Preakness Recap: Kismet

The traditional Alibi Breakfast, held two days before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), had just concluded, and Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, owners of Lookin At Lucky, were milling about near the souvenir stand, ready to head down the stairs, when a crash was heard a few feet away.

There on the floor, shattered in small pieces, was the commemorative plate given to the owners of each Preakness starter, on which was engraved the name of the horse and the owner’s silks. One could barely make out Pegram’s familiar colors.

John Miller, the Maryland Racing Commission representative who was assigned to Lookin At Lucky’s owners the day before, had been carrying the plate when it slipped out of his hands.

That’s all the poor horse needed -- more bad luck after four disastrous trips and drawing the dreaded post 1 in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

The always optimistic and jovial Pegram looked down at the fragments on the floor and said, “Well, at least they ain’t on the rail.”

He then burst into laughter. When Baffert, who had been referring to the colt after the Derby as Lookin At Unlucky, learned of the broken plate, he said that was the kiss of death.

But little did he know that Lookin At Lucky’s luck was about to change.

Continue reading this column... or comment below.


Leave a Comment:


Mr. Haskin,

It seemed like an eternity waiting for your reporting on the Preakness. I'm sure I'm not the only one who kept checking-in to see if it was posted yet. The result is another jewel to add to my collection of your 2010 TC articles.

I'm going to do this every year from now on. We forget so easily what we thought and felt as the season unfolded, that I think it's a good thing to be able to revisit "the way we were" back then.

Some day a brilliant editor is going to publish all of your TC columns, neatly packaged in a book, for all your old fans to re-read and savor and your new fans to discover and catch up with the delightful stories they missed.

There was so much going on with this year's Preakness and you captured all of it. Thank you for another "gem from Haskin's keyboard". It was well worth the wait. (I know it was only 2 days, but it felt like 10)  :)

18 May 2010 11:56 AM
Pam S.

Steve, wonderful story as usual.  LAL really does seem like he wants more than anything to win, which of course is the essence of a great horse.  So glad he has distanced himself from Dollar Bill!

Now that he's won another classic, Baffert's comeback from his "down period" of the mid-00's is now complete.  He is so lucky (there's that word again) to still have both his parents.  

Just one minor detail:  I remember Gator and I thought he was Pegram's grandson, not son?

18 May 2010 12:13 PM
Will W

The same result likely in the KY Derby if only Churchill Downs officialdom would have had the sense to limit the field to a manageable number of horses as did Pimlico. The best horse would have won, we'd have had a Triple Crown scenario for the Belmont Stakes, and the financially  distressed NYRA would not be looking at a 3 million loss in revenue. Maybe Lookin at Lucky would have run into distance limitations at a mile and a half as his breeding seems to indicate, but who knows with the way this horse wants to win. Baffert has said he's one of the best horses he's ever trained. Hope he wins the Haskell and the Travers.

18 May 2010 12:15 PM


Thank you for this article and thank you for the post-Derby article, you know exactly what details and behind the scenes info to write about.

And you were right on the money when you said: "Super Saver will continue bouncing all the way to Baltimore."  

18 May 2010 12:34 PM
steve from st louis

Steve: How come every time fate drops a good story in your lap, you polish it until it is a great story? How do you do it?

I do wish someone would also  explain how this Hall of Fame trainer does what he does? Has he ever had a positive? I don't think so.

He's had 11 Preakness starters and five have won--crazy numbers.

Yet, we really don't know Baffert like we did other great trainers like Ben Jones, Woody Stephens, Jack Van Berg or even the Coach, D. Wayne. He's always wearing shades, which adds to his mystique, but he must be the quintessential U. S. trainer who finds speed in most of his horses and who also knows how to polish a gem when it's thrown in his lap.

18 May 2010 12:38 PM

Hi Steve - Once again a wonderful read regarding all of the players and Martin!  Thanks!  

I was disappointed for Super Saver, but very happy for Luckin At Lucky!  He is a great horse and has ran wonderful races for a horse not yet three.

I'm just curious about a few points though and wanted your impressions as well - not to take anything away from LAL and his win.  As I watched replays of the Preakness it seemed that in the home stretch Super Saver was trying to come forward again after falling back, but other horses kept closing the holes on him.  What is your take?  Also wondered if he should have avoided the lead and been taken back earlier. Your thoughts?

On another note - sad news about Belmont - NYRA.  NY state government, OTB and NYRA have created a monumental disaster for racing there.  My heart goes out to the trainers, backstretch workers and all of the workers who staff the concessions and all of the other behind the scenes jobs.

Belmont Park is beautiful!  I know the money goes to Saratoga for the races, but Belmont paddock beginning with its view of each horse as they come from the backstretch to the walking ring provided wonderful accessibility to take photos and view the horses as they warmed up and were saddled.  It seems to me that when NYRA was granted the new contract to run the three tracks someone had their head(s) buried in the sand regarding this looming disaster - it has been in the making for a long time.I'm just a racing fan and could see it coming.

They should have closed Aqueduct and Belmont (as much as that would distress me) and kept Saratoga viable.  Also SHAME on OTB@!  SHAME ON ALL OF THE GOVERNORS AND THE MEMBERS OF NY'S LEGISLATURE WHO HAD A HAND IN THIS MESS OVER THE YEARS!

18 May 2010 12:43 PM

I was pulling for both Lookin At Lucky and Jackson Bend. I'm happy Lucky broke his bad luck streak and proud of Jackson Bend's gutsy performance.

I especially liked Nick Zito's comment about Jackson Bend being "a little tiger." I actually think he could have won if he hadn't gotten blocked in traffic. Can't wait to see him in some shorter races this summer, as well as at the Breeders Cup races this November.

18 May 2010 12:50 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Awesome article. One of your best. Like fine wine. Love the personal insights. It feels like I'm right there with them. Truly great reporting.

18 May 2010 12:54 PM
Phil McSween

Great piece Steve.   Great narrative and great detail as usual.    Kudos to Lookin at Lucky for rebounding so smartly after the horrific Derby experience.   Props to Bob Baffert for making the jock change too.  

I absolutely loved Yawanna Twist at a price in this race and he ran his eyeballs out but appeared to hang late.   That would have been a nice score at 17-1 but LAL was too tough.    

18 May 2010 12:55 PM

Unfortunately, We are left with a bunch of very average 3 year olds without Eskendereya. First Dude actually ran the best race in my opinion. The race flatters Eskendereya with Jackson Bend finishing 3/4 behind LAL. This could have been a slam dunk Triple crown for Esky.

18 May 2010 1:00 PM

Excellent column, Steve. No one can put that human side to the story like you. Great job.

I am happy for Bob Baffert as his horse really got mugged in the Derby.

Even though neither Derby nor Preakness winner will be at Belmont it still should be a great race.

18 May 2010 1:07 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks for the Preakness recap and backstory on Martin Garcia, who surely has a bright future as a jockey. Lookin At Lucky has proven himself to be both mentally and physically resilient on the road to the Triple Crown. I'm happy that Bob Baffert prevailed again!

18 May 2010 1:28 PM
GG Fields Fan

I was able to watch Martin Garcia when he first started and you can tell he was going to be a winner.  My friends and I would always bet on his horses at long odds and boy did that kid find a way to bring them in a winner.  No doubt in my mind he's going to be winning for years to come if he stays healthy.  Martin Garcia, Joe Talamo, Joel Rosario, Rafael Bejerano are the future of the jockey club down in So. Cal.  All 4 put in the work early in the morning and that's what separated them from the Victor Espinosas.  

18 May 2010 1:49 PM

Kudos as always for the great story.

Finally the racing Gods smiled again on Bob Baffert in a Classic, and more importantly on Lookin At Lucky who once again sits on top of the 3 year old division.  Not taking anything from Super Saver, I think he's a good quality colt.  But Lucky is just a bit different caliber and he finally got to show it.

I was a a little disappointed with the 3 year olds going into the Preakness, but there is definately a contingent of them showing that they are good ones too.  

Jackson Bend and Dublin will be heard from again.  I think Caracortado will have better races in him down the road, and can't wait to see First Dude and Ice Box in the Belmont.  I'm also looking to see how Sidney's Candy comes back from his Derby run down the road.  Yep, still much to be excited about in this division if you ask me.

18 May 2010 2:02 PM

I like the new version of Bob Baffert even better that the old one. He was always very entertaining with his quick wit and his humorous comments. Today's BB is still funny but he has more appreciation for the horses who have taken him where he is. He displays more emotion than ever before when, if it was there, he kept it well hidden behind his cocky attitude. BB finally grew up. I loved the way he talked about Lucky. He really cares for that colt and isn't afraid to show it.

The story of Martin Garcia is the stuff of novels and movies. We never tire of the rags to riches stories so often associated with this great country. Only in America! seems so fitting in this case. You have to love the little guy who remains so grateful for the opportunity to shine on one of racing's greatest stage, the TC series. He worked very hard for the chance, he earned it. Bravo Martin! You gave the perfect ride to a colt with the heart equal to yours.

18 May 2010 2:18 PM

Steve, always enjoy your articles and this one was another stand-out.

LAL is a warrior just as Bob Baffert proclaimed after the Preakness.  It certainly is a thrill to watch all these great 3 year olds and to learn of the personal stories behind them.  

We are all "lucky" to read your columns.

18 May 2010 2:38 PM
Bill Daly

Wonder whether Dublin has a run-out bit on?  If not, why not?

18 May 2010 3:01 PM
ya gotta love'em

another wonderful short story with all the feeling of someone who really "gets" this horse business from the "heart". I always look for anything written by you whenever I log on. you make everything come alive with your inside info and what a way with words you have! thankyou for allowing me to live vicariously through you at the head of the racing class.

18 May 2010 3:25 PM


You weave together personal stories and tactical analysis  with such wit and compassion.   Your columns bring racing to life.  

18 May 2010 3:47 PM
Steve Haskin

Pam, thanks for pointing that out. I corrected it. I meant to write grandson and had Bode on my mind. My goof. You guys are great copy editors, keep it up. You can never have too many eyes.

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. Zookeeper, you make me blush. That was a good story to write. Never dull with Baffert and Pegram.

18 May 2010 4:05 PM

DUBLIN passed,tired horse's in the lane ,they could have ran another mile and  dublin would not have passed the top 4 - horse's,why is a hall of famer's horse ducking?.....why did a great hall of famer enter northern giant can a great hall of famer enter dublin in the belmont LOL....steve you were right about steven got even just had the wrong horse....I loved first dude...huge exacta.....dublin will get action in the belmont off of the stretch run ,this will help the horse's that have a chance odd's.

18 May 2010 4:24 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  You think you were bad. I ended up hiring a team of private detectives Monday afternoon for constant surveillance on this site for Steve's Preakness wrapup. Then today they call me an hour after I read the article with the big news that they had found the article. It was worth the wait. I hope I can still say that when I get the detective's bill. Yikes.

18 May 2010 4:45 PM
Rose Cola


Another great article.

Reading about Gator being all grown up made me smile. I had made a poster for Real Quite at the Belmont and I was at the walking ring rail. In the excitement of the call to the post, my sign had gotten turned upside down. Mike walked by with Gator on his shoulders, they both smiled  and thanked me for it but then the boy politely said, "Miss, your sign's upside down." He said it in such a matter of fact way that he didn't embarrass me. Any other child his age might have been more childish, but not him. He was the perfect gentlemen. I hope I get to see him on Haskell day and maybe shake his hand and thank him for being kind to a excited fan.

18 May 2010 5:01 PM
Tim G

Steve from St Louis, as far as not knowing him? Bobby himself admits that he got overexposed. He has a book authored by him 'with' none other than our own inimitable and illustrious Steve Haskin.

It's a pretty funny read, especially his and think it was Pegram's (?)encounter with Reba


For a time he WAS overexposed. He was in every publication, heck he was even on the cover of GQ with Jill, and when things started going not quite the way they had been (divorce, owners passing away, his little debacle with Sahadi etc) certain elements of the media and other horsemen as well took great joy in knocking him down.

Personally I like him much better now. Bode and Jill have mellowed him, age too and some humbling lessons. Nick, Wayne and Bob all get along really well and the other two have aged pretty well also.

Poor Dublin, Gomez transferred his bad luck from Lucky to the colt.

The Preakness slideshow on the BH pictures 1 and 2 look like the colt is standing still. With the post and the rest of the falderal that went on.... well lets hope for better things.

18 May 2010 5:18 PM
Tim G

mickey, another of the negs who belong on the other blog.

I was there, he didn't just pass them in the lane he started making up ground way before that on a hot pace. You think those horses were tired at that distance, what will they be in the Belmont?

Northern Giant? Wayne knew he was a stretch, ever hear of an owner wanting to enter a horse? Plus as Wayne said he ran 2nd then bombed in the AD and it was discovered that he had pharyngitis. The colt ran as good as some others in the preps.

The Belmont? I've thought Dublin was a good shot for the Belmont all along.

Don't like him? Don't bet him. The ducking? Like I said the falderal with the drunks etc didn't help him. He's quirky.

Look at it that way? Why did a HOF trainers Coronado's Quest have to be saddled away and taken away from the post parade? Why did Fusaichi Pegasus flip? Why did Quality Road freak out at the gate in the BCC? Why did Barbaro brak through the gate?

As far as what a HOF trainer does? Well, that's how he got into the HOF. You are where exactly in there?

18 May 2010 6:34 PM
morton e

Lets not forget that Gomez won with this horse too.

18 May 2010 6:57 PM
Ida Lee

Thank you so much for a great article on my little Champ "Lucky". The way he was pushed around in the Derby, I couln't stand it. If it would have been up to me, he would have been scratched right after the #1 post was called for him. But, I just loved the way he showed what a great little horse he is in the Preakness and the heart he showed in keeping up with and passing that giant First Dude. He put his talent and his heart into the Preakness victory. You can't ask for more. I can't get enough reading about him ao again thank you for a great article about my beautiful and talented Lucky.

18 May 2010 7:02 PM
So Cal Racer

Preakness is done..congrats to Lookin at Lucky and his connections.. as for Super Saver not as good as everybody think, good horse but a waste of his connection on not running him on Belmont... Triple Crown means if you win the KY Derby you'll try to win all even if you miss one, just like Smarty Jones and Mine that Bird...Trainer: T. Pletcher only care of winning the KY Derby after that now what?, a good trainer will push to win the Triple, miss one so what, miss two still not bad at least a die hard trainer will fight to the end.. bad for the fans of SS.. I guess it's just the trainer want of win only the KY Derby.. what a waste.. at least the trainer of Mine that Bird think of Triple as part and good for the fans to see their winner goin In and make a run win or Not..

18 May 2010 7:38 PM

Dublin was passing tired horses BUT he made up 13 lenghts on the leaders. SS, Caracortado and a few others were backing up but the 4 horses who finished ahead of Dublin were not going backwards. They were running their eyeballs out. The chart tells the tale. Reading it might help. The colt was doing some serious running at the end.

If Dublin comes back in the Belmont he will be the only one competing in all 3 legs of the TC. That in itself is a feat that is proving too much for the other colts. I just hope it doesn't end up being too much for him also.

