Joy And Tears As Caravel Sets Sail

On Saturday morning on the backstretch at Saratoga Race Course, July 24, Maddie Rowland held the shank as trainer Elizabeth Merryman bathed her filly Caravel. The gray/roan filly extended her neck straight up, turned her head in profile, and posed. “She knows when the camera is out,” said Rowland. “It’s like she’s saying, ‘I’m beautiful,…

The Farewells Of Dinosaur Ben

It’s fair to say that in the grand scheme of racing, not many people knew of Dinosaur Ben. The Ontario-bred began his career at Woodbine, winless in his first three starts, finishing second shortly before the end of Woodbine’s 2020 season, and Ralph Santella was paying attention. “There are always horses for sale at the…

Summertime Views: Saratoga 2021

Opening Day Eve, an unofficial holiday observed by those for whom Christmas comes in July when Saratoga Race Course opens, lacked its usual excitement and anticipation last year. The pandemic was only four months old, masks were still required everywhere, travel was forbidden, and large gatherings of people, even outdoors, were a non-starter under state…

Ponying Rombauer, Christine Higgs Finds The Spotlight

When Flavien Prat thanked “the pony girl” moments after winning the Preakness with Rombauer, he highlighted both the importance and the anonymity of the people whose very visible yet barely noticed work is an essential element of racetrack safety. On the principle that nervous Thoroughbreds, herd animals that they are, will relax more easily with a…

Launching! Kentucky Derby Charity League 2021

Didn’t we just do this? Like…a few months ago? A huge thanks to everyone who participated in last year’s elongated (interminable?), unconventional charity league. I’m grateful to all of you who stuck it out through revised schedules and added races and a prep season that seemed like it might never end. When we launched this…