Thank you, Mr. Kelly

Veteran trainer Pat Kelly announced his retirement this week. The backstretch won’t be the same. Here’s one of my favorite Cups of Coffee, Cans and Carrots, written July 29, 2016. Pat Kelly parked his bike, a spray-painted, no-brand beater with a fading Free John Veitch bumper stick, a trash bag on the seat, a brass … 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

Friday Already

It’s Friday again…it looks like writing every day has become writing once a week. That’s OK, better than not writing at all. Here’s a quick update before jetting off for another Ski Friday. Cold and blustery today. Last week, it wound up with a trip to the emergency room as Miles attempted the thrill of … Read more

Ski Friday

Ryan borrows my coat. I now have three coats on the mountain while I sit solitary in the lodge, huddled over a laptop. One of the twins drops their mittens, I retrieve and toss on their table, they thank me. A kindergartener screams to go home, then bustles out the door like Franz Klammer at … Read more

Thursday Return

It’s about time I start writing again. It’s been far too long. No resolutions, no declarations, just a first step to write more often. No, Joe, I’m not declaring that I’m writing everyday, 24/7/365. I’ve lost that battle, somewhere in the 1,000 Mile Challenge and Read 52 Books a Year. Our website looks and feels … Read more

Racing through January

January ends next week, which closes what might qualify as a quiet month at ST Publishing. The calendars are sold, mostly. The Saratoga Special is six (OK five and change) months away. Other projects grind on, but this time of year offers a chance to breathe, regroup, get tied on for the coming ride on … Read more

Saratoga clocker Lynett will be missed

Dave Lynett’s name appeared many times through the years on this website and in the pages of The Saratoga Special. Retired from the Saratoga County Department of Social Services, Lynett later embarked on a second career as a clocker with the New York Racing Association at the Oklahoma Training Track in his native Saratoga Springs. … Read more

Far Hills 2022: A first look

It’s Monday night. Entries are out. Take a look. At what you ask? Far Hills of course. The Far Hills Races, the top steeplechase meet in the United States, goes to the post Saturday in New Jersey. Seven races, big purses, bigger crowd, wagering, live television, international runners, you name it. So here’s an early, … Read more

Jump racing at The Big A

They ever have jump racing at Aqueduct? The question arose in early July – even before NYRA announced the shifting of Belmont Park’s Fall Championship meet to The Big A – and gained steam as Saratoga’s 2022 season unfolded. The answer, of course, is yes. But not for a while. Officially, the most recent steeplechase race … Read more

Give & Take

Pick a side. Are you a giver or taker? It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, mostly after deciding to write a story about a couple barbers from Schenectady who decided to produce video vignettes highlighting the work of the valuable and often forgotten men and women of the backside. The story ran … Read more