The Saratoga Racecourse winner’s circle has evolved over the years from a chalk outline on the main track to today’s permanent enclosure on the clubhouse apron. But no matter the configuration, that space is among the most hallowed ground in American sports. Many of the greatest thoroughbred athletes along with many renknowned American sportsmen and women have celebrated victories there over the past 154 years.
The clients of bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina have shared in that grand history as well, having won several important stakes races at the ‘Spa’ this century.
Saratoga has the most lucrative and important juvenile stakes racing program in the country and Sallusto & Albina clients have had especially good success in those contests:
Subtle Aly – 2007 Schuylerville S. (G3)
Purchased privately after a sensational 5-length debut victory at Churchill Downs, Subtle Aly remained perfect with a dramatic nose victory in the traditional Saratoga opening day fixture. She overcame a very troubled start to get the win and later sold for $320,000 at the Keeneland November sale.
D’Funnybone & Kantharos – Saratoga Special (G2)
The 2009 Saratoga Special was dominated by D’Funnybone, who rolled by 10 ½ lengths under Edgar Prado.
The colt was purchased privately for owner Paul Pompa Jr. after a sharp maiden score and a runner-up finish in the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes at Calder. He would go on to capture four additional graded stakes and rack up $686,700.
The following year Kantharos (pictured left) was just as impressive in taking the ‘Special’ by 7 ¼ lengths in a hand ride.
Watch the 2010 Saratoga Special
The son of Lion Heart was purchased by Sallusto & Albina as yearling at the 2009 Keeneland September sale for $80,000 and later resold for $250,000 to Stonestreet Farm at the OBS March Two-Year-Old in Training auction. He now stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm and is one of the most promising young sires in Kentucky.
Silver Wagon – 2003 Hopeful S. (G1)
The Hopeful Stakes caps off the three-race series for juvenile colts at the Spa and has been won by such luminaries as Buckpasser, Secretariat, Affirmed, Gulch and Horse of the Year Favorite Trick. Silver Wagon added his name to the honor roll with a 4-length tally over a field that included eventual Belmont Stakes/Travers Stakes hero Birdstone. Silver Wagon’s racing career was managed by Hanzly Albina during his time with Four Roses Thoroughbreds. The horse would go on to top the $1 million mark in career earnings and added an additional historic Grade 1 victory to his resume by taking the Carter Handicap.
Con Te Partiro – 2016 Bolton Landing S.
The turf stakes program for juveniles at Saratoga has grown in significance in recent years with races like the Bolton Landing at 5 ½ furlongs on the grass. Sallusto & Albina mating Con Te Partiro won last year’s race by nearly 6 lengths in his turf debut. He would go to make history by also capturing the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot this past June, making the Scat Daddy filly likely the first to win stakes at the world’s two most prestigious race meetings.
Free Mugatu – 2013 Law Enforcement S.
OBS March Two-Year-Old purchase Free Mugatu reeled off a pair of impressive Saratoga wins to begin his career in August of 2013. He romped by 4 lengths in his first start on August 9 and, three weeks later, rallied widest of all to win the $100,000 Law Enforcement Stakes by a neck.
Older runners purchased by Sallusto & Albina bloodstock have also hit high notes at Saratoga.
Stallwalkin’ Dude – 2015 & 2016 Tale of the Cat S.
Stallwalkin’ Dude (pictured above) has won a quartet of stakes, and placed in several others, since being acquired in a private transaction just over two years ago. The now millionaire has had considerable success at Saratoga where he’s won the last two editions of $100,000 Tale of the Cat Stakes as well as placing in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes last year.
Swift Warrior – 2012 Win S.
Private purchase Swift Warrior put owners James Covello and James Dolan in the Spa winner’s circle with his 2-length score in the $100,000 Win Stakes on August 29, 2012.
Chorus Music – 2011 Irish Linnet S.
The Win is named for a popular New York-bred millionaire and so is the Irish Linnet Stakes. The 2011 running fell to the Curragh Stables Chorus Music, another Sallusto & Albina private buy.