Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I still Love the Bird though. Maybe next year bud!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
September 15th, 1973, Secretariat ran a race at Belmont against a horse that had just recently beat him, Onion, and previous Kentucky Derby Winner, Riva Ridge. In the end, Secretariat proved to be the great that he was and won by 3.5 lengths. Also true to fashion, Big Red set a record while schooling the horses too. He ran a mile and an eighth in 1.45. Simply amazing.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
When quoted in ESPN's Article: Who Is Ducking Whom, Jackson says he doesn't want to take the risk with Rachel. That he saw how much Curlin struggled in the synthetic and doesn't want to worry Rachel with it...but the difference is...Rachel has run and won on a synthetic track. Yes, she did it when she was two, but has she not improved since then? With her past two performances I would say she has...wouldn't you? Now there are rumors going around about the girl...do the new owners simply not want to damage Curlin's legacy as suggested in Jeremy Plonk's article. Like Rachel winning at Santa Anita's track would make Curlin any less of a horse? Or are they afraid to run her against the mares and take on Zenyatta?
Whatever their reason is...I must admit I am disappointed. I'm sure there will be horses showing up to the Breeder's Cup who are either untested on synthetics or ran poorly on it who will show up anyway. Why not her? Please, if I am missing something, enlighten me.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
On a related subject, Borel was truly on a roll all weekend. With the a few wins other than his epic Derby today and the Oaks yesterday, his name was being tossed back and forth a lot. Frankly, I haven't heard of him before seeing I was unable to watch his first Derby win with Street Sense, but I already really like this guy. He's always so happy when he wins. With such a hyper little guy in the irons, who wouldn't want his horses to continue to clean up? Even though I wasn't pleased that my horses lost (badly I might add) Calvin Borel got me excited about this win and this horse's future!
On a side note...kudos to Einstein for sticking it out in his race today! I was getting a little worried that he wasn't going to make it, but at the last minute he decided to go for it and won. Truly amazing...maybe I am just a fan of the big boy...but it was a pretty impressive show of guts!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Back to what I should be talking about...I am again taking another look at Blood Horse's list of the top 100 horses in the 20th Century. This time around I decided on a horse I have heard countless times, but really don't know much if anything about. That is how I chose number 26: Whirlaway.
The one and nearly only thing that I know about Whirlaway is that he won the Triple Crown in 1941. That alone would earn a horse a spot on the 100 list (all of which eleven are on the list: 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th, 12th, 13th, 26th, 28th, 33rd, 49th, 61st).
With this massive accomplishment Whirlaway was given the title of 1941 Horse of the Year, which he one again in 1942. Whirlaway was in the money 93% of the time and won 32 of his 60 starts. Not a bad record to say the least.
Another amazing horse for an incredible era.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Silks are very useful and an important part of racing. Should you want to give designing them yourself, try this link and make your own silks! If you like them you can even buy them!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Unfortunately for this potential legend, his dreams were cut short after his last race in the Arkansas Derby this past Saturday. After the race was called, the connections of Old Fashioned realized there was something wrong. The colt had suffered a fracture in his right knee. Although this is not a life threatening injury, it is usually a career ending one. Later that week the horse was shipped to a farm in Lexington, Kentucky to receive surgery on his knee.
"It's not life-threatening, it should be okay," Jones said. "Career-ending is a possibility just because of the type of horse he is. But we'll see. We'll let them make that call," Old Fashioned's trainer said in an ESPN article on the subject. I was not sure what to make of this statement. I hoped it was not the stereotypical call that a well bred horse automatically makes a great stud, even when untested. I am hoping that they were referring to horses usually being unable to reach the same level of greatness they had obtained when injured. Sadly we will probably never know.
Following the surgery it was decided that it was better if Old Fashioned was retired. Although he would never have recovered in time for the Derby, it is still unfortunate that he will never be able to race again. The colt was well on his way to being considered the favorite for the first Triple Crown race, but now that honor will be passed on to another horse.
Before his career could really start, it was ended. Now this young boy will never again feel the track under his hooves. He will wait in pasture until he is old enough to breed, forever passing down his untested, yet potentially amazing, abilities.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tom Fool. He was a special horse from his first races as a two year old to his last races as a four year old. As a two year old he won five of his seven starts with the other two races being seconds. This sort of record is immpressive for an advanced horse, but for a young kid it is near amazing. Because of this he became top two year old in 1951.
