Saratoga has always been a special place for people who love Thoroughbred racing. ESPN called Saratoga 'the loveliest racetrack in the country' and "Sports Illustrated" rated it as 'one of the 10 best sporting venues in the world'. Famous for its historic upsets, the 'graveyard of champions' has also been home to many of the most bizarre incidents in racing history. The wrong horse disqualified and then the result made official. A $100,000 stakes race beginning with one of the horses still behind the starting gate. A jockey on his way to an easy victory when his saddle slips, and he tries to hold on to the horse's neck until they cross the finish line. He made it. Or did he? Mid-afternoon lightning strikes that forces Saratoga to cancel its races. A dead heat in a stakes race, which was almost a triple heat. "Saratoga Tales" is filled with extraordinary stories of racing legends Secretariat, Affirmed, Alydar, Fourstardave and Funny Cide, Hall of Fame jockeys angel Cordero Jr, Jerry Bailey and Chris McCarron and Hall of Fame trainer Phil Johnson.
The father and son horses who won Saratoga's biggest race, the Travers, six years apart, and the man who trained them, Wally Dollase, who is based in California and had never started a horse at Saratoga, though he and his family had come as fans many times. And an epic battle of wills between two outstanding fillies, Carson Hollow and You. Take your pick. You won't be disappointed! There have been many strange and wonderfully weird happenings since Saratoga opened during the Civil War in 1863. The events at this magnificent track have been lauded or vilified by jockeys, trainers, owners, stewards and bettors since its ill-timed opening. Nobody is more qualified to tell them than Eclipse Award winning writer Bill Heller, who has covered the Saratoga meet for 30 years.