Timeline: 1990-1999

 

1990-1999

By ALLAN CARTER, Historian, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

The period of prosperity enjoyed by Saratoga Race Course from the mid 1970s through the 1980s continued its momentum into the 1990s. In order to capitalize on this popularity, in 1991 the New York Racing Association extended the 24-day meet —which had been the norm since 1946 — to 30 days. In 1994 the season was expanded to 34 days, and in 1997 it was extended once again, this time to 36 days.

Several horses who would later be inducted into the Hall of Fame played a large part in the track's success:

•Go for Wand won the 1990 Test and Alabama, and later that same year was buried in Saratoga's infield after her fatal breakdown during the running of the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

•Sky Beauty won the 1992 Adirondack, the 1993 Alabama, and 1994 Go for Wand.

•Lonesome Glory, who was a five-time winner of the Eclipse Award for steeplechasers, won the 1995 A.P, Smithwick and New York Turf Writers' Handicaps.

•Holy Bull won what was perhaps the most memorable race at Saratoga during the 1990s when he barely managed to hold off the onrushing Concern to win the 1994 Travers.

•Silverbulletday won the 1999 Alabama by nine lengths.

•Although he will never be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Fourstardave, the "Sultan of Saratoga," won the 1990 and 1991 Daryl's Joy, the 1991 West Point Handicap, a 1992 open company allowance race, a 1993 handicap, and a 1994 open company allowance race. Combined with victories in 1987, 1988, and 1989, the popular New York-bred gelding accounted for at least one win in eight consecutive seasons at Saratoga, a record that most likely will never be broken.

Other champions who distinguished themselves at Saratoga during the last decade of the 20th century were Favorite Trick, who won the 1997 Saratoga Special and Hopeful and 1998 Jim Dandy before finishing fifth, only two lengths from the winner, in the King's Bishop; Dehere, who won the 1993 Saratoga Special, Sanford and Hopeful; and Heavenly Prize, who started her Saratoga career by finishing third on a sloppy track in the 1994 Test, but made amends by winning the Alabama two weeks later and the 1995 Go for Wand, and John A. Morris Handicap.

Memorable races at Saratoga in the 1990s included Victory Gallop's win by a nose over Behrens in the 1999 Whitney, Hidden Lake's victory over a stubborn Flat Fleet Feet in the 1997 Go for Wand, and the win by Coronado's Quest by a nose over Victory Gallop, who in turn beat Raffie's Majesty by another nose, in the 1998 Travers.

Angel Cordero, Jr., who etched his name permanently in Saratoga Race Course history by winning 13 Saratoga riding titles, retired after the 1992 season. Chris Antley succeeded Cordero as the leading jockey in 1990, followed by Mike Smith (1991-1993), Jerry Bailey (1994-1997, 1999), and John Velazquez (1998).

 

August 10, 1990

Open Mind finishes fifth to Feel the Beat in the Ballerina.

 

1990 Ballerina Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 11, 1990

Go for Wand wins the Alabama after winning the Test nine days earlier. A champion at two and three, she won seven stakes in her 3-year-old season before suffering a fatal breakdown during the running of the 1990 Breeders' Cup Distaff. She is the only horse buried in the infield at Saratoga.

go-for-wand.jpg

1990 Alabama Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 13, 1992

Sky Beauty, who was named champion older female in 1994, wins the Adirondack.

sky-beauty-barbara-ann-giove-colleta.jpg

1992 Adirondack Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 31, 1992

Sky Beauty finishes first in the Spinaway but is disqualified and placed third and Family Enterprize is declared the winner.

sky-beauty-jerkins-barbara-ann-giove-colleta2.jpg

1992 Spinaway Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 14, 1993

Sky Beauty wins the Alabama.

sky-beauty--coglianese-400.jpg

1993 Alabama Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

July 24, 1994

Sky Beauty wins the Go for Wand.

sky-beauty-jerkins-barbara-ann-giove-colleta2.jpg

1994 Go For Wand Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 18, 1994

Lonesome Glory, who was champion steeplechaser in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999, finishes third to Mistico in the New York Turf Writers' Cup.

lonesome-glory.jpg

August 20, 1994

Holy Bull, champion 3-year-old male of 1993, wins the Travers.

August 13, 1995

Inside Information, that year's champion older filly/mare, finishes second to Classy Mirage in the Ballerina.

 

1995 Ballerina Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 17, 1995

Lonesome Glory wins the New York Turf Writers' Handicap after winning the A.P. Smithwyck Memorial Steeplechase.

lonesome-glory.jpg

1995 NY Turf Writers Cup Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

1995

Saratoga Springs Public Library expands and builds a new facility on Henry Street holding over 220,000 items.

August 3, 1996

Serena's Song, who was 1994 champion 3-year-old filly, finishes second to Mahogany Hall in the Whitney.

 

1996 Whitney Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 24, 1996

Skip Away finishes third to Will's Way in the Travers. Skip Away was named champion 3-year-old male, 1997 and 1998 champion older male, and 1998 Horse of the Year.


1996 Travers Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

1996

Saratoga Springs wins a great American Main street award for the revitalization of Broadway.

stock-studios-main-street-award-500.jpg

August 2, 1997

Skip Away finishes third to Will's Way in the Whitney.

 

1997 Whitney Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 21, 1997

Lonesome Glory finishes third to Bisbalense in the New York Turf Writers' Cup after finishing fourth to Brigade of Guards in the A.P. Smithwyck Memorial Steeplechase.

lonesome-glory.jpg

Photo of Lonesome Glory.

 

1997 NY Turf Writers Cup Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.

August 27, 1998

Lonesome Glory finishes seventh to Hokan in the New York Turf Writers' Cup.

lonesome-glory.jpg

1998 NY Turf Writers Cup Video:

Video is loading...

Video Footage © New York Racing Association, Inc.