Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Final Finish Line

Saratoga’s top jockey in 2012 announced his retirement on Thursday, in the aftermath of a head injury he suffered in a spill at Aqueduct earlier this year.

Dominguez winning the Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 2012
“It is extremely difficult for me to announce that due to the severity of the injuries I sustained in an accident at Aqueduct Racetrack on January 18, 2013, my professional riding career has come to an end,” Ramon Dominguez announced, in a prepared statement.
“While I hoped and even expected to be able to return to the saddle, as a result of my injuries and upon the advice of my treating physicians, it has been determined that I will no longer be able to pursue my career as a jockey.”

The 36-year-old began riding horses at the age of 16 in Venezuela. Last summer, he finished the season as Saratoga's most winning    
 jockey, with 68 first-place finishes and nearly $4.9 million in earnings.

“Ramon distinguished himself immediately upon moving his tack to New York in 2009,” said P.J. Campo, NYRA vice president and director of racing. “He won numerous meet riding titles and many of our top races, en route to becoming New York’s leading rider for each of the past four years.” 

Dominguez, who secured the last three Eclipse awards as North America’s top jockey, expressed gratitude to his family, fans, and fellow riders for their support in the months following his accident. “My riding career has brought happiness and success beyond what I ever expected,” he said.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend in Saratoga

Ben Vereen performed on Friday night at The Arthur Zankel Music Center on the campus of Skidmore College.

RG Dance Projects presented a multi-media performance at Universal Preservation Hall which included dance, film, live music, and

New York City’s Broadway Community Chorus.

The choreographed pieces and live performance featured six dancers and 24 singers. The show featured music by Richard Danielpour, Claude Debussy, Alfred Schnittke, and Elizabeth Cotton.

In the Dee Sarno Theater at the Arts Center, guitarist Gary Lucas performed a sonic musical soundtrack to the 1920 expressionist film, “The Golem.” Lucas has composed seven different live music and film solo guitar scores, has played and collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Captain Beefheart, Jeff Buckley, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, the Plastic People of the Universe, and David Johansen, among others. 

Lucas' longtime band is Gods and Monsters, and he penned a book: Touched By Grace: My Time with Jeff Buckley.

Sunday afternoon, New Orleans Hot 8 Brass Band performed a surprise concert while strolling along Broadway and later joined Reggie's Red Hot Feet Warmers for an open-air collaborative rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In," at the Beekman Street Art District.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Saratoga Mystery

Daily Papers, August 13, 1853: Excitement at Saratoga

From the Saratoga correspondent of the New York Times.

A few days ago a lady and gentleman arrived at a neighboring hotel. They signed their names in the register, fully and elaborately, Mr. and Mrs. XYZ. They appeared to be of a loving temperament, and delighted much in the various attractions of Saratoga.

For some days they were the cynosure of all stargazers. The lady was a brunette, richly molded, and possessed dark, liquid eyes, on which a man's soul might float away very easily. The gentleman was favorably situated with regard to masculine perfections. Every one viewed them as a handsome couple.

On Saturday, among other arrivals at the same hotel, a lady presented herself. She was a blonde, with delicate features and mild blue eyes. The bookkeeper handed her the register, when, to his consternation, she subscribed herself as Mrs. X Y Z. Very quietly, apparently with little emotion, she asked him if her husband had arrived. With a beautiful simplicity, he replied, “Yes - and his lady too." Hereupon there was a kindling up of internal lire, and the mild blue eyes became slightly green. The blonde insisted on seeing the faithless X YZ, but the masculine representative of those three letters, in company with the feminine ditto, had gone on a pleasure trip up to Saratoga Lake. Mrs. X Y Z., no. 2, immediately ordered a carriage, and after a word of promise to the driver, went in hot pursuit.
Arriving at the Lake House, the eager lady discovered that two persons answering the description of the fugitives, had launched there, and were then yachting on the silvery bosom of the Lake. Not to be baffled at this, Mrs. X YZ negotiated with proprietor of the Lady of the Lake and soon hoisted sails, to follow.

Now comes the mystery.
From the jut of land whereupon the Lake House is situated could be observed with the naked eye, yachts wherein Mr. and Mrs. X YZ and still another Mrs. X YZ were seated. For some time they moved towards each other, in languid politeness of motion.

After waiting some hours, the carriages of both parties returned to Saratoga empty, since which time, nothing has been heard of the missing parties. The only reasonable conjecture is that they are still chasing each other on the lake.

The knowing ones maintain that Mrs. XYZ no. 1 will have to winter on Snake Island, if she regards the integrity of her dark, liquid eyes.