May242014
Hard to believe she’s 8!
Rachel Alexandra looks gorgeous as ever, getting ready for summer at Stonestreet
(Photo from Stonestreet Facebook page)

Hard to believe she’s 8!

Rachel Alexandra looks gorgeous as ever, getting ready for summer at Stonestreet

(Photo from Stonestreet Facebook page)

May222014
The appropriately named Quest For Fame finds what he’s after with an easy three-length win in the 1990 Epsom Derby
In 1992, Quest For Fame made history once again when he won both the San Louis Obispo and Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap in America. No Epsom Derby winner had won a major race at age 5 since St Gatien in 1886 

The appropriately named Quest For Fame finds what he’s after with an easy three-length win in the 1990 Epsom Derby

In 1992, Quest For Fame made history once again when he won both the San Louis Obispo and Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap in America. No Epsom Derby winner had won a major race at age 5 since St Gatien in 1886 

8PM

Anonymous said: who is your favorite horse currently in training?

image

Gotta throw it up to my main man, Wise Dan

(Doing well after his surgery, by the way. Hopefully on the way to a full recovery!) 

8PM
16-year-old Noodle Soup, dam of two-time champion and Kentucky Derby/Belmont winner Needles, with her final registered foal, a filly sired by Rough’N Tumble, in 1960
The filly, later named First Nominee, was stakes-placed. She was also a decent broodmare, with her daughter Fine Prospect winning a handful of stakes raced in the late 1970’s

16-year-old Noodle Soup, dam of two-time champion and Kentucky Derby/Belmont winner Needles, with her final registered foal, a filly sired by Rough’N Tumble, in 1960

The filly, later named First Nominee, was stakes-placed. She was also a decent broodmare, with her daughter Fine Prospect winning a handful of stakes raced in the late 1970’s

8PM

2014 Kentucky Derby field - Alternate Names

Your Derby field underwent a lot of name changes before hitting the gate. Here’s some of the considered (and mostly rejected) names that you almost came to know them by 

California Chrome - Luckynlove, Big Mountain Breez

Wicked Strong - Heart Spun, Moyne Spun 

Tapiture - Knives, Whiskey River

General a Rod - Cavaradossi, Spoletta

Wildcat Red - Red Honor

Vicar’s In Trouble - Trouble Is My Name, Lusty Vicar

Hoppertunity - Journey, Revelationary, Anyway u Way

Uncle Sigh - Cochise

Samraat - Honorable, Micmac

8PM

4-year-old colt Alhambra, a multiple stakes winning son of Olympia, clowning around with his trainer Chuck Parke at Hollywood Park in 1959

8PM
12PM
May192014
I KINDA JUST WANT TO POINT OUT THAT THERE WAS A HORSE CALLED ‘TWINKIPPY’ SCAMPERING AROUND RACETRACKS IN 1940

AND HIS DAD’S NAME WAS ‘TWINK’ AND HIS MOM WAS ‘KIPPY’

AND THE BEST THEY COULD COME UP WITH FROM THAT COMBINATION WAS TO JUST SHOVE THEIR NAMES TOGETHER AND GO “YEP! THAT SOUNDS GOOD!” 

THAT IS EXTREMELY SILLY YET SOMEWHAT DIRTY AND I BET RACETRACK ANNOUNCERS HATED HIM 

WTF, 1940?

I KINDA JUST WANT TO POINT OUT THAT THERE WAS A HORSE CALLED ‘TWINKIPPY’ SCAMPERING AROUND RACETRACKS IN 1940

AND HIS DAD’S NAME WAS ‘TWINK’ AND HIS MOM WAS ‘KIPPY’

AND THE BEST THEY COULD COME UP WITH FROM THAT COMBINATION WAS TO JUST SHOVE THEIR NAMES TOGETHER AND GO “YEP! THAT SOUNDS GOOD!”

