SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> Every jockey is a winner in a new outdoor display at the National Museum of Racing, along Union Avenue.
Thirty-seven, 165-pound lawn jockeys are lined up in a long row, each one bearing their respective stable’s silks colors.
Owners throughout the U.S. paid $10,000 apiece, over five years, to sponsor one of the figures to benefit the museum’s endowment fund.
“I kind of get attached to them before they leave,” said Spa City artist Paula Salmiery, who painted the jockeys. “My favorite is Tracy Farmer’s. I gave him red hair and blue eyes, just like my grandson.”
The project is the brainchild of museum Communications Director Brien Bouyea and Theresa Behrendt, a long-time museum supporter and 2014 Museum Ball chair. Bouyea said he got the idea from a similar display at the famous 21 Club in New York City, which has 33 cast-iron jockeys above the front entrance and two more inside.
So the Racing Museum’s exhibit is slightly larger and arguably more impressive, as each concrete figure is uniformly spaced on its own landscaped pedestal. They stand like silent sentinels, holding solar-powered lanterns that glow at night.
“The colors of racing are absolutely part of the sport’s pageantry,” Bouyea said.
The stables represented have produced numerous winners of racing’s most prestigious races such as Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup contests.
Salmiery bought the figures in Kentucky and brought them home with her husband, Steve, in a moving van. Their three children helped out by sanding…
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