Phipps Forever

If you’re looking for Cinderella stories or fairy tales in general, you’re not going to find them in Shug McGaughey’s barn. If you want to get all choked up reading some rags-to-riches feel-good story, you don’t go out and get “War and Peace.”

But in a world where tradition and sportsmanship are eroding with each passing year, McGaughey and the Phipps family are the last remaining pillars of strength, serving as a reminder of a time long ago when Thoroughbred racing was indeed the Sport of Kings. As long as those familiar black silks and cherry red cap adorn some of the finest bred horses in the world, those pillars will never crumble.

That is more important than one might think, because if they did crumble, the world of racing as we knew it will crumble with it.

The tradition of racing can be viewed in the National Museum of Racing through a kaleidoscope of colors in the form of silks once as familiar to racing fans as the colors of the rainbow – the Woodward’s white with red polka dots, the devil’s red of Calumet Farm, the cerise and white diamonds of Alfred Vanderbilt, the dark and light blue horizontal stripes of George D. Widener, the pink and black stripes on sleeves of John Hay Whitney’s Greentree Stud, and the fawn and brown of John Galbreath’s Darby Dan Farm. They are all gone.

There are the Eton blue and brown colors of C.V. Whitney that have been preserved by Whitney’s wife Marylou, but they only encompass a handful of horses these days. The only major private stable remaining in the tradition of racing’s once-powerful titans of the turf is the Phipps family.

Although Ogden Phipps and his mother, Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps, who ran Wheatley Stable, are long gone, Ogden’s son, Ogden Mills, better known as Dinny, along with his sons and daughters, have kept the Phipps stable running and prosperous.

In an era where trainers are tossed aside like yesterday’s newspapers, there are no owners who have remained as loyal to their trainers as the Phipps family. McGaughey, for example, has been training for them for 26 years, through the up and down years. Unlike most owners today, the Phippses take defeat with the same class they do victory. They still believe in patience when it comes to their horses and never interfering with the trainer’s decision regarding when or where to run.

The names of the Phipps horses resound through the corridors of time, from Buckpasser to Easy Goer to Personal Ensign to Inside Information, and now Point of Entry, with countless champions in between. Ogden’s mother campaigned the great racehorse and stallion Bold Ruler. When Ogden died in 2002 at age 93, Marylou Whitney called his passing “the end of an era in racing.”

But thankfully, that era continues, providing a new generation with one final glimpse of racing the way it was and meant to be, and the foundation that was built by sportsmen like Ogden Phipps.

It is appropriate that the first barn you come to after entering the Belmont Park stable gate is the Phipps barn. And if you want to enter a horse lover’s paradise, just spend some time at the Phipps barn at Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track. From an aesthetic and historical standpoint, it truly is a world unto itself, and it is on this small acreage of hallowed ground that time has remained unchanged.

The point we’re trying to make here is that, whether or not you are a fan of McGaughey or the Phipps family, it is difficult not to root for their latest star, Point of Entry, who is getting so good right now he is beginning to evoke images of the great Manila, one of the rare grass horses who demonstrated brilliance, stamina, speed, class, and an electrifying turn of foot. Manila transcended grass racing and was just an exciting horse to watch, regardless of the surface. Point of Entry looks to have all those qualities, and as we wrote several weeks ago following his Man o’War Stakes victory, he is a horse even the top stars in Europe should fear when they come here for their annual Breeders’ Cup Turf party, where the pickins have been easy.

To repeat, Point of Entry has as potent and classy a female family as you’ll ever see.

The son of the top-class stallion Dynaformer is a half-brother to the ill-fated Pine Island, winner of the Alabama and Gazelle Stakes.

His dam, Matlacha Pass, is a full-sister to Pleasant Home, who romped by nine lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

His second dam, Our Country Place, is a half-sister to Triple Tiara winner and Hall of Famer Sky Beauty and also to Silence Beauty, dam of Wood Memorial and Cigar Mile winner Take of Ekati.

Third dam, Maplejinsky, like Sky Beauty and Pine Island, won the Alabama Stakes, as well as the Monmouth Oaks, and is a half-sister to the great sprinter Dayjur.

Fourth dam, Gold Beauty, was the champion sprinter in 1982, having won or placed in the Test, Vosburgh, Fall Highweight, True North, and Boojum.

The recently deceased Dynaformer is one of the most influential stallions of the past decade and a major source of class and stamina. Point of Entry also is inbred 3x4 to His Majesty through Dynaformer’s dam, Andover Way, and the classic-winning Pleasant Colony (sire of Our Country Place). Point of Entry’s broodmare sire is the classic stallion and Phipps homebred Seeking the Gold, while third dam Maplejinsky is by English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky.

This family also traces to Round Table, Hail to Reason, Stymie, and Bull Lea.

So, when the cream of Europe arrive on our shores in November, preparing to once again feast on “inferior” American grass horses, they might just run into something they’re not accustomed to – a horse who not only can match them at their own game, but who represents the finest in American class and tradition and who is more than capable of, to put it bluntly, kicking their butts.

92 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Cassandra.Says

Sport of Kinks? Damon Runyon says "Right on."

I eagerly await you and your magic camera visiting Point of Entry and helping us get better acquainted with him.

19 Aug 2012 9:30 PM
Tiz Herself

Absolutely love Point of Entry and have been on his bandwagon for some time now - am also looking forward to seeing Cats Claw (by Dynaformer) who is by Matlacha Pass's daughter Chili Cat (by Storm Cat)

Interesting to see what happened/ how Boisterous came out of the race as was surprised he didn't fire. Any word on him Steve?

I have always followed Phipps horses, from Sightseeing, Parading, Smuggler, Inside Information, Personal Ensign, Persistently, Gone Astray, Boca Grande, Vacation, Personal Flag, Versailes Treaty, the great Buckpasser, and the list continues. The history, everything... horses allowed to take time and grow... love it.

Am loving the fact that Kauai Katie and her sister Winding Way are emerging... love it!!! Be cool to see both sisters at the BC this year! Would be neat if the two stayed undefeated going in as well!

19 Aug 2012 10:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I think we might have something special with Point of Entry who gobbles up the ground in the stretch like Gopherzilla in Zenyatta-like fashion. I wonder why a thoroughbred has never been named Butt Kicker? Phipp, phipp hooray, phipp, phipp hooray for Point of Entry and Shug and tradition and teaching those Euros a lesson at their own game.

19 Aug 2012 10:25 PM
Karen in Indiana

Dynaformer, who was just average on the racetrack, left such a big mark on the thoroughbred breed in so many fields - flat racing, steeplechasing, hunter jumper, etc. He was the go-to sire for stamina and talent. And while there were some of his offspring that earned their way into stepping into his shoes as a sire - Barbaro wouldn't live to, McDynamo is a gelding, Purim died after just a few seasons - Point of Entry is gaining the record and has the bloodlines to do his sire justice. His race Saturday was a thing of beauty and I look forward to following him on and off the track.

