Haskin's Preakness Report: Cozzetti Keeps Sire's Spark Alive

John Nerud has a lot on his mind these days. He is studying all the Triple Crown participants and funneling in as much information about the contenders as he can from whatever sources available. He is preparing a candid (what else?) and blunt article on the Lasix situation, NYRA, and other pertinent matters concerning racing. He’s been consulting with Breeders’ Cup officials on how to improve the event that he and John Gaines started in 1984. And of course he’s overseeing the few horses he has up at Sugar Maple Farm in upstate New York.

After all, what else is there to do when you’re 99 years old and the passion of Thoroughbred racing still burns within as it did back in the heyday of Dr. Fager, Gallant Man, Ta Wee, and the numerous other great champions Nerud owned, bred, or trained, whether by himself or for William McKnight’s Tartan Stable?

Nerud not only was responsible for some of the most successful racehorses ever, he also was a maker of stallions. Gallant Man became a strong influence at stud; Dr. Fager was the leading sire in America, and Nerud’s two crowning achievements at stud, Fappiano and Cozzene, both of whom he owned and bred, paid for his estate in Old Brookville, N.Y.

Cozzene, the last of the great Nerud influences, passed away in 2008 at the age of 28 from melanoma, which he had lived with for several years. While most stallions have been pensioned by age 28, many well before that, Cozzene continued breeding until pretty much the day he died. Shortly before his death, he was bred to the Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Drop Cello. The following year, Lemon Drop Cello gave birth to a gray/roan colt later to be named Cozzetti, who will be running in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) for trainer Dale Romans and owner Albaugh Family Stables.

It’s not every day you see a horse conceived by a 28-year-old stallion. But this was a John Nerud-bred stallion, and anything produced by Nerud had to be tough. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Cozzene was bred to 38 mares the year he died and got 26 of them in foal.

To Nerud, it’s no big deal to have a stallion still serving active duty at an old age.

“An older stallion will get a good foal as much as a young stallion will,” Nerud said. “Many people say when a horse turns 20 they don’t want to breed to him anymore. “But as long as he’s got the sperm and can fertilize that egg he’s as good as he was at 4.”

As for Cozzene having a horse in the Preakness, Nerud said, “To even be in there is a big deal.”

How tough was Cozzene? He raced his entire career with a chipped sesamoid behind, something he had all his life. Among his many stakes victories was an impressive score in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) in 1985. As a stallion, he had the unique distinction at the time of siring Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Alphabet Soup and Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Tikkanen.

Before Cozzene won the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Nerud sold 10 shares in him at $40,000 a share. After the Breeders’ Cup, he sold 20 shares at $60,000 a share, while keeping a quarter-interest for himself. Nerud made millions from Cozzene alone. Add Fappiano, and let’s just say that Nerud has been comfortable ever since.

When Tartan Stable disbanded, Nerud continued to breed about 10 or 11 mares, and to get three grade I winners (Cozzene, Fappiano, and Clabber Girl) from those 10 or 11 mares was pretty remarkable.

Now, here is Cozzene represented by a Preakness starter, who has rallied to finish third in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I), in which he was beaten a head and a neck for second.

Cozzetti showed his readiness for the task ahead by working five furlongs in a sizzling :58 4/5 Monday, boosting Romans’ confidence that the colt is going to “run huge.”

So, if you’re ever feeling old and way past your prime, and feel you have nothing more to contribute, just keep an eye on Cozzetti in the final eighth of a mile of the Preakness, and keep reminding yourself that his sire was the equivalent of an 80-year-old person when he conceived him and his sire’s owner was 95. And at the time of conception, Cozzene was 23 years older than the mare.

Cozzene and Nerud had something else in common that can best be described by Oscar Wilde, who wrote, “The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.”


Leave a Comment:

Dr Drunkinbum

Marvelous story of the Great John Nerud and one of his bred and butter stallions, Cozzene. Cozzetti has the look of a Belmont spoiler to me. Whether it is a Triple Crown spoiler role or not remains to be seen with I'll Have Another having to defeat Bodemeister and Went The Day Well. Then you've got Creative Cause and an all around nice field. It won't be a piece of cake, 'er cookie. Will we be saying, "that's the way the cookie crumbles," or "Get those cookies out of the oven. Let's eat !!!"