THAT IS EXTREMELY SILLY YET SOMEWHAT DIRTY AND I BET RACETRACK ANNOUNCERS HATED HIM

WTF, 1940?

May182014
"The Little Colt With the Big Heart"
He was a noticeably small colt possessed of crooked and scarred legs. He won seven straight races as a juvenile, all of the stakes. He was ranked as the Champion 2-year-old of 1938, and in that year’s Experimental Free Handicap, he was ranked ahead of Challedon, Eight Thirty, and Johnstown. He was considered a future superstar
So who just who was El Chico?
The product of a mating between an unraced Sweep mare and the “only horse to even give Man o’ War trouble” John P. Grier, El Chico was bred by Leslie Combs II. As the result of running into a fence as a youngster, he was said to have noticeable scars on his already crooked legs. Despite his scars and small stature, he was purchased at the 1937 Saratoga yearling sale by William Ziegler Jr. for $2,700
El Chico showed his promise early and often. Trainer Matt Brady owner Ziegler were so eager to test him that he made his racing debut in the 5 furlong Youthful Stakes at Jamaica in mid-April. He won handily, and a month later followed with a victory in the inaugural Dover Stakes at Delaware. In the Dover, El Chico ran the five furlongs in a track-record time of :59 1/5. Not quite two weeks later, he took the Great American Stakes at Aqueduct, and in the process defeated the highly regarded gelding Maeline
El Chico took up residence at Saratoga in mid-July 1938, and there continued to expand his reputation. He rattled off three straight wins in the United States Hotel Stakes, Saratoga Special, and Hopeful Stakes, each more impressively than the last. In the United States Hotel Stakes, he defeated future legend Eight Thirty, who finished third while El Chico galloped off to a six-length victory. Eight Thirty got closer in the Saratoga Special a week later, this time finishing second, while El Chico extended his winning streak to five in track record time for the six furlongs
The final two race of El Chico’s championship juvenile season saw him defeating future Hall of Famer Johnstown. He took the Hopeful Stakes by three lengths on August 27, and rounded out a perfect 7-for-7 season by winning the Junior Champion Stakes at Aqueduct (Though this was nearly his first loss - jockey Harry Richards, riding second-place finisher Vilotant, lodged a complaint of foul against both El Chico and third-placed Johnstown, claiming that his horse was intentionally carried out at the eighth pole. The claim was disallowed, however, when it was pointed out that Vilotant had been several lengths behind the two front runners when the supposed violation occurred)
At some point during El Chico’s dizzying win streak, Ziegler supposedly insured his superstar for a jaw-dropping $100,000. In addition to being named the Champion Juvenile of the year and assigned the high weight of 126 pounds on the Experimental Free Handicap, he was also the overwhelming winter book favorite for the 1939 Kentucky Derby. The extremely popular colt was known affectionately as the “Little Fellow” to his fans
Under the watchful eye of Matt Brady, El Chico wintered at Belmont. During the months off, the small colt put on 100 pounds of solid weight and muscle, and no colt was more eagerly watched in the first months of 1939. According to sportswriter Grantland Rice, “Newspapermen and photographers visited him almost daily and Brady never minded bringing him out for inspection and pictures because he wasn’t a temperamental colt but actually seemed to enjoy his visitors.”
