Fans were not allowed on the premises of Saratoga Race Course last year due to the pandemic of Covid19, and neither was Sam Grossman.
Who’s Sam Grossman you ask? He’s better known to the fans at Saratoga as Sam The Bugler.
Sam over the years has earned a certain bit of celebrity status at Saratoga. In 2005 there was even a Sam The Bugler bobble-head doll give-away in his honor.
He is a fan favorite, always recognizable, and ever approachable when he walks the grounds in between races and after blowing out the Call To The Post (the little ditty that signals the horses have reached the track prior to each race).
Sam was deemed a non-essential worker (as were many others) at the racetrack in 2020.
But Sam is back, in all his blusterous glory, as the crowds and traditions have returned to the Old Spa.
Sam was missed, even if he never takes himself too seriously: “It’s not rocket science, I entertain the fans and then I go home.”
That is being humble. Sam is obviously not one to blow his own horn (sorry).
He’s been a trumpeter for close to fifty years, has a bachelors, and masters degree in music, and studied under trumpeters from the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
There is nothing modest about the bugle Sam plays. It is a custom Kanstul Herald trumpet, which costs around $3000 dollars.
After Sam is through playing the Call To The Post (which has been a racecourse staple since the mid-1800’s) he can be found wandering the grounds at Saratoga, mingling with the fans, posing for pictures and playing requests.
It’s evident that Sam is a man who enjoys his work, so if you happen to see him, be sure to welcome him back.