Intense Holiday Lived to Be Rising Star

The pride that breeders feel for the foals they raise and nurture escalate with every hurdle they clear in their young lives. To see the foals grow into classy, strong, sound, correct, and healthy individuals is a gift in itself and brings great feelings of satisfaction. To see buyers at the sale show interest in them and bid big bucks to get them brings feelings of hope and dreams of the future.

Those hopes and dreams then become a powerful dose of reality when your “baby” comes out running and soon embarks on the greatest journey of all – the road to the Kentucky Derby.

Carrie and Craig Brogden of Machmer Hall Farm near Paris, Ky. have had that feeling before. They have bred or raised a number of top-class horses over the past few years, including two recent homebreds on the Derby trail – Vyjack, winner of last year’s Gotham and Jerome, and Vinceremos, winner of this year’s Sam F. Davis Stakes.

But if you can imagine those parental feelings of pride a breeder gets watching their foals develop into tough, finely chiseled athletes, try to take it one step farther and imagine how they feel when one of those foals narrowly escapes death days after being born, becomes a sought after yearling, and eventually matures into one of the leading Kentucky Derby contenders.

When the Brogdens’ Harlan’s Holiday colt, out of Unbridled’s Song’s daughter Intensify, who they bred in partnership with Haymarket Farm, was two days old, Carrie Brogden went in to see him, but as she walked in the stall, their veterinarian came rushing past her. It was obvious that something was dreadfully wrong.

There was the foal lying in a heap in the straw taking extremely labored, heaving breaths, as one would suffering an asthmatic attack. Carrie could only ask, “What the hell is going on?”

“There was a stunned silence and Craig finally said, “We think he has had a reaction to the plasma.,” Carrie recalled. “He had gotten plasma because his IgG (the antibody isotype Immunoglobulin G) was a little less than ideal and this was precautionary only.

“He had an anaphylactic reaction, which caused fluid to surround his lungs. The vet immediately ran back into the stall and administered what I found out was Lasix and solu-delta cortex (steroids). We thank God there was an oxygen tank in the barn and I ran to the office and grabbed it, turning it on full blast and putting the tube up his nose.
I scratched and thumped his forehead, trying to get some endorphins released to stimulate him. It was silent for literally what seemed hours but was just a few minutes I am sure. It was touch and go for a while. Craig and I have thought about that moment in the foaling barn many times since watching him at the sale and in his races.”

Finally, the foal started to come around, his breath slowed and steadied, and he made a full recovery.

“He hasn’t looked back since that day,” Carrie said.

The colt, named Intense Holiday, would go on to hit the board in the grade II Remsen, Nashua, and Holy Bull Stakes, and finish a respectable fifth in the grade I Champagne Stakes for Starlight Racing. He finally put it all together with a dramatic stretch-running nose victory in the grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.

“If the vet had not had the proper stimulants and we did not happen to have oxygen at the foaling barn, there would have been no celebration for us after the Risen Star,” Carrie said. “It was a rare but potentially fatal reaction and one I hope to never witness again. We did lose a beautiful Malibu Moon yearling filly with the same reaction that year, triggerd by antibiotics so I do know the other side.”

As Intense Holiday grew into an impressive-looking foal, he began to command the attention of Machmer Hall broodmare manager Luis Coronado.

“Luis has been telling me he is our Derby horse since he was two months old,” Craig Brogden said. “It’s unreal!”

Coronado added, “The way he walked in the field, the way he moved, and the way he ran across his paddock, he was different from anyone else. I told Craig and Carrie, ‘I know this horse is going to make it to the Derby.’ He was a special horse; very strong.  Whenever you took him outside you could feel the power in him. You could see and feel the difference between him and the rest of the horses. He had so much energy.”

Carrie and Craig began preparing their young horses for the Keeneland September yearling sale and received a boost of confidence when former trainer Frank Brothers, who is the bloodstock agent for Starlight Racing, came to the farm to inspect the yearlings.

“When Frankie came to our farm for the Keeneland inspections, he told me that the yearling out of Intensify was our best horse he saw at the farm,” Carrie said. “It’s funny that he ended up putting his money where his mouth was and buying him.”

Brothers was so impressed with the colt he purchased him for $380,000.

