Entertainment

American Pharoah


Tonight was the Travers Stakes race at Saratoga Racecourse and Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah did not win. He really didn’t have to because just appearing at this year’s Saratoga meet caused a major frenzy that really boosted track attendance. This blogger was not among the 50,000 people in attendance at the Traver’s Stakes. I did the next best thing and went to the Friday track warm-ups, which broke a record with over 15,000 people who came for just a glimpse of the horse that won the Triple Crown.

Saratoga Racecourse didn’t open for visitors until 7am on Friday and my friend and I arrived about 6:30am. We took a trip across the street to the Oklahoma Track where we got some great shots of the horses practicing in the morning fog at sunrise. Once we actually arrived at Saratoga’s main track where one can usually enjoy a leisure breakfast while watching the thoroughbreds warm up, we saw the very large crowd of people waiting for a glimpse of racing royalty. There was no room at the rail, people were planted in prime positions and would not move. My friend and I were shooting with cameras held high overhead to try and get some photos when a very gracious woman named Karen offered to trade her place when American Pharoah entered the track in exchange for one of my images.

The Triple Crown winning thoroughbred entered the track at 8:45am as promised escorted by a safety horse. They made one stop in front of the winner’s circle and one quick lap around the track before exiting promptly. People were frantically snapping photos on their cell phones and digital cameras. It was over in what seemed like seconds as the hoard of people now moved en masse to the parking areas where it took my friend and I about 40 minutes to get to Union Avenue. Despite the inconvenience, the opportunity was immensely enjoyed resulting in the following images. These images were shot with the FujiFilm X-T1 and the Fujinon XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens. Most of the images were shot at 1/1000 sec, f/5.6 at IS0 640. Continuous, wide area tracking autofocus was used with continuous high speed frames (8 frames/sec). Please do not copy or reproduce my images, they are my intellectual property and quite a bit of effort was spent creating them.

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Categories: Amsterdam Photography Club, Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, History, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The Carnival is in Town!


“There has not been a carnival in the Town of Amsterdam in over 43 years!” exclaimed one local resident as he walked through the gate of the Carnival at Polar Plaza sponsored by the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm.  “It is larger than it looks from the road!’ was also heard among the many people in attendance. The professional midway put on by Gillette Shows is clean, safe and every child receives a prize on the many games of chance. The rides are amazing and fun. The carnival also sells pizza, hot dogs, fried dough, cotton candy as well as the decadent deep fried oreo cookies!

A portion of the proceeds from the carnival rides benefit the not-for-profit local organization Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. It is a fun event so please come, have a good time while helping the FSSF restore a national monument to local thoroughbred racing history. FSSF has an information table at the carnival entrance where they are selling raffle tickets to win a $1,000 cash prize and tickets for a takeout chicken dinner held in September.  Stop by and say hello!

The carnival is open Saturday August 15th from 1pm to 10pm and Sunday August 16th from 1pm to 6pm!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Family, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , ,

Roosevelt Dime at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park


On Saturday, August 8, 2015, the Riverlink Park Summer Concert Series presented Roosevelt Dime.

Brooklyn-based Roosevelt Dime takes listeners on a journey through the whole of American roots music…from Americana and Memphis soul to “Mardi-Gras”—a bedrock of New Orleans rhythms that brings driving, melodic banjo, fat-back blues guitar, pure honky-tonk harmonies, and deliciously dirty vocals along for the ride. It makes for a groove so inspired The New York Times has called Roosevelt Dime “a perpetual crowd pleaser.”

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

Schoharie County Sunshine Fair


2015 marks the 139th year of the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair, running from August 1st through August 8th on South Grand Street in Cobleskill, New York. The following photos were taken on opening day with a FujiFilm X-T1 mirrorless camera.

