Told from the perspective of a man who for five decades has attended the races in Saratoga, The History and Art of 25 Travers is Vic Zast's personal account of the last twenty-two Travers Stakes and a look back at three of the greatest races in history.This beautiful book contains the entire collection of Greg Montgomery's Travers Stakes posters - the longest continuing series of sporting art in the world. The artist's thoughts and sketches, along with new artwork commemorating three of Saratoga's most memorable Travers Stakes, are included in the grand presentation.Individual chapters are devoted to such soul-stirring races as the 1988 Travers, in which Forty-Niner held off Seeking the Gold and Brian's Time; the 1995 running, in which future Horse of the Year Holy Bull led form bell to wire; the 1998 blanket finish of Coronado's Quest, Victory Gallop and Raffie's Majesty in the closest Travers ever; and the 2004 Travers that Birdstone, owned by Marylou Whitney, won in the dark before a sudden summer rainstorm.Jim Dandy's 1930 Travers victory at odds of 100-1 over Triple Crown champion Gallant Fox, the record-breaking 1962 running in which Jaipur and Ridan raced head to head for the full length of the Travers, and the tenth and last meeting between the Triple Crown champion Affirmed and his longtime rival Alydar in the 1978 Travers are all vividly described and illustrated.
Vic, 69, made a day at the races at any track a celebration, but he played favorites: Saratoga, where he had a summer home, was his preferred meet, and the Breeders' Cup championships, which he attended every year since the 1984 inaugural running at Hollywood Park, was a special event. He traveled with his wife Maureen to other major racing festivals around the world, from the white turf of snowy St. Moritz, Switzerland, to the sandy desert of the World Cup of Dubai, to the bustling city of Tokyo for the Japan Cup, to the glamour of Royal Ascot in England.
Vic Zast grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., graduating from Siena College and the University of Buffalo Law School. An entrepreneur and executive who excelled in marketing three diverse industries – fragrances, distilled spirits and horse racing – he brought two of those industries together when he signed Jim Beam to be title sponsor of the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky.
Vic wrote about horses, the people in racing, and the business side of the game. He loved writing a daily diary for Bloodhorse.com from Saratoga each year. He was unconventional in his thinking, always looking for ways to make racing more popular and understandable to the general public.