Forever Together

Racing abounds with contests named after equine royalty:  The Personal Ensign.  The Ruffian.  The Shuvee.  The Vagrancy.  Their names evoke speed and strength and superiority.  To win them is, in some small part, to be linked to them. But then there’s the Diana. The Diana.  Not just royalty, but a goddess.  The chaste and fleet…

Handicapping the Backstretch way

Even the most cursory of looks at racing newspapers, websites, and magazines yields a plethora of handicapping strategies. Beyer guys, Sheets disciples, avowed trip handicappers—everyone’s got an angle, out there for the taking. I attended and bet on races for years before I became cognizant of my own handicapping strategies. Armed with past performances, I…

Keeneland, sights and sounds and…tastes…

I think it’s awfully nice when school holidays coincide with Keeneland racing; it’s even better when it happens in October, when part of the journey involves wending through the West Virginia and Maryland mountains as fall foliage explodes in color. So at the end of yet another Backstretch road trip (24 hours in the car,…

Holy Egregious Oversights, Batman!

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. And profuse thanks to reader BrooklynSaint, who pointed out two unforgivable omissions in my wrap-up post from yesterday. Brian Nadeau: thank you! Brian started writing Derby preps last winter, and he continued handicapping through the end of the Saratoga meet, focusing on the Saturday Pick 4’s. His work…

She does it again

“There’s nothing quite like watching a true champion win a grand old race at Saratoga,” wrote Steve Crist on Saturday afternoon, perfectly and simply summing up the experience of watching Forever Together in the 71st running of the Diana. A year ago on the first Saturday of the meet, Spa visitors were treated to one…

Belmont day in photos

Some of my favorite moments from Belmont ’09, in pictures… The fabulous Fabulous Strike in the post parade… …and winning… …in this time, over a “good” track…which became “fast” moments after this race was official…. Diamondrella… …followed by Forever Together, which made my exacta pay much better than the other way around… Munnings is flying,…