Hangin' With Haskin

Summers Made Biscuits From Scratch

All of Chad Summers' horses had their heads out the stall anxiously awaiting dinner. One was pawing the ground, some were nickering, some were squealing. Well, all but one. In the end stall, Mind Your Biscuits had other things on his mind. The seventh race was going off and he peered intently out the back window taking in all the action. ... Read More

The Empire State Strikes Back

Now it is as if New York-breds have lost their identity, melding into society to such a degree that you tend to forget that horses like Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits are New York-breds. Many breeders now plan their strategy regarding where a horse is foaled to make sure they have a horse classified as a New York-bred in order to cash in on the lucrative incentives. ... Read More

Backyard Bliss

What do the 2018 Triple Crown winner, the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn, and Coaching Club American Oaks winner, the Haskell and Blue Grass winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up, the Belmont Derby winner, the Golden Shaheen winner and Met Mile runner-up, three of the leading contenders for the Whitney, and the Curlin Stakes runnerup have in common? They are all owned or co-owned by residents of Fifth Avenue in... Read More

How We Remember the Great Ones

People wonder why I often hark back to the horses of the '60s and '70s, and don't reminisce as much about incredibly gifted horses such as American Pharoah, Bernardini, Barbaro, Point Given, I'll Have Another, Big Brown, Uncle Mo and other brilliant horses who were retired at 3. ... Read More

The Day the Haskell Struck Gold

With the Haskell Invitational the next big step on the 3-year-old calendar, this is a perfect time to go back 30 years to one of the greatest races I have ever seen. The three big horses – Forty Niner, Seeking the Gold, and Private Terms – all grew up in the fields of Claiborne Farm and were broken and trained together.... Read More

My Favorite Racing Movies

There is a wide variety of opinions when it comes to your favorite racing movies, mainly because we all have different standards. Racing movies can be viewed with a critical eye for realism and historical accuracy or they can be viewed on an emotional level, with less regard to detail. As for biographies, people who have seen the subject matter compete might have a tendency to be more critical when it comes to accuracy, while younger viewers who did not might focus just on what they see on the screen, how it is presented, and how it makes them feel.... Read More

A Prisoner of History No Longer

In the realm of history, Justify has become a pioneer. He did more than just sweep the Triple Crown a mere 16 weeks after making his career debut and do it without having raced as a 2-year-old, and win the Kentucky Derby with only three lifetime starts. In many ways, he has made us shut the history books for good.... Read More

'King' Size Second Wave About to Hit

Our thoughts turn to the second wave of 3-year-olds, who were late developing and appear to be coming into their own, and should be peaking in August. This is where we find the Arrogates and the West Coasts and the V.E. Days.... Read More

Thank You, Dad, For Guiding My Way

The thank you is for a man without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today. He in his own way made it possible for me to enter the world of horse racing and become the writer I eventually aspired to be, meet and marry the most wonderful and beautiful woman, have the most wonderful and beautiful daughter, and complete the cycle by becoming a grandfather this past February. My regret is that my father did not live to see any of it, at least not in an earthly sense.... Read More

Justify Rewrites Triple Crown History

History is a never-ending chain of events, trends, and discoveries that determine how we think and look at the present, and often the future. When history tells us something cannot be accomplished, it provides us with new and seemingly unreachable targets at which to aim. And if and when that target is hit, it provides a sense of timelessness and perpetuity. Some call it immortality.... Read More

When Johnny Came Marching Home

Four days after the Derby, a race was run at Aqueduct that seemed to have no bearing whatsoever on the Triple Crown, as a striking golden chestnut colt with a white blaze owned by Greentree Stable named Stage Door Johnny broke his maiden in his fourth attempt, romping by six lengths in a sharp 1:35 1/5 for the mile. ... Read More

Big Red's Son Risen Star Dominated the Belmont

It was the morning of the 1988 Belmont Stakes and all was not well in the Belmont stakes barn, a four-sided barn encircling an English-style courtyard. In a corner of the barn, Risen Star’s troublesome ankle was being tubbed in ice, and it was still to be determined whether the handsome, strapping son of Secretariat would be able to run in the Test of the Champion.... Read More

Preakness Wrap Up: And Away We Go...Again.

In some ways it seemed appropriate that all we saw of Justify in the stretch of the Preakness Stakes was a ghostly shroud, with his white silks and white face, emerging from the murk that had settled on Pimlico Race Course. This colt has been shrouded in mystery since he burst on the scene in mid-February as if conjured up by some magical potion. Where did this powerhouse of a horse come from? How... Read More

Strategy Could Play a Big Part in the Preakness

Slop or no slop, the Preakness Stakes looks pretty cut-and-dried on paper, or perhaps it should be cut-and-wet. The likely sloppy track will be nothing new to Justify and Good Magic, the two standout horses who dominate the morning line odds, with Justify being made an overwhelming 1-2 favorite. The three keys to the running of the race is where Quip, Justify, and Good Magic will be placed early. I... Read More

Hofburg Enjoying Life at the Spa

There is one horse likely waiting for the Belmont Stakes who is tucked away far from the action, enjoying the tranquility of Saratoga Race Course and unwinding after an eventful trip in the soggy Run for the Roses.... Read More

“A Beast From Day One”

Rick Hammerle has been racing secretary at Santa Anita for 15 years and was stakes coordinator at Monmouth Park for 12 years, and he thought he had heard everything. That is until one day in mid-February of this year. Hammerle had carded a seven-furlong maiden race for 3-year-olds, and Bob Baffert walked into his office to make sure that the race was going to fill. It had to. Baffert had a first-time... Read More

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