Jazz’s phone rang, “I’m coming down on the weekends.” It was Rosie. It was time to put the plan into action. She had waited long enough. Jazz introduced Rosie to Holly Robinson, a horse trainer on the Maryland circuit. Robinson had seen this before, small girls who, by virtue of their size, want to be jockeys. “I want to be a jockey and I’m going to be leading rider,” Rosie said. Robinson also hears that a lot. Many people say those exact words and never make it. Yeah, right, thought Robinson. She looked down at Rosie, wishing she could help, “I wish you the best, but I don’t ride bugs, much less bug girls.” Rosie boarded with Robinson and drove to the track with her by 4:30 A.M. Robinson trained her horses; Rosie galloped for Dickie Small, another trainer at Pimlico. Rosie then bummed a ride back to Robinson’s where she cleaned up and went to school by 11 A.M. Rosie supplemented those classes with night classes too. Then started it all over the next day. “If somebody’s willing to do something for themselves, people will help,” says Robinson. While Robinson was out of town, Rosie was sick and overslept and missed night school. It was her second absence and this was grounds for expulsion. Robinson immediately penned a letter writing down Rosie’s hours, Rosie’s ambitions, Rosie’s work ethic (she made good grades, too). Name another kid who starts her day at 4:30! They overlooked the absences. Neither Rosie nor Jazz were rattled by the initial rejection; Rosie was green and a girl. Jazz knew Rosie would have to prove herself so she tracked down the overnights for the steeplechase meet. They skimmed the entries and looked for horses with no riders or double-booked horses. “I made her cold call all those trainers,” Jazz says. “She was never allowed to give up when things got tough. She was okay. This sucks, this was not good, get over it. Now how do we make it better?” At 17, Rosie finally took out her jockey license in the name A.R. Napravik so no one would know she was a girl. On June 9, 2005, aboard Ringofdiamonds, her first career mount at Pimlico, she won. Even Robinson, who doesn’t ride girls, let alone bug girls, came calling. Her owners heard about this A.R. Napravnik and said, “Please can we put Rosie on our horse.” “By then I couldn’t get her,” recalls Robinson.
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Maylan Studart, a female rider on the New York circuit, studied Rosie. “Her hands are so quiet,” says Studart. “She rides on the lead, mid-pack and from behind and squiggles up. She has perfect timing. That’s what I try to do, the right timing at the right moments.” And what made Rosie such an asset, such a value to have was her sense of horsemanship.—She’s bilingual in English and Equine. “She can come back and tell you ‘This horse needs a tongue tie, or an equipment change or a drop in lower level. I respect her and if she says something like that, I listen. Some riders the first thing they say is put blinkers on them. Really? I wish it was that easy.” “She’s a real horseperson who has done it all her life,” says Phil Schoenthal, a trainer who rode her early in her career at Colonial Downs and Laurel Park, “so she
really knows what she is doing and can help a trainer. A lot of jocks just become jocks because they are small, but have no real clue which end of a horse eats.” When Schoenthal returned to Maryland after Colonial, “She really caught fire and it was hard to get her when you wanted.” Pants on Fire, the apotheosis of Rosie, continued. Pants on Fire became Rosie’s first Kentucky Derby mount in 2011. She got a leg up from Kelly Breen and walked out onto the track. Jazz, her sister, mentor, life coach, and best friend, watched on. “It was so surreal, it didn’t quite hit me until they played ‘My Old Kentucky Home’, ” says Jazz. Rosie became the first female jockey to ride in all three legs of the Triple Crown in 2013 and her fifth-place finish aboard Mylute in the Derby is the highest finish by a woman ever, breaking her own
mark set in 2011 when she finished ninth aboard Pants on Fire. Jazz and Rosie ran in an alumni pony race at Great Meadow Farm in Virginia. Rosie, aboard Classik Storm, and Jazz aboard Waracha, trailed her younger sister. Jazz went to pass Rosie on the inside and Rosie clamped down on the fence and yelled, “Ha HA!” Jazz had more horse and swung Waracha to the outside and blew past her sister. Jazz turned back to her sister and yelled, “Ha HA!” Jazz galloped ahead, finishing a spot ahead of her prodigy sister, who would go on to win riding titles in Maryland, Delaware and New Orleans, earn millions in purses, and become the first woman to ever win the Kentucky Oaks. But those days would come. There Rosie ran, red hair tucked tightly in her helmet, The Girl on Fire. ◊
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by Dennis G. Hogan Photos courtesy of Budweiser Clydesdales
This year we celebrate 150 years of racing at Saratoga, though the storied ovals sesquicentennial is not the only milestone of note. For it was 80 years ago, in April of 1933, that a team of draft horses hitched to a red, white and gold wagon clopped their way along Pennsylvania Avenue - their mission: deliver a single case of Budweiser beer to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
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The act marked the end of Prohibition and the birth of America’s iconic and most beloved delivery service, the Budweiser Clydesdales. From humble beginnings these mighty horses have become an interchangeable symbol of the Budweiser brand and a living link to our nation’s colorful past. Eberhard Anheuser immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1843. He gathered great wealth as a soap and candle manufacturer before going on to become a partner in the Bavarian Brewery, of St. Louis, Missouri. He gained full control of the company by 1860, and marked the following year with the marriage of his daughter Lilly, to a young clerk by the name of Adolphus Busch. Adolphus went to work for his father-in-law and became a partner in the enterprise. Under his guidance the firm benefited from the use of new breakthroughs and technologies such as pasteurization, a process that increased a beverage’s shelf life, and refrigerated rail cars, which transported the prized brew into every corner of America. In 1876, they rolled out the earliest barrels of Budweiser, America’s first nationally marketed brand of beer. The company was renamed the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association in 1879. All was well until 1920, when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution officially ushered in a 13-year period known as Prohibition, a decidedly failed experiment in America’s history. Temperance had won the day though alcohol’s sudden lack of
supply was highly unpopular, and its sale became the domain of bootleggers who shook and stirred crude concoctions behind the closed doors of speakeasies. Prohibition put many small breweries and distilleries right out of business, though Anheuser—Busch adapted to the period and purveyed several non-alcoholic beverages, corn syrup and even ice cream. In 1933, the 21st Amendment saw Prohibition repealed. And for the Busch’s, a celebration was in order—the brewery was back and there was beer to be delivered. The Busch family members were consummate horsemen, so it was with great excitement that August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father, August A. Busch, Sr., with a six-horse Clydesdale hitch at the brewery’s St. Louis headquarters. August, Sr. was so thrilled by the gift that he was driven to tears, and the sons were so proud of their acquisition, they sent a second team on a whirlwind tour throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. With six horses in line and driver atop, the rig made its way through the Holland Tunnel and along the cobblestone streets of Manhattan, where a case of ‘Bud’ was delivered to former New York Governor Alfred E. Smith, in thanks for his support of Prohibition’s repeal. From there, it was on to Boston, Providence, Manchester, Baltimore, and finally, D.C., and the White House. All along the route children clapped, old men hollered and dogs barked as the sextet with wooden hitch in tow thundered
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through their towns. Happy days were indeed here agai—the beer began to flow, and thanks to the Clydesdales, a new American tradition was born. Scotland’s river Clyde flows north through the lowlands of Lanarkshire, a region flush with deposits of iron and coal— though it may be more well-known as the birthplace of the Clydesdale. During the 1600s local horses were crossed with Belgian and Flemish stallions, and in the 1700s the Duke of Hamilton imported six black Flemish coach horses to further enhance the breed. Taking their name from the local region the first usage of the term Clydesdale came at a Glasgow horse exhibition in 1826. A breed of great strength and docile demeanor, they made excellent workhorses and their usage spread throughout the United Kingdom and the world. Known as ‘the breed that built Australia,’ they were indispensable contributors to the development and maintenance of preindustrial cities and farms. Their export to North America occurred in the mid-1800s. Clydesdales are highlighted by exceptionally strong legs, which are straight and planted beneath the shoulder, an immense pulling power and a most notable gait in which each leg is lifted off the ground to reveal the bottom of the foot. They can grow to be 16 to 18 hands, weigh upwards of 1,800 lbs, and may occur as bay, black, gray, roan or chestnut. They have a broad forehead, wide muzzle and their facial profile is slightly convex. A gentle manner and utility of power has made them one of the most popular breeds of draft horse in the world. Though the appearance of tractors, trucks and other heavy machinery in the early 1900s heralded the end of a lengthy era saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
