Saturday’s first race, the 13th running of the Silks and Satins 5K was won by David Roucci. The 23-year-old runner from Germantown, New York beat a field of 1100 participants through the streets of the east side of Saratoga Springs in the time of 14:57. Jennifer Adams of nearby Gansevoort was the first woman to cross the finish line. The race benefits Special Olympics.
Racing in Saratoga Springs, no matter the variety, is a big time endeavor. The Saratoga Springs High School girls’ cross-country team competes for the State title routinely. Called the Blue Streaks, you can see the team practicing any day of the week at the State Park where the Gideon Putnam Hotel and the Roosevelt Baths are.
Speaking of blue streaks, Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack’s Dublin, a chestnut son of Afleet Alex, ran a blue streak for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Jamie Theriot in the six furlongs maiden special weights sixth race. The public deservedly made Discreetly Mine the 4-5 favorite. But like so many Lukas trainees that improve leaps and bounds in their second times out, Dublin did and he won in 1:09.45.
There was good racing throughout the sunny, dry day and the big Saratoga crowd seemed to love it. One can never fully tell if the fans know the difference or not. Many leave halfway before things are concluded. Yet, few people believe that if this was Finger Lakes, tomorrow’s Hat’s Off to Saratoga weekend wind-down would be ground-breaking.
Today’s co-feature $500,000 grade I Diana went to Forever Together. It was the second time the 5-year-old mare won this race, placing her in the company of only six other horses that have done so. It was gratifying to hear the crowd applaud as she walked past the grandstand back to the barn after the race.
The Jim Dandy victor was the vastly improved Kensei. The Dwyer Stakes winner recorded his triumph in about three seconds less than it took 23-1 Soul Warrior to beat Big Drama and Mine That Bird in the West Virginia Derby, an event that was viewed on fuzzy television screens throughout much of the clubhouse. Steve Asmussen trained both Kensei and Soul Warrior.
To celebrate his golden birthday, first grandson Charlie Zast made his racetrack debut in time for the eighth race. He saw Chestoria beat Stormy Relations in the $70,000 Lake Luzerne Stakes from the rail before retreating to the back row of section J. The one-year-old wore a striped one-piece suit and held a helium balloon in the shape of a pony as he left in his Red Flyer wagon.