“I looked at 40 or 50 yearlings on the farm and he was far and away the best one there,” Brothers said. “And Harlan’s Holiday is a solid sire and you get a bang for your buck with him. He had the pedigree and he looked like he’d keep running. I really didn’t think he’d bring quite that much, but when two people want a horse, that’s a consignor’s delight. He was very immature and a bit handier as a yearling, but he’s gotten tall and long and you don’t have to worry about him getting the distance. In his earlier races, you could tell he was still learning and now he looks to be on the upswing, while some of the others are on the downswing. You just hope with his style he keeps out of trouble and gets a good trip.”

For the Brogdens, the sale meant a great deal, not only because of the price he sold for, but because they knew how close he had come to dying. And now here he was being fought over at the sale.

“When Starlight bought him, it was a huge sale for us,” Carrie said. “He was a co- homebred and I was so proud. I cried like a baby. Jack Wolf (co-owner of Starlight Racing) and his wife were there signing the ticket and they totally embraced me with congrats when they saw that I was so overcome. I will never forget that day. They were so kind and so warm and I was so thrilled that our colt went into such good hands.”

And so, as the Kentucky Derby becomes more and more a reality, Carrie and Craig can only wait for the first Saturday in May. And as they look back to that near-disastrous day, it is reassuring to know that regardless of how far the distances stretch out, the last thing Intense Holiday will need is oxygen.


Leave a Comment:


Oh the tears are flowing over this one. I think he is a special colt..just had that feeling about him watching the race replay.

24 Feb 2014 7:57 PM

Intense Holiday had a shaky start but with good care and a solid trainer he will get to show us what he can do this year. Thanks Steve, it always adds a personal aspect when we watch them start their careers. I hope his intensity continues to grow and his star continues to rise.

24 Feb 2014 9:38 PM

That's an incredible story that I hadn't heard before, Steve.  Wow!

And one thing that makes it even more poignant is the tragic death of Harlan's Holiday earlier this year.  That completely crushed me because I loved that horse with abandon, and he was just coming into his own as a serious sire.  It was a horrible loss!

But one of the saving graces of this game is that a stallion may be sadly gone too soon, but not before he has a chance to leave a real legacy, and Intense Holiday is starting, slowly but surely, to check off the boxes.  He's unfortunately going to have to carry around my heart and its love for his daddy, but I suspect somehow that he's going to be up to the task!

24 Feb 2014 9:51 PM

Paseana..your post said it all for many of us.

25 Feb 2014 5:06 AM
Sail On

Touching. He is a fine looking horse. Lets hope he stays healthy.

25 Feb 2014 7:01 AM
Fernando Rodriguez Larrain de Lavalle

Beautiful story . Congratulations!!!!

25 Feb 2014 9:13 AM

An interesting and touching story well detailed. Whereas, the story detailed his near death experience and recovery, I am not sure the conclusion about the colt being a rising star is justified at this time. I am of the opinion that the definition of a thoroughbred rising star is a horse that is quickly becoming popular due to repeated successes either on or off the track. Neither of the aforementioned applies to Intense Holiday.

I first saw the colt is his MSW victory at Monmouth Park. His energy efficient motion while galloping captured my attention and I became an immediate fan. I backed him in the Champagne and he made a big move approaching the top of the stretch only to give his first display of what has become his MO. He flattened out and was one paced to the line.  The effort was disappointing as he had previously won at 8F and the eventual race winner Havana, had only one start at 5 1/2F.  

Despite his disappointing Champagne effort, I was on board again in the Nashua. He experienced trouble against the rail in the stretch and his rider chose not persist with him close home. It was unlikely that he would have beaten Cairo Prince even with a clean trip as he had been unable to do so in subsequent meetings in the Remsen and Holly Bull.

He contested four stakes prior to the Risen Star with a record of (5th,4th, 4th & 3rd). He had by a wide margin the most graded stakes experience against top class company entering the race. Despite this advantage he was only able to secure victory by a nose. The colt he narrowly defeated was making his 2nd start in a stakes and also his 2nd attempt at 8F and beyond. Intense Holiday in comparison was contesting his 6th race at either a mile or longer and his 5th stakes race.  

