09/08/2012 11:42AM

A look back at Saratoga 2012 - part 1


I'm finally getting the chance to catch up on some Saratoga images.  Below, find photos from just before the meet began and opening week.  In coming weeks, I'll post other photos from the recently wrapped-up 2012 meet at 'the Spa.'  Enjoy!

Above:  Two days before the meet, toteboards are put in place...

...and stables are shipping in, such as Bobby Barbara's outfit (above).

Above:  The clouds before sunrise on opening day, July 20.

Above:  The first race at Saratoga 2012 was won by Nine O Wonderful and Rosie Napravnik.

Above:  Rosie Napravnik not only won Saratoga's first race in 2012 but also the season's finale.

Above:  Rosie also won the 5th race on opening day, a maiden event, aboard Kauai Katie.  Kauai Katie won by 12 lengths, and on August 12 she followed this with a win in the G2 Adirondack.  

Above:  Joel Rosario spent the season at Saratoga...

...as did trainer Charles Lopresti.  Rosario's agent, Ronnie Ebanks, at right.  Morning means photos of people with coffee cups.

Above:  Tammy Fox, Shaun Bridgmohan and Eddie Kenneally chat away, as Archie waits patiently by.  And not only are coffee cups everywhere in the mornings...

...but so, too, are golf carts.  It's getting harder and harder to take good trainer portraits, as it seems almost every trainer spends mornings zooting about in golf carts (often on cell phones, to boot).  Above, Angel Penna, Jr., watches a set train - and that sure looks like a coffee cup in his hand.

Above:  Getting back to Archie for a moment.....this face just has to make you laugh!  Archie shares a household with Tammy Fox and Dale Romans.

Above:  Uh......that's going to take a while to straighten out.

Above:  Among the horses to make noise early in the meet was Bern Identity, ridden above by Chase Miller, who won the G2 Sanford on July 22.

Above:  Multiple Grade I winner Awesome Maria, shown with her friend Isabel Escobar, trained at Saratoga and ran third in the G2 Delaware Handicap on July 21.  

Above:  Awesome Maria working out with Jake Nelson aboard.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a better-dressed exercise rider than Jake (on August 11, Awesome Maria's retirement was announced).

Above:  Tony Dutrow visits with the lovely So Many Ways.  On July 20, So Many Ways won the opening day feature, the Schuylerville (G3).   She added the Spinaway (G1) on closing weekend.

Above:  So Many Ways and the Dutrow pony Ne Ne, eye to eye, the morning of the Schuylerville.

Above:  A 'typical' Saratoga sunrise.....  While not actually typical, we had several beautifully foggy mornings during the meet this year.  The fog tends to be best, by far, on the Oklahoma training track (above).

Above:  Chad Brown had a fantastic meet, taking second in the trainer standings while winning 29 races.  Over 50% of his runners finished either first or second.

Above:  Among Chad's Saratoga starters was the elegant millionaire Zagora, who added the G2 Ballston Spa to her impressive resume.

Above:  In second place in the Saratoga '12 jockey standings, Javier Castellano won 51 races.

Above:  2-year-old filly Can't Explain, second in the Schuylerville, enjoys her down time.

Above: The multiple stakes winning 5-year-old Jackson Bend, with Carlos Correa up, enjoys his up time....

...and Bill Mott's pony Paintball enjoys his upside-down time.

Above:  The powerful stakes-winning duo of Disposablepleasure (left, Jake Nelson up) and In Lingerie (Nick Bush) share some head-to-head time.

Above:  A Jimmy Baker set shares some head-to-head-to-head time (Ashley Heclo closest to camera).

Above:  The legendary Angel Cordero, Jr., called 'the King of Saratoga' and now agent for Johnny Velazquez, spent the meet like seemingly everyone else did....in a golf cart.  Where's his coffee cup?

Above:  Hey, John Terranova...where's your golf cart?

Above:  A morning backstretch scene that lacks either a golf cart or coffee cup.... B.G., the very friendly goat, with Kathy Ritvo (left) and rider Nick Petro, Jr.  

Above (and below!):  The delightfully cranky Lady Rizzi - now 9 years old and a winner at the Spa on July 23.  This stakes-winning mare showed displays like this morning....

....after morning....

....after morning.

Above:  Closeup of rider Neil Poznansky's leggings.  Neil cuts a dapper figure both in the mornings and afternoons.

Above:  The beautiful G1 winner Zo Impressive, with Joe Green, in Tom Albertrani's shedrow.

Above:  Zo Impressive's hooves and reflections.

Above:  In an effort to ruin any chance for a successful remote photo, Questing heads to the outside fence on her way to victory in the Coaching Club American Oaks on July 21.  Zo Impressive, right, was second.

Above:  Bill Mott studies his Lunar Victory winning the Evan Shipman on July 23....via the race replay, with binoculars.  That's why he's a Hall of Famer! 

Above:  Gate guard's reflection, after a rain, race day.

Above:  The immensely popular Winter Memories emerges from the fog the morning of July 21.  One week later, she won the G1 Diana Stakes.  On August 9, she was retired.  Countless fans will miss her....

More photos to come in subsequent blogs - and, to those who enjoy photos, my apologies for not having time to post them during the meet!

Cheryl Yeoman More than 1 year ago
Thanks again Barbara for some wonderful photos,so enjoyable and I agree with Jim Eggers and his wishing he was backside every day of his life ,it certainly is the best part of the racetrack ! And Barbara,you have a special gift of being able to capture it and share it with us!!! Looking forward to the next set !!
martha vaughn More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! Saratoga is so special. Great photos!
NTRAwing More than 1 year ago
You have an incredible sensibility, Barbara.
Jim Eggers More than 1 year ago
I always tell my non racing friends that the best part of a racetrack is the backside, and the best time of the day is the mornings when the horses are working and everyone is out and about. Your pictures capture that community beautifully, and always make me wish I was there every day of my life
Cheryl Yeoman More than 1 year ago
Thanks Jim Eggers,you described my feelings exactly,I mentioned you in my post ! Backside was my first exposure to horse racing as my Dad and I spent a lot of summer mornings there at Delaware Park ,when I was a young child.As you can see by my photo I did realize the love of backside as an adult working with these beautiful creatures,this is backside at Pimlico.
Rachel Carnicelli More than 1 year ago
As usual Barbara, These are beauties. So very nostalgic.... Sgt C
Paul More than 1 year ago
Great Photos as always. Nothing better than Saratoga in the mornings. Great photo of Rosie in the morning as well!
Delrene Sims More than 1 year ago
So amazing. I enjoy them so much. Beautiful photograph, hard to pick a favorite, but IF I had to, Winter Memories rolling out from the fog. Ethereal beauty.
Judy Maass Gadwood More than 1 year ago
Barbara, every time I look at your photography I tear up! I soooo envy your talent!!! I hope you did a 2013 Jockey Calendar - those don't make me tear up..... wink wink
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding feature of DRF site--most enjoyable, thank you.
nythoroughbred More than 1 year ago
Keep them coming! Thanks!!!