07/23/2011 9:49PM

And they're off...at Saratoga!

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Usually, it takes a race meet a while to heat up...but not this year, as temperatures neared 100 the first two days. I'll post random photos from the Spa, from time to time, including this first group.

 

Above: Eddie Castro found it's tricky trying to cool off It's Tricky after their Coaching Club American Oaks win.  The filly's reaction to a bucket of ice water?  Well, Eddie won't try that again.  Below, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin gives It's Tricky an appreciative pat in the winner's circle.

Above and below:  Bill Mott's turf specialist Aviate proves that Zenyatta is not the only horse who knows how to dance (rider Kristen Lindsay up). Other well-known sashaying runners include Tahitian Warrior, Mission Approved and Lisa's Booby Trap.

Above:  Pigeons set an ominous tone, early morning on the Oklahoma side.  Hitchcock, anyone?

Above and below:  Jackson Bend...what's not to like?  He's small, he's by Hear No Evil, he's cute, his chestnut coat is so dark he's sometimes mistaken for bay - and his groom, Gus Sanchez (below), adores him.  Congratulations to his connections, including Nick Zito, on an impressive James Marvin victory.

Above:  Travers probable Brilliant Speed, trained by Tom Albertrani, looked pretty as a picture after a workout this morning.

Above:  It's about time.  For years now, I've been photographing speedy racehorses passing the "SLOW" sign on Union Avenue.  I just think it's funny.  Yet the photos don't show up in print.  On Sunday, however, the promising 2-year-old colt Overdriven, Patti Krotenko and SLOW made the Racing Form. 

Above and below:  It was back on the work tab for champion Uncle Mo, who, with Patti Krotenko aboard, went 3 furlongs in :38.40 on the main track.  

Above:  Racetrack ponies don't come much more successful than the one shown above.  It's Pleasant Breeze, now 16, escorting Jim Bond's Grade I winner Tizway.  Pleasant Breeze won two Grade 2s, placed in several graded stakes and earned over $1.2 million for trainer Bond and owner William Clifton, Jr.  Some might remember his 2000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup when, after winning, he became lame and was removed by horse ambulance.  Yet he lived to race another day.

Pleasant Breeze now has a second career as the Bond stable pony, including time spent at Saratoga with Jim's son - and assistant trainer - Kevin aboard (below).  The gelding also has lots of relaxing down time on the Bond's nearby farm.

Above:  Perhaps Rick Schosberg's pony here at Saratoga isn't well-known, like Pleasant Breeze.  Actually, the dark bay goes by several names and Rick hasn't partnered with him for long.  But that doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy a good ear scratching as much as any equine millionaire would - even allowing himself to look downright camel-like when Rick finds just the right spot.  

 

Above and below:  The beautiful Awesome Maria heated up Saratoga in 2009 with an 8+-length maiden victory.  Now 4, the multiple Grade I winner suffered a fractured leg in a workout last Monday and was sidelined.  I find her mane interesting nowadays because it starts off dark, up by her foretop, and lightens approaching her withers.  

Above:  The warm glow of a Saratoga silhouette.  

Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Apropos of nothing, on August 8th, Livingston’s Ghost won the sixth race at Mountaineer & paid $13.80!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Barbara I had the chance to visit Saratoga a year ago ( Jim Dandy weekend) & seeing your pictures just brings back wonderful memories. It's unlikey I will get back there again, I'm a West Coast gal, so Thank You for the beautiful pictures.
Stellar Jayne More than 1 year ago
Hi Barbara - Just a simple Thank You for the beautiful pictures of my favorite four legged beings! Loved seeing Uncle Mo. He is so beautiful - so sculpted. I hope he is truly well and that Pletcher and Repole keep his health as priority number one. Having been to Saratoga and stopped at red lights, I especially enjoyed the picture of Overdriven in the crosswalk. You certainly captured a shot that could have been a disaster for It's Tricky. Why didn't they just use the hose? Awesome Maria is just that - Awesome. What beautiful shots you have of her and her coloring. Was the 'above' taken when she was younger? Her coat looks to be considerably darker than the bottom picture. I hope she heals well. Being of similar coloring as Zenyatta, Aviate almost looks like her dancing double! I particularly appreciate the pictures of Pleasant Breeze, as the track ponies do not receive so much recognition for the work they do in the heat at Saratoga, or the freezing cold at Aqueduct. Keep your wonderful pictures coming.
Shirley Pace More than 1 year ago
I have found that in the latter stages of mid-life that I have fallen for the racehorses; especially Uncle Mo, Awesome Maria, Stay Thirsty. They really seem to fill a void these days. Your pictures are wonderful. So very well done. Thank you for the beautiful work.
judy and russ berube More than 1 year ago
Dear Barbara L: Love that shot of It's Tricky (as well as all the others). Don't know how you got that one. We were wondering if there's a chance you will be going to Lane's End to do a story and photos on Zenyatta? Hope so. Can only imagine the beautiful photos you will take of her. Thank you, Judy and Russ B.
Marsha Goldberg More than 1 year ago
Equine mastery through your lens...Beautiful!t
darlene sanner More than 1 year ago
beautiful and interesting as always Next best thing to being there
Michele More than 1 year ago
As always wonderful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.
laura More than 1 year ago
Barbara - incredible photos! Loved the pigeons as well, very funny because I grew up not too far from Bodega Bay California! Beautiful shot of Awesome Maria's mane and neck, reminds me of another award winning photo! Keep up the great work, I can't wait to see what comes next!
Delrene More than 1 year ago
Beautiful photographs, love the humor of some of them, the "slow" post!!! Awesome Maria - she is so gorgeous. Hopefully Uncle Mo is still her No. 1 man! thank you Ms. Livingston, what a great talent and such beautiful subjects.