Barely seven months from his last start, nearly three years removed from the biggest win of his racing career and in a venue that feels nothing like the racetrack, Called To Serve was still turning heads and still winning.
Dawalan will be the name everyone remembers from Saturday’s Colonial Cup, but the whole day looked like one of the season’s best on paper and lived up to it on the course. Sixty-six horses started in the seven races at Springdale Race Course, with plenty of signature performances beyond the Grade 1 feature.
Bill Ryan, an attorney from Albany, New York, was so impressed with Darby Dan Farm during a trip to Lexington a few years ago that he wrote owner John Phillips a letter.
He didn’t expect a reply, but he got one and a piece of a horse, too.
Amazingly we're a week removed from the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships yet still in the process of unpacking, digging out and going through notes and voice recorders for snippets of information from a whirlwind weekend in Lexington.
Timber star Grinding Speed added to his already gaudy racing career with a third victory in the historic International Gold Cup timber stakes at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. Oct. 24. Owned by Michael Wharton and trained by Alicia Murphy, the son of Grindstone put on another clinic along with jockey Mark Beecher – ousting nine foes and sewing up the 2015 NSA timber championship. Photographer Tod Marks was there to capture the big race, and more, on the day.
Maryland stud farm Heritage Stallions announced this week that graded stakes-winning millionaires Bourbon Courage and Imagining will retire to the Chesapeake City farm for the 2016 breeding season.
With 30 horses during the recently concluded meet at Saratoga and 40 at Belmont Park, Rudy Rodriguez was busy. Asked about making an appointment for a Stable Tour, Rodriguez laughed, “I’m here all day.”
In advance of Equine Advocates' 14th Annual Awards Dinner and Charity Auction Thursday night at Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, local freelance writer and PR/digital media consultant Alyssa McClenning made the trip to the organization's base in Chatham, N.Y.
“Are we going to take my car, or yours?” I ask my friend while eyeing his 1998 VW Cabrio.
The 5-speed is stripped down to its black primer, the morning sun catching spots of rust.
“Let’s take mine,” he says, “it’s better on gas mileage.”
Ross Geraghty leaned over the left side of Dawalan and summed up the Colonial Cup.
“It’s not too often you worry about reaching the front too soon in a Grade 1,” Geraghty said as Ronnie Raymond led the 5-year-old in circles after the $100,000 stakes.
Ah, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It’s about time to get to the grocery store and fill the cart for the big feast. Or to catch up on that reading you might not get to with the holidays bearing down in earnest. Maybe time to catch some college football rivalry games that actually mean something. Or perhaps time to get to South Carolina for the last jump race meeting of the season and the Colonial Cup at Camden.
Every owner, trainer or rider that came with a horse to last month’s Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover at the Kentucky Horse Park also brought at least one fascinating story with them to Lexington.