Jumping into 2023: Aiken, Cheshire Picks & Preview

As the Wright Brothers put it, crank up the flying machine. It’s steeplechase time. The 2023 National Steeplechase Association season begins in Aiken, S.C. Saturday with a boutique, six-race card. Thirty-three horses make up the whole lineup, so the entry box doesn’t exactly overflow but that’s business as usual. By May, races will overfill, and … Read more

Double Training: Inkslinger’s 1973 feat hard to duplicate

In racing’s current climate of win percentages, instant criticism, training for peak efforts and the generally-agreed-upon-if-difficult-to-prove thought that Thoroughbreds aren’t as hardy as they once were, trainer Dan Moore’s decision to run American horse Inkslinger twice in three days at the 1973 Cheltenham Festival seems implausible. “Nowadays, with all the technology and feeding them and … Read more

Cheltenham Double: Fifty years ago, Inkslinger won two for America

Dozens of horses will compete in 28 races over four days at this week’s Cheltenham Festival, but they face the impossible task of matching the 50-year-old achievement of an American steeplechase hero. At the 1973 Festival, Inkslinger won the 2-mile Champion Chase – now known as the Queen Mother – and returned two days later … Read more

Howgreatisnate, Simoff go to Plan B

So you want to be a horse trainer? Andy Simoff spent three months aiming Howgreatisnate for Saturday’s Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack. The off-season plan made perfect sense after an undefeated, four-start campaign as a 2-year-old at Delaware Park and Parx Racing in 2022. Give his horse a break with some paddock time. … Read more

Undefeated Howgreatisnate takes Simoff back to Gotham

Few things could rival Andy Simoff’s last visit to the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, but the trainer will try to find one Saturday as Howgreatisnate runs in the $300,000 Grade 3 stakes for 3-year-olds. It’ll be Simoff’s first Gotham since watching Secretariat capture the 1973 version on the way to a Triple Crown. “That’s … Read more

Throwback Thursday: Fort Devon was an international star

When it comes to American steeplechase success in England, a handful of names and achievements quickly find the way forward: Jay Trump’s 1965 Grand National win at Aintree. Ben Nevis’ 1980 National triumph. Flatterer’s second to See You Then in the 1987 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Lonesome Glory’s novice hurdle score at Cheltenham’s December meeting … Read more

Throwback Thursday: March 2008 Steeplechase Times

Fifteen years ago, American jump racing seemed smaller and bigger at the same time. The Season Preview edition of 2008 sure went for drama – two race meets running without National Steeplechase Association sanction, the hiring of Lou Raffetto as the new CEO of the NSA and a suspended trainer dominated the early conversation. The … Read more

A Steeplechase Newspaper?

You did a steeplechase newspaper? Yup. Some of the newbies – looking at you Twitter accounts, new owners, Gen Z trainers and teenage jockeys – might not realize it, but for 18 years we published a newspaper about American jump racing. Steeplechase Times started in 1994 as a weird, “Would this work?” idea. Basement office, bad … Read more

Voter Fatigue, but a class horse

You can’t get mad at people for not voting in an election, and also get mad at people for their voting choices. Or can you? No, you can’t. So I’m not mad at the way the steeplechase Eclipse Award voting turned out. In his only American start of 2022, Irish raider Hewick dominated the $250,000 … Read more