As a three year old year was a little rough. Although he still won most of his races, the colt was pulled off the track for a two month lay off. This happened because after a second place finish it was found he was running a high fever and was rather ill. He came back strong that year and still had an impressive season.
Tom Fool's four year old season was simply magnificent. He won ten races in a row, which also happened to be the ten races he ran that season. Therefore he left the track undefeated, making him 1953 horse of the year.
Yet another amazing horse to become a Champion.
In his stall and honored spot in Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champion, the beautiful, old stallion fell, injuring his right hind femur.
"Kathy Hopkins, director of equine operations at the horse park, said Alysheba fell due to a chronic degenerative spinal condition." (ESPN.com)
The article goes on to say that because of his age, Alysheba was in a lot of pain, so much that the stallion was unable to stand without support. With his pain and pride in mind, the team decided to allow the Champion proper rest.
Through his racing years Alysheba proved to be amazing. He always fought for what he wanted...and he always wanted to win. Alysheba was in the money (1st, 2nd, 3rd) for 81% of his twenty-six starts, earning $6,679,242. Winning eleven of those starts, Alysheba earned a plethora of awards such as top three year old in '87 and Horse of the Year in '88.
In 1987 Alysheba would make an amazing attempt at the Triple Crown. His Kentucky Derby was one of the most amazing shows of heart I have ever witnessed. When the field turned for the stretch, Alysheba was not really in the mix for the win, but he started to make a strong move toward the lead horse Bet Twice. As he was getting close to overcoming the leader, he took a bad stumble. As can be seen in this video, it can be seen that Alysheba was nearly knocked down as he clipped heals with Bet Twice. Luckily for him and all the other horses in the race, Alysheba remarkably recovered. Not only did he get back up, but he was barely bothered by the fall. He got up, turned his head past bet twice and plowed forward to win.
"Falling didn't even go through my mind," McCarron said. "I kept thinking there's only one horse left in front of us that was going to prevent us from getting the roses. He just did an incredible job of righting himself. I was focused on keeping my balance and trying to stay on his back."
Says Alysheba's jockey Chris McCarron as he remembers his magnificent partner.
Alysheba would then go on to win the Preakness as well. Unfortunately for Alysheba, he would take a loss in the Belmont to his rival Bet Twice. Alysheba and Bet Twice would continue to meet over the next year, and the two traded blows with wins and loses. But with wins in other races against other amazing horses, Alysheba came out on top of the rivalry.
As a four year old Alysheba only improved, although continuing his close race trend. It must have been a love for the horse to keep things close, and although he occasionally lost in his photo finishes, he desire to stick he nose in front usually prevailed. Although he lost the Breeder's Cup Classic in 1987, he would come back to win the Classic in 1988. With this win he earned himself the Best Older Horse award and the coveted Horse of the Year.
After his racing career he did what all Champions did, went to a life in the breeding shed. But that can only last so long. Eventually the old man was retired from that as well and was donated to Kentucky Horse Park to live out his days in the Hall of Champion. That is just what he did. He was happy and well taken care of, and allowed the public to get close to such an amazing creature.
With all his talent he was listed 42nd on Blood Horse's list of hundred top horses in the 2oth century. The boy truly deserved it.
What really depresses me about Alysheba's death, besides losing a legend, is I was going to travel to Kentucky Horse Park again this summer. I would have been able to see this amazing horse with my own eyes, and hear first hand about his greatness. Unfortunately I will never be able to do that, but I still respect his ability.
Because of Alysheba I feel a more motivated to learn about all the great race horse's out there.
Thank you Alysheba. Your memory will live on.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
There are two forms in which Standardbreds can race: Trotters or Pacers. The difference is in gait (speed and movement) in which the horses race.
Trotters are horses that race in a gait known as a trot. A trot is usually a moderate speed where the horse's legs move on diagonals (front right moves with back left and vice versa) in a two beat fashion, but in the case of Trotters the 'moderate' idea is thrown out the window. Although it is not as fast as a gallop, horses do hit some fairly high speeds.
