Allen Jerkens and Whitneys past

The Whitney was first run in 1928, won by W.R. Coe’s Black Maria. Tomorrow, it will be run for the 85th time. Williams Collins Whitney was president of the Saratoga Association at the turn of the last century and oversaw a major expansion and rejuvenation of Saratoga Race Course. His sons, Payne Whitney and Harry…

Emma’s Encore Wins One for the Chief

We’re not supposed to root in the press box. We’re not supposed to cheer in the winner’s circle. These are the rules, and they are good ones. Saturday was not necessarily a day that lent itself to cheering, one of those days in which the electrons seemed all out of order. Hot, hot, hot: Saturday…

Honor New York Racing’s Greats

Bill Hirsch recognizes a legend when he sees one. He is, after all, the grandson of Hall of Fame trainer Max Hirsch, and the son of Hall of Fame trainer Buddy Hirsch. Among the horses they trained: Triple Crowner winner Assault, Gallant Bloom, Sarazen, and Canonero II. Max Hirsch trained three Kentucky Derby winners and…

No Duck for the Chief

Saratoga has not been kind to Allen Jerkens lately. In 2009, he went winless at the Spa; last year, his lone win came near the end of the meet, on the day before his son Jimmy won the Travers with Afleet Express. So it was with relief, joy, and more than a little nostalgia that…

Remembering Sky Beauty…at Aqueduct

Today’s running of the ungraded, overnight Sky Beauty Stakes at Aqueduct seems, in some ways, to reflect Sky Beauty’s legacy: kind of a big deal, but maybe, not really. The race kind of honors her, and kind of doesn’t. The Sky Beauty was run at a mile over the inner track and as – ugh…

Allen Jerkens’ Shuvee winners

Over the last couple of years, the Shuvee Handicap at Belmont has offered the occasion to consider the magnificent horse who, en route to winning handicap mare honors in 1970 and 1971, twice won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, back when it was a two-mile race.  In 2008, we could talk about Shuvee in the…

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…

Weekend wrap-up

Congratulations to Todd Pletcher for getting off the Derby schneid.  Pletcher and his wife Tracy have been major supporters of the Belmont Child Care Association, and two years ago they were honored for their work on behalf of the children of Anna House. And now we can, happily, stop hearing about his winless streak.  Pletcher’s kind of like the…