As I've noted in years past there is a true connection to James Bond with Saratoga. One of the year over year elite always at The Spa was Josephine "Jo" Hartford. She was heiress to the A&P fortune and her last husband John Ivor Bryce was the one-time British intel officer who was best friends with author Ian Flemming.
She was active in horse racing for decades, and numerous horses that she owned raced at Saratoga, Belmont and Aquaduct in the United States and also in Britain. Her racing colors were red and orange, and she owned Mill River Stable in South Arlington, Vt., and had a horse-breeding establishment at Moyns Park in Essex County north of London. Her best-known horses included Miss Grillo, the winner of the Pimlico Cup in 1948, and Chop Chop, a leading sire in Canada.
Last edited by Glimmerglass; Jul. 23, 2012 at 10:49 PM.
Today' feature, despite it being simply a Wednesday, is the Grade 2, $200,000 Lake George Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, with a field of 8, 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon turf course.
For this race we'll see the return of Johnny V since his shoulder/collar injury aboard the Ramsey's Stephanie's Kitten. She is poised to pass the $1 million mark in earnings. The Lake George will be her first start since winning the May 4 Edgewood on turf at Churchill Downs.
However the real firepower may be a fresh import born and bred from England who wasn't bought simply for her looks: Samitar. She is arguably the most accomplished filly in the field off her victory last May in the classic Irish 1,000 Guineas. Purchased in April by Wall Street trader Martin Schwartz, the daughter of Rock of Gibraltar has been shipped to the U.S. "because she prefers firmer ground than she has been racing on in Europe." She will have the white hot Ramon Dominguez guiding her.
Johnny V will only have once chance - in the 5th - to get his feet wet again with riding post-injury in a race. He has Lucky Friend as his mount for Todd Pletcher. Then it's right into the (G2) Lake George in the 9th race. The jockey colony is this deep with talent that getting mounts again will be tough for JV.
Believe there is probably a crowd of ashes that have collected there over the years.
I certainly wouldn't doubt it as people have been going there, literally the same spot, for generations.
Already a "wow" effort today and in this meet with a track record set with complete ease ---Race 5 [2-yr old fillies, $80,000 maiden special weight] with Julien Leparoux up on Teen Pauline (returning $6.80) wins a Five Furlong debut in hand with a final time of 56.53. Homebred for for Jackson's Stonestreet and sets the track record by .01
She scored by 4 3/4 lengths over My Happy Face and it was more than 10 lengths back to the rest.
ETA: this is 2012 and thankfully people can quickly upload races for all to view
Look - the 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice will be running at Saratoga ... on Wednesday in $90k third-level allowance race! As I've said before - winning the Belmont as of late is the kiss of death to a horses career.
And what happened today? The Belmont winner finished dead last in the race.
After the race, Napravnik was in enough pain that she needed to sit in a chair in the winner's circle [her ride finished 4th in the race] while emergency medical technicians iced her right foot. She was later helped into a truck and taken back to the jockey's room.
She'll still ride Thursday. That's gritty!
Today's track record earning Stonestreet-bred and owned horse "Teen Pauline" is named after the mother of Barb Banke (Mrs. Jess Jackson); which is in keeping with several horses named family and friends.
One and done runner who debuted at Santa Anita, Mclean's Music, was named for the Jackson's grandson, and My Miss Aurelia, who won her debut at Saratoga and went on to be crowned 2-year-old filly champion, was named after co-owner George Bolton’s mother. As noted the expected name for the Curlin/Rachel Alexandra colt is expected to be named somehow ofter Jess. Barbara's comments:
“For a homebred named after my mom, [a track record] means everything,” Banke said. “It’s great, it’s wonderful. After Aurelia last year named after George’s mom, I had to name a good one after my mom, so we did.”
This is the second talented debuting 2-year-old filly Stonestreet sent out in six days. Last Friday, on opening day, Kauai Katie, trained by Todd Pletcher, won her debut by 12 lengths. She earned a 100 Beyer for the effort!
The giveaway hat on this Sunday looks better than prior years.
John Velazquez , to be inducted in the Hall of Fame next month, failed to score on his 2 mounts yesterday - but today struck paydirt in the 8th race - the Quick Call Stakes - with Artest over Julien Leparoux aboard Drago's Best. So they trade places in the feature compared to yesterday's results.
Yesterday he had the wagering favorite at post time, Stephanie's Kitten, in the $200,000 Lake George for 3-year-old fillies. They made a late inside move but could not catch the 5-2 Centre Court, piloted by Julien Leparoux, who won the race by a neck.
With the steeplechase race - Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes - today it was without incident but big balloons
The win went to jockey Robby Walsh aboard Demonstrative - trained by Richard L. Valentine - and owned by The Chronicle of the Horse magazine owner Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Victory returned for the $2 wager $32.20 and the $2 exacta with Wanganui paid $307!
Lot's o water today so hopefully there are a few good mudders running today Scratches galore after rain overnight & into morning. $100k Irish Linnet Stakes (6th race for 3yrs and up F/M) only turf race still on the grass as of now. Per tweets this morning: Main track still in relatively good shape, being harrowed not sealed during the break.
Friday is twilight racing so the races go off at 2:30pm EST
Barbara Banke will announce the name of the Curlin-Rachel Alexandra colt in the winner's circle following the Curlin Stakes at the Spa on Friday.
The Curlin Stakes - Race 8 - goes off at 6:22 pm EST and Augustin Stable's "Ever So Lucky" remains in the race despite a couple of scratches including Morgan's Guerrilla. Just six horses going to the post for the $100k race.
On SATURDAY a few big graded races plus one horse I've liked for a while - Shankopotamus running in the 4th for $20k
PP. Horse. ___ Jockey
1. Tapitsfly. ___ J Rosario
2. Law of The Range (GB). ___ R Maragh
3. Zagora (FR). ___ R A Dominguez
4. Dream Peace (IRE). ___ J R Leparoux
5. Winter Memories. ___ J Castellano
6. Hungry Island. ___ J R Velazquez
PP. Horse. ___ Jockey
1. Alpha. ___ R A Dominguez
2. Fast Falcon. ___ R Napravnik
3. Atigun. ___ J R Leparoux
4. Neck 'n Neck. ___ L R Goncalves
5. My Adonis. ___ J Castellano
6. Teeth of the Dog. ___ J Rosario
7. Liaison. ___ M Garcia
8. Prospective. ___ J R Velazquez
A contest was held after the foal was born earlier this year to name the male foal. Banke said that 220 people submitted the name. There were 6,690 total votes. The winner of the contest is Samuel Bucholz of California.
“We drew (Bucholz’s) name out of a hate standing in Rachel’s stall a couple days ago in Kentucky,” Banke said. “Rachel was looking on. I am going to call (Bucholz) right after this and invite him and a guest to the farm to see Rachel and the foal.”
The name fits because the late Jess Jackson, the founder of Stonestreet Farm, always wanted to breed Curlin to Rachel. He thought it would be a potential for a super horse. Hence the name, Jess’s Dream.
Just wanted to correct something...Maggie is the daughter of trainer Howard Wolfendale, she is a lovely girl and I've had the pleasure of watching her grow up. We shot her first TV gig together in an ESPN commercial about 15 years ago.