Big Events & New Customers…or not

Hockey returned to the NHL this week after the Olympic break, our national loyalties reverting to regional ones, as the players against whom we rooted over the last few weeks once again become our home team.  Whether NHL players will return to the Olympics in PyeonChang, South Korea, in 2018 remains to be seen; injuries to the…

NYRA Has Built It. Will They Come?

“The second richest day in North American racing” will come to Belmont Park on June 7. That’s what the New York Racing Association (NYRA, and an occasional freelance client of mine) announced last week, in a reconfiguration of its springs/summer stakes schedule designed to create a blockbuster race card on the day of the Belmont…

Working for Woody

On Belmont day 2006, the name of one New York Hall of Famer and racing legend was swapped out for another, when the Riva Ridge Stakes became the Woody Stephens. Stephens’ legacy is cemented in his long list of accomplishments, among them the 11 champions he trained, the Eclipse he won as the nation’s top…

Brian Nadeau Handicaps the Belmont Stakes

Belmont Park: The Grade I, $1 million Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles #1 Frac Daddy: Hit-or-miss type was a decent second to fellow entrant Overanalyze in a painfully slow GI Arkansas Derby, then was 16th in the Kentucky Derby in his last, so he’ll need a massive form reversal to factor. McPeek charge will…

New York-bred Legacies in the Belmont Stakes

Tomorrow at Belmont Park, graded stakes step aside to make way for a day of New York-bred racing. Seven stakes races offering combined purses of $850,000 will be headlined by the first running of the $150,000 Commentator, named in honor of the New York-bred who won the Whitney Handicap in 2005 and 2008. In 2003,…

For Bobby Flay, Thoroughbred Aftercare Is A “No-Brainer”

Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay doesn’t have a horse running in this year’s Belmont Stakes, but next Thursday night, he’ll join his two passions—food and horse racing—to support two major racing charities. Each year, the Jockey Club, which is the breed registry for Thoroughbred racing, holds the official Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration, to be held this year…

Welcome Back to Belmont

On Sunday afternoon, a bouquet of roses lay outside barn 20 on the Belmont backstretch, their colors nearly matching the red paint on the sign identifying the barn as the home of the Phipps Stable. The bouquet wasn’t quite as imposing as the blanket of roses that had been presented the day before, its meaning…