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Today at Saratoga   Horse Racing

Started by Guest; 20439 views.
In reply toRe: msg 1

From: Guest


Thursday evening, August 9th

Just returned from the basketball fundraiser put on by the Race Track Chaplaincy of America for Andrew Lakeman, in which a team of jockeys took on a 5th grade AAU team from Texas with a record of 105-3.  Gulp!


Twelve stables (Stonerside Stable, Circle E Racing, Padua Stables, IEAH Stables, West Point Thoroughbreds, Lael Stables, WinStar Farm, Dogwood Stable, Darley Stable, James Scatuorchio, and Earle Mack) each donated $5,000, and donations were taken at the door for Andrew Lakeman.  You can get information about donating at


Participating jockeys:  Herbie Castillo, Pedro Morales, Garrett Gomez, Eibar Coa, John Velazquez, Javier Castellano, Kent Desormeaux, Pedro Cotto, Shaun Bridgmohan, Channing Hill, Mike Luzzi, and Norbert Arroyo, Jr.  Dressed in street clothes, Edgar Prado, Fernando Jara, and Ramon Dominguez joined the team on the bench for moral support.  Todd Pletcher was the coach, and Angel Cordero, Jr. appeared to play the assistant’s role. 


In the crowd:  Bill Mott, Christophe Clement, Shug McGaughey, Cot Campbell, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Kiaran McLaughlin, Pat Day, Andrew Lakeman’s mother, and Sam the Bugler, who played the national anthem. 


Took tons of photos that I’ll get posted in the next day or two.


It was a close game throughout, but the jockeys never trailed and won 44 – 39.  Eibar Coa and Kent Desormeaux rocked; they dominated most of the game, with some help from Mr. Arroyo.  At various times, Coa and Desormeaux faked; dribbled behind their backs and between their legs; passed behind their backs, and leapt acrobatically to get the ball to the basket.  Desormeaux in particular played a fairly aggressive game; at no point was there any suspicion that the jocks might let the kids win!  The jocks dominated on the inside game, but the kids had great technique and outdid the jocks from three-point range and on the foul line. 


It may have been the only game in history in which the crowd was rooting for the grown-ups to beat the kids!


No word yet on how much money was raised, but I’ll keep you posted.  The jockeys wore specially designed, sleeveless silks to represent the stables that contributed. 


Oh, and in case you’re keeping track:  John Velazquez was tossed from yet another mount today.  Twistaway broke through the gate before the start of the feature and ran off; Johnny V was unhurt (as evidenced by his participation in the game tonight), but he’s gotta be tired of this.  It didn’t appear to be the gate crew’s fault this time, but it’s the fourth time he’s been tossed this summer.   Over/under, anyone?

It’s also worth noting that he didn’t log an exceptional amount of time in the game tonight…poor skills, or Coach Pletcher making sure that his go-to guy didn’t get hurt?  You decide…  =)


Several jocks didn’t make it to the floor much, but were put in by Coach Pletcher when the game was in hand; hope these Grade I-winning jockeys didn’t feel too bad about making an appearance during garbage time. 


And in the type of comment that I am generally not given to making:  Kent Desormeaux changed his shirt right in front of me, and I can only say, in the words of Annie Savoy, “Oh, my…”

  • Edited 8/10/2007 9:01 am ET by TeresaNY
Msg 154 of 339 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 153

From: Derby132


Great post!  It sounds like it was great fun, too!  Thanks so much for posting.

I am beside myself with excitement.  Making my first trip to Saratoga tomorrow for Funny Cide's big day.  Thank you for your daily posts, they have been such fun to read.  Tomorrow is just a one day trip and then I am coming back for the Travers. 

Cindy  NY FOB 


Msg 155 of 339 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 153

From: GloriaIL


This is truly living vicariously!  PLEASE keep up the fascinating and fun reports from Saratoga!! Every day another little slice of local color, clever and thoughtful.  Good to hear the fundraiser for Andrew Lakeman was so well attended, and lots of money raised.

I have to say I think we were "separated at birth" as far as handicapping goes.  I feel like I almost mirror your experiences!!  One of these days it will all fall into place (hey, nothing wrong with optimism!).  Thanks again for this is totally enjoyable and means a lot for those of us who cannot be at The Spa...

In reply toRe: msg 155

From: DoryFunaro



So GLAD you could make this and even happier that you can report to us about it.

Sounds like a great nite but I TRULY thought the kids would demolish jockeys.  Goes to show just how ATHLETIC the riders are!  Way to go, RIDERS!!!!

Dory Funaro

Msg 157 of 339 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 147

From: Guest


A friend of mine has a sign on the stalls of his stallions...WARNING! FINGERS LOOK LIKE CARROTS!! Yummy, Yummy, chomp, chomp!!So unless you want to be LUNCH, do NOT stick your fingers through the grill...THANK YOU.

