Hangin' With Haskin

Harvesting the Crop of 2013

It seems that most every year, people at some point criticize the 3-year-old crop without knowing what history has in store for it and what gems lie hidden beneath the surface. If any crop seemed destined for anonymity and being deemed inconsequential it was the crop of 2013, the crop that has now written its own chapter in the annals of the sport.... Read More

Analysis of the Breeders' Cup Classic

I must start off by admitting that this is one race where my opinion changes, not by the day, but by the hour. I must also admit that two of my favorite horses are in the field, both of whom I would love to see win. They are CATHOLIC BOY and MIND YOUR BISCUITS. I have been a huge fan of Catholic Boy from the moment I laid on him in the paddock before the Remsen Stakes, and Mind Your Biscuits has added... Read More

Breeders' Cup: Always Room For Improvement

The Breeders’ Cup is always looking to make changes in order to improve the event. It started back when the Filly and Mare Turf was added. Some of the changes since have been good and some bad. For years, I have been an advocate for an all juvenile day on Friday, promoting it by saying, “Come see next year’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses.” So, I was thrilled to see Breeders’ Cup make the... Read More

A Lot at Stake For Accelerate

Accelerate's connections are just focusing for now on winning the Breeders' Cup Classic. But the truth is the 5-year-old is embroiled in a hot rivalry with a horse he has never faced and never will. We are all aware, especially judging by the weekly NTRA poll, that a victory by Accelerate in the Breeders' Cup Classic could actually snatch Horse of the Year honors away from Justify, who would become... Read More

Is the Derby Winner in This Year's Juvenile?

Here is a rundown of horses pre-entered in this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile who could join Street Sense, Nyquist, Good Magic, and Classic Empire as major factors in the Kentucky Derby, based on pedigree and performance, mostly visually, as statistics do not always reveal what a brilliant 2-year-old will do going a mile and a quarter at 3.... Read More

Bombs Away! Don't Ignore Pavel in Classic

With the depth of this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, you are going to get some huge prices on horses that don’t deserve to be huge prices. But remember, depth does not always equate to strength, and at this point we really don’t know just how strong the Classic field is.... Read More

Classical Grass

In June of this year, Catholic Boy was winning the Pennine Ridge Stakes on grass at Belmont Park and 17 days later we watched Yoshida run his tail off to be beaten 1 1/4 lengths in the 15-horse Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot following his victory in the Old Forester Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.... Read More

Visiting Marchmont Cemetery and Damascus

Looking at Damascus' grave, I could once again vividly see those Belair white with red polka dots silks that he carried to so many spectacular victories. Those colors are ingrained in the memory and still evoke images and feelings of a time long gone; of innocence, the unbridled joy of victory, the gut-pounding sadness of defeat, and butterflies in the stomach.... Read More

Big Red: The Early Years

Since this story was first published in 2002, I have spoken to several other employees of Meadow Stud who remember Secretariat and have wonderful recollections of him as a baby and a yearling, and some of his wild adventures. So, with the annual Secretariat Festival in Lexington, Ky. on October 12-14 just around the corner, I thought I would update the original article to include new stories of the mischievous Big Red and the docile Riva Ridge from those who knew them well.... Read More

Beware of the Classic Prep Losers

The Breeders' Cup Classic preps are in the books, and what we have is, in simple terms, a mish mash on paper. The anticipated East vs. West showdown between Accelerate and Diversify didn't pan out with the performance of Diversify in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.... Read More

Sizing Up Secretariat's Competition

@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { } Saturday will mark the 45th anniversary to the day of Secretariat's defeat at the hands of Prove Out in the Woodward Stakes. I have written extensively about Prove Out and how that upset... Read More

Is Larry Doing What's Best?

p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri; }.MsoPapDefault { margin-bottom: 10pt; line-height: 115%; }div.WordSection1 { } Larry Best's comments about pulling the brilliant Instagrand out of training, his thoughts on the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown, and admitting... Read More

Invasor Flourishing Back Home in Uruguay

When I visited Haras Cuatro Piedras in Uruguay in 2008, I couldn’t have imagined the farm would one day be home to Smarty Jones for several years and then the country’s greatest equine hero, Hall of Famer Invasor, who at the time was residing at Shadwell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Invasor never developed into a top stallion in the United States, due no doubt to a pedigree considered unfashionable... Read More

BC Classic: To Prep or Not to Prep

The question that has to be asked is, are trainers beginning to take the same approach to the Breeders' Cup Classic, especially with the recent success of horses skipping the traditional Classic prep races and training up to the race?... Read More

The Tuesday That Changed the World

Not only is today the 17th anniversary of 9/11, it falls on the same day of the week; that infamous Tuesday. Although I have written about that catastrophic day’s effect on racing, it is something that needs to be addressed from time to time for those who weren’t around and those who need to be reminded of those two gut-wrenching months for the Sport of Kings, from September 11 through the Breeders’ Cup, run in New York. The stories have been melded together and reworked to portray the entire picture from beginning to end.... Read More

Young Girl Finds a Hero in Her Own Backyard

Mariah Lester is an aspiring racing journalist about to enter college, where she hopes to lay the foundation for a career in writing about the recently discovered sport she loves and horses such as her local hero Stopshoppingdebbie, Queen of Emerald Downs, who opened the door to a wonderful new world. Because of her passion, astute writing style, and ability to tell her story in a captivating manner... Read More

With Catholic Boy, Always Keep the Faith

We don't have horses like this come around very often, so we should embrace Catholic Boy, as we should any gifted horse who brings a distinctive flair to the sport, on one hand specializing in nothing, and on the other hand specializing in everything.... Read More

Summers Made Biscuits From Scratch

All of Chad Summers' horses had their heads out the stall anxiously awaiting dinner. One was pawing the ground, some were nickering, some were squealing. Well, all but one. In the end stall, Mind Your Biscuits had other things on his mind. The seventh race was going off and he peered intently out the back window taking in all the action. ... Read More

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