in which horses were the primary source of transportation, delivery and raw pulling power. The gas combustion engine had swept aside the utility of the horse with the simple turn of a key, and ‘horsepower’ became a term more commonly applied to a motorized vehicle’s performance. Horses remained a key component of rural and agrarian life though their partnership with mankind shifted to areas of recreation, competition and showmanship. The Clydesdale was now more likely to be seen pulling carts in parades and county fairs, as opposed to the more arduous tasks of hauling freight or clearing land. This brings us back to August A. Busch, Sr.’s gift of 1933. The original Anheuser-Busch hitch consisted of six Clydesdales though had soon been upped to eight, and thanks to the public’s affection for the mighty team they continued to make strides as proud colorbearers of the Budweiser brand. They were shipped by train car to all points of the country and appeared in numerous parades and fairs, though by the 1940s they would be transported in large vans. The 1950s saw the addition of the Dalmatian to the team. They were the traditional coach dogs: agile and easily spotted, they were used to guard the horses while drivers attended to deliveries. The Budweiser Clydesdales grew to be nothing short of an American powerhouse, and their vast popularity led to the addition of a third touring hitch, with the East Coast, Midwest and Western United States all represented. The teams are based in Merrimack, New Hampshire, St. Louis, Missouri and Fort Collins, Colorado, respectively. Each group travels with 10 horses, allowing for two spares, and their transport requires three 50-foot tractor trailers; two trailers for the horses, and one for the cart, harnesses and other vital equipment. Equicurean | July 2013 | 83
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One thing you’ll notice as a team drives by is that the Budweiser Clydesdales have a few distinguishing characteristics. They are all geldings, a minimum of four years old, at least 18 hands at the withers and weighing in at between 1,800 and 2,300 lbs. They are all bay, with reddish-brown coat, a black mane and tail, four white and fully feathered stocking feet and a wide white blaze. As a rule they have short names like Luke, Baron or Captain so that drivers may more easily communicate with them. And as older Clydesdales are pensioned, new ones are born. For many years they were bred at Grant’s Farm, the Busch family’s ancestral St. Louis home, and pre-civil war home of saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
General Ulysses S. Grant. In 2010, a new facility opened in Warm Springs, Missouri. This state-of-the-art, 300-plus acre farm is home to over 100 of these gentle giants and on average 30 to 40 Clydesdales are foaled there each year. The majestic venue is open regularly for tours, but if you haven’t made it to Warm Springs, it’s a sure thing you’ve seen them starring in one of their very own television commercials. The Super Bowl is the culmination of a hard-fought football season, and a showcase for advertisers seeking the world’s largest television audience —and this year it was a baby Clydesdale that stole the show. The 60-second spot, entitled ‘Brotherhood’ was voted by USA Admeter, as the most-favored advertisement of the whole lot. Equicurean | July 2013 | 85
It tells a story of bonding between a foal and its loving and dutiful trainer. A day arrives when the gelding is ready to join the celebrated hitch team and the two pals must bid one another farewell. The now mature horse is next seen barreling along in full parade regalia when, by chance, he recognizes his one-time caretaker watching proudly from the sidelines. The horse breaks away and makes a heart-felt run toward the welcoming arms of his former trainer who settles him down with a warm embrace and gentle pat on the head. At once, we are reminded of the unconditional love between man and beast, an understanding that is timeless and indisputable. Set to the soundtrack of Fleetwood Mac’s emotional ballad, ‘Landslide,’ the heart-warming commercial is but another that endears us to these great and noble animals. Budweiser joined the Twitter community by asking fans to name the starring foal. Many suggested Stevie, or Landslide, though Hope was the winner of the contest that received some 60,000 entries. It should be mentioned that Anheuser-Busch and their beloved horses were acquired by multi-national beverage giant, Inbev, in 2008, so ending their association with the rich and storied Busch family heritage. Though it may be said that from the banks of The Clyde, to a present from two loving sons—the Clydesdales are Scotland’s gift to us all. With each appearance they thrill and amaze and bring joy to our hearts—and like so many others, I can’t wait until next year’s Super Bowl, when they’ll again steal the show. For a schedule of the Clydesdales’ upcoming appearances, go to www. budweiser.com.
