Can A Big Screen “Change Racing Forever”?

Racing fans that pulled the Kentucky Derby/Preakness infield double were treated on both days to stupendously beautiful weather, a range of high- and low-end hospitality offerings (and behavior), and terrific racing. Preakness infield denizens were treated to concerts by Lorde and a handful of other musical acts, but if the Churchill Downs infield crowd didn’t…

Churchill Does It Again–And Again!

Last summer at Saratoga, a turf writing veteran – male – called me over to a TV in the press box. “Have you seen this?” he asked. Seen what? He gestured to the television, rendered practically speechless by what he was seeing. This very bad video, taken in the Saratoga Racino on Thanksgiving weekend, offers…

A Saturday Visit to Churchill Downs

Seeing the pictures of the tornado damage at Churchill in no way prepared me for seeing the wreckage in person. The backstretch and the nearby neighborhood were studies in contrast: incredible destruction juxtaposed with pristine completeness. The tornado apparently made its way down the backstretch like an unruly two-year-old, leaping and touching down unpredictably and…

Breaking a Churchill maiden

Monday morning, April 19th:  It’s been quiet for a little while, but at about 8:25, the stirrings begin. The clockers resume their places: binoculars are raised, stopwatches poised. After a morning of commonplace workouts—oh, except for that bullet that Rachel Alexandra fired at 6:30—the Churchill Downs track is about to become something of a private playground. Under…