Sep 7th 2015 02:29 pm |
After a tumultuous decision making process followed by a near disaster at the eleventh hour, I was lucky to find myself heading north towards Saratoga for Travers Day. Accompanied by my Assistant to the Traveling Secretary, we saw the sun come up somewhere in Pennsylvania and made it trackside with plenty of time for the first race at one of my favorite places on the planet. And, while Saratoga changes ever so slightly for the worse every year (prevalence of champagne drinkers takes the top spot in 2015), it would require a significant act of greed and/or lunacy to ruin the Spa. While I don’t put such acts past the current cabal of money-loving suits in charge, I have hope that when summer comes around I will find myself strategizing a trip up the Thruway for many years to come…even if it requires an epic early morning drive for one day of racing.
It was my first time seeing American Pharoah in-person and despite a tough loss he didn’t disappoint. The connections of Frosted made a logical decision to pressure the Triple Crown winner throughout since nothing else has worked. While Frosted headed the champ at the top of the stretch, Pharoah put him away as the finish line came into view. Unfortunately, fighting off Frosted gave closer Keen Ice the set up he needed to finally break through in winning his first graded stakes and only his second career race. What a day to have everything break your way for the son of the mighty Curlin.
It was incredible to be in the crowd and feel the cheer then disappointment as American Pharoah led in mid-stretch before being passed by Keen Ice a few strides before the wire. It was one of those days where its great to be a horse racing fan.
There was no shame in American Pharoah’s loss especially considering the roster of horses beaten at Saratoga. He ran a great race in defeat. I was happy to hear that his connections will keep him in training until the Breeders’ Cup. I’ll be rooting for him wherever he runs next.
Here are some photographs I took on Travers Day:
And so long to a great summer of racing…looking forward to the fall and the lead up to Breeders’ Cup.
Thanks for reading and good luck!