18 May 2010 8:02 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Hope you make enough money on the Belmont to pay for your private detectives. lol!

Seriously though, the race is shaping up to be a good one, with a field larger than I expected. Another puzzle to solve, another crack at a big pay-off. Don't you just love it?


Blushing becomes you! :)

18 May 2010 8:15 PM
mike rullo


how good is cocalero?? this might become the best 3yr old in the country,what do you think??

18 May 2010 8:29 PM

The editors/publishers must love all the hits they get throughout the days we check in frequently to find the latest article you have written, Steve.  I hope they reward you accordingly for the people that you continually draw to this site.  Places with all the statistics and odds and payouts are fine, but you provide us with the background information, the behind the scenes stories that we long to learn about our horse heroes or heroines and their connections.  Once more, you did not disappoint.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading until I got to the part about Bob Baffert's mother, then my tears decided to flow.  How touching and even more endearing can a man, who can sometimes come across as a joker, be than when his mother expresses her joy at witnessing his win and he is honoring her as well, ok...I'm in tears.  

It goes without saying that I'm on the same page with Zookeeper that one of these days someone will publish your articles in a book that we can peruse at our leisure time and again.  On a side note, I like it when the article is on one area of the site, available for us to print and keep and the comments are on another place.  It takes up too much ink to print out all the comments, too - haha!

Thank you again.  You are the best!

18 May 2010 8:49 PM

Nice article Steve especially enjoyed the background information on Garcia.

Now for the matter of what could of been! Blame post positions,jockeys, to large of fields --whatever I don't believe we will ever  see a Triple  Crown Winner and its not because of running fresh horses at the Derby or Preakness winner. Simple fact as long as trainers prepare for these classic routes with sprint works they are not conditioning for stamina. There were at leas four runners that started the year who were out of double copy mares(Awesome Act,Eskendereya,Interactif,and Super Saver)--so breeding not the problem. Bad post position -Icebox was as far back as Lookin at Lucky in the Derby so don't blame the twenty horse field. True is condition for 4 and 5 furlongs you get a sprinter that will hit the LACTIC ACID brick wall after running six furlongs know matter where he puts that run. (at the front he fades after six furlong,--in the middle he may not have enough to make the finishline,

if waits until too long to make his run

18 May 2010 9:06 PM

Hi Steve:

Did not know where else to write this but wanted to say how badly I feel for Carolyn Hine.  I have not stopped thinking about her since she lost her dear Skippy. Please give her an extra hug next time you see her.  xox

18 May 2010 9:13 PM

This was a damn good article. Very well written and interesting. Its nice to hear about a talented horse with good horse people get what they deserve, triple crown race victory. I had no dog in the fight but I really enjoyed the article.

18 May 2010 9:38 PM
John T

 It was great judgement by Baffert

to bring Lookin At Lucky back for the Preakness as the horse always had the talent to win a race like that it was just a matter of getting the right racing luck and this time he got it.The horse won,t

be officially three until May 27th

so he is still very much a baby and

it looks like his connections are going to give him the break he deserves.

18 May 2010 10:01 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

We are in the beginning stages of one of the most special and greatest jockey and trainer relationships and success stories in the history of racing. Enjoy it. Baffert and Garcia could be the ones to win a Triple Crown. Don't make that movie yet !!!!! This is a very long way from being over. It's Bogie and Bacall. Wally and Beaver. Carl Nafzger and Frances Genter. Laurel and Hardy. The Dynamic Duo. A team for the ages. A rags to riches story and a love story. It will be one of the successful winning teams of all time. Baffert and Garcia. Make that Haskin, Baffert, and Garcia. That is how we will best experience their triumphs-through the eyes and words of the greatest writer alive.

18 May 2010 10:03 PM

zoo - running in all 3 -legs of the tc is great when you are hitting the board , but running just to be running is me the owners had nothing to do with entering northern I said dublin will get action in the belmont...I love it.....the  other trainers have the smarts to know when not to run their horse's or when there over matched.

18 May 2010 10:18 PM

Nice article Steve especially enjoyed the background information on Garcia.

Now for the matter of what could of been! Blame post positions,jockeys, to large of fields --whatever I don't believe we will ever  see a Triple  Crown Winner and its not because of running fresh horses at the Derby or Preakness winner. Simple fact as long as trainers prepare for these classic routes with sprint works they are not conditioning for stamina. There were at least four runners that started the year who were out of double copy mares(Awesome Act,Eskendereya,Interactif,and Super Saver)--so bloodlines not the problem. Bad post position -Icebox was as far back as Lookin at Lucky in the Derby so don't blame the twenty horse field. True is condition at 4 and 5 furlongs you get a sprinter that will hit the LACTIC ACID brick wall after running six furlongs know matter where he puts that run in a route. At the front he fades after six furlong,--in the middle he may not have enough to make the finishline,

if waits too long to make his run he may not catch the pace setters before they fall apart.

Until someone starts training for routes --1/8 shorter,at the distance,or 1/8 longer than the classic routes WE won't see a Triple Crown Winner.

A route work a week followed by a  39/40 sec 3 Furlong sprint within 3 or 4 days was how Preston Burch and Max Hirsh trained for routes--- BULLET sprints we've seen the results this spring how many are retiring to stud or recovering from surgery. Eskendereya,Endorsement,Odysseus,Awesome Act how many more will be added before spring is over---MY bet is Dublin is bolting to the outside to get away from the pain of some kind of injury that hasn't showed up yet.

You came bet we will never see any greats like Kelso,John Henry or Forego--hell anyone that doesn't retire after twenty starts!!!!

You get what you train for -one work a week,bullet works, a day in the stall after a work,and lassix ---horses that have no stamina. The Seventh Cavalry's loss the Indian Wars until we find a claiming trainer or endurance/exercise rider that's  aware of Burch's and Hirsh's training methods and can afford one of these double or single copy colts.  

18 May 2010 10:19 PM

Class wins out. To look at Lucky is to look at quality. He was the superior horse all along. Baffort & Lucky have nothing more to prove.  All the more reason to go home.  Not to make light of Super Saver's achievement, but he was clearly not the best horse in the Kentucky Derby. What drove him to victory was the ride of his (albeit short) life from Borel.

18 May 2010 10:22 PM

hey-tim ,those horse's (coronado's quest) (quality road) (fusi peg)and (barbaro) were all

winners of graded race's or tc race's , dublin is by far not in the same class with those horse's....if what you say is true that the owners dictate if their horse's run in some of these race's ,then the owner's of dublin, need to tell lukas not to run him in the belmont...this will be his 6th race in 4- month's with (NO) win's.

19 May 2010 12:17 AM


I look forward to your recap articles because you always have interesting insights on not only the horses but also the handlers. I liked your coverage of Garcia and Baffert. And hey, how about that Lookin at Lucky? How could anyone not love a horse that always gets boxed in, squeezed, bumped, you name it, and just keeps on trying with everything he has. He just keeps charging ahead and always seems happy. I would love to just take LAL home with me and keep him as a pet. Last year I got attached to MTB after his derby win.  He was such a long shot and small in size.  This year LAL is like a fresh breeze out of the rockies.  Thanks Steve for telling the story.

19 May 2010 12:21 AM

A possible Triple Crown could be on the horizon except for these ridiculous 20 horse fields the Churchill Downs brain trust allow. Won't be no more TC winners unless this mess gets cleaned up. I know owners want their horses to run in the Derby, the thrill of a lifetime I get it. But you sacrifice the possibility of immortality in this great sport and you risk injury to the jockeys and horses with that large of a field. Correct me if i am wrong but the Derby is the only race riun in America with that large of a field. Isn't this funny, our most important race is relugated to a yearly stampede.......

Great blog Steve, as always.

19 May 2010 3:26 AM

Wow!!! Not to bore you again saying a lot about how much I enjoy your pieces Steve, I'll just say...

You always know everything, but... how on earth did you learn the time (hour/minutes) Baffert sent text messages to his wife and brother?

19 May 2010 4:09 AM

What a wonderfully detailed portrait of the family of Lookin At Lucky.  Thank you so much Steve.  I've been anxiously waiting to read your perspective.  LAL is all class and it shines through his connections.  Baffert seems to have started a trend for jockey changes.  It was certainly the correct decision.  My boy, however, was First Dude, and he did not disappoint.  Can't wait for the next leg of the TC.

19 May 2010 9:23 AM

Don't get me wrong...I love LAL and connections, but I'm tired of the rhetoric "LAL lost all chances of winning the Derby at the beginning of ther ace..." Heck, all he had to do was follow the horse beside him at the start of the race and he'd have ended up 3rd...

19 May 2010 9:45 AM


Enjoyed reading your comments. I don't remember reading of any trainers this year galloping their colts a mile and half or two miles a day.

Have you heard anything about Mine that Bird and how he is doing that you could share with us?

19 May 2010 9:48 AM


Another great article. As so many your other devoted fans, I too am addicted to reading your articles for your personal insight and the comments from the connections.

To let you know how badly addicted I am, about an hour after the race my hands begin to tremble and then I find myself pounding the refresh button again and again until I come to my senses and realize you haven't had time to write the first sentence (lol). I would be too embarrassed to recount the conversations between my adult self and my child self about patience.

Seriously though, to save Dr D from bankrupting himself hiring private detectives and me from abusing my computer's refresh button, I have a solution; let the editor know we would appreciate it if they would send us a breaking news e-mail 'new Haskin article available!' :)

19 May 2010 10:41 AM
Steve Haskin

Katherine, are you telling my I've actually become a vice? :). Seriously, though, thank you very much, and thanks to everyone for your kind words.

Mercedes, I hardly know everything. I dont have enough space in my brain to store that much. It would implode, or is it explode? It would do something.  Jill and Bill actually showed me the text message on their phone and I wrote down the date, time, and exact wording.

Dr. D., I can put you on to some detectives who work cheap.

19 May 2010 11:03 AM


That is exactly what I am telling you! But a very nice vice! I am sure the others will be agreeing with me shortly.

19 May 2010 11:19 AM


I thought I was the only one doing that. Thank you for sharing your "refresh button" addiction with us.

When the blog goes dormant, I go into withdrawals. There's nobody in my circle of family & friends who even cares about horseracing, never mind having someone with whom to have an intelligent conversation on the subject.

When I found these forums, it opened a whole new world for me where I could talk and listen to horse talk, without everybody around me rolling their eyes.

When I attend the races in person, it's not the time to engage in idle chatter. Most fans there have their nose buried in the Form trying to figure out the next race, me included.

So, when I discovered these blogs, I was like a kid in a candy store. I imagine that most on here feel the same way.

19 May 2010 11:29 AM
Tim G

mickey, Dublin is a G1 winner. He was off for several months. The Belmont will be his 6th race, true but he is a huge horse, he's not losing weight and seems just fine. He's a lot like Charismatic in that respect. As long as he's fit, eating well and training well what should be done with him?

He hasn't won this year but he was making great strides until the experiment with Corey (who used to ride for Wayne a lot in Cal and rode Serena in the Derby)went South. Who knew??

It took 3 weeks to get the colt's head back in the game and that was 3 weeks down the drain that could have brought him around to his old form but set him back instead.

He still finished in the top 3 in a G1, G2 and G3. Now tell me you wouldn't want a horse like that? We all want one that wins but the next best thing is one that finishes on the board, especially in a Stakes race.

As far as not running the horse? You were talking about Northern Giant in the Preakness, not Dublin.

You all talk about breeding horses that last, horses that have some longevity and some stamina. Then when someone runs one more than YOU experts think they should, you get all in a dither like a bunch of teenage girls meeting the Jonas Brothers.

I never understand how people with no connection to a horse feel the need or the right to tell a trainer or owner when and how they should run or train their horse. Everyone's a critic, and none of you have any practical experience. Especially not the kind that a HOF trainer has.

Don from OKC mentioned it on another blog and he's right. That's like trying to tell a total stranger how to raise their kids. It's a head scratching deal.

Steve, the Paul Weitman story is also an interesting one. He seems to be the forgotten member of the trio of owners. You can see him frequently at the University of Arizona basketball games sitting by his close friend Lute Olson (Midnight Lute is his nameske). Paul and Karl are both pretty interesting guys.

19 May 2010 11:31 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  That's a great idea. Saves us private detective money. Mannix does not come cheap. Just send us an email when Haskin's article is ready. Everyone else in the world sends us emails, why not for something legitimate that we really care about? But I think they want us coming here to check on things so they might not.


 I agree but I doubt that anything will change. It's a money maker.


  I just saw one of your Belmont 2009 reports where Calvin Borel guaranteed that Mine That Bird would win The Belmont. I really hope his guaranteeing days are over. It just bugs me that such a good guy has gotten into that mindset of guarantees. I hope it's over now. I told the private detective firm to send you the bill so I'm not worried. They're throwing in a "great article discount" anyway. It won't be much. They didn't even know such fantastic articles existed so they were thrilled to find out. OK. I just got a call. They enjoyed the article so much they are waiving the fees, so you're off the hook.

19 May 2010 11:43 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  OK. I'm studying The Belmont. I already think I'll be trying to beat Ice Box.


  I know what you mean.

19 May 2010 12:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Mickey101, Tim G.

  At this point I'm going against Dublin in The Belmont. I think he needs a break, and to regroup for the big races later this summer. To think that someone looking from the outside doesn't have legitimate points concerning a horse's chances or future is just ludicrous. Sometimes an owner or trainer are the worst ones when it comes to judgement. They get over zealous. They sometimes live in a fantasy world. Tim G-I said sometimes, and I'm not talking about Dublin, I'm talking in general terms. A trainer had my uncle convinced that his horse was going to win that day. My uncle put $1000 across the board on him, and gave us $100 across the board tickets. He came in dead last, a mile out with no excuses,and sometimes owners force trainers into running their horse in a race he shouldn't be in. Any horse racing fan and bettor has a right to their opinion, and sometimes they know more than the connections although in general the connections know a lot more than the general public. That's what horse racing is all about. Amazingly diverse opinions. That's the only way the game survives. That's why horses with no chance in heck get money bet on them allowing racing to continue as a sport. Dublin could hit the board in The Belmont, but he hasn't shown me anything that says he'll win it. Correct me if I'm wrong Tim G., but I believe this is a continuing thread in your posts-that "fans can't possibly know what's best for a horse. Only the owners and trainers do." It just is not always the case. I like Dublin, he's got talent, and he might win The Belmont but I'll be betting against it.

19 May 2010 12:43 PM
Matthew W

First Dude ran fast early, then came back on Lucky and just ran huge! He's on top of my Belmont, the race goes through him....speaking of going fast all the way, Snow Chief! Black, shiny coat, Orange silks and matching blinkers--head down like an armadillo--Snow Chief! Passed away the day The Dude almost won the Preakness, here's to another guy who could really hold his speed, here's to The Chief!

19 May 2010 2:54 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

That's terrible after what Chip Woolley did for that horse and those owners. He did earn the right to go forward with Mine That Bird and I think he would have done very well. Their whole attitude changed toward Chip after he got off of crutches. Scoundrels. What would Mine That Bird have done under Lukas on the Triple Crown trail last year? The answer is-ZERO. I still love the horse though and hope for the best for him. Such a tough little guy. Wish I could buy him and send him back to Woolley. Zookeeper, can you buy him with your winnings?

