Travers Stakes Day, 2015

Sep 7th 2015 02:29 pm |

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter 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:

Saratoga 2015

In the paddock before the first race



Under the iconic roof at the far end of the grandstand (one of the better places to watch the races at Saratoga to avoid the crowd)


Saratoga 2015

Flintshire in the post parade prior to a dominating win in the Sword Dancer


American Pharoah

American Pharoah


American Pharoah

American Pharoah lining up to load for the Travers



Break from the gate for the Travers…I was lucky to secure a spot along the rail. I grabbed the spot before the bell rang for the Sword Dancer and didn’t move until after the Travers.



Keen Ice was in the winner’s circle but many eyes were still on American Pharoah as he was led back to the barn


Keen Ice, Travers

Keen Ice – the 2015 Travers Stakes winner



So long Saratoga…

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!

Filed in Saratoga,saratoga crowds,Saratoga grandstand,Saratoga Race Course,Travers Stakes,Triple Crown

6 Responses to “Travers Stakes Day, 2015”

  1. Tairaterces says:

    Was disappointed that AP didn’t win…but he was in good company with the Curse of Saratoga.

    But was a great day for Runhappy and Flintshire. YEAH!!

  2. Aconia says:


  3. anita carter says:

    If Frosted ran the way he did in the Jim Dandy he COULD have won; I had him on top. He was sacrificed (by the new-to-him jockey) and did not win. I believe he would have been much closer if he had run in his normal running style.
    Wonder what happened to Texas Red though–.

  4. Owen says:

    Every few years I go and check out the cup that started its journey here in Windsor 95 years ago. Good article.

  5. Kim Hoffmann says:

    Thank You Colin’s Ghost for another great story. I will be going to Saratoga next year.

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