Saratoga Horse Racing

People You Should Know in Racing: July 2009 Archives

Saratoga Starting Gate Credit Adam Coglianese 1.jpgPeople You Should Know

This category, "People You Should Know in Racing," is really a subdivision of Racing 101.  The people in racing whose jobs we'll discover are essential to the smooth and safe operation of a racetrack, a Thoroughbred breeding farm and other industry-related businesses.  Their jobs are essential--so you should know about them.

But precisely because they're so important, I decided to give them their own category here on Saratoga.com.  As you read through the entries and meet these extraordinary humans who go to work every day and make the sporting world go 'round--you may gain new perspective.  You will come to respect and admire someone whose very existence was, just yesterday, below your radar.

You may even find your own vocation, your calling.

At the very least, I'll use these pages to introduce you to folks who are so darned good at their jobs that too often they become invisible.  Like actors who convince you that they're not acting--these people are  so good at what they do, and they move seamlessly through the workday--and most of the time we, the observers, don't notice them.

We hope you enjoy People You Should Know, and that, if you don't already--you come to understand more fully how much it takes to get a horse to the racetrack, and to run that track smoothly.  I hope that you will walk up to someone who works in one of these jobs, and that you will thank her or him for performing a vital service.  And I hope that you stop and look around the next time you go to the races, and realize that, truly, it takes an entire city, perhaps a small constitutional monarchy--to make this sport happen, day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year.  (For 141 years here in the United States, so far.)

Please enjoy this new category, and do send in your comments.  If you know of someone or a group of someones in racing who should be acknowledged--drop me a line.  I'd love to do the research and give kudos to those who deserve it.  Your input is valuable to us, as are you and all the amazing people who make Thoroughbred racing happen. 

And now, for our first entry in this category, we ask you to hold your buddy's hand, and slip into a hole in the six-ton starting gate.  You're about to encounter the Cowboys of Horse Racing.  Ready, set--run!

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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.