It’s Finest Fillies Fundraising Time
SARATOGA SPRINGS – And so it begins.
Against a background of brushed silver and black, Morton’s The Steakhouse, inside the Saratoga Casino Hotel, hosted a well-attended fundraiser, on Wednesday, June 28, to benefit Jake’s Help From Heaven (JHFH -visit their website). This is one of the prelude fundraisers that lead up to the big event on Wednesday, July 19, at 7 pm at the Casino’s adjacent Vapor Nite Club – the Sixth Annual Finest Fillies and Some Colts.
This event in many ways defies explanation, for it combines elements of a horse race (with eight teams: each with a ‘filly’ or ‘colt’ as the case may be, and a ‘trainer’ partner), but also game show elements reminiscent of Wheel of Fortune, played out on a field that resembles Twister! Confused yet? Well, I will say that in terms of just plain-old laughter and smiles, this is the number one gala to be at in the summer season. Hands down. The “official” event page on Facebook describes it this way:
Tom Durkin returns to host…an unusual night of horse racing fun with local notables competing for the finish line! Only $50/person and the first 200 to register are entered in a special raffle to win VIP Box Seating at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday, September 3rd and a gift certificate for Sperry’s Restaurant!
Each time a spin lands on a name, that filly/colt advances one furlong. The first to advance 7 furlongs is the GAME WINNER! However, that’s not it! The team that raises the most money for Jake’s Help From Heaven is the BETTING CHAMP!
You can place bets on the team(s) of your choice for only $10 a bet. Each bet is also an entry for some great raffle prizes!
Which brings us back to Morton’s, where the team of filly Colleen Carlson and trainer Mary Gavin put together this fundraiser to add to their “betting champ,” or money raised, totals. In this “flash fundraiser,” a hefty 15 percent of all food and beverage sales, starting at 5 pm, was earmarked for JHFH. If you have been to this fine establishment, you know that this could add it quickly. I note further that back on May 21, The Finest Fillies Facebook Page posted the following:
“Mary Gavin and Colleen Hart Carlson have taken an early lead!
And now we have Morton’s last night… So does that mean we are going to see a runaway akin to Spend A Buck, with Angel Cordero up, in the 1985 Kentucky Derby? (Note: poor quality video, but you get the idea…)
Not if these teams have anything to say about it!
A field of eight will compete, and what is noticeable about this field, in it’s sixth renewal, is the experience factor – all these teams have been here before; and all know what to do. Returning Betting champs Beth and Jasper Alexander, who pulverized the money title with a tasty specialty cocktail at their landmark restaurant, Hattie’s, are not exactly going to lie down. Expect them to keep things honest. Also returning are game-winners Colt Michael Billok and Trainer Todd Shimkus. Last year they were ‘maidens’ who lured everyone to sleep – especially me! – with a nice remake of a Billy Dee Williams commercial for a lame product known as Colt 45 – and then did a little Spend A Buck themselves on the game floor – winning for fun in track record time.
Well done, gents. But note that heavy lies the head that wears the crown, and I see some fierce warriors in this field (I won’t name names like Amedio, Hogan, and Sillery, in addition to the Alexander’s and the Carlson/Gavin alliance) that are not going to be surprised… Kelso and Forego were known for winning under weight, so we will see if that target the other teams have put on your back will slow you down at all. Yes, good-natured trash talking is encouraged, and with just about three weeks to go, we anticipate plenty of that…
Of course, Morton’s was a relatively sedate affair, befitting the elegant surroundings and ambiance. Yet, to earn your ‘bets’ some teams can get a little strange…
Try car washes in 95 degree weather dressed in Minion costumes strange. Billy Dee photo-op cutout strange. Porch party day-drinking strange. Creative strange – expect some new, fun ideas for this sixth annual Finest Fillies season. Mary and Colleen both told me that they are not done flexing their muscles either…
So watch this space. We are going to try and cover them all, or as many as I can.
I’ve even put a transplant team on standby, lest I literally laugh my butt off in the process.
June 28, 2017