Image ID 100330 William Travers NYPL

Meet Mr. Travers

Last year at Royal Ascot, Estimate, a horse owned by Queen Elizabeth II, won the Gold Cup in its 207th running. As the Queen traditionally presents the trophy to the winning owner, her victory presented something of a problem, solved when her son Prince Andrew stepped in to do the honors. In August of 1864,…

Saratoga photos 1890s NMR

Happy anniversary, Saratoga Race Course

Just about a year ago, on Saturday, Aug. 3, this city, in partnership with Saratoga Race Course, celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first Thoroughbred meet here, the culmination of years of planning and a nearly year-long series of festivities. Another anniversary, ignored but no less significant, will take place this Saturday. On Aug. 2,…

Saratoga infield (2)

“The town is the track, and the track is the town.”

Heady words, from a man who should know. Roberts writes about the history and architecture of racetracks, recently collaborating with the New York Racing Association and the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, creating an inventory of Saratoga’s buildings and landscape. With Isabelle Taylor, he publishedThe Spa: Saratoga’s Legendary Racecourse, an architectural history of the track that…

The Preakness and the Lost New York Years

The Preakness is Maryland’s race: it’s “Maryland, My Maryland” and black-eyed Susans and blue crabs. It’s so important to the state that when financial difficulties threatened racing in Maryland,the governor stepped in to make sure that the Preakness would stay in Baltimore. But 124 years ago, when financial woes imperiled the racing industry in Maryland, nothing…