Saratoga Race Course opened for racing on August 3, 1863, and has been the home of many of racing’s great stakes, upsets, and champions. This slide show will present my list of the Top 10 champions to run at the Spa.
Many of the horses that made this list were eastern-based runners that tended to more frequently visit Saratoga. There were many great horses from the west that just did not make the trip east. As I did research for this list I was struck with the names of great champions that I would have expected to have run at Saratoga: Citation, Assault, Count Fleet, Bold Ruler, Spectacular Bid, and AP Indy.
Then there was a group of horses that did run at Saratoga, but surprised me with their results. Triple Crown winner Omaha lost all four for of his starts as a juvenile. Forego, who has a stake named after him at the Spa, ran only twice and lost both of them. Cigar’s 16 race win streak included no races at Saratoga and his only start was a turf loss when Bill Mott had just taken over his training. Curlin ran only once, winning the 1988 Woodward. Funny Cide, who was owned by the Sackatoga Stable based in the Saratoga area, ran only twice and lost both of them. Seattle Slew ran in only one allowance race.
If the list were not restricted to champions, everyone’s favorite Fourstardave would be near the top of the list. In his 99 start career he won at least one race at the Spa every year from 1987 to 1994, including a turf course record.
Click here to see the Top 10 at HorseRacingNation.com.