Raja, The Story of a Racehorse

It’s happened to all of us: we watch a promising 2-year-old, we get excited…then he gets hurt and disappears, and often, we have no idea where he goes. In her young adult novel Raja: Story of a Racehorse, Anne Hambleton tells the story of what might happen to a horse who can’t race any longer.…

Comparing the Triple Crowns

We in the United States aren’t the only ones looking forward to the first leg of a Triple Crown this weekend. On Saturday at Newmarket, the 2,000 Guineas will be run at the distance of one mile, kicking off Britain’s Triple Crown season. The other two legs are the Epsom Derby, at Epsom Downs on…

Still shopping?

OK, nine days until Christmas. Eight shopping days. I hope, for your sake, that you’re a little further along in your holiday shopping than I am. But in case you’re not, and still in search of the perfect gift for the racing lover in your life, here are a few items you can pick up…

Sham: Great Was Second Best

Sometimes the second fiddle gets to play in the first chair. Alydar finally beat Affirmed (albeit through disqualification) in the Travers; Easy Goer vanquished his nemesis Sunday Silence in the Belmont. Though often on the losing end of the rivalry, both Alydar and Easy Goer have, over the years, garnered nearly as much ink as…

Kim Schaumburg and Her Last Race

When it comes to career choices, Kim Schaumburg hasn’t exactly taken the easy road. Her first job as an adult was as an exercise rider, then a jockey. When an injury ended that phase of her life, she got her commercial pilot’s license for single engine floatplanes, and on September 11, 2001, she was stranded…

Bill Heller on Jose Santos: Above It All

The life of a jockey would, inherently, seem to have more than enough drama to make its narrative compelling. Small of stature, often from modest (at best) beginnings, the men who make their living on horseback daily risk injury or worse, fighting their own biology to keep their weights low and their strength high. Add…

The poetry of Kentucky Derby

“One of my earliest memories,” recalls poet Andrea Cohen, “is Dreamland. When one is going off to Dreamland, one is riding a stallion.  When I was very young, before going off to sleep, my brothers and I would say, ‘See you in Dreamland,’ and we’d describe the horse we’d be on.” That’s about the closest…

Steve O’Brien’s Bullet Work

Steve O’Brien picked up the phone on Sunday, April 10th, the day after the Wood Memorial, and before I finished identifying myself, he asked, “What happened to Uncle Mo?” O’Brien is a racing fan. He grew up in Grand Island, Nebraska, and broke his racing maiden at Fonner Park.  “I first went with my family…