Saratoga 150 Committee Inducts Molly Brant and Sun Briar into Hoofprints Walk of Fame

The only press releases that I pass along here on Talk of the Track are those that are so darned important that I want to spread the word, far-and-wide.  Other releases will get a link on my social media outlets, but this ‘site is reserved for The Big Stuff.

So…I’ll editorialize just for a moment here, then set you free to read the release:   horses are the very lifeblood of the sport of horse racing.  I know, that may sound pretty-darned obvious…but too many marketing folks in the sport forget that.  In desperate efforts to bring in more attendees and grow more bettors–too often, The Horse–without whom the sport could not exist–is an afterthought.    So the existence of the Hoofprints Walk of Fame is a very important thing in our sport:  it stands sentry quietly at the very entrance to the Saratoga

The only way to grow horse racing: a child, learning about horses and the sport.

Race Course.  It’s impossible to get to the turnstiles without dealing with it.  This was a great idea, and kudos to whomever thought of it!  Casual fans, or day-trippers, may have no idea about the proud history of this track, or the marvelous horses who made it happen:  for them, this is an opportunity to be intrigued, and to learn. Ergo, the Walk’s most important job (IMHO) is to educate the race-going public.   Working hoof-in-hoof with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, across Union from the track–the Walk can help grow casual fans into understanding, knowledgeable fanatics.  Without horses, there’s no sport–just gaming.  The Hoofprints Walk of Fame reminds us every day of this essential Truth. 🙂

 The Hoofprints Walk of Fame is a beautiful space created just outside the Clubhouse entrance on Nelson Avenue, at our extraordinarily-perfect Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA.  Visitors should stop on their rushed way into the track, just to walk the Walk, and pay homage to the heroes and heroines of racing who are celebrated there.

I attended the inaugural induction ceremony several years ago, and was impressed by the love and devotion that Mrs. Marylou Whitney; her husband, John Hendrickson and the Saratoga 150 Committee put into the creation of the space.   No one knows and loves Saratoga more than Mrs. Whitney and Mr. Hendrickson (well, and me)–so I know that this space, their commitment to the horses and history that made this place the place it is today–are the very lifeblood that will continue to keep Saratoga in the front of world horse racing’s pack for many centuries to come.

Sans further ado, thank you for inducting two exceptional Thoroughbreds into the Hoofprints Walk of Fame–and thank you, race fans, for sharing the word about this quiet, magnificent space.  For more info, please go to


Monday, July 10, 2017
 Mark Bardack

Saratoga 150 Committee announces new inductees to the Hoofprints Walk Of Fame at Saratoga Race Course

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Saratoga 150 Committee today announced the two newest inductees to the Hoofprints Walk of Fame at Saratoga Race Course: memorable filly, Molly Brant and champion horse,  Sun Briar.

Modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hoofprints Walk of Fame was installed outside the clubhouse gates to Saratoga Race Course in 2013 in conjunction with the sesquicentennial celebration of the first organized race meeting in Saratoga Springs. The Hoofprints Walk of Fame honors the most prolific and notable horses to compete at Saratoga Race Course during its illustrious history. The additions of Molly Brant and Sun Briar bring the total number of inductees to 38.

The bronze plaques prominently feature the Thoroughbred’s name alongside the names of its sire, dam, owner, trainer, and jockey. The plaques also feature the horse’s year of birth and signature wins at Saratoga Race Course.

“We are delighted to welcome these two worthy new additions to the outstanding class of thoroughbreds who make up the Hoofprints Walk of Fame at Saratoga Race Course,” said Saratoga 150 Honorary Chair John Hendrickson, who conceptualized the project in conjunction with the Saratoga 150 committee. “These equine athletes are certainly to be credited for the excitement and thrill that make a day at the races so enticing and memorable. The Hoofprints Walk of Fame honors the real stars of the sports while providing a unique and educational retrospective of our history.”

Owned by Sanford Stud of Amsterdam, NY, Molly Brant was trained by H.H. Hyner and W. Hayward and ridden by George Odom. Her memorable wins include the Adirondack in 1902; the Saranac in 1903; the Delaware, Champlain and Merchants and Citizens in 1904; and the Delaware again in 1905.

Owned by W.S. Kilmer, Sun Briar was trained by Henry McDaniel and ridden by Willie Knapp. His memorable wins include the Hopeful, Saratoga Special and Grand Union in 1917; the Travers and Delaware in 1918; and the Champlain in 1919.

The selection committee consists of National Museum of Racing Librarian Allan Carter, racing historian and author Ed Bowen, and turf columnist Michael Veitch.

“It is an honor for the Hoofprints Walk of Fame to welcome Molly Brant and Sun Briar to the list of thoroughbreds who have made a historic mark at Saratoga Race Course,” said Veitch.

Horses are considered for the Hoofprints Walk of Fame based on their accomplishments in major stakes races at Saratoga Race Course, throughout its history of more than 150 years. The selection committee considers additional horses for the Walk of Fame on an annual basis. Among the notable thoroughbreds inducted to the Walk of Fame include Affirmed, Man o’ War, Native Dancer and Secretariat.

The summer racing season will begin on Friday, July 21 and continue through Labor Day, Monday, September 4.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit