Hangin' With Haskin

Is Larry Doing What’s Best?

Larry Best's comments about pulling the brilliant Instagrand out of training, his thoughts on the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown, and admitting his decision overruled trainer Jerry Hollendorfer have created quite a stir. This is a lot more complex than people might think. ... Read More

Invasor Flourishing Back Home in Uruguay

When I visited Haras Cuatro Piedras in Uruguay in 2008, I couldn’t have imagined the farm would one day be home to Smarty Jones for several years and then the country’s greatest equine hero, Hall of Famer Invasor, who at the time was residing at Shadwell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Invasor never developed into a top stallion in the United States, due no doubt to a pedigree considered unfashionable... Read More

BC Classic: To Prep or Not to Prep

The question that has to be asked is, are trainers beginning to take the same approach to the Breeders' Cup Classic, especially with the recent success of horses skipping the traditional Classic prep races and training up to the race?... Read More

The Tuesday That Changed the World

Not only is today the 17th anniversary of 9/11, it falls on the same day of the week; that infamous Tuesday. Although I have written about that catastrophic day’s effect on racing, it is something that needs to be addressed from time to time for those who weren’t around and those who need to be reminded of those two gut-wrenching months for the Sport of Kings, from September 11 through the Breeders’ Cup, run in New York. The stories have been melded together and reworked to portray the entire picture from beginning to end.... Read More

Young Girl Finds a Hero in Her Own Backyard

Mariah Lester is an aspiring racing journalist about to enter college, where she hopes to lay the foundation for a career in writing about the recently discovered sport she loves and horses such as her local hero Stopshoppingdebbie, Queen of Emerald Downs, who opened the door to a wonderful new world. Because of her passion, astute writing style, and ability to tell her story in a captivating manner... Read More

With Catholic Boy, Always Keep the Faith

We don't have horses like this come around very often, so we should embrace Catholic Boy, as we should any gifted horse who brings a distinctive flair to the sport, on one hand specializing in nothing, and on the other hand specializing in everything.... Read More

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

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