Who Was Hollie Hughes?

It was in 2008 that I first made the historical acquaintance of Hollie Hughes, a man who devoted himself to and made a life in horse racing, a man as closely linked to one of racing’s first families as anyone could be. In 2008, I wrote of Hughes and of Sanford Farm, the place where he…

100 Years of the Sanford Stakes

“A fitting tribute to one of the stoutest supporters of the sport New York State has ever known.” So wrote the Daily Racing Form  about the inaugural Sanford Stakes, named to honor a family from nearby Amsterdam, New York, that began racing its homebred horses at Saratoga in the 1880s. Beginning with General Stephen Sanford and continuing…

Remembering the Sanfords

Yesterday’s running of the Sanford Stakes may well not go down in history; scratches reduced to the field to four, and while there was plenty to like in Desert Party’s victory, I’m not sure that many of us are stretching towards his Derby bandwagon, and who knows if we’ll even remember his name a year…

Monday quick picks

Ed Fountaine in the NY Post reports that trainer Sid Watters died in Maryland last week. Watters, age 90, trained champions Slew o’ Gold and Hoist the Flag, whom I profiled at the end of January. The story of Hoist the Flag, which must have garnered a relatively similar amount of press coverage as the…

Hollie Hughes and history

My Saturday mornings are often a leisurely stroll through racing history; with a cup of coffee (aside: for Christmas, my mother gave me one of those old-time stovetop espresso pots, and it makes the best coffee I’ve ever drunk. It’s a sublime source of Saturday morning pleasure), I check out the New York feature race,…