Halo had to have his mares covered with a pad as well. A lot of stallions bite for purchase, but some of them bite harder than others. Wasn't that "Hannibel Lector" cage something to behold?

Woodman's folks always sighed when you said you'd like to see him because they had to go after him with a pitchfork in his stall to bring him out.

Some of these guys developed these unfortunate habits because, well, they were just ornery. Others, because of cruelty, which I think is just sad. Halo seems to have passed his "genetics" on to his offspring. So if you see any of his around...even the grandchildren, heed to above-stated warning...unless you want a "special" souvenier.

Msg 158 of 339 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 149

From: Guest


Special place to visit in the early morning is the Oklahoma side. If you don't have credentials, then pay the $10 and take the walking tour with the Museum. At the farthest corner, you will find the barns of Shug McGaughey, Nick Zito and D. Wayne Lukas. I particularly like to watch the McGaughey/Phipps sets go out in the morning. The whole process over there is so finely tuned, unhurried and calm that they horses have an enjoyable morning experience. 99% of his exercise riders are girls as well. When the horses are brought from their stalls, they are tacked up and then hand-walked in a paddock ring, then the exercise riders go up and they are still walked in the ring with Shug watching them all the way. Each horse and rider go by him to the end of the barn and if you listen, you will hear him give instructions to each rider. Then, when the entire set are standing together at the end of the barn, they WATCH. They just stand there together and watch the other horses on the training track for a period of time until they are headed out to the track themselves. When they have completed their morning exercise, they are brought back calmly for a cool down, bath and then more walking a round in a paddock with their hotwalker, stopping for sips from their individually-marked waterbuckets along the way as they continue their cool-down process. Legs are hosed with cool water for a set amount of time before they go back into their stalls and the whole process begins again with another set. Nothing is hurried. All is for the benefit of the horses comfort and well-being. They are also brought out around 3 pm to graze. This is one of the few "old time" private stables left...and it's a joy to watch them work. No horse is "hurried" in their training or into a specific race unprepared. Nobody gets "thrown to the wolves." If a horse needs to go to the farm for awhile to regroup, they do it. If something seems "amiss," they search until they find the answer. The filies usually race through their 4yo season before being bred. This is a wonderful operation...stop by if you are in town and enjoy watching them work.
Msg 159 of 339 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 150

From: Guest


>>>Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stable>>>

Now THERE is a real Saratoga personality and one of the nicest people you will EVER want to meet!!

Msg 160 of 339 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 158

From: Guest


You have amazing timing!  I actually did the Oklahoma tour yesterday morning (a gorgeous morning, unlike today--rain, rain, rain!) and thought I would write about it soon--the Lakeman game took up my "writing time" yesterday.  And it was just as you described--I took loads of pictures and will get them posted as soon as I get them all organized.  It was wonderful...
Msg 161 of 339 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 157

From: Guest


How about Alleged?  I saw him in 96 at Walmac.  I was a bit out from his fence and he started charging.  The handlers all told me he HATED visitors.  So I just left him alone.

I also saw Sunnys Halo.  A pretty chesnut stallion.  Didn't have a chance to get close so I can't tell you about his disposition.

At the time Risen Star was also there.  One of the guys brought him out in the yard for me.  I was in the aisle and this horse came dancing out of his stall.  Let me tell you he's huge!  I was told he's ONLY 17.1--but I swear he'd pass for 18 hands.  He was head and shoulders over me.  For one of the rare times I was kinda scared of him so I just told the handler he could pat him for me!

During the same trip I got to see Rahy.  I have the funniest pic of him yawning.  He kinda looks like he's about to attack someone!

At Claiborne I saw Devil's Bag.  He was lying down in his stall.  The handler told me it was the horses job to come out and greet people.  Apparently the horse knew this.  Interestingly enough I think it was the first time I ever saw someone go into a stall and the horse didn't scramble to his feet.  The handler clipped the lead on and Devil got up.  The guy slowly led him out of the stall--because DB's would stretch.  One hind leg would go out backwards (like a kick) and then the other.  Then the handler picked up one foreleg after the other and helped DB stretch his front legs.

He just calmly stood there and let us photograph him.

I can't think of his name at the moment but Claiborne also had a stallion that was 24 or something.  The horse was sterile because of age.  So they pensioned him off.  The poor horse didn't know any different.  He had the same care as always.  He was put out in his field everyday.  It was nice to see a farm take care of an aged horse when they could have saved themselves the money caring for him and put him down, because he was no longer useful.

It's kinda interesting to see how different horses respond to their environment.  Some are so gentle and some really aren't.  One things for sure it takes a very experienced person to handle a stallion.

In reply toRe: msg 1

From: Guest


Two quick updates this morning:

Sean Clancy reported on the local racing channel that Better Talk Now will scratch from tomorrow's Sword Dancer, due to a slight injury incurred in the United Nations. 

Here's some video of the jockeys' basketball game last night:



  • Edited 8/10/2007 10:29 am ET by TeresaNY