Intense Holiday's near death experience and recovery story is a great read. However, his classification as a rising star does not fit the definition. He is not quickly becoming popular for repeated successes. His narrow victory in the Risen Star as the colt with the best credentials going in, can hardly be seen as a substantive. He will need more commanding follow up victories before he can be classified as such.

One stakes victory from five attempts a rising star does not make.

25 Feb 2014 9:57 AM
Steve Haskin

It amazes me how some people put a negative spin on everything, even something as innocuous as a headline. Rising Star is merely a play on Risen Star; not worthy of a dissertation on the definition of a rising star and how this horse is not a rising star.

25 Feb 2014 10:35 AM

Hey, Steve!  No problems; some of us made the connection between "Rising Star" and "Risen Star."  Since you are known for your clever headlines -- and astute comments -- I am amazed that the poster in question did not more closely examine his before making them.  

Good job, as always, and Intense Holiday is one to be watching, for sure!

25 Feb 2014 10:54 AM
Old Old Cat

My computer burped when I posted this, so I'm trying again.  If it's a duplicate, throw one away.

First, thank you Steve for another inspiring article.  If Intense Holiday becomes the rising STAR racing for STAR-light Racing, your headline will be totally vindicated.  

25 Feb 2014 12:22 PM

Another wonderful article Mr. Haskin. I was unaware of Intense Holiday's near fatal incident as a very young foal. Thank God that he was saved.

I have not seen any of his races yet, but I am looking forward to watching him run, hopefully, if any of the races he runs are ever televised.

Thank you for writing articles like this. We fans don't always get the chance to learn much about the lives of the horses who are up and coming. You do a marvelous job on keeping us updated.

25 Feb 2014 1:40 PM
lunar spook

As usual COLDFACTS pisses on the parade !

25 Feb 2014 2:37 PM

This story brought tears to my eyes. I hope & pray this "Special" Colt wins the Derby, for his Sire and for his connections. Thanks Steve for another Wonderful Story.

25 Feb 2014 2:42 PM
Steve Haskin

Lunar Spook, he is who he is.  

25 Feb 2014 4:29 PM
Love 'em all

First online story I've read since being offline for the past four days (darn this computer!), and what a treat it has been, Mr. Haskin.  This one will be reread many times, as so many of your stories are, and I do thank you.

25 Feb 2014 5:23 PM
Mike from Michigan

thank you Steve for bringing us this wonderful story.  I hope and pray he stays healthy so we can watch him run in the Derby, what an amazing chapter that would be to add to his life-book.

25 Feb 2014 8:48 PM
Dave R.

Good article and extra information on a colt that I have liked and been following. He made a nice move in the Holy Bull and kept running, but Cairo Prince got first run and was gone.  By my calculation he put in a 23.00 4th quarter in the Risen Star and did his last 1/8 in 6.00.  He is in good hands and sure to have a top jockey for the Derby preps and the Derby if he makes it.  He seems to learning his lessons and also seems to be able to handle the traffic likely to be encountered in the Derby.  I will be pulling for him.

25 Feb 2014 9:55 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Just a 15 second post from Barry Irwin could save us.

Everybody knows that.

Yes, but did you know that a rising star can be a diamond in the rough, a piece of coal, or the greatest thing since sliced bread?

I wonder what Yogi would say, or even better- What would Rizzuto say about a rizzing star in the Rizzen Star?

26 Feb 2014 6:04 AM

No question that you put the heart in racing, Steve. These backstories are my favorite part of the Derby trail each year. Felt a little bit like the Mucho Macho Man story and his near-death entry into the world.

26 Feb 2014 8:02 AM

Mr. Haskin,

“Lunar Spook, he is who he is”

I am not sure how I should interpret the above. I applauded you for the great story regarding the Intense Holiday. However, I was critical of your rising star conclusion and I have somehow placed a damper on the story.

Do you seriously regard my comment as same? Do I have a tendency to comment on what I assess to be either emotionally driven or over the top statements? Yes! Is there something wrong with my policy? I am not of that opinion. Does my approach make me a controversial supporter of your work? No!

While I have nothing but respect and admiration for your work I am not obliged to be blinded by same and reverse the right to have dissenting views on some issues.