19 May 2010 3:56 PM

Dr. Drunkinbum: hear! hear! re: your 3:56 post about MTB, Chip Woolley and Lukas.  Who knows what's going to happen to the little guy.

(and every time I read your name, I get a picture of Hawkeye and BJ in The Swamp ...thx for the memories)

19 May 2010 5:31 PM
Matthew W

Mine That Bird is capable of winning a bunch of moolah--just that training in New Mexico...let's just say Charlie Whittingham could, but who else could train a horse up to a race with workouts alone?...Better to get him situated at a top track/for top races---he's a gelding, he's not going for Chip, he had a helluva run! It was good for all concerned, that's just racing/that's just real sports--you seldom get the loyalty anymore, like Paul Atkinson staying on Caracortado---it's good to see that---but I get why they change, as well....

19 May 2010 5:36 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

I wish I could. That little horse really captured my heart last year. I didn't feel that way about Super Saver this year. Although I admired him for winning the Derby, I didn't fall for him the way I did for Mine That Bird.

I was really upset when he lost the Preakness to Rachel and got into quite a few arguments with fellow bloggers who relished calling him names and belittling his accomplishments in the TC series. (I'm getting mad all over again just thinking about it.)$%#?!

If I owned the gelding, I would know everything that precipitated  the trainer switch. We are left to our own conjectures because people are careful about others' feelings.

The extended lay-off is puzzling to me. Also the light training so far this year. I know the horse needed a long rest but THIS long??

If the owners felt a change was in order, I can understand them going with Lucas, since he's been a long-time friend of Dr. Blach. Reading between the lines, I got the impression that Mark Allen regretfully went along with the decision. He's had a long time association with Chip Woolley and probably felt really bad about the move.

I hope Mine That Bird does well under Lucas' care and training. One thing is for sure, we will see a lot more of the small, gutsy gelding than we have so far this year. I will follow his career closely, cheer his victories, agonize over his defeats and get in more fights defending him against the trolls who will not give him the respect he deserves. (You see, the she-wolf in me is already brissling!)

19 May 2010 5:53 PM
Linda in Texas

Well hey, hey, hey, ya'll, Mine That Bird in transit to Churchill Downs to Lukas. Veddy interesting.

So now that addition certainly conjures up some interesting racing possibilities. Where is he going to run?? Sounds like maybe he will even be around for Saratoga, too.

Someone just asked what Mine That Bird was doing. I rooted for him like i did Lucky all the way.

Glad i don't have to pick between them.

But i also have a liking for First Dude. And then the other Dude, if he is running. Might even end up with The Dualing Dudes, not real classy sounding for New York. But jazzes it up a little, and puts a little 'Texas Twang' into the mix.

Thanks Steve for the wonderful insight into The Preakness and the personal stories. Hated to see SS so far back, but certainly tickled when LAL wouldn't quit chasing down First Dude. Love those big horses. Then little mighty mo' Jackson Bend. People may say no stamina is being bred into these horses, but what they have in ambition and heart and soundness makes up for it totally in my way of thinking.

19 May 2010 6:46 PM

Yes!  We are addicts, we need the email alerts so we can save the refresh buttons - lol!  We've been working in the yard all day and I've come in to cool off a bit, and of course, had to come here to check in.  Hubby and son probably still need my help out there, but it's so much fun to read your eloquent/funny/informative comments.  You all are great!

Disappointed in MTB's trainer change, too.  I thought Wooley did such a great job with him and I love that horse, too.  

Zookeeper and Katherine, I couldn't agree more with your posts.  My family will occasionally pretend to listen when I start going on about my horses, but after a while their eyes glaze over and I've lost them.  Thank you all for being here.  Thank you, Steve!

19 May 2010 7:03 PM

well over the course of the last 3 1/2 months,lukas has ran dublin 6-times,that's every 3- weeks on avg......dublin should have somekind of future in the breeding shed.....but not mtb , he will run that poor horse, straight into the ground.

19 May 2010 7:49 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I had already begun handicapping The Belmont assuming Setsuko would not run. Now it's confirmed that he heeds a few months off because of swollen ankles. Now that's a horse I'd love to own. I saw some of your posts defending Mine That Bird. I was doing the same thing. The same people that degrade his accomplishments, also degrade Zenyatta's. They also don't like Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream, shows of the 50's, music from the 60's, four foot long sub sandwiches, or the beach. They'll find a way to degrade any phenominal accomplishment. They do like a cereal however, they're simply kookoo for Cocoa Puffs. Thanks for providing your sanity, logic, and insight to the blogging capital. They are going to make a movie about those that degrade Mine That Bird and Zenyatta. It's going to be called The Blog. It's about a slow moving mass of a jelly-like substance that devours all logic in it's path.

19 May 2010 8:11 PM


I totally agree with your post. I go into withdrawals too when the blog is quiet and I can't read all the great comments. I feel like a kid in a candy store to be able to lurk around the folks who are actively involved in this sport that I have loved since childhood. I have learned so much from these blogs!

I was really surprised to hear about the trainer switch with Mine That Bird! I had wondered why we hadn't heard anything from the connections since April. I LOVE that brave little gelding (you're right ZK, he does have balls, figuratively speaking)! If anyone feels they have to "dis" him they may have to contend with two bristling "she wolves". If I could buy MTB I would turn him into a pet!

If I ever win the lottery I plan to buy a nice little horse. I would have no problem sending it to Chip Woolley to train. I really like his style and I think he is a good trainer. He did a fantastic job with Mine That Bird. What a way to introduce himself in the classics with Mine That Bird's showing in the TC! He reminds me of my Father in the way he watches every detail in the care of his horses.

txhorsefan it is fun to be with other addicts (enablers) with no one around to roll their eyes, give deep sighs and attempt to change the subject! :)

19 May 2010 8:41 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

mz, Linda in Texas, Matthew W, txhorsefan

   It could be as simple as wanting MTB near a big track like Matthew W said. Still, I feel bad for one of my favorite horses, and Chip Woolley.


  Johnny Staccatto. Peter Gunn.

19 May 2010 8:47 PM


I sooooo hope you're wrong on this! Let's see what happens before we start criticizing, ok? Lucas would not have been my choice in this but, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. If what you predict comes true, I'll be the first one to scream bloody murder.

You cite Dublin as an example, let's not forget that the horse has owners and they may have a lot to do with the decisions. Who do you think insisted on running Dean's Kitten in the KD? The trainer?

If you speak out of concern for Mine That Bird, I support your hope for a sane schedule. But I'll wait and see before I start throwing stones.

We don't know what goes on behind the scene. Maybe we can hire some of Dr D. and Mr. Haskin's detectives. :)

19 May 2010 8:56 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

"The Blog" had me rolling on the floor. At least Mr. Haskin doesn't allow this one to degenerate into total madness, although I've seen him lose faith in mankind, in a few instances, not too long ago.

I'm disappointed that Setsuko will not run in The Belmont. But, Richard Mandella is a very kind trainer and prefers to err on the side of caution. The article quoted him saying that they are looking towards next year. This takes a lot of patience on the part of all involved. The Tin Man was a fine example of such tender, loving care. Very admirable! It also repaid the connections handsomely.

Another horse comes to mind... I think you know who. :)

19 May 2010 9:15 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

What a fertile imagination you have!

19 May 2010 10:02 PM

Dr. Drunkin - ok, I can see the point about having Mine That Bird closer to a bigger track, closer to the circuits for big races, etc.  That eases the pain a little, but like you and others said, I feel for Chip Wooley because he took such good care of the horse.  Guess we will just have to wait and see.  Oh, and The Blog just cracked me up, too!  You are one funny man with a wonderful imagination and a way with words that allows you to share that and express it all so well.

Thanks for letting me know that Setsuko is taking some time off now, too.  I've been so busy with the yard, and just reading this blog and one article about MTB, that I missed the info on Setsuko.  But, yes, I do think he is in excellent hands with Mandella.

Again, thank you all for letting me share!

19 May 2010 11:20 PM

I wish more trainers and owners were in the Mandella mode.  The sport loses it's stars to early due to rushing them and big money in the breeding shed.  I was thinking the other day of the past greats (at least in my lifetime) and what if they had retired after their 3 year old seasons. (Like Smarty, Afleet, Street, Bernardini, Hard Spun, etc)

We would have not had the 4 year old seasons of Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Dr. Fager, Buckpasser, Damascus, Spectacular Bid, just to name a few.  Now that is depressing to even think about!

19 May 2010 11:28 PM
Tim G

Dr Drunk, sorry but I really just don't think that someone who observes from afar, has no real inside information or doesn't see a horse day to day can tell the people who DO, what they should do with their horse. Pay the day fee etc then they can have their say.

Like we were talking about medicine and how the nurse and patient are the ones who keep you informed? Well how would you like it if another Doc just saw your patient lying on a gurney or walking down the hall and started diagnosing the patient for you, second guessing with no hard facts, not even looking at the chart?

Just because people bet on a horse doesn't give them ownership rights. A fans opinion is stated when they make their bet.

There are some people on these blogs who take great joy in trashing certain trainers, mickey seems to be one of them. Note the comment about MTB and Wayne.

Doc has been around the block (pun) a few times. Chip is Mark's guy, not Leonards. People who have known Wayne since he was basically coming up out in NM know what kind of care he REALLY gives his horses. NOT what they guess at or figure from what has happened with a small % of the thousands he's trained in the last 35+ years.

Basically it's a one horse stable with Chip if he takes MTB anywhere out of NM. Then his brother has to take care of the 8 or so other horses he has. How practical is that? May be okay for Tom and General Quarters because he owns that horse.

I'm pretty sure, knowing Doc, he will have a great deal of input into what, where and when MTB runs. Remember he and Allen flew to Saratoga and he put the stop on MTB running in the Travers after his surgery. Doc also is the one who put the brakes on that scheme Allen came up with for the Preakness.

20 May 2010 1:11 AM

Thanks Steve.

I have to admit that as a fan I loved the Preakness result. Lookin at Lucky has been my Triple Crown horse since December. Although I had been at Santa Anita for the Breeder's Cup, it was seeing Lucky at Hollywood Park for the CashCall Futurity that really sold me.  As with the Preakness, Lucky didn't win the CashCall by much(over Noble's Promise and Make Music for Me), but he showed alot of heart, character, and professionalism.

I was fortunate to see Lucky run again in person prior to the Triple Crown in the Santa Anita Derby.  While that race did not go according to plan, I was impressed with how much bigger and stronger Lucky had become since the CashCall.

It really is cool when the 2 year old champion is able to make that often elusive jump to become a star at 3.  Since the Bid, only Easy Goer, Timber Country, Street Sense and now Lucky have won the juvenile Eclipse and then come back to take a Triple Crown race.  Lucky might not be the fastest horse to look through a bridle, but he is just so competitive and classy. Oh, and he's won 4 grade 1 races and an additional 2 grade 2 races.

(As a side note, I believe Lucky has won about 1/4th of all the gr.1 races offered thus far for his crop.  If I'm not mistaken, there were 7 gr.1 races for juvenile males last year, 5 gr.1 Derby preps, and then the Derby itself and the Preakness.)

The human stories around Lucky are equally fascinating and exciting, as you point out Steve.  It was easy to see how much Baffert wanted to win another Triple Crown race.  Although there are many wonderful races, trainers like Baffert recognize that there's nothing like the "majors", the Triple Crown races.  Like Tiger and Phil go after golf majors, and Fed goes after tennis majors, Baffert approaches the Triple Crown with steely focus and determination.  And he's proven over the years to be one of the greatest Triple Crown trainers in history.

Baffert knows not only how to get to the Kentucky Derby, but he knows how to keep horses going throughout the series and beyond.  It took some experimentation with Cavonnier first time around, but he quickly got the hang of it and brought Silver Charm within a half-length of the ultimate prize one year later.

And Baffert does not seem to worry much about other trainers' horses and how they are prepared for the Crown. Throughout the winter and spring Baffert was optimistic about Lucky's Triple Crown campaign; he knew he had a quality colt and just went about his business implementing his proven gameplan.  When I was in the paddock for the Santa Anita Derby, just minutes after the running of the Wood, a fan went up to Baffert and told him that Eskenereya had just won in a romp.  Baffert calmly replied,"so, Eskendereya, huh?".  Baffert has experienced and seen too much on the Triple Crown trail to get overly concerned about a rival horse.

As for Martin Garcia, I have been very impressed watching him on the SoCal circuit.  As GG Fields Fan mentioned, Garcia, Rosario, Talamo, and Bejarano are the nucleus of the new generation of SoCal jockeys, a colony in many ways still reeling from the retirments of so many greats over the past decade.

Baffert deserves all the credit he's receiving for having the courage to take Gomez off Lucky and put Garcia up.  And Garcia deserves all the credit he's receiving for his winning ride.  Unlike many who have attempted to minimize the switch, I'm not sure Gomez would have brought Lucky to the winners circle of the Preakness had he ridden him. Garcia pushed all the right buttons; Garcia didn't merely receive a good trip, he went out and created a good trip.  Key to the trip was Garcia hustling Lucky from the gate.  Unlike Gomez, Garcia didn't wait for Lucky to "find his feet", but instead pushed the horse from the gate to establish a clear position behind the leaders.  Garcia didn't allow Lucky to get pinballed or cut off leaving the gate like Gomez did in Kentucky.  No, Garcia put Lucky exactly where Baffert had instructed him to be.  Garcia deserves much credit for this.

ps- as a fan of Cali racing, it was huge to have Lucky in the SA Derby.  In retrospect, how irrelevant would the SA Derby now look if Lucky had run in the Arkansas Derby instead?  Sidney's Candy bombed in the Derby, Caracortado tried hard but was overwhelmed in the Preakness, and now Setsuko is injured and will miss the Belmont.    

20 May 2010 3:41 AM


Great insight about Baffert instructing Garcia to watch the 97' Kentucky Derby.  Wow, Garcia almost gave Lookin at Lucky an identical ride to what Gary Stevens gave Silver Charm.  The only difference was that Silver Charm was a few lengths closer to the pace down the backstretch, but the pace in that race was slower than the Preakness.

20 May 2010 3:53 AM

I really am heart broken Woolley lost MTB.  Also when Tim Ice lost Summerbird.   Those trainers gave the owners champions.  

While we consider the advantages of going with First Dude (who I have always liked), don't forget the horse that beat him in the Blue Grass, Stately Victor who will be fresh.  He's my top pick.

Dr D...too bad you didn't hire Richard Diamond (David Janssen) who was better than Mannix....or Banyon (Robert Forster) who had the hottest roadster.

20 May 2010 8:02 AM

PS..that reminds me...the trainer for New Madrid is Tim Ice.  Ring any bells?  He's running an allowance on the turf today.  Could prove informative. (Oh gee...I hope the blinkers help.)

20 May 2010 8:08 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Katherine, txhorsefan

  I would have done the exact opposite. I would have moved Dublin to Woolley. And Woolley keeps Mine That Bird, and gets a few more of Lukas horses. Then I'd send a few more to Ice. If Woolley had Dublin earlier we might be reading, "Dublin Seeks Elusive Triple Crown."


