Sendoff for a champion

Churchill Downs bugler Steve Buttleman, dressed in his race-day uniform – red jacket, white pants, shiny black boots – stood on the grass at Haven Hill cemetery in Columbia, Ky., Friday, a crisp, fall day on which morning rain had given way to afternoon sunshine and blue skies. Buttleman raised the bugle to his mouth … Read more

After an exhilarating win, a crushing loss

The Delta Airlines plane had just pushed away from the gate at LAX Sunday, when the phone buzzed with an incoming call from Kelly Dorman. I figured he and his family had made it to Atlanta, where they would catch a connecting flight back to Lexington, and maybe he was calling to continue to revel … Read more

Mud not the only memory from Far Hills 2023.

There’s nothing like Far Hills mud. After a day like Saturday, you find it everywhere – car tires and floor mats, shoes, pant legs, socks even a splotch on your binoculars. Sticky and reddish-brown, there’s something different about it, and I’m not even a horse. Saturday featured plenty of mud, dampness, rain and wind, even … Read more

Driving Jonathan Sheppard

It was 2008. Jonathan Sheppard was in yet another chapter of his storied career and The Blood-Horse magazine wanted a feature story. Steeplechase Times still existed, and I still wrote freelance articles for other racing publications.

Thank you, Saratoga 

To everyone at Saratoga on Whitney weekend: We would like to name each individual we met, but it would be an impossible task. And we apologize for that because all of you mean the world to us. We couldn’t put Saratoga behind us without thanking you all. This place made such an impression on us … Read more

Remembering Ray

By Patrick Kerrison Sometimes, as a boy who idolizes his father, we follow them everywhere they’ll let us, mimicking what they do and how they do it, getting underfoot and wanting to be them. That was me. I would follow my dad everywhere around the track. I thought every racing person he introduced me to … Read more

Life II

I wrote the Cup of Coffee tepidly, unsure if it was the right thing to do or not. It was about George Weaver and his wife Cindy after a racetrack accident that rocked all of us last summer. Eleven months later, George and Cindy stood in the winner’s enclosure at Royal Ascot after Crimson Advocate … Read more

Celebrating Big Red, Jena and Cody

After a tumultuous week that was all about Air Quality Index, Saturday at Belmont Park was a day to celebrate the GOAT. Throw in history being made, another chapter in racing’s best story being written and idyllic weather, and it was a virtually perfect day on Hempstead Turnpike. The main event was the 155th running … Read more

Champion Hirapour remembered for wins, more

As good as he was as a racehorse, I will always remember the eye and the expression of 2004 steeplechase champion Hirapour. When the Irish-bred looked at you, he looked at you. Retired since 2006 and 27 years old, Hirapour died Sunday in Virginia. Trainer Doug Fout called it one of his “saddest days of … Read more