Saratoga Horse Racing

Rachel Alexandra + Brian T. Fox + Siro's = Majesty, Power and Insight


Unfinished Rachel Alexandra Brian T. Fox.jpgI've written about visionary artist, Brian T. Fox, in a previous column here on  I know Brian as both a friend and as an artist.  I first met him four years ago, at an event for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.  He'd painted the late legend, and was present to show his work to a throng of admirers of the great athlete--including Mrs. Robinson, herself.

In the four years since then, I've been privy to the inner workings of the artist's brain and soul.  I get to see his paintings before they're finished, and consider it an honour and privilege to see the process, first-hand.


I just received an email containing the latest painting, a work still in progress.  I am sharing this photo of the unfinished painting so that you can get excited about it, and be at Siro's on Shadwell Travers Day to watch Brian work on this very piece.

Brian will be working on this artwork, the most magnificent painting of Rachel Alexandra that I've ever seen, outside of Siro's, so that you can become part of the creative process.  Imagine that.   While many artists in the world of Thoroughbred racing are painting her--who wouldn't?--Brian is the one who captures the strength of the magnificent filly.  He knows her, from a place deep within where both souls meet.  He understands horses--intuits them--and understands the workings of Her Serene Highness better than any artist I've encountered.

Many of his paintings are done in black and white, some with a bit of sepia.  This starkness finds not only musculature and strength, but goes into the very being of the subject.  So it is with Brian's painting--even in "rough draft form" of Rachel Alexandra.  I experienced her last Monday as I've never before experienced a horse--and will report on that on Sunday.  To whet your appetite, all I can say is that a moment that transcended time and space occurred between me and the best horse in America.  She's probably the best horse in the world, and I know this because...she told me.

Thumbnail image for Brian T. Fox The Man Himself Headshot.jpgOn Saturday, August 29th, Brian will be outside the racing institution, Siro's, to work on the Rachel painting.  We have the opportunity to see a genuine artist at work.  Too many people throw around the word, "artist," when in fact they are very good craftspersons.  Brian T. Fox is an artist whose name in the future will be spoken in the same hushed tones as those of Picasso, Miro and Ver Meer.  A contemporary artist, someone we can experience first-hand in our generation--but whose talent and access to Divine instruction goes far beyond that which we may have encountered in our everyday lives. 

This opportunity, to see Fox paint outside of Siro's, is far more than a sideshow:  this is an invitation into the al fresco studio of a genius.

Please consider this your personal invitation to be outside of Siro's on Shadwell Travers Day, (perhaps before the race, definitely after), and meet Brian T. Fox in person.  His eyes may take you aback when first you meet--but your soul will connect with him.  You'll see his hands bring to life the power and majesty that we know as Rachel Alexandra.  And you'll go home talking about the experience, for this magical moment will be a highlight of your Saratoga Summer--perhaps of your life.

Peace to you, and as always--May the Horse be with you.


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Gorgeous picture, I really love it!

Nice words and nice picture of the America's racing Star!! unfortunally I can't share emotions and feelings with you there in the Travers, but my heart and mind will be with you Marion... I hope you'll enjoy a wonderful day in the Graveyard of champions, and I hope Quality Road will make a marvelous performance looking for the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeder's Classic... It's a pity that Jess Jackson is afraid of the distance (1 1/4 and more, and of synthetic surfaces... or both!), I enjoy your writings... besos desde el otro lado del Atlántico!!

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M.E. Altieri

THE ALPHA MARE, commonly known as M.E. Altieri, is a writer/editor/activist who lives and breathes the art and sport of horse racing—both Arabian and Thoroughbred.
At the tender age of six months, her Grandmother plopped her on the back of a pony. (See photo.) Three years later, Mare first rode a horse—an American Quarter Horse—on her cousin's farm in Stephentown, New York. That same year her Mother and Grandma took her to Green Mountain Park, a now- (sadly) defunct Thoroughbred track in Pownal, Vermont. Next stop, Saratoga Race Course. The seed was planted, and a passion, born.
While she does have other interests (Medieval languages and theology, cats, tigers, etc.) none hold a candle to her passion for horses. She finds that horses are far-more intelligent, compassionate and kind than 99% of the people she meets. Mare's career is fascinating, if nothing else: in 2011, she served as Editor of a beautiful history book, The Purebred Arabian Horses of Iraq: Myths and Realities by Dr. Mohammad bin 'Abdul-'Aziz Al Nujaifi. She's contributed to several international horse racing publications, including Al Badia, Arabian Finish Line, Desert Mirage and Galopp Magasinet.
She's the Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of f!lly Magazine-- the magazine by, for and about women in horse racing. f!lly will debut in 2013. Both Thoroughbred and Arabian racing--and women, f!llies and mare from all around the world--will be featured in the full-color, beautiful, historic publication. Magazines are the first of the media M.E. wishes to tackle: she's also writing a screenplay, and seeks the perfect venue and producer for her horse racing radio show. She's got the voice; God knows, she has opinions--she feels led to put them together and broadcast to the 51% of the racing fan base that's too-often been overlooked. (Hint: 51%...could it be, women?)
An Alumna of Mount Holyoke College, Mare hopes to use these media, including her blog here at, to encourage women and girls to find their vocations in horse racing and to help make the world a more loving and nurturing place for all equines. When asked to identify her Mentor, the woman who encouraged her to follow her bliss, Mare names the great Penny Chenery. Through these various media projects, Mare hopes to do for other females what Ms. Chenery did for her--open doors, encourage and bless.


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.