You know summer has come when the word "Saratoga" starts popping up in the news. The storied spa resort at the foot of New York's Adirondack Mountains will see a population boom in human and horse residents in the next few weeks as the track and training center prepare for six weeks of the world's richest (and most scenic) horse races beginning July 25.
The local Saratoga television station has posted a video of Preakness winner Curlin and 16 other top Thoroughbreds from Churchill Downs in Kentucky. They arrived in Saratoga yesterday on a cargo flight from Louisville. The video does not show the interior of the plane but it does detail the interesting technique of side-by-side van loading used to get the horses down the ramp and into their transport.
It includes a very short close-up of Curlin coming off the plane and looking like a frequent flyer.
Meanwhile, Curlin's nemesis on the track is making news and giving me some competition. Todd Pletcher's Rags to Riches, the filly who won our hearts with a gutsy stretch run to pass Curlin at the wire of the Belmont Stakes last month, has her own blog now! She's still stabled at Belmont Park on New York's Long Island, where she is entered in the Coaching Club American Oaks race for three-year-old fillies on July 21st. Once that race is over, she'll head up the New York Thruway to Saratoga in a van to join Pletcher's other top horses at his training barn at Saratoga's "Oklahoma" training track.
Over at youtube.com, I counted 29 videos posted in honor of the big chestnut filly. Now that's star power!