Saratoga Horse Racing

December 2009 Archives

I had coffee one day this year with an acquaintance, a businesswoman who's very good at Coffee!.bmpwhat she does.  Educated, smart, sharp and seemingly in control of her emotions (not necessarily a good thing, mind you)--her outer veneer bespoke a woman who has no time for drivel.

And certainly not for the obsession with the lives of others with whom she is not acquainted.

And yet, this woman who might not cross the street to save a dying kitten was very upset about the pending divorce of two friends.  Or so I thought.

"Isn't it sad?  About John and Kate?" she implored.

"John and Kate."  "John and Kate."  I wracked my brain and my intercranial Rolodex for the names, scouring to conjur faces of people whom this lady thought we knew in common.

"You know.  From the TV show.  "Jon and Kate Plus 8!"

I had no idea about whom she was speaking.  I must have had the look of someone who just landed on Earth from another planet, earnestly trying to figure out how to use a pepper grinder, for she kept at it until she realized that I was clueless, and could not therefore share her grave concern for this couple and their children.  (Apparently I misspelled John's first name in my ignorance and mental scrambling, also.)

My coffee companion was angered by the fact that I neither knew nor cared about this couple and their current angst.  I mean, she was sincerely upset with me.  Maybe she knew them as friends who just happened to get a TV show?

Nope.  The smart businesswoman had never met the two; she lived some 3,000 miles away from their drama and yet she was extraordinarily disturbed because apparently they were going through the throes of divorce.

For the record, I responded by telling her that I didn't give a tiny rat's patootie:  if Jon and Kate--or any other celebrity--doesn't care about the status of my Life, why should I be obsessed with theirs?  Not a satisfactory response, from the lecture I received about my "hardness of heart."   (Her extreme reaction may have been the result of the gallons of caffeine she'd consumed during our klatch.  She'd inhaled lattes like a man on Death Row....)

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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.