19 Aug 2012 11:21 PM
duchess

I have been hoping against hope that out of the late Dynaformer's last crops an ungelded star son with a strong female family would emerge to get a good chance at stud.

We NEED the stamina, toughness, and yes- strong will - of Dynaformer to continue forward in the American thoroughbred.

The emergence of Point of Entry is the answer to those hopes.

The fact that he is owned by the Phipps family who can support him with some of the best bred mares in the country can only help his chances at stud. Sort of like the cream cheese frosting on the red velvet cake!

20 Aug 2012 12:29 AM
Linda in Texas

Very timely article Steve. Point of Entry was hanging back for most of his run in Sword Dancer, Race 9 at Saratoga on Saturday. Some great competitors all in their own rights. But Point of Entry had a bunch left in his repertoire of racing. No doubt from his sire Dynaformer,may he rest in peace and glory to be carried on by his offspring, Point of Entry. Very impressive win. His legs are built stoutly and not spindly and he is as solidly built as a Sherman Tank. Nice ride Johnny V. glad you are back in the saddles! And congratulations on your Hall of Fame Induction.

And thanks Steve. You are our Hall of Fame Inductee, 24/7 365.  I love the way it was years ago and The Whitneys, The Vanderbilts and The Phipps are tradition and i know i speak for many when i say thank you to them and to Mr. Mcgaughey. And to Hail to Reason and Nijensky providing such great bloodlines which i find in many of my favorites today when i look to see who what when and where of the up and coming champions.

The turf and the grounds at Saratoga have looked lush more so than usual to me, just in viewing the races. I don't know how the groundskeepers had that turf looking like a newly mown thick carpet of grass. Great job good folks at Saratoga, the best place in the world for the best thoroughbred racing. It is Tradition at it's finest.

20 Aug 2012 12:48 AM
KareninToga

Breathtaking performance by Point of Entry and Johnny Valesquez. What a tremendous stretch drive showing brilliance and Class. Wonderful article Steve that gave me goose bumps once again.

Thanks for the memories....

Looking forward to your Powershot pictures of the Bigboy soon on your upcoming trip to Toga!!!

20 Aug 2012 6:54 AM
joanne halsey

Always love to read about the foundation families of American tbred racing, including Darby Dan,

Phipps, Whitney, Widener and Vanderbilt.  More stories about their champion sires and broodmares would be greatly appreciated, Mr. Haskin.  Being a small breeder and a lover of pedigree, the Phipps are and have always been at the top of the pyramid to me and I love hearing about another champion of their brilliant pedigree combinations.  Cynthia would be so proud.  I think the turf stars are very under-appreciated in this country.  Go get them Point of Entry!  

20 Aug 2012 10:07 AM
anita b

Thank you Steve for such a timely article. I have been a follower/fan of the Phipps horses for many years. Loved Buckpasser.

When my son worked at Saratoga (90's), he told me that the Phipps stable was the "best kept" clean area in the barns. Thanks, Shug.

Hope Point of Entry keeps on "kickin butt!!!" anita carter

20 Aug 2012 10:51 AM
edrul427

It is just awsome to watch this magnificent horse run those last couple hundred meters.Looks like the other horses hit a wall or something.For me there is nothing more wonderful than to watch a horse like Point of Entry do his thing.Congratulations to all the connections and to you Steve for another wonderful article.

20 Aug 2012 11:04 AM
Triptych

While not the "top stars in Euro" will come over to the States for the Breeders Cup, I agree that Point of Entry is a classy horse and will be my favourite for the 'Turf'. I think, he would be even good enough to compete successfully over here in our greatest race, the Arc. Why don't give a try?

That said, I love the Phipps Family since being aware of their history on and off the track a few years ago. WOW! Thank you for being such classy people to human AND horses!

20 Aug 2012 11:47 AM
billpyers

I find the sentiments expressed at the end of this article a bit offensive. You should be grateful European trainers bring their horses to the party. One thing's for certain Point of Entry won't be coming to our 'back yard'.

20 Aug 2012 12:22 PM
steve from st louis

Famous stable silks are to racing what the Yankee pinstripes or my  Cardinals' "Birds on the Bat" are to baseball.

It's a shame that some of the great stables of the past are no longer that active. Whenever I see the white and red of Stuart Janney III's silks, I think of Ruffian; the black and gold of Will Farish's sister, Martha Geary and her daughter, I think of Forego; the black and cherry cap of the Phipps' so many of their cracks over the years, including Personal Ensign. How I miss Gene Klein's blue and gold with gold lightning bolt on so many of his champions, trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas. Whenever you saw the red and blue "AP" of the late Allen Paulson, you know Azeri or Cigar meant business. I could go on and on. Unfortunately, some these stables don't.

20 Aug 2012 1:09 PM
Rachel NH

Thank-you, Steve, I always look forward to your blog so much! ☺

20 Aug 2012 3:28 PM
Yukon

Sport of Kinks?  

No, that would be Penn State.

Seriously, it is always a pleasure to read of the Phipps' illustrious racing stable and the broodmare band which is reflected in the runners it produces.  Although there are stables in other countries which annually are represented by runners of the highest calibre, there are few remaining in North America.  The Phipps family is to be commended for remaining true to their commitment to creating and racing rather than selling their homebreds.  So many of North America'a finest equine families have been sold off there is little to tempt the Europeans and Japanese, and while the Phipps family could undoubtedly realize huge profits by emulating other North American breeders, they have not done so.  The Phipps family deserves every victory on the turf for they have nurtured their great pedigrees for generations not only of Phippses but also of Thoroughbreds.

I will be rooting for Point of Entry every step of the way.

20 Aug 2012 4:08 PM
Bill Two

That was an impressive display of class that Point Of Entry let us see on Saturday.  No telling how good this horse can be with those bloodlines.  Boisterous on the other hand is totally dependent on pace and thanks to Ramon Dominguez there was a distinct lack of that in the Arlington Million.  Brilliant ride.

20 Aug 2012 5:11 PM
Lammtarra'sArc

FRANKEL vs St,Nicholas Abbey on Wednesday in the Juddmonte International at York over 10f.

20 Aug 2012 7:56 PM
Lammtarra'sArc

Dr Drunkinbum

Your hilarious, wait till the REAL 2nd string Euro's come and finsh 1-2 again. Nevermind the 1st string stayers.... If everyone is so hyped up on this horse, let's see him go 12f at Longchamp :)

20 Aug 2012 8:00 PM
Age of Reason

Although not the main subject of your article (awesome read though it was), your first mention of McGaughey reminded me of his other turf star, Data Link. I would not be at all surprised to see Shug take both the Breeders Cup Turf and Mile this year. (I wonder if that might put him in the running for Trainer of the Year? If quality over quantity is considered, perhaps no one deserves it more.)

