Hangin' With Haskin

The Unforgettable Kelso

It is appropriate that the New York Racing Association moved the Kelso Handicap from its fall Super Saturday card, where it was pretty much lost, to its own weekend. Now the focus is not only on those versatile horses prepping for either the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile or the Classic, but on one of the all-time great Thoroughbreds for whom the race is named.... Read More

Smarty Party Returns to Philly

With owner Pat Chapman and two handlers leading him down the stretch from the barn area and into the walking ring; Smarty walked several times around, reacting to the cheers of the huge crowd in attendance by pricking his ears and bouncing along on his toes as if he were running in the next race, aptly named the Smarty Jones Stakes.... Read More

The Day Rachel Rocked the Spa

This Saturday will mark the 10th anniversary of Rachel Alexandra's gut-wrenching victory in the Woodward Stakes that culminated arguably the most remarkable season ever by a 3-year-old filly. The race would prove costly not only to Rachel but those who tested her in one of the emotionally charged races ever run at Saratoga. To commemorate that amazing race I am reprinting my recap (with several additions and statistics) to relive all the drama and excitement of a race that will most definitely withstand the test of time.... Read More

Bobby Frankel on Chad Brown

My interview with the late Bobby Frankel today on his former assistant Chad Brown? It would go something like this: SH: So Bobby, what do you make of your boy Chad Brown? Could you have envisioned the amazing success he's had? BF: Why do you think I had him saddle Ginger Punch in the Breeders' Cup Distaff when the love of my life, Happy, was dying and I couldn't leave her? You think I would have trusted... Read More

Goodbye, Marylou

For racing's aristocracy, the tycoons of business and pillars of society who ruled the Sport of Kings back in the early to mid-1900s, it was all about the sport and the glory and seeing horses they bred and raised carry their famed colors to victory. These moguls knew how to win, and more important, they knew how to lose.... Read More

Lessons to be Learned From Ahvee's Destiny

That is not the purpose of this column. As I mentioned, this column is personal, but it reflects the love owners and trainers and everyone connected with the horses have for these noble creatures. The horses are their life, and unless you can witness firsthand the affection and camaraderie between the horses and the people who sacrifice so much to care for them seven days a week, 365 days a year, you had best reserve your disdain for the sport until you are more knowledgeable on the subject.... Read More

My Juliet Worthy Addition to Hall of Fame

It was April 2, 1974. It should have been April 1, for what better April Fool’s joke than telling someone that a filly who had just finished second in a four-furlong maiden race at Fonner Park, a five-furlong bullring track in Grand Island, Nebraska would one day be crowned a champion and elected into the Hall of Fame.... Read More

The Greatest Rivalry That Never Was

When the younger generation of racing fans see this headline they naturally would think the column is about Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra. But most of them probably have no conception of what it was like back in 1966 when Buckpasser and Graustark appeared to be on a collision course that would lead to a much-anticipated showdown in the Kentucky Derby.... Read More

Sir Winston a Chip Off the Old Granddad

It was only a matter of time that we had a Belmont winner infused with the blood of the Gainesway Farm stallion Afleet Alex. It was 14 years ago that Alex's Cinderella story touched the heart of the nation, culminating with a rousing seven-length romp in the "Test of the Champion."... Read More

Normandy Invasion Revisited

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, I am reprinting a story from 2013 when Rick Porter had Normandy Invasion in the Kentucky Derby and brought several survivors of the invasion to Churchill Downs, taking them to the backstretch one morning to meet his horse where they all told stories, still with vivid recollection, of their adventures and heroics.... Read More

Mott, Casse, Could Join Exclusive Club

Try to imagine how tough it is to win a Triple Crown race. Then try to imagine winning two of the three legs. Then try to imagine winning two of the three legs with two different horses. In the past half century you can count on one hand the number of times that has been accomplished.... Read More

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

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