The Jacksons donate, and Saratoga Russell returns

The Blood-Horse reports that Roy and Gretchen Jackson have made another major gift to the Belmont Child Care Association. Gretchen is on the board of the BCCA, and she and Roy were the honorees at this year’s benefit in Saratoga.

The Jacksons are major supporters of Anna House; there’s a playroom named after Lael Stables there, and earlier this year they donated $250,000 to begin a scholarship fund. $250,000 of the most current donation is earmarked for the Lael Stables scholarship fund, with the other $50,000 going to the general fund.

It seems that at least some people think that there will be a need for childcare for the children of the backstretch workers in a few weeks. Here’s hoping that those parents will in fact be employed, and that racing is happening at Aqueduct.

I will post a report and some pictures from last weekend’s holiday event in the next few days.

I’ll be out with family celebrating my mother’s birthday and doing a little holiday shopping today, so I’ll miss today’s second race, featuring Saratoga Russell. Trained by Richard Violette and owned by West Point, he made his first start on November 17th. Out of Prologue (Theatrical, Shakespeare’s sire) by Trippi, this two-year-old set fractions of :21.4, :22.4, and :58.4, and he looked very strong coming down the lane. Railbird and I watched the race from the boxes and were waiting for him to throw in the towel, but he never really did. He was passed by the impressive National Pride, then owned by Gary Contessa and subsequently sold to Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing for an undisclosed price (DRF), and Saratoga Russell ended up losing by 1 ¾. Nonetheless, it was a striking début and Railbird and I both talked about catching him his next time out. I’ll be checking the replays when I get in tonight, but without a financial interest, as he’s the 7/5 favorite this morning.

26 thoughts on “The Jacksons donate, and Saratoga Russell returns

  1. I am a part owner of Saratoga Russell. You will see him on the Kentucky Derby Trail. No one is talking about him just yet, but you will see his name in the coming months.

  2. Anon: thanks for checking in. I had the pleasure of meeting Rich Cristiano not long ago, and it sure seems like West Point has a fine colt in Saratoga Russell. He’s been awesome so far, and he’s in my watch list. I’ll look for more good things from him.

  3. Hi Teresa:I think besides Russell, Westpoint will also have Macho Again and El Gato Malo in the Derby hunt. They also unveiled “Wincat” on Friday at Philadelphia Park. He broke his maiden impressively as well. Lots of bullets to fire over the next few months.

  4. Anon: I caught Wincat’s win as well; I had the good luck to be sitting with Kiaran and Letty McLaughlin at a benefit last summer in Saratoga, and they invited me to the barn the next day. Spent about two hours with Kiaran during the workouts, during which, among other things, I got to feed carrots to Lear’s Princess. I’ve been a McLaughlin fan for a while, but meeting him and the horses certainly increased the attention I pay to them.Good luck with those two-year-olds!

  5. Kiaran is such a great guy. He trains for another horse that I have with Westpoint, Pygmaliion. Pygmalion will run on Saturday at Aqueduct. He will be trying to break his maiden.Kiaran is quite high on Wincat, so we will see what happens.

  6. Russell had a stomach bug in January that set him back in training. He is now training well and will be running in an allowance race in February. We expect him to do well. Then he will test Stakes races and hopefully qualify for the Triple Crown races.

  7. I think Fountain of Youth may be coming up too quickly (2 weeks), but never say never. There are a couple of options out there, but we want to make sure the race is chosen with the best interest of Russell in mind.

  8. Yes, probably too soon. I guess it depends how he has come out of the race. With his pedigree, it will be interesting to see how he handles two turns.

  9. You were right, Saratoga Russell isn’t nominated for the Fountain of Youth. It will be interesting to see where he runs, and exciting too! Louisiana Derby?

  10. We are looking at Gotham followed by Wood Memorial….keeping Louisiana Derby, Tamp Bay, and the Rebel as options. Giddyup.

  11. It will be great fun. I am going to be there for sure. So that you know – I am one of the breeders of Saratoga Russell and still own the dam Prologue… He was a great looking horse from day 1. Giddyup indeed! Good luck to all involved.

  12. Congrats Mr/Ms breeder. A couple of years ago, you also had a colt covered by Distant View (Saratoga View)for West Point Thoroughbred. He won at first asking. Prologue keeps spitting out winners.I believe Prologue is in foal to Exchange Rate. Could be another good one.

  13. Mr Breeder here 🙂 I have been so pleased with the mare. She has been very good to us and consistently puts a great looking foal on the ground. Incidentally, her 4 year old, Trulyonbroadway, ran a close 4th in a $100,000 stake at Fairgounds on February 9th. I did read the Russell Horvat story and it is great that the horse named after him might be the ‘real deal’.

  14. Thanks for asking. Saratoga Russell’s surgery went well. He was back to the track galloping pretty much the day after the surgery. We don’t have a race pointed out yet, but looking at some sprint races to come back to.

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