I've been out to the River and missed both these races. Not only
that, but I wasn't able to notify you about the races and still haven't
found the time to update them properly. So sorry, I have to
research them properly and as my mind grows older I have to relearn
this process each time.
I really hope I can notify you about the next race and if I'm home, I can also get all kinds of stuff to post. So Sorry!
RACE 8; July 26th, 2017; Saratoga
Saratoga Race Course Honors Nation’s Veterans
Veterans were invited into the winner’s circle after Race 3 Wednesday,
at Saratoga Race Course. Jockey Javier Castellano, center, rode the
Combat Controller to victory
|SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> Keith Koster was all smiles when a horse
aptly named Combat Controller won the third race, a highlight of
Wednesday’s Saratoga Race Course Military Appreciation Day festivities.
Koster, the American Legion’s new state vice commander, was one of
more than two dozen veterans, from World War II to the War on Terror,
who greeted the Javier Castellano-ridden horse in the track’s Winner
How much did he bet?
whopping $2!” said Koster, of Saratoga Springs.
“That’s all my wife allows me to bet each race.”
“That’s the last tip you’ll get from me,” joked fellow Legionnaire Dave Lockhart, of Corinth.
For all veterans on hand, the real payoff was the thanks thousands of track patrons showed them throughout the day.
“It’s great,” said county American Legion Commander Ed Burmaster,
of Post 490 in Stillwater. “Veterans do a lot for our country. It’s
nice when people appreciate us.”
Cpl. Donald Roy, of Long Island, and Sgt. Sergio Castillo, of
Tampa, Fla., are part of a West Point color guard that took part in
“This is really nice,” Roy said. “It’s my first time in Saratoga.”
The soldiers and veterans present represented more than 70 years of U.S. military history.
John Moriarty, of Albany, was a P-38 fighter plane crew chief with the 5th Air Force in the Pacific during World War II.
was part of the Invasion of Leyte, in October 1944, when (General
Douglas) MacArthur arrived in the Philippines,” he said.
|Bud Ubare, of VFW Post 420 in Saratoga Springs, received a Purple
Heart and Cross of Gallantry for his service with the U.S. Marine Corps
Several Korean War veterans also attended including Paul O’Keefe
and friend, Mary Kuelzow, whose late husband, Jim, a U.S. Marine, fought
at the infamous Chosin Reservoir in Korea.
Her son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Betsy Kuelzow of Burnt Hills were married at West Point, which Robert graduated from.
“The Bugler” Grossman treated veterans to patriotic songs
such as “God Bless America” and “Anchors
know why I get to do this?” said Grossman, whose father served in
Korea. “Because of you guys. Thank you so much.”
All active service members and veterans were given free
grandstand admission. When gates opened, performers from the USO Show
Troupe greeted guests with patriotic songs at the clubhouse entrance.
Throughout the day, the track’s Community Outreach Booth hosted
Jewish War Veterans Post 36 of Saratoga Springs, a non-profit
organization that brings together military veterans of all eras in the
greater Saratoga Jewish community to offer support on issues relating to
Several military-related organizations were represented at the
Saratoga Pavilion including Blue Star Mothers, A Beacon of Love,
Disabled American Veterans, Gurtler Brothers VFW Post 420, Lansingburgh
VFW, New York Army National Guard, Patriot Flight, Saratoga Springs
American Legion Post 70, Stars for Our Troops, the U.S. Navy, and the
Veterans Business Council.
Koster, a member of Post 70, plans to attend The American Legion’s national convention in Reno, Nev. next month.
“That’s where we’ll get our orders from the new national commander,” he said.
At the state level, Koster said the Legion has several
veterans-related bills pending in the Legislature, which will come up
for discussion next year. One would promote and provide funding for more
holistic types of treatment instead of medications alone.
“We want to get bills passed in that area,” Koster said.
Keith Koster of Sarasota Springs is smiling while showing off his
winning ticket for the winner of Wednesday's 3rd race, a horse
named Combat Controller.
|From Insider Mike; Combat Controller Claimed
Basically SOLD, see below
The colt has an irreversible arthritic ankle which will shortly end his
Sad, but that's the nature of this business. At least his 2 wins
were at America's 2 most historic tracks--Churchill Downs, home of The Kentucky
Derby, and Saratoga, America's oldest professional sports stadium, originating
in 1863. None other than Abraham Lincoln was POTUS when they began racing
By total happenstance, Combat Controller also won on the one day per year
that the New York Racing Association celebrates the military. The track was full
of vets and half of nearby Stratton AFB. (It's the guys from Stratton who take
those C130s with sleds to the Antartica.) We had a party to beat the band.
