He played played his college basketball at a Division II school, Virginia Union. Yet he was a first-round draft pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1985. The man that they called "Oak Tree" played 19 seasons in the NBA. Ten of those years were played in Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks. His name was synonymous with Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Anthony Mason and Doc Rivers from those tough mid-1990's teams.
The Belmont Stakes will run on June 11th and tickets will go on sale this Thursday at 10 a.m. You can purchase tickets on Ticketmaster.com. Attendance will be limited to 50,000 fans instead of the pre-COVID-19 pandemic capacity of 90,000. Highlighted by the 154th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, the oldest and most challenging track of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will begin on Thursday, June 9th.
They are in the stretch run of a tremendous 2021 meet at Saratoga Race Course. Tremendous crowds, record handles and some of the best horse racing in the world, made for a very successful summer for the New York Racing Association and in turn they will thank their fans this week. Yesterday, NYRA announced that they "will thank its fans with a series of special events, giveaways and offers during the final week of the 2021 season at Saratoga Race Course. Racing will resume Wednesday, September 1 through Labor Day, Monday, September 6 at Saratoga Race Course. Labor Day weekend will offer a total of seven graded stakes, including the Spa debut of the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Saturday, September 4. Sunday and Monday will feature a special first post time of 12:35 p.m.
If you love summer fun, well then Saratoga is certainly the place to be. When you want to live a Saratoga weekend to the fullest, well this is the weekend for you! This weekend the SPA City will feature a dozen of the best horse racing stakes races in the world at Saratoga Race Course on Friday and Saturday, while SPAC will feature two legendary rock bands, or versions thereof, with Dead & Co. Friday night and Lynard Skynard on Saturday night. It should be fun.
As you get deeper into August, the weekends get bigger at Saratoga Race Course. This weekend is no exception. Friday looks to be a terrific day at the Spa highlighted by the 8th running of the Tale of The Cat handicap. Saturday will feature two big stakes races, the 116th running of the Saratoga Special and the main event on Saturday, the Fourstardave Handicap. Chad Brown's Raging Bull will be the horse to beat in that one and Sunday is the first giveaway of the year featuring the Saratoga Cooler Bag. Giveaways are limited, so come early.
It's the first full August weekend and Saratoga Race Course season is in full stride. The 94th running of the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes on Saturday afternoon highlights a terrific weekend in the SPA City. Few families have done more for the horse racing community, especially in Saratoga, than the Whitney family. Their named stakes race has featured some of the greatest horses in racing history and this weekend may feature others. The Whitney is just one of a full weekend card of awesome Saratoga Race Course action.
One of the very cool aspects of living near the historic Saratoga Race Course is you get to see the best race horses in the world compete live. They walk right through the crowd on their journey from their stables across the street, to starting gate. This weekend is an awesome example with 2021 Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality highlighting the entries in Saturday's 58th running of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes. Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie battled it out for the 1 1/2 mile race only to see Essential Quality win by a length and a half.
This afternoon as I passed through the thousands of fans that came out to enjoy the first Friday of racing season in the Spa City, many come year after year. The UAlbany Alumni Association held their annual outing. Hundreds were adorned in purple and gold ready to make their bets and enjoy the spectacular weather and an amazing card of top horse racing, highlighted by the 9th race, the Forbidden Apple Stakes.
But what makes Saratoga Race Course so special? Is it the lure for some to step back in time with men and women attending a sporting event dressed in their most fashionable summer clothing? Or is the opportunity to stake your claim to a few picnic tables and room for your pop up tent inside one of the sports world's national treasures. It's probably some of that plus the beauty of the well cared for historic structure but maybe it's the ghosts that lie within the walls or on the track, that brings people back year after year.