Seeking Saratoga’s Racing History

Beginning in May 2013, the Saratoga 150 celebration will mark the sesquicentennial of the Thoroughbred racing in my hometown.  The four-day program in 1863, inaugurated by John Morrissey, was such a success that he and his partners, among them William Travers and Leonard Jerome, built Saratoga Race Course in 1864. It is the oldest sporting venue in the country still in operation.

Over the last year or so, it’s been a pleasure to serve on the historical committee for the Saratoga 150 celebration of the sesquicentennial of Thoroughbred racing in my hometown. We’ve talked about notable racing events, historical locations on the track and off, and ways to bring the history of Saratoga alive to the visitors next year.

To that end, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is seeking historical artifacts and memorabilia for the five-month celebration, which will launch in May of 2012.

This Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Museum will hold an open house to which people can bring photos, programs, video, collectibles, and memorabilia.  Scanners will be provided to create digital images of photographs; other materials can be loaned or donated to the Museum.  All items submitted will be considered available to the Sesquicentennial Committee, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and the Saratoga Springs History Museum.

The Sesquicentennial Committee can also receive photo submissions via e-mail at, and you can e-mail the Committee with descriptions of larger items or extensive collections that you think would be of interest.

Admission to the Museum will be free throughout the day, and members of the Saratoga 150 Committee and staff from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will be available to answer any questions.

If you have any questions about the open house at the Museum or about donating or loaning items, please contact Brien Bouyea at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at (518) 584-0400 ext. 133.


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