Blog Master G

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Sunday, August 29th, 2004 · No Comments

Yesterday marked a picture-perfect end to a great summer. It was warm and sunny when we walked to Saratoga Race Course for the 135th Travers Stakes million-dollar running, the biggest race of the year. It was shown live on ESPN. The sun shone brightly for most of the afternoon.

Then, as if the universe had written the perfect screenplay for this stunning Saratoga Springs summer day, the sky blackened, thunder boomed, lightning flashed to provide a striking backdrop just moments before the Travers, the 11th race of the day, commenced. Day quickly became night. The energy of the crowd was intense. We had the best spot in the house, right up against the fence next to where the race began.

I had lost some money on the previous two races on which I had bet, but my winnings in the Travers were as dramatic as the weather.

$10 Exacta Box on 5 and 6.

Horse 5: Birdstone, owned by Saratoga socialite Mary-Lou Whitney, upset Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt this year when he cruised to victory in the Belmont.

Horse 6: The Cliff’s Edge, whom I didn’t know much about except what I learned yesterday morning in the Times Union. Matt Graves called him to win, and I had a good feeling about him.

I had $4 on The Cliff’s Edge to win, but I just couldn’t overlook the fact that the horse that beat Smarty Jones was also running. Hence the $10 Exacta Box.

The race ended with an exhilarating photo finish that gave Birdstone the win and The Cliff’s Edge the place. As a downpour errupted from the heavens, I cashed in my winning ticket and came home $116 richer.

[ Watch a video of the race ]

As the big winner of the day, I ended up buying about 50 bucks of drinks for the gang, but it was worth it. I’m anything but a high roller, so it was the most I’ve ever won, trumping the $75 I scored at the blackjack table in Vegas this year.

After the races, we walked home in the downpour for a delicious BBQ dinner and margaritas. Then we cruised into town for drinks at Tiz Now and DA’s before hitting the party at Joe’s place. By 3am when we walked back home, Caroline Street was like Mardi Gras, with people packed from wall to wall. We had a final round at Nine Maple, then called it a night.

It was a banner end to an awesome first summer here in Saratoga Springs.

[ Saratogian | Times Union ]


View all Travers party photos

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