Here & There: January 13

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Racing is off to its usual fast start to January and the New Year with early buzz for the 3-year-old division, optimism that last year’s sophomores will return to form in 2015 and anticipation for the 2014 Eclipse Awards this weekend at Gulfstream Park.

Joe is readying himself for the trip to South Florida to pick up his hardware, while Sean spent the weekend and early part the week in Lexington for the Darley stallion show and the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale and Tom stayed put in Saratoga Springs partially snowed in and gearing up for stallion shows in New York.

We’re doing this while churning out content for the website and Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred and along the way we’ve gathered quite a few quips and quotes for the latest edition of Here & There.


Worth Repeating

“I should have copy-righted that.” – Retired announcer Tom Durkin, when introduced with his epic line, “incomparable, invincible, unbeatable,” at the Thoroughbred Charities of America stallion auction in Lexington

“I’d like to have a target out there, something to shoot for.” – Trainer Tim Keefe, trying to find a race of the two-legged variety for himself

“It’s amazing 25 can feel balmy.” – Darley’s Charlie Boden, on the weather in Kentucky

“You must have come from Birmingham.” – Juddmonte Farm’s Garrett O’Rourke to TIHR’s Sean Clancy, who was wearing sneakers and a light jacket at Keeneland Monday

“I’ve gone to Florida with young horses and turf horses and I’ve gone to Tampa and my God the fields are really tough and the purses aren’t very good. Gulfstream, wow, you’re kidding me. And then you give up the bonsues when you race there.” – Country Life Farm co-owner Mike Pons

“A good illustration of why Joe just won the Eclipse award. I felt as though I were along for the ride! Congratulations, Joe! Well done and well-earned.” – Comment on a column written by our own Eclipse Award-winning Joe Clancy

“I now have the distinction of being the former chairman.” – Duncan Patterson, who is still chairman of the Delaware Racing Commission on his past post as chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International

“New York is the model program. All the elite people will say, ‘oh, that’s not true, it’s terrible, they run all those cheap New York races.’ That’s what they like to say from their lofty perch. The program thrives better than anyone else’s and it does so because they have the incentive where you can race your horse for a lot of money. It makes sense to breed in New York. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is you have to keep your horse there forever.” – Pin Oak Lane Farm owner Dr. William Solomon

“I can vouch that you, me and JoAnne Hayden (not David) share the same ritual. Too late?, too early?, too tired?, too cold?’ all run through my mind.” – Hermitage Farm’s Bill Landes, after reading Sean Clancy’s column about doing night check on the farm

“We got a good kill the last couple days. A good way to cleanse us of diseases and the bugs. If I think about it that way it’s fine.” – Virginia breeder Wayne Chatfield-Taylor after some cold temperatures last week and six inches of snow cover

“It’s all happening right before our eyes. Things you thought you’d never see, all of a sudden, they’re happening.” – Pons on promises of change and improvements in Maryland from The Stronach Group

“Have you ever heard of the word, ‘Tantivy?’ It’s a great word. You should use it.” – Phil Needham, introducing a new word at the Darley Stallion Show, look it up, it’s a great word

“He might turn around and bite the jockey at any moment.” – Uttoxeter announcer as a recalcitrant hurdler passed the stands with a circuit to go

“As a historian friend of mine points out once in a while, ‘horse racing is going to survive, but we may not recognize it.’ I don’t know what that means yet, but he might be right.” – Chatfield-Taylor

“The breeding program is good. People want to have a Maryland-bred. Even I have a broodmare now. She’s due to foal in another month.” – Keefe on the positive signs in Maryland

“That’s kind of a broad question.” – Solomon after being asked by Tom Law for a Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred feature about what he expects in 2015

“I’ve got a lovely filly to take down there and I hope the world likes her. If they don’t I’m going to run over the top of them.” – Chatfield-Taylor on a short yearling he was selling at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale

“I work on that every day.” – Owner/breeder Mike Lauer, when asked if he knew about cost containment, at the Keeneland Monday

“Tim had me out there until 10, galloping ones I don’t ride, ones he didn’t want to train on Saturday…” – Jockey Sheldon Russell, good-naturedly describing a Friday morning with his friend, trainer Tim Keefe at Laurel Park


By the Numbers

2: Clancys in Saratoga Springs last weekend – Joe and Sam. Happy birthday Sam.

3: Eclipse Awards for coverage of racing won by the three-man team at This Is Horse Racing (Sean Clancy, Joe Clancy and Tom Law) since 2009. Editor’s note: This will be the last self-promotion of said statistic

$400,000: Price paid by Shadai Farm for the 5-year-old Footstepsinthesand mare Premier Steps during opening session of Keeneland January sale Monday

$1,400,000: Amount offered and not taken on champion Blind Luck at Keeneland Monday afternoon


A little lagniappe

Excerpt from Jay Hovdey in the Daily Racing Form Jan. 7:

Blood + ink = writing Eclipses

A dime’s worth of research reveals that full brothers have never won Eclipse Awards. There have been full sisters (the turf champs Banks Hill and Intercontinental) and grandmother-granddaughters (Personal Ensign and Storm Flag Flying).

Then came the Clancy brothers, Joe and Sean, both by Joe Clancy Sr. out of Ruth Clancy and raised to know which end did what from the day they could stand and nurse.

Sean Clancy, a former professional steeplechase rider with limbs miraculously intact, won an Eclipse Award for his 2009 story about the legacy of Hall of Famer trainer Sidney Watters. Now Joe, the tall one, gets his own horse for the trophy case, having been honored for his 2014 story about the Preakness Stakes victory of California Chrome. If racing fans still read, it’s because people like the Clancy brothers continue to write. Nice going, Joe.