A Spa Farewell

Saying good-bye to Saratoga is never easy. Shakespeare wrote of Cleopatra that “age cannot with her, nor custom stale her infinite variety,” and every summer, every week, those words come to mind as I make my way around the old Spa. She has aged, that is certain; parts of her this year are 148 years…

This Week at Saratoga: Week 7

Just six more days of racing left, and this afternoon, I head back to Brooklyn for a few days of back-to-school meetings. One of my saddest summer moments is writing about the Saratoga events that I won’t be here for…and noting that our once-long list of things to do here has shrunk. But still…what a…

Making History at the Spa, Again

As an erstwhile Saratogian, I look forward to the Travers every year, regardless of who’s running.  As a turf writer, I hope that the race will play an important role in the sport’s landscape. As a racing historian, I want the Midsummer Derby to yield something noteworthy that future generations of racing fans might read…

Racing Industry Bickering, 1877 style

If you think that acrimony, turf wars, and internecine bickering in the racing industry are recent phenomena, a look at the 1877 Saratoga season will quickly disabuse you. While the opening of that meeting was greeted with the usual hyperbole, it was not without its controversy. Several weeks in advance of the July 25 opening…

This Week at Saratoga: Week 6

How can it be Travers week? Wasn’t opening day just last week? We’re down to 12 racing days at the Spa…12! Say it ain’t so. Please. Say it ain’t so. Looks like there’s not going to be a lot of suspense in the jockey and trainer titles this year…Ramon Dominguez leads the jockeys with 47…