Billpyers, far be it from me to judge someone based on a single comment but the one you made came across as petty and thin-skinned. Our turf horses in America are generally second-class citizens behind the dirt runners, mainly because (until Dubai switched surfaces--thanks, Sheikh Mo) on dirt we dominated the world stage, but on turf our horses were just so-so. Now, with Point of Entry, we have the satisfying prospect of beating the Europeans at their own game in what is still one of the world's richest classic turf races. In case you didn't notice at the Olympics, we Americans in general are very proud of our country; regardless of whether or not Point of Entry and Data Link kick some daisy-cutting butt this fall, the Breeders Cup will go on with or without representatives from any number of foreign countries. Besides, what's so wrong about Point of Entry or any other champion horse campaigning exclusively in one country? (*cough* Frankel *cough*)

20 Aug 2012 8:25 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve, I really enoyed this history lesson. Very informative. Loved his race Saturday. He will be a great one to follow. As Dr Drunkinbum said, Gopherzilla like Zenyatta.

20 Aug 2012 9:00 PM
Tiz Herself

Am stoked that Point of Entry has the potential to carry on as a top sire son... of course have not forgotten Nicanor, Lentenor, Margano, Brilliant Speed, Vacation (wherever he's at, a son of Country Hideaway who is full sibling to Matlacha Pass and Pleasant Home).

2010 filly Cat's Claw has been on my watch and she's out of the mare Chili Cat (by Storm Cat and is daughter of Matlacha Pass) and sired by Dynaformer

Then there's Dyna's daughters; Film Maker who has already produced two winners and I am eagerly awaiting the debut of her 2010 AP Indy colt Film Parade.

Not sure where he is at, but I love Our Entourage, the bay 2009 colt owned by Repole Stables who is sired by Street Cry and from Dynaformer's daughter Sand Springs.

Stately Victor is another grandson of Dyna's as he's from Dyna's daughter Collect the Cash.

Purim's son Gold Megillah I hope can repeat that maiden win he had, however am not certain where the colt is at. Anyone???

And even though he is at stud outside of North America, I believe Americain will also become a great sire son of Dynaformer's.

I'll never forget seeing Dynaformer in 2010 at Three Chimneys (from a distance of course) he had a presence to him, demanded respect, he was something else.

I love Frankel - hope he and Abbey come in 1 -2... if those two and Camelot were to come over... I am drooling at that possibility!

21 Aug 2012 1:20 AM
billpyers

Age of Reason, So America dominated on dirt. I don't suppose the fact that your the only major racing nation who give's the surface time of day has anything to do with it. After Raven's Pass you couldn't switch back fast enough knowing your massive advantage had been wiped out.Still it's nice to know how much you enjoy having your butts kicked on turf every year.

21 Aug 2012 6:25 AM
Age of Reason

Billpyers,

How interesting that you cite Raven's Pass as an example of "European dominance"--a horse who was American-born, bred, and owned. Oh, and wasn't it just the next year that Zenyatta and Gio Ponti trounced Twice Over and the "mighty" Rip Van Winkle over a surface where, as you yourself admitted, we had no unfair advantage?

21 Aug 2012 12:13 PM
Ranagulzion

billpyers,

You shouldn't be so easily offended by Steve's "kicking their (Euro) butts" remark. Point of Entry right now represents the straw being clutched by "drowning" US turf racing fans. All you have to do is reflect on how easily French colt Bayrir walloped the cream of American turf 3YO colts, namely, Silver Max and Summer Front in the Secretariat Stakes to sympathaise with Steve's excitement about POE.

21 Aug 2012 1:14 PM
Linda in Texas

Age of Reason, i second your comment. A little nation pride never hurts anyone.

You responded to billpyers with a decent explanation. billpyers is no doubt not from The United States. And each person from another country always has the right to tout their own country but to be correct it can be done in ways as to not raise rancor.

If you really want to join a good fight, wait til College Football  

Games start up. Doesn't compare to Racing or Rugby but it is an American sport.

Phipp Phipp Hooray, Dr. D. you are a clevermesiter bar none.:) You must have made your living writing for a famous comedian. That is just my feeling. Say it ain't so Harry. Or is it?  

Tiz Herself - you are always so precise and right on with your comments. I love Frankel also. It is not the country they chose to race in it is the competitive spirit coming from the horses, no matter the nation they race in or hail from that counts.

Excellence is excellence in any country, the horses surely don't discriminate. Just jolly fun watching racing in any country.

And billpyers sorry if i sounded defensive. Monkey see Monkey do, or is that Monkey hear, Monkey speak? BTW, Turf is my favorite surface in any country!

And lastly a shame on the loss of Pete's Parley in the second race at Saratoga yesterday, he was ahead and traveling his heart out. RIP Pete's Parley, you made a gallant effort and i won't soon forget you.

Thanks Steve.  

21 Aug 2012 1:22 PM
plodderman

Yeah, ok. And all then others in that family that got beat in the past. I'll go with Europe. After all, they don't take "mind bets" at the track. Only real life money on the line wagers.

21 Aug 2012 3:01 PM
Lammtarra'sArc

Age of Reason-

That is an interesting outlook on the Breeders Cup.  But to say Frankel is a one country horse is both right, and ignorant.  The top races happen at Royal Ascot, York, Goodwood, Newmarket etc, etc....why would he ship?.  The only reason he would have to ship would be to run  in the arc. Other wise England has the top staying races then any other country. The Juddmonte is a HUGE race over 10f, and enjoy watching him beat the reigning BC Turf champion.  Then what are you going to say??....Until then :)

21 Aug 2012 3:30 PM
nasrullahblood

billpyers:

It is you who are hilarious for suggesting that we in NA should be grateful that Europeans condescend to bring their horses over here for the Breeder's Cup.  Since they get to race their horses against mostly second string American and Canadian horses for huge purses, it is they who should be grateful.  The Marshall Plan lives!  It is like finding money in the streets.  I remember, a few years back watching a telecast of one of the big money turf races that are staged in the fall at Woodbine, and that are basically European benefits.  A distinguished Italian trainer, who had a horse in the race, remarked that he could not understand why Canadians and Americans staged these rich turf races in the fall, when the ground was yielding,and therefore conferred a great  advantage on European horses, which are much more accustomed to soft turf.  The answer, of course. is that, as my fellow Canadian Morley Safer (60 Minutes) puts it:  "Americans are suckers for the English".  Put in the context of racing, one could say that Americans and Canadians are suckers for Europeans.  Even so,I guess I must  remind you that more than one Arc winner has been beaten by NA horses in the BC Turf, while NA horses haven't done too badly in the BC Mile either.  Remember Lure?  He won the Mile two years In a row, going wire-to-wire both times.  As far as "major racing nations" and racing surfaces are concerned, I can only conclude that you don't consider Canada to be in that category.  Bye-the-bye, where was Northern Dancer bred and raced?  It must gall you that Dubai's richest race is on dirt.  The pattern of racing in North America is one that is imposed by the facts of geography, which is something you might have understood if you were prepared to be  less chauvanistic and more fair-minded.  Let me conclude by asking you what I think is a fair question:  If the Breeder's Cup had originated in Britain or Europe, do you think it would have occurred to anyone to build a dirt track, in order to accomodate North American horses?

