A Toast to John Morrissey

 “A large concourse of people, including a host of the fashionables in carriages, turned out on Monday to enjoy the sport and excitement of the Races on the Saratoga Course.” Those words appeared in The Daily Saratogian on Aug. 4, 1863, the day after the first day of the first Saratoga meeting, the anniversary of…

100 Years of the Sanford Stakes

“A fitting tribute to one of the stoutest supporters of the sport New York State has ever known.” So wrote the Daily Racing Form  about the inaugural Sanford Stakes, named to honor a family from nearby Amsterdam, New York, that began racing its homebred horses at Saratoga in the 1880s. Beginning with General Stephen Sanford and continuing…

“There is no better place on earth.”

By the time the gates fly open for the first race today at 1 p.m., tens of thousands of words will have been written about this summer’s Saratoga meeting. They will have appeared in turf publications, in newspapers, and in magazines. Races will have been handicapped, predictions will have been made, visitors’ guides will have…

Skip The Races At Saratoga? Think Again.

“Skip the horse races in Saratoga Springs.” So advised New York Magazine in May, suggesting instead that visitors take advantage of the myriad other delights of the small city in upstate New York:  the restaurants, the hotels, the parks. A former and erstwhile Saratoga resident, I heartily endorse all of those things, along with many…

“America’s Grandest Race Course”

Last March, I was standing at Gulfstream Park watching morning workouts when I got a phone call from a woman named Patricia Lane. She was, she said, producing a documentary on Saratoga for the racing sesquicentennial, and she wondered whether I might be interested in being interviewed for it. Thrilled and nervous, I sat with…