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Blog - EVENTS/TRAVEL

There are many prestigious races for 3-year-old horses in addition to the Triple Crown, and then there is the Travers Stakes. A perfect bookend to the racing action that has built up over the summer since the Belmont Stakes, the $1-million, 1 ¼-mile Travers, the oldest Grade 1 race in the United States, is about as high-brow as you can get - it has tradition and class written all over it.

Bucolic Saratoga Race Course is a mesmerizing setting. Horses and people seem to sense the magic once they drink the spring water and saunter among its sap-green barns, white fences and verdant grounds. But a relaxed pace and summery atmosphere does not diminish the competitiveness in the air. The chance to be handed the Tiffany designed Man o’ War Cup in the winner’s circle by a member of the Samuel Riddle family and have a canoe in the infield painted in your stable’s colors is as alluring as any prized jewel in horseracing.

 So who do we have champing at the bit? It looks like a dream team of the best colts and geldings anywhere near the East Coast.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb has been getting seawater and hyperbaric spa treatments since his third-place Belmont finish. He looks rested and ready to run. Big horse Verrazano ran like a star when gobbling up the Haskell field earlier this summer, and speedy Palace Malice, underrated in the Belmont, won’t be overlooked here after winning the Jim Dandy Stakes. Neither will persistent Golden Soul, who although less than stellar since his second in the Kentucky Derby might be rejuvenated by the Saratoga magic. Will Take Charge has Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on his side. The Darley Stable entries, Romansh and Transparent, and as well as Moreno are all hoping for a good ride and some strategic luck. Ken McPeek, who won last year’s Travers with Golden Ticket in a dead heat, is looking to keep that infield canoe painted his colors with his entry War Dancer, a turf horse getting his second chance to shine on dirt.

Saratoga Race Course is called “the Graveyard of Champions” for the stunning defeats of favorites and champions that often take place there. Saratoga seems to bring out the best in people and horses. Its restorative powers may shape the race in ways that are inspiring, uplifting and maybe surprising.

Image Description

Jen Ferguson

Jen Ferguson is an artist whose interest in depicting racehorses and track life goes back to early childhood, when she was obsessed with drawing horses and jockeys out of Blood-Horse magazines she got from her uncle, who owned and raced Thoroughbreds. In fact, her first childhood drawings were of racehorses.

In 2009, she published a book of drawings and stories based on expeditions to Aqueduct titled “Railbirds: My Life at the Track.” Jen spent last August working on drawings at Saratoga Race Course and plans to return for the 2013 meet. She currently works in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she draws regularly at Aqueduct and Belmont Park. If you see her sketching at the track, say hello!

More of Jen’s work plus her racetrack sketchbook in progress can be seen at jenferguson.com

Image Description

Jen Ferguson

Jen Ferguson is an artist whose interest in depicting racehorses and track life goes back to early childhood, when she was obsessed with drawing horses and jockeys out of Blood-Horse magazines she got from her uncle, who owned and raced Thoroughbreds. In fact, her first childhood drawings were of racehorses.

In 2009, she published a book of drawings and stories based on expeditions to Aqueduct titled “Railbirds: My Life at the Track.” Jen spent last August working on drawings at Saratoga Race Course and plans to return for the 2013 meet. She currently works in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she draws regularly at Aqueduct and Belmont Park. If you see her sketching at the track, say hello!

More of Jen’s work plus her racetrack sketchbook in progress can be seen at jenferguson.com

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