Preakness pics

I approached my first Preakness with trepidation:  I’m not a Big Event kind of person (with the exception of this kind of Big Event) and I hate crowds.  But this year’s Preakness presented some opportunities too good to pass up, and so on, Friday afternoon, I set off down the Northeast corridor to Charm City,…

Keeneland Sunday

It’s Sunday morning in Lexington, Kentucky.  Sundays are meant to be a day of rest…but there’s much, much too much to do to rest. On the road to Keeneland for workouts, we end up behind a horse van, and we wonder which Kitten might be inside.  If the race card holds any hints, we are…

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…

Homiletic Handicapping

It’s Sunday morning, and I confirm that yes, mass will be celebrated on the grounds at Keeneland at 10 am. “I call it ‘Our Lady of the Sales Pavilion,’” quips a local acquaintance. The little room off the main sales area is packed, with barn workers and racing fans, Keeneland employees and families. Out the…

Travelling to Tampa

At racetracks as in life, first impressions count for a lot. Our first experience at a track will, fairly or not, determine whether we return; just like visiting an open house or going on a first date, our gut tells us whether we want a little more, or whether we’d like to just move on, thank you very…

Hello, Hialeah

I came to racing too late to make it to Hialeah to see Thoroughbreds; the shuttered track has been presented to me as a Shangri-La, the epitome of all that was good and right and beautiful about racing. I mourned that I never got to see it. But I lucked out: Hialeah would be open…