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Dave Erb aboard Needles in their 1956 win in the Kentucky Derby
Unbroken the story of Dave Erb, oldest living jockey to have won the Kentucky Derby Story By Marilyn Lane, Photos provided
Dave Erb has done what Hemingway once said you had to do, “D’ Aboud il faut duer.” The great writer said it in his own brand of French but it was meant to translate to, ‘First one must last’. Dave Erb has done that and done it well. Born in York, Nebraska in 1923, the yet nimbleminded, fit and trim gentleman can still saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
shoot under his age in golf. “I didn’t score well today,” Erb complained, “the course was still so wet.” He had scored a 90. “I generally score in the mid 80’s and on a good day do a little better,” he said. Of course, I had to ask for his best score of the year, and with a sparkle in his eye, replied, “ I shot an 82, but you know, the
year’s just half over.” The retired owner/ trainer/jockey has lasted pretty well, don’t you agree? Erb started riding as a young farm boy at the bush tracks in the Midwest and by the time he donned white pants he was a pretty savvy jockey. He resides in
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the Hall of Fame. No, not the one on Union Avenue though many of us think he deserves to, this rider’s plaque hangs in the Nebraska Hall of Fame. Any racing personality would be proud to be there keeping company with legendary racing greats and National Hall of Fame residents such as jockey Steve Brooks and trainers, Marion Van Berg, his son Jack, Robert Wheeler and John Nerud. Nebraska roots are strong, all right, Erb is just months away from his 90th birthday, and John Nerud celebrates his 100th this year. Jack Van Berg looks 100, and he would be the first to laugh if he were to read this. Anyone who has known JVB for any time at all has heard him say, “It’s not true about the droughts in California, the rain just gets lost in my wrinkles when I nap.” He started saying that 25 or more years ago. Erb recalled a match race he rode in Prescott, Arizona. “It was before I rode my first official winner so it had to be 1939 or earlier.” He said you could almost see him tighten up as he talked, “The track was a bullring and the turns were sharp as hell, the inside fence was wire and on the far turn the outside fence was a high white wall. That trainer actually tied that kid in the saddle.”
I’ve been around this game a very long time and I do not know of any other jockey who could call race riding a career who hasn’t broken one but several bones, and in some cases almost all of them. That is just remarkable! There were four Triple Crown winners during the years Erb rode. A loss in the Preakness cost Erb a chance to have been the jockey of another. He rode during the great Calumet era and rode against Hall of Famers, Johnny Adams, Ted Atkinson, Johnny Longden, Willie Shoemaker, Eddie Arcaro, Steve Brooks, Donny Brumfield, Eric Guerrin, Bill Hartack, Conn McCreary, Ismael Valenzuela, Jack Westhope, Manny Ycaza, Johnny Roytz and Don Pierce. Erb not only remembers nearly every of his fellow-riders but he recalls individual races and tendencies of other riders as if it all happened yesterday. When asked about the horses he rode Erb took on what I would call a look of reflective appreciation, and began, “I remember so many of the horses but I guess people will just want to hear about ones they’ll recognize.”
By the 50s Erb had moved into the big leagues and on June 11 of ’55, Mesh It’s a common term to Tenney boosted the gifted tell a rider to get tied on, but I Dave Erb aboard Swaps as the mighty chestnut sets a new world-record for a rider aboard the mighty didn’t know some actually did mile and a sixteenth on dirt. Swaps for the California it! Erb continued, while never Stakes at Hollywood Park. shocked to learn this: “I loved to ride losing the awe in his voice, Regular rider, Willie Shoemaker was and I was lucky to ride some of the best “That kid went on to be a really great horses of my era and do you know, I never serving a five day suspension and watched trainer, but darn I just can’t remember his on as Swaps defeated a field of good older broke a bone,” Erb proudly said. My jaw name.” horses carrying Erb around the oval in dropped here as much as it did to hear 140.2, to set a new world-record for a I learned about Dave Erb’s career the story about a kid tied in the saddle. mile and a sixteenth on dirt. Shoemaker during a series of interviews. I was I haven’t had time to research it yet, but 88 | Equicurean | July 2013 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
(Above) Dave Erb’s first win at a recognized track. Note the ‘skull cap” Erb is wearing in this pre-helmet era. (Top Right) Official Kentucky Derby Jockey Colony photo 1953; Erb’s first Derby ride. Erb is in the top left corner. (Bottom) “Bill,” the Horse, retired to the farm with the Erb’s in 1988.
