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Happy New Year

2008 is here at last, and while it remains a slow news week, let’s finally get to our 2007 recap. First, we’ll revisit the biggest news stories in racing in something approaching chronological order:

  1. Barbaro’s death: for those of us working at Penn Vet at the time, it was probably less of a shock than it was to the general population, but it certainly got racing back in the mainstream media.
  2. Invasor wins the Dubai World Cup. He is the best.
  3. Lava Man may not be at his best these days, but he can still win the Big Cap if required.
  4. The 2007 Triple Crown series: each race was superb for different reasons. Street Sense gave us a nice Derby, Curlin did a fine job in the Preakness and Rags to Riches supplied what was probably the most exciting Belmont finish in a very long while. Hard Spun hung in for everything and in retrospect was rather impressive.
  5. Royal Ascot: Miss Andretti steps up in style.
  6. Equine influenza hits Australia, causing racing and breeding chaos.
  7. Synthetic surfaces are all the rage, although hard data about them is mysteriously absent.
  8. John Henry’s death: the old guy is still remembered for his temper as much as his success on the track
  9. The Breeders’ Cup: Curlin looks the part, but the big day is marred by the death of George Washington.
  10. Every horse in training retires (well, perhaps it just seems like it).

We should have plenty to look forward to this year; the returns I am most anticipating are (fingers crossed) those of Rags to Riches and Curlin. Showing Up has been turning in great works and that suggests a fun year in American turf is in store. Let’s not forget Magnificience [sic] either…

Finally, just because I like you, lucky reader, you get my top 10 beers of 2007 — if you see them, give them a try:

  1. Avery/Russian River Collaboration, Not Litigation – USA
  2. Bell’s Batch 8000 – USA
  3. Berliner Kindl Weisse – Germany
  4. Dogfish Head Fed-Extra Mild – USA
  5. Dogfish Head Baltic Porter – USA
  6. Elysian Fields ESB (hand pump) – USA
  7. Russian River Pliny the Elder – USA
  8. Stone XI Anniversary (on tap) – USA
  9. Troubadour Obscura – Belgium
  10. Thomas Hooker Liberator – USA


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