The Outside Rail

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.

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

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

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

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