piloted Swaps in all but two of his final 20 starts, his sub-rider in the Santa Anita Derby was Johnny Longden. This would not be the last time Longden and Erb would share a page in racing history. Since Longden completed the Derbydouble with Majestic Prince in 1969, Dave Erb has been the only jockey/trainer who’s had the chance to match him. Erb rode Needles to his Derby win in 1956, then returned as a trainer to saddle the longshot, Helio Rise, in 1971. Needles was so named because as a foal he was so gravely ill that he was constantly having to be injected with medication, but he was far from a weakling during his three-year old campaign. Derby-winner, Needles missed winning the Preakness by just over a length. Erb explained, “I could tell he may not be up to a win in the Preakness, he hadn’t quite recovered from the Derby.” saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
The Belmont was a different story and again Needles and Erb were back in the winner’s circle and at year’s end Needles was voted champion three year-old colt. In all, Erb piloted the gutsy colt 11 times, winning five of them, three times he was the runner-up and together they had one third place finish. Needles was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. Other Hall of Fame or Champions to carry the talented reinsman were Berseem, Idun, Leallah, Pucker Up and Swoon’s Son. Erb was aboard Swoon’s Son for 21 of his 22 stakes wins. That (son of The Doge,) was a sound and versatile horse, he set track records in sprints and middle distances on both the dirt and turf. “He just missed winning a million dollars in an era when very few horses had those kind of earnings,” said Erb. The ex-rider sounded disappointed for the horse when he added, “He only lacked
$30,000 and he was sound enough to continue racing but his owner, E. Gay Drake thought he’d done enough and he took him home to stand at stud.” Asked why he retired from race riding, Erb told it this way, “I wasn’t 40 yet, but I’d been at it for 22 years and just got tired of reducing.” He added, “I could have become a steward in Chicago but I turned it down and they gave the job to Ted Atkinson.” In 1960 Erb took over the training chores for a New Orleans oil man, Roger Wilson. “I had ridden a lot of horses for him, and now he wanted me to train for him,” Erb said. In 1963, he enjoyed great success with Wilson’s, Hurry To Market who was voted American Co-Champion Two-Year-Old Colt. Wilson and Erb went to the Derby together in 1971. “We both understood we were probably not going to run too well, but Mr. Wilson Equicurean | July 2013 | 89
Dave at the Entrace to the farm. Photo by Sharon Castro
wanted the Derby experience and I wanted it for him too, he was dying of cancer.” When asked about Dave Erb, Hall of Fame trainer, Jack Van Berg was quick to say, “Dave was a damned good rider, intelligent and the finest gentleman you could ever meet.” Jack sighed, and added, “When Dave quit riding and went to training, that man he went to work for, Roger Wilson was the best sort of man possible.” Never one to hide his tender emotions, Van Berg added, ‘I’ll always remember when my dad had that stroke, Roger put me on a plane and saw to it that I had anything and everything I needed to get home as quickly as possible.” In 1988, Dave Erb retired from the industry and he and his wife, Lenni settled on a small farm near Greenfield Center. They brought a lovely gray horse named Bill with them, “We bought him from Jack Van Berg and he had been our stable pony, he loved
it here,” said Lenni. Seeing pictures everywhere and even a painting of Bill makes it clear they loved having Bill with them too. Lenni (or Lee as her race track friends know her) continued to say, “That tree line back there was his back fence and all we had to do was put a gate at the bridge.” The grounds at the Erb farm are simply beautiful and when I asked if one of them had studied landscape architecture, she and Dave both smiled broadly as Lennie replied, “oh no, nothing like that, I just planted things where Bill had made a pile.” The horse died at an advanced age and is buried on the farm. Whether it be on the racetrack, on the golf course or living life, Dave Erb has displayed courage, valor and success and remains as he began, a true gentleman. Hemmingway would be very proud of Dave Erb, he has lasted well. ◊
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A LIFESTYLE By Trina Lucas, Photos by MarkBolles.com
It’s hard to tell the story of brand that was created to speak for itself. Especially when that brand represents a sport thousands of years old, the sport of kings that reigns in young and old, men and women, skilled athletes and amateur fans. To some, it would seem daunting to attempt to brand The Horse Racing Lifestyle®. For Mike DeAnzeris, founder of EMBRACE THE RACE®, it is humbling. “Every day, I am overwhelmed by the scope of what we’re doing,” he states. “There is a vulnerability that comes with planting a flag in the ground of an industry rooted in centuries of history.” Athletic through high school and college, Mike considers himself a typical sports guy, from baseball to hockey, any field, any court. He’s never been on a horse, but followed racing for years and dreamt of owning horses one day. “I was drawn to racing because of the dream,” he recalls. “There are dreams of glory at every turn. Owners dream of standing in the winner’s circle, jockeys dream of riding across the saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