They're mostly Loadmasters, and they shit themselves when seeing a horse in the
betting program named Combat Controller on their one, annual, day at the track!
Collectively, they must have bet thousands on him.
- Then, 4-5 hours down the line, after the Stratton guys were deep into
their beer coolers, some came over and threw roses at my feet over having a son
who's a Combat Controller. One guy said "We don't interact often with Combat
Controller's, but let me tell you something: When a scarlet beret walks in a
hangar, we all stare, like NFL players stare at Tom Brady. We're professionals
too, but we know THAT fuckin' guy does things we can only dream of doing. When
your son comes home next time, know in the back of your mind that he and his
kind are held in the highest regard by fellow airmen." I said I definitely
As a parent, it gave me chills to hear all of that from a guy who flies
130s. Later, another dude at the track, a USMC V22 pilot out of Guam, of all
places, strides up out of nowhere, asks if I'm the dad whose son inspired the
name of the horse and then hands me a Budweiser. He said "I take CCTs places.
Any dad of one has my deepest respect. Here's to your boy!" Cling!
For one afternoon, Mac, it was like being the dad of a famous New York
Yankee. It was humbling & super cool.
I'll do my best to keep you apprised of any future starts by the colt.
Going over to introduce myself to the new trainer on Tuesday. Sad scenario for
Mike Geraghty, but it is what it is.
Don’t be intimidated. A claiming
race isn’t complicated and easy to learn!
Simply put, if you enter your horse
in a claiming race, you are putting your horse up for sale for the stipulated
purchase price. In Southern California, there are claiming races with purchase
prices as high as $100,000 and as low as $8,000.
The rules for buying a racehorse in
a claiming race are different in every circuit but most follow what we will
call “The Common Rules”. There are just 3 of them.
1: Drop the "Claim"
On race day, up until 15 minutes
before post time, an owner may “drop in a claim” for a horse in a claiming
race. This is nothing more than filling out a 3x5 claim slip and dropping it
into the claim box in the racing office. The slip states the horses name, your
name/license number and trainer. The owner must have the required funds (plus
tax) already in their horsemen account with the track paymaster.
2: Ownership Changes When Gates Open
When the gates open, ownership of
the horse instantly changes to the new owner. If the horse earns a purse in the
race it goes to the former owner. Immediately after the race, the new owner’s
groom takes the horse to his new barn and the paymaster transfers the sales
proceeds to the former owner.
3: Ties are Broken by Drawing Straws
If more than one owner puts in a
claim for the same horse, a “shake” ensues immediately after the race. The
“shake” is nothing more than putting numbered balls in a genie bottle and
pulling out the winner. There can be a two-way shake or even as many as a
- What if the horse gets hurt during the race (or, heaven
jurisdictions (like California) the state vet examines the claimed horse after
the race. If the vet determines the horse was injured (or dies) during the
race, the vet will void the claim and the paymaster will refund the monies. In
such instance, the former owner goes and picks up his old horse. In other
jurisdictions, it is caveat emptor (Let the buyer beware!). That is the risk a
new owner takes and yes it can be a costly one.
- Can you inspect the horse before the race?
Other than a
visual inspection from any common area of the race track – the answer is NO.
You cannot visit the horse, or have a vet perform an exam. This is another
instance of caveat emptor.
- What are the benefits of running in a claiming race?
foremost, it is a chance to sell your horse for the stated price. There are
only two ways to earn income as a horse owner and both can happen during this
race (i.e., win a purse, sell your horse). Second, because of the risk of
losing your horse, many of the top quality horses do not run in claiming races
– so they are considered “easier” races.
The “claiming game” is a fascinating
element to horse racing. It is fast paced with lots of turnover. Owning a
racehorse can be the most exciting investment you ever make. Many people ask
how to get into horse racing and this is a quick way to find instant action.
Horses are bought and sold like stocks and the strategy used is tantamount to
poker. Your trainer or trusted management team can walk you through risks and
rewards before entering your horse in a claiming race or adding a claimer to
your racing stable.