Saratoga Horse Racing

July 2010 Archives

It's on Its way.  Can you feel It?  Does your heart beat a little faster, knowing that It's almost here, and with It, friends and colleagues whom you've not seen in a dog's age?   Is the electricity in the air--the pure, raw energy of anticipation--making you smile a little more broadly?  Are your Facebook notifications and invitations all geared toward It these days?

"It" is the Saratoga meet, graciously brought to life once again by the New York Racing Association, known around these-here-parts as simply, NYRA.  Thoroughbreds--graceful, Thumbnail image for NYRA LOGO.JPGluscious ballet dancers with a swing in their steps--have been at the Oklahoma since April 15th, doing Plies and Arabesques, their sensual walk inspiring hopes of fortune and the intoxicating, heady experience of standing in the historic winner's circle.

What's making you giddy at the thought of July 23rd?  What does Opening Day--and every day--of the Saratoga meet mean to you?

To some of us, it's the opportunity to picnic in the back, and teach our children about Thoroughbreds, and teach a four-year-old to handicap.   The only racetrack in the country--in the world?--at which the horses actually walk through the yard, itself, past thousands of fans on their way to the Paddock and, perhaps, history books.  That thought, alone, is all kinds of Beautiful.

To others, it's the opportunity to see their horses race for the first time, ever--and at Saratoga, for God's sake!  Still others experience it as a way to make some extra cash:  renting out houses and apartments; parking cars; working concession stands at the world's greatest and most thrilling, 40-day Annual Convention...

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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.