"Dortmund"

March 3, 2015 by Kathryn Lindquist

The Kentucky Derby is just a few months away, and with the world preparing to converge on Churchill Downs for the run for the roses, horsemen, horseplayers and fans alike are searching for their future champion. That winner have yet to emerge from obscurity or may be right under their noses, and his name, in fact, may be Dortmund.

 

 

Owned by Kaleem Shah and trained by Bob Baffert - the same connections that guided the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern - Dortmund has shown his class already with gutsy performances as a youngster, showing much more class and focus than usually displayed by a two or three-year-old.

 

Dortmund is a striking specimen of a race horse: strapping, tall, and built like a freight train, carrying his weight evenly on all four legs. Some may note an uncanny resemblance to Australia’s Wonder Horse, Phar Lap, who dominated the racing scene Down Under during the 1930s.  

 

A son of Big Brown, Dortmund has taken some time to figure out how to power his massive form over the track. But Bob Baffert, his trainer, says, “He is figuring it out. I think the light finally went on.”

 

Currently second choice in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool, Dortmund is gearing up for a start in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (g.II) at Santa Anita Park on March 7.  The start will occur exactly one month after his victory in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (g.III).

 

Undefeated in four starts, the 17 hand high chestnut colt previously claimed victories in the Los Alamitos Futurity (g.I) on Dec. 20, an allowance race on Nov. 29, and his maiden race Nov. 2. Although his last two starts have been close calls, both victories by a head, Dortmund has shown class in each start.

 

After his run in the San Felipe, odds are Dortmund will have one more start, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, it’s off to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby and a shot at history. It will not be easy for Dortmund, he will likely face 19 rivals, and will have to navigate his 17 hand high body through tight traffic using tactics and agility, but at the same time, who is going to get in the way of him?

 

Look for Dortmund racing at Santa Anita March 7 and see if he secures his spot as one of the Derby favorites.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Texas Red"

January 31, 2015 by Kathryn Lindquist

Although he has but two wins to his name, Texas Red has already been singled out as one of the early favorites for this year’s Run for the Roses. His devastating late turn of foot threw the competition aside in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and set up for a sophomore season that will prove the best is yet to come.
 

Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Texas Red was sired by 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner, and American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse, Afleet Alex. His dam is Ramatuelle, who was a highly successful racehorse in Chile before arriving in the United States to race briefly, finishing second in the Desert Stormer Handicap before retiring.

 

In 2013, the yearling Texas Red was sold at the Keeneland Sales for $17,000 to Eric Brehm on behalf of a partnership which included brothers, Keith and Kent Desormeaux, the latter most notable for his victory in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes aboard Big Brown. The colt was noted for his confirmation and substantial size, as well as gait. Keith called the colt a “masterpiece.”

 

In his two-year-old season Texas Red did not start off on a good foot. He debuted over five furlongs at Arlington Park in July, ridden by jockey James Graham. He started poorly, lost several lengths and raced greenly to finish a beaten second. In his next event, twenty four days later at Del Mar, he finished fourth in a similar situation, again starting poorly. In this race, Kent Desormeaux was in the irons and became, henceforth, Texas Red’s jockey.

 

On August 21, the colt experienced his first victory. He again started at the back of the pack, but this time he moved up into second on the far turn and overtook the leader in the final furlong to win by just over one length. Although it seemed over his head at the time, Texas Red raced next in the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita over one and one sixteenth miles on September 27. He finished a close third, beaten by other Kentucky Derby hopefuls American Pharoah and Calculator. But over the same course and distance, on November 1, Texas Red entered the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with confidence.

 

After his now customary slow start, Texas Red dropped back to last in the field in the early stages of the race. But he made rapid progress approaching the final turn and swung to the outside at the top of the stretch. The race was over by then and Texas Red pounced on the leader and bursted clear by over six lengths.


In January 2015, Texas Red finished runner-up to American Pharoah in the poll for American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse, receiving 111 votes to his rivals 126. Certainly, however, his connections are hoping this is just another slow start for their successful colt and that he will make up ground in the long run as a three-year-old.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Ben's Cat"

December 3, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

It has become rare in racing today to see a horse race past age three, or have a career that spans over forty races, but Ben's Cat has managed both in his lifetime. On Nov. 29 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, 8-year-old Ben's Cat won the $200,000 Fabulous Strike Handicap for a third time in a fabulous win by 3 1/4 lengths after circling the field in the homestretch. He earned his highest Beyer Speed Figure ever in this start, his 45th. 

