Hangin' With Haskin

Ky. Derby Trail: Rabbit Punch

On several occasions over the past few years, Todd Pletcher has reached into his hat to pull out a rabbit, and in most cases the trick didn't go quite as planned. Pletcher has decided to try his luck at prestidigitation once again in Saturday's Florida Derby.... Read More

Kentucky Derby Trail: Louisville Shuffle

As often happens on the Kentucky Derby trail, they fell like proverbial bowling pins last weekend, although two of the bigger names reinforced their strong position. Not all the vanquished will be taken off the trail, as some deserve another chance after racing on less than desirable surfaces, but they have put themselves in a desperate situation.... Read More

Ky. Derby Trail: The Total Package

March means many things to owners and trainers of horses on the Kentucky Derby trail. There's the nail-biting, the sleepless nights, and the early morning phone calls that every owner dreads. And for many it sadly means the end of the road.... Read More

'Miracle' at Machmer Hall

The following heartwarming story was sent to me by Carrie Brogden at Machmer Hall Farm in Kentucky. I am relaying just as she wrote it because it's a must for all horse lovers: ... Read More

Phil Marino Remembered

Word came the other day of the passing of Phil Marino on Feb. 26. He was 59. Many people don't know who Phil Marino is, and that is a shame. ... Read More

Ky Derby Trail: Road to the Roses

The last Saturday in November is NYRA's farewell to grade I and grade II racing, with the running of the Cigar Mile (gr. I) and the grade II Remsen and Demoiselle Stakes for 2-year-olds. But last year, there was a buzz in the air that had nothing to do with any of those three races.... Read More

Ky. Derby Trail: The Challenge is On

So, 23 "elite" 3-year-olds have been chosen to make up the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager field. Well, several of those who didn't make the cut are up in arms over the selections and are offering a challenge to the so-called leading Derby contenders.... Read More

Girl Talk

Before we get to this past week's races, there is a pedigree pattern developing this year that you don't normally see to this degree.... Read More

Out With the Old

So ends arguably the most tumultuous, controversial year in the annals of Thoroughbred racing. The sport no doubt is on the brink -- of what we don't quite know yet. But when PETA protests, congressional hearings, synthetic surface studies, steroids, and anti-horse slaughter bills, infiltrate our normally cloistered world and dim our kaleidoscope of vibrant colors you know change is in the air.... Read More

Holiday Wishes and a Poll

This final blog of 2008 is to wish everyone a joyous holiday season and say thanks for all the comments over the past six months and all the words of encouragement regarding the historical pieces, most of which combined facts, anecdotes, and personal recollections of the horses and the people.... Read More

The Skip Trip

First it was Holy Bull's rampage in 1994 and then the reign of Cigar. No chronicle of the mid-to-late '90s would be complete without recognizing Skip Away's career, which football pundits would call smash-mouth racing.... Read More

The Garden Party and Other Cigar Stories

Any discussion of the era of the mid-to-late '90s would not be complete without talking about Cigar. What follows are several behind-the-scenes stories about Cigar that, it is hoped, will take the readers to places they have never been.... Read More

Bull's Eye!

I'm sure many people are familiar with the story of Holy Bull and Jimmy Croll, but in keeping with the current historical theme I will tell it again for those who are not familiar with it and those who only know parts of it. It's another one of those racing stories you can't make up.... Read More

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