Triple Crown “Tradition”: More Fancy Than Fact

At the risk of stating the obvious, this year’s Triple Crown became something different from what we were used to the minute that Churchill Downs announced that it would host the Kentucky Derby on September 5. We’d suspected before that, of course. A month before the traditional Derby date, virtually the entire country was limiting…

Brian Nadeau’s (Longer) Road to the Triple Crown

Churchill Downs: The GIII, $150,000 Matt Winn at 1 1/16 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 50-20-10-5) by Brian Nadeau. Brian handicaps at Capital OTB and Horseplayer Now, and he’ll offer analysis and selections of Derby points races, hoping to make us all a little money as we head to the Belmont Stakes. Follow him on Twitter here. We promised…

The TRF’s “Life-Changing Program”

On July 19, 2019, the venerable Thoroughbred Quick Call breathed his last. Humanely euthanized at age 35, he had lived for 18 years at the Wallkill Correctional Facility as part of Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances program. Quick Call earned $807,000 in a seven-year career, counting among his victories the 1988 and 1989 Forego Handicaps…

In the wake of a scandal, owners, it’s your move

It’s not like anyone was really surprised. The whispers started a few years ago, when all of sudden trainer Jason Servis couldn’t lose. According to Equibase, his win percentage in 2015 was 21%; in 2016, it jumped to 27%. Then it was 29%, then 32%. Anyone who was paying even a little attention had to…

Scandals, Vagabonds, Horses, and Charles Dickens

The child, sitting down with the old man close behind … had been thinking how strange it was that horses who were such fine honest creatures should seem to make vagabonds of all the men they drew about them… Charles Dickens certainly got that one right. In The Olde Curiosity Shop, the orphaned adolescent Nell…