26 Feb 2014 8:38 AM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, if you want me to be honest, I will tell you, first of all I addressed your comment saying it was merely a headline play on words, but as usual it seems to have gone in one ear and out the other, and you contunue to harp on the same mundane thing over and over until it gets tiresome. You can criticize headlines and my Top 12 and other people's comments and favorite horses all you want. As I said, that is obviously what you enjoy doing ad nauseam. But when I feel enough is enough I have no choice but to curtail your comments and pick out the ones that are relevant and not rehashing what you've already gone over numerous times. In short, you criticize without taking a stand and offering your own Derby horses and rankings. That is always easy to do, because there are some 350 horses nominated to the Derby each year and when you state so authoratitively a horse has no shot to win the Derby you're going to be right 349 times. If you take great satisfaction in that, that's your concern. You wanted an honest explanation. There it is.

26 Feb 2014 10:41 AM

When one's mo is  ego (deflated)-driven "dissertations", what's the surprise?

Nice read. So many obstacles to overcome as a breeder. Nice reminder to keep oxygen on board-but must be schooled about proper use/dose/%.

26 Feb 2014 10:57 AM
Melissa P

Steve, once again, beautifully written. Paseana, the same goes for your lovely comment. I also thought immediately of the stories surrounding my favorite horse presently racing, Mucho Macho Man. I've been through a near loss of a foal. In our case, it was our only one. We almost lost her to colic, but quick thinking and the University of Georgia equine vets saved her. I can certainly relate. I will have even more reason to hope for great things from intense holiday now that I know the back-story and that he is owned by Starlight Racing.

26 Feb 2014 10:57 AM
The Bid

Steve....THANKS on ALL accounts!!!!!! Another gem from THE BEST!!!!

26 Feb 2014 11:32 AM

This is my first ever comment submitted to the Bloodhorse. Unfortunately, its fueled by one negative commentor! I used to visit the Thoroughbred Times news article section and post comments under various aliases. It was entertaining to try and stir the pot on industry issues. "COLDFACTS" reminds me of when Zenyatta was racing and one person decided to stir the pot by attacking her and her connections for leaving Ca or racing against the 'boys, etc... This individual commented under the name "Afleetalexforever".  I also remember how fun it was to watch the masses attach him right back, some even inviting him to step out of the shadows and "meet them in a parking lot".....I know how easy it is to get caught up in this situation...but consider maybe COLDFACTS is deliberately stirring the POT, for his own twisted entertainment....or...maybe he has the "Napoleon complex"....or maybe he was the 11th pup on a 12th pup litter!!!!! As a horseman, I got the message of the story, and its always a great thing to promote our industry with good news, NOT NEGATIVE. Nice job Haskins.

26 Feb 2014 12:50 PM

This is my first ever comment submitted to the Bloodhorse. Unfortunately, its fueled by one negative commentor! I used to visit the Thoroughbred Times news article section and post comments under various aliases. It was entertaining to try and stir the pot on industry issues. "COLDFACTS" reminds me of when Zenyatta was racing and one person decided to stir the pot by attacking her and her connections for leaving Ca or racing against the 'boys, etc... This individual commented under the name "Afleetalexforever".  I also remember how fun it was to watch the masses attach him right back, some even inviting him to step out of the shadows and "meet them in a parking lot".....I know how easy it is to get caught up in this situation...but consider maybe COLDFACTS is deliberately stirring the POT, for his own twisted entertainment....or...maybe he has the "Napoleon complex"....or maybe he was the 11th pup on a 12th pup litter!!!!! As a horseman, I got the message of the story, and its always a great thing to promote our industry with good news, NOT NEGATIVE. Nice job Haskins.

26 Feb 2014 12:50 PM
Linda in Texas

Thank you Steve for this article. I am just now reading it. I should have checked "Hangin With Haskin" earlier as I did not know this about Intense Holiday. Must be how and where the name 'Intense' Holiday came from. But he is a Harlan's Holiday and i wanted him to do well for his deceased sire. Little did i know he had the issue as a newborn so it makes him even more special to cheer on. Sounds almost like a Mucho Macho Man issue all over again. I love them all each in their own ways, just special creatures i cannot even begin to describe and that keeps me coming back over and over again.

