Saratoga Race Course opens next week and there will be a different look and feel on the grounds.
Long-time track bugler Sam Grossman will not be at the storied thoroughbred race track playing the Call To Post and the other tunes that are requested of him each and every day of the meet.
“I took a routine blood test after changing insurance,” the South Florida resident explained. “The results were catastrophically bad and I went directly to the hospital for kidney failure.”
Despite his deep disappointment that he won’t make the Saratoga meet amid his continuing battle to get healthy, he remains positive and upbeat.
He noted with pride that he is down 26 pounds and plans on continuing to lose weight until he is down to 185 pounds.
He acknowledged that his excessive weight on his 5’8” frame made him obese, and he also declared “I had my last drink.”
Although he is not out of the woods just yet and won’t make the meet this year, he said that his kidneys are working again and he expects to come next year.
“This is the first Saratoga meet I am not going to since 1993 and I’m sad”, he lamented. “But I didn’t take care of myself during the pandemic and I almost died.”
His nearly three-decades long tenure was not without some low points. He freely talks about the night in 2013 before the Travers Stakes when, after consuming several drinks and then driving, he was pulled over and arrested by Saratoga Springs Police.
“I am the perfect person to be at the track and help people have a good time,” he observed. “But I am not a perfect person. I was ashamed. I regret it, and I wish I could go back. But I owned it and pled guilty to DWAI four days later.”
Of Saratoga, Grossman expresses appreciation and love. “I’m grateful for every single minute I had in that town,” he said. “Next time I play, I won’t be that bloated old man. I’m going to be a fit version of Sam because I want to survive.”
All of us here at the Daily Racing Blog wish Sam all the best on his journey back to health and wellness.
With his new attitude we are certain he will be blowing Reveille in the Community Court parking lot every morning (during the meet) next summer.
Be well Sam.