14 May 2012 8:31 PM
Mister Frisky

Steve,Thanks for bringing up Dr.Fager.I need to get your book.There is a certain school teacher/peanut vendor in Southern California that you might know that turned me on to the good Dr. twenty years ago.Damascus,Buckpasser and Dr.Fager,those were the days.

14 May 2012 8:59 PM

Dr Fager...Aug/1968...Arlington Park...134 lbs/ PP10...5 wide down the backstretch...4 wide on the turn...barely asked for speed...1:32 1/5 by 10 lengths with a lot of very good horses strung out behind him...unbelievable...Available on YouTube

14 May 2012 11:23 PM

Ahhhhhh.  More Haskin magic.

15 May 2012 12:07 AM
Steve Haskin

Predict, I hate to admit it, but I'm old enough to get the reference to Bat Masterson. Very clever.

15 May 2012 1:25 AM
Irish Punter

To all of our bloggers, who enjoyed Mr Haskin's personal photos in last Friday's Haskin's Preakness Report" so much.

(The last three Triple Crown Winners).

I am sure,like me, they brought back many memories of the last three Winners and many near Near Misses we were fortunate enough to witness.Can We Talk?  

IMHO,one of the the greatest he ever took,(He has the Great Artist's penchant of being at the Right Place at the  Right Time or maybe has that special power of creating The Magic Moment)is the photo he took of Spectacular Bid making googly eyes while  passing the stall of, one of my all time favorite fillies, Davona Dale before The Preakness.

I believe it was in his book."Tales from The Triple Crown" which I literally spent all weekend looking around the house for.

T.G,while we may not have any Triple Crown Winners in this era so far,we can at least pick up the phone and have stuff we want mailed to us(or go online).

I also ordered my all time best,

"Horse's Racing's Holy Grail: The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby" by the same author.These are must have requirements for any "True Believer"horse racing fan.

I am of the opinion they are in the same Storage Room, along with my Brook Benton albums and my all time favorite pool table, my ex-girlfriend(least favorite filly)has been paying $150 a month for years just to spite me.

In 10 years going Horse Racing all over the world I NEVER HAD ONE WINING BET while she was at my side.

I had to let her go!

 While I always hope for a Triple Crown because it will benefit the game we all love so much, I have a lot of trouble thinking of "I'Have Another"  winning it and Spectular Bid not, in the same breath.


After seeing them in the paddock at Belmont,I bet against Pleasant Colony on the grounds that The Racing Gods would never let such an ugly pair win The Triple Crown.

I think that,if They grant O'Neill a Triple Crown, They will at least insist he drink a Milkshake in the Winner's Enclosure!

Good Luck in the Preakness.

15 May 2012 3:00 AM
The Deacon

The great John Nerud, met him at Hollywood Park in 1968. My thril of a lifetime, he was in the saddling area standing next to the immortal Dr. Fager. Back in those days The Californian was a pretty big race, a stepping stone to the Hollywood Gold Cup. I watched in awe as the great Dr. ran a 140.80 at 8.5 furlongs carrying 130 lbs.

Men like Nerud are what I miss most about this wonderful sport.

Thank goodness for men like Steve Haskin who can write a story as though it happened yesterday and stir old memories.

This old man sure appreciates that magic pen of yours.......

15 May 2012 3:36 AM


Sorry to be late, but here's a comment about I'll Have Another's chances at a Triple Crown.  You're moving so fast with new articles, I can't keep up.

I'll Have Another has many of the attributes one looks for in a horse to make a deep Triple Crown run.  Given he's already won 3 graded stakes this year, including 2 grade 1s, he should certainly be looked upon as the pro-tem leader of the crop.

I'll Have Another's physical tools are obvious; he has excellent tactical speed, nice cruising speed, and can carry his speed a distance.  His speed allows him to work out good trips.  

