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,…

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…

Two Emersons, Strong and Brave

Last fall, trainer Phil Schoenthal and his wife Sarah found themselves in an unendurable position. Their three-year-old son Emerson was living in the hospital, suffering from the effects of a rare heart condition, and in need of a new heart. Their fears and concerns about their own son were more than any parent should bear.…

A Christmas Wishlist for Maryland Racing

As 2017 draws to a close, the face of Maryland racing continues to change. New stallions have arrived to stand in the state; the flagship is no longer historic Pimlico, but a rejuvenated Laurel Park; Thoroughbred retirement has become an official program supported by an industry-wide partnership. By nearly every indicator, Maryland racing is heading…

Gaudet, Wolfendale Break New York’s Glass Ceiling

On Thursday, August 10, as the New York Racing Association’s Talking Horses television show began, two women sat behind the desk, ready to handicap that day’s Saratoga card for the thousands on-track and watching on television and the internet. That in itself was noteworthy, given the paucity of women on the NYRA broadcast until recently.…

“Sock” Shocks on Maryland Million Day

The 37th time was the charm, for the charmingly named Who Stole My Sock in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap. Much like his apparent namesake, Who Stole My Sock was nowhere to be found for most of the one-mile race, racing well towards the back under jockey Yomar Ortiz. But running about eight-wide around the…