Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

For Alfred G. Vanderbilt III, A Year of Honoring Legacies

On May 7, Alfred Vanderbilt III was in Ireland, honoring the memory of his grandfather, a man he never knew, on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, in which Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt perished, saving the lives of his fellow passengers. Exactly three months later, he will attend a happier event in Saratoga…

PETA Allegations Scuttle Hall of Fame Nomination

Earlier this month, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame announced the 10 finalists for its 2014 class of inductees. From 84 candidates suggested by turf writers, Thoroughbred industry participants, and racing fans, the Hall of Fame’s nominating committee had selected four jockeys, four horses, and two trainers whose names would go to the…

Celebrating the fillies

This year’s Hall of Fame class is a celebration of the distaff side. Announced last Friday, this year’s inductees are Jerry Hollendorfer, Safely Kept, Open Mind, and Sky Beauty. Oh, sure, Hollendorfer’s a male, but the first question that he took during the teleconference following the announcement was about which of his three Kentucky Oaks…

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…

Even better than a snow day

You’d think that getting a snow day on Thursday could be about the best news that a turf-writing teacher could get…and for much of the day it was. I slept a little later, I got caught up with my grading, I hung out with the cats…the dreamy stuff of which snow days are made. But…

Racing Hall of Fame Induction, 2010

Katy Perry would have loved Friday’s Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony, if, of course, she thinks that West Coast boys are as unforgettable as the girls. Five of this year’s seven inductees had racing roots in California:  trainer M.E. “Buster” Millerick; jockey Don Pierce; and horses Azeri, Best Pal, and Point Given. The West…