David Dunham Withers

“No man in the country was more widely esteemed by racing men.” David Dunham Withers was born in 1822 in New York City; he and his family lived downtown on Greene Street, now in fashionable Soho. When his parents married, the couple was given a cottage by the bride’s father as a wedding present. According…

View from Saratoga backstretch July 2014

Meet-End Musings on Cultural Memory

Nearly every day at Saratoga, I’d stop somewhere—in the backyard, walking down the clubhouse steps, standing on the second level and looking back out over the trees and the old saddling shed—and I’d marvel. I’d marvel at the beauty of the place, and I’d marvel that day after day, thousands of people came: to watch…

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,…