  That's for sure. I really wanted to see Hard Spun go on, and Bernardini was just getting started. It's kind of like the pursuit of The Triple Crown is ruining racing. We need a whole bunch of Triple Crown winners again to get back on track.

Zookeeper, txhorsefan

  Yes Setsuko is in good hands with Mandella, but it's driving me nuts that he hasn't been running on dirt where I think he belongs. Mandella is going to have to do some traveling or ruin Setsuko's career. But I'm glad he's getting a break. He hasn't matured yet like I thought he would have. He needs some time to grow up. Thanks to all those who liked The Blog. I like the Steve McQueen version of a similar movie. Popcorn and soda, ten cents each. Candy bars a nickel. Saturday afternoons were ten cents to get in. Kids were running up and down the aisles like maniacs. Vincent Price. Boris Karloff. Peter Lorre. Saturday afternoons was ALL kids. Adults couldn't stand it. It would have been a spankings massacre.

20 May 2010 8:38 AM

If I had a chance to meet one Trainer I would pick Bob Baffert. I love his enthusiasm and he brings a great personality to the sport. Congratulations to all the connections of Lookin At Lucky and to the horse himself who showed the world he is a true Champion.

20 May 2010 8:44 AM

Awesome race!  So happy that Lucky finally got a chance to run..

20 May 2010 8:48 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Tim G.

  I understand and I'm not saying they or we can tell owners what to do. That would be ridiculous. I am saying people can express their opinions as to which direction is a good one to take, and sometimes they are right. That was good insight you gave us into the barns. Thanks. And I'm not trashing Lukas. He was a great trainer and is still a pretty good trainer. I just feel bad for Woolley. I like him and I think he did a great job and would have done great with him the rest of this year. I only saw the ownership side from my uncle's perspective so I enjoy your insight, and I think you enjoy people's opinions also especially when they differ from yours !!!!! Owning a horse is a tough business and I know they have to make difficult decisions and some that seem to be harsh from the perspective of an outsider. I never wanted to be an owner until recently because I saw what my uncle went through. Not only did he lose quite a bit of money bet he had a tremendous horse that broke down and devastated him. He quit after that breakdown.

20 May 2010 8:49 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I hired Johnny Staccato. That's funny. Stately Victor is my top choice so far too. He'll put Ice Box in the freezer.

20 May 2010 8:59 AM

Funny- people were knocking Mr Mandella when they kept saying he could have run his horse more to get him in the Derby.  Maybe now we know why he was run the way he was.  Mr Mandella is a careful, patient trainer and if Setsuko has ankle problems now, he had them then too most likely.  As to the MTB matter, Mr Lukas is a very successful trainer.  He may just have great success with MTB.  Then many of you will be saying what a great move it was for the horse.  He may not develop, and then many of you will say it is Mr Lukas' fault.  And owners are allowed to do what they want with their horses.  In the end, it is a business.  Look at Godolphin letting Mr Fabre lay the foundation for some of their horses in France and then transfering to their new trainer in Newmarket.  Cutlass Bay, Cavalryman, Anna Salai, Rewilding, Simon de Monfort, etc.  Godolphin said that Fabre is employed to train horses for them and get them to a certain level and then they are to be sent to Mr al Zarooni and Mr Sureer.  Do you think he likes to do this and lose horses like the undefeted gr1 winner Cutlass Bay?  Probably not, but he probably gets paid awfully well by Godolphin in compensation.  The point is, if it can happen to a trainer the stature of Mr Fabre, it can happen to Mr Wooley and Mr Ice.  It is a business that people expect results.  Mr Wolley did a great job in the TC and then MTB tailed off.  Now they are trying something new.

20 May 2010 10:10 AM
Tim G

Well I guess Wayne took all of your advice LOL.

Hard to do when he doesn't read any stuff during the TC. Wise man.

I like Chip, however I sort of see where Doc is coming from. A guy from Bloomfield NM with a really small stable and no increase in business or other horses? Not exactly a formula to hit the big circuits with just one horse.

Although I hear from some family out there that he wasn't the cats meow in his rodeo days. But there again that's opinion, but they did/do know him.

20 May 2010 11:27 AM
Linda in Texas

Dr. D., i am glad Mine That Bird is going east. We will be able to see more of him. That is a good thing.

It takes at least 3 nights and 4 days to drive from the great state of New Mexico to the east coast making good time and vice versa. Frankly, i don't blame the owners for moving him up there. He is a Kentucky Derby winner and the publicity won't hurt horseracing. So many KD winners go to that shed place after a big win and are not heard from until we read about their passing. There will be no such shed for Mine That Bird.

Take Snow Chief and of course Skip Away, both tremendous in their own right as recent examples. I know they cannot live in a glass stall, but i feel awful when horses like both of these fellas aren't in the news all the time. Snow Chief was a beautiful and talented horse and I could read about everyone of them everyday and never tire of it. Magnificent Skip Away now greets me every morning when i open my computer, the wonderful photo of him in his paddock glancing off at someone he obviously loved and trusted is on my desktop, makes me want to reach out and give him a big hug and a pat. Just wish i could visit all the farms, but i am too far away.

Re: Mr. Wooley - he has other horses to train in New Mexico so it was the only thing that could have been done and still keep Mr. Wooley training and MTB racing outside of New Mexico and not withering away in his stall or paddock. Not a lot of traffic thru his area of New Mexico.

We all know who trained MTB and hopefully Mr. Lukas won't 'run him into the ground' as was posted earlier. I think the poster was referring to Mr. Lukas.

I wish people who say that racing is all washed up would find another sport to bash. Even a so-called sportswriter in San Angelo and others are saying The Belmont will be boring. And that there are no 3 year olds to speak of. As long as naysayers, and i am not referring to Draynay, trash this industry, it will continue to struggle. We cannot and never will have a Triple Crown Winner every year, but we can all use that as a goal to reach and achieve perfection.

The success of horseracing should not be dependent totally upon The Triple Crown. I realize that some  only look at it through the eyes of betting on the winner. Others don't see it just for the wins, but for the whole picture of the wonderment from the birth of a foal, to his/her development and  finally to his/her first race.

If we compared the successes and lack thereof in racing as we do every child, everyone is not an A student, nor an over achiever, nor a Rhodes Scholar, but each person and in this vein, each horse adds to the whole picture. It boils down to the efforts of many who believe in the potential and put forth their all to educate and train the child and in this case,  the horse to be the best it can be with what it brought with him when he was born.

Learn to enjoy the ride and never forget, the losers make the winner a winner and each loser gets another chance to be a winner! That's life.

Have a great day Steve and friends.

20 May 2010 11:29 AM
Tim G

Dr Drunk, Was Chip the key or was it the perfect trip by Borel on a little horse with guts and heart? Or was it the leftover training from David Cotey ala Wiggins/RA?

MTB was afterall the Canadian 2 year old champion.

(funny at the farm he was nicknamed Bird Brain LOL)

I believe I heard that Chip was gungho to run MTB after the surgery on his trapped epiglotis and the owner wasn't. A vet would know, wouldn't he?

I'm just glad we don't get second-guessed all the time. Second opinions are great, but they're usually from a colleague.....

20 May 2010 11:39 AM
Tim G

Correction my #2 key wasn't working on my other keyboard. Meant to say Chip has around 28 horses back in NM. What do you do? Choose to go with one horse or devote your attention to the rest of the horses and your obligation to those and the other owners? Somethings gotta give.

20 May 2010 12:15 PM

if I can spend 30, 60 100 or 150 on a ticket for a baseball,basketball or football game and yell at players ,refs ,umps etc......then ,why if I'am spending a 1000 or 1500 a race, can't I voice my opinion at a trainer or jockey.....if your a trainer and enter a alw. horse in a claiming race and still can't win you get what you deserve.....last I checked race trackers or gamblers in general were not the silent types.

20 May 2010 2:56 PM

the guy at the celt's game the other night came out of the stands to voice his opinion at that ref and the ref ,throws the ball at him,it's all in the sport and since baseball ,basketball, and football are one time ticket purchases,heck spending money every race really keeps the blood flowing.

20 May 2010 3:00 PM

tim, I believe d.wayne don't read these comments ,but owners or people close to owner do,maybe just maybe thats why dublins out of the belmont,who knows.

20 May 2010 3:05 PM

Tim G.,

It's always THE HORSE first and foremost that is THE KEY. Trainers and owners cannot make a TC winner out of a horse devoid of talent.

On the other hand, they certainly can ruin a promising young horse or develop him to his full potential.

Ownership gives people the right to do as they please (other than neglect or abuse) with the horse but, it doesn't make THEM right about every decision they make about the one(s) they own.

No matter how much experience a trainer has, it doesn't guarantee that he/she will never be wrong in the handling of a horse.

Just because I can't sing worth a darn, doesn't mean that I cannot judge the talent (or lack of) of those who do.

We may not be owners and/or trainers but that fact doesn't disqualify us from forming an opinion from the results we see.

20 May 2010 4:05 PM
Tim G

No that's not the reason mickey, maybe even a little delusional.LOL

Tell me would you go up to the manager and try to tell him who to pinch hit? Would you go up to Mark Cuban and tell him how to spend his money and which player to draft? Only if you wouldn't mind getting punched out.

You can yell for/at your horse/jockey. Although I think it's pretty trashy to yell at jockeys when they lose.

You can yell at players, you're one in a crowd of thousands. But you know if you get to thinking that you have a right to do so you could end up like the guy Ron Artest punched out.

Now if you say 'if it was my horse this is what I'd do'. No problem. But to talk about a trainer running horses into the ground etc, do you think any legitimate trainer or owner will appreciate that or take you seriously? I'm an owner and I guarantee you it would send me the opposite direction.

What was written on here has/had NOTHING to do with what direction ANY trainer takes, least of all Dublin. If Wayne listened to all the trashing and criticism from those with no real knowledge to back it up? He and anyone like him would have quit or lost their minds years ago.

It's enough to deal with legitimate media let alone comments on a blog....

Geez, you make it sound acceptable to behave like that Celts fan. It isn't. Your ticket price entitles you to go into the arena and watch the game. It doesn't entitle you to behave in any manner you want. Actually if you look at the signs, tickets etc most of them state they reserve the right to 'remove' you. Most games announce that, college games in particular and they will absolutely do it. I heard of a College game where some guys were yelling disparaging remarks at a ref and the ref stopped the game, told the coach he would issue a technical and have the entire section removed! The cops went to the section and told the whole group, offenders or not what would happen.

Are you the type who, because you pay insurance premiums, want to be in the operating room when we perform a procedure on your kid?

I may be in the minority, I really don't think so, but in this day and age when people's lives are falling down around them maybe they should focus more on their faults and less on people they don't know? Or maybe their lives are so miserable they live vicariously through others like they really have some influence???

Like Wayne and others say, you can't listen to it or you'll second guess yourself, lose your focus and your mind.

Who was it that said 'everyone's a critic'.

20 May 2010 4:49 PM

Steve, I'd like to add my thanks for your delightful article.  I wait for it every time too.  There are such neat, personal tidbits of info floating through every sentence.  Preakness day was just perfect.  Even though I didn't win a thing in that race because I boxed everybody with Super Saver.  On Friday morning we were at the Stakes barn with a tour and you walked right by me, Steve.  I realized it was you just as you past me.  My daughters grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let me go after you to say hi.  Last year I carried your book around hoping to get you to sign it but gave up on the idea this year.  And there you were!!  Is that Kismet too?

20 May 2010 5:11 PM

When Chip Woolley drove his trailer to CD with Mine That Bird it was an interesting human- interest story. In my opinion, as a fan and a business person looking in from the outside, (and I know Tim G is going to correct me if I am wrong lol), the agents for the top jockeys appeared to look at MTB and Chip Woolley as a one horse operation and they were not beating down the door for a ride on MTB. I was very frustrated for MTB not having the same jockey for all three races and wished Chip Woolley had been able to connect with a Jeremy Rose or a Martin Garcia or a young up and coming hungry jockey instead of seeking long established jockeys who were already so entrenched with trainers with large stables and who had long standing commitments and obligations (Mike Smith/Zenyatta, Calvin Borel/Rachel Alexandra). Those jockeys treated MTB as a filler on their cards, again, my opinion. I know it's the owner/trainer's judgment call on whom they hire.  

I look forward to seeing Mine That Bird looked upon with more respect this time and having a regular rider, whoever it may be.

I was impressed with Chip Woolley's handling of MTB and I have said so before on this blog so I hope his supporters do not take exception to my comments.

20 May 2010 6:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Tim G

  That was really nice of you to let Dublin's owners know that they should read this blog so that they would know what to do with Dublin. Your timing was impecable, before they got even closer to Belmont Stakes time and their quandry would have intensified. Glad we here at Bogger's Headquarters could be of assistance. Your welcome. Anytime we can be of service we are more than happy to help out.

20 May 2010 6:33 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Grab him !!! And bring your book !!!! Just tell him you are one of his faithful bloggers. I'm sure he'd be glad to say Hi and sign your book.


   I think you sing very well. You sing a nice tune here anyway. All fans in all sports form opinions. No reason we should be any different. It's the same as baseball fans complaining that a player was traded to another team, or where a player should bat in the lineup. I don't get what all the hoopla is about. And obviously they listen to us or they wouldn't have kept Dublin out of The Belmont and pointed him to later Stakes as we suggested. I think it's good for the game for Dublin's owners to give us a voice in the horse's future like they did. Don't you? I have a relative that used to drive us nuts because whatever we would say he would take the opposite view and get us riled up because he loved to argue. Do you think any bloggers here might be like that?

20 May 2010 6:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I agree, and I think that trailer ride with MTB with Woolley on crutches then winning the Derby at 50-1 was one of the top ten stories in the history of the world. Seeing him walk over on his crutches Derby Day when almost no one thought the horse had a chance, you felt sorry for the guy. Then minutes later he's on top of the world. No matter what has happened now, no one can take that amazing day away from him. But Chip Woolley loves Mine That Bird and I know this is breaking his heart. It will take a little time for him to get over it then he will say. "The heck with it, that little guy won me The Derby, and I wouldn't trade that for anything. I'm not going to worry about any of this stuff now. I'll go visit the little warrior. He needs to know I still love him."

20 May 2010 6:50 PM

Linda in TX - wonderful comments and points well made.  As someone who for far too many years followed only the Triple Crown races, I now can see what I missed out on by not knowing more about all the rest of the horses, even if they're not winning the Derby.  Thankfully, I came to my senses and now understand some of the seasons and series and how many things all tie in together, and you're so right on enjoying following the *Horse* from it's foaling through several years of racing.  Of course, I regret not paying attention back then, and only seeing most of the races of the horses I came to love late on you-tube, but I am grateful for that at least.  We are all entitled to have our own opinions, and until we are the owners or the trainers, that's all they are, just our own opinion.  I was impressed with Mr. Wooley and the excellent job he appeared to be doing for Mine That Bird to win the Derby and to try so hard in the Preakness and Belmont, but he ran into a couple of buzz saws, as the saying goes, but second and third in those prestigious races is nothing to sneeze at.  While I can understand the owner's decision to make the change and agree that it will be great to see MTB in more races than he might have the opportunity to run in in NM, it still makes me feel disappointed for Mr. Wooley, if that makes sense.

