Hopes For A Championship in the Midsummer Derby

In this historic summer at Saratoga Race Course, as the town of Saratoga Springs celebrates the sesquicentennial of Thoroughbred racing, the Travers Stakes—run for the 144th time this year—is living up to its billing as the Mid-Summer Derby. Though tomorrow’s $1 million race will not, as anticipated earlier this summer, feature a match-up of the…

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…

Security measures for Travers Stakes announced

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced today the security measures that will be in place for this year’s Travers Stakes on August 25. Those measures are: Horses participating in the Travers Stakes must be on the grounds at Saratoga on August 22. Horses will have out-of-competition blood testing taken on August 22.…

What a weekend

My Travers weekend started like this. Friday morning, out on the Oklahoma to meet an early interview, and I got blessed with one of Saratoga’s perfect mornings. For the first time since 2000, I wasn’t at Saratoga to see the sun rise on Travers morning; I missed the day’s first race, the annual sprint for…

Bert Mulholland, King of the Travers?

If Angel Cordero, Jr., is known as the King of Saratoga, maybe trainer Winbert F. “Bert” Mulholland should be known as the King of the Travers. No one – jockey, trainer, owner – won Saratoga’s signature race more often than he did, teaming up with owner George Widener, Jr., for a record five Travers Stakes.…

Travers Day, 2010

Yesterday’s Travers will likely have no significant effect on racing. It won’t determine the three-year-old champion; it didn’t set any records; and its winner might not even go on to race in the Breeders’ Cup in November. Alan at Left At the Gate has pointed out today that the race isn’t going to win any…