More than 200 college alumni joined SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and college President Alan R. Davis for the 17th annual alumni day at the races at the Saratoga Race Course.
The day started with lunch at the Holiday Inn where now-retired former college Vice President William C. Ferrero and Andy DiNitto, a mentor at the college’s School for Graduate Studies, gave their annual handicapping seminar by going through the program for the day’s races at Saratoga.
The handicapping duo provided insight and analysis based on years of experience that was both enlightening and entertaining.
At the track, all eyes were fixed on the fourth race as possession of the prestigious Empire State Cup was at stake.
Set on the main track at 9½ furlongs, odds makers had Cantrushperfection at 7-2, Cave’s Valley at 3-1, Endless Circle at 4-1 and After Shock at 5-1 as the morning line favorites.
But it was Ultimo Principe who took home the Empire State Cup as embarrassed also-rans could only hang their heads, look on in disappointment and hope for next year’s running.
It was all smiles in the winners’ circle where Davis was joined by members of the college’s foundation board, winning jockey John R. Velazquez and trainer Richard Schosberg for a well-earned celebration.
Earlier in the day, the third annual running of the SUNY Cup took place. The SUNY Cup was established by the college shortly after Zimpher joined SUNY, in part based on the success of the Empire State Cup and as way of getting the chancellor to know the college and its alumni.
While the SUNY Cup was also set on the main track, that race covered a mile and an eighth, a grueling endurance contest when compared to the sprint of the Empire State Cup.
Convocation, the morning line favorite at 2-1 with Javier Castellano aboard, proved the strongest horse and took home the SUNY Cup. Davis joined the chancellor, winning jockey Castellano and other guests and dignitaries in the winners’ circle for presentation of the trophy.
The event once again proved successful and all now look forward to next year.
Photos of the events are available on the college’s alumni Web pages.