Vic Zast Saratoga Diary

Vic Zast’s daily journal of the Saratoga premier summertime race meet and the characters who make their annual pilgrimage there.

August 2008 - Posts

Wedding Bells Ring

Saratoga had its second Sunset Racing card of the meet, featuring a winner's circle wedding, a key to the city presentation, and two stakes races.... Read More

Goat Patrol and Just Goats

Guys make a living at the racetrack from redeeming empty cans for a nickel apiece. The guys picking winners for the newspapers aren't as assured of the same success, as the "First Lady of the Steeplechase" and D. Wayne Lukas score with hunch bets. ... Read More

Yankee Doodle Dandy

"Proud to be an American" day featured a red, white and blue-clad musical group and the 9-year-old Belmont Stakes singer of "New York, New York," as Saratoga unveiled another promising Darley Stable juvenile. ... Read More

Closing Out

Big plans are being made to end the Saratoga meet, as Curlin's anticipated appearance in Saturday's Woodward spurs on a wide-reaching marketing push that includes commemorative posters and banners on Broadway.... Read More

Some Tips Worth Nothing

Tipping is a way of life in all corners of the racetrack. Some people are better at it than others, not including the professionals that fans depend on.... Read More

Dream Day Afternoon

Favorites fell with alarming persistence, as Colonel John shows that he, too, is persistent in a memorable Travers. Gov. Paterson of New York takes credit for his State when little is due while presenting the trophy to WinStar Farm.... Read More

Lawn Jockeys

Saratoga's lawn jockeys are becoming an endangered species, soon to pass the way of the Cottage List. The leader of the secret Mohican Society maintains his blue and green shamrock silks for the sake of the Curragh.... Read More

The Real Colonel is Coming

Colonel John, an interesting contender for the Travers, jogged on the track, as his Winstar connections awaited another Colonel John. A superfecta pays a number so big it won't print out on the tote board.... Read More

Throwing Money Around

Tin Cup Chalice remains unbeaten and pockets a $250,000 bonus for winning the Big Apple Triple. Away from the track, A-list guests dig deep to raise money for charity.... Read More

Heading into the Dark Day

Once-in-a-lifetime feats happen twice in the same day, as trainer Linda Rice saddles the first four finishers in a stakes race and the jockeys finish strong and beat the state troopers in softball.... Read More

Long-sleeved Tee-shirts

Sunday's attendance numbers swelled past 65,000 as the sun shone, NYRA rewarded its paying patrons with a long-sleeved tee-shirt, and Summer Patriot won the John's Call Stakes...... Read More

The Evolved Gender

The day began with a race -- more specifically, a 5K through the streets of Saratoga Springs. It ended with two graded stakes at the racecourse, including the meet's best to date.... Read More

Against All Odds

Everyone has a way of picking winners, and watching the odds-board is one of them. Some horses figured, and others didn't. ... Read More

Turning Up the Dial

With the scent of barbecue and fried dough surrounding him, a sartorial broadcaster hosts a radio show. Four turf races are switched to the dirt, creating opportunity for also-eligibles.... Read More

Light and Water Shows

A desire to turn Saratoga's fountain into a spectacle not unlike that found in front of the Bellagio while Mother Nature puts on a water and light show of her own. ... Read More

Bull and More Bull

It may have been the first Saturday in nearly a century that a significant stakes didn't grace the program. But 31,497 fans jammed the track's hallowed grounds to bet a whopping $5.2 million. ... Read More

Heaven Sent

Carol Homersham and Joan Proctor of Barrie, Ontario were the most stunning women at breakfast in their custom-made hats. It was Homersham's first visit to a racetrack, but she looked like a Kentucky Oaks fashionista in her black mesh chapeau with a big bow. ... Read More

All Aboard for Hidee Ho

Saratoga was still stirring from Michael Vincent Magnier's $2 million winning bid on a Storm Cat colt at the yearling sales when Amtrak's Adirondack arrived on Wednesday morning an hour and a half late from New York. Trains departing Penn Station are usually on time. The trains coming down from Rutland, Vermont or Montreal, Quebec heading south are the problems. ... Read More

Busy Day

In the morning, the National Museum of Racing enshrined six new members into the Hall of Fame. In the afternoon, the track came alive with lucrative longshots and people watching. Fasig-Tipton Company held the first of two evenings of yearling sales when twilight descended. How much better can the sport entertain?... Read More

Missing Persons

It’s not only the thousands of fans that are missing each day from the racetrack that has Saratoga troubled. That some Saratoga mainstays are missing persons is also a concern.... Read More

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