26 Feb 2014 12:52 PM
Linda in Texas

I am going to quote a blogger for whom i have a ton of respect, but i won't mention his name. I say to Coldfacts, "who died and left you in charge"?  That is about the nicest way i can say how i really feel. You no doubt take a cold shower every time you read Steve's articles. You seem to want to start a fight with anyone every time someone does not hold your anti everything opinions. I am curious, which horses did you own and race? Further, you never do mention a pick. But you are quick to chastise other's for their choices, while conveniently not giving yours. Usually i just blow your comments off and consider the source, but why time after time you have to rain on other's parades?

26 Feb 2014 1:03 PM
El Kabong

Steve,  If Intense Holiday does make it to the Derby, Old Pink Eye Bob and his crew are going to have a tough time telling the story any better. It's really a privilege to have someone bringing us these stories from the barns whether they rise to the ultimate occasion on May 3 or not. I really appreciate the effort the 20 entrants and their connections have summoned to reach that day, but with stories like this, we get to know how difficult the road really is at times.

Dr D, my thoughts exactly but I think Steve handled the matter better. Secretly I root for Team Valor because I want Neumeier to put the mic to Barry one more time. I never laughed so hard at a post derby interview in my life.

26 Feb 2014 3:28 PM
Your Only Friend

After reading the blog and your articles just another reason that racing should put in point system for 3 year old fillies.......believe it would create more interest in racing That would be bold move, probably have some rejections from those who resist change.

26 Feb 2014 5:10 PM

Great story Steve. You always bring so much to the stories in the backgound that we seldom get to hear, to which I offer a world of thanks.

26 Feb 2014 5:37 PM

I hope we can see that Rising Star for the legacy of Harlan's Holiday. He has produced some notable individuals that have left their mark on racing. Remembering some of those : Denis of Cork(3rd in the KD), Shanghai Bobby(winner BC Juv.), Into Mischief(sire of Vyjack and Vicar's in Trouble), Poker Player(best is yet to come?), Notacatbutallama( nice multiple stakes winner), Mendip(graded quality now at stud in Turkey), and one of my favorite fillies, Summer Applause.

Intense Holiday could be the real deal, don't overlook if he enters that starting gate at CD the first Saturday in May.

26 Feb 2014 6:14 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

El Kabong

   That's true and I also like Barry Irwin and Team Valor and honesty. Steve handles everything very well. That's just one of the reasons he's the best. I also think precautionary meds, and radiation like CT Scans are overused and can be dangerous as this great article points out in this case with the plasma that was given. My favorite interview is still the Battle of the Bulge interview with Harry Aleo, the owner of Lost in the Fog, but certainly Barry's was exceptional also.

26 Feb 2014 6:56 PM

Wow.  It’s difficult to overcome the knowledge and expertise of Coldfacts.  I mean, he’s a legend isn’t he?  However, I think I’ll take a stand for Intense Holiday and say that I believe that he’s a rising star.  His tenacity in turning what looked like a defeat into a hard earned victory in the Risen Star impressed me, especially because he was squeezed and slowed in the clubhouse turn and had to slow and then pull out and go 4 or 5 wide in the far turn.  Then when it looked like he was going to stall at the 8th pole, Mike Smith got into him, especially in the final 16th and he showed his desire to win.  Intense Holiday’s closing numbers were, after a tardy beginning, better than the filly Untapable in the Rachel Alexandra, and a lot of people are raving about her after her ten length win, many now thinking that she’s the Oaks favorite.  Sure Intense Holiday was zero for 4 in graded stakes company, but who did he race against?  Let’s see……Havana, then Cairo Prince and Noble Moon, then Honor Code and Cairo Prince again, and then once more against Cairo Prince and with a sprinkling of Conquest Hero.  That’s pretty good company.

Good horses improve from two to three and others improve with racing experience.  Thank goodness that the owners of Cigar didn’t give up on him after his first dozen or so races.  Charismatic never emerged until its 14th race and his first two wins were in claimers.  It took Real Quiet 8 starts to even break its maiden.  Tabasco Cat didn’t win its first G1 until its 11th start, the Preakness, and then he must have felt so good about it that he went out and won the Belmont in his next start.  At some point it would be nice to see an objective opinion based on applying sound handicapping principles instead of doling out meaningless facts based on breeding or the general law of averages, much of which sound intelligent, but have little or no particular relevance when a horse enters a starting gate.