21 Aug 2012 4:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Excellent retorts from Age of Reason, Ranagulzion, Linda in Texas, and top prize to nasrullahblood for his masterpiece in response to the guy from "over there," billpyers whose butt was saved a few times by us and one time often with the help of our stout dirt horses battling in the mud so that as part of the Marshall Plan you are still allowed to come over here and given the gift of racing in and often winning on our turf courses which is not our championship surface. We're still waiting for you to come over and win the Classic on dirt or a Triple Crown race. Eventhough I have a great deal of respect for the Germans and their horses you're lucky you're not all speckenzee Deutsch and heiling,  which may not be relevant but I couldn't resist. We all love Frankel and looking forward to what he can do at the longer distance tomorrow. He is the only one to fear. Point of Entry has tremendous stamina and a fantastic stride and with a clear path and the right timing is the top pick for the Turf unless Frankel comes over who is a monster primarily because of the American name influence. Now let's get out there boys and girls and kick some European  butt in the BC turf races. I don't have to mention the dirt races because that is a given that the Euros will make their usual feeble attempt in that realm.

21 Aug 2012 6:31 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Linda in Texas

   If I did he must have been a corny one. Thanks. Rah, rah, rah, sisboom bah, kick butt, kick butt, kick butt yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

21 Aug 2012 6:43 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

My first post on this blog was disallowed so let me try again with a post that will get excepted.POE is a posterchild for American racing without the use of drugs.One of the Euros will probably be favored in the turf,but POE can win it if he stays relatively close to his Sword Dancer effort.It was a hand ride for his pilot on cruise control giving 7 pounds to the others in the money and beating them by the easiest 4 you will ever see.I would like to see him do it and stamp the template for racing without the use of performance enhancers.

21 Aug 2012 7:16 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Oh my bad an addition to my last post if excepted giving 7 pounds to the 2nd and 3rd place finishers means a lot when you carry the extra weight 1 1/2 miles its common sense.

21 Aug 2012 7:19 PM
Lammtarra'sArc

nasrullahblood-  Don't put Canada in the same pot as the USA.  Woodbine has the best turf course, which is why they draw good foreign runners every year, and the Dubai world Cup has not been run on dirt since 2009.  It is Tapeta on their Main track(why?) because nobody else cares to run on dirt.  As for the Breeders Cup....well NO the English, Irish, French, Aussie, nor South Africans would build a dirt surface because 98% of the world races on TURF.  So don't try and say that The Breeders Cup is the be all, and end all to Horse racing worldwide.  The Top racing dates on the world Calendar is Royal Ascot week in the early summer, Melbourne Cup Festival, the Dubai Carnival, mixed in with Arc Weekend, and the weekend of the Japan Cup.  Heck even the NEW British Champions Day is drawing better horses then the Breeders Cup. So if the Breeders Cup wants to be recognized as a world wide event of any significant stature it needs to cater to the World!....

21 Aug 2012 8:25 PM
Alex'sBigFan

And so we have it.  What looked to be the closest thing yet we've seen to a Street Sense/Curlin/Hard Spun year has vanished into thin air with another retirement.  Bye Bodemeister, we will miss you.  I bet little Bode is crying his eyes out.  IHA/Rags/Bode, our stars are gone.  Left standing is the 2 yr. old champ, Hansen and Paynter.  They've got big shoes to fill.  It was such a deep, rich crop and the ranks have been depleted one by one.  Bode had to be retired just because of a shoulder injury with just a 60 day healing period?  It seems like if they cannot make it to the BC Classic then all is lost and they give up on a 4 yr. old season and rush to a date with destiny in the breeding shed.  Time is money I guess, especially in this business so if you can't run 'em I assume the philosophy is breed 'em. Bode will be able to enter stud in January after the 3 months healing and start to make money rather than retrain for x amount of months until or if money can be made in a race.  

Didn't read the Phipps article yet Steve so I did not comment, will catch up now.  Just caught the Bode article and felt so disappointed.  Paynter guns it alone now out there on the Santa Anita Freeway with Speedy Bob.  

21 Aug 2012 8:26 PM
Amy Hurley

Good article and I agree with you about the class of the Phipps family.  Still...it would have been nice to see Dinny show just a little happiness or any emotion when Point of Entry won Sat.  C'mon, you just won a graded stakes at Saratoga and you may have the top turf horse in the U.S.; get excited!

21 Aug 2012 8:41 PM
Linda in Texas

      BRAVO NASRULLAHBLOOD

        STANDING OVATION

          WITH TRUMPETS

               &

            CYMBALS

22 Aug 2012 1:04 AM
Cassandra.Says

Steve, may I?

Tiz Herself, you can track any horse at Equibase/stat central/profiles.

Gold Megillah is 8/0-1-2 since his maiden win, in five stakes races and three allowances, picking up black type with a third in the Rushaway Stakes, in which he closed like a storm in the last couple of hundred yards after spinning his wheels through the early stretch.

He's been training at Fairhills and was up the track in his last start, an allowance at PID.

22 Aug 2012 5:26 AM
Cassandra.Says

So much nonsense in this debate I have to pick and choose -- like what do staying races have to do with Frankel's career? He's a miler.

But the winner is: (Quick. Alert Ole Railbird!) the idea that horses who are raised where there are grass tracks are grass horses and those raised where dirt tracks predominate are dirt horses.

This is Lamarckian genetec heresy, as embraced, disgracefully, by the Soviet Union in the '30s. It is sometimes parodied by ascribing to it the theory that if you cut off the tails of lab rats for 15 generations, subsequent generations would be born tailless.

Horses evolved running on grass since the first grasses emerged, around 25 million years ago. A very small percentage of the ancestors of our current dirt runners began running on dirt around 200 years ago in one corner of the world. Most of their contemporaries were supplanted in pedigrees by imported grass horses started with a lot of French mares, most spectacularly *La Troienne, and climaxing with Princequillo and Nasrullah. Meantime, descendants of the dirt horse Northern Dancer began saturating the pedigrees of French and British grass horses.

We really don't have two sub-species here, boys and girls. Give it another few million years of separation.

22 Aug 2012 5:52 AM
billpyers

Where do I start,a few red herrings here.Linda in Texas may I remind you that Mr Haskin started this with his somewhat ungracious remark. I merely replied in kind saying I was a 'bit' offended.Age of Reason your predictable comment misses the point. European horses used to turf( irrespective of where they came from) where able to transfer their form onto the pro-ride - it levelled the playing field.Dirt racing is a law unto itself. Some European horses have handled it, others have not produced their best form on it. The anomalies are endless. How can a reliable Group2 plodder like Ibn Bey nearly win it whilst far better horses finish in the ruck? Nasrullahblood,I didn't say you should be grateful just be a bit more positive about the contribution Euro's make to the event.As far as major racing nations goes maybe North America would be more accurate.The soft ground remarks are a generalisation.European horses have been winning these races whatever the surface.Finally of course America has produced some top class Turf horses but given the challenges our record is pretty good.

22 Aug 2012 7:58 AM
Trebloc

Mr. Haskin,

Another terrific read!  Love all the well bred Phipps horses, especially the fillies!

