A season unlike any other…
It was a strange and in some ways a disappointing racing season in Saratoga Springs. While the weather was generally terrific, we had problems getting our horses to run and when they ran, the best we could do was a third place with Jess Not Jesse.
We also had communication problems with our trainers. When I’d bump into Eric at the track or the sale, he’d be very friendly and Jeannie did return one of my calls… but we never did get to spend any time together all summer long. This was strange since we’ve felt so close to them.
And, just before the sales, i couldn’t get Linda to be responsive. I was so frustrated, we almost ended up with a new trainer and we did use a bloodstock agent to help us purchase horses. At least we cleared the air with Linda. She was very nice the rest of the summer and our friendship endures. Though it’s not clear whether Linda will be able to continue training for us under our current terms.
This summer’s goodbyes included giving away our last harness horse, who was unable to recover from leg injuries. A goodbye memorial for trainer Tom Voss who died last winter. Goodbye to Tom Durkin, the incomparable race caller who retired on August 31st. And, goodbye to the career of Jess Not Jesse who gave us all he could while he could, but even though he finished third on August 29, his ankles won’t do it anymore. So, we’re looking for a retirement facility for him.
Here’s a photo of Jess and Footsie on Clare Court, the small half-mile training track originally owned by August Belmont:
Here’s a photo of the goodbye cake, we had made for Tom Durkin and a photo of us and Tom in his booth on his final day, which was Tom Durkin Day in Saratoga Springs!
Another thing I realized is that no matter how much I wish to transfer my enthusiasm for Saratoga Springs to others, it will only happen once they’ve been here. If they like horses or just animals in general, they will engender their own enthusiasm and excitement. If they couldn’t care less about horses, it will be an interesting experience to see the horse world. It is certainly different.
Of course, there are those who love Saratoga Springs because of all the benefits it offers… Spas, water from the springs, excitement of a college town (Skidmore and Empire State), history (Battle of Saratoga to it’s moniker as Sin City long before Las Vegas), concerts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Free Shakespeare in Congress Park, lakes, zip lining, rodeos, golf, casino, or just shopping on Broadway… and much more!
So, no more campaigning for others to come. You’re welcome to come whenever there is room. If you let us know early, we might be able to tell you what we’re planning for the time you’ll be here and get you tickets for special events. All I can say is that we love it here and we love sharing the love with our guests. At the end of the Passover Seder, we say, “Next year in Jerusalem.” So, at the end of another racing season we’ll add, “Next summer in Saratoga Springs!”