Pacing is similar to trotting in the fact that it is also a two beat gate that is remarkably fast. However, in a pace the horses legs move together on one side (right front moves with right back). Pacers make up a good portion of harness racing and is generally more popular because of it's unique gait. It is also much faster than trotting, and more speed usually means more excitement.
To help show you what I mean (hopefully) here are some prime examples of harness racing.
The first picture is of a Pacer, while the second is of a Trotter.
Unlike Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, Standardbreds do not use a traditional starting gate. This is mainly because it would be near impossible to get the speed you want without breaking the proper gate. To solve this problem, a Standardbred starting gate moves with the horses. It is mounted onto the back of a truck, and as the truck is in motion, the horses get to their proper position and speed. The truck eventually gains more speed than the horses and the long gates fold around the truck giving the horses room to move.
Sadly, I have only seen Thoroughbred racing live. Although it is amazing and probably my favorite form of racing, I am really hoping to see the other three types.
I encourage everyone to watch different forms of racing and find which one they find the most interesting, Whether it be the classic a regal world of Thoroughbreds, the high speed battles of Quarter Horse racing, or the complex sport of Harness racing. No matter which branch or breed of horse racing you choose, you are almost always guaranteed great competition, amazing speed, a grand amount of excitement, and the ability to watch a magnificent animal doing what it loves...racing.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Each year I usually spend the months before Derby day to comb over stats of all the three year olds on the Derby trails, so come that first Saturday in May I am well prepared with three or so horses to choose from to win.
This year has been no different. For the most part I have been focusing on upcoming filly Stardom Bound and the Louisiana Derby winner, Friesan Fire as my main Derby hopefuls. However, this all changed on a visit to ESPN.com I made not twenty minutes ago.
The new horse on my list is relatively untested in racing, having only run in four races. The only reason he was mentioned on ESPN's webpage was because he had a decent work out on a very muddy track. So what draws me to this horse if he isn't impressive? His name: Theregoesjojo.
Although this may seem insignificant to nearly everyone reading this, the name has some connections to me personally. First off, it isn't unlikely for people in my family to call me Jo, or even Jojo. A primary factor to this was my love of PowerPuff Girls arch nemesis Mojo Jojo.
So what about the first part of the name? Well, I ran track during my secondary schools years, and as good parents will, mine were always cheering from the sidelines. GO JO! And go I did.
So even though Theregoesjojo really has no amazing qualities to speak of, I feel I must root for him come the Kentucky Derby.
I've mentioned before that I often pick horses by whether or not their names sound like they should be called first, so here's hoping that on May 2nd the announcer will yell: AND THEREGOESJOJO! Winning the 135th Kentucky Derby!!
Monday, March 9, 2009
The Triple Crown consists of three races, The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, for horses of either gender, so long as they are only three years old. Alone, these races are like any other, but combined they present a challenge for even the best of horses.
The Kentucky Derby is the first and probably most famous of the Triple Crown races. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of May. No matter the horses in the race, the Derby always pulls in the biggest crowd and the biggest field of horses. On the way to the gates, the crowd sings 'My Old Kentucky Home' to welcome to three year-olds to the track. This race is run on the dirt over one and a quarter miles or ten furlongs. At the end of the race the winner gets to stand in the special Derby winner circle and receive the coveted blanket of roses.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Spending hours going through horse racing galleries pays off every once in awhile. Sure, no matter the picture the horses are going to be gorgeous and usually captured in a magnificent action shot or a regal pose, but I have stumbled upon some more unusual pictures that show of the true power of these great animals.
The first picture I have for you is of the late Barbaro just as he is coming out of the gate. He is wide eyed and ready to run as the gates snap open before him.
Here's another picture of the power these animals possess as they literally spring forth from the gate.
This next picture is both amazing and kind of funny. The horse is caught mid jump, giving the allusion of flying. The horse was jumping shadows on the track surface.
The next two pictures show why horses need to be kept calm.
It's likely this horse just got nervous or overexcited while being saddled. Acting up in the paddock is a common thing in the racing world, but never have I seen a horse get this much air.
No one is really positive what was going on in this horse's mind, but he clearly didn't like something that was happening. (And I thought the other horse was in the air!)