Ben's Cat made his debut on May 8, 2010 at four years old. He captured his first eight starts and narrowly missed being claimed for a mere $20,000. He has now earned over $2,320,990 for owner, trainer and breeder King Leatherbury. He has won an awe-inspiring 28 of 45 starts.
 
Beginning with five straight wins in the Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlico, Ben's Cat has a string of repeats in his credentials. His success as a turf sprinter is maintained with six wins, four narrow losses and a third place finish in races in Pennsylvania, including the Turf Monster, Parx Dash and Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at Penn. 
 
Although his contingent decided against running their beloved horse in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint this past October, it may have been the smartest move for the team, considering that a tough race like that one has a way of draining horses, and could possibly have an even worse effect on the veterans of the track. It's likely we'll see Ben's Cat run in 2015 as a 9-year-old and maybe on into 2016 at age 10. 
 
He may not be up for Horse of the Year honors, but Ben's Cat does have one final victory in his sights for 2014: the Secretariat "Vox Populi" Award. Meaning, "the voice of the people," this award recognizes a racehorse whose popularity exceeds that of average status. Among the nominees this year are California Chrome, Shared Belief, Untapable, Wise Dan, and Game on Dude. Ben's Cat, slightly an outsider in this grouping of Champions has also made the list and hopes to finish strong. 
 
Voting for the Vox Populi Award ends Dec. 17 and the official winner will be announced at Secretariat.com on Christmas Day. 

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Dank: Looking for a Filly & Mare Turf Double"

October 29, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

Dank (adjective) disagreeably damp, musty, and typically cold. synonyms: damp, musty, chilly, clammy.

The definition above for the word “dank” is from the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary, but it does little to describe the champion mare who bears the same word for a name. Known most prominently as the filly who captured the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park, CA, Dank is a British Thoroughbred by Dansili, whose Grandsire was the great Danehill. She is now looking to do something that has never been done before, to win two Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf races, back to back.

Throughout her racing career, Dank has been owned by Jame Wigan and trained by Michael Stout of his Freemason Lodge Stables in Newmarket, Suffolk, England. Dank made her race debut at Newbury Racecourse in September 2011, where she finished second under Kieren Fallon. It was her only start as a two-year-old.

The following year, Dank came out from the shadows and stepped into the racing spotlight. She won three of six races in 2012, and experienced several rider changes. In her seasonal debut she was ridden by Ryan Moore for her first victory in a maiden race. In her next two races under the same rider, Dank finished unplaced in a handicap event and then won over a mile at Ascot. She then ran in her first listed stakes race and finished second to Ladys First in the Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes before coming back and beating the same competitor in the Atalanta Stakes (G.3) under a new jockey, Richard Hughes. In her final race of the year, Dank faded to fifth in the Rosemary Stakes at Newmarket, a sign it was time to recharge for the following year.

As a four-year-old and seasoned competitor, Dank won the Dahlia Stakes (G.3) at Newmarket and the Kilboy Estate Stakes (G.2) at the Curragh, while also placing third at Royal Ascot in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. In August 2013, Dank came to America for the Beverly D. Stakes (G.1) at Arlington Park, where she was the second choice at the betting windows. Dank tracked the leaders on the outside before seizing the lead turning for home and accelerating clear to win by four lengths, equaling the course record for the race.

At the 2013 Breeders’ Cup, Dank started as the favorite in the Filly & Mare Turf (G.1) over ten furlongs at Santa Anita Park. She started quicky out of the gate before being settled by her now regular rider, Moore, behind the leaders. She challenged the front few horses into the straight and took the lead in the final furlong, winning by a half length over the French-trained Romantica.

In January 2014, Dank was named American Champion Female Turf Horse at the Eclipse Awards, and even picked up some votes for Horse of the Year and Champion Older Female.

This year has not been a busy one for Dank. In the spring she was sent to the United Arab Emirates in March for the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan Racecourse for one of the richest turf races in the world. She raced impressively to finish third. She followed that performance up with a fifth place finish in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. This finish is far less “dank” than imagined however, considering the horses that finished in front of her were stakes winners The Fugue, Magician, Mukhadram and the great Treve.

Dank looks now to the future, and the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to see if she can make history and win two Filly & Mare Turf races in a row, and in doing so reclaim her spot as the best female turf horse in America and one of the best in the world.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Shared Belief"

September 30, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

Often in the history of Thoroughbred horse racing, champions come and go. It is rare for a horse that had been named Juvenile Champion to continue that success into his sophomore season. The names of champion juveniles are rarely found on the list of victors the following year. But Shared Belief has defied that trend.

Shared Belief was foaled February 15, 2011 and as a two-year-old, he was unbeaten in three races and was named Champion Two-Year-Old Colt at the Eclipse Awards in 2013. As a three-year old, he remains undefeated and has stamped himself as a likely serious contender for next month's Breeders' Cup Classic.

