Scaredy Cat Films

2008 Travers Stakes
Saratoga Springs New York

August 23rd, 2008

My wife and I had a great trip out to Saratoga for the 2008 Travers Stakes. We've been going to Saratoga each year for the Travers since 2004 when we saw Birdstone win in a downpour. This year I went on opening weekend too, July 26th, and it was a lot of fun, I hope to go again next year. We usually meet up with our friend Mark, from Boston, and sometimes his two brothers come up from New Jersey. Past years have seen my sister and her husband as well as my wife's brother come too. This year we had a group of 10 come out for the race. We decided to have a little fun this year, and decorated my car in Adena Springs colors. We wrote Harlem Rocker on the front in backwards letters like you see on an Ambulance, wrote "Harlem Rocker" and "Saratoga" on the rear window, and I drew some Adena Spring Logos on each side of the car. Got some looks on the way out and back. Saw some folks taking pictures too. It came out really well.

The day at the races was awesome. A decent amount of long shots came in, which didn't help my attempts at the daily doubles. I was loosing more than winning after the first few races and tuned it down a little. I eventually hit a $60 exacta and was back in business. My wife hit the long shot with Slambino (88-1) and made $90 right there. Tom Durkin did a great job with the race calls for the day, and the crowd (estimated at 40,723) was really into it. If you haven't seen race 7 on youtube, the link is at the bottom, its worth a watch. The Exacta was $2,565; the Trifecta was $105,914; the Superfecta was $1,523,188.00!

We had seats in Grandstand Section U, Row G for the race. I decided to camp out at the paddock area during the King's Bishop so I would have a good spot to see the fantastic entries for the Travers. I met a photographer doing freelance for thoroughbred times (his name was Tom), I hope to see his photos soon.

The horses looked great in the paddock. The all walked by and I think I got some really great photos. My thought on betting were that Court Vision was starting too far out, and not worth a look, Tale of Ekati sounded like he wanted to rebound from his bad run at the Jim Dandy and looked like he could pay handsomely in a Show bet, Mambo in Seattle was a definite threat to win, Tizbig coming of 6 days rest was not to be bet, Amped was outclassed, Tres Borrachos wasn't;t a threat, and I figured Colonel John to be a synthetic track horse racing against dirt trained champs. I focused by bets on Harlem Rocker, Mambo in Seattle, with Pyro, Macho Again, and Ekati mixed in on several shows. I boxed a trifecta of Harlem Rocker, Mambo, and Pyro, along with various show bets and a few wins and exactas. With no clear favorite, there was a lot of money to be had in this race.

Harlem Rocker in the Paddock

Lines of VIPs to see the Horses

Once the horses left the paddock I raced over to my seat, having made my bets the race before. I got a few long distance shots of Harlem Rocker during parade. They came out better than I thought. He was a little jumpy, and didn't seem to want to get into the gate. Coa tried to lead him to the gate but he turned away a few times. A worker tried to drag him over, but he resisted. They used a little whip thing to scoot him in.

We sat near the 1/8th pole and got to see Harlem Rocker round the corner. He seemed to get swallowed up in all the horses, as the leaders faded, and Mambo in Seattle, Harlem Rocker, and Pyro surged forward. We hoped he could hang on, but ended up beaten by a nose to finish in fourth. I was very disappointed, but have to remind myself he finished 4th against a field of top three year olds in only his 6th race. I hope there is a lot more to come from him.

I got down to the rail after the race, and watched a spent Harlem Rocker walk by with the barn foreman. He gave it his all, but still had those perky ears. It was a fantastic finish for Colonel John and Mambo. One of the best in years, and we all had a great time.

Days Results for Saratoga: PDF

They Are Off!

The Start!

 

Harlem Rocker Car
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD700IS
Headed to Saratoga!
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD700IS
Adena Springs Colors
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD700IS
Eibar Coa and Robby Albarado
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Tale of Ekati
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Tale of Ekati
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Colonel John and Garret Gomez
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Colonel John
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Da'Tara, Alan Garcia, and Nick Zito
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Tizbig
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Macho Again
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Macho Again with Julian Leparoux on top
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Macho Again
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Harlem Rocker with Eibar Coa
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Todd Pletcher and Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Heading towards the Track
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Robby Albarado on Mambo in Seattle
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Tyler Baze on Tres Borrachos
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Tres Borrachos
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Pyro
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Court Vision
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
On Track
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Posing for a Picture? Or Stubborn?
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Lead Forward
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Leading into the Gate
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Barn Foreman and Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Post Race Harlem Rocker
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS
One Tired Horse
Photographed: 08-23-2008
Camera: Canon SD850IS

 

2008 Travers called by Tom Durkin:


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