Saturday quick picks

Bits and pieces of news, in no particular order… Louisiana Downs race-caller Travis Stone, along with Mark Midland and Mike Shutty, have launched Horse Racing Nation, a “free, wiki community focused on racing information, insights and discussion for passionate horse racing fans.” According to the site, The “Nation” for the first time, provides a place…

We interrupt…

……our regularly scheduled program to bring you this unabashed plea. We were recently discovered in someone’s back yard in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. We have two siblings who are still there, with our mom, but we were smart enough to realize that letting ourselves get caught could be a pretty good deal. On Wednesday, we were…

Horses and hockey players

Earlier this week, Steve Zorn of The Business of Racing suggested that I write about horses who have been named after hockey players. “Excellent idea!” I thought. He referred to Alex Kovalev and Zubov (two of the first four Russians to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup. Who can name the other two…

Compromising Positions, or Musings on Media

We used to love to read the balanced reporting that Brooklyn BackstretchBlogposted…. but then a NYRA press pass was issued and nary a critical wordabout NY racing has been posted since…We have dropped that blog ad (sic) takenup with Left at the Gate. This comment was posted several months ago at the excellent Pull the…

Belmont morning on the backstretch

If you’re looking for a little fluff piece on Belmont Day, you’ve come to the right place. At 8:30 am, outside Barn 18, home of Mine That Bird, the self-appointed Official Cat of the Belmont Stakes holds court. The small assemblage of press pays more attention to the cat than to Chip Woolley. The cat…

A league of their own?

Alex Waldrop’s May 22nd post on his blog at the NTRA site is a sunshiny look at the state of horse racing, pointing out some recent bright spots and offering an optimistic view of the state of the game. At the end of the post, he asks for reader input on next steps, and, predictably,…

Racing on the airwaves

Thanks to everyone who wrote with good wishes and comments about my little radio gig yesterday. It was fun and less nerve-wracking than anticipated, likely due to the presence of John “Poppa Fink” Loscalzo, the epitome of a classic racing fan. Poppa Fink was brought by his father to the old Jamaica track when he…

Friday morning quick picks

Be warned: this whole post is rather a series of promotions; charitably, one could also characterize them as news. I’ve been invited to be a guest on the Homer Fink Show on internet radio today at 4:00, to talk about the Belmont Stakes, the state of racing in New York, and other racing issues. You…

Flashback to 2005

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been dipping into To the Swift: Classic Triple Crown Horses and Their Race for Glory. The book, edited by Joe Drape, is a collection of New York Times articles, from 1875, the year of the first Kentucky Derby, through Rags to Riches’ victory in the 2007 Belmont. I’m…