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Horses and Hoaxes

Not the horse

It’s been a difficult Derby prep season so far, thanks to the weather gods; rain postponed racing in California, snow did the job in the Northeast, and finally Arkansas also fell victim to their wrath. The Southwest Stakes, scheduled for Presidents’ Day, will now be run next Saturday; whether the […]

Quick Hits

Time is short today, so we are limited to a few brief bullet points:

Lava Man back in training – the ‘Behind the Music‘ version is very informative.

Zenyatta to possibly run a few times next year – hey, that would be half her season this year already! How about Keeneland instead of Santa Anita? […]

Looking Forward by Looking Back: Breeders’ Cup Marathon

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At first glance, the Breeders’ Cup Marathon might seem as though it was designed to attract the European horses bred for longer distances; but while the Marathon is relatively new to the American racing scene, having only been added to the schedule last year, its new 1 3/4 distance […]

History, Achieved

Opportunities to bask in the glow of historical perspective abound in Rachel Alexandra’s win in the Woodward – it’s difficult to imagine anyone else even close to Horse of the Year after such a performance – but the chance to see her become the first 3-year-old filly to hold that position since 1945 has been […]

Louisville Floods & Racing History

It’s typically an extremely rare occurrence when my worlds collide – oddly, this is the second time it has happened this year.

As many in the archival world know, I write about horse racing. And some in the horse racing world have a vague idea that I’m an archivist, but people in both spheres are […]

Coaching Club American Oaks: A Very Brief History

The Coaching Club American Oaks may have been run at a variety of distances throughout its history, but it is notable that one of the purposes in creating the race in 1917 was to select the very best racemares to become stars in the breeding shed. Indeed, the NY Times described the Coaching Club’s 1920 […]

Ye Cannae Change The Laws O’ Physics…

…but paying attention to them can make raceshorses run faster. Indeed, the changes in jockeys’ riding styles since the early 20th century seem to account for modern speed to some extent, according to new research published in Science this week. (Of course, as a former Nature employee I hate to link to a Science article, […]

Spring Traditions

The Courier-Journal notes that all sixteen ‘prominent’ horses should make the Derby field this time around; it’s a bit ironic that in a year which seems to have a much stronger group of three-year-olds than we have likely seen for some time, we may not hit the maximum field of twenty.

It’s become something […]

An Historical Interlude

With the holidays upon us, there is not a huge amount going on in the racing world for the next few weeks. With that in mind, I will most likely spend the next few weeks ruminating on matters historical. An article on the Belair Stables Museum in Maryland got me wondering about the earliest thoroughbreds […]

Trad Arr Superfecta II

While Godolphin is not exactly having a banner year (for them), they did not have a bad weekend; Cocoa Beach’s upset of Ginger Punch in the Beldame may have garnered more headlines, but Tam Lin’s victory in the Kelso was equally interesting. The British-bred gelding seems to have taken to American turf racing quite well; […]