Saratoga Horse Racing

October 2009 Archives

What is the Story of Your Life?  Who are you?  Where were you born?  Did you go to college?  Which school can claim you as an Alumna/us?  What was your family like--and were you happy?  Have you found vocational fulfillment?  Will anyone remember you when you die, or are you content to go unnoticed, and pass into Eternity, in obscurity?  Will you leave a legacy behind, or is it OK if you don't?

These are questions that pass through each human heart at one time or another.  Some of us are plagued by unsatisfactory answers, and so we set a course to assure that the direction from here-on-out is different, perhaps more exciting.   Some of us embellish, because the story so far isn't up to some standard we secretly hold in our hearts.   Others need not alter the tale, as it's already pretty darned fascinating. 

Caballo Press Special Edition Book Jacket Hernandez.JPGJoe Hernandez was a Wordsmith, a man whose speech and writing talents were elegant, precise and beautiful. If he never accomplished anything else, he contributed to the lexicon and had the gift to string together words in such a masterful fashion that mind pictures were painted, leaving indelible portraits for all those who were blessed to experience the work of his heart...

"A horse is a horse, of course, of course.
But who would you be if you were a horse?
A horse who ran Life's Race on course?
What would be your name?

Caballo's the Press, pub-lish-ing source
That asks your race name if you were a horse.
A prize awaits, a book, of course!
Please tell us your name!"

(I offer my sincere apologies to Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, the composers who wrote the "Mr. Ed" theme song in 1961, for hacking up their beloved ditty.)

Caballo Press SOULSAVER.jpgMost of us who adore horses, especially Thoroughbreds (or Arabians or Quarter Horses, for that matter--any horse who races, right?)--have at one time or another fancied ourselves as a sleek, gorgeous, well-muscled, shiny-coated steed.  Running Life's Race, feeling the solid Earth (real dirt, thank you) under our perfectly-formed hooves.  With the wind blowing through our manes, we cross the finish line first--at least in these fantasies, we are free and we always win...

Thumbnail image for Big Beautiful Black Horse Shire.jpgI am constantly amazed by the ways in which horses choose to communicate with we mere humans:  recognizing that we homo sapiens are the ones who forgot how to talk Horse--not the other way 'round--members of the equine species will go out of their way to get their point across to mortals, to get what they need or want from us. 

And, being that horses are ultimately intuitive--intuition has kept the species around for over four million years--even the smallest, quietest flicker of a candle in a window can signal salvation for a horse.  We humans are so busy striving to stay alive in this dog-eat-dog world--that of the predator--that we forget that the best way to survive and thrive actually is quite the opposite.  Rather than looking to predators for advice, we should observe instead the quiet ways of the prey, whose powers of observation must, by necessity, be more finely-tuned than those of the aggressor.

I'm thinking about a mare I met at a party, 20+ years ago:  the Wisdom, calm and trust that Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lee Millett Ice Storm.JPGshe exhibited that dark Winter night and my first experience with the real mystical properties of The Horse left an impression with me that has informed many of my thoughts and relationships in the two decades since the encounter...


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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 Saratoga.com, 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.


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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.