26 Feb 2014 10:05 PM
lunar spook

LINDA IN TEXAS-You wouldn't name your favorite blogger , but ill name mine , its LINDA IN TEXAS , (those were great comments by the way)

27 Feb 2014 12:15 PM

Steve, I love how you closed out your story in your last sentence!  Perfect ending to a great story...once again!

27 Feb 2014 6:23 PM
Paula Higgins

Great story Steve! Made my day. Close to tears over this one. I cannot imagine anything worse in this sport than losing a foal. So glad he is thriving in every way and looking forward to following him.

27 Feb 2014 10:33 PM
El Kabong

I have revisited the Risen Star again and again. I'll go down right now saying that was one of the most thrilling races I've seen in a while on the Derby trail. First of all, I have to admit that I underestimated Larry Jones for the last time. He is a brilliant trainer and Albano has not been heard from for the last time. Knowing Larry, he'll have this colt ready to dominate on the front end again in the LD. That said, I am looking forward to Intense Holidays next rematch. That stretch run was intense. He gunned down a really fast horse who I believe will stretch out just as much. These two will thrill us again, they are spectacular horses who have guts and speed. Good luck to the others. They'll need it.

28 Feb 2014 9:53 PM
steve from st louis

Steve, your work and opinion of the Blooded Horse is obviously beyond reproach. Some fools find the internet empowering. It's a shame they find themselves as  interesting and intelligent when that's nine furlongs from reality.

01 Mar 2014 7:12 PM

This story Steve is the perfect opener to those of us who do not know or have not had the opportunity be on the other side of the game and inside the world of thoroughbred racing and so I am not surprised by the negativity of some (nor their lack of knowledge) and it is a daily task to keep those energies away just as Intense Holiday has done....for the simple fact that this colt was able to survive such a battle shows his strength, power and perserverance to overcome.  Even if Intense Holiday doesn't cross that finish line first, his efforts, will and heart make this Rising Star a Risen Star ~ He has a tough course ahead of him and lets stay positive that no matter where he finishes ~ he finishes well and sound - He's a fine colt as is your article!

Thank you - for your passion in the Sport of Kings!

01 Mar 2014 10:16 PM


I have decided to cease making submissions to Mr. Haskin’s blogs. However, I hope he will grant me this final submission that contains some response to your critique of me.

I am not 12th pup from a large litter and I do not possess a "Napoleon complex" I cannot determine when one of my submissions will cause controversy. Let me assure you that they are never intended to be.

A lot very offensive quote have been directed to me. I will not try to determine their merits or demerits. However, the one cited in your submission supersedes all. I deliberately cause controversy for my own twisted entertainment. My submission usually contain a mix of facts and opinions that are open for comments. I have no control over how said facts and opinions are received. While it might not be apparent, I am respectful of the views of others.

Twisted Entertainment at the expense of others could only be conceived by a twisted mind. I do no believe my passion for thoroughbreds has left me with a twisted mind. How could you see it fit to attribute such a reason for my approach and regard yourself as fair and balanced. Under no circumstance could I arrive at that conclusion about another.

Despite the harsh and offensive appraisal you have compiled of me, I hope the ones you are likely to  receive someday, will be more favorable as you have surely provided insight into the wonderful and infallible individual you are.

03 Mar 2014 12:32 PM

Linda in Texas,

No one died and left me in charge. Kindly accept my sincere apology as have clearly offended you. My views tend to impact folks in the wrong way despite the fact that they are never intended achieve such results.

I am a fan of the subject colt and happen to disagree with Mr. Haskin’s assessment. I meant no harm. My fault lies in the composition of my words.

The answer to your question is, yes. I once owned thoroughbreds but not in this country. I likewise have touching story about the horses I owned. I was not trying to make little of the on told by Mr. Haskin.

03 Mar 2014 12:36 PM

Fantastic article.  I would like to see more articles like this; of what the sport is truly about. Thanks Steve

03 Mar 2014 12:38 PM


Long before Mr. Haskin dedicated this blog to Intense Holiday I was a fan of the colt. Below is an extract  from the Unlocking Winners Blog to confirm same.