finish line, fans dream of that $2 exacta box cashing in at $200. And every one of those dreams begins and ends with a passion for the race.” It could easily be said that ‘passion’ not only sums up the mission of EMBRACE THE RACE®, but also the story behind it. While living in Boston, Mike traveled to the Capital Region frequently for work, making the rounds of some clients’ offices before meeting others at the Saratoga Race Course. It was on one such trip that he first met Jill Hommel, the woman who would become his wife and partner. “We met because of the track,” says Mike. “I knew her through work, but it was our shared passion for racing that ultimately pulled us together. That is the foundation for EMBRACE THE RACE®. It represents our passion too, our life together.” Mike and Jill, both in the media marketing industry, found themselves entertaining clients in Saratoga and throughout the country, always around racing. After marrying, the couple Equicurean | July 2013 | 91
moved to Saratoga Springs and enjoyed some nice successes as horse owners. One of their winners even made it to the Breeders’ Cup. In March 2009, Mike was en route to a conference in Vail. Sitting on the runway in Newark, he opened an email from a colleague and friend who thanked him for a recent day at the races, remarking that he had been captured by racing. Without thinking, Mike sent a quick reply before take-off: “Now you know what it means to embrace the race.” As he hit ‘send,’ the wheels started turning, and when the plane landed in Colorado, he had made so many notes that there was no battery left on either his laptop or Blackberry®. EMBRACE THE RACE® was born. Not quite believing he had stumbled on something new for the ancient sport, Mike spent time doing his research. He contained his enthusiasm, checking trademarks, businesses and copyrights. Every track has a brand, of course, just as owners have crests and colors that appear on jockey silks. But he found that he was right. There really was nothing that broadly represented The Horse Racing Lifestyle®. It took nine months to give birth to the logo. The couple had
five requirements; it needed to be sexy, elegant, gender-neutral, and say “horse racing” without screaming “HORSE RACING!” Numerous designs were created for consideration, some thrown out, some refined, until the perfect icon was complete. At first glance, the result is a striking outline of horse and rider. But look closer and it’s a compilation of nine separate strokes. They do not touch, yet together, make up the whole. Each represents a facet of the industry: the breeders, horses, owners, trainers, jockeys, hot walkers and support staff, handicappers, race tracks and fans. Without one, the logo is incomplete. “Any owner will tell you that every one of these players makes a difference to a great racehorse,” Mike explains. To test the waters, or turf in this case, Mike had a few demo hats embroidered and sent them to his brother in Florida, asking him to share them with friends and colleagues around the industry. The response was phenomenal. With just a few pieces available, demand soared for The Apparel for the Horse Racing Lifestyle®. In the summer of 2010, Mike and Jill began running a small retail outlet from their downtown office on Henry Street, selling online and shipping around the world. The National Museum of
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Racing and Hall of Fame also offered EMBRACE THE RACE® merchandise, stocking hats, ties, tote bags and shirts. “They’ve been a strong supporter from the start,” adds Mike. “It was very encouraging and we are so grateful for their affirmation of the brand.” Now, less than three years later, more and more people are starting to EMBRACE THE RACE® and the product line is everexpanding. There are sassy jersey dresses and soft, classy golf shirts, simple t-shirts and jackets, belts and ball caps. All now available in the new EMBRACE THE RACE® storefront at 12 Circular Street in Saratoga Springs, just off Broadway and across from Congress Park. On a recent Sunday, before the store opened, the scope of what they are doing hit Mike again. As Saratoga celebrates 150 years of racing, he is keenly aware of the sport’s rich history. “We understand the standards we need to maintain,” Mike states. “Jill and I have great admiration and respect for the racing’s rich past and work hard every day to deliver a brand people can be proud of, one that embodies all that has come before us and all yet to be.”
