The Outside Rail

Ready for a new website?

New website? In what’s-getting-to-be-late June? Sure thing, what could go wrong? Hopefully nothing. As the photo shows, and the SEO optimizer tells us, it’s time the new version of breaks from the gate. We gave TIHR a much-needed facelift, which should be noticing right about now. It’s been a few months of work, some … Read more

Write a column, any column

Write a column. For more than a week, those three words have been part of the list on my current reporter’s notebook I take pretty much everywhere. Technically I wrote one, sort of a Preakness preview, last week but that’s not what I meant. I meant write a column about winning the Old Hilltop Award … Read more

Preakness Time

Preakness Eve. From what may be the world’s most sprawling suburban hotel while Connor McDavid lights it up in the NHL playoffs, the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown stands about 20 hours away. The Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike stayed in Kentucky, leaving a mixed bag of nine runners in the $1.5 million classic … Read more

Jockey Juarez tackles 48-hour challenge for charity

Nik Juarez goes for runs near Monmouth Park racetrack all the time, but this one – at 3 in the morning – was different.

“What are you doing?” hollered a security guard.

“I’m running.”

“It’s 2 o’clock in the morning.”

“No, it’s 3 o’clock.”

“We’re closed.”

“I know. Can I just run around the parking lot?”

Phoning it in at Laurel

Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Phone . . . Pen . . . Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Phone . . . Pen . . . Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Phone . . . Pen . . .

Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Pen . . .

A Thousand Miles

“Joe, why do you run so much?”

My joke answer to that question from a neighbor, friend or family member typically goes something like, “So I don’t become an ax murderer,” and gets met with an odd pause before I laugh and say that I’m not really sure why. I didn’t run as a younger person, not regularly anyway, but I’m a regular now and managed to cross off the 1,000-Mile Challenge presented by iRun Local this week. The challenge idea took root in January when Tom Law and my brother Sean brought it up during our annual winter summit.


Flip, Red Sail, Charlie Brown, Whitey, Peanut Butter, Paul Brown, John Warner, Yahtzee . . . it took what seemed like hundreds of horses to teach me how to ride one. That batch there included some ponies of various shapes, sizes and dispositions, a couple of lesson horses at Mary Warner’s Derbydown Farm in Pennsylvania and a racetrack lead pony.

Jumper Jim Key tries to live up to namesake

Let’s get this out of the way first – Jim Key, trainer Kathy Neilson’s entrant in Saturday’s second race at Shawan Downs – can’t spell, count, tell time or recognize flags of different countries. And doesn’t know who the president is.


Fifty years ago, Jonathan Sheppard bought four yearlings at the Fasig-Tipton yearling sales at Saratoga. And changed racing. Then in his early days as a trainer, he had never really purchased a yearling – let alone traded bids among racing’s big names.

Nine? Snap Decision streaks toward record in Iroquois


That’s eight firsts in a row for steeplechase horse Snap Decision. He goes for nine in Saturday’s Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois in Nashville. A ninth win would tie Thrice Worthy’s modern-day record for consecutive wins by an American steeplechase horse dating to 1981-82. Though it doesn’t quite measure up to Cigar’s 16 in a row, or the undefeated 13-start career of Snap Decision’s grandmother Personal Ensign, the feat matters given all the variables.