July 24 was a red-letter day at Saratoga Race Course for Preston Madden and his son Patrick.
First, Truth, a homebred Arch filly racing for Patrick Madden and Ben P. Walden Jr. broke her maiden in the sixth race, a $83,000 maiden special weight. Ridden in hand on the front end by John Velazquez for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, the filly gamely held off a challenge from Sassy Little Lila to win the 1 1/16-mile inner turf test by three-quarters of a length.
Then, in the program’s 11th-race finale, Preston Madden homebred Derby Champagne provided his owner with a perfect 82nd birthday present with a win in the starter allowance at a mile on the inner turf at 29-1 odds under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr (VIDEO).
Trained by Rusty Arnold, the well-bred son of Pulpit, produced from the Madden-raced Distorted Humor stakes-winning mare Champagne Taste, has two wins and two placings from nine starts with earnings of $80,425.
Madden was not at Saratoga for his chance to have his picture taken in the winner’s circle on his birthday, but noted, “I’ve been at this a long time, so I don’t travel very far unless they’re in a stakes.”
The Maddens’ Hamburg Place near Lexington was founded by Preston Madden’s grandfather, John Madden, known as the “Wizard of the Turf” and the breeder of five Kentucky Derby winners. Under Preston Madden’s guidance, Hamburg is best known as the breeder of 1987 Derby winner Alysheba.
Today, Hamburg Place consists of some 1,000 acres of farmland, with the rest turned into a sprawling development of 2 million square feet of retail space, 160 acres of professional offices, and 1,000 acres of residential development.
Madden said he has six horses in training and two broodmares, including Champagne Taste, who is boarded at Claiborne Farm, and no longer has any horses at his farm.
“I don’t have horses at Hamburg Place anymore,” he explained. “It helps me to sleep at night if I don’t have any horses running around here.”
Although he never made it to Saratoga for Derby Champagne’s win, Madden is headed to Del Mar in Southern California to possibly see his 2-year-old colt Ky. Colonel run July 30. The son of Into Mischief trained by Richard Mandella will be making his second start in a maiden race, if he draws into the field.
“I am not only going out because of this horse, but I am going out for the races each day, and have a little beach time—my summer vacation," he said. "But I am not working all that hard these days.”