On April 15, El Chico made his three-year-old debut in the Restigouche Purse at Jamaica. It was expected to be more or less a public workout, with the returning champ’s odds being 1-7. The crowd was shocked, therefore, to see their hero suffer his first career loss, finishing second by a nose to longshot Gilded Knight. The loss was badly timed; on the same race card, Johnstown easily and impressively won the Paumonok Handicap, and he replaced El Chico as the Derby favorite. It was the beginning of the end of El Chico’s time as a superstar 
Hoping to recover from his unexpected loss, his connections next entered El Chico in the Wood Memorial at Jamaica. It marked the first time that the Little Fellow would race beyond 6.5 furlongs, and the extra distance certainly didn’t help him. Bumped at the start, he stumbled badly and finished a miserable and well-beaten sixth. Adding to his humiliation, the winner was Johnstown, who he once had beaten so easily 
Finally, it was time for the Kentucky Derby. On the first Saturday in May 1939, El Chico lined up with such as Johnstown, Challedon, Technician, Heather Broom, and Viscounty. Once the heavy favorite for the American classic, his odds had since climbed to 8-1. He “got away flying” and held close to the lead for the first half-mile, but gradually dropped further and further back in the field, eventually finishing sixth. He had beaten only the two longest shots in the field
Coming out of the Kentucky Derby, it was announced that El Chico had suffered an injury to his left front foot, believed to have been initially hurt during the Wood Memorial. According to a newspaper of the time, ” …it is an exceptionally deep one hidden completely by his shoe.” Despite his injury, he appeared under colors again on May 30, competing in the Salvator Purse at Belmont. He finished second in the short field of four
El Chico finally received a rest in the middle of the year, sitting out June and July. It looked like the time off had done him well when he returned to the races with a six-length blowout victory in the Mohegan Purse at Saratoga on August 1. He reinforced his comeback with a follow-up win in the Canajoharie Purse nine days later. However, is was soon back to being an also-ran 
El Chico finished second in a photo to Olney in the Narragansett Handicap four days after the Canajoharie. One month later, he was sixth in the 6.4 furlong Bay Shore Handicap at Aqueduct (the winner, Third Degree, had equaled the track record). In late September, he traveled to Havre de Grace to compete in the Potomac Handicap, in which he finished third behind Third Degree and Porter’s Mite. October 3 saw El Chico finish sixth in the Capital Handicap at Laurel; four days later, he was unplaced in a six furlong handicap
El Chico’s unrelenting schedule was mostly the result of his trainer’s belief that he would once again rise to the heights of racing. Grantland Rice commented that “Brady wouldn’t give up on him, but insisted that some day he would be great again.” This would have tragic results.
In November of 1939, Brady’s stable took up residence at Santa Anita, with El Chico being pointed toward the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. With such a big target in front of him, Brady worked El Chico “briskly”, never letting him get too far out of shape. On November 30, he worked an easy 3 furlongs, but returned lame. Following an x-ray, it was revealed that El Chico’s front left leg had finally given out; he had shattered two sesamoid bones. The next day, the Little Fellow was humanely euthanized via a strychnine injection.
Following El Chico’s death, trainer Matt Brady was reportedly inconsolable. He was quoted as saying: “Chico was the only horse I ever loved. We were just bringing him back to the form he showed while a youngster, and now he’s gone.”

