The “Art” of 150 Years of Saratoga Racing

Saratogians and racing fans were all aware that this year, 2013, was a very special one for horse racing in Saratoga Springs. More specifically, the 150th year of racing in Saratoga Springs. You see, on August 3, 1863, two horse owners and men of great wealth, decided to create a race track.  John Morrissey and William R. Travers created a track on the north side of Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs, which now is the site of the Oklahoma Training Track.  In 1864, the track moved across Union Avenue, to its present location. The original meet in 1863 was a mere four days long. Over time, the meet has grown to the current 40 days/six-week season. Most of the world’s most accomplished Thoroughbreds have raced on the hallowed grounds of Saratoga Race Course.

Many of you may have opened gifts this Christmas that contained some piece of 150 memorabilia.  But, did you know the artist behind the official 150 poster?  Her name is Sharon Bolton and she also created 15 of the last 18 First Night posters.  Sharon is a local artist working with Ambrosino Designs and is also an accomplished singer.  Her oldest daughter, Erin, even worked her at Impressions for many years.  Sharon regularly played in a band called Rick Bolton and the Dwyer Sisters, featuring her sister, Molly Dwyer, and bass player Arlin Greene. They regularly perform at Gaffney’s Restaurant, on Caroline Street in Saratoga.  It is her design work that adorns each musical release they issued including a CD recorded at Arlin Green’s studio.

The official 150 poster, shown above, is available in two different sizes.  The larger measuring 18″ x 20″ and the smaller measuring 12″ x 19″.  The Saratoga 150 merchandise is still available at our shop and in our Online Store.  We still have posters, postcards, mugs, crocks, stickers, sweats, tees, hats, money clips, magnets, and key rings available. All these items are sure to become collectors treasures in the years to come!

We all owe a debt of gratitude to all the members of the Saratoga 150 committee who worked tirelessly for more than 2 years to throw the biggest celebration this grand city has ever seen! Check out the website, to view the amazing collection of stories, pictures and events that made this year a very memorable one!

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