So many of you make such excellent points in these discussions, I feel like I go away from every reading of Steve's blogs having learned a little bit more.  Another champion to go search for on you-tube, another story to research.  You all are a great resource even though everyone may not always agree.  Thank you!  Thanks again to Steve for providing the background upon which can build our discussions and for giving us his tremendous knowledge and insight.  

Gosh, I better quit typing now before everyone goes to sleep!

20 May 2010 7:13 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

That's because you've been spared the torture of actually hearing me!lol!

Like you, I feel very badly for Chip Woolley. He was such an important part of the Cinderella story that was Mine That Bird.

Last October, at Santa Anita, I spotted him sitting in one of the Club House boxes. I pointed him out to my friend:"Look it's MTB's trainer!" She's not much of a horseracing fan but she knows a rare occasion when she sees one and is totally uninhibited."Look at you! You train the KD winner!", she said (as if he didn't know). He was so gracious as he shook our hand and smiled and accepted our "Welcome to California!" like he'd just been sitting there waiting for us to invite him in.

He's a very unassuming guy and it was sheer delight to meet him and talk to him for a few seconds. I wish him well. He may never have a horse like Mine that Bird again but as you said, he's now part of the lore of the KD and the memory of him hobbling along on his crutches with forever be linked to the little horse in "plain brown wrapping" who achieved an "impossible result" in Louisville, last year.

I hope Mine That Bird does well under his new trainer but one thing is for sure, he won't mean as much to Lucas as he did to Chip Woolley.

20 May 2010 7:50 PM
Tim G

"And obviously they listen to us or they wouldn't have kept Dublin out of The Belmont and pointed him to later Stakes as we suggested. I think it's good for the game for Dublin's owners to give us a voice in the horse's future like they did. Don't you? I have a relative that used to drive us nuts because whatever we would say he would take the opposite view and get us riled up because he loved to argue. Do you think any bloggers here might be like that?

Dr Drunkinbum 20 May 2010 6:42 PM"

That's the funniest fantasy you've talked about in a long time.

If you're talking about me taking the opposite view? I've been saying the same thing since I've come on the blog around a year ago. No different than what any number of people who are involved in racing said on here. Most of them have been driven off because the people who don't know, can't deal with the reality and do their best to run em off.

I think I'm the only glutton for punishment left still reading it in my circle and I won't subject others to it.

We love fans and bettors, but when it comes to trying to tell us how to run our business (and yes it's a business), I can't say that any of us appreciate the way SOME people do it.

I'm not saying everyone on here does that and I have no issue with that in a sane, rational and non-adversarial way. What I take exception to and will argue with are the types like mickey who obviously relishes making unkind remarks about Wayne, or another guy who is staying out of the snide remarks this time. Or Draynay and his nastiness about Todd. That's what I'm saying.

Not a huge number of people in racing read these blog comments, even fewer are willing to offer any insight or information and I always knew why, just being driven home.

"Tim G

 That was really nice of you to let Dublin's owners know that they should read this blog so that they would know what to do with Dublin. Your timing was impecable, before they got even closer to Belmont Stakes time and their quandry would have intensified. Glad we here at Bogger's Headquarters could be of assistance. Your welcome. Anytime we can be of service we are more than happy to help out.

Dr Drunkinbum 20 May 2010 6:33 PM"

Like I said before Ted is still a lot funnier than you. Wayne has some things faxed to him, good news only.

BOGGERS headquarters? You have that correct, bogging down the process.

Sarcasm doesn't become you and it's not your forte, it comes off as nasty and bitter. I hope your novel isn't an attempt at comedy.

Really, were you always this delusional or is this a sudden onset?

Those comments have a definite Draynayan slant to them.

Plus you might want to work on your spelling before you write a book.

Have fun resolving all of this yourselves. Oh and will you please let me know when Dublin's next race is? Since you know more about it than those who actually do.

20 May 2010 7:54 PM

sorry- tim ,you are missing the point , fan's rule no fan's no sport......and horse racing by far is losing fan's faster than any other sport....why is that , they don't need slot's ,they need to promote,and my dislike for d.wayne is based on fact...they don't put half of what I write on here,I guess they figure it would be bad for the sport.

20 May 2010 7:57 PM

Tim G,

I'm sorry that you don't appreciate Dr Drunkinbum's sense of humor. It is YOUR loss.

"Nasty and bitter" seems more appropriate to your comments than his.

It's too bad that you can't take a joke. Your sense of self importance is showing, my friend. Chill out! Have a drink! Do whatever it takes to come down to earth and not use this good fellow as a punching bag. It's tiresome when you do it to the likes of Draynay, but when you direct your ire at Dr Drunkinbum... it is totally unwarranted and disturbing!

20 May 2010 8:25 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  You hit the nail on the head, bullseye.


   That's cool. Crutches or no crutches at SA?

20 May 2010 9:26 PM

Tim G

The way I read Dr Drunkinbum's comments about Dublin and his connections that you were quoting in your recent post, he was speaking "tongue in cheek", not literally.  

I can tell from your post that you are the real deal in this sport and have been around a long time. You are one of the people I have enjoyed reading on the blogs for a while. I especially enjoy your analysis on Dublin's races and insider view points about things racing and old connections. You insiders are a pretty patient lot as a general rule but do not suffer fools gladly. Sometimes our humor is missed and I think that is the case with Dr D's comments. Hope you don't go away :)

20 May 2010 10:49 PM

Dr Drunkinbum

I like your response to my comment about MTB and Chip Woolley. Their story is one of the top stories in racing/sports. This is a story begging to have a movie made of it or a book written. Hmmmmm.. does anyone have an idea of who could do that?  Anyone?

20 May 2010 10:58 PM

This is perhaps a little off topic but I would like to know how the "insiders" view Afleet Alex' get? I have loved this horse forever and in following his stud career he seems to have quite a few winning get. Does he throw size consistently, like Dublin? What other common characteristics does he throw?

20 May 2010 11:06 PM

I just heard the news on Mine That Bird moving to the Lucas camp and have been enjoying everyone's comments. I too became immediately attached to the gelding at the KD. As much as I like Rachel, I remember being disappointed when MTB finished a close second at the Preakness. I think Lucas will get the max out of this horse and I will be closely following this combination and cheering for MTB whenever he races. I do however feel badly for Chip Wooley. Last August I attended the WV Derby and stood about 50 feet from Wooley during the race. The man with the cowboy hat and crutches was easy to spot. It was a small 6 horse field and MTB was a heavy favorite. The little town of Chester, WV came pouring into Mountaineer Park, 27,000 strong. It was the first time a KD winner had ever raced at Mountaineer, and there was a buzz in the air. Prior to the race, Chip had kind words to say about Mountaineer, but it was a far cry from the triple crown venues he was used to. It had to hurt for Chip to watch MTB finish third, but he displayed great sportmanship as he very graciously congratulated all of the Soul Worrior connections in the winners circle.  At that very moment I became a Chip Wooley fan.  I know there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, but from what I've seen, Chip seems like a great guy.  Best of luck to him.

20 May 2010 11:22 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Tim G.

  Nobody's perfect. Don't be so hard on yourself. Some like it hot, some warm, some cold, and some just right. It's a matter of personal taste and preference. My spelling isn't what it used to be. I was a champion speller, now I tend to juxtapose letters, leave out letters and draw total blanks. Most regular folk tend to understand what I'm saying despite the spelling errors. Next time you're on your yacht, give us a thrill and wave to us sitting on the shore.

20 May 2010 11:40 PM
John Leach

Wow, Steve,

I imagine that I am saying what many have already said, but your writing reads like a great novel. I loved this race. I was pulling for  Lucky before the Kentucky Derby, especially after watching what he went through in the Rebel and the Santa Anita Derby. But then to watch him get cut off by Calvin and Kent and then get hammered by Stately Victor in the Kentucky Derby, I wanted nothing more than to see him win the Preakness. And he did it like the warrior that he is. Your article captured all of this and more. Thanks again, Steve,


21 May 2010 1:37 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Tim G

  We'll always have Paris.

21 May 2010 9:32 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Thanks for that glimpse into Chip Woolley from what you saw. I loved reading it. Now that is an article I'd love to read from Steve, the entire MTB and Chip Woolley adventure. Maybe a follow up to his 2009 Derby Recap: " Rare Bird Sighting."

21 May 2010 10:18 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

I cannot for the life of me remember whether he still had crutches or not. I was so "twittipated" to even talk to him that I didn't pay any attention to anything else than his smile and gracious acceptance of our intrusion. Oh! I do remember the big black cowboy hat! Even I couldn't miss that. lol!  

21 May 2010 10:32 AM

Gee D....Devil's Advocates have their place, as I myself love to challenge anyone IF I think they're reciting instead of actually discussing.

Tim G....lighten up...the rest of us love Dr. D. and enjoy his sit back and enjoy the ride.  (Defensive, aren't you?)

The problem with attracting new fans is that many long-standing fans get to see only the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup on national TV.  Many cannot afford the premium channels that offer HRTV or TVG.  Major networks seem unwilling to have regular broadcasts of interim races.  Why can't ESPN devote at least 2-3 hours a week to horse sure beats a spelling bee or a chess match.

Some broadcaster recently mentioned that after the 2009 Ky Derby, Chip Woolley and the owner of MTB sat outside the grandstand with the rose blanket, just handing out its roses to the fans who passed by.  That's the type of message that endears fans to the sport and specific trainers.  I thought it was a most gracious gesture.

Watched New Madrid in an allowance yesterday on the turf...ok for the straight line..not so great for the distance...after leading the herd, he trailed off.  Uncertain if he'll go to the Belmont after that race.

Dr. D...I'm settling on Statley Victor, First Dude and Ice Box.  I think Fly Down will be at least 4th. We'll see how they work the track for the next couple of weeks.

21 May 2010 10:34 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I don't always comment on your posts but I always read them and always love them. You have a way with words yourself. I'll probably always remember, "looking down their snooty noses." You have a sense of fairness, equality, decency, logic, and pull for the underdog." You have a lot of qualities I admire. I connected with you from the beginning because we often think alike, and I understood that you were a top of the line human being. Have a great weekend.

21 May 2010 10:41 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I can't think of a better topic for Steve to write a book about than Chip Woolley and Mine That Bird. Thanks for putting my posts into perspective. It was just "tongue and cheek" humor, not meant to cause harm. I always enjoy your posts. Thanks.

21 May 2010 10:44 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


 It's too early to settle on picks !! Don't do it !!! All I want to do is keep my notes from disappearing so I will know what I was thinking. I just found this note buried and didn't even know I wrote it. "Do $10 exacta boxes, boxing First Dude with Super Saver, with Lucky, and Pleasant Prince." That would have been $980, for just $60, a lot better than what i ended up doing, and only winning a $1 exacta. I almost hit the tri, but it doesn't count eventhough it is horseshoes. I lost my note but I think I like Stately Vic, Stay Put, and Uptowncharlybrown the best so far. I know that you are a Devil's Advocate sometimes and you are a good one you little devil.

21 May 2010 10:56 AM
Tim G

One final comment on this.

I was going to write a detailed retort as to why none of this is a 'joke' to me. Why I find things like the NYRA begging for money and sending hundreds of layoff notices out, or trainers walking away when they really don't want to, not the least bit funny. Also why a few other things that are said on here aren't jokes to me.

I just don't find it funny, maybe too close to my heart?? Maybe too connected to the people who have unkind things said about them by people who profess to have real details on them?

Maybe I'm old school or just too much of a fan (fan first always)to kick a guy (industry) when they're already down. Believe me, we don't see any of this as a joking matter.

So I won't list each and everything, don't want to ruin all the fun, rain on your parade.

Oh and ZK, please don't call me 'friend'. Beating up Draynay? Now THAT is funny.

Steve, I recovered my email from the bomb that blew it up. LOL

21 May 2010 11:38 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

The feeling is mutual. :)

Here's another SA adventure for you. It happened the first day of the 2009 BC. I was standing around waiting for the horses to pass by when I saw Mr. Haskin working his way from the track to the paddock area. Where was my friend when I needed her? I stood there helpless, too shy to do anything.

That night, after moaning and groaning over the missed opportunity, I resolved to put away my fears if I was lucky enough to see him again on the second day of the BC.

Sure enough, here he comes again, right in front of me. This time, I called out:"Mr. Haskin!" He walked a few steps towards me with the expression of someone who's trying to figure out if he knows that person or not. "I'm a big fan of yours! Could you sign my program, please." He did, graciously although a little embarassed.(I think)

Now you would think that I would then have gushed out with all the words of praise that only a fan can come up with... Oh! but not me! There I was in the presence of my absolute favorite turfwriter and NOT ONE other word came out of my mouth. He shook my hand, smiled and continued on his way... as I soundly kicked myself for not being able to express my feelings of abject admiration.

Where was my friend when I needed her???

21 May 2010 11:40 AM

Setsuko, Dublin, and New Madrid are out of the Belmont.  3 of my top 4, are so good-looking, I simply can't dismiss them.  Ice Box is actually rather small, but he has the speed and his heart may be bigger than he is...that's why he stays in my top 3.  I expect Vic and First Dude will have no problems with the distance.  I'm just don't find the rest of the field as exciting, even though they are all pretty good at 9f.

21 May 2010 12:06 PM

I'll side with Tim G on this. I'll even list headlines of what I assume he chose not to list.

CHRB Chairman Blisters MID for Recent Actions

Amid Turmoil, KY Lawmaker Makes Case for BC

NYRA Sends Out Letters of Possible Layoffs

Audit Shows Declines at New York OTB

Belmont Field Dwindles

I Blame Trainers for Lack of Triple Crown Winners

Fifth Third Seeks Zayat's Personal Records

NYRA Could Close After Belmont Stakes

However I won't list specific  cuts or jabs taken at some of the people in the game. I'm sure you all know them and have read them maybe even enjoyed laughed at or agreed with them.

The good stories get buried by the bad ones and then when we hear of things that could be good like a little horse finally making it back to the track, they seem to get taken down that same dark road with the negative side of why a trainer shouldn't have a horse or why a horse shouldn't run in a race or things like that. And not just in a anaylitical way but in a real mean way.

Racing has a funny fanbase. May be the fact that people have a love-hate relationship a certain amount of envy or maybe lost their shirt on the game. I don't really know but it's an interesting thing to think about.

On a happier topic Steve what do you think about the Monmouth project. Sounds like it will be an interesting situation and hopefully will have some long term positive outcome. I am not sure if a one year committment will make a long lasting impact but I sure do hope so. I hope it can coexist with Saratoga it would be great for racing.

You gonna go for opening weekend? It sounds like a great card.

21 May 2010 1:15 PM

Tim G,

Wasn't it you who wrote: "ZK, I thought we were friends."?

I apologize if I have offended you by calling you "my friend". I will refrain from doing so in the future.

21 May 2010 1:46 PM
Tim G

Thought so at the time. After the last few comments. Nope.

KY The Monmouth purses and 3 day meet. I understand they hope it will start a trend for other tracks?

