Steve O’Brien’s Bullet Work

Steve O’Brien picked up the phone on Sunday, April 10th, the day after the Wood Memorial, and before I finished identifying myself, he asked, “What happened to Uncle Mo?” O’Brien is a racing fan. He grew up in Grand Island, Nebraska, and broke his racing maiden at Fonner Park.  “I first went with my family…

Juliet Harrison’s Track Life in Saratoga Springs

Photographer Juliet Harrison describes herself as “your typical horse crazy kid.” Perhaps atypically, she knows exactly when that horse craziness hit. “When I was five years old,” she recalled recently by phone from her home in the Hudson Valley, “I had a babysitter who gave me a picture book of horse breeds. I still have…

The more things change…

“…The sport’s expansion…led to angst among large numbers of its most elite participants. They lamented the passing of previous decades, when, at least as they recalled it, horse racing was dedicated to pure sport and not to crass commercialism. As events had evolved, the sport’s rapid expansion had given rise to a three-headed monster: the…

Thinking about Lord of Misrule

In 2010, my racing and literary worlds collided spectacularly when Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule came out of nowhere to win the National Book Award, catapulting both book and author right into this country’s literary conversation and splendidly blending books and the backstretch. If you’re a literary type, you can’t ignore the National Book Award…