Get to Know The Saratoga Special's Tom Law

The Life
Eclipse Sportswire

Writer Tom Law is a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and has covered horse racing for decades. Law is the managing editor of The Saratoga Special, covering horse racing at the historic upstate New York track, and the associated website This Is Horse Racing. Get to know him and his take on several racing topics in the fun Q&A below.

What I like about Thoroughbred racing: The history, the action, the characters and the simplicity of it all - fastest horse to the finish wins. The clock doesn't lie and no judges or analytics are needed.  

Favorite place at the racetrack from which to watch a race: Anywhere in the stands, high enough up to see the action and low enough to hear the action.

Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home: Rotate from coast to coast, as the event's founders intended.

My top three favorite racetracks in order: Keeneland, Saratoga, Belmont Park

Best race I’ve seen in person: 1988 Travers - Forty Niner and Seeking The Gold.

Most influential person in my career: My high school cross country coaches Art and Linda Kranick, not with the writing, reporting and interviewing but instilling the belief that how hard you work what you put into life directly affects results. 

My out-of-the-box idea for Thoroughbred racing: Less is more. 

Other sports/teams I follow: Manchester United, USA men's soccer, University of Kentucky football and basketball, Cincinnati Bengals

My favorite athletes of all time: Joe Montana, Dale Murphy, Steve Prefontaine, Roger Bannister, Gianluigi Buffon, Benny Snell Jr.

What book(s) I am reading or have recently read: I have five on my nightstand at this moment – “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, “The Incomplete Book of Running” by Peter Seagal, “The Racing Man's Bedside Book” by Julien Bedford, “Boys In The Boat” by Daniel James Brown and “This Land” by Dan Barry

Favorite magazines: The New Yorker, Runner's World, Sports Illustrated, and Thoroughbred Times (R.I.P.)

Hobbies away from Thoroughbred racing: Running (trail and road), hiking, campingcraft beer, reading, watching soccer (live or TV)

Favorite movies: “Into the Wild,” “Falling Down,” “A Christmas Story”  

Favorite TV shows I watch: “Peaky Blinders,” “Fortitude,” “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” “Lost”, “Ozark,” “House of Cards,” “The Crown,” “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” How's that for variety? 

Favorite foods: Fresh seafood, barbecue, pizza, and a good steak or burger from my grill

Favorite vacation spot: Iceland 

Favorite musician/band: The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, The Head and the Heart, Johnny Cash 

Favorite actor: Christian Bale/Robin Wright 

Top 10 websites I visit daily: This Is Horse Racing (of course), Strava, New York Times, Twitter, ESPNFC, The Atlantic, Kentucky Sports Radio, The Guardian, Seven Days, Weather Channel

Courtesy Tom Law

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people inside racing: The Aga Khan, Aidan O'Brien, Gai Waterhouse

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of racing: Eliud Kipchoge, Jurgen Klopp, Jon Krakauer 

Best racetrack food can be found at: Anywhere at Keeneland, FrontRunner at Santa Anita

Accomplishment I am most proud of: Seeing former interns or co-workers dreaming big, rising through the ranks and landing prominent positions in the industry

My philosophy on life: Set goals, don't be desperate, put yourself in position to succeed, make every word count and remember what Mark Twain said, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

Things I collect: Memories, and too many medals from marathons, half marathons, and team relay races.

Favorite charities: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Sierra Club, Franklin Community Center and Heading for Home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and The Hope Center in Lexington, Ky. 

Favorite authors: Jon Krakauer, Lee Child, Laura Hillenbrand, J.K. Rowling, John Grisham 

Favorite animal other than a horse: My newly adopted 14-year-old Siamese cat named Raisin.

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Tossup: Game 3 of the 1992 World Series, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves in Toronto, or U.S. men's soccer team World Cup Qualifying match against Jamaica, a 1-0 win Sept. 11, 2012 

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Career, competition, speed 

Top three fashion brands you prefer to wear: Does running gear from Asics and Pearl Izumi and outdoor stuff from Eastern Mountain Sports and L.L. Bean count?

Favorite month of the year: June

What apps are on your phone: Garmin Connect, Strava, Untappd, 9 Miles East, Amazon Music, ESPN, Ragnar, Rocketbook, The Athletic, Nest, NY Times, Map My Run, Airbnb

My biggest gambling score ever at the racetrack was: Not necessarily from a total dollar standpoint but in college I went to local OTB with $10 in my pocket, hit back-to-back exactas (playing straight tickets) and went back to the dorm with nearly $500. 

What is your go-to or signature bet to make at the racetrack: Pretty straightforward, win-place and 3-4 horse exacta box 

If you could pick walk-up music that would play whenever your horse(s) entered a winner’s circle after a win, what song would you pick: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

Favorite fall or holiday cocktail: Eggnog with bourbon; but save the good stuff to drink neat or on the rocks.

Favorite summertime cocktail: Sip of Sunshine IPA by Lawson's, straight from the can on the back porch. 

Favorite all-time racehorse: Easy Goer 

Favorite race horse currently competing: Whitmore 

Favorite international racing event: Cheltenham Festival 

Three ways to attract more fans to the sport: Improve facilities, enhance live experience, and shorten the race day

My favorite appetizer: Hot Buffalo-style chicken wings 

Who will win the Super Bowl: New Orleans Saints 

Which athlete or entertainer should consider Thoroughbred ownership: LeBron James

Best Pizza I’ve ever had (restaurant/city): American Flatbread in Burlington, Vt.

College Football Playoff: Four teams? Eight? Or 16? Four; did we really need to see UCF, Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State in there?

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!