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The Silks (1986)

Greg Montgomery

The Silks (1986)
  • $3,000.00

In the summer of 1985 I saw a small poster announcing “The Travers.” When I inquired about this “Travers,” I was told with great flourish of the importance of the Midsummer Derby. Not a detail was spared about the world-famous horses, the famous racing families and stables, the canny trainers, gallant jockeys, celebrities and, yes, even the politicians. I was astonished — and delighted. But, I wondered, how was it that such a monumental event had such a modest poster to announce it? Well, they said, if I had a better idea, perhaps I should try it. So, I did. I got to work immediately on my first poster — the 1986 Travers Silks.

The jockey’s brilliantly colored silks, I thought, graphically showed the pageantry, color, and rich history of this the oldest thoroughbred stakes race in the United States. So, to research the horses, families, stables and silks, I went to Saratoga Springs’ racing museum. I sketched some 25 or 30 silks, but after much painful editing settled on just 15 silks for the poster — five rows of three. This tall, slender poster set the format for The Colors of Racing poster series.

The Travers Silks poster was given away as a party favor to attendees of the Travers Ball in August of 1986. The poster has been out of print for many years, and copies are exceedingly rare — and dear.

Originally, only Travers winners were to be on the 1986 Travers Silks poster. But, in the end, I just had to include a little intrigue. Two of the 15 horses represented by the silks did not win the Travers. Can you find them? Answer is below.

Key to the silks

Payson Stable
Carr de Naskra
Glen Riddle Farms
Man o’ War
Bertram R. Firestone
General Assembly
C.V. Whitney
Loblolly Farms
Temperance Hill
A.G. Vanderbilt
Native Dancer
Harbor View Farm
Pen-Y-Bryn Farm
Goldmills Farms
Bold Reason
Meadow Stable
William Haggin Perry
Calumet Farm
Ogden Phipps
Marcia W. Schott
Willow Hour
Rokeby Stables
Key to the Mint

Answer: Secretariat and Affirmed did not win the Travers.

Production Details:
This is the 1st poster in The Colors of Racing poster series
17" x 33" (43.2 cm x 83.8 cm) Limited Edition
(The Travers/Saratoga posters are never reprinted)
Paper: LOE 65 lb. dull cover
Inks: Four colors plus varnish
Typeface: ITC Garamond
"The Silks" is out of print. There is no Saratoga version.
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