Hangin' With Haskin

Preakness Wrapup: Clouds Got in the Way

It was March 23, 16 days before the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes, and Chad Brown was discussing his Blue Grass Stakes starter and main Kentucky Derby hopeful Practical Joke. Brown was providing the typical upbeat obligatory comments you usually hear from a trainer of a Derby horse, providing reasons why he thinks the colt will run well in the Blue Grass and will be able to move forward off it and get the mile and a quarter on the first Saturday in May.... Read More

NYRA Stakes Change: From a King to a Chief

Of all the stakes on NYRA's calendar to change to the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, none would have made the Hall of Fame trainer happier than the King's Bishop, named after a horse he trained and run at the track in which he scored his most memorable upset the same year he won a grade I stakes with King's Bishop.... Read More

Always Dreaming Just an Old School Kinda Horse

Todd Pletcher and old-school training have never exactly been synonymous. Pletcher is known for being a conservative trainer, preferring long periods of time between races. Pletcher has been known to run impressive maiden winners right back in graded stakes, even in grade 1s, and not using their allowance conditions. Since 2007, Pletcher has not run any of his Kentucky Derby starters back in the Preakness... Read More

Always Dreaming's Journey on the Derby Dozen

As I have done the past several years, I thought it would be interesting to go back week by week and re-live the observations, race reports, workout reports, and any news regarding the eventual Kentucky Derby winner, who in this case first appeared in the Knocking at the Door section on February 28.... Read More

Derby Recap: Johnny on the Pony

Looking back, Brooklyn in the 1950s and ‘60s was a concrete and asphalt Wonderland, a constant whirlwind of activity, a time when sports were born of the imagination, not just on the ball fields and basketball courts. The streets were the arena where stickball, punchball, Johnny on the pony, kick the can, ring-a-levio, and stoopball ruled, and where a kid's place in the pecking order depended on how... Read More

The Derby Past vs. Present: No Contest

Racing fans who were not around before the 1980s may find it difficult to appreciate just how much the dynamics of the Kentucky Derby have changed since then and how much more difficult the race is to win since they incorporated the graded earnings and now points system. In fact, today's Derby bears little resemblance to the Derby of the past.... Read More

Waiting For Arazi

With the recent passing of trainer Lyn Whiting and this year marking the 25th anniversary of Lil E. Tee's victory in the Kentucky Derby, it brought back a flood of memories. Lil E. Tee's stunning score at 16-1 over that year's Cinderella horse Casual Lies was extremely popular in Kentucky because of the always amiable Whiting, a longtime fixture in the Bluegrass, and the legendary Pat Day finally winning his first Derby. But the 1992 Run for the Roses will always be remembered for the phenomenon known as Arazimania.... Read More

Awesome Addition to Old Friends

With Awesome Gem arriving at his new home at Old Friends April 7 I thought it would be an appropriate time to reprint a column I wrote in 2010 on this old warrior and the person whose life he changed.... Read More

John Nerud and the Making of Arrogate

John Nerud's influence can be found in both the male and female family of Arrogate, the sensational Travers, Breeders' Cup Classic, and Pegasus World Cup winner who set off a frenzy of emotion and superlatives with his incredible victory in the Dubai World Cup.... Read More

Arrogate and How We Define Greatness

Arrogate is as great as each individual perceives him, and it has nothing to do with competition or longevity. Years from now, Arrogate's Hall of Fame plaque will be there among the others, and nowhere will it mention the quality of his competition.... Read More

Tracks Need to Follow NYRA’s TV Expansion

Back in racing’s glory days, which people my age call racing in the 1960s and ‘70s, there was little in the way of televised races. There was no simulcasting, no home computers and cell phones, and once a week during the ‘60s, TV viewers in New York would tune in to the affable and folksy Win Elliot broadcasting the races from Aqueduct, which was the center of the racing universe, where the likes of... Read More

Guest Blog: Mandy Haskin in Dubai

With the Dubai World Cup preps concluded and the big night only a few weeks away, I thought I would get everyone in the mood by reprinting a feature my daughter Mandy wrote for Dubairacenight.com in 2010 about her experiences.... Read More

Elliott's Award Reopens the Smarty Story

With Stewart Elliott being named the winner of this year's prestigious George Woolf Award and with Smarty Jones' birthday this coming Tuesday, it rekindled memories of those glorious five weeks in racing and Triple Crown history that will endure for as long as the sport's great Cinderella stories are recalled.... Read More

Delp's Daughter Stirs up Memories of The Bid

And then there was Grover "Buddy" Delp, who trained what he called "the greatest horse ever to look through a bridle." Delp, although a successful trainer and one of Maryland's best, was a relative unknown on a national scale when he unleashed Spectacular Bid on the racing world.... Read More

The Inspiration of American Pharoah

Winston Churchill once said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” No one can really put into words the centuries-long bond between horses and humans, especially the emotional and sometimes mystical attachment we have had with these magnificent creatures throughout history. But there are times when Churchill’s quote is taken to a far deeper level, and... Read More

Tiznow and the Patriots: One More Time

As long as the New England Patriots keep winning Super Bowls, and doing it in such dramatic fashion, I will keep telling this story, which first appeared in a much shorter version in 2001 and has been expanded since. What better time to re-tell it yet again,16 years after it all began. This time the story shifts to a wild and crazy night in Houston, Texas where the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick... Read More

The Amazing Non-Growth of Arrogate

Since last year's Travers Stakes, the racing world has been trying to place Arrogate's astounding feats in historical perspective. With the Juddmonte colt having started in only three stakes races, it's been nearly impossible to explain his mind-boggling performances and meteoric rise to stardom, because no one has seen anything like it before.... Read More

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