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Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Christmas Wrapping

If you’re a last-minute holiday shopper still looking to pick up a racing-related item, look no further than Jim Squires’ Headless Horsemen. It’s a thoughtful, often quite entertaining, look at the industry from the ultimate insider/outsider. While Squires is never going to be one of ‘the Dinnies’ whose portraits he rather deliciously paints [...]

Derby Favorites

The first Derby horse I have a clear picture of rooting for was Genuine Risk; when she won, I figured this whole picking winners thing was pretty easy. The next horse I recall backing was Slew O’Gold, who finished 4th in 1983. I was back in form with Swale in 1984 (and was [...]

Tear The Picture Off The Wall

This past weekend’s Derby preps weren’t much help in terms of bandwagon-jumping; War Pass finally had a bad day and the relatively-unheralded (although previously a second place finisher to Denis of Cork) California-bred Sierra Sunset took the Rebel. Georgie Boy, trained by Kathy Walsh, also represented for California by winning the San Vicente, although [...]

Brief Digressions

Prompted somewhat by reading Bill Bryson’s quick and entertaining little Shakespeare biography, I’ve entered the DRF’s Winter of Our Discontent Challenge. A small aside is in order here – the Shakespeare title is part of a series called Eminent Lives – something of a modern take on Aubrey’s Brief Lives, which I naturally [...]

RIP, Storm Boot

Crestwood Farm stallion Storm Boot has died; if you have not yet read Stud: Adventures in Breeding I would suggest you do so now. The chapter chronicling Crestwood Farm is available on their web site, but the entire book is a great read. Crestwood Farm comes out as one of the most sincere [...]

Not By A Long Shot

There’s a review in the Times today of Not By a Long Shot by T.D. Thornton; as it happens, I’ve just finished reading it myself. While it’s easy to find plenty of books on famous racehorses, few have addressed the daily realities for the majority of the sport’s participants — the back and forth of [...]