The start of spring training may be the unofficial start to racing season, but let’s be honest—the excitement for the opening of Saratoga Race Course really kicks in when local artist Greg Montgomery unveils his design for that year’s Travers poster.
And, well, Saratoga, that day has finally arrived.
The poster for the 152nd running of the Travers Stakes features Saratoga’s favorite equine celebrity of the 2020 racing season, local hero Tiz the Law, with jockey Manny Franco aboard. For those who need a refresher, Tiz the Law, who was owned by Saratoga-based partnership Sackatoga Stable, made a splash in the racing world when he won the Belmont Stakes, the first leg of last year’s unusual Triple Crown, and then the Travers, also rescheduled due to COVID. He ended up finishing a disappointing second in the Kentucky Derby in September, and was retired in December, but thanks to Montgomery’s poster design, Saratogians will never forget the summer Tiz fever overshadowed even a global pandemic.
The Tiz poster will be on sale in stores around Saratoga later this week, and Montgomery will hold a special signing event on Saturday, June 19 from 2pm-4pm at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Posters will be on sale at the museum gift shop for $50 (signature included).
At first glance, this year’s poster looks like a horse and rider on a pinkish background. But look closely and you’ll see the iconic silhouette of Saratoga’s Grandstand—and Franco wearing the requisite PPE. “There’s so much beauty that’s distinctly Saratoga and vital to what I do each year,” Montgomery, who has been creating Travers posters for 35 years, told Saratoga Living in 2019. “Otherwise, it’s just horses on a track, and that can happen anywhere. Saratoga is one of a kind, which is what I try to convey.”