Saratoga Race Course kicks off its premier summer meeting this afternoon in Saratoga Springs, New York, the racing world descending on the small upstate city for seven weeks of high-class racing. Opening weekend will see four graded stakes races, among them the Sanford Stakes, being run for the 100th time.
The race is named for the Sanford family, who hailed from nearby Amsterdam, New York. Stephen Sanford was a carpet manufacturer who in the 1870s was told by his doctor that buying a horse farm would be therapeutic for his health, a respite from the pressures of his international business. Sanford listened, a decision that gave rise to one of America’s most influential Thoroughbred racing and breeding operations.
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Featured image courtesy of Friends of Sanford Stud Farm.