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Categories: Celebration, Entertainment, History, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: ,

Triskele at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park


Triskele, an all female Celtic band from Albany NY. They are known for their stunning harmonies, singing the Gaelic language and for their Irish wit. These ladies perform traditional, original and some modern Celtic/Irish music. Triskele not only revitalizes the Gaelic language, but weaves history and traditions about growing up in Ireland lending a deeper appreciation of aural history. Most importantly, they’re fun!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

Thoroughbred Racing at Saratoga


One of the best places to visit in New York State during the summer is the Saratoga Race Course. It is a time honored tradition for many and recently for me through photography and the not-for-profit organization, the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. FSSF was established to preserve the thoroughbred racing legacy of the Sanford family, whose local Amsterdam farm Hurricana, bred, trained and raced thoroughbred horses for competition at Saratoga. Although most of the original farm is now commercial space, the group would like to save the remaining buildings to create a park where tourists could stop and learn about our rich history in thoroughbred racing.

I first photographed the Saratoga Race Course in the ’80s and several times last season, including the newly established Sanford Exhibit at the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Breakfast at the track is a great way to see the thoroughbreds warm up without the crowds and the cost of admission. Trackside parking for breakfast opens at 6:45am and although you pay the parking fee ($12 weekdays, $15 weekends), the money is refunded if you exit the parking area by 10am.

The following photos were taken Saturday, July 25, 2015, at the 101st running of the Sanford Stakes. The trophy was presented by Landine (Sanford) Manigault and her son Pierre to horse #11 Uncle Vinny, trainer T. Pletcher, jockey J. Velasquez .

The #4 horse, Magna Light actually came in 1st place was was knocked down to 3rd after a formal complaint and controversial technical disqualification. Sanford descendant Landine Manigault felt badly for the owners and trainers of the disqualified Magna Light and asked me to take a photo with one of Magna Light’s owners to signify their win anyway.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, historic preservation, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

DATMOD Dress Rehearsal


On Tuesday I wrote about the Drums Along the Mohawk Outdoor Drama that will take place the first two weekends in August at Gelston Castle Estate in upstate New York. Last evening I was invited by Producer Kyle Jenks to photograph a few of the actors in costume. The rehearsals take place at the United Methodist Church on Golf Course Road in Amsterdam. Pastor Carl Chamberlin has graciously opened the doors of his church to the cast as well as other community groups interested in the Arts.

The costumes really brought the drama to life and the grounds of the United Methodist Church are very similar to those of the Gelston Castle Estate where the drama will be performed in August. As the actors put on their costumes, they immediately became the characters from the novel.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Entertainment, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , ,

Tony’s Polka Band


Back for a return engagement at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park is local favorite, Tony’s Polka Band.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , ,

Hot Club of Saratoga


Riverlink Park in Amsterdam came alive Saturday night with the sound of gypsy swing. Hot Club of Saratoga, upstate New York’s premiere gypsy swing quintet, played a repertoire reflecting the spirit and style originated by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli most prominent in the 1930’s. The band consists of Chad Tallman on solo guitar, Chuck Kish on rhythm guitar, Tucker Callander on violin, Jonathan Greene on clarinet and Dylan Perillo on string bass.

Thanks to the efforts of the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation, the Riverlink Concert Series presents free concerts every Saturday night at 7pm.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , ,

FSSF Open House 2015


Friends of Sanford Stud Farm is a not for profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Sanford Thoroughbred Training Farm in the Town of Amsterdam, New York. Each year the organization sponsors several events to help educate local residents about the rich history of thoroughbred racing right here in our own backyard.

You can read more about our local legacy on the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm website as well as previous articles on the Grove Street Photographer.

The Sanford Legacy  Sanford Heirs Visit Hurricana – Sanford Stakes Centennial

The 2015 Friends of Sanford Stud Farm Open House was especially nice this year because of the seven Percheron horses that occupied the stables, enabling local residents to interact with these beautiful animals up close and personal. Many thanks to the members of the New York Percheron Association for bringing their horses to the Sanford Stables for the Friends event. Dozens of vendors, raffles, a car show and a bouncy house made this a fun occasion for all ages.

FSSF is also sponsoring a series of outdoor movies at their Tessiero Road and Rt 30 location starting with Field of Dreams tonight at 8:30PM.

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Categories: Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, historic preservation, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , ,

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