You live in NJ don't you Steve? I agree that it will be fun to go.

Oh on your story, I think Pegram is a hoot and man I just have so much trouble seeing how big Gator (Jacob) is and relating it to that little kid of 5 back in the 90's. We never do want to believe that though do we?

21 May 2010 2:11 PM

WinStar has announced the winning name for Super Saver's little 1/2 brother. Log on to WinStar farm's website to find out about it and see wonderful footage of the foal and his dam Supercharger.

I didn't win but I have to agree that the selected name is SUPER! My suggestion was: "Gold Reserve". Very boring compared to the winning entry. lol!

21 May 2010 3:57 PM

Before I had to get off the computer yesterday, I'd wanted to comment on MTB and Chip Wooley.  Getting back on today and reading all the furor has been kind of disturbing.  The most frequent comment that starts off almost everyones opinion is "I just love Mine That Bird"  There seem to be certain horses out there that evoke a very emotional response in a lot of fans.  MTB is one of those.  I have watched his Derby over and over.  It never fails to make me laugh out loud, grin from ear to ear, cheer and shed a tear or two.  His story last year was so touching and his trainer impressed us all with his class, integrity and love of his horse.  I've been wondering for months where MTB was.  Now I wonder if this change was boiling under the surface and has kept MTB away from his fans.  I know this is heartbreaking for Wooley but his name is forever linked with Derby history and this amazing little horse.  No one can take that away from him.  Selfishly, if MTB going to Lukas means we (fans) get to see him, I can't help being glad.  

The word "fans" brings up another issue we seem to be embroiled in on the blog at this point.  I can understand that someone intimately involved in the racing industry at this time would be extremely upset and maybe touchy - but, I don't see that racing fans are near as bad as the fans of most other sports.  Coaches, players, owners, media, trainers etc... of football, baseball, basketball etc.... are put through the ringer constantly.  They are criticized, second-guessed, blamed, satirized, gossiped about and called incompetent by fans who know very little of what they speak.

Racing fans have very strong opinions about these horses because they touch us on such a deep emotional level.  It's not like being a baseball fan.  Loving these horses is something deep.  And as fans, there are two things that cause frustration and more emotional reactions. One is that we don't get to actually see much of this sport that we love.  It is so damn hard to find horseracing on TV if you can't get the cable channels.  It's rarely in the newpapers and if it weren't for Bloodhorse I, for one, would go nuts. The racing fan is just desperate for information.

The second is the horror of watching these magnificent animals get hurt.  We become very protective of horses we love and, unfortunately, that sometimes comes out in criticism of a trainer or owner.  In reality, no matter how good a trainer or owner is, no matter how much they care, no matter what decisions are made -sometimes it doesn't work out for the horse.  It always breaks our hearts.  And because we're human when we are hurt or upset, we lash out.  It's not right,not fair, doesn't help and only makes things worse.  But that's human nature. If we just step back a second and take a deep breath, I think we'll remember that we're all coming from the same place - we all love these incredible, magnificent creatures.  

21 May 2010 5:04 PM

Boy! Does Mine That Bird look good or what? The picture that accompanies the article on his arrival at CD is worth the proverbial "thousand words".

He is the picture of health!

MTB, you have my heart! Can't wait to see you run again. Wishing you much success and lots of tender loving care! (I know... he can't read, I'm not THAT delusional!)  

21 May 2010 5:21 PM


Outstanding comment!

21 May 2010 6:42 PM

Mine That Bird looks fabulous!!  He looks like he has grown, gotten more muscle and bloomed like a rose back at the ranch. I am so proud of him. Wish we could see him gallop tomorrow. Hope someone can let us know how he looks.

21 May 2010 7:04 PM
Linda in Texas

Someplace i remember writing  that it takes 3 nights and 4 days to drive from New Mexico to The East Coast. Another time i was so glad MTB was going to Churchill Downs. Now, i will make up my mind and get it right. I really thought MTB was headed to Lukas at Belmont Park, not to Kentucky.

If i were driving by myself it would take me 3 nights at least to get a horse that far. I would have to stop someplace. Takes about 33 hours straight thru to get to the East Coast, 21 or so hours from Roswell to Louisville. Never go faster than 55 or 60 when i am pulling a 'treasure', that is for sure. Now that i got that straight and you all don't think i drive a cucumber wagon= = =

I am now seeing MTB as he stepped off his van at Churchill Downs and he looks great. He looks like he is thinking, "this place looks a little familiar and what are we going to do next"? Do remember, he is a plains horse, doesn't get to the big city as much as the northern horses do! Roswell is as flat as a pancake, my father went to New Mexico Military Institute and before he left this earth, i drove him to Roswell to visit the old place. Miles and miles of miles. Not hardly a street sign the whole way.

Chip and handler have MTB looking great and it is good to see the fella.

Zookeeper, the way you can keep up with the good Dr. Drunkinbum, it helps to be a little delusional, you have a much better time!!

TerriV - so true, everything you say. I am not a trainer, bettor or a jockey nor do i own a racehorse. I am a fan of the horses first, then what they can do if they are healthy.

I do not feel that i am schooled enough in thoroughbred horse racing that i can critique any certain owner, trainer or jockey. But some do and everyone has opinions and therein starts the furor. I read about it and take what is said, index it and go on. Sometimes what is said might actually be proven once in a while either to the good side or to the bad side.

But i am like you, when i like something i love it. And when i don't i don't. No poker heart here. I never lost the love of horses that began when i was a very young girl. Most outgrow it, not me.

And thanks for your post.

Thanks Steve. It has been a heart tugging 9 days, that is a given.

21 May 2010 7:14 PM

Tim G

I posted a question about Afleet Alex get on this blog 5/20/10 at 11:06 pm. Do you have any information you could share about his get?


21 May 2010 7:56 PM

I'm from down by Roswell originally and still have a place down there and up in Albuquerque too. I used to write on here a lot. We train and own race horses in New Mexico.

Roswell is one of the biggest 'cities' in NM. Funny huh because it's not big by you Eastern and West Coast folks ideas.

Famous for the aliens but unknown to a lot of people is huge ranches and lots of horse breeders.

Rodeos and horse events all over the state every weekend and we're still horse, ranch and farm people out here in the wild wild west. Even in the biggest City there are farms, horse farms and horses all around it.

It takes 22 hours to van a horse to Louisville. I understand that Mark and Charlie stopped in Tulsa. Now me I'd drive straight through Oklahoma right now, with the tornadoes and such.

Remember Roswell is where Mike Smith is from too.

D. Wayne Lukas should be a great fit for Mine That Bird. Just look at how gorgeous all of his horses look. They get the best of care. I know him and Leonard from a hundred years ago. Hard work got both of them where they are today.

Wayne is known to be one of the hardest working guys in racing. Mr. John Nerud said it and I know it is true too.

I remember a lot of this same stuff when Michael Paulson brought Azeri back after having her gone over with a microscope. She did fine, they decided to try her in the Classic which didn't work out, but she still came out okay.

We all know that the fans love the horses and look at them as theirs in some way. They feel they have a piece of them. I think what the boys on here are saying is that isn't a problem at all. It's when trainers are accused of breaking down horses or mistreating them or running them into the ground or not knowing what they're doing and just wanting to do it for their own gratification that gets them and me all het up.

I've read a lot of that on here and sometimes it's real ugly. It isn't everybody but there are some guys who just as Wayne likes to say barbecue them.  These are some guys who are taking things from way back 20 or more years ago and dragging them out and blowing them all up. Then these same guys say they know from the facts and then we find out it was that some guy told them.

It isnt that just one thing is said now its that it all comes back and people remember all of the things that get said over and over again and it just builds up.

Maybe you fans can understand that race people have feelings too and get tired of being second guessed and criticized all the time.

You don't really know who knows who or who might own one of these horses you talk about or who might have the trainer you beat up as their trainer or friend. Just remember that and i think you'll get along fine.

I apologize for the book but I haven't written in a year or so and it's been building up reading all the stuff.

21 May 2010 8:08 PM

By the way, a friend of mine from Louisville said the little gelding looks wonderful. He said he went out to stretch his legs and that Wayne really loves him. Said he said something about him looking like a trotter or pacer or whatever those are that run harness in the East what with the way he moves and such.

Kind of sad some guys got upset that might have told us all more.

21 May 2010 8:40 PM

Linda I'm sure Chip had nothing to do with how fit he looks. Charlie Figueroa was on the ranch and was working the gelding. He breaks and trains all the horses up to time to send them to the track. He's been a pretty good hand in the team roping pen too.

Chip visited but I think that was about it.

21 May 2010 9:00 PM


I didn't remember your "blog name" but I remember your style and the calm, easy way you have to explain things to us "big city folks". It has been a long time since you've visited on here and I'm very glad you came back. We need all the cool heads we can get. Don't be such a stranger in the future. Your input is much appreciated and even when you get all "het up" you're never condescending.

Not all of us "barbecue" owners and trainers and I was glad to see you make that point. Welcome back, pardner! You're a breath of much needed fresh air!

21 May 2010 9:39 PM
Linda in Texas

KatSan - Thank you for your words. Please come back and 'set' a while with us! Some on here are

fairly new and I know you could teach us a lot and we would be most appreciative of your knowledge.

When Mine That Bird came on the scene, i never gave up on him and i wished the champion from the sister state of New Mexico all the best in his races right on this blog.

And i drove over to New Mexico to watch Peppers Pride proudly win her 19th undefeated race.

Horses - they are the heart of the matter and they bring so much enrichment to our lives and ask for so little in return.    

21 May 2010 9:43 PM

I'm not sure what I used. I think that was my handle, they call it that I guess. Just so long ago I don't remember.

I'm not always calm. I got pretty mad at some people especially that one guy that posts on the other blog. I think even Steve and I had a few words, things were in a mess and I had some family things too. My hubby would say why the hello do you read that stuff you just get so mad and grumpy.

I was upset because the other writer was questioning why Joel didn't run Pepper in the mud, Joel even felt like he had to write in to defend his decision to not run her. Does that seem right to yall?

Then when they were acting like we are in a whole other country and her record was nothing, those were fighting words and I fought.

All in all don't forget we also have lives and problems like everyone.

Be patient I will bet you some of the people you are getting fired up at have some stress. Horse owners this time of the racing season do and trainers too, especially the ones up in the big circuits. The one person is also in a high stress job from what I read from him and Paula. My family are in something similar. Drugstore cowboys I call them tee hee.

There are just a lot of issues going on in racing and a lot of owners are nervous with the economy and stock market and such too.  They want to keep going but it's just scary. I heard that Wayne L said he went to school his colt on a weekday right before the Preakness and there was 12 people at the paddock even Mr.Positive said it was scary and I agree. The handle was down at the Preakness and that is not good. Last year tracks were cutting dates and purses and well, to those of us who are so deep into it we just almost don't know what to do, maybe set down and cry?

I wish all of the race tracks were like Sunland or Oaklawn. They seem to have such good managers and owners. They raise the purses throughout the meet and draw some good horses and full fields.

Linda, I won't hold it against you being from Texas, Daddy is a Texan and I was just a few miles from being one. Good you drove over, but if you say you live in Clint El Paso or Anthony I'm not near as impressed. Just being silly.

I love Pepper,that's when I was writing comments. I've known Joel since he was not even a glimmer in Geralds eye. That was such a scary flood we had at Ruidoso and people were wondering why Pepper didnt run.

Dee Hubbard did a great job of restoring it quick but now he is trying to hold the state hostage and saying he wants to move the track to Cruces, Paul tried the same thing at Alb, but the funding fell through to move to East of the Mt.s  The slots have been good for racing but have had some problems because the track owners want a lower percentage take out, more machines and help with improvements.

Oh I also got to see Mine That Bird at the All American and his works up in Albuquerque after he won the Derby. Saw him some before he went back East to win it. He's a little guy, looks like he put on some muscle now.

We are so proud of him here. Pepper and him made the front page of our big newspaper and the television all the time. That's another thing that got my dander up, calling him a fluke. That made me madder than a wet hen. So you see even the calmest of us can have something get us wired up and ready for a fight.

I think I'm rambling, past my bedtime.

21 May 2010 11:59 PM


Put me down as one of the "I just love Mine That Bird" people that you describe. I loved your comments about MTB, the sport of racing and the emotions involved.  Today my heart cries out for MTB.  Here is how it happened to me:  

I was in attendance at the 09KD.  All afternoon as I was enjoying the races, I would study the 20 derby entries in the program, trying to figure out the best horses. I took notes, paid attention to detail, and was proud of myself for doing my homework. I remember when reading about MTB, I quickly dismissed him as not having a chance.  I thought, why is he even here?  He was definitely not on my radar screen. As the race started I had a good view of the first turn. The horses flew past me and it was hard to see who was in the lead. It was easy however to spot #8.  Already, MTB was far behind and I remember feeling sorry for him, thinking he should not even be in the race.  When he charged across the finish line 6 lengths ahead of his nearest competitor it hit me like a bolt of lightning.  It was emotional.  I too have watched the tape a dozen times or more, amazed at how he passed 19 horses in the last quarter mile. My fate was sealed. I could never watch MTB run another race without wildly cheering for him. I will follow him wherever he goes.

22 May 2010 1:07 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Where are you? Have you been cured of the Haskin Addiction?

22 May 2010 9:13 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Sometimes I say things in the heat of the moment, and then regret it later. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for D Wayne Lukas. He has done a lot for the sport, and has had phenominal years and achievements. He's one of the greatest trainers of all time. He's still a very good trainer, and I root for him. I want him to win another Triple Crown race, and another Breeder's Cup race. He's a great story, and I love interviews with him. He has a wealth of knowledge, stories, and insight. I really like him. He's a fantastic man. I think if he wins The Derby again it will be one of the greatest stories in racing history. When I read last year that he had some good Derby hopefuls, I was excited. I knew he had a shot at winning it. If I have said anything in the least bit negative about him then I apologize. It's not what I really believe. I did not want the Chip Woolley and Mine That Bird story to end, and thought they would have more great achievements ahead of them. I'm a big fan of Mr. Woolley and Mine That Bird, but I am Ok with the move now and will be rooting for D. Wayne Lukas and Mine That Bird. I can't wait to see him run again. I have spent a lot of time on these blogs defending Zenyatta and Mine That Bird and through that enthusiasm I have said things that I don't really believe, just to try to make a point or to defend horses or trainers against statements I believe to be highly unreasonable. Thanks for all of the recent posts to all of you for pointing things out. I'm glad we're back to normal now. TerriV-excellent post. Mike985-I loved your view of Derby 2009. KatSan, and Linda in Texas-Thanks for your insight and knowledge.

22 May 2010 9:31 AM

Terri V - beautiful comments straight from the heart and my heart agrees with your well chosen words.  Linda and Zoo, the same to you with much appreciation and respect.  KatSan, welcome back and thank you for sharing your input and insight with us.  Of course, you are so right in saying that no, we don't know who is who or might be friends with someone else, etc. as we shield ourselves with our screen names due to insecurities rampant in the cyber space world.  I'm an old fuddy duddy who is terrified of identity theft because of horror stories of information leaking out from the computer, but I'm trying to be less of a wussy about it - lol!

