Hangin' With Haskin

Is Vox and Bricks a Good Mix?

In some years we are fortunate to have a horse that possesses all the attributes to win both the Vox Populi and Horse of the Year. There is an excellent chance this will be one of those years.... Read More

Getting Ready For Yet Another Early Goodbye

So Omaha Beach likely will have one more start in the marked-down Pegasus World Cup before retiring to stud. He will take with him an excellent pedigree, courage in the heat of battle, and exceptional brilliance, but we will always wonder to what heights those attributes could have taken him.... Read More

A Case of Vino

Who should be the champion older horse? There is the distance horse in Vino Rosso and the sprinter/miler Mitole. So, will Vino Rosso take home the Eclipse for champion older male and Mitole the sprint championship or will Mitole nail down both awards and Vino Rosso get nothing?... Read More

Maximum Security: What Might Have Been

Secretariat, Dr. Fager, Affirmed, Hoist the Flag, Cougar II, and now Maximum Security. This is quite an elite group, and to be included would link you with four Hall of Famers and five champions. But, alas, in this context it is a list trainers and owners would prefer not to be on. You see, all these horses were disqualified from first in major stakes; some warranted, some questionable, and some extremely... Read More

Eight Rings Will be Reopening the History Books

Here I am again back on my soapbox, much to the dismay of those who are tired of me preaching the same sermon ad nauseam. But the truth is I don't care about those who have tired of the message. I will keep shouting it from my pulpit even knowing it will fall on deaf ears. But once on a rare occasion, such as in 2016, some trainer will go old school and follow the path to the Kentucky Derby that once... Read More

The People vs. Storm the Court

Between oddsmaker Mike Battaglia and the general public it is quite obvious that no one has a clue what to make of Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court. The colt will remain an enigma until he launches his assault on the Kentucky Derby, most likely in next year's Robert B. Lewis Stakes. He also is going to cause a great deal of head scratching when the voting begins for champion 2-year-old... Read More

Remembering Morton Fink, Owner of Wise Dan

With the passing of Morton Fink, I am reprinting a column I wrote the day of Wise Dan's emotional return from surgery in the Bernard Baruch. It culminates with me watching the race with the Finks, two of the most wonderful people you will ever meet.... Read More

Will Tragedy Dim Vino Rosso's Victory?

All of us are deeply affected whenever a horse is seriously or fatally injured in a race. Sometimes it happens in a major race witnessed by a national audience, that without the incident, would be a race watched over and over and enjoyed for its impact on the sport. I have never watched a replay of the Ruffian-Foolish Pleasure match race or the Go For Wand-Bayakoa Distaff or Big Brown's Kentucky Derby... Read More

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

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