But what has become apparent in his last 2 races is that this is a horse with the ideal mentality, possessing the professionalism, kindness, and determination of an elite racehorse.  I love how he is able to rate absolutely on cue, conserve energy, and then unleash this energy when asked.  

In the Derby, I'll Have Another settled calmly inside of Gemologist along the backstretch, not at all bothered by having that fairly good sized colt looming over him.  No, I'll Have Another just bided his time, cooperating perfectly with Mario's correct assessment that Bodemeister was setting a stiff pace.  Then, when I'll Have Another had to dig deep and reel in Bodemeister the final eighth, he displayed the same focus and courage he did when outdueling Creative Cause in the Santa Anita Derby.

With all this said, I still believe it more likely that I'll Have Another will not win the Triple Crown.  The first concern is the demands of 3 classic races in 5 weeks.  We can project how a horse will stand up to the demands, but there's no way of really knowing until we see it.

For me, the null hypothesis is that the horse in question will not be able to run 3 "A" races in 5 weeks.  Simply, I believe it more likely a horse will regress in at least one of the races, or lose form completely, or suffer some injury than run 3 superior races over 3 different distances on 3 different surfaces against full fields.

As it concerns I'll Have Another specifically, this is a horse that doesn't exactly have a great foundation, having not started for 5+ months between August and February, then getting 2 additional months off before running in early April.  The fact that his connections were concerned about a bounce following the Lewis doesn't inspire amazing confidence that the horse can produce 4(SA Derby included) top efforts in a 2 month period.

To make matters worse, while the Derby winner is almost obliged to have to go on to the Preakness, the connections of other horses can take a step back, assess their horses, and determine if the Preakness, or the Belmont, or both, or neither is in their horse's best interests.  Some of the Derby also-rans that bounced out of the race well and have a skills portfolio that fits historically with the Preakness will be back in two weeks to challenge.  Others will be given an extra two weeks rest and be allowed 5 weeks between races when pointed just for the Belmont.  

Should I'll Have Another get by the Preakness, he will have Dullahan and Union Rags among others waiting for him in New York.  So, he's going to have to take Bodemeister, Creative Cause, and Went the Day Well's best shot again next week before being confronted by some more well rested rivals in the Belmont.    

And it's not like I'll Have Another has a large margin of error to work with.  There were 4 horses within just 3 lengths of I'll Have Another in the Derby.  And while I believe the trips of some of these also-rans have been overdramatized, it would be difficult to write that they had better trips than I'll Have Another.  

What happens if I'll Have Another breaks slow, has to check, is too far off a slow pace, too close to a hot pace, or goes wide on a turn?  What happens if he simply is slightly less sharp, or a rival slightly sharper than at Churchill?  To win the Triple Crown, all these questions are going to have to go I'll Have Another's way, and statistically this is unlikely.

15 May 2012 5:01 AM
Irish Punter


By talking about using the phone to get the books instead of Amazon,com online I am showing my age.

Well,I was foaled a year after Mr.Haskin and my first Triple Crown was at Canonero's attempt in 1972(having just  moved to New York).

While watching AFFIRMED win in 1978 Who would believe I wouldn't see another for thirty four years (and still counting)!

Mr Haskin makes a very convincing  case for this being THE YEAR----'Why Not" and he has given me "the fever" once again(tho after the Champagne last year I thought-me too!-it would be Union Rags.

I have been lucky to have enjoyed Hankin's "Derby Watch" in "The Bloodhorse" and at The DRF for almost three decades before that.I think I first became aware of him in the Year of Big Red---------Secretariat in 1973.

I may have been reading him before that but didn't have the(horse)sense to appreciate his Art and Love for Horse Racing.

To be able to still be reading "Haskin's Reports"and such Grade One Bloggers like the good Dr,

theMistress,PlayMisty not to mention "Himself(SH) is a unique pleasure.

As Trackjack writes,

"We were at the 2004 Belmont on the rail at the 1/16 pole, cheering on Smarty, my ears are still ringing, when Birdstone finally caught him right in front of us and the wall of noise went to dead silence."

What a picture in our mind's eyes! We are right there with him!

