Hangin' With Haskin

Mornings With Gun Runner

There is no need for an alarm clock when you're in Saratoga, especially when you're staying with your close friends Avi and Rhoda Freedberg, whose home on Fifth Avenue backs right onto the Oklahoma training track. It is just starting to get light out, and the sounds of horses hooves outside your window are all the stimuli you need to hop out of bed, throw on some clothes, go out to the back porch and... Read More

An Unexpected Loaded Gun for the Classic?

But let's start by being more logical. The Classic is simple: Arrogate or Gun Runner? That is where everyone will be focusing their attention. In the two previous showdowns between these two antagonists, Arrogate proved to be the fastest gun alive.... Read More

Angles Galore on European Longshots

This has to be one of the deepest contingents of European invaders, with a number of proven contenders, such as Highland Reel, Ribchester, Ulysses, Churchill, Marsha, Queen’s Trust, Rhododendron, and Roly Poly; and top-class juveniles Mendelssohn, Happily, Masar, James Garfield, U.S. Ranger, and Beckford. But the European danger does not end there. There actually are a number of live longshots who could very well be sitting on a huge upset, based on the fact that they have underachieved on soft going, but love it firm. ... Read More

Why Gunnevera Should Run Well at Del Mar

In the case of Gunnevera, he has one main weapon, and that is a wicked turn of foot and an explosive move on the far turn. As powerful a weapon as that can be, it is not meant to be sustained over a distance of ground. Gunnevera's move is so quick and powerful and is made so early, he can sustain it for about a quarter of a mile, perhaps a bit farther. ... Read More

Still Dreaming After All

Ulcers, good news? Most definitely when it not only provided an explanation for Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming's abrupt form reversal, it virtually plucked him out of retirement and put him on the path for a 4-year-old campaign. ... Read More

The Empire That Almost Was

In the case of Classic Empire, there is no doubt the greatness was there. And there is no doubt it was confronted by enough obstacles to prevent it from fully surfacing. But it did on occasion manage to trickle out, just enough to show the world what might have been.... Read More

Zenyatta Video the Perfect Holiday Gift

The new "Zenyatta: Queen of Racing" video is out, but I must issue a warning to all those who purchase it. If you were a fan of Zenyatta, have plenty of tissues close by. You're going to need them. If you weren't a fan of Zenyatta, have them close by anyway, because you will be by the end. The memories keep coming throughout, reminding us that Zenyatta was so much more than a racehorse. She was a spiritual force who affected people unlike any other Thoroughbred. ... Read More

Why Are Trainers Abandoning the Prep Races?

Once upon a time, not too long ago, Thoroughbred trainers considered prep races, well, prep races; short for prepare. As in prepare your horse for the ultimate goal. As in have him or her primed, fit, and sharp for their big test, which in the case of the Breeders' Cup, often determines the Eclipse Award winners.... Read More

Poo Pooing the Preps

We have entered a new era on the Triple Crown trail, where many trainers now plan only two preps for the Kentucky Derby. It has proven successful over the past decade, so more and more trainers are adopting that philosophy.... Read More

West Coast Offense

With his 7 1/4-length romp in the grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, West Coast has now rattled off four consecutive stakes victories, all dominating scores, including wins in the Travers Stakes, Los Alamitos Derby, and now the Pennsylvania Derby, catapulting himself intro a clear-cut lead for the 3-year-old championship.... Read More

One Final Party For Penny and a Fond Farewell

Well, Penny, after wishing you a Happy Birthday every couple of years, I must update my sentiments one final time. Although it isn't your birthday, it is the day you have entered the gates of racing's pantheon, and ethereally speaking, have been reunited with those the two noble steeds who would help define your life, as well as the man you so admired and cherished, who was responsible for bringing... Read More

No Joke, He Could Be 3-Year-Old Champ

West Coast, Irap, and Tapwrit still need another big victory. Oscar Performance could jump in from the grass category and snatch it away, but needs to beat older horses at 1 1/2 miles. Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing have self destructed following their classic victories. Classic Empire looks as if he needs time to totally regroup following what amounts to a lost year. Girvin needs to rebound big... Read More

Does Arrogate Still Rule in Baffertland?

Just as Arrogate burst on the national scene last year with great fanfare in the historic Travers Stakes, so too has his successor, West Coast, a colt Bob Baffert thought so highly of he seriously contemplated running him in the Belmont Stakes, despite having only four starts in his life.... Read More

Rachel Thriving Eight Years After Woodward

Rachel Alexandra was led out of her barn, her coat glistening and dappled and a bit lighter than when she was racing. As she stood placidly in the morning sun, she was not bothered in the slightest by the two visitors fawning over her. She has held her weight extremely well, and she still has that same bright eye her fans remember during her glory days.... Read More

Now Who Do You Like in the Travers?

In racing, like most everything in life, people like clearly defined lines. For handicappers reading the past performances or their preferred speed figures, they want those lines sharp enough where they can see a race unfold before their eyes. Who is going to set the pace. Who is is going to lay off the pace. Who is going to come with a late run. And most important, who is going to win...and finish... Read More

Can Arrogate Make Us Forget Del Mar Debacle?

When the Secretariat rocket ship soared to a galaxy never before reached in his 31-length procession in the Belmont Stakes, it gave the colt an aura of invincibility and made it seem inconceivable that he would ever be defeated again. He had raised the bar higher than any horse in history or at least the same level as the previous Big Red, Man o’ War. But no matter how devastating he looked in the... Read More

Recent Posts

Recommended

More Blogs

Archives