Tiz Herself,

Gold Megillah was last seen finishing 6th at Presque Downs on 8/10.

22 Aug 2012 8:19 AM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Cassandra.Says you dont speak with forked tongue.Racehorses dont stick around too long in the US because of the constant pounding their bodies take running and training on the hard dirt tracks they run and train on here.POE has a chance to be around a while longer since he runs on turf, but the horse will not make that decision.

22 Aug 2012 10:22 AM
billpyers

Dr Drunkinbum, if you think those retorts are excellent you need to get out more.Really liked the war reference -  talk about giving jingoism a bad name. One day you may realise true patriotism doesn't have to be shouted from the rooftops every two minutes. As far as the BC Classic on dirt is concerned I must have dreamt the average European horse Arcangues won it.How you can eulogise about this 'war of attrition' surface that has just claimed another high profile victim is beyond me.

22 Aug 2012 10:58 AM
mz

Oh man, I'm staying out of it.

However, I do have to remind Dr. D. that it took the US over three years to get into WWII.  By then, everyone else already in the War was exhausted fighting the Bad Guys and keeping them at bay.  I'm a little sensitive right now about this because we just had the 70th anniversary of Dieppe.  None of you Americans probably even know about this but 900 Cdns died and over 2000 were captured because of an experiment -- how not to invade France.  Someone had to be the guinea pig and they picked Canada.

(p.s.  Canada / Woodbine / Europeans = WORLD racing.  OK, I didn't stay out of it.)

Dr. D: just remeber that I love you anyways, especially since Ted/Bob has taken a sabbatical.  Is he meditating in Nepal?

22 Aug 2012 11:10 AM
lunar spook

Trust me steve , point of entry wants NO part of the UNBEATEN HORSE CAMELOT in the turf classic  ! aiden obrien is gonna come over here for one thing only , another win ! other thoughts: sorry about hansen , over rated as he was , horse to watch in the travers is street life , have a sneaky feeling frankel has his hands full today with st. nich abbey !

22 Aug 2012 11:17 AM
Fran Loszynski

I know I write this alot Steve, but the Whitney's, the Phipps and many others were our Seabiscuit generation of racehorses. You can feel their spirits at the rail. Those rails were built by them.

A note about Hansen. When I visited Afleet Alex I looked in at Tapit and said to myself. Alex has a regal roommate. Any son will be the same. You don't have to win every race to be a winner. Tapit and Hansen, "the great white breeze of Kentucky".

22 Aug 2012 12:03 PM
Linda in Texas

Alex'sBigFan - and now Hansen can be added to the retirement list.:(

Put away your lovely blue designer dress. The blue has been washed from Hansen's tail and the good doctor now experiences heartbreak at a devastating level. No more hoping that what he and many of us wanted for Hansen will happen.

And Frankel won number 13! Very nice. Good for him.  

So it is time for all of us to raise our glasses once again in your memory Mr. Frankel. A Great Americsn Trainer and dog lover i might add.

Thanks Steve.  

22 Aug 2012 12:57 PM
Lori M.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the great article on the Phipps and their horses.   Point of Entry, I know he's only 3, but I feel like he's helping me get over Acclamation's being out now perhaps for the year.

I have loved the Phipps horses forever, their stable is my husband's favorite (he bets all Shug's runners:), and my FAVORITE mare in the WORLD is none other than Personal Ensign's daughter.    

May Point of Entry go the BC!  I agree w former commentor - the losst of IHA/Bode/Rags is so hard on us - makes me think of Jess Jackson - what he did for us w Curlin, and longer ago, Mr. Holthus, what he did for us w Lawyer Ron - they both came back to more grade 1 victories!

Anyway, thanks for your classy-as-always and informative essay, Steve.  Salute is 10 yrs. old now, and still Buzzy and I can talk about her as if she were still in her Belmont stall:)

Long live the Phipps - what is it - going on 100 years I'm pretty sure:)

The horses Cassandra lists in her earlier comment - man that list reads like, like I heard at Claiborne said, like Fort Know.  What BEAUTIES, what TREASURES.  I cheered so when Shug got into the Hall of Fame!!!

P.S. I love to see you mention His Majesty Steve!!!

22 Aug 2012 1:10 PM
lunar spook

Ok gang! secretariat , count fleet , ruffian , man o war , seattle slew , goldikova , affirmed , zenyatta , and dare i say it. . . . . . . frankel ?

22 Aug 2012 3:08 PM
Triptych

Dear Mr. Haskin,

I feel bad for maybe having raised that nasty Euro vs US controversy.

It's disgracing your wonderfull written story and I hope, it won't prevent you from sharing more of your thoughtful insights with us.

As a german racing fan, I love watching horse racing all over the world. Every country has it's stars and special charm. Danedream, Black Caviar, Buena Vista, Frankel, Game on Dude.. aren't they all not simply enjoyable? Each one on his own?

Well, one's for sure. I look forward to seeing the Breeders Cup, Champions Day, the Arc and all the other "Big Ones". Unfortunately only on my small screen but nontheless rooting for "my" horses.

Btw, Frankel today was something really special ;-)

Love this beauty machine of a horse, especially for whom he is named for.

Thank you Mr. Haskin and please write on!

22 Aug 2012 4:06 PM
Cassandra.Says

Don't cry for the horse when a colt you love to watch is retired to stud. HIS life has just taken a turn for the better.

Get used to it. A good stallion is too valuable to be risked once he has displayed what he has to offer breeders.

Think of this.

He's A Smoothie was a Canadian son of Round Table, the second Cdn HoY out of Ratine, a daughter of the Aga Khan's unbeaten Triple Crown winner Bahram. He raced from 3 to 5, winning 18 races, setting two track records on dirt and one on turf.

How good a race horse was Smoothie? According to the American handicappers he was nine lbs better than Quicken Tree over two miles and seven lbs better than Damascus and Fort Marcy. Make of that what you want to.

At 5, he won the Hialeah Turf Cup and was sold to an American syndicate who planned to stand him at stud at year end. He broke down in his 38th start, the Bernard Baruch Hcp. but kept running, not very well, until his rider jumped off, ran along beside him, grabbed him right by the bit and finally got him to stop. Everybody watching knew before that that there would be no hope of saving him.

Had the syndicate that bought him retired him in July after the sale . . .

There are worse losses than premature retirement. The breed lost that speed, that stamina, that HEART.

22 Aug 2012 6:19 PM
Scott's Cause

Steve, you must be sitting in your office somewhere, eating a ham-sandwich, reading in amazement all the to and fro that is being bantered about.  All I know is I should have paid more attention in my "Creative Writing" classes in school.  Off subject: The names of horses (Famous or Not) have always intrigued me.  While many are created by Sire/dam name combos, innuendo (great filly by the way), I am sure you have many tales on how some of the more successful horses got their names.  Keep on doing it...

22 Aug 2012 6:49 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Land O' Goshen!!!!!!!!1

Not my Hansen, what are we going to do?  My heart goes out to Dr. Hansen.  Hansen is up there in Saratoga having shipped in.  In honor of Hansen (horse) this weekend watching the Travers on tv I will wear my blue outfit in his honor and then out to dinner.

