As you’ve learned in the pages of saratoga living magazine, history is what primes the sport of horse racing’s pump. Without its shocking victories, shady characters and myth-makers, the sport wouldn’t be half as exciting. To that end, The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs has named veteran turf writer and Thoroughbred racing expert Michael Veitch to be its new in-house historian. The fifth-generation Saratogian will assume his new volunteer role at the museum starting on Tuesday, October 1, taking over for Allan Carter, who’s served as the Hall of Fame’s historian since 2003 (Carter succeeded the late Tom Gilcoyne). “It’s an honor, indeed to work for the National Museum of Racing, and to follow outstanding historians Tom Gilcoyne and Allan Carter in the role of Historian,” says Veitch.
The author of three books on horse racing history, Veitch was a natural choice for the National Museum of Racing. (He co-authored his latest volume, The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race, with saratoga living Sports Editor Brien Bouyea, who is also the communications director at the museum.) Not only has Veitch served as a trustee and a chair of the museum’s Hall of Fame Historic Review Committee, but he’s also a member of the Contemporary Nominating Committee and, in 2017, was selected to the institution’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor. This is on top of covering horse racing as a journalist for The Saratogian and its racing supplement, The Pink Sheet, from 1979 to 2017.
Veitch’s new role as museum historian will require him to represent the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, assist in research requests and help establish historical accuracy for the museum’s collection and records. Even after all these years immersed in the Sport of Kings, Veitch says it still excites him. “To me, Thoroughbred racing is an endeavor marked by an infinite number of variables, and one that brings together so many aspects of our culture,” he says. “It’s a rich history of men and women working with the noble Thoroughbred—men and women from all walks of life brought together for the horse.”