Linda - the closing sentence in your post from last night at 9:43 really does say it all.  Beautiful.

22 May 2010 10:16 AM

Mike 985 - how cool to actually have seen Mine That Bird in action!  I was at home watching him, but the lightning bolt struck here, too.  I love that horse!

Dr. Drunkinbum - we all get carried away at the keyboard from time to time and once we hit the submit or send button, it's like woops.  You are among friends here, though and I always enjoy your posts and appreciate your humor and way with words.

Speaking of keyboards...I'm stepping away now.  Way too wordy already this morning.  

22 May 2010 10:22 AM


I hate to tell you this but you may as well know, there is no known cure for 'Haskin's Addiction'.  :o

22 May 2010 11:01 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

This is uncanny. You must have sensed the vibes because you posted a few minutes after my wondering where you were.

I looked back at your comments and could not find anything offensive in any of them. Your humor was misunderstood by some but it wasn't by most of us. There is never any malice in what you write. I'm glad your absence was momentary and that you did not swear off this blog.

So, what did you think of the name "Superfection" for the WinStar foal? What name did you suggest? I'm dying to know!

22 May 2010 11:15 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I love that term "old fuddy duddy." I think that's why we get along so good here. We're "old fuddy duddies." The best kind of duddy is an old fuddy. On the Honeymooners last night Ralph was telling Norton that they should all move into a new, bigger, more modern apartment. Ralph said to Norton, "We all get along great. I know all of your faults and if I had any, you'd know mine." Then they all move into a new apartment and it still only has one bathroom !!!!!!!! Chaos of course.


  I'm here !!!! Thanks for checking. I will be around always on Steve's blog as long as it exists and as long as I do. I may be gone for days at a time though. If I'm gone for more than a month though I hope it's after a Triple Crown because I've kicked the bucket, or the internet is out. There is talk of a gigantic, long term power failure in late 2012.

22 May 2010 11:16 AM


I figured as much! Although I have NO intention of ever trying to find one.  :)

22 May 2010 11:17 AM

Mine That Bird looks fantastic!!  Doesn't he justs glow with health and vitality in that picture.  It's wonderful to hear so much love for him.  Mike985, I'm just so jealous you got to see him win the Derby.  I got to see him at the Preakness.  Even though the big story was Rachel Alexandra, it was really MTB I could hardly wait to see and wanted to win.  We saw him up close at the Stakes barn at Pimlico at Sunrise at Old Hilltop the Friday before.  They were walking him out and he was curious and relaxed, stopping to watch all the people and preen just a bit.  Someone from the Sun took a picture from the side of the barn where the Derby winner's stall is and caught the group of us on the other side.  So I got my picture in the paper with MTB the next day. It was such a thrill to see him.  Plus early on Preakness day I almost literally ran into Chip Wooley near the betting windows.  I just spoke to him a second and wished them luck.  Even though he didn't win the last two legs, MTB was the highlight of the Triple Crown races for me.  The big "fluke" discussion from last year just drove me nuts - and I don't get angry very often.  But this is a new year and new opportunity and I wish all the best to MTB and Lukas - may they go forth and conquer!!  But even if they don't; I'll still love MTB and go to watch him every chance I get.

22 May 2010 12:05 PM

PS  Isn't it funny that this discussion about Lookin at Lucky and Super Saver and the 2010 Preakness has gone back in time??

22 May 2010 12:07 PM
Karen in Texas

Add my name to those who just love Mine That Bird! It will be interesting to watch as his training begins under Lukas and exciting to anticipate where he may run next. It will probably be an ambitious campaign.

Zookeeper---As far as I know there is not a cure for the Haskin Addiction. I have been affected for over two years now, with no status change in sight. It seems to be a self-perpetuating condition that grows logarithmically with each article written and then read by the affected person. It has a very guarded prognosis!

22 May 2010 12:12 PM

Mr. Haskin,

We all seem to be in agreement that there is no such thing as rehab for Haskin addicts. We are hopelessly and blessfully hooked! Our only chance at redemption is the giant power failure predicted by Dr Drunkinbum. If that ever comes to pass some of us will not survive it and succomb to the throes of Haskin Desease DT.

22 May 2010 12:41 PM

Zookeeper, Karen et al,

I have studied the phenomenon at length, it seems that people who have been horse crazy from a young age are particularly susceptible. Many times parents are told "they will outgrow it" but only a few do. The majority who do not outgrow it are the ones who acquire the addiction after only one or two exposures to Haskin's writings. The symptoms manifest as repeatedly pressing the refresh button on the computer, reading and re-reading articles, comments, blogs and books, shamelessly hinting to the author (sometimes resorting to outright begging) for more articles, books and photos of subjects and in the worst cases attempting to solicite friends to log on and hint and plead for more articles for them.

The best way to alleviate symptoms is to keep an archive on hand either written or backed up on a portable hard drive and always have two computers in case of a crash! A visit to the nearest stable or track is a good way to alleviate anxiety.  :)

22 May 2010 3:11 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I though Superfection was excellent. I am almost positive that they made the right choice in picking their winner. I went the direction of credit cards with all of my thoughts. I spent more time on it after I submitted it than before. I entered "Wins Are On Me." Because it rhymes with Winstar and because someone that charges a lot and wants to pay for other's dinners likes to say "dinner is on me." So wins are on me has is a horse that wants all of the wins and he is buying. Something like that. But I don't think any I came up with would have beat Superfection, and a name is best if it's either one or two words. I like CheckorCash too, another I thought of. I do think Superfection is perfect.

22 May 2010 3:24 PM

I, too, am firmly on the Mine That Bird bandwagon and even a trainer change won't throw me off.  It was my fascination with Birdie that led me here to BH in search of news, and since then to have learned so much about racing history (thanks mostly to Steve Haskin).

I'm truly sorry for Chip; but I can see the reasons for sending MTB to a regular "stable" must've cost Allen & Bloch a huge chunk of Bird's winnings last year to send him and his entourage all over the country, renting stalls and hotel rooms, paying for feed & food, etc., as the case may be.  I'm sure Lukas will do well by our little hero.  The eyes of SO many fans will be on him!  

22 May 2010 3:49 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Nellie Weinmeyer

  Breeder's Cup Classic 2010. First-Zenyatta. Second-Mine That Bird. I can live with vice versa too.

22 May 2010 4:13 PM
Karen in Texas

Katherine---LOL! Your astute analysis is spot on!

22 May 2010 4:19 PM

Karen in TX & Katherine,

Your sense of humor is right at home on here. There is no doubt that you belong. Sometimes I laugh so hard at some of the comments that my sides hurt. Your posts caused me to suffer one of those fits. Thanks for the good laugh!

Dr Drunkinbum,

I agree, "Superfection" was a flash of genius. The UTube video was great. Driving through the farm, visiting with Super Charger and her colt was a real treat. Hats off to WinStar Farm for getting the fans involved! The nearly 9,000 responses they received is proof that people thought this was a SUPER idea!

Your entry was a good one, mine "Gold Reserve" sounds like some old lady submitted it. Oh! wait... I am an old lady! Shucks!

22 May 2010 4:39 PM

My entry was "Charge' d'Oro" (as in, Charge'(charzhay) d'Affaires).

oh, well :P

22 May 2010 4:41 PM

Katherine, my Haskin addiction collection of printed out Derby Dozens and articles goes way back, but it's even so bad that the other evening I was set to order some more of his books through the Equine Expressions site.  My computer wasn't agreeing that it was a secure site, so I didn't get my books ordered.  Bummer.  The book on John Henry is almost worn out and the articles Steve wrote in the Top 100 book are dog-eared as well.  Yep, hopeless, that's what we are - lol!

Terri V - can I actually be jealous because you got to have your picture with Mine That Bird?  How awesome!

Sherpa, I'm glad that Mine That Bird directed you to find Steve Haskin's incredible writings.  And Karen, you're right in how this thing just grows and grows on it's own!

Dr. D - I love that name!  Wins Are On Me is a fantastic choice and I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't use it one day on another horse.  I like Zoo's name also, but agree that Superfection is a great name for the beautiful colt.  It increases my respect and admiration for the WinStar team that they are willing to go to such lengths to involve the fans and help make us feel a part of the racing scene.   Oh,ok, I understand that they are also setting up a shopping section where you can purchase hats, tee shirts and stuff, but in my opinion that is also a way of giving back to the fans.  I'm sure they don't need the money at this point, so it's not like a hard selling type of thing.  The name that I submitted was Super D'Oro, but that's really pretty lame and after Slew (?) started talking about supercharged engines I thought of Super Hemi, but had already sent in the first one.  Oh, well.

Another wordy, long post so I'm letting my fingers rest.  If I could break this addiction and quit coming back to this blog to see what else has been written...nah, that's not going to happen!

22 May 2010 8:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

If I had a horse I'd name him Goldreservekeeper.

22 May 2010 9:48 PM

I thought the name Superfection was absolutely perfect. Wish I had thought of it. Congratulations to the winner!

22 May 2010 10:59 PM


Your kind remarks are appreciated. Glad I could provide you with some levity. :)

22 May 2010 11:56 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Poor horse!

23 May 2010 1:26 AM

This one will take you back, did anyone else on this blog have that little "spinner game" that was a race track and advanced one of the five horses each time the spinner landed on a horse's name? I started thinking about that and tried to remember the names of the horses. The only one I remembered was Twenty Grand. Just looked him up on Pedigree Query, he was was champion three year old and and HOY in 1931. I remember playing that game in the back seat of my parents car for miles and miles on vacations. I never left home without it! :))

23 May 2010 7:06 AM

I'd have to admit that I've never been a fan of Mine That Bird.  However, I must also admit that I can do no less than respect his heart and talent.  He's such a gutsy little horse.  You can't help but admire him.  But on 2009 Derby Day, my horse was I Want last year was devastating for me.  I'm waiting for him to return.  This year I knew, somehow, LAL would prove his class, and he finally did. (How many horses can bounce back as well from the 2 previous black and blue trips?)  My favorite colt this year, however, has still not returned to racing.  Steve, how is Take Control (AP Indy-Azeri)doing?  He broke his maiden in his debut with such flair, after an awkward start and a very green run....but what a bullet closer he was.  Isn't he trained by Baffert?  When will we get to see him again.  He reminded me of the magic of Sea The Stars.

23 May 2010 9:14 AM


The name you submitted wasn't lame at all. I like it.

Regarding the store @ WinStar, all the proceeds from the sales go to charity. I couldn't resist the Tiznow t-shirt they offer. :)

23 May 2010 12:22 PM

Mr. Haskin. I saw a picture of those plate you were talking about. Did they have some sort of a saddle cloth under them on the table or was that just decoration?

Thank you.

23 May 2010 5:16 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

New Contest

  A new horse naming contest. Prize to be determined. Steve Haskin picks winner on June 3rd. If you had a brand spanking new born colt and you wanted to name him after Steve Haskin, what name would you choose. You get four choices. I choose Human Library, AddictedtoHaskin, Haskinblogger, Haskin Kramden.

23 May 2010 6:29 PM
Steve Haskin

As far as I know they were just commemorative plates. I dont know about any saddlecloth.

Txhorsefan, all I can say is thank you for your hopelessness. I hope those addicted never get rehabilitated.

23 May 2010 6:32 PM
Steve Haskin

Dr. D, how about Kramskin's Mystery Delicious Appetizer? Oh, that's more than 17 spaces. Before you indulge in such affairs. Bob Baffert named a horse Haskin, who actually worked well, but he was only good as a workmate, so Baffert changed his named to Workmate. He wantd to send him to Ky. to audition for "Secretariat" because he looked so much like him, but he was too late. They had already cast the part. So, there went my chance for equine immortality. How about Fromhaskintohasbeen?

23 May 2010 6:45 PM

Oh, I thought I remembered you'd already had a horse named for you!  My goodness, a Secretariat look-alike! Does Baffert still have him?  

23 May 2010 7:25 PM

How about Wanna Be A Haskin (for all the guys who dream 0f being like you as a writer). That's under the 18 letter/space limit.

Or To The Moon Steve, or

'Readin? Get Steven'. Especially if you had a colt by Stephen Got Even!

Fromhaskintohasbeen too many letters and you don't want to make fun of your readers, because we're all hasbeens when it comes to trying to compete with

The Great Haskini.

23 May 2010 7:30 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Let's see what names people come up with. Maybe an owner will like one and you'll have your chance at immortality. How about a Triple Crown winner? You have three more picks since the one with too many letters doesn't count. You just can't pick your own as the winner but an owner might chooose your's anyway. How about IknowallyourfaultsifIhadanyyou'dknowmine. Oops too many letters. It's going to happen, you're going to have a horse named after you that is going to win. Maybe this will jumpstart it. You never know. I hope you're OK with it. How about SuperHaskin or Chatsworth Osborne Haskin Jr ??? If June 3 is too far off. Let's go with this Tuesday the 25th for the deadline ??

23 May 2010 8:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Rules Committie Board has voted and there will be no limit on how many entries a person can make so I say Haskinite, King Haskin, Haskinish, Haskinisms.

23 May 2010 8:48 PM

OK, I'll play:


Haskin Fever


Haskin Forever

Haskin Legend

Lovin Haskin

I can go on and on... There's no end to The Haskin Inspiration!

23 May 2010 9:06 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Yep, there it is Haskin, Sire-Perfect Soul, Dam-Glimmering Halo. Wow a perfect soul with a glimmering halo. Hmm. At least we know we can't use Haskin, but there are plenty of other options. Theres some good ones here already from KatSan and Zookeeper. Zookeeper-feel free to go on and on. I like Haskin Report too. Maybe we'll have to buy a colt. It can't be a scrub though. Start a horse farm using only blogger names and Haskin or Honeymooner names. Maybe some Dobie Gillis.

24 May 2010 8:44 AM




Haskin's Gold

Haskin's Lore

Haskin's Hook

Legendary Steve H

This fun, but how do you stop?

24 May 2010 9:48 AM

Without really intending to put a damper on inspiration, the story on Leparoux was disheartening.  This is not a simply injury, and expecting to be out for only 5 weeks is a bit optimistic.  I realize jockeys are extremely athletic, but this is the type of injury that gets worse over time, and even being allowed on a horse again is something a doctor will advise against.  I wish him the best, and pray for his recovery.  I'm certain he'll want to get back to work as soon as possible...but sometimes doing what you love and doing what is best are conflicting states.  

24 May 2010 9:55 AM

Ps: How about "Haskin's Insight".

24 May 2010 10:03 AM

Lord Haskin

Haskin Rules


24 May 2010 10:32 AM
Karen in Texas

I like the one word "Haskini".

24 May 2010 10:32 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Right off of my computer - Haskin File.

24 May 2010 10:55 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  It's terrible that he kept riding after his injury. I think it was only becasue he had a Preakness mount. I agree, five weeks is extremely opimistic and unlikely. It is sad. He's a great jockey and person. Good luck !!!!!

24 May 2010 11:03 AM

Slew I add my prayers as well for Leparoux's recovery.

