Student Connections

Day at the Races Draws More than 230 Alumni to Saratoga Race Course

By David Henahan, director of communications

September 21, 2012

Photo of Nancy Zimphor in the winner's cicle at the 2012 alumni Empire State College Day at the racesMore than 230 alumni attended the 2012 SUNY Empire State College Day at the races, a new record-setting level of participation in one of the college’s most popular events. (Chancellor Zimpher, in red, in the winners circle at the track.)

Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher addressed the group, praising the college for its role in filling the education pipeline.

“It was a pleasure to celebrate SUNY Empire State College and the amazing alumni that have helped pave the way for innovative and successful programs at SUNY,” said Zimpher. “These individuals truly represent the power of SUNY, and this exciting race day is a fitting tribute to their success and that of the college.”

The chancellor also was on hand to present the coveted Empire State College Cup to the winner of the fifth race later that afternoon.

“For years, our Day at the Races has served as a reunion for the college,” said college Director of Alumni and Student Relations Maureen Winney. “Alumni and students from all across the state circle the calendar in anticipation of spending time together catching up and enjoying the races.”

At the Saratoga Race Course, morning rain pelted the track but gave way to sunny skies by the later post time of 2:30 p.m.

Weather caused track stewards to move the race from the turf to the dirt for the mile 1/16 where Majestic Hope (5-2), Bluember (3-1), Photon (4-1) and stablemate Charlie’s Quest (4-1) were morning line favorites.

The field breaks from the gate at the 2012 running of the Empire State College Cup.

With a sloppy track, the course record of 1:38:91, held by Saratoga legend Fourstardave, was not in jeopardy. Photon and Charlie’s Quest scratched, as did four other horses, but a strong group of nine three-year-olds entered to chase the cup.

The field broke cleanly from the starting gate and the race was hotly contested. The bay gelding, Citizen Wells, with jockey Junior Alvarado in the irons, pulled ahead by three lengths and the race was for second place. Morning line favorites Bluember and Majestic Hope were neck and neck and Bluember edged his rival in a photo finish for second.

Citizen Wells, with a winning time of 1:52.63, paid a handsome $11.40. Bluember paid $5.20 to show and Majestic Hope paid $2.50.

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Article Contributors
  • Helen Edelman
  • Jessica Estremera
  • Kameylah A. Hakim
  • Diana Hawkins
  • David Henahan
  • Thomas Kerr
  • Vickie Moller
  • Stephanie Schiffer
  • Janet Shideler
  • Jennifer Ward