"The Little Colt With the Big Heart"

He was a noticeably small colt possessed of crooked and scarred legs. He won seven straight races as a juvenile, all of the stakes. He was ranked as the Champion 2-year-old of 1938, and in that year’s Experimental Free Handicap, he was ranked ahead of Challedon, Eight Thirty, and Johnstown. He was considered a future superstar

So who just who was El Chico?

The product of a mating between an unraced Sweep mare and the “only horse to even give Man o’ War trouble” John P. Grier, El Chico was bred by Leslie Combs II. As the result of running into a fence as a youngster, he was said to have noticeable scars on his already crooked legs. Despite his scars and small stature, he was purchased at the 1937 Saratoga yearling sale by William Ziegler Jr. for $2,700

El Chico showed his promise early and often. Trainer Matt Brady owner Ziegler were so eager to test him that he made his racing debut in the 5 furlong Youthful Stakes at Jamaica in mid-April. He won handily, and a month later followed with a victory in the inaugural Dover Stakes at Delaware. In the Dover, El Chico ran the five furlongs in a track-record time of :59 1/5. Not quite two weeks later, he took the Great American Stakes at Aqueduct, and in the process defeated the highly regarded gelding Maeline

El Chico took up residence at Saratoga in mid-July 1938, and there continued to expand his reputation. He rattled off three straight wins in the United States Hotel Stakes, Saratoga Special, and Hopeful Stakes, each more impressively than the last. In the United States Hotel Stakes, he defeated future legend Eight Thirty, who finished third while El Chico galloped off to a six-length victory. Eight Thirty got closer in the Saratoga Special a week later, this time finishing second, while El Chico extended his winning streak to five in track record time for the six furlongs

The final two race of El Chico’s championship juvenile season saw him defeating future Hall of Famer Johnstown. He took the Hopeful Stakes by three lengths on August 27, and rounded out a perfect 7-for-7 season by winning the Junior Champion Stakes at Aqueduct (Though this was nearly his first loss - jockey Harry Richards, riding second-place finisher Vilotant, lodged a complaint of foul against both El Chico and third-placed Johnstown, claiming that his horse was intentionally carried out at the eighth pole. The claim was disallowed, however, when it was pointed out that Vilotant had been several lengths behind the two front runners when the supposed violation occurred)

At some point during El Chico’s dizzying win streak, Ziegler supposedly insured his superstar for a jaw-dropping $100,000. In addition to being named the Champion Juvenile of the year and assigned the high weight of 126 pounds on the Experimental Free Handicap, he was also the overwhelming winter book favorite for the 1939 Kentucky Derby. The extremely popular colt was known affectionately as the “Little Fellow” to his fans

Under the watchful eye of Matt Brady, El Chico wintered at Belmont. During the months off, the small colt put on 100 pounds of solid weight and muscle, and no colt was more eagerly watched in the first months of 1939. According to sportswriter Grantland Rice, “Newspapermen and photographers visited him almost daily and Brady never minded bringing him out for inspection and pictures because he wasn’t a temperamental colt but actually seemed to enjoy his visitors.”

On April 15, El Chico made his three-year-old debut in the Restigouche Purse at Jamaica. It was expected to be more or less a public workout, with the returning champ’s odds being 1-7. The crowd was shocked, therefore, to see their hero suffer his first career loss, finishing second by a nose to longshot Gilded Knight. The loss was badly timed; on the same race card, Johnstown easily and impressively won the Paumonok Handicap, and he replaced El Chico as the Derby favorite. It was the beginning of the end of El Chico’s time as a superstar 

Hoping to recover from his unexpected loss, his connections next entered El Chico in the Wood Memorial at Jamaica. It marked the first time that the Little Fellow would race beyond 6.5 furlongs, and the extra distance certainly didn’t help him. Bumped at the start, he stumbled badly and finished a miserable and well-beaten sixth. Adding to his humiliation, the winner was Johnstown, who he once had beaten so easily 

Finally, it was time for the Kentucky Derby. On the first Saturday in May 1939, El Chico lined up with such as Johnstown, Challedon, Technician, Heather Broom, and Viscounty. Once the heavy favorite for the American classic, his odds had since climbed to 8-1. He “got away flying” and held close to the lead for the first half-mile, but gradually dropped further and further back in the field, eventually finishing sixth. He had beaten only the two longest shots in the field

Coming out of the Kentucky Derby, it was announced that El Chico had suffered an injury to his left front foot, believed to have been initially hurt during the Wood Memorial. According to a newspaper of the time, ” …it is an exceptionally deep one hidden completely by his shoe.” Despite his injury, he appeared under colors again on May 30, competing in the Salvator Purse at Belmont. He finished second in the short field of four

El Chico finally received a rest in the middle of the year, sitting out June and July. It looked like the time off had done him well when he returned to the races with a six-length blowout victory in the Mohegan Purse at Saratoga on August 1. He reinforced his comeback with a follow-up win in the Canajoharie Purse nine days later. However, is was soon back to being an also-ran 

El Chico finished second in a photo to Olney in the Narragansett Handicap four days after the Canajoharie. One month later, he was sixth in the 6.4 furlong Bay Shore Handicap at Aqueduct (the winner, Third Degree, had equaled the track record). In late September, he traveled to Havre de Grace to compete in the Potomac Handicap, in which he finished third behind Third Degree and Porter’s Mite. October 3 saw El Chico finish sixth in the Capital Handicap at Laurel; four days later, he was unplaced in a six furlong handicap

El Chico’s unrelenting schedule was mostly the result of his trainer’s belief that he would once again rise to the heights of racing. Grantland Rice commented that “Brady wouldn’t give up on him, but insisted that some day he would be great again.” This would have tragic results.

