am I bid? a yearling on the auction block at the Finney
eyeing race-course glory flock to the Fasig-Tipton yearling
sales in Saratoga Springs
the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday
night, horse number 142, listed as chestnut colt
in the catalog (one of many), paced the ring and tugged his
handler around. Hyper-vigilant men in tuxedoes studied the
crowd for signs of movement, looking for new bids. As the
number on the electronic scoreboard overhead flipped past
half a million, the thoroughbred let out a defiant bray heard
up in the balcony. His price soon gained six zeros, a price
reached for only the second time of this years Fasig-Tipton
Saratoga Selected Yearlings sales, which began on Monday.
The crowd murmured, and the excitement increased. Bids flew
across the auction-house floor as the number ratcheted up.
When it finally stalled out, the bidding had eclipsed the
$2 million mark. The crowd was completely silent for a moment,
stunned or maybe deferential. The chestnut colt, sired by
Mr. Greeley, was led from the floor, and a round of applause
rang out from the seats.
the highest price of the two-day sales by more than a million
dollars, the chestnut colt deserved his cheers from the crowd.
But with its applause the crowd also signaled an appreciation
for the audacity of the winning bidders: Team Valor, a horseracing
partnership from Kentucky. Along with the purchasers of more
than 200 other colts and fillies on the auction block early
this week, the partnership took a major gamble that a year-old
horse, untested on the racetrack and yet to be trained by
saddle and rider, can win big at some point in the future,
or at least claim enough prize money to make the investment
worthwhile. Pedigree and physique were among their only guides.
up: a yearling beingled to the pavilion.
from all over the world attend the sales to have their chance
at the progeny of illustrious racehorses like A.P. Indy, Storm
Cat and crowd favorite Smarty Jones. Earlier in the evening,
as the sales got underway, a flank of police officers stood
outside the pavilion as luxury cars rolled up, Jags and Porsches
waiting to be valet-parked. Loudspeakers broadcast the commotion
indoors to the outside, and it could be heard for blocks.
Cries of 110, 110 reached beyond the East Avenue
pavilion, descending into a stream of auctioneers babble,
comical in its cadence, each word coming faster and making
less sense than the one before. Casual observers cruised up
on bicycles, stopping to peer through the bank of windows
surrounding the rotund building named for Humphrey Finney,
the late horse auctioneer and chairman of the Fasig-Tipton
Co., which conducts thoroughbred auction sales in several
locations in the United States.
in the complex of green sales paddock barns behind the pavilion,
freshly brushed horses with numbered stickers on their flanks
were paraded in circles in front of their potential buyers,
who had pens and catalogs in hand. Another auctioneer voice,
expressive and British, projected from the pavilion and beyond,
setting the tone for the auction proceedings. A Robin Leach
for the horse set, his silver-tongued boasts trumpeted horse
DNA, rather than the champagne wishes and caviar dreams
of the rich and famous. From the family of none other
than Rags to Riches, take a look at this wonderful pedigree,
he enthused about one budding equine celebrity. You
could wait a lifetime to find a horse that looks like this,
he trilled about another.
of spectators and bidders filled the back, with all of its
mini-scenes, from the bustling bar and restaurant tables to
the barns, where workers prepared horses for their time on
the stage. Tight-faced women in print dresses and men in blue
blazers, representing the box-seat-at-the-track crowd, rubbed
shoulders with curious onlookers in shorts and T-shirts. A
famous former teen singer smoked a thin cigar; a prominent
jockey chatted with friends. TV screens displayed the action
going on inside, as serious horse buyers carried binders,
spoke strategy into cell phones and leaned on the brown fence
posts to study the muscle-ripped horses, who showed occasional
flashes of their high-strung natures. Rearing and wheeling,
wild-eyed, they required quick tugs on their reins by handlers
to come back under control. People nearby milled about blissfully
unaware of how dangerous it could be if a horse got loose
and charged in their direction.
got the looks, hes got the pedigree, trilled the
auctioneer again, a statement that he also undoubtedly made,
in some creative fashion, about the evenings star horse,
York-bred preferred yearlings sale will take place this Friday
and Saturday (Aug. 10-11) at 7 PM at the Humphrey S. Finney
Pavilion (East Avenue, Saratoga Springs). Admission to the
sale is free and open to the public.
SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (Saratoga Spa State Park,
Saratoga Springs, tickets: 476-1000). Mon: Incubus,
the Bravery, Simon Dawes.
ON THE ROOF (Rooftop patio, Tang Teaching Museum and Art
Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, 580-8080). All
shows at 7 PM. Fri: Reggie’s Red Hot Feet Warmers.
9 MAPLE AVENUE (9 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs, 583-CLUB).
Fri: John Blood Band. Sat: Jonathan Lorentz Group.
CAROLINE STREET (13 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0155).
Tue: Mike Grutka Project.
ALLEY BAR (Long Alley Road, Saratoga Springs,587-9766).
Tue: karaoke with Mark the Shark.
BAILEY’S (Phila and Putnam streets, Saratoga Springs,
583-6060). Thu: Tequila Mockingbirds.Fri: October
Circle. Sat: Rich Ortiz. Sun: Nate.
RESTAURANT (390 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 587-6262).
Thu, Sun: Al Bruno. Fri: the Heaters. Sat: High
LENA (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022). Thu:
open mic (7 PM).
CAFÉ (392 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 583-1106). Thu:
open mic with Nate Solomon. Sat: DJ Tommy. Wed: George
Boone Jazz Band.
CLUB HOUSE (30 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0686).
Fri-Sat: DJ Daniel Van D.
GROTTO NIGHTCLUB (388 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 584-CAVE).
Tue: DJ Logic with John Popper, Chad Perrone.
INN (1 Gridley St., Saratoga Springs, 587-4909). Thu:
the Heaters. Fri: the Audiostars.
CONFIDENTIAL (38 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 584-0130).
Fri: Soul Session. Sat: Bluz House Rockers.
RISTORANTE AND OTTO LOUNGE (17 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs,
583-6955). Sat: the Heaters.
HOUSE (1 York St., Saratoga Springs, 226-0014). Thu: Joe
Gitto and Mo Rancourt. Fri: Darren Lyons Trio.
Sat: Sarah Pedinotti Band. Tue: Mouzon House Band.
Wed: Colin McCoy and Peter Davis.
CAROLINE STREET (1 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 587-2026).
Thu: Azzaam Hameed Duo. Fri, Mon: Sarah Pedinotti
Band. Sat: Joe Finn Trio. Sun: Joe Gitto.
Tue: Adrian Cohen. Wed: Brian Patneaude Duo.
RESTAURANT (Route 9P, Saratoga Lake, 584-6882). Fri: Rennie
Crain. Sat: Michael Panza with Bob Zampino.
CITY TAVERN (19 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 581-3230).
Fri: the Stillwell Project.
(168 Lincoln Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-4030). Thu-Wed: piano
bar with Roger Morris. Thu: Electric City Horns.
Fri: New York Players. Sat: Milo Z. Sun: Rocky
Velvet. Mon: Vivid. Wed: Good for the Soul.
NIGHTCLUB (Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, 342 Jefferson
St., Saratoga Springs, 584-2110). Thu: the Pulse of Boston.
Sun: Fritz’s Polka Band.
NIGHT CLUB (30 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0686).
Fri-Sat: DJ Daniel Van D.
Round Lake Auditorium, 2 Wesley Ave., Round Lake. 8/12,
8 PM; 8/13, 2 PM: A pipe organ recital featuring Cherie Wescott
of Oklahoma City. $8-$5. 899-2130.
Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga
Springs. 8/9, 8 PM: Violinist Itzhak Perlman will join the
Philadelphia Orchestra for Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.
5, plus works by Respighi (The Fountains of Rome)
and Elgar. $80-$23. 8/10, 8 PM: Charles Dutoit conducts the
Philadelphia Orchestra in an evening of Latin and Latin-inspired
works by Piazzolla, Ravel, Chabrier and Rimsky-Korsakov. $70-$18.
8/11, 2 PM: Luis Biava conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra
in a young people’s program. Works by Dukas, Saint-Saëns,
Glinka, Khachaturian and more. $30-$10. Violinist Joshua Bell
joins the Philadelphia Orchestra for Barber’s Violin Concerto,
plus Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique) and
Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide. $80-$23. 587-3330.
Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga
Springs. 8/11, 8 PM: A program titled the Heart of the Tango.
8/12, 2:15 PM: Tokyo String Quartet will perform music of
Beethoven, Schumann and Lera Auerbach. 8/14, 8 PM: An evening
of works by Schumann, Penderecki, and Beethoven performed
by Kirill Gerstein (piano), Steven Isserlis (cello), Chantal
Juillet (violin) and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Flores Studios, 468 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 587-0194.
Grand opening of new location featuring live music, mojitos
and art. 8/11, 6-9 PM.
National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, 99 S. Broadway,
Saratoga Springs. 584-2225. Just Black and White, dance
photography by Clifford Oliver. Opens 8/10. Reception 8/10,
Gallery 100, 462 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 580-0818.
Horse of a Different Color, works by Audrey Romano.
on the Hudson, 92 Broad St., Schuylerville, 695-6131.
Early and recent paintings by New York City artist Tom Vincent.
Also, works by Susan Reynolds and Joyce Vincent.
Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, 99 S. Broadway, Saratoga
Springs. 584-2225. On Browaday. Also, The Dawn of
Modern Dance: Music, Myth and Movement, chronicling the
lives of Ruth St. Denis and Isadora Duncan. Also, Works
by Frank Ohman. Also, Two Dancers, photography
by Charles Bremer and poetry by Robert Bensen. Also, The
Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, 191 Union Ave., Saratoga
Springs. 584-0400. The Voss Family, Artists of American
Sporting Life; also, California Images: The Racing
Photography of William Mochon; also, the Racing Art Collection
of Charles H. Thieriot Collection.
York State Military Museum, 61 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs.
581-5100. Worth a Thousand Muskets: Civil War Field Artillery;
also,Battleground for Freedom: New York during the Revolutionary
War; also, World War II: United for Victory; also,
Fiery Trial and Sacrifice: New York and the First World
Studios, 96 Broad St., Schuylerville. 369-3280. Uncorrupted
Horses, a multi-artist show.
Automobile Museum, 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Spa
State Park, Saratoga Springs. 587-1935 ext. 20. East of
Detroit, and New York Racing exhibit. Also, Barn Finds.
Springs History Museum, Canfield Casino, Congress Park,
Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Along the Winding River: A
Natural and Human History of the Kayderosseras Creek.
Visitors Center, 297 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 587-3241.
The Backstretch, Mostly, paintings by R.C. Ewell.
College, Schick Art Gallery, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga
Springs. 580-5049. Regis Brodie: A Retrospective.
Teaching Museum and Gallery, Skidmore College, 815 N.
Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 580-8080. Alumni Invitational
2. Through 8/12. Also, West African Masquerade, photographs
by Phyllis Galembo.
Borders Books & Music, 395 Broadway, Saratoga
Springs. 8/9, 7 PM: Jon Katz will read from and sign
his new book, Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm. 583-1200.
Springs Public Library, 49 Henry St., Saratoga Springs.
8/12, 3 PM: Saratoga Poetry Zone open mic. 548-7860.
Malta/Saratoga Farmers Market, Dave Meager Community Center,
Route 9, Malta. Tuesdays, 11 AM-2 PM.
Farmers Market, High Rock Park, High Rock Avenue, Saratoga
Springs.Saturdays, 9 AM-1 PM; Wednesdays, 3-6 PM.
Ghost Walks Haunted History Tours of Saratoga Springs
begins every Friday evening July-October and Saturday evenings
at 7 PM in August and October. $10, $5. 584-4132, MasonWinfield.com.
Animal Rescue Adoption Clinic and Pet Supply Drive 8/18,
1-3:30 PM at Saratoga County Shelter, 6010 County Farm Road,
Ballston Spa. 428-2994, www.hopeanimalrescue.org.
Spa State Park announces Mineral Springs Tours every Tuesday
and Friday in August, 11 AM. $3, $5. Registration required.
584-2000 ext. 119.www.nysparks.com
racing fans viewing the finish line from the good seats in
the Clubhouse, Saratoga Race Course, Aug. 24.