Beyond the Blinkers

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

Afternoon With the Regal Rosalind

Last Tuesday afternoon (April 15), I had the privilege of going to Keeneland and visiting Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Rosalind at trainer Kenny McPeek's barn. The reason for the visit was to do a video interview with McPeek that will be posted in the next few days on, but while I was there, I was also able to spend a few moments with Rosalind. She was accommodating while I petted her... Read More

Kentucky Oaks Name Game: 2014 Edition

It's time for my annual Kentucky Oaks name blog! I cover the Kentucky Oaks for the magazine, so for the last five years, I have researched the meanings behind the names of several of Oaks-bound fillies. Read some of my past entries here , here , and here . Whenever I make a "hunch bet," it's usually about 80-90% based on the horse's name. How much do name meanings weigh on your handicapping? These... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Faithful

Guest-blogger Paula Carleton Evans shares the story of Faithful, an ex-racer who jumped a wall higher than eight feet in 1949. Yesterday marked the 65th anniversary of Faithful's legendary jump. ... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Theres Trouble

Today I bring you yet another story from Shannon Hahn at Double L Stable Equine Rescue in New York. For the last six years, I have featured different horses from Double L, and in the process, also plugged that organization's Valentine's Day fundraiser. Please see the bottom of this story for information on how you can support Double L and also be entered in a fun contest. I'm also hosting another giveaway... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Prime Cut

I apologize for another long hiatus! I have been focusing on more on stallion news for the magazine and website, and with that plus sale coverage, I've been extremely busy since I returned from maternity leave. But I'm determined to still update my blog whenever possible! Following is a story about Prime Cut, whose prominent half siblings are graded stakes winners Vyjack and Tepin. Prime Cut was bought... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Bluegrass Knight

I apologize for the delay in blog posts, but I was recently out on maternity leave. Meet my daughter Lyla Jane! Needless to say, Lyla has taken up a lot of my time lately, but I am finally back at work and getting back to the swing of things. Thanks for understanding my absence! Earlier this summer, The Blood-Horse benefited from the services of a very capable intern, Emily Walden, who is the daughter... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Sandburr

In light of the recent unfortunate breakdown of grade I winner Monzante, which has once again brought the topic of racehorse safety and retirement to the forefront, I thought I would bring you some positive stories about horses that were retired at the right time and able to have lives beyond the track. ... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Arctic Bright View

Over past two years, Arctic Bright View, a pure, white son of Panoramic, has experienced an exciting adventure to Tinsel Town and back, and he lives to tell the tale. Out of the Airdrie Apache mare Arcticanna, Arctic Bright View just emerged from training in Hollywood, Calif., where he was leased by Disney to portray Silver in "The Lone Ranger." Several other horses were also trained to portray Silver... Read More

Equine Artist Martinez Reflects on Rich Career

Happy almost Belmont weekend! While the following story of Nick Martinez isn't directly OTTB-related, this jockey-turned equine artist does donate a portion of the proceeds from his work to retired racehorse efforts. I hope you enjoy this story of Martinez' colorful journey in the Thoroughbred industry. ************************************************************************************ From cattle... Read More

OTTB Spotlights: Stone Cold Angel and Liberian Freighter

Hello readers! One of our talented West Coast-based correspondents, Tracy Gantz, has written a great guest blog peice about the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. I hope you enjoy! Photos will hopefully be added soon. Have a wonderful weekend! ***************************************************************************** Stone Cold Angel obviously didn't want to be a racehorse... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Sir Prize Birthday

Today I ran across a pretty cool OTTB-related story I thought was worth sharing. Sent by Francis LaBelle, former assistant director of communications for the New York Racing Association, it chronicles the life of the stakes-winning, hard knocking horse Sir Prize Birthday, who is soon to be 33 years old! Enjoy. ************************************************************************************* On... Read More

Kentucky Oaks/Derby iPhoto Essay

With this year's Kentucky Oaks and Derby come and gone, I'm left with a lot of memories in the form of photos that I'd like to share. In the past, I've provided lists of my top 10 favorite moments during Derby week, but this year, with so many to choose from, I thought I would give you a photo essay of my experiences. Read my past Derby lists here here and here . Did you attend this year's Derby or... Read More

KY Oaks Name Game: 2013 Edition

The Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) name game is something fun that I've done on this blog for the last few years leading up to the Run for the Lilies. I research as many Oaks contenders as I can to find out their name meanings, and I usually get some pretty interesting stories! Following are some of the explanations I received on this year's stellar field of contenders. Which one is your favorite? Beholder... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Declan's Moon

The Retired Racehorse Training Project's "100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge" was comprised of four horses representing four Mid-Altantic Thoroughbred farms, including Samantha Siegel's retired grade I-winning gelding Declan's Moon. ... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Metro Meteor

Read the story of Metro Meteor, the OTTB that is raising thousands of dollars for a racehorse adoption charity through his paintings. Also, the giveaway winner is announced!... Read More

OTTB Update and a Giveaway

I would like to welcome back Shannon Hahn of Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary in Argyle, N.Y., who I have featured several other times on Beyond the Blinkers. Over the years since I started this blog, Shannon has come to me with different stories of horses she has helped nurse back to health, rehabilitate, and re-home. This year, in light of Double L's upcoming Valentine's Day fundraiser... Read More

OTTB Spotlight: Miss Fifty

Read the story of Miss Fifty, a Thoroughbred filly that captivated the heart of racing fan Mary Cage. After following the filly through a career of ups and downs, Mary received the best gift she could have imagined. ... Read More

OTTB Update: Windy Jim; Plus a Giveaway!

I love it when a past Beyond the Blinkers subject takes the time to email and give me an update on his or her off track Thoroughbred! Do you guys remember the story of Windy Jim as told by owner Jackie Cross in March 2011? (Click here to refresh your memory). Well, Jackie emailed me a few weeks ago to give me an update on the 16-year-old Feel the Power gelding and it sounds like he couldn't be better... Read More

New Vocations Breeders' Cup Pledge a Success

New Vocations, which I have highlighted several times in the past on this blog, has received some exciting results from its 2012 Breeders' Cup Pledge, with more than 17 owners or partnership groups and five trainers committing a portion of their horses' Breeders' Cup earnings to the non-profit organization's mission to rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home retired racehorses. "We definitely had more pledges... Read More

BC-Bound Flashy Ways Has Teenage Breeder

When Chad Reed's parents gave him a $5,000 budget to pick out a mare at the 2009 Keeneland November mixed sale at age 11, he never dreamed it would eventually result in a Breeders' Cup starter. But that's exactly what happened when the adolescent Thoroughbred enthusiast signed the ticket for the Carson City mare Golden Kitty with his father, Rick, at the 2009 Keeneland November mixed sale, after which... Read More

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