Walsh Shows Staying Power

Robbie Walsh stole a busy minute from a busy day while playing father to 10-month-old daughter Laura and 3-year-old son Kevin. The Irishman summed up the past eight years since coming to the United States in 2001; he had 50 seconds left over.

Aiken recap: Right Side Up

Jonathan Sheppard arrived at Aiken with a multiple Grade I-winner and an unknown quantity. An earner of $457,730 and a horse that hadn’t met the starter since July. One with eight lifetime jump victories and one that hadn’t won a race in 19 months.

Carolina Cup recap: Damp Shirt Retains Form

CAMDEN, S.C. – Willie Dowling and Good Night Shirt walked in a circle awaiting the official results of the Carolina First Carolina Cup. Both breathed heavily from the physical effort, but one had an extra reason to sweat.

Going to Carolina

Stoneybrook has the NSA stage to itself this weekend (following the recent cancellation of the Palm Beach meet) and the Tarheel State steeplechase serves up a sunny 70-degree forecsat, four hurdle races, a pair of training flats and $60,000 in purses.

A Lucky Man

“I’ll see you when I’m lucky.” For the better part of 15 years, my day at the races ended when I heard that statement from John Thigpen. I can’t even be sure where we met, but the relationship stayed fairly constant in Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, wherever the circuit took … Read more

Good Night Shirt named head of state

"Image"Good Night Shirt, two-time Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s leading steeplechaser, was named 2008 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, as well as champion steeplechaser, in the annual poll conducted by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

Remembering Morley Street

As a sports writer for the Cecil Whig, perhaps the world’s smallest daily newspaper, in 1991 I picked up a rare horse assignment and headed to Fair Hill to see the foreign horses in town for the Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase. Cheering News and Morley Street walked in a circle with their “lads” and headed out … Read more

Longtime official John Thigpen dies


John Thigpen and son Andy at the 2006 Carolina Cup.

John Fleming Thigpen Jr., who graced steeplechase meets as an official, volunteer and fan for more than 50 years, died Feb. 7 at Martha Jefferson House in Charlottesville, Va.

Reflection on perfection

"Image"Sonny Via traded sandy beaches for sanded roads Tuesday, but the winter chill that greeted him back home in Free Union, Va., did little to diminish his spirits. After all, he was fresh from accepting Good Night Shirt’s second consecutive Eclipse Award as champion steeplechaser.