Beyond the Blinkers

Esther Marr commentary on Thoroughbred retirement, aftercare, and interesting stories

Daisy Devine: Cinderella Story of the Oaks

From a $5,500 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase to grade II winner, Daisy Devine has proven to be a brilliant investment for owner James Miller’s two-horse stable. The retired oil company salesman now may just be in for the biggest ride of his life if the daughter of Kafwain were to cross the wire first on Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day. “It would be awesome—the thrill of a lifetime,” said Miller... Read More

Dancinginherdreams Still Dreaming of the Oaks

As I previously warned you, from here through early May, it’s going to be all Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), all the time on my blog. Throughout the next few weeks, I hope to provide you with some insight into the Oaks contenders and their connections, as well as some behind-the-scenes views of the spectacle leading up to the first Friday in May. One of the many fillies currently reaching for the lilies is... Read More

Women Riders Stepping Up

As I mentioned last week, I would like to share an interview I composed with Karma Kitaj, author of the book “ Women Riders Who Could…and Did: Life Stories of Top Level Equestriennes .” The book features the stories of women professionals from various areas of the equine industry, including the now retired jockey Julie Krone. Krone became the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race when she... Read More

Retired Racehorse Spotlight: Icy Edge

Sometimes it seems that certain horse-rider combinations were just meant to be. Such was the case for Stephanie Church, editor-in-chief of The Horse magazine, and her sister, Sarah, video intern for The Blood-Horse , who will always cherish the good memories they had with their Thoroughbred ex-racer Icy Edge. Stephanie and Sarah, who are both lifelong horsewomen , sat down with me the other day to... Read More

Retired Racehorse Spotlight: Felicity and Windy

Jackie Cross of Maryland wrote me a few weeks ago to tell me about her 14-year-old cousin, Gabby Gordon, who recently adopted a retired Thoroughbred racehorse named Felicity. The 9-year-old daughter of Tarakam, who raced under the name Susies Cameo Girl, made 48 starts on the Texas circuit, winning seven times, with seven seconds, and six thirds. Throughout her four-year career, Felicity consistently... Read More

Hoofing It Up at Old Friends

Kelsey Riley, former editorial intern at The Blood-Horse and current Darley Flying Start student, relates her experiences while trimming the hooves of the equine stars at Old Friends retirement farm.... Read More

Blue Love: The Story of Blue Blue Sea

Maryland resident Miranda Prather, a lifelong horse lover who adopted a retired Thoroughbred named Blue Blue Sea, has an amazing story to tell about how her horse overcame odds by surviving a malabsorbtion disorder and several other health issues. I decided to do a little question-and-answer session with her to find out more about Blue Blue Sea, who is living proof that a disease like malabsorbtion... Read More

Hotstufanthensome Finds a Home!

Many of you may have already read in the updated section of the previous blog that Hotstufanthensome has found a forever home, but I wanted to make a separate post to make sure everyone saw the great news. After much consideration of several individuals and organizations that offered to take Hotstufandthensome, New Vocations announced Jan. 12 that the gelding would be going to Akindale Thoroughbred... Read More

Arctic Bright: Hollywood or Bust

I had a really neat experience on Dec. 2. After writing this blog last winter about Thoroughbreds in Tinsel Town, and interviewing Cari Swanson of Swanson Peterson Productions, my editor informed me that Arctic Bright, a white colt I had also previously written about had been recruited by that company to train for a career in the movie business! Rex Peterson, who is well-known for training horses in... Read More

Son of Smarty Jones Thriving in New Home

Like some Thoroughbreds, Smarty’s Gold, a 4-year-old son of Smarty Jones, just wasn’t cut out to be a racehorse. Trained by Michael Gorham, he failed to win in eight starts on the northeast circuit, and was shelved this spring with a minor injury after campaigning for just two seasons. Smarty’s Gold’s connections decided the chestnut colt may be better suited for a different career, however, and so... Read More

Most Memorable 2010 Breeders' Cup Moments

1. Visiting with trainers and jockeys during cold mornings on the Churchill Downs backstretch during the week before the Breeders Cup…I especially enjoyed my chat with trainer Steve Hobby in barn 15, where he told me all about his longshot BC Turf contender, Telling . I was really rooting for this horse; it would have made for a great story, considering Hobby’s wife serves as the horse’s groom. Unfortunately... Read More

Sights and Thoughts from Day 1 of My Breeders' Cup Week

Wow, yesterday was an eventful day! I left Lexington around 5:30 a.m. to drive to Louisville so I could be on the backstretch for training hours, talked to a few trainers about their Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) contenders, saw several of the European horses try out the Churchill dirt and turf for the first time, experienced Zenyatta’s arrival in Louisville, where she will attempt to defend her title... Read More

BC Turf Pre-Entry Report: Champ Pegasus is My Early Fave

Well, I have my work cut out for me this year at the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. For the first time, instead of just focusing on Breeders’ Cup news, I will be covering one of the 14 races—the Emirates Airline BC Turf (gr. I) Nov. 6. There were 11 horses pre-entered in the race, and not surprisingly, six of those contenders were bred and/or have raced primarily outside of this country: Debussy... Read More

Courageous Comet Puts Forth a Stellar Effort at WEG

Wow, it’s been awhile! I have had quite the workload the past couple weeks, which is why the blog hasn’t been updated as much as I would have liked. I know this is old news now, but I had the opportunity to go out to the Kentucky Horse Park twice during the FEI World Equestrian Games here in Lexington over the last couple of weeks. First I went on Sept. 29 to see my husband, Steven's band play in the... Read More

Checking in With My Man Tiznow

I just returned from a tour at WinStar Farm, and I can still feel grainy bits of Polytrack from their new training track between my toes. It’s been a good day. I’m currently working on a piece on WinStar for our Breeders’ Cup magazine, and I realized that I had never ventured out to the gorgeous Versailles, Ky. operation off Pisgah Pike, nor seen the mighty Tiznow in person. Now I can say I’ve done... Read More

Son of Silver Charm Enjoying Life After the Track

It’s definitely time for another retired Thoroughbred feel-good story, don’t you think? Charming Jim is special in the fact that he has managed to be successful both on and off the track. After being retired from racing and acquired by Christy Weese last July, the 9-year-old gelding has wasted no time dedicating himself to a new career as a trail horse. I’d like to add that Charming Jim is a beautiful... Read More

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