Donating to those affected by Sandy

Here at the Brooklyn Backstretch, we are grateful that we weathered Sandy with only minor inconvenience: our power stayed on, and there was no flooding in this neighborhood. We feel very, very fortunate. Those nearby were not nearly so lucky. Power is still out in many areas, and homes were devastated by water. According to…

Belmont week charity check-in

It’s Belmont week! As usual, Belmont is dark today and tomorrow, but the mornings on the backstretch will be busy, as shippers arrive and those horses on the ground continue to work towards this weekend’s races. In addition to the racing action, several racing organizations are taking advantage of the focus on Belmont to raise…

The BEST of the Backstretch

“Saratoga is a healing community,” said Paul Ruchames recently, “and you can accomplish a lot with a healing community.” Ruchames is the recently appointed executive director of Backstretch Employees Service Team (BEST); he comes to the position from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in the Bronx, where he served as director…

A Season of (Charitable) Giving

So it’s official: It’s holiday shopping season. Black Friday has come and gone; today is Cyber Monday, when, according to people who pay attention to such things, many, many work hours are lost by those taking advantage of their office computers to do a little online shopping. You likely have plenty of gift options for…

Race Day

It is now post time. My Saratoga training began well: like many summer runners, I made the transition from Belmont to Saratoga well, with a series of works showing steady improvement. I familiarized myself with the course, adjusting to the different upstate running route, learning the configuration, the potential challenges, benefitting from the cool Saratoga…

Tuesday morning quick picks

Last summer, I wrote about a filly who went through the ring during the New York bred sales in Saratoga; she sold for $200,000 and is a half-sister to New York favorite Naughty New Yorker. By Songandaprayer out of Naughty Natisha, the filly makes her racing début on Wednesday in the second race at Belmont.…