The Super Bowl of racing, though, is
the Breeders’ Cup. This year, on Oct. 26
and 27, Monmouth Park in Oceanport,
N. J., will host 11 races with total purses
of $23 million. Last year, some $18 million was awarded in eight races.
THE JEWEL OF THE CROWN
Perhaps the most prized track on the
American circuit, however, is Saratoga
Race Course in upstate New York.
“I got stuck on the most beautiful
track in the country back in 1967,” Carter
says, “and that’s all I needed.”
Saratoga is as much a park as it is a
track, and its six-week summer season is
a society event as much a sporting one.
When the thoroughbreds come to town,
the population triples.
Saratoga has been called the graveyard
of favorites. In 1919, a long shot appropriately named Upset beat Man o’ War in the
latter horse’s only defeat. In 1973, Triple
Crown winner Secretariat lost to a horse
named Onion. And in between was the
historic vanquishing of Gallant Fox.
Tom Gilcoyne, a retired race historian, was there.
The year was 1930 and Gilcoyne was
a teenager for what was then billed as the
race of the century, designed to “settle the