Saratoga Horse Racing

September 2009 Archives

Mother Russia Winning at Saratoga Lee Millett.JPGThe Summer of 2009 was spectacular--at least in Saratoga Springs, New York.  Thoroughbred racing at its very best took place beneath the northern skies, as some of the world's most talented horses thrilled hundreds of thousands of hearts.  The World's Greatest Thoroughbred, one Empress, Rachel Alexandra, made her Spa debut and made history, all on the same day.  Summer Bird proved that he has The Stuff, and that he's not just a gorgeous redhead.

Many hearts and minds connected for the first time, as the sweltering weather gave way to the first cool breezes of Autumn.  We laughed, we wined, we dined.  We cheered 'til we were hoarse, and wept when the beautiful and talented Todo K broke down on the last race, on Labor Day.  As we ran that last race of the Saratoga meet together--we all felt the pain of Todo K's connections, for in many ways, truly we are Family.

I attempted to document in this blog the horses, people and events that touched my soul the most during the summer of 2009.  But I confess here that it was only an introduction, a passing thought that went through my mind and demanded to be written down--I would need the entire winter to go over each day in my Palm, and write everything and every being that affected my life this past August.  And that may be my Winter Project...

And I will, indeed, take a bit of time to completely record this past meet, in a way that's respectful and that I can share with all of you.  But as Summer gives way to Autumn--today is The Ultimate Autumn Day, and days like this make me wonder why every Season can't be crisp, the light filtered through red and golden/orange leaves.  Why hot apple cider doughnuts aren't the National Food of the United States, and ice-cold river water not considered to be sacred.

Rachel Alexandra wins the Woodward.JPGAs I stood in the paddock at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday following the post position draw for the Woodward Stakes, I could not but pick up a few words uttered to a couple of trainers by the one, the only, Tom Durkin.

Durkin, as you no doubt know, is the race announcer for New York's three racetracks, Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct.  Mr. D. is a brilliant guy; has a fabulous voice--and he makes the most of it.  His calls are legendary, as is his insight into this sport to which he's been privy for many decades.

Mr. Durkin acted as announcer for the post position draw, and made even the act of announcing that so-and-so had drawn position thus-and-such--sound fascinating.  Following the draw of all eight positions, He interviewed several connections for we in the media who scribbled furiously or whose cameras whirred frantically to catch The Shot.



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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.