Belmont Park with a horse getting beat for a Triple Crown is truly the quietest place in the world.

"and the names of the winners are written on the subway walls,

   and tenement halls

and for the losers

-The Sound of Silence.

(Thanks to Art and Paul)

Back in 1972 we did not have this Information,Speed Figs,Past Performance Video replays,Pace Figs ETC.ETC ETC or Blogs or Internet ETC.ETC.ETC.(I did see "The King and I")

and the Public was the best Handicapper with a 33% WIN and 67 ITM.


Public is STILL  the Best Handicapper @ 33%Win and 67% ITM.

Go Figure!

15 May 2012 5:41 AM
Melissa P

Excellent (as always)! Been a disciple of Nerud since way back when. I grew up in Florida, and he and Tartan were royalty/magic. Was lucky enough to get to see Cozzene at Gainesway several times over the years. He was magnificent! I never could believe his age. So glad to see his bloodline continuing. Glad Nerud hasn't changed as he added years, either.

15 May 2012 10:17 AM

nice article steve-sounds like cozzene was a young horse trapped in an old body.

15 May 2012 10:22 AM
Abigail Anderson

Hi Steve. I just love hearing about John Nerud -- quite an amazing individual. And that quite by Oscar Wilde is one of my my favs. The other -- almost identical -- that I treasure is from the crusty George Bernard Shaw who said "Youth is wasted on the young." What a career John Nerud has had! Has anyone ever written a biography about him? Really, it should be done because this man is a national treasure. Thank you for another interesting and inspiring article.

15 May 2012 11:15 AM

What a thrill it must be for him to have a horse in the Preakness. I hope he performs well and brings home a check, but my heart is with the winner and Bodie who I think will take the Preakness and I'll Have Another will run second. My fingers are crossed for him though.

15 May 2012 12:56 PM

Sounds like a good bet to me. As a 61 year old courting a lady in her mid twenties,I say, good show!

15 May 2012 1:03 PM

Hey Steve,....Nothing wrong with being able to remember Mr. Masterson!    It just means we've been around to see some of the greatest racehorses "in the flesh".   I am ans always was a HUGE DR.FAGER fan along with DAMASCUS, BUCKPASSER, TA WEE, etc.  AH.......to have a mare in my barn with some of that breeding acouple times over!     I can always dream!    Hats off to John Nerud.....a man who knew what he was looking for and didn't let anyone else tell him how to GET it!  His horses were always "Iton Horses" which speaks to his preparation, selection and care!

I'll be rooting for that side in the upcoming races.....wouldn't THAT be a "human interest" story to tell!  MADE for TV!

15 May 2012 1:31 PM

John Nerud is one of the many good horsemen to come from Nebraska. People like Jack, and Marion Van Berg, Carl Hanford, who trained Kelso, Bob Holtus, Harvey Vanier, etc., etc.,

15 May 2012 2:36 PM

Many a morning I have walked by and stopped at the grave sites of Dr Fager, Ta Wee, Minnesota Mac, My Dear Girl and the rest of the legends. It truly gave me a charge of energy each time and a commitment to achieve a higher level.

Mr Nerud serves the sport proudly as an example of what an owner/breeder can be.

15 May 2012 3:33 PM
Lori M.

Hi Steve,

Loved this article, the insight, the remembering, everything.  All so completely interesting!!  I am commenting to thank you, because one day in 2004 or 5 you helped me visit Cozzene, who, along with Awesome Again (fee was 12K!) and Northern Afleet,  was the first horse I ever traveled to KY to see, beginning my falling-in-love-with-horses life. Thanks Steve:):) -Lori

15 May 2012 3:51 PM

Growing old is a bad habit that a busy man doesn't have time to form, or in this case a busy horse, Cozzene. He has been such a successful sire that when I see his name as a sire, I have learned by some unexplainable formula to give that progeny special consideration. I wouldn't normally give Cozzetti the possibilty of upsetting both I'll Have Another and Bodemeister, but looking at that work, makes one stop and think again. There's a lot of quality in that pedigree, so much so, to overlook it would probably be a big mistake.

