Hangin' With Haskin

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

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

Recent Posts

Recommended

More Blogs

Archives