Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Saratoga Springs NY
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,004
Travers Stakes & American Pharaoh
You would not believe what has happened to my place, Saratoga Springs, the town that bills itself as 'The Summer Place to Be', in the last week. It really betgan when Bob Baffert announced that American Pharaoh would be running in the Travers Stakes, the oldest continuous-running thoroughbred stakes race in the western hemisphere, first run in 1864.
I watched the TV coverage Wednesday of the colt arriving at Albany Airport and being transported to the track where he was met by a mob of fans. It is estimated that the City of Saratoga Springs, population in 2014 about 27,500, is now hosting at least 100,000 visitors due to the thoroughbred race meet. Hotel prices have been quadruple or quintuple the norm. I've heard of a $169. room charging $900.
NYRA has capped attendance at the track for today's races at 50,000.
Wednesday the track announced that it would be open Friday morning (yesterday) for race fans to watch American Pharoah's exercise session from 8:45-9:00AM free of charge. I suggested to my wife that we go, just for the fun and history. We arrived on Union Avenue, which the track abuts, at 7:15AM to be sure to park and get in. There was no remaining parking on the streets or elsewhere within a mile of the track. The official word was that over 15,000 fans showed up just to watch the horse gallop one lap of the track. Employees at the track estimated over 20,000. We raced home and watched the warm-up on TV.
Bear in mind that while American Pharoah is the first triple crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, in its entire 151 year history only one Triple Crown Winner has ever won the Travers Stakes, Whirlaway, in 1941!
There is serious history in the making here in a bit over four hours.
575M F1, Maserati Spyder, Cadillac STS-V & CTS
past: 330/365GTC speciale, F355b, 412GT, 400iA, 308GT4 2+2, 330GT 2+2, Porsche 356b Super 90, BMW 1800ti
what do I know? I drive blue Ferraris