Very interesting story, thanks again Steve for what you do the best.

15 May 2012 7:57 PM

Mr. Nerud stands with a small handful of the very best horsemen and gentlemen this game has to offer.

Watching from the apron at Arlington in 1968, I saw Dr. Fager decimate a nice field (including an entry from the stable in which I worked) in his world record mile.  My recollection of that race, seared though it is in my memory, has for some time been supplemented by frequent viewing of one of the few presentation photos of the event which, in recent years, good fortune allowed me to add to my Fager --and Mr. Nerud—memorabilia.

It would seem a very fitting tribute to this legendary man to dedicate the 2012 Breeders Cup to him—and if possible have him on hand to present the trophy for the Classic.  Racing still has some older horsemen (such as John Nerud and Jack Van Berg, for example) who represent the very best of our sport but who get little fanfare for their monumental contributions to it and the wisdom they possess. Thanks to Steve Haskins, Mr. Nerud has deservedly caught, once again, the eye of racing fans.

15 May 2012 8:45 PM

Besides the mare that I took good care of, OBEAH, winner of the DELAWARE HCAP twice and broodmare of GO FOR WAND, DR. FAGER was one of my favorites of all time.  Fortunate to meet Mr. Nerud and see the good DOCTOR run.

15 May 2012 9:41 PM

Joni Mitchell was dead write when she sang "Something's lost but something's gained in living every day" but is it ever equal? Racing is losing it's folklore to number crunching babble.

I was fortunate enough to start reading about racing at a very early age when the great Dr. Fager was wowing the world and Kelso was more myth than flesh. These days writing negative stories about racing is more the style.

Steve, thanks again for bringing to life the past glories of racing these 'fables' still make the hair stand on end.  

15 May 2012 10:04 PM

Loved seeing Clabber Girl's name in print. She was a favorite!

15 May 2012 10:21 PM

Great story as always Steve.

Preakness picks:

I'll Have Another


Teeth of the Dog or WTDWell

This time I'll reverse my first two and watch they come in the other way this time!  But I have to go with I'll Have Another, can't see not rooting for the Derby winner to try for the elusive Triple Crown.  Great photo of Affirmed Steve, was he a chestnut?  I barely know who he was, but maybe there's hope for this Derby chestnut.

Now back to the Woodlawn Vase, when I said it was "the most coveted trophy in all of sports" that was not derived by me, that is a known fact because of it's monetary value.  It is garded in a museum (the original) in Baltimore and brought out by armed guards for the Preakness.  It is sterling silver and as one blogger already told us is worth about 4,000,000.00 now.  It is usually written or said on NBC that it is the most "valuable" or "coveted" trophy in sports.  It is referring to it value, not the athletic accomplishments of the victor or not diminishing the victories of other sports teams.  It's an ornate, almost rococo piece, garnished with carvings and moldings.  The winning connections of the Preakness winner get a smaller replica of it and the winning trainer and jockey get a smaller trophy.  It's quite a vase.

Good luck to all and all come home safe in the Preakness.  

15 May 2012 10:26 PM


Had seen Cozzene's pedigree before, but just looked up dam's side and among many other greats is Somethingroyal.  So, she appears on both sides of Cozzetti's pedigree.  thanks!

15 May 2012 11:10 PM
Greg R

You say Mr. Nerud is studying this year's Triple Crown.  But what does he say about it? (:

Gun Bow, you can overthink all the "what happens if" scenarios for us.  My fan philosophy is,let's sit back and see what happens.  Karen Carpenter used to sing, "But I Can Dream, Can't I?"  

