Brian’s Derby Preps: The Withers

Brian Nadeau of Horseplayer Now offers his regular analysis of the 2014 road to the Kentucky Derby with a look at the Grade III, $250,000 Withers on Saturday at Aqueduct at 1 1/6 miles. #1 Uncle Sigh: Romping New York-bred MSW winner sure looked good when stretching to two turns last time in a breakthrough…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Withers

Aqueduct: The GIII $200,000 Withers at 1 1/16 miles #1 Long River: The first half of a sharp Darley entry adds blinkers off a relatively disappointing fourth in the local GII Jerome, when he basically ran around the track without making an impact after a solid MSW win over the track. The good news is…

David Dunham Withers

On this weekend when a team that plays in New Jersey will be nominally representing New York in the Super Bowl, it seems only fitting that a race named for a man whose racing life was based in the Garden State will be run at Aqueduct. Like the New York Giants, David Withers got his…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Withers

The Grade III, $200,000 Withers Stakes at 1 1/16 miles #1 Hakama: Impressed with a front-running score at Laurel to make it 2-for-2 withblinkers and at two turns, and he enters this much tougher spot as the “now horse” from a cozy rail draw. There’s other speed signed on, but with this advantageous draw, he…

Highs and lows

Over the weekend, I wrote about the withering of the Withers, about the loss of the historical and contemporary significance of the race: no big-name horses; a short field; an abiding lack of interest from the greater racing world. Just another minor, meaningless, low-level stakes race at a largely-empty racetrack. Ho-hum. Check, please. And then…

The Withers, and Withering

Withers:  “The high part of the back of a horse or similar animal, located between the shoulder blades.” (American Heritage Dictionary, via Wordnik)   Well, that’s certainly appropriate. Withers:  Mr. David Dunham Withers, member of the American Jockey Club and one of the founders of Jerome Park (via NYRA).  He was also instrumental in the re-opening…

Count Fleet in the Withers

The Rail, the New York Times racing blog, launched this week for the 2009 Triple Crown season, and this post appeared there yesterday. ***************************************** They certainly got the name right. One can imagine Mrs. John D. Hertz, breeder and owner of a brown colt born in 1940, looking at his pedigree—the colt was by Reigh…

Whither the Withers?

I was already feeling guilty about not supporting one of my home tracks on its closing weekend; now that the Withers has become something of an end-of-season embarrassment, I am even more chagrined about my defection to points south instead of being at Aqueduct today. This storied race, first run in 1874, drew a field…