Briefly at Belmont

The second weekend of spring racing at Belmont is in the books, and I still haven’t made it out to Big Sandy.  Family and other events have conspired to keep me west of Elmont, and will continue to do so through this next weekend, so in the absence of opportunity to spend a day at…

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…

Breaking a Churchill maiden

Monday morning, April 19th:  It’s been quiet for a little while, but at about 8:25, the stirrings begin. The clockers resume their places: binoculars are raised, stopwatches poised. After a morning of commonplace workouts—oh, except for that bullet that Rachel Alexandra fired at 6:30—the Churchill Downs track is about to become something of a private playground. Under…

Personal Ensign vs. Winning Colors

I wrote this a year and a half ago, shortly before the 2008 Breeders’ Cup.  I recalled it this weekend, during so many conversations about Zenyatta, the Breeders’ Cup, Personal Ensign…and this race. It originally appeared at The Blood-Horse. What agony to be a fan of the distaff side in November of 1988. Root for…