16 May 2012 12:43 AM

Good story, feel warm all over but just can't pick Cozzetti to win this race based on recent form. The horse was 10 lengths behind Bode last time. Maybe he hits the board. Would need race to break down, which could happen, but if so Zetterholm looks like a better longshot bet to me.  Hard to get past Bode and IHA.  Hoping for IHA so we get Triple Crown buzz, but me thinks Baffert and Smith won't screw it up this time and Bode likely to win going away. Bode lone speed this time, likely will get loose on the lead and, IMHO, likely to go gate to wire in front.  IHA won't get hot pace to run into like last time, will be closer to the front with Bode settting the pace and unlikely to get another perfect trip.  Not a believer in the other horses to compete but you never know. Cozzetti and Zette and Tiger and Teeth underneath for some value.  Best value may be to back wheel Bode and IHA with the Pimlico Special double.  The Special looks wide open to me and,unfortunately, a more interesting race than the Preakness. Hope we get IHA and Triple Crown mania!

16 May 2012 9:22 AM

I never got to see Cozzene race, but I have loved to follow his descendants, especially Mizzen Mast and his get. They all seem to be handsome and well put-together (Midships, who has gone to stud in France, was one of the most beautiful Thoroughbreds I've ever seen), many are grey, and they almost all have a lot of heart.

16 May 2012 10:16 AM
Abigail Anderson

@ Terlingua (above). Are you a fan of this great girl? Just curious as she's my special love. I have every magazine from the day about her and photos of her all over the house!

16 May 2012 10:40 AM
Don from PA/DE

Ah Ha Steve, wonderful nuggets of inspirational and informative knowledge once again, and what timing for me...I was very high on Cozzetti going into the TBD with his previous wins, and now it just might be time to see him shine as I have been hoping he would run again in triple crown (and just the thought of Lemon Drop Kid mother, the Belmont!?) one race at a time, but I will be certainly giving him a good extra look in the Preakness, and thanks so much for the wonderful storylines and OW quote to boot...and Brookville, LI my childhood and late teen neighbor...and let me close with some William James "Be not afraid of life, believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create fact"  Don

16 May 2012 12:05 PM
Linda in Texas

Steve, when i read your words, i close out the rest of the world, i place myself in the center of your

descriptions, as though i was  present. Sort of on the outside looking and listening in.

A couple years back when i found Bloodhorse.com i taught myself how to download photos and then use one as my desktop. The first photo i learned with was of Cozzene. I had it on my computer for a year. Having always loved the grays, he was inspirational to me to see each morning when i turned on my computer. The photo was taken at late dusk, both his and the early

evening's. It had snowed lightly and

his neck was arched as he was  standing in a paddock and pawing the light snow and though the years were showing, he looked magnificent. So as i watch Cozzetti, i will be wishing with all my heart that he is successful in attaining a respectable finish in the race as a tribute to his grand owner Mr. Nerud, and Cozzetti's special dam Lemon Drop Cello.  I have a deep affection for a stallion who at 28 and with cancer sired such as Cozzetti. Love Cozzene like I do Skip Away, Kip Deville and so many others. Cozzene was a turf horse, my favorite surface.

And to Paddy O'Prado, my very best wishes for a complete recovery are sent your way.

Thanks Steve. I have to mention how funny it was to read GunBow's comment in his first paragraph,

"that you are moving so fast with your articles that he cannot keep up." i felt that way last week. And it continues. You must be wearing out the soles of your track shoes every other day!

Thank you and safe trips for all.

16 May 2012 2:53 PM
Linda in Texas

Steve, forgot to mention that Cozzene sired 540 winners from 724 starts that earned $80,190,795. And Cozzene was trained by Mr. Nerud's son Jan. I have that in my biography of him along with several photos in my scrapbook.

Nice comments Don from PA/DE. Your quote from William James is so true.

16 May 2012 3:08 PM
Tiz Herself

Always loved Cozzene - will never forget Alphabet Soup beating Cigar at Woodbine for the BC. Awesome article as always Steve!

RIP Premier Pegasus who was euthanized after a severe leg injury working @ SA 5/19/2012.... will miss this talented young horse!

16 May 2012 6:46 PM
Old Timer

Steve, fantastic article! As one who has seen many springs arrive, it warmed my heart.

Mr Nerud always has had a special place in my racing heart as Dr. Fager was probably my all time favorite horse. To this day I hate Damascus for the way they always put that "rabbit" in all his races to "soften up" the Doctor. Head to head, Dr. Fager would have won every time!

