Opening Day, 1910

August 5, 1910:  “Olambala the Victor” (New-York Daily Tribune)

“An important meeting of the stewards of the Jockey Club will be held at the track to-morrow to settle definitely the much mooted question of fall racing.  It is said that James R. Keene is working hard for a change in the plans which would bring the current season to a close with the end of the meeting here.”

August 5, 1910:  “Olambala Wins Saratoga Handicap; Large Attendance at Opening Racing Season at Springs, Though It Rained.”  (New York Times)

“R.T. Wilson, Jr.’s Olambala won the Saratoga handicap to-day over a track that was fairly flooded with a yellow slush.  It was the big event that marked the opening of the season of the Saratoga Racing Association and everything points to its being the best racing meeting since the beginning of the racing year in April.”

“The victory was a popular one, for Richard T. Wilson, Jr., the owner of Olambala, is president of the Saratoga Association and it was local triumph.”

Yes, indeed: the opening day feature was won by the man who ran the track.

The heavy rain that day, and the previous one, led to significant scratches on the card:  Sam Hildreth scratched two, including Fitz Herbert, from the Saratoga Handicap; James Rowe scratched Maskette.  August Belmont scratched two horses from the co-feature, the Flash for two-year-olds.

The opening day card offered six races:  Three “selling,” or claiming races (include one steeplechase claimer); two stakes; and a two-year-old maiden race.

Six stakes run during that 1910 meeting will be renewed this year:  the Adirondack, the Saratoga Special, the Alabama, the Travers, the Saranac, and the Hopeful.  Through the meet, we’ll take a look back at those races and their winners a century later.

As we look back at Saratoga racing here, last night a panel looked forward to this year’s meet.  P.J. Campo, Charlie Hayward, Richard Migliore, Linda Rice, and Michael Veitch were this year’s panelists at the annual meet preview at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame; my coverage for the Saratogian is here.

More to come here on that event, as well as on yesterday’s grand opening of Old Friends at Cabin Creek:  the Bobby Frankel Division.

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