This is so heartbreaking, two of the 3 yr. olds retired within days of each other.  Steve is so right, the time to market Chantal is right now.  One reason why it is so difficult to market this sport is that the stars don't stay around long enough to market.  A few races and they are gone to the ranks of the retired.  It's a sport so unique where you get to combine the love of sports with the love of animals and have a chance to profit by betting as well.  The human equation of this team stays around much longer so marketing them is smart.  At least mainstream would eventually recognize their names and faces.

The NTRA marketing think tank needs to crank it up.

The Travers field is hardly even recognizable.  It's Alpha and the two Haskell runners-up Nonios and Stealcase, and then Street Life. The others are new to me.  A far cry from when I was standing eye to eye with Street Sense near the Saratoga winner's circle. Maybe a star will emerge from this Travers who can represent the 3 yr. olds along with Paynter in the BC Classic.  Let's hope, and all come home safe.

22 Aug 2012 7:36 PM
Ranagulzion

An awesome wonder is Frankel. It'd be interesting to see if the connections will crown the season with a treak across the pond to face POE in the Breeder's Cup (LOL) or go to the Arc now that his stamina is beyond question.

Another interesting issue in Europe will be how to decide HOTY if Camelot pulls off the Triple Crown in the St Leger next month. Could we have a Frankel vs Camelot show down in the Arc or Breeder's Cup Turf? Wow!! American horses are totally eclipsed now, what with all those injured/retired 3YO stars.

billpyers, its a no contest my friend.  

22 Aug 2012 8:54 PM
DANYLSON

AMAZING ARTICLE. I UNDERSTAND THE EUROS ARE ALWAYS GOOD ON GRASS BUT ITS LIKE TO THEM OUR HORSES(AMERICAN) ARE FAR INFERIOR. AS OF LATE YES BUT IN THE 80'S AND 90'S OUR AMERICAN TURF HORSES WERE FORMIDABLE;JOHN HENRY,EQUALIZE,SUNSHINE FOREVER,THEATRICAL,SKYCLASSIC,FRAISE,PARADISE CREEK,LURE,FOURSTARSALLSTARS,CHIEF BERHART,BUCKSBOY AND THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL MANILA..THESE HORSES WERE NO SLAUCHES THEY ACTUALLY BEAT  EUROS SUCH HORSES AS ALL ALONG,STRAWBERRYROAD,TREMPOLINO,RODRIGODETRIANO,DR.DEVIOUS,QUESTFORFAME,HERNANDO,SUBATICA, AND EVEN THE GREAT DANCING BRAVE. HAIL POINT OF ENTRY, HE MIGHT DETHRONE THE GREAT FRANKEL LOL

22 Aug 2012 10:56 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

cassandra.says

   Frankel is just a what !!!!??? Then how did he win by 7 lengths cruising at a mile and five sixteenths today? He's a superstar, and he may even go the Arc de Triomphe.

billpyers

   I think you're right, I should get out more, but I have more Leave it to Beavers to watch first. How about that Frankel !!!!  Actually I love Euro horses but still would like to see an American horse win The Turf. Unless Frankel can win the Arc and BC, but it would be a shocker if they attempted that. Would love to see what he can do in the Arc which is one of the world's top two races to me. The other being the KY Derby.

MZ

   Last I heard Ted was in Timbuktu and Bob was somewhere in Egypt, some town that starts with Bum. Thanks for the compliment !!!  War is hell, any war.

22 Aug 2012 11:19 PM
an ole railbird

good articule steve.i have to love the dicussions following all of your articles.

racings surfaces,are just like every thing else. its just what you are around. i personally havent been around very much grass racing. but i have my opinions about it. ( granted, opinions are like certin parts of the body. everybody has one.)

 grass horses are not the athletes, that dirt horses are.

 example; 10-02-11 in clinton, ark. i personally timed two 1/2 tb. mules, pulling a buckboard, with 2 old fat men riding in it. they ran the middle 1/4 mile in 25.22. they were running on a bermuda grass flat, that was 4 inches tall.

 its not uncommon at all, to see,grass running tbs.run any 1/4 in any grass race, in a comprable time.

a horse thats tring to get sore, or thats hurting a little, will run better on grass.

 and horses that are distance challanged, will run further on grass, than dirt.

 my favorite race is a 1 turn mile,with fractions 12 seconds, or less, per 1/8mi.

difference of opinions, are what makes horse racing.

 if you would like to see those mules run. come to the chuck wagon races, @ clinton ,ark. on labor day week-end. its a thrill a minute.  

good day to all. happy racing.

"an ole railbird".

22 Aug 2012 11:47 PM
Mister Frisky

Love me some cherry red and black.Thanks as always Steve.

22 Aug 2012 11:50 PM
Bob from Boston

Wow.  I wonder what Ted from LA thinks about all of this.

23 Aug 2012 12:10 AM
nu-fan

Dear Mr. Haskin.  I want to thank you for writing a wonderful commentary about an exceptionally classy family, the Phipps.  How often do we see the kind of loyality and dedication in this world anymore and, especially, in horseracing?  How often do we see an owner who cares a great deal more about his staff and his horses than he does about his ROI (return on investment)?  Not often.  A great horse races and wins and, in his third year, he is put out for stud duty (too often because of permanent injury) in a foreign land where the culture may have different values than ours in regards to horses.  Even in our country, horses are sold, and sold again, until they are discarded and possibly sent across the border to be slaughtered.  What has become of our society?  Thank goodness there are families such as the Phipps to remind us about high standards and values.  And, regarding to which horse (U.S. or European is best?  Let the horses decide and let us applaud all of them for their efforts.  

23 Aug 2012 12:45 AM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Lunar Spook thats the myth that the Euros are dominant against any US based turf runner.But in the classic it will be American racing and the connections to the best of my knowledge are old school no illegal performace enhancers.I hope the bettors vote like you and make who is it Camelot the favorite so I can make a good bet which is what this is about for horseplayers making the right bet.

23 Aug 2012 8:06 AM
Pedigree Ann

Just a point of clarification:

The North Americans are not the only ones who race on dirt regularly; much of South and Central America race on dirt as well. Until 1979, the biggest race in South America, the GP Carlos Pelligrini, was run on the Palermo dirt, as was the entire Argentine Triple Crown. Chile has Triple Crowns for both turf and dirt horses. In Brasil, major dirt racing is confined to the provinces (Parana, Taruma, etc.) but includes Group 1 races. The metropolitan tracks in Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru are dirt only.

This is the reason so many South American horses have adapted to North American racing so well - Bayakoa, Paseana, Tizna, Lord at War, Invasor, Gentlemen, *Cougar II (My Own True Love), Canonero II etc. They were already proven on dirt.

23 Aug 2012 8:48 AM
Tiz Herself

I'll Have Another/Union Rags/Bode/Hansen.... what is up with this year? Watched a few replays of Frankel's 13th win to feel better (almost) - Steve do you remember another year where so many major three year olds have been retired due to tendon related injuries? Am waiting to see how the 50/50 that is on Black Caviar is panning out... I hope she can come back!

