This week’s two blog posts are going to be on two of the longest running poster series at two prestigious horse events! This Saturday,August 23rd will be the 145th running of the
Travers Stakes at the Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga , NY, USA. The Travers Stakes Posters are all done by Greg Montgomery. I have never been there, but I would like to! It looks like such an exiting place!!
About Greg Montgomery ~
Greg Montgomery received his formal art training at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he studied painting and lithography, and at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York, where he studied serigraphy. Greg has taken two watercolor master classes in Europe with the Australian watercolorist David K. Taylor.
After completing his degree in New Mexico, Greg worked as art director and set designer for public television in New Mexico. As art director for General Electric’s Corporate Marketing Communications Operation in Albany, Greg worked on major campaigns for the power systems and plastic business components, and on the world-renowned GE calendar. Greg moved to the world of publications as art director for Capital Region magazine. He retired from the Albany Times Union newspaper where he worked as a design editor. Greg currently works as an illustrator and designer accepting projects and commissioned portraits.
A native of Washington, D.C., Greg travels extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe and Asia, capturing images with pen, paint and camera. His clean colors, dynamic form, and unusual use of white space make his work unparalleled in the field of equestrian, sporting, and poster art. Greg’s series of posters for the Travers Stakes race in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. is the longest running series by a single artist for a single event in racing history.
The strength and beauty of Greg’s artwork has resulted in a number of commissioned works. Berkley Publishing, a subsidiary of Penguin, had Greg create 40 covers for the re-publishing of the famous murder-mystery series by Dick Francis. Greg also created the official poster for the opening of Walt Disney World’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa.
Greg collaborated with Vic Zast, writer for MSNBC, The Bloodhorse, and other thoroughbred publications, as the illustrator of “The History and Art of 25 Travers,” published in June 2008. In August 2008, Greg had a solo exhibition of his work at the Arts Center Gallery in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the first time that all of his original silkscreens and giclées were shown. Previous exhibits include Gallery 100 in Saratoga, Beverly’s, Uncommon Grounds, and a number of other venues in New York’s Capital Region.
Over the years, Greg’s bold and striking images of the racing scene have steadily increased in popularity. Today, his posters and prints hang in public and private collections worldwide and in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.
Dick Frances Book Covers~
Greg Montgomery was the cover artist for all of the republished best selling books by author Dick Frances. I have learned so much that I didn’t know before this post! I really like his clean style ~
About The Travers Stakes~
Location: Saratoga Race Track, Saratoga, NY, USA
First Held In: 1864
Named for: William R. Travers
The Travers Stakes, named after William R. Travers , the president of the old Saratoga Racing Association, was first held in 1864. William Travers horse, Kentucky, won the first running of the Travers.
In 1941,Whirlaway became the only horse ever to win the “superfecta” of the US Triple Crown Of Racing and the Travers.
In 1962, arguably the greatest Travers in history took place. Jaiur won by a nose-bob in track record time over the arguably more talented Ridan after a long, head-to-head battle over the entire mile and a quarter. Still written and talked about today, the race is listed in the 2006 book Horse Racing’s Top 100 Moments written by the staff of Blood Horse Publications. The race result determined which colt would be named the 1962 US Champion 3 Year Old Horse.
In 1982, Runaway Groom , the The Champion Champion Canadian 3 Year old, trained by John DiMario, arrived at the Saratoga backstretch after a grueling season competing in the Canadian Triple Crown, winning the Prince of Eales Stakes, the Ther Breeders stakes, and finishing second in the Queen’s Plate. At the Travers that year, Runaway Groom became the only horse in racing history to beat the Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol, the Preakness Stakes winner Aloma’s Ruler, and the Belmont Stakes winner Conquistador Cielo in the same race.
The 1997 Travers was another of the memorable races in its history, as it saw US Racing Hall Of Fame jockeys Jerry Bailey and Chris McCarron (aboard Deputy Commander ) in a home-stretch duel wherein Deputy Commander prevailed. Adding to the drama was a thunderstorm which produced hail 24 hours before the race, and the uncertainty around whether or not Chris McCarron would be present after the recent death of his mother.
On the day that Point Given won the Travers (August 25, 2001), it was a record Travers Stakes day attendance of 60,486. The race, dubbed the “Midsummer Derby,” achieved a total betting handle of $34,529,273. This was also a Saratoga record.
On August 25, 2012, two horses, Alpha and Golden Ticket, tied for first place, making the race a dead heat. Following the race, two jockey statues were painted and two canoes were put in the pond.
1921 Travers Stakes Betting Scandal!
The 1921 Travers Stakes is known for aBetting scandal. In those days, Bookmaking rather than Parimutuel wagering was the primary method of taking bets on horse races.
The original field was fairly light with the favorite, the filly Prudery, owned by Harry Pine Whiney, facing no serious competition. Then Arnold Rothstein entered his colt, Sporting Blood, ostensibly to pick up second place. A few days before the race, however, Rothstein had learned that Prudery was off her feed. He knew he might have a real chance to win.
Initially, the odds on the filly were 1-4 while Rothstein’s colt was at 5-2. On the day of the race, however, a leading three-year old, Greay Lag, was entered by trainer Sam Hildreth. Grey Lag immediately became the favorite, with Prudery the second choice, driving the odds on Sporting Blood up to 3-1. Rothstein bet $150,000 on his horse.
Just before Post Time, Greay lag was scratched with no explanation. During the race, Sporting Blood overtook the ailing Prudery gaining his owner nearly a half million dollars, including wagers and the Purse.
Although many smelled foul play, it was never proven that Hildreth received any payoff or that there was a Conspiracy between him and Rothstein~
Here are the photos of the posters! Enjoy!!
And here are a few of his Dick Frances Murder Mysteries covers!!
Here are just a few of them! Check out the others and his other beautiful art.
Greg Montgomery also does note cards and fine art paintings. For more information, visit his website: http://www.gregmontgomery.com
Be sure to come back for our next “Classic” poster post!
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !