Hangin' With Haskin

For the Love of a Horse

Despite the controversies and horse racing continually working to reinvent itself with modern technology, the sport’s future will remain bright as long as the Thoroughbred can captivate us like no other animal and inspire deep passion in people starting at a young age. It is the centuries-old love of the horse that will guarantee its preservation.... Read More

Looking For Signals in Wide-Open Preakness

Of the first four horses who crossed the finish line at Churchill Downs, not one is back for the Preakness. That leaves us with a wide-open competitive race, including four who survived the muddy mess that was this year's controversial Kentucky Derby.... Read More

Let's Not Forget Country House

Someday, hopefully in the not too distant future, all the anger, pain, frustration, and feuding that resulted from the 2019 Kentucky Derby will at least dissipate to the point where we can all move on. For some, like Gary and Mary West, Jason Servis, Luis Saez and all those who saw their scorching mutuel tickets reduced to ashes right before their eyes, it will be more difficult. But in racing there... Read More

Prat Falls Into Kentucky Derby Winner

Every January, well before the roses are in bloom, jockeys and their agents begin the arduous and often times stressful task of finding the Kentucky Derby winner. It is a pressure-packed four months, first finding a horse early on, then hoping he’s good enough to continue on the Derby trail, then hoping he stays sound, then hoping the trainer sticks with them and doesn’t start shopping around for a bigger name jockey.... Read More

Omaha Beach Defection a Terrible Blow

We have seen the late defections of Kentucky Derby favorites and leading contenders before, but this was the most heartbreaking I can remember. It has created a major void in the race. But it is still the Derby and it is finally time to decipher all the clues we've been given, as puzzling as they may be. One thing is for sure, opinions are scattered all over the place. It is best to break it all down... Read More

Do Buy Into the UAE Derby

Because there are so many question marks surrounding the quality of the UAE Derby, including how a round trip there and back can affect a horse trying to come back in five weeks in the Kentucky Derby, let us look at Plus Que Parfait and Gray Magician as unknowns, and therefore potential megabomb exotics horses despite their mediocre form in the U.S. before heading to the desert.... Read More

Five on a Date For the Derby

The fall of the year, well before the journey on the Kentucky Derby trail begins, is a very special time in racing. It is during those fall months that we often see the seeds sprout that eventually will blossom into the Kentucky Derby winner. That is when Derby dreams are born. Any one of those seedlings could grow into a magnificent Thoroughbred that will one day make history. At least that is what... Read More

Winx Says Goodbye

It was a scene everyone had hoped for and expected. It was a farewell like no other. Tears flowed freely, voices quavered, the words of trainer Chris Waller were difficult to get out. Watching jockey Hugh Bowman being interviewed after the race, I couldn't help having the warped thought of him putting his bloody handkerchief on eBay -.- one final souvenir of the immortal Winx, who provided Bowman with his split lip. Seems like she was the only one at Randwick Race Course who didn't want to be kissed.... Read More

Winx and the Midnight Express

To us folks in the East, Winx, for the past several years has been our Midnight Special. We either set our alarms to watch her or delay our bedtime to watch her. Yes, come midnight on those few nights, an ever-lovin light shines on American horse racing fans that emanates on the other side of the world in Australia. And each time that light grows brighter and brighter. That is the light that radiates from this amazing Thoroughbred, who has now kept us up for a good portion of her 32-race winning streak.... Read More

Memories of Pioneer Days

In horse racing, as in life, timing is everything. When we think of Pioneerof the Nile, it naturally is as the sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. That is enough of a legacy for any horse.... Read More

New Justify Book Available For Pre-Sale

With the Derby trail in full swing, the highlight of the week did not take place on the racetrack, but on the internet, and had nothing to do with this year's perplexing Kentucky Derby picture. But it did have something to do with the Derby and the Triple Crown. A visit to Amazon.com revealed the long-awaited news that Lenny Shulman's book on Justify was available for pre-sale. We have seen a number... Read More

Adventures With Mike Marten

Racing people to Mike were not just figures to photograph. They were sources of information, which he always wanted to absorb. He wanted to get inside of people and that is why his head shots were so revealing.... Read More

J.B., Silver Charm, and American Pharoah

The racing and breeding world was shocked to learn of the death at age 53 of J.B. McKathan, who along with his brother Kevin, helped propel the comet known as Bob Baffert back in 1996, while establishing the McKathan Brothers Farm in Ocala as one of the best classrooms for young 2-year-olds to get their start.... Read More

Phyllis Wyeth and Union Rags Made History Together

I just learned of the death of Phyllis Mills Wyeth on Jan. 14 at age 78. Known for her philanthropic endeavors as well as her family history in the Sport of Kings, she had a love affair with her homebred colt Union Rags that has earned a place in the history books, most notably the chapter on the Belmont Stakes.... Read More

The Year It All Began

Fifty Years. Half a century. A lifetime ago. Seems like yesterday. There is something about anniversaries, excluding weddings and births, that make us remember events we normally don't give that much thought to. When you reach way back and pull out a 50th anniversary, it brings your life into perspective. There is no year in memory that evokes more nostalgia and brings back historical events than 1969... Read More

Hard Luck Derby Horses over the Past 50 Years

When you think of hard-luck horses in the Derby, the first horse that comes to mind is Native Dancer, who was interfered with early and came up a head short of not only winning the Derby but retiring undefeated. We have had other hard-luck horses in the past 50 years for whatever reason who might have been cost a victory or at least a far better placing. There no doubt are others that I am missing, but here is a list of those who come to mind who had their one chance at Kentucky Derby immortality compromised because of bad luck.... Read More

New Mindset for Derby Dozen

As I prepare for the latest onslaught of Derby horses and Derby performances and the same old trainer names, I have come to the stark realization that nothing is the same as it was. Gone is the old formulated thinking. Gone is the same old logic. And gone are the same old historical perspectives. And there is one horse responsible for that. His name is Justify. ... Read More

Sam Riddle on Man o' War Part Two

Unfortunately, Sam Riddle's recollections of Man o' War's 2-year-old campaign were not among the aforementioned papers discovered in Mary Simon's box of old articles and papers. But what follows is a riveting account of Big Red's three-year-old campaign.... Read More

Sam Riddle Tells Inside Story of Purchasing Man o’War

Reading the transcript was an amazing journey back in time that seemed as if it were written today and that Man o’ War was still alive at stud and War Admiral was about to embark on his Triple Crown odyssey. It provided an up close and personal look at Man o’ War through Riddle’s eyes from the time he purchased him throughout his racing career, with the exception of his 2-year-old campaign, which was missing.... Read More

Winx Elevates Vox Populi Award to New Level

The Secretariat Vox Populi Award, created by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery in 2010, annually recognizes the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the general public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing. With approximately 80% or higher of the votes coming from the States each year, it was not a surprise that the award had been won every year by an American horse ... until now.... Read More

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