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August 14th, 2013

NYRA, Saratoga name anniversary art piece

A special equine art piece, designed and painted by Robert Clark (left) in honor of the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course, was unveiled on July 18, 2013.

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The New York Racing Association, Inc. and the Saratoga 150 Committee today announced that the official name of the specially produced equine art piece in honor of the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course is SPAtacular.

Submitted by life-long thoroughbred racing fan Miranda Prather of Middletown, MD, the name SPAtacular was selected by public vote out of over 200 suggested entries proposed by racing fans. She submitted the name in hopes of being part of the historic 150th anniversary season. Prather is eligible to receive lunch for two at Saratoga Race Course, recognition on the video boards and a front side tour of the track.

"The name came to me quite easily. It is truly an honor to be selected. I’ve been like an excited little kid since I learned my name was chosen," said Prather. "I appreciate going to Saratoga and being in a place where the people are really there for the racing. It’s an oasis for true horse racing loving individuals."

Designed and painted by internationally-known equine artist Robert Clark, the three-dimensional fiberglass horse features approximately 100 hand-painted images which provide an illustrative history of Saratoga Race Course over the past 150 years.

"We knew that this outstanding piece of art needed a name worthy of its place in our community. The name SPAtacular truly summarizes the 150 years of history that Bob depicted on this masterpiece," said Saratoga 150 Honorary Chair John Hendrickson. "We thank Miranda for her submission, and we look forward to watching fans enjoy Bob’s artwork for many years to come."

SPAtacular is divided into four quadrants with images depicting well-known public figures, on-track structures, horses and jockeys for each 50 year period beginning in 1863 through 2013. The art piece is on display for the public throughout the 2013 season inside the Clubhouse gates across from The Post. At the end of the meet, SPAtacular will be given a permanent home at the National Museum of Racing.

Based in Indian Harbour Beach, FL, equine artist Robert Clark has dedicated his art career to horses for over 30 years. Over the past 10 years, Clark has worked exclusively with the thoroughbred racing industry and has painted over 100 Grade 1 winners. He has painted live at various horse sales, race courses, and industry events, such as the Eclipse Awards.

"As an artist dedicated to thoroughbred racing, it is such an honor to have my work on display at a venue so important to the sport. Saratoga is a special place to so many racing fans," said Clark. "I am excited to be a part of the 150th anniversary season at the Spa and thrilled to provide racing fans with this unique look at the history of Saratoga Race Course."

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