Saratoga Horse Racing
I'm very excited about the series, "Guests in the Gallery" hosted by Jeff Carle.  The interview sessions--which I suspect will feel a great deal like "Actors' Studio"--will take place at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame on Tuesdays during the 2014 Saratoga meet at 11AM.  

Tuesdays, as you probably know, are "dark" days--meaning that there's no racing across the street at Saratoga Race Course.  These dark days give race fans a day to breathe, sleep in or--if you're like most race fans--to move like moths to light bulbs toward anything that feeds your addiction to our intoxicating sport.  The rest of the year you can do other things during your free days--but on these glorious few days of the Saratoga racing season, of course you crave the company of other horse-obsessed people and the intimacy of our racing community.

What better way to spend an hour or so of your dark Tuesday than at the Racing Museum witnessing an interview of historic proportion...
Dear Mucho Macho Man,

This is just one of 30,000 letters you'll receive from admirers--don't worry, big boy, I don't expect you to write back.  You have fans from all over the world, and I'm just one little person who loves you.  But even though your new stall at Adena Springs is probably covered in cards and gifts, still I feel compelled to write to you and tell you how your life and journey have affected my own.

You just retired from horse racing, and I wish you well.  You turned six in June--you've raced for over half your life to-date,and you earned your way into the pantheon of Great Horses.  I wept buckets when I read the news, and sporadically through the night every time I read your name.  It was as if water was just falling out of my eyes, with no shut-off valve.

I had to sit down and pinpoint the reason why I'm so touched by this announcement.

First, I don't want to be selfish:  I wish you a beautiful life working at Adena Springs, and many perfect, swift babies to carry on your legacy.  Perhaps one day I'll be able to buy one of them, and have a bit of you for my very own.  Of course, for me to be able to buy a 3M baby would mean that my own career would soar.  And that is where our life paths cross:  my life and your true legacy, Macho.  (May I call you, "Macho"?)  

The reason for my crying is entirely selfish:  you've been a partner to me during life's ups and downs for several years now, and I am so sad to lose you...

I won't say that internationally-renowned artist, Brian T.Fox,doesn't do anything small. He's told me that he does have a series of smaller works. Tiny, compared with those to which I am used.

But when I think of Brian's art, I think of BIG.  I mean,really BIG.

Brian T. Fox and Wise Dan.JPG
I believe that the explanation for this is simple:  Brian is 6'5," and to him, a 6' x 5' painting probably looks "just right."


But seriously,folks--in the most real way, BIG = Powerful.  And the horses whom Brian has painted--like the human athletes,actors and rock stars he's painted--are nothing if not powerful. 

Some of Brian's most powerful Thoroughbred works to-date will grace the walls of Saratoga's most famous restaurant,Siro's, for this racing season.  They're...well...I shan't go on. Instead, I'll ask you to read the press release that I wrote--all the information is in there.

And if you find yourself aching to purchase one of these magnificent, limited edition artist's proof giclees--act fast.  When Brian says that they're "limited  edition," he doesn't mean that 300 of them are floating around. They're gorgeous,and powerful and will add spirit to your home and life.  If you can get to Siro's,seek them out.  In the meantime, have fun cruising around Brian's website:

Have a great summer, friends:  if you're a media person, please feel free to rip this press release and photos right out and use them for your publication, etc.  And if any of you realize that you're a race fan who's joined the ranks of Brian T.Fox fans--please,drop me a line. I'd love to hear your story, of falling in love with his exquisitely powerful brand of equine art...
Like so many of those who find themselves in the category,  nouveau riche, the comedy team of Martin and Coburn (Perry Martin and Steve Coburn)  are struggling with both their new-found fame and figuring out how to juggle that fame with fortune and the ownership of a wonderful Thoroughbred.   

California Chrome earned a boatload of cash for them, and like drunken sailors on shore leave--they don't know when to stop.

In fact, it appears that they can't get enough of the stupidity, 'cause they keep on opening their yaps and sticking their big-ole cowboy boots in 'em.  You don't need me to recap the events that have led us to today--everyone even vaguely connected to horse racing knows the tail of the tale. But you might enjoy my take on the poo-storm, and the solution to the problem that we're going to call...Muck Dynasty...
The Saratoga 2014 meet is upon us, and I am always in awe of the hundreds--thousands--of people who roll into town with the horses.  NYRA (the New York Racing Association) is a gigantic corporation that efficiently picks up stakes and moves their entire operation north for seven weeks every year.

The fact that NYRA employees all along the line can pack and unpack thousands of  boxes of computers, paperwork, office supplies and technology in a matter of days, and be ready to kick off the greatest racing in, well, the world--is nothing short of miraculous.

But the administrative offices and those who work there are not the entire story.  Trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, grooms, hotwalkers, clockers and every other person who works directly with the horses, themselves, likewise move their entire lives for the seven sweet weeks of our race meet.

This is the tale of one such woman, a Thoroughbred trainer whose star is rising in the racing sky. I have no doubt at all that Abigail C. Adsit will earn her way into the Racing Hall of Fame as soon as she's eligible. (After 25 years as a licensed Trainer.)  Come closer, and allow me to introduce you to a great horsewoman--a woman you'll want to meet in person. And if you're lucky,she'll train your horses for you...
I just heard that, when Suffolk Downs starting gate flung open for the first time in 1935--35,000 people were there for Opening Day.

