The authors would like to recognize the generosity of the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust. “The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race,” the first comprehensive history of America’s oldest race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds, would not have been possible without the financial support of the Trust, co-chaired by Harry D. Snyder and Victoria Garlanda.
A one-of-a-kind character, fashion innovator, raconteur, philanthropist, and thoroughbred racing aficionado, Mr. Solomon was a beloved Saratoga icon. Born in New York City on Sept. 25, 1899, Mr. Solomon was the founder of Madcaps, a company in the garment district of Manhattan that made European-style hats and sold them to millions of American women at department store “hat bars,” a concept he pioneered.
For 62 years, Mr. Solomon was the affable occupant of Box E33 at Saratoga Race Course, where he could usually be found in one of his 50 straw hats, chomping on a cigar, and perhaps sipping a bourbon. The Associated Press described Mr. Solomon as “a Damon Runyon throwback.” In 1998, a race on opening day at Saratoga was named in his honor, prompting Mr. Solomon to say he had “been waiting 100 years for this.”
In 1937, Mr. Solomon purchased a 286-acre estate near Saratoga Race Course that he named Madcaps Farm. He came to be affectionately known as the Duke of Gansevoort, the town nearest his farm. The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust was founded by Mr. Solomon in his Last Will and Testament to benefit nonprofit and charitable organizations in Saratoga Springs, New York.
This book has been endorsed by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, an institution Mr. Solomon was always fond of and generous to. The authors consider it an honor to recognize Mr. Solomon’s incomparable legacy. We believe he would have appreciated this work and the many fascinating stories that comprise Saratoga’s greatest racing tradition, the Travers.