Saratoga Horse Racing
Calendar entry:

Two can't-miss screenings in one:

Secretariat's Jockey, Ron Turcotte and Penny and Red, the Life of Secretariat's Owner

THIS Sunday (August 24) at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.  VIP reception prior with Secretariat's jockey, Ron Turcotte and other racing celebrities. 

The evening will benefit two wonderful, worthy organizations:  the Secretariat Center at the Kentucky Horse Park--founded by Penny Chenery, herself--and my favorite museum in the world, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

6PM, VIP Reception
7PM, Screenings, Q&A

Tickets are $50 for VIP reception and screenings, $20 for screenings alone.
Get your tickets ASAP, folks.  This is the only Saratoga/upstate New York screening of these two extraordinary films.

For more information: 

National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame:
(518) 584-0040

For more information, and to purchase tickets:

Be there, or be forced to listen to your friends talk about it for the entire next month.


A thought came to me a few minutes ago, and it's something I really must pursue.  If you're up to it, come along for the journey...
Dear Readers,

I'm a big believer in supporting anyone who helps animals.   Quaintance House Animal Protective League is one of the most-worthy of your donations and admiration.
Quaintance Kitty.JPG

The organization's second annual "It's Raining Cats & Dogs" event in Saratoga will be held tomorrow evening (August 15th), and I wish I could attend, but can't...
On Saturday I had the privilege of hanging in the Saratoga (Race Course) backstretch with two friends:  a dear grrrlfriend and her  horse-loving, 10-year-old daughter.  (I'm not giving their names, because they know their names and you don't need to.)

My friend and I sat in our lawn chairs near our picnic table in the hour-or-so before the races, and her little one sat at the table, her back to the track.  Her back was toward the track, but in front of her lie the pony stalls and scores of barns.  The constant clip-clop of horses walking all around filled the air:  outriders on their ponies, horses walking to the paddock.  And the neighing and nickering of all of those beautiful, sublime creatures.

And our little friend?  She was fiddling with her Mother's iPhone, joyously seeking something. She found it!  Happily, she held aloft the phone and showed us:  "Look!  A picture of a horse!"

It seems that I have but three moods:  pensive,  pithy and pithed-off.

The thing that's making me both pensive and pithed-off this morning is the reality that the facts about horse racing in America are greatly exaggerated.   The Internet can be a terrible thing, and when hyper-emotional people are fed even the smallest nugget of half-truths--that small thing becomes so distorted that the original Truth no longer is visible, or even recognizable.

Obviously, I have nothing against being emotional.  I'm one of the most emotional people on the planet--especially when animals are concerned.  I cry when I kiss a horse.  I cry when my cat snuggles up to me after she's beaten me up with great satisfaction painted all over her lovely orange face.  I laugh heartily, often to the point of breathlessness.  And yes, I've been in love.

When I refer to "hyper-emotional" people--and God KNOWS I hate to generalize like this, especially against my own gender--but I've observed that  the overboarding is on the part of a middle-aged woman who has a basically good heart, but who needs to Get A Life.

Case in point:  whereas even 15 years ago, gossips depended on the phone or neighborhood chats to spread misinformation and unjustified rage--today, the one-billion-strong neighborhood of Facebook makes it possible to spread anger, lies and accusations like a contagion.  Perhaps the place should be renamed, Facebola...

It was a Hell of a day.  And by "Hell," I do mean, Hell.

First I had a car accident, not my fault.  The wench hit me, knocked off the front left fender of my car and drove away.  Fast.

I was on my way to the track, actually to visit Trainer, Abigail Adsit. I wanted just to give her a hug, then to beat it out of her barn.  I didn't want to bug her, just to show some support for the Hell she'd been going through since the horrible incident yesterday.  As most of you know by now, her horse, Lavender Road, started a journey yesterday that ended in her return to Heaven today.  It's too long a story, and too complicated--and way too sad--so I'll just ask you to Google it.

I'd heard reports both that Lavender had fractured neck vertebrae and that she had brain damage. Somewhere in their are the facts.  Oh, yes, and internal heat stroke played a role.

The end result was that the beautiful First Defence (Unbridled's Song) f!lly, out of a Grand Slam mare--had to be humanely euthanized today.  I wasn't there, but I know that she was surrounded by Abigail and others who love her...
If you're in Saratoga this weekend, and in the near-future, you have a rare opportunity, indeed.

Unlike horse racing fans in New York City--Long Island--Western New York or the Southern Tier--you can go to the movies, and see "50-to-1," the beautiful film about Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird.

I think it's interesting that Saratoga is the only place where the film will be shown.  Of course, this is a horse racing town, and this is the meet with more Grade 1 races than any other track on Earth.

That translates to kabillions of horse race fans swarming like fleas on a dog into the streets of Saratoga Springs at the end of every racing day.  (Hence my aversion for downtown  Saratoga during racing season.  I don't do crowds.  Of humans.)

But you, my friends--you have the golden opportunity before you to catch this lush film before it moseys out of town...

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow evening, Thursday, July 31, the New York Division of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, will host their annual basketball game in Saratoga.

Admission is free--there's really no excuse for race fans not to attend and support the efforts of this wonderful group...
Anyone who knows me knows that when something bugs me, I must express it or I'll explode, leaving shrapnel everywhere.

I don't want to explode, so I'll get right to it.  Let's start at the beginning of this phenomenon:  In October, 2007, I attended the races at Keeneland for the first time.

As we drove onto the property, my friend, Clay Robinson, explained a vision that confused me: acres and acres of young people (early, mid-20s), tailgating on the rolling hills of the property.

Young women, clad in dresses that barely covered What God Gave 'Em and stiletto heels, accentuating the length of their legs.  Young men who thought they looked special because they had donned Madras Bermuda shorts with their bow ties and navy-blue jackets.

Funny thing was, of course, that none of them looked special:  regardless of colors or patterns, they all looked the same.  

This, Clay explained, was a strange mating ritual, as predictable as the sun rising that morning...
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...

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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.