Wow, Suffolk Downs must've had a great Facebook page.  No doubt, they  tweeted every five minutes.  Their webmaster was a genius.  

Their--oh, no.  Wait.  What's that, you say?

Suffolk Downs got 35,000 human beings onto their new racetrack in 1935, when newspapers, radio and word-of-mouth were the only media available to the masses?

How the heck did they do that?  How could 35,000 people hear about the opening of a new track without all the modern technologies that lead us by our collective noses in 2014?
(In our 21st Century, geek-culture-centric heads, too many of you wonder:  "...sans smartphones, iPads, notebook computers, clouds and 164" TV screens--how did people hear about ANYthing?")

And further--if people did read the newspaper; listen to the radio or hear it from a neighbor--what motivated them to travel by the T (Boston public transit)--by foot--a few cars--to pilgrimage to the new track?

Hay, oats and water for thought...

You like lunch, right?

You love Saratoga, especially during racing season, yes?

If you're like me, most of your days at the exquisite Saratoga Race Course are spent dressing caj, hanging with your usual posse of associates.  

Nothin' wrong with that:  a perfectly fine way to spend the race meet.

But if you're also like me, now and then you like to mix it up, donning a pretty sundress, strappy sandals and your favorite summer lipstick.  Maybe even a fabulous new hat.

Or you may be a well-heeled lady, for whom every day at the races does mean looking snappy and sitting in the Clubhouse.  Whichever your usual gig, you're invited to come together on a balmy July day to celebrate the Year of the Horse and to help others who need you.  

This, my friends, is a wonderful opportunity:  enjoy a delicious lunch--bid on singularly-lovely items in a silent auction, and in the process--help raise money which will change the lives of others...
Lots of social events in Saratoga this I'll be writing a LOT in the next couple of days.  (Give you something to do on the Fourth of July--read MY stuff...right.)  

The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation's Fashionable Fillies Luncheon is coming up on July 28th...and the Anna House gala on August 20...and my goodness, so much in-between.

The first thing I'll check off on my list is an event for which I'm on the committee. That means nothing, really, except that I provide laughs now and then.  At any rate, I'm too lazy to write an actual article, so I'll substitute the press release that I just penned. 

N.B.  Fans of the two great horses who'll be honored should get on the stick and RSVP before the July 10th deadline. You don't want to be left at the gate, do you?
The sport of horse racing never will grow--doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of finding its way back to the glory days of the 1930s--as long as racing organizations and media continue to attempt to win new fans by putting the emphasis on wagering.

The phrase, "horse racing," begins with the word, "horse."   This is the only logical place from which to grow a healthy fanbase of lifelong fanatics.

NYRA--the New York Racing Association--is starting a brilliant new program this summer in Saratoga, and it's a concept that will grab young hearts; inspire imagination and grow the sport, from the ground, up...
Sometimes I have the memory of a fruitfly.  Hence, I cannot recall if I've already shared this with you, my dear readers.

If I have--ah, well.  
If not--I hope that this little tale blesses you in some way.

With the Saratoga meet--and with it, the Travers--upon us, I feel compelled to share.

Last year, I wrote this article, which was destined to become part of equine photographer, Juliet Harrison's new coffee table book,"Track Life:  Images and Words."  I've always been grateful that Juliet asked me to contribute a Saratoga memory, because this particular thought came to mind.

Sans further ado, here it is.  I hope you like it...

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M.E. Altieri

Marion Altieri is a horse racing
life-long fan
radio show- and TV-show hostinista and
Her website, will bring together URLs for this blog with her radio, TV and online magazine publishing endeavors. The 'site also will feature a Marketplace, Community and opps to exchange ideas about women in racing; equine welfare and rights and ways to make the sport both more nurturing for horses and more egalitarian for females.

First a wordsmith, Marion is acutely aware of the power of language: as we speak and write, so we live. If language has the power to start and end wars, so too it has the power to save the lives of horses

A f!lly is not a little grrrl horse: a f!lly is a Force of Nature, and through her work, Marion hopes to help reinforce this powerful Truth.


Thoroughbred Racing in Saratoga

The Thoroughbred is a distinct, created breed of horse. Saratoga Springs, New York is a unique, pristine city in Upstate New York.

Put the two together, Thoroughbreds and Saratoga, and you have America's most prestigious, lushly beautiful and important racing meet. For six weeks every summer, the world's best horses, jockeys and trainers come together to compete for trophies, cash and fame.

In this blog, we'll discover All Things Thoroughbred and the lovely international community of horsepeople, both professionals and fans, alike who set up camp in this city. Some come for six weeks, only. Others are here from April through November every year, when the Oklahoma's open. Yet others trek to town to race their mighty steeds—then fall in love with the place; buy a home and move here.

The Saratoga racing family of humans and horses is a year-round endeavour. You think that all the horses all go elsewhere after Labor Day? Then this blog is for you, too.

(Is the reference, "the Oklahoma" lost on you? Stay tuned, you'll feel like a pro in no time.)

Welcome to the only experience on Earth that can boast of such otherworldly beauty and heart-stopping thrills, all in the same breath: Thoroughbred racing in Saratoga.