Hangin' With Haskin

Clinging to Youth Through Secretariat

No one likes getting old, especially when you still think of yourself as a kid--in my case growing up in Brooklyn and having my world revolve around sports. That spark of youth still burns brightly no matter how old you get. And you even miss the naivety that comes with being young. We looked at everything, especially sports, with a good deal of innocence because we simply didn't know any better. That's why it was fun.... Read More

Z One and Only

It was 10 years ago today, on Nov. 7, that the mighty Zenyatta put on the show of shows. I am reprinting my recap of that special event in order to relive all the magic and excitement.... Read More

The Indelible Image of the BC Juvenile

On Future Stars Friday of 2019, will those watching the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on television remember the gutsy performance by 45-1 Storm the Court as he led a parade of longshots to the finish line or the image of trainer Peter Eurton's daughter Britney, covering the race for NBC, watching the finish in disbelief as she became overwhelmed with emotion. This was no longer about a longshot winning, but about the love and the heart-filled pride of a daughter for her father.... Read More

And So the 3-Year-Old Plot Thickens

The most fascinating aspect of 2019 is trying to envision how historians are going to treat this unique crop of 3-year-olds, whose adventures read something like an Agatha Christie novel, with twists and turns on every page. You just never know what is going to happen next. Not even Christie's super sleuth Hercule Poirot could decipher all the bizarre events that have unfolded this year. But no matter... Read More

Carlos Martin Ready for BC Spotlight

There are times when you just can't help root for a horse, a trainer, or an owner. When you look at trainer Carlos Martin about to embark on the Breeders' Cup trail with the brilliant filly Come Dancing, there are a number of thoughts that run through your head, at least if you have any sense of history and are impressed with hard work and an astute knowledge of horses, racing, and breeding.... Read More

Breakout Time for Pair of Hot Juveniles

As we prepare for the upcoming 2-year-old stakes to determine who the big horses will be for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and even get a long-range look at the Kentucky Derby, there is a good deal of optimism regarding this crop, especially with the combination of brilliance and class exhibited so far. And unlike some other years, most of this year's promising juveniles have pedigrees to suggest they are potential Derby horses.... Read More

The Unforgettable Kelso

It is appropriate that the New York Racing Association moved the Kelso Handicap from its fall Super Saturday card, where it was pretty much lost, to its own weekend. Now the focus is not only on those versatile horses prepping for either the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile or the Classic, but on one of the all-time great Thoroughbreds for whom the race is named.... Read More

Smarty Party Returns to Philly

With owner Pat Chapman and two handlers leading him down the stretch from the barn area and into the walking ring; Smarty walked several times around, reacting to the cheers of the huge crowd in attendance by pricking his ears and bouncing along on his toes as if he were running in the next race, aptly named the Smarty Jones Stakes.... Read More

The Day Rachel Rocked the Spa

This Saturday will mark the 10th anniversary of Rachel Alexandra's gut-wrenching victory in the Woodward Stakes that culminated arguably the most remarkable season ever by a 3-year-old filly. The race would prove costly not only to Rachel but those who tested her in one of the emotionally charged races ever run at Saratoga. To commemorate that amazing race I am reprinting my recap (with several additions and statistics) to relive all the drama and excitement of a race that will most definitely withstand the test of time.... Read More

Bobby Frankel on Chad Brown

My interview with the late Bobby Frankel today on his former assistant Chad Brown? It would go something like this: SH: So Bobby, what do you make of your boy Chad Brown? Could you have envisioned the amazing success he's had? BF: Why do you think I had him saddle Ginger Punch in the Breeders' Cup Distaff when the love of my life, Happy, was dying and I couldn't leave her? You think I would have trusted... Read More

Goodbye, Marylou

For racing's aristocracy, the tycoons of business and pillars of society who ruled the Sport of Kings back in the early to mid-1900s, it was all about the sport and the glory and seeing horses they bred and raised carry their famed colors to victory. These moguls knew how to win, and more important, they knew how to lose.... Read More

Lessons to be Learned From Ahvee's Destiny

That is not the purpose of this column. As I mentioned, this column is personal, but it reflects the love owners and trainers and everyone connected with the horses have for these noble creatures. The horses are their life, and unless you can witness firsthand the affection and camaraderie between the horses and the people who sacrifice so much to care for them seven days a week, 365 days a year, you had best reserve your disdain for the sport until you are more knowledgeable on the subject.... Read More

My Juliet Worthy Addition to Hall of Fame

It was April 2, 1974. It should have been April 1, for what better April Fool’s joke than telling someone that a filly who had just finished second in a four-furlong maiden race at Fonner Park, a five-furlong bullring track in Grand Island, Nebraska would one day be crowned a champion and elected into the Hall of Fame.... Read More

The Greatest Rivalry That Never Was

When the younger generation of racing fans see this headline they naturally would think the column is about Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra. But most of them probably have no conception of what it was like back in 1966 when Buckpasser and Graustark appeared to be on a collision course that would lead to a much-anticipated showdown in the Kentucky Derby.... Read More

Sir Winston a Chip Off the Old Granddad

It was only a matter of time that we had a Belmont winner infused with the blood of the Gainesway Farm stallion Afleet Alex. It was 14 years ago that Alex's Cinderella story touched the heart of the nation, culminating with a rousing seven-length romp in the "Test of the Champion."... Read More

Normandy Invasion Revisited

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, I am reprinting a story from 2013 when Rick Porter had Normandy Invasion in the Kentucky Derby and brought several survivors of the invasion to Churchill Downs, taking them to the backstretch one morning to meet his horse where they all told stories, still with vivid recollection, of their adventures and heroics.... Read More

Mott, Casse, Could Join Exclusive Club

Try to imagine how tough it is to win a Triple Crown race. Then try to imagine winning two of the three legs. Then try to imagine winning two of the three legs with two different horses. In the past half century you can count on one hand the number of times that has been accomplished.... Read More

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