24 May 2010 11:12 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

The possible prizes have been determined and the final prize will be up to the Board of Directors. The top prize will be one of the following: A new car, an around the world trip in 80 days, a new ice box, a congratulations notice in the blog with a possibly a colt named in honor of your pick sometime in the future, a TV that has shows only from the 50's and 60's, a year's free tuition to jockey school. Good luck !!!!!!

24 May 2010 11:23 AM

Thanks for Haskin

Haskin Power

Haskin Byline


24 May 2010 11:30 AM
Steve Haskin

I appreciate all the brainpower that has gone into the horse names, but if I ever did have a real good horse named after me, and he became a top horse, I wouldn't be able to handle that. It would be way too embarrassing for me. Here's something about me few people know. I grew up with a really bad inferiority complex, and I've never gotten rid of it. So, I would not be able to show my face in public if there was ever a stakes horse named after me. I was perfectly content with Haskin showing up a few times on the work tab. Anything after that would be way too uncomfortable.

24 May 2010 12:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Looks like the cat is out of the bag. It's not "few people know" anymore. Maybe we'd better end the contest. Congratulations to all who entered. I like many of them that have been posted here. Maybe an owner or breeder will see these and pick one and we'll try to keep it a secret from Steve if a horse is named after him. You talk about a giant conspiracy !!!!! If you posted a name here and it is used for a horse's name someday then you are the winner !!! All of you get a consolation prize- Thanks for contributing to our way of thanking Steve and honoring him for his blogs and the amazing articles he's written through the years. He was one of the first files I had on my computer, Haskin File, but I was reading him before the internet came out. Steve, when was it that you were first writing for a national publication?

24 May 2010 1:58 PM
Steve Haskin

Thank you, Dr. D. My first feature article appeared in the Thoroughbred Record. I believe it was 1976. I freelanced for them and other publications in the U.S. and England for a number of years after that.

Time to ask you a few questions. Where do you live and where did you grow up? Finally, are you a doctor? Are you a drunk? And are you a bum?

24 May 2010 3:09 PM

Well, darn!! I missed the whole contest - The Great Haskini is great.  But, I have to be allowed to enter my name in the contest - how about Haskindereya.!

24 May 2010 5:01 PM

Steve, you know we care too much about you to embarrass you any further, but some of these names are pretty darn good.  Many times when youngsters grow up with feelings of insecurity and inferiority they become obnoxious bullies, but you, sir, are most kind and generous as evidenced by how you share your talent, humor and insight with us.  Thank you!

Yes, that does sound like serious trouble for young Julien L.  So he really did aggravate the injury by continuing his rides after that fall?  My best wishes to him for a complete recovery.  In a similar train of thought (jockey's injuries) I'm looking forward to the HRTV Inside Information on Ron Turcotte.

Oh, and Steve, I love Joan's new blanket!  How lovely!

24 May 2010 5:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Steve(The Great Haskini)

  West Coast and West Coast and no, no, no, unless you consider blogging too much being a bum. It was just a funny name that popped into my head. I thought I was only going to blog one entry !!!!! I can't remember when I first read your articles but I think it was the Daily Racing Form at the track well before the internet.

24 May 2010 5:47 PM

oh darn, is the contest over already?  I wanted to submit


24 May 2010 6:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I like that one, Askin'Haskin. If I ever get to name horses I'll probably be embarrassing the heck out of him. Watching Mr. Haskin on video it looks like he has all of the confidence in the world. It looks to me like he got over it. Some of the best people had inferiority complexes growing up. Part of that complex comes from having logic, compassion, decency, and a sense of justice and not wanting to be a part of any cruelty around you growing up. I love that line in The Wanderers. "leave the kid alone." A great movie if you haven't seen it. Late 70's or early 80's.

txhorsefan- It's not a certainty that his injury was aggravated by riding more but a good possiblity. I think more grow up to be really good people than bullies.

24 May 2010 8:12 PM

TerriV - "Haskindereya" is the cleverest of all. Brilliant!

24 May 2010 8:25 PM
Tim G

Finally some great news! Thank The Lord and the NY lawmakers for assuring another year of racing in NY. Hope together we can turn it around.

Hey Steve how about 'Pseudonym', then only those of us who follow the blog will know? (don't think it's in use)

Wow, Paula will be disappointed, 'Dr' DB, guess I had that one pegged?

On that note, my best wishes to Julien, an amazing talent and a wonderful young man.

Thoracic fractures are the most common spinal fx and a compression fx of the T-8 while nothing to sneeze at is not the worst that could have happened. Thank God.

I hope he's not going to rush his return, 5 weeks may be a little too quick and we'd like him around for a long long time.

24 May 2010 10:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ice Box

    Good luck beating Stately Victor !!!!!!!

25 May 2010 1:31 PM

What a great lot of wonderful names.  I think we should open a racehorse naming business - maybe we could manage to keep some of the really awful ones from ever getting out there.  AskinHaskin - that is just super.  

So, Steve, can we expect some of your expert observations on the Belmont field?  I have trouble sorting out all the info.  I have a strong mental picture of Ice Box closing in the Derby but First Dude ran an impressive Preakness.  How do you feel about Stately Victor and Drosselmeyer?  Help!

25 May 2010 4:38 PM

Steve, your complex should be assuaged by a winning horse.  Think how terrible it might get if the horse couldn't finish in the money....see any horse we name after you would just have to win because you're a winner in our book.

25 May 2010 7:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I vote for Haskindereya, AskinHaskin, and The Great Haskini. I know the contest is over but I forgot to vote.

25 May 2010 8:48 PM
Steve Haskin

Before I vote, is it pronounced Has KIN dereya, Haskin DER eya, or Haskinder EYA?

25 May 2010 9:36 PM

"is it pronounced Has KIN dereya, Haskin DER eya, or Haskinder EYA?"



25 May 2010 9:48 PM

omg, just noticed that I missed ZK's "Thanks for Haskin" upthread.

Now that's a great one, too!

25 May 2010 9:52 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

It's pronounced Es-Kee. I just thought of another one. Eddie Haskin. Can't wait til we start our horse farm. Haskini Bar Ranch. Square Dances every Friday night. Bronco bustin. Into town Saturday nights. Poker. Fence mendin. Yeeha !!!!!!!!!! Ride em cowboy. Swing yer partner round and round. Actually I think it's HASKIN-der-aya.

25 May 2010 10:05 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Anyone seen Zookeeper? She should have been back from getting supplies from town by now. Dad blast it. Dag nabbit. Well I'll be a blue nosed gopher.

25 May 2010 10:08 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Check out There are a lot of great, free clips. See Norton's lucky jacket  that he wore when he won every race at the track in Honeymooners bloopers.

26 May 2010 1:19 AM
Steve Haskin

Tim, that's the best one yet. Zero on the embarrassment meter.

Dr. D., you have exposed me for the closet rodeo/cowboy freak I am. My friends in Brooklyn used to call me Hopalong Haskin.

26 May 2010 10:25 AM

You would get along good down here Steve. My family all rodeos and they could teach you to team rope or calf rope. Hey if you didn't want to actually ride you could run ribbons in Ribbon Roping.

They have old timer rodeos here too!

You know that Pepper's Pride trainer Joel Marr was quite a hand in Junior Rodeo as a little kid?

'Rodeo Steve' would be a good name for a sprinter. SH Rodeo Man, for an All American winner? Sounds good.

26 May 2010 10:58 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Yeeha !!!!  Ride em cowboy. I just saw Ox-Bow Incident. Great movie. I also saw My Darling Clementine. I was disappointed because nothing was historically correct except for Doc Holiday's cough. He was played by Victor Mature, and Stately Victor is going to win The Belmont. What a coincidence.

26 May 2010 11:52 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Coincidence or Omen?

I remember My Darling Clementine! Didn't Henry Fonda play in it? I thought Victor Mature was the cat's meow when I was a young girl. Even named a cat after him: Vicky. My father couldn't understand what I saw in him... now, I can't either.

26 May 2010 1:06 PM
Karen in Texas

Hopalong Haskin is kinda cute, actually.

26 May 2010 1:07 PM
Steve Haskin

A nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn roping a calf? Uh, I dont think so. I once had a lasso when I was a kid and the only thing I managed to lasso was myself.

I actually just made up Hopalong Haskin, but I have to admit it does have a ring to it.

Well, Dr. D., I hear Stately Victor has matured a lot in the last few months.

26 May 2010 4:06 PM

There you go then, Hopalong Haskin it is.

I can't say I see you roping a calf but I can see you running ribbons.

Oh give me Tyrone Power or Errol Flynn, Robert Taylor or any of them who actually would be older than my father/grandfather but who cares.

26 May 2010 5:14 PM
Tim G

Okay, now I'm getting serious:

The Story Man, Wordsofadreamer, Word Weaver and for my Derby winner (hopefully) Write My Story.

Then you will be the sole guy allowed to write the story of 'Write My Story'

You will know who it references and you can take it whichever direction.

Now I just have to get some agreement...

26 May 2010 6:13 PM

Hopalong Haskin - I like that one but Pseudonym is sooo subtle and clever. And you can pronounce Hasindereya any way you want - after all it's your horse, right?  So Stately Victor is maturing well, huh?  He was always really impressive; so how has he improved?

26 May 2010 6:17 PM

Wow, Tim G.  Those are Triple Crown winner names!  Remember that article earlier this year about which names are worthy of a TC winner?  WordWeaver is magical.

26 May 2010 6:51 PM

Tim G

I can see that you are hitting your stride now, I really like these two names: Wordsofadreamer, Word Weaver :)

26 May 2010 8:02 PM

Hopalong Haskin has a nice ring to it and goes along with my childhood adoration of Hoppy and Topper, but in seriousness, I really do like Tim G.'s Word Weaver and Write My Story.  Those are awesome names for a champion racehorse!

Zookeeper and KatSan, when I was young all the actors were much, much older like Victor Mature, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable - those guys were heart throbs and by comparison, today's young stars all look like they're about twelve years old to me.  Oops, I guess that tells you how ancient I am - lol!  Guess it's time for my Geritol.  :)

26 May 2010 8:23 PM

HasKin Will Travel


seriously, I love WordWeaver, too.  

26 May 2010 9:37 PM

Interesting that Dominic Terry - Rachel's ex-exercise rider - worked Mine That Bird today.  Nice work for a starter.

I noted what DT said about not being able to tell if MTB changed leads because his stride is so smooth.  It reminded me of what Mike Smith said after Preakness 09...that the Bird "changes leads on his own and you can't teach a horse that."

Seems like the little guy is rested and ready to run, but I'm glad DWL apparently is willing to ease him back into it.  No rush, it's going to be a long summer.

OK, note that I typed "Preakness" so I'm not entirely off-topic!

26 May 2010 9:52 PM


I remember Calvin Borel's description of MTB's move when he squeezed through on the rail in the derby and quarters were so tight that he changed leads to fit his shoulders through the hole and then switched his lead again! How athletic and intelligent is that?

I love that gutsy little guy!

27 May 2010 1:06 AM

Txhorsefan...I'm with you.  There will never be another Rhett Butler! Clark Gable!  Gregory's more than was the voice...and something undefined.  And look...Sean Connery keeps getting better. And where is there a female today to equal Ava Gardner?  Whippersnappers today remind me more of Mickey Rooney.  And I wonder how much money they pay a stylist for those hair styles.  What's "in" now, was called "bed head" a few years ago.  

27 May 2010 11:29 AM

Slew, you're so right - it just kills me all this "messy" hair!  I want to tell them to go home and wash it and comb it - lol!

Steve, I loved the opening lines of your article on Uptown Charlybrown.  I read those first couple of sentences, then said to myself, check the byline, Steve must have written this!  You are such a word weaver!  Oh, and it was a good article about Charly and Mr. McLaughlin, too.  I wish them the best.

27 May 2010 10:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Hopalong Haskin

   That was a good one. "Stately Victor has matured a lot"


  Yes, Henry Fonda was in it, one of the great actors ever. Victor Mature was extremely popular for whatever reason. I'm hoping it's an omen. Stately Victor is my one and only Belmont horse.

30 May 2010 8:49 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


    I hope that you write about Quality Road soon. This has been an amazing story, and he could end up being one of the greatest of all time. He is a superstar miler. Those fractions and final time were amazing. And Musket Man showed his class again. They annihilated some talented, good looking horses. Even though he is a great miler, I still think they are pointing to the Classic, the most anticipated Classic ever.

31 May 2010 6:03 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I think Migliore is a great man. I've always though highly of him whenever I've seen interviews with him. I love what he said about giving back to the horses by being an advocate for retired thoroughbreds, and helping them in any way he can. The horses that give their lives for the sport are too often overlooked. Best of luck to The Mig, a great jockey and human being.

02 Jun 2010 8:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I started your Tales from the Triple Crown book today and finished it today. Except for a meal break, a few bathroom breaks, and a short internet break I couldn't put it down. Fabulous. The only problem, as my Pappy used to say, is that it left me wanting more, more, more. Thanks for a great day.

06 Jun 2010 6:44 PM

I found myself finally having time to sit down & write in my journal about the Preakness today. I have a very busy life so I don't always get to it in a "timely" fashion but Lucky's victory is still piping hot & fresh in my mind.I thought that I'd just share a personal notation from that, in case anyone else agrees.

THAT'S NOT LUCK. It's not as frivolous as that. It's not the charm of the 7 hole.  It's not the rider change either.  It's something deeper, stonier & truer.

It's clipping heels with another horse, backing up & rallying again to miss by a heartbeat.  It's being plowed into time & again, being cut off, tripped & given a bad ride & STILL never saying 'DIE'.  It's staying sharp, working hard & bringing it all again & again, race after race.  It is a strong heart.  It is incredible ability.  It is sheer guts & determination.  You're not Lookin At Lucky, you're lookin' at RACEHORSE.  The definition, in my heart & soul, of all that a racehorse should be. Unflappable, unbreakable. Pure run.  Pure heart.  Yes Bob, a warrior.  You cannot help but root for Lucky.  Even if he isn't "your horse". Even if you've dropped your money on the other guy. Lookin At Lucky catches your eye, speeds up your pulse & demands your respect..... & awe.

14 Jun 2010 3:45 PM

Dr. Drunkinbum,

I too purchased Tales recently & was completely enchanted! I lent it to my sister who is also a big racing fan & she tried to order it & it was no longer at Exclusively Equine.  I will have to search out another copy for her because I cannot part with mine!  Steve is a truly gifted writer, weaving magic from his heart & wringing MY heart with every sentence. It is good to read these blogs & feel the genuine love that people have for these magnificent animals. Win or lose, a favorite never loses their place in your heart.

Mine That Bird, for the record, strikes me as an incredible soul himself.  GO, Little Bird!


I'm afraid that my Supercharger entry was too obscure for the fans.  I went with Medaglia D'oro's language & the Supercharger car theme combined. I submitted Cavallo del Ferro. Or,

The Iron Horse. I guess that would have been a lot to live up to.  LOL!  But Superfection is sublime!

14 Jun 2010 4:31 PM

Found Tales From the Triple Crown at EE.  Guess that my sister overlooked it.  Ordered it for her birthday.  She will be so pleased!  We need more Memoirs from Haskin, agreed??

14 Jun 2010 7:33 PM

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