It was somewhat prophetic when I snapped the above picture in the paddock prior to the 95th running of The Schuylerville Stakes (G3) on Friday afternoon. The jockey statues of the two horses that dead heated in the 2012 Travers are prominently displayed in the paddock at the Spa, in addition to the two canoes in the infield pond. The feature race of opening day ended in a dead heat between the Bret Calhoun-trained Bahnah and Brazen Persuasion trained by Steve Asmussen.
We spent the day on The Porch, a very nice spot to watch the races, even in the oppressive heat that has been bearing down on the Capitol Region over the past few days. There was a nice breeze blowing through our area so it wasn't as overbearing as it could have been. After the track we ventured up to Saratoga National for some drinks and appetizers on the patio that was very relaxing. We ended the evening at the Merry Monk (formerly Tiznow) where I tried the pomme frittes with chipotle mayo that hit it out of the park.
My advance on the meeting for The Buffalo News focuses on some records, the big races of the meet and the historical perspective of the 150th anniversary of racing in Saratoga. Today's big race is the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks which has attracted only five fillies including the Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar and Unlimited Budget, last seen finishing sixth in the Belmont Stakes against the boys. I think Unlimited Budget will defeat the Oaks champion, who likely won't get the pace scenario that favored her late closing style in Louisville.
Here's a look at the day in pictures, primarily of the 2-year-old maiden race won impressively by Stopchargingmaria and the Schuylerville....
|Donna Barton Brothers interviews|
|Hall of Fame trainers Zito and Lukas|
shoot the breeze
|Second place finisher in the 3rd|
22-1 shot J. Quirk
|Trainer Gary Contessa|
|Maggie Wolfendale chats with|
|Rare visit by Toronto-based jock|
|Zito and Joel Rosario|
|Johnny V aboard Stopchargingmaria|
|Win Photo - Repole Stables|
|Bret Calhoun saddles|
|Jose Lezcano and Johnny V|
|Javier Castellano aboard Elena Strikes|
|Johnny V up on Yes Liz|
|Rosie Napravnik on Brazen Persuasion|
|Corey Lanerie on Bahnah|
|Head bobbing to the wire in the Schuylerville|
|Dead heater Bahnah|
|Dead heater Brazen Persuasion|