Overcome with emotion, he relayed a chance encounter he’d had just a couple days earlier. A woman walked in, looking for the realtor who had previously occupied the space. (The new shop is on the first floor of the McNeary Realty office.) Greeting her, Mike apologized for the confusion and explained they were in the midst of moving, mentioning EMBRACE THE RACE®. Instantly, the woman’s face lit up. “I love your brand!” she exclaimed. “I’ve been around racing my whole life and this is one of the best things to happen for the industry. Thank you for doing something great for racing.” He is quick to point out that it’s not about them doing
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this for racing, however. It’s about the brand, about creating something that allows anyone to celebrate racing in an independent, unaffiliated way. “We designed the logo to be iconic, emblematic of racing, but universal in its appeal,” he explains. “We wanted it to be subtle and classy. It’s distinctly about horse racing, but is also non-specific. The simple lines capture the movement and speed, the blur of excitement and the fluidity of a horse in motion.” Mike is proud, but modest, becoming almost bashful when he speaks of the satisfaction he realizes when seeing someone he doesn’t know embracing the brand. “Our clothing is worn by racing enthusiasts, but also owners, celebrities and trainers,” he shares. “I can’t tell you how it felt to be watching NBC and see one of our hats on a trainer being interviewed by Bob Costas. To have that kind of validation from people who have legacy participation in the sport… it’s awesome.” In a world where racing is so often unfairly portrayed as something it is not, EMBRACE THE RACE® strives to present racing for what it truly is: emotional, passionate, subtle and sophisticated. A sign at the new shop repeats the message on each product hang tag. “It is the core fabric woven throughout a sport that celebrates its personalities, participants and unforgettable moments. With EMBRACE THE RACE®, The Apparel for the
Horse Racing Lifestyle®, you can celebrate your passion for horse racing without saying anything at all.” A picture really can speak more clearly than a thousand words. And represent the passion of millions. ◊
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FASIG-TIPT Saratoga 2012 by the numbers Sale Toppers / 2012 Session Hip # 2 00117 1 00080 1 00091 2 00102 2 00118
Wait No More Classic Devotion UNNAMED Dynesque West Coast Girl
F C C F F
Medaglia d’Oro Street Cry (IRE) Empire Maker Dynaformer Medaglia d’Oro
Wait a While Serenading Sluice Super Freaky West Coast Swing
Price $1,575,000 $1,200,000 $1,100,000 $900,000 $725,000
Top Buyers / 2012 Purchased
John Ferguson Todd A. Pletcher Shadwell Estate Co. Live Oak Plantation Fox Hill Farm; (Tom McGreevy)
8 1 3 2 3
Gross $3,325,000 $1,575,000 $1,500,000 $1,225,000 $1,150,000
$415,625 $1,575,000 $500,000 $612,500 $383,333
$325,000 $1,575,000 $450,000 $612,500 $260,000
High $1,200,000 $1,575,000 $650,000 $725,000 $700,000
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TON SARATOGA #1 - SARATOGA SELECTED YEARLINGS SALE: 8/6 – 8/7/12 Date Sold 8/6/2012 52 8/7/2012 55 TOTALS 107
$13,590,000 $18,410,000 $32,000,000
$261,346 $334,727 $299,065
26 29 55
$200,000 $250,000 $225,000
#2 - SARATOGA NY BRED PREFERRED YEARLINGS SALE: 8/11-8/12/12 Date 8/11/2012 8/12/2012 TOTALS
64 74 138
$3,657,000 $4,975,000 $8,632,000
$57,141 $67,230 $62,551
48 37 85
$50,000 $46,000 $50,000
#3 - RESULTS for the SARATOGA FALL MIXED AND HORA SALE: 10/9/2012 Date 10/9/2012
Not Sold 8
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See you next year!
98 | Equicurean | July 2013 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com SharonCastroPhotography