Thanks everyone for the update on Gold Megillah. I do have equibase stable and am on that every other day, however hadn't seen updates on him. Being in the great northern central Alberta, obviously news of the Thoroughbred world is few and far between. The Blood Horse has better coverage of Northland's Park's biggest race (The Canadian Derby) than our media does. It is sometimes easier to ask someone who's in the midst of all that and is better able to find out the whereabouts of horses at times.  Great to hear that Gutierrez has picked up the favorite in the Canadian Derby! Devil in Disguise was my choice anyways, but he gets the extra intrigue now! A son of Smarty Jones doesn't hurt either!

You're correct Linda, it not matter which country they race in, seeing as how most of the time I watch them as pixels anyways as Alberta doesn't get the 'star power' or the television coverage, it is appreciating that all around the world there are stars as I follow all of it - a horse doesn't choose where it races or how long it races.

Here's to hoping that everyone else who's racing and everywhere stays healthy and there are no more injuries!

23 Aug 2012 9:20 AM
Age of Reason

lunar spook,

It is, in my opinion, anything but "daring" at this point to acknowledge that Frankel is, indeed, an all-time great. In fact, many would even go so far as to say that he is the European equivalent of Zenyatta. Hee! Here we go again! #allinfun

23 Aug 2012 9:24 AM
lunar spook

HANSEN in a nutshell : lucked up to win his only grade 1 stakes in a race union rags was clearly better , faded down the stretch countless times , 9th in the derby , embarrassed in the wv derby , white flash ?  more like flash in the pan !

23 Aug 2012 11:32 AM
Cassandra.Says

Bill:

I was not in any way dissing Frankel. I was replying to Midnight Lute who said Frankel had stayed in England because that was where all the top staying races were, and pointing out that that could not be the reason since Frankel had not run in any of them.

I think Frankel is better at longer distances, but his connections didn't think he would be until he grew out of his desire to lead all the way all the time and fight Queally to do so, getting roughly yanked off heels when he placed him mid-pack.

If anything, I think Frankel has been under-rated by his connections. Even the great trainers assume that a horse with speed must not have stamina. A son of Montjeu will stay, gents.

Yesterday he ran the best race of his life. Back of the pack at a mile, you could see him thinking "Isn't this about where I should be hitting the front?" So he took himself to the front along the inside with an unhurried stride and extended without apparent effort with no more encouragement than two shakes of the reins.

He should skip the St. Leger. The reason there have not been more English Triple Crown winners is that the St. Leger is not a prestigious race. It is considered too close to the Arc for a horse to run in both, an opinion set in stone when Nijinsky did it and lost the Arc. With full fields of international allstars, the Arc has much more prestige than an English race at an old-fashioned distance.

23 Aug 2012 2:26 PM
Stellar Jayne

...and the beat goes on....!

23 Aug 2012 9:30 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Paynter needs a new saddlecloth that reads:

Paynter

Last One Standing

That is, of the deep talent that was there in the 3 yr. old crop. Of

course Gemologist and Alpha and a few others are around but not as proven or talented as the first string that we lost.

Don't we get a farewell video of Hansen from Saratoga?  And Dr. Hansen, if you are out there, where can I get one of those Hansen dolls or toys?  Steve if you go up for the Travers and he is still there can you take a photo of Hansen?

Frankel, agreed, absolutely fantastic!  Awesome horse.  Yep, I'd say the Euro equivalent to Zenyatta as well.  They have to be something quite special to go undefeated that many times.  

23 Aug 2012 11:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Age of Reason

   King Frankel is even a bit of a partial antidote for Queen Zenyatta fever withdrawal for us Yanks. They are the real King and Queen and hopefully can have little princes and princesses. Maybe then we can all get along with the Queen being from America and the King being from England. They could do a much better job of running the world too I dare say. They bloody well could alright. Yah, you betcha. That's right. Yessiree Bob.

24 Aug 2012 12:14 AM
Cassandra.Says

Hansen in a nutshell:

Put together like a stalk of bananas; loved to run, nay, lusted to run; loved to use himself, embellishing his exercise gallops with striking forelegs; unfortunate in the extreme in his managers.

BTW, wasn't Dr. H. going to race him at four and five, while simultaneously he (other Hansen) was breeding mares? So just why is he retiring?

I think one of the Hansens is not up to any more racing, as he finds losses to be devastating personal humiliations. I don't believe he cares two hoots about the horse, or he wouldn't have let him start when he washed out so terribly in the Derby saddling ring; I'm sure the vets would have backed a scratch. He is ego-identified with the horse, and not the horse himself, but a fantasy of the horse, unbeaten champion at two and three.

He was a horse that needed to be in top professional hands for raising and breaking. That he was not gives us a third way we can lose a great horse.

24 Aug 2012 7:50 AM
Tiz Herself

Agree with previous comments that hope heart and longevity, stamina can be bred back into our Thoroughbreds.

Am hopeful that more stallions from Europe, etc., will be brought in to North America to help with adding diversity and outcross for the bloodlines here. Such as Lonhro, All American, Hat Trick, even horses like Einstein, etc.

24 Aug 2012 8:43 AM
Owlbet

Did the Phipps family of thoroughbred racing lend their name to the Phipps Conservatory (a gorgeous greenhouse / gardens) of Pittsburgh, PA?

As usual Steve, a wonderful take-us-all-back-to-the-past blog.  Thank you!

24 Aug 2012 11:04 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Lunar spooky thats good comentary after he is retired hindsight is 20/20 for everyone.

25 Aug 2012 8:17 AM
Davids

Steve, my recollection of these bygone days of racing was the wonderful sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is somewhat lacking in a few of the above comments.

Anyone, who thinks Hansen was 'lucky' to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile has a somewhat naive understanding of that race and racing in general.

If your 'favorite' is beaten, please follow the lead of the Phipps family and accept defeat with a smile on your face. It shows a lot of class.

25 Aug 2012 8:46 AM
Lori M.

Dear Lunar Spook,

I was sorry to read you say twice or more about Hansen being overrated.  Had you been railside for his races?  If yes, then you would have felt the magic that was Hansen.   I was the biggest Union Rags fan out there, but Hansen's victory in the BC was spectacular.   Hubby and I have seen him 3 wins in person, each one thrilling.  It's easy to call a horse overrated, and just a little more introspective and more gratifying to look  and feel what he did for his fans - made them happy - ran like a racehorse - brought smiles to his fans, and looked darned good doing it.   That cannot be overrated.

-L.

27 Aug 2012 12:15 PM
ceil rock

Frankel is a son of Galileo, not Montjeu.  I think Hansen would have such a wonderful miler. It's a shame his owner wouldn't let the trainer do his job with this horse. That is what makes owners like the Phipps family so successful. They have confidence in Shug, and let him make the decisions.

