Monday, September 7, 2009
Somehow, she looks pensive. Those with an overactive imagination might think she was pondering her future, perhaps. Alexander the Great, it was said, sat down and wept when there were no more worlds to conquer. But Rachel Alexandra the Great has the world at her feet! Along the bottom of the photo you can make out the pink carnations that adorned her Woodward winner's blanket. And check out nyra.com for a great fisheye photo of the finish of the Woodward Stakes. The only thing that's missing is that incredible wall of noise from the grandstand, which was literally shaking from start to finish -- and beyond.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Fall is in the air and the final stretch is upon us. While the focus at Saratoga Insider is usually on horses, the backstretch is filled with all kinds of other great animals and today's post is dedicated to all of our canine friends. Also, it's an exuse to post cute pictures of dogs -- and who doesn't love cute pictures of dogs?
She hardly needs an introduction, but the lead photo there is Frannie, the french bulldog, queen of the backstretch, beloved by all. Especially us.
This is Bounce, who belongs to D. Wayne Lukas. His registered name is "Cover Me I'm Going In" and his daughter is a war hero who saved injured soldiers in the Middle East. Good bloodlines, obviously.
This is Olivia, who belongs to a farrier. She's very sweet and gentle, but Saratoga Insider recommends that you always ask before approaching a dog in a truck (or approaching a strange dog at all).
Here's Honey - can you believe she's ten? We love a lab.
Here's the puppy from the red fruit truck - we think his name is Pancho. The one time we saw him sitting in back of the truck with the fruit, we went a little crazy with the camera.
This poodle - name unknown - lives around Jonathan Sheppard's barn. It's been so chilly these last few mornings, we wish we had a cool (by which we mean warm) sweater like he does.
Up next: CATS.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Here's Quality Road:
And, finally, here's Mine That Bird!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Another interesting thing is that Monday at Saratoga, he'll be making his second start off a nearly two-year layoff.
And here's the other interesting thing:
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Waiting in the conference room with trainer Chip Woolley, exercise rider George Smith and Zak McDonald was like being in the waiting room at a hospital for people. Nervous and bored at the same time, they pass the time watching YouTube videos: The Amazing Skidboot, Louisiana Sinkhole Drains Entire Lake, Twin Baby Boys Laughing at Each Other, Amazing Holes Around the Earth, Charlie Bit Me, and, of course, the overhead replay of the Kentucky Derby.
"Right there," says Woolley, watching as Mine That Bird squeezes through a rapidly diminshing hole on the rail, "is where my whole life changed."
Woolley glances at his watch, murmuring to himself, "He should be up by now," and sure enough here comes Dr. Hogan with the great news that everything went smooth as silk. Downstairs in this amazing facility, Mine That Bird is back in his stall, hungry, and, like any human patient, anxious to get home. And, after the trio partakes of another excellent meal at King Umberto's, he's on his way!
"Actually, there goes Tiny Woods now," Baffert deadpanned, gesturing to a pony belonging to his New York assistant, Tonja Terranova. (A literal pony, as in under 14.2 hands.)
Just to clear up any confusion, we believe the pony to which he was referring is actually named Ollie, pictured above. Good luck to the real Tiny Woods today!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Among the 52,435 at the Spa was Rachel Robinson, widow of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, pictured here making one of two trips to the winner's circle Sunday.
"Nick [Zito] is a friend of mine," said Robinson, who later presented the trophy to the winning connections of the West Point Handicap.
Asked what brought her to the races, she exclaimed, "Why does anyone come to the race but to bet the horses!"
Robinson, who will stay in Saratoga through Monday, said her late husband was a big horse racing fan as well.
"He used to go to Yonkers Raceway and Roosevelt Raceway whenever he had the chance," she said.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
"We were out the other night at Siro's," Chip says.
The highlight of the evening, he goes on, was when he and Tim pretended they were each other; Chip donning Tim's trademark baseball cap and introducing himself as Summer Bird's trainer and Tim sporting Chip's black cowboy hat and leaning on his crutches and telling everyone he trained the Kentucky Derby winner.
"Did it work?"
"Maybe about 40 percent believed it," says Chip.
"Nah," says Tim, "nobody was fooled. I don't have a mustache."
Friday, August 14, 2009
Trainer Chip Woolley and his famous crutches pull up behind the stakes barn at Saratoga Friday morning. He had the cowboy hat, too, but where were his sunglasses?!!!!?