Posted 11/29/2013:

"A careful review of the Nashua will reflect the less than ideal trip experienced by 4th place finisher Intense Holiday. He was bottled up behind horses down the back stretch and was angled to the outside and then back to the rails only to be blocked at a crucial point in the race. His rider chose to not persist with him after it was apparent he was out of contention for one of the top 3 spots."

"I am of the opinion Honor Code is the colt to beat in the Remsen but I cannot see Cairo Prince finishing ahead of Intense Holiday should he experience a better trip”

I had a wager on colt every time he raced with the exception of the Risen Star. I just cannot balance Mr. Haskin's assessments with the numerous disappointing performances he has delivered. Some folks see a glass as half empty other see it as half full. I hope this has shed some light on my views and the demonization can be halted.

03 Mar 2014 12:43 PM

My first post. With that congrats to Mr. Haskin. His much admired research is exceeded only by his writing prowess. I was taken aback by the reaction of the posters of someones opinion (Coldfacts). I read his post and he stated his opinion of Intense Holiday. He is entitled to that opinion. I would further say that he makes the board better by contributing rather like heat tempering steel. He did not name call nor slander but several of the responding posters did. I look forward to reading and sharing opinion(s) on this site. I enjoy lively and divergent views. Racing is a multifaceted sport and industry. Let us welcome views we do not agree with. Some very knowledgeable posters here. Let us welcome all opinions. By the way Intense Holiday is my derby favorite. I think he has all the right stuff to get the mile and a quarter on May 3rd.

04 Mar 2014 8:43 PM


I look forward to lively debate too.  However, what I suggest you do before you chastise others on here is read Coldfacts’ posts and then ask yourself: Does he not tend to comment on many others’ opinions even to the point of actually taking their comments out of context?

07 Mar 2014 12:27 PM


"Does he not tend to comment on many others’ opinions even to the point of actually taking their comments out of context?”

At the end of each of Mr. Haskin's blogs is the statement 'Plese Leave a comment'

There is no specification as to what the context of those comments should be. The comments can therefore be in the form of either a challenge or an endorsement of the views of the moderator.

Let take this opportunity to address your comments above. This forum allows for opinions to be advanced and consequently said opinions can and will be challenged occasionally. Am I the sole contributor that comments on opinions? No! Do I challenge opinions on a larger scale than others? No! My tendency is to question the basis of certain opinions when the cold facts available either do not support them or allow for more appropriate conclusions. All contributors are at liberty to put into context their opinions if it appears that said opinions are taken out of context. The challenger does not have the last words.

Lots of submissions are loaded with ambiguities and therefore allows for varying interpretations. Lots of statements are emotionally driven and are without proper foundation. I try to inject some balance. Below an example:

“It is unlikely that trainers will want to start against Uncle Mo”

In what context should the above have been viewed? Why would a Blood-Horse correspondent make such a statement? I challenged the above opinion. Did I do so because I took the statement out of context? The statement was clear and void of ambiguity.

Why would trainers be afraid start their horses against Uncle Mo? Secretariat was champion 2YO and HOY when he started his 3YO career. Did trainers hide their charges when he rolled into town? Did Uncle’s performances and achievements supersede those of the great chestnut? Did the horses Mo defeated exited the races with injuries or drop dead thereafter?

Some opinions beg for challenges and that was one. Uncle Mo like Secretariat was defeated in the Wood and did not even make the Derby field. Statements like the above must be seen for what they are and that is, grossly inappropriate.

I present a different perspective using the same set of cold facts. That is what sparks healthy debates and allows contributors to fine tune their analytics skills. I have no problem being demonized for a policy that is a harmful. However, do not demonize me for a policy that promotes more in-depth thoughts and less emotions in arriving at conclusions.

08 Mar 2014 8:39 AM

Coldfacts, save your energy.  I have no problem with anything you say or how you say it, as long as you can accept the fact that some people are going to respond and not all responses are going to be kind.  My last post was in reference to a new blogger who on his/her very first post decides to set things straight and tell people what they can do or not do.

08 Mar 2014 4:35 PM

Recent Posts



Social Media

More Blogs