This Week at Saratoga: Week 4

Dark day #3 dawned gorgeous and clear, a perfect Saratoga morning. Ramon Dominguez still sits atop the jockey leaderboard with 26 wins; Javier Castellano is behind him with 17. Making an impressive return following an injury, John Velazquez has already won 12 races, despite not riding full-time at the beginning of the meet. Todd Pletcher…

Present and Past at Sagamore Farm

“On a quiet evening or a Sunday morning, when there’s nothing happening, I think you can feel it. They talk of ghosts on the farm, especially at the old training barn.  Kind of makes you wonder sometimes.  Who’s to say that there aren’t certain spirits here?” Tom Mullikin smiles as he says it, but with…

News and notes and Eclipse votes

Happy new year and welcome to the new Brooklyn Backstretch! I hope that you find a cleaner site that’s a little easier to navigate, a little easier on the eyes; I miss the Brooklyn Bridge at the top (and may well have to find another spot for it, somewhere on here), but a shot of…

My Year in Racing

A racing refrain this year is that 2011 has been somewhat lackluster. No big emerging star, no clear choice in many Eclipse categories, few breathtaking performances. For many of us, though, the transcendent times in racing come on small stages, in quiet moments; memories are made when we don’t expect them to be, and not…

Giving Racing Thanks, 2011

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.   Edward Sandford Martin My heart of gratitude has overflowed in 2011.  No cynicism, no crankiness, no sarcasm: on the day appointed in this country for thankfulness, I have more blessings than I…

Back from the Breeders’ Cup

Well, hi. Seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve been here; I don’t know whether I’ve gone a whole week without posting in the history of the site, and the post-Breeders’ Cup week is a particularly bad time to be silent, but giving over four full days to racing last week meant that…

Good and Lucky

It is, they say, better to be lucky than good.  My Miss Aurelia is both. She won her first start, at Saratoga on opening day. And when her connections went back to the barn that afternoon, waiting for them was the tiniest of little black kittens, curled up in the shedrow, not more than a…

Looking at Lucky

The Steve Asmussen barn kicked off the Saratoga meet in a winning way when its second starter, My Miss Aurelia, took the fifth race on opening day, a maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies. The performance earned the filly her own article on the NYRA website. But arriving at the barn after the race, Team…