In November of 1939, Brady’s stable took up residence at Santa Anita, with El Chico being pointed toward the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. With such a big target in front of him, Brady worked El Chico “briskly”, never letting him get too far out of shape. On November 30, he worked an easy 3 furlongs, but returned lame. Following an x-ray, it was revealed that El Chico’s front left leg had finally given out; he had shattered two sesamoid bones. The next day, the Little Fellow was humanely euthanized via a strychnine injection.

Following El Chico’s death, trainer Matt Brady was reportedly inconsolable. He was quoted as saying: “Chico was the only horse I ever loved. We were just bringing him back to the form he showed while a youngster, and now he’s gone.”

12AM

Anonymous said: It seems wrong that a triple crown winner would have a derby time of 2:03.66. Am I alone in this?

First thing: California Chrome has not won the Triple Crown. The odds are very much in favor of him never winning it. So…let’s not take it for granted that he will, huh?

Second: California Chrome’s time was actually faster than most of the Triple Crown winner’s Derby times. Sir Barton ran it in a slouching 2:09 4/5, and Gallant Fox finished in 2:07 3/5, both of which would have been several lengths behind CC. Omaha ran it in 2:05 flat, while the extremely speedy Count Fleet covered it in 2:04, and Assault needed 2:06 3/5 to hit the wire. California Chrome even bested the time of Citation, who ran it in 2:05 2/5 

The only TC winners who were faster were War Admiral (2:03 1/5), Whirlaway (2:01 2/5), Secretariat (1:59 2/5), Seattle Slew (2:02 1/5), and Affirmed (2:01 1/5)

HOWEVER! This is simply following a trend wherein races in general are run faster nowadays. The trend is more or less caused by an increased focus on speed, rather than staying ability, and has been brought about by selective breeding over decades. When you look at most races (especially older races), you’ll notice that the record time is almost always from within the past 10-20 years. Races are just run faster today than they were 50+ years ago. Thus, just because California Chrome’s Derby time was nearly six full seconds faster than Sir Barton’s, doesn’t mean he is better or really comparable. Both of their respective times were indicative of the era in which they lived: racing focused more on distance running and weight carrying, and less on pure speed, in 1919. Race times were just slower back then

So, to summarize: No, I don’t see anything wrong with a Triple Crown winner running his Derby in that time. As Lon as a horse is able to win all three races, what does it matter the time it took? Some of our Triple Crown winner recorded pathetically slow times in their races. Not every races has to be won in record time to make it a “real Triple Crown”

May172014

Something to Ponder Upon

In the 1935 Experimental Free Handicap, two-year-old Seabiscuit was assigned 114 pounds, one more than future Horse of the Year Granville, four more than future stablemate Fair Knightess, and 12 more than future body double Grog. He was still 12 pounds below high-weighted gelding Red Rain, and 6 behind future Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Bold Venture.

6PM

lehomestretchh:

I lost my voice screaming for Ride on Curlin

smae 

4PM
racinglegends:

Yawanna Twist
Photo: Barbara Livington


God he was beautiful. Poor baby

racinglegends:

Yawanna Twist

Photo: Barbara Livington

God he was beautiful. Poor baby

(via racinglegends)

May162014

Pray for Wise Dan

2-time Horse of the Year winning gelding is undergoing emergency surgery for colic at Rood & Riddle

Best thoughts to everyone involved