To Vote Or Not To Vote? Sportswriters & Awards

When the Eclipse Award winners were announced a couple of weeks ago, the response to the honorees was largely muted; 2013 was not a year in which the performances on the racetrack were likely to give rise to any controversy, and there was no polarizing Zenyatta/Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta/Blame debate for Horse of the Year. What…

Forbes 400′s B. Wayne Hughes Has Another Champion

Forbes 400’s B. Wayne Hughes took home an Eclipse Award for the second straight year when Thoroughbred racing’s highest honors were handed out at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 18. Bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm, Hughes’ Beholder wrapped up the three-year-old filly championship when she won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park on…

Cold-weather Racing With Championship Implications

Mainstream media’s attention to horse-racing ended with the Breeders’ Cup earlier this month, but Thoroughbred racing—and important Thoroughbred racing—continues this weekend, with significant races with championship implications happen today and tomorrow at Churchill Downs and Aqueduct respectively. While the value of an Eclipse Award is debatable, the honor is nonetheless coveted by owners and breeders,…

News and notes and Eclipse votes

Happy new year and welcome to the new Brooklyn Backstretch! I hope that you find a cleaner site that’s a little easier to navigate, a little easier on the eyes; I miss the Brooklyn Bridge at the top (and may well have to find another spot for it, somewhere on here), but a shot of…

Honorific wanderings through horse racing and hockey

 I love the word “vagary.” It comes from the Latin vagari, “to wander”; one definition is “an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion.” I also rather like alliteration. Horse of the Year. Hart Trophy. Halls of Fame. Hockey. Horse racing.  Hmm…surely something there to wander through? And maybe a great excuse to finally figure…

Where angels, perhaps, fear to tread

So we’re just about there: Eclipse Award ballots are due tomorrow, and in a few weeks the seemingly endless, acrimonious debates about Horse of the Year will be over…all except the shouting, which will not, I suspect, subside when the winner is announced. Fervent dissent about the Eclipse Awards isn’t limited to who has earned…