Ralph Evans counted himself lucky to get back to New England earlier this week after a short trip to South Florida over the weekend. Only a man riding the high from a win of a promising 3-year-old winning his seasonal debut can make such a statement, especially considering the trade was sunshine, ocean breezes and temperatures in the 70s for snow, huge wind gusts and temps below freezing.
Sky Classic still lives in the stallion barn at Pin Oak Stud, still gets fed, still gets attention. But, starting next month, things will be different. The 28-year-old stallion has been retired, pensioned to a life of leisure after four seasons of racing, 22 years at stud and dozens of great moments.
Alina Muther accepted Tom Bowman’s introduction, stepped in front of the crowd, took the microphone and talked like a proud mother at a college graduation. Around her walked Tritap, a gray 6-year-old horse who joins the roster of Heritage Stallions this year.
ST Publishing, publishers of the daily newspaper The Saratoga Special, will team for the second straight year with the New York Thoroughbred Breeders to produce a commemorative program for the organization’s Annual Awards Banquet later this spring.
Not many jockeys can say they rode multiple champions in 2014. The easy ones are John Velazquez (Untapable, Main Sequence, Judy The Beauty and Dayatthespa) and Victor Espinoza (California Chrome, American Pharoah and Take Charge Brandi). But there's one more.
In a first here at TIHR, we bring you the Sunday Special, a brief synopsis of the good, the bad and the ugly from our Saturday Special. We highlighted 37 races, then sat on the couch from 7:40 Saturday morning to 2:10 Sunday morning. It was a war.
Start in the Southern Hemisphere with 2-year-olds at Ellerslie, then flit across the world to multi-millionaires in Hong Kong, then jaunt over to Cheltenham for a stellar card (Richard Hutchinson, if you’re there, send some reports), then hunker down for an American smorgasbord with top 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park and a dinger of a card at Sam Houston Race Park. What did you do for the weekend? Um, well, I went racing.
I’ve heard all about it. The images etched in my mind. The plank fencing – painted black. The barns – classic Kentucky, nestled in the hillside. The indoor arena, where winter training begets summer champions. The whole picture played out in my mind, conjured on walks to and from the track at Saratoga, with the likes of Successful Dan, Turallure, Here Comes Ben and, of course, Wise Dan.
Dean Reeves loves horse racing. He makes no bones about it and anyone who witnessed the hugely successful campaign of Mucho Macho Man, who carried the white, green and gold silks of his Reeves Thoroughbred Racing operation, knows how serious he is about the game.