Saratoga Special

Chart of the week: Roamer wins the Saratoga Special, August 1913

Chart: New York Herald Tribune, 08/10/1913.

“Saratoga, Aug 9 – Andrew Miller’s Roamer won the Saratoga Special from a strong field of two-year-olds at the track here to-day like a colt of highest quality.

Breaking on his toes, Byrne took him right to the front, and this advantage counted, as the colt was good enough to force the pace, withstand a bold challenge from Gainer in the run around the turn and shake off his most dangerous rival inside the last sixteenth, to win by a length and a half in the good time of 1:13 for the six furlongs.

J. L. Holland’s Gainer was second, two lengths before E. R. Bradley’s Black Toney, with Punch Bowl fourth and the others badly strung out.

The start had much to do with the outcome. It was fair considering the size of the field, twelve horses going to the post, but in the scramble for position several suffered, including Early Rose, Punch Bowl, and Imperator, all of which were fancied to win. Captain Cassatt’s Spear Head [sic] was another unfortunate, being cut down in a way which may cause his retirement. Punch Bowl and Imperator were both slightly injured, the former being crowded against the fence.

After the race Andrew Miller was congratulated on all sides, and his delight at winning one of the most coveted stakes of the season was plain to see. He bought Roamer from Woodford Clay at Belmont Park two or three weeks ago for a price said to be $4,000 and would not part with him now for three time that amount. Mr. Clay was quite as pleased as Mr. Miller, but could not help expressing regret that he had parted with the horse before winning the real sprinting fixture of the year and the piece of plate, valued at $500, which is such a prized trophy.

Roamer won a selling race at Belmont Park in which he was entered to be sold for $1,000. At that time Albert Simmons bid him up to $2,200, but Mr. Clay retained him. Since then the colt has not shown enough to indicate that he could beat such a good field as he met to-day, but from now on he must be considered, when racing with the best, Old Rosebud excepted.” (New York Herald Tribune, 08/10/1913)

Photo: First Landing prior to the 1958 Saratoga Special

Below is a photo of future champion First Landing (Turn-To (GB)) taken by Bert Clark Thayer prior to the running of the 1958 Saratoga Special (6f).

PHOTO - First Landing (The Thoroughbred BCT)

Photo by Bert Clark Thayer of First Landing prior to the 1958 Saratoga Special, as published in The Thoroughbred: Pictorial Highlights of Breeding and Racing

Wearing blinkers for the first time, First Landing would defeat Pilot (Jet Pilot) by seven lengths for the win, improving his record to five wins* in five starts.
*Finishing 2nd in his debut at Jamaica in April 1958, First Landing would be bumped up to 1st via the disqualification of winner Restless Wind (Windy City (GB)).

“I never saw blinkers move a horse up so much,” said [Eddie] Arcaro after the race. “This was the biggest race he ever ran and it’s the first time I never touched him with the whip. Before this he was spooky between horses, he would duck in and often ran rank. But today he ran kindly. I took him back off Pilot going into the turn. I wanted him to have a horse in front of him and come from off the pace. But he wanted to run and I had a terrible time keeping him back there. When I let him run he just took off and was only galloping at the end.” (New York Herald Tribune, 08/07/1958)

CHART - 1958 Saratoga Special (NYT 1958.08.07)

The New York Times, 08/07/1958