Cheltenham Day Four. The Gold Cup.

The curtain falls on the Cheltenham Festival. Four days. Twenty-eight races. A million moments. Highs and lows. Upsets and certainties. Stars and scars. Dreams achieved. Dreams shattered. Pints downed. Kings crowned. As always, it’s delivered. The perfect goodbye from Honeysuckle. The return of Envoi Allen. The subtle brilliance of Rachael. The domination by Willie. The … Read more

Cheltenham. Day Three.

Two down, two to go. Halftime at Cheltenham. Stars firmly in the sky. Stars still to come. On Wednesday…Impairre Et Paisse toyed with rivals in the Ballymore. Sam Twiston-Davies engineered a gem from The Real Whacker to hold off Gerri Colombe in the Brown Advisory. The plotted-up Langer Dan won a three-horse photo in the … Read more

Cheltenham. Day Two

Constitution Hill. Honeysuckle. A meteor in full flight. A star with her last swing. Hello, champion. Goodbye, champion. Two races. Two legends. One day. One hour. Cheltenham, the sport, at its breathtaking best. That was yesterday, a day that will live forever in pubs and parishes. As for today… Race 1. 9:30. The Ballymore Novices’ … Read more

Cheltenham. Day One.

I’m not there. OK. I said it. I have accepted it. Life’s challenges are still challenging us, so Cheltenham has been shelved for the third consecutive year. I was proud of my first streak, 2002-2015 and then another, 2017-2020. Yes, I made it four months after Miles was born, I made it the Covid year … 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

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