It also brought back some memories. I was at Aqueduct for the only Breeder's Cup that was run at that venue back in 1985. I cashed a few tickets on Cozzene in that Mile. In addition to Cozzene there was one other great sire on the track that day. Storm Cat finished second, I believe, in  the Juvenile.

It was a really great program that day with Precisionist in the Sprint and the great mare Pebbles in the Turf, but shortly thereafter Aqueduct became kind of a secondary track and never again hosted the Breeder's Cup.

While Cozzetti apears to be a long shot, that workout certainly indicates that he has an outside chance. Stranger things have happened.

16 May 2012 7:52 PM

Abigail,  Yes Terlingua is one of my special favorites, too.  Have had this display name for quite awhile but rarely post so most people probably haven't seen it here before.  Love the Haskins columns for the history he shares with us and for his superb writing style.  This recent series from Steve (and with photos, too) is just a special gift to us all!   Fantastic that you are surrounded with photos and memorabilia of Terlingua.  

16 May 2012 10:22 PM
The Deacon

Delmar: Johnny Carson was also from Nebraska.........

16 May 2012 11:02 PM

Old Timer, I have similar negative thoughts about Damascus but I know many have a very high opinion of Damascus. As the years pass you try to forgive but it never works.  

Same with those who used rabbits against the immortal Slew.

17 May 2012 5:46 AM
The Deacon

Dr. Fager and Damascus will always be linked together, just as Affirmed and Alydar and Secretariat and Sham, amoung others will be. It's just the way it is.

My dad loved Damascus, I loved "The Doc", we used to bicker on who was the better horse.

As I look back on it, both are in the top 7 or 8 all time in my book.

"Doc" gets my nod as one of the all time top 3 along with Man O War and Spectacular Bid. Secretariat was beat several times, he came along when America needed a hero so everyone embraced him. The guys on the backstretch know. He was great but not in the top 3 in my book. He got beat a lot, ran 2 great races and then becomes immortized, just epic how folks spin stories...........

17 May 2012 1:03 PM
Tiara Terces

Cozetti is very pretty.  Bet him when he gets on the grass.  

Deacon, if you go by records, you'd better put Native Dancer up there: 22 races, 21 wins, one second.

Secretariat was slammed out of the gate in his Maiden loss, DQed in the Champagne while finishing ahead by many lengths and was Horse of the Year at two. He lost in the Wood with a severe abcess, won the Triple Crown with records in the Derby (Forgo finished fourth) and Belmont that stand to this day. Then, not giving him a break, they ran him in two races against older horses. He finished second in each. I guess they thought the Triple Crown wouldn't take anything out of him. He came back to win in track record time in the Marlboro Cup over older horses, nearly all the best in training.  He then beat the best American turf horses the first and second times he ever ran on it. My math ain't the best, but I do believe that adds up to a lot more than two great races. Horse of the Year again.

Bud Delp said Bid's bid in the Belmont was a bust because he stepped on a safety pin.  Too bad they hadn't invented velcro. Bid was great but Affirmed beat him and Seattle Slew beat Affirmed. And Exceller beat those two in the same race.

Here's hoping IHA gets the Triple.

23 May 2012 7:50 PM
Irish Punter

Catching up with your blogs after being away for a long weekend.You just keep getting better and better,  

No one, but no one,

can capture the beauty, traditions and excitement of The Triple Crown like you.

Finally I found a blogger that helps do some justice to your posts.----

"Steve, your words convey a thousand pictures and your pictures a thousand words. Well done."

(Steve from St Louis 22 May 2012 11:05 AM )

Re your picture "I'll Have Another---the morning after." His eyes are saying "So this is that Haskin guy that got all this Triple Crown excitement started!" and his ears are saying "This guys O.K"

P.S Just got delivery of"Horse Racing's Holy Grail----The Epic Quest For The Kentucky Derby" by Steve Haskin from Amazon (misplaced my original)and your"Tales from the Triple Crown" is due Friday.

On Team Haskin Triple Crown Trail and it just keeps getting better.

23 May 2012 9:02 PM

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