27 Aug 2012 5:06 PM
Karen in Texas

Hansen's win in the BCJ due to luck? That's ridiculous--he was the only horse to win on the "peanut butter" rail for either day of the BC. He earned his win and apparently numerous turf writers thought so as well, since they voted him Eclipse 2y/o by a landslide. He has been, as Barry Irwin said, "a glorious horse." Dr. Hansen may have had unrealistic expectations based on his sudden success at breeding such a champion, but what if one of us had been so blessed? We should be able to forgive him for letting his feet get off the ground with his expressions of enthusiasm. So today we hear what some of us suspected all along--that the initial injury occurred probably before the West Virginia Derby. Hansen never looked like himself in that race to me. It's now become amazing that he finished as well as he did, and a godsend that he didn't break down.

27 Aug 2012 5:12 PM
Linda in Texas

Owlbet -

The Phipp's Conservatory was built by Henry Phipps in 1893 and given to the people of The City of Pittsburgh.

The generosity of a few built many wonderful buildings. Mr. Phipps among them and thoughtful in addition, stipulated that it be open on Sunday so workers could visit on their day off.

Lunar Spook - I resent the nutcase description of Hansen as he is truly magnificent. If he were a big

dark bay, i wouldn't think anymore

or less of him. This is a

sad way for something as beautiful

as he is when he runs to be suddenly sidelined en route perhaps to retirement. I would love to watch him race the length of a huge open pasture whenever the feeling struck him. Just like i witnessed about 2 months ago in Hamilton County,TX near Hico where a beautiful light reddish almost mauve Paso Fino with his white mane flying and his long white tail streaming behind him was running at full gallop. Head held high and his legs high stepping. It took my breath away and i stopped alongside the road/ pasture just to marvel at him. He and many other horses have now been moved, the family that owns the beautiful ranch are all in their 90's and one is over 100, and in nursing homes. I believe the ranch is still in the family and run by couple of grand daughters in their 60's. But i think all the rescues or their horses have been moved elsewhere.

There was a magnificent black horse

that first got my attention as i traveled that State Highway going to Meridian often and did today, i strained to look but no horses visible.

For many of us, it is our loss also. Nothing more, nothing less. But especially Hansen's.

I hope he can be rehabilitated or salvaged for lack of better word to do something he will enjoy.

Thanks Steve. Weren't the races this past week end wonderful. And how appropriate that a record of a dead heat for the Traver's that was

134 years old was broken by a an unknown Golden Ticket and Alpha.

And Willy Beamin a claimer winning

his race. I loved it. 6 wins in a row. And he had just raced and won

3 days before that. Only at Saratoga.

Apologize for the length of this but sometimes i have to say something when i hear a comment that is mean spirited about a horse. He didn't make the choices,

they were made for him.

Thanks Steve.

27 Aug 2012 8:45 PM
Paula Higgins

Dr Drunkinbum, you are so right about The Queen, and now The King. Frankel is very special. We have had some very good horses this year as well. It is too bad they have had so many injuries. We have got to start breeding for soundness.

27 Aug 2012 11:19 PM
lunar spook

LORI M.  -  he was a great story and a popular horse , it just didnt translate to the racetrack !

28 Aug 2012 9:36 AM
lunar spook

CHIEF NEVERPOSTSHISPICKS -  i am getting my woodward picks together now , i will post them BEFORE the race , will you ?   oh by the way you spell it COMMENTARY NOT COMENTARY !

28 Aug 2012 9:40 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Paula Higgins

  It seems like the same story every year here now, illness, injury or breakdown with many of our stars. Something is going on. I don't have all of the answers but I suspect I have some of the answers. Eventhough we don't have the power as fans to change things we do have the right to question what is going on and hopefully to influence those that do have the power to change things. We can start with no raceday meds. Go Frankel !!!!

28 Aug 2012 4:27 PM
joe c.

I have a photo of the 1996 Riva Ridge Stakes winner's circle, and Penny Chenery is presenting Cynthia Phipps with the trophy; the winner was Gold something.  I think her runners-Christmas Past, Versailles Treaty, Singh...-ran in the Phipps gold and purple carried by Bold Ruler.  William Nack's Secretariat book has great stuff on Gladys Phipps love for Bold Ruler.

29 Aug 2012 1:09 PM
Mike Relva

CASSANDRA/ LUNAR SPOOK

Why don't you two quit while you're behind..... please!

30 Aug 2012 10:11 PM
lunar spook

MIKE RELVA - SINCE YOU DIDNT ELABORATE ON THE SUBJECT YOUR REFERING TO , IM ASSUMING ITS HANSEN , IF SO , THIS HORSE HAS REGRESSED EVER SINCE HIS FLUKE WIN AS A 2 YEAR OLD IN A RACE UNION RAGS SHOULDA WON , YOU WOULD THINK BY ALL THE HOOPLA ON THIS SITE THAT FRANKEL HAD RETIRED , MY GOD ITS ONLY HANSEN A MEDIOCRE HORSE AT BEST !

31 Aug 2012 10:28 AM
Mike Relva

Lunar Spook

I'm also a fan of Union Rags, but give Hansen his due. Some of your posts I actually respect, the other individual is an attention seeker at best.

01 Sep 2012 1:39 PM
Karen in Texas

lunar spook----"SHOULDA"--such a meaningful word--in so many ways. Very closely related to "COULDA" and "WOULDA", but none of them have anything to do with the actuality of an event.

01 Sep 2012 5:08 PM
lunar spook

MY apologies to all , i didnt realize what a nerve i hit by stating that hansen has only one grade 1 win and was 9TH in the kentucky derby , let me make everyone happy the three greates horses of all time are as follows secretariat , man o war and hansen !!!!! hope paramount has a movie in the works soon , HANSEN: THE HORSE THE LEGEND !!!!!!!

04 Sep 2012 8:37 AM
Mike Relva

Lunar Spook

Finishing 9th isn't finishing last. It's not his fault his career is cut short.

04 Sep 2012 11:09 AM
lunar spook

MIKE RELVA - CUT SHORT OR NOT , HIS CAREER WAS GOING DOWNHILL FASTER THAN STAY THIRSTY (AND TRUST ME THATS SAYING SOMETHING) OH BY THE WAY DID YOU NOTICE MY WOODWARD PICK FRIDAY ? I NAILED THE TRIFECTA BABY !

04 Sep 2012 12:43 PM
Mike Relva

Lunar Spook

Be good if you could get past gloating over Hansen's misfortune for a moment, maybe you could throw some get well wishes another horses way that really needs it right now.

05 Sep 2012 2:20 PM
lunar spook

MIKE RELVA- MY PRAYERS ARE WITH PAYNTER AS WE SPEAK , MY GLOATING IS GEARED TOWARD CHIEF PICCAWINNA , AS FOR HANSEN SORRY ABOUT HIS MISFORTUNE , JUST THOUGHT HE WAS OVE RATED , P.S- YOU HAVE A BLESSED DAY MY BROTHER !

05 Sep 2012 4:25 PM
Mike Relva

Lunar Spook

I understand, thanks. Have a good day also.

06 Sep 2012 12:45 PM

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