Saratoga Looks Forward to Curlin
Saratoga Springs is looking forward to hosting the best horse racing event this coming weekend as they get ready to close off their 2008 racing season. It has been a disappointing season for the Saratoga Racecourse, as bad weather has plagued them continuously, and they hope the weather will hold as Horse of the Year, Curlin, will take part in his first horse racing event at the Saratoga Springs Racecourse. The excitement can be felt in the air, as Saratoga Racecourse is nicknamed the “graveyard of champions”, with many great horses, such as Secretariat and Man O’War, tasting defeat at the racecourse.
The $500 000 Woodward Stakes has not only attracted Curlin, but other big names in racing such as Star Plus, Loose Leaf, A.P. Arrow, Wanderin Boy, Merchant Marine and Devine Park. But it is for Curlin that the red carpet is being laid out, as gold and burgundy banners decorate Saratoga Springs and shop windows have come alive with Curlin and Woodward Stakes memorabilia, in celebration of Curlin’s presence and as part of the window-decorating competition that is included in the initiative program that has been organized by racing officials and the city council.
The New York Racing Association has given their support to Saratoga Springs and will assist in ensuring that the Final Stretch Festival will be a weekend to remember. Musical celebrations will be hosted around the city, as well as commemorative posters that will be handed out to twenty thousand spectators. Giveaways, family fun days, barbecues, Twilight Racing and many other attractions will form part of the celebrations. Saturday will be known as Curlin Day, and a key to the city will be handed to Curlin and his entourage.
With attendance numbers and wagering declining this season because of the poor weather experienced, the Final Stretch Festival has given organizers hope that the coming weekend can turn things around at the very end. Of course, with Curlin being in the line-up for the Woodward Stakes, it is expected that thousands of spectators will be pushing through the turnstiles to see one of the greats in racing perform. Trainers of the fellow competitors are aware that they have a big horse to beat, and it is almost certain that most of them are hoping for a little “graveyard of the champions” magic, to give them a shot at winning the Woodward Stakes.