As David Allen Coe’s friend Steve Goodman wrote, the perfect country and western song says something about mama, trains, trucks, prison and gettin’ drunk. Well, David (and Steve) never met Cowboy Dan.
He was a cheap Texas-bred Thoroughbred, a $1,600 yearling, whose life ought to play at Ryman Auditorium. He’s trainer Bret Calhoun’s Horse Who Changed Everything and boy did he. Foaled in 1995, the dark bay son of Walesa and the Kennedy Road mare Dimpled Darling sold to Tommy Landreth at the Texas Thoroughbred Association yearling sale and joined Calhoun’s fledgling stable at Delta Downs in 1997.
Full on winter is finally gripping essentially the entire Northeast, with biting temperatures, snow and strong winds whipping down city streets and across the farm fields and paddocks. The Super Bowl is over and winter festivals are in full swing. We’re a day late again posting our (mostly) weekly hodge podge from the world of racing and hopefully not a dollar short.
Mike Smith let the question dangle, let it roll around in his head, let it swim like a whiskey over ice. Over the phone, it’s hard to see, but there’s no doubt, Smith looked up at the sky, squinted his eyes like mail slots and blew a kiss in the air.
Royal Delta, Zenyatta, Azeri, Sky Beauty, Inside Information, Heavenly Prize…
Mike Pons leans on a podium set up on some wet stone dust next to the door of the breeding shed. Behind him stands a Bobby’s Potty. Over his shoulder, 2 feet of snow gradually slides off the roof – landing periodically with a great “Schwalam.” In front of him, guests at Sunday’s Country Life Farm stallion show listen intently.
ST Publishing, publishers of the daily newspaper The Saratoga Special and the racing website This Is Horse Racing, will team for the third consecutive year with the New York Thoroughbred Breeders to produce a commemorative program for the organization’s Annual Awards Banquet this spring.
In an early season showdown of Eastern-based 3-year-olds at Aqueduct, Dennis Drazin's Sunny Ridge (ridden by Manny Franco, trained by Jason Servis) gets the better of Flexibility and Vorticity in th $250,000 Withers while Robert La Penta's Sassicaia, a $1.6 million son of Bernardini, takes the rescheduled $150,000 Toboggan sprint stakes for jockey John Bisono and trainer Rudy Rodriguez. Tod Marks has the photo recap.
Tucked away amidst evergreen-lined fences in Sandy Spring, Maryland, is the lovely Avalon Farm. Trails wind through the woods that surround a beautiful, rustic main house, making the farm look truly like something out of a dream and the perfect home for the dream-like Thoroughbred.
At Haras de Saint Crespin, part of the Aga Khan Studs in France, a nearly white broodmare roamed a green field with her foal. Brown, but destined to take on his mother’s color, he faced a bright future filled with – perhaps – classic wins, a trip to America like his brother, the great Daylami, or maybe a victory in the famed Arc de Triomphe like another brother, Dalakhani.
But that’s not exactly how it turned out.
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.”
Super Bowl weekend typically features a pretty strong slate of racing and 2016 is no exception with cards worth noting at Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park and several venues overseas. Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal, gets you ready for the day before the big football game.
When I was a kid, I grew up near Saratoga Springs, New York. Although I lived about 15 minutes from Saratoga Race Course, it would be years until I made my first visit. Much closer to our house, just a minute down the road, was the Saratoga County Airport.