Shared Belief is sired by the undefeated Candy Ride and is out of Common Hope. He is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and owned by a consortium called Jungle Racing LLC that includes sportscaster Jim Rome, Hollendorfer, Dr. George Todaro, Jason Litt and Alex Solis II.

Shared Belief made his debut in a maiden race over six furlongs at Golden Gate Fields in October 2013. He won easily by seven lengths. Next, Shared Belief moved up in class in the Grade III Hollywood Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Park Racetrack. He pulled clear in the straight to win by seven and three-quarter lengths. After that he scored in the Grade I CashCall Futurity which later led to an Eclipse Award as he entered the 2014 season. He became only the fourth 2-year-old male champion to have bypassed the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Unfortunately, it looked as though Shared Belief would fall to the trend of champion juveniles falling prey to injury. In January 2014, he developed an abscess and was taken off the Kentucky Derby trail. This, however, would not stop him for long.

After a few months off, Shared Belief made his comeback in the July 7 Grade II Los Alamitos Derby, where he trounced the field. He backed his comeback up by following in his sire's hoofprints and winning the Grade I Pacific Classic.

Most recently, on September 27 under jockey Mike Smith in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes against older horses, and in his narrowest victory to date, Shared Belief overcame a disastarous first turn trip where he was carried out to the middle of the racetrack, which resulted in a suspension to jockey Victor Espinoza who was aboard Sky Kingdom. He is now considered a favorite for the November 2 Breeders' Cup Classic and a potential show down with fan favorite California Chrome in what may become a battle of two champions. The outcome of the race will likely decide Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old honors.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

 

"Wise Dan"

August 31, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

Often in Thoroughbred horse racing a champion arises from the masses during the spring of a year and fades by late fall. So much focus is put on the Triple Crown races that the old warriors are much forgotten in the midst of their younger counterparts. But this has not been the case with the tried and true Wise Dan, whose escapades on the track have been hailed as some of the finest on the turf of today.

The chestnut, gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry began his career in 2010 as a three-year-old and since then has rolled to victory after decisive victory in fifteen graded stakes races on turf, dirt and two variations of synthetic racing surfaces. As a homebred for Morton Fink, Wise Dan has forged a gilded career in Eclipse Awards, becoming the first horse to win in the same three categories in consecutive years; Wise Dan being Horse of the Year, Champion Older Male and Champion Male Turf Horse in 2012 and 2013.

Wise Dan is the variety of horse that comes around perhaps once a decade, the type that gets better with age. He began his career at three in 2011 with not a sparkle of greatness on his record. He was fifth in his debut and then won a six furlong maiden race. He pulled in a victory in a Grade III race, the Phoenix Stakes, and contested in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, where he faded to sixth of twelve runners.

In 2011, the dullness of his previous season began to shine just a bit. After three consecutive losses on the dirt, Wise Dan was switched to the turf. His first race on the surface, the Grade II Firecracker Handicap, turned out to be a winning one. Wise Dan’s niche was discovered. He took the Presque Isle Mile Stakes next, the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland and even defeated Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Flat Out and Belmont Stakes champion, Ruler On Ice, in the Clark Handicap on the dirt. By year’s end, the chestnut gelding was in 38th place on the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings.

Suddenly the glitter and glitz that is Wise Dan broke through brightly in 2012. The Ben Ali Stakes, Fourstardave Handicap, Woodbine Mile, Shadwell Turf Mile and his first Breeders’ Cup Mile all fell to his mercy. His effort in the Mile was described in the Washington Post as an “unequivocal championship performance,” when he overtook the front-running Obviously at the top of the stretch and battled Animal Kingdom to the wire for the victory. The time of 1:31.78 was a new track record and was just shy of the world record. By the end of the year, Wise Dan was ranked as the best racehorse in the United States and the fifth best in the world according to the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings. He was awarded three Eclipse Awards that season, becoming the first to sweep the Champion Male Turf Horse, Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year statutes since John Henry in 1981.

The following year, Wise Dan needed not to improve but to retain his shining excellence. He rolled to easy victories in the Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland, Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, Firecracker Handicap under 129 pounds, and the Woodbine Mile again. Nine victories in a row came with Wise Dan when he entered the Breeders’ Cup Mile for the second time. He unleashed a stellar late run and collared Za Approval to take the Mile by three quarters of a length. The world could ignore Wise Dan no more. He was ranked third in the world and was also named the world’s best miler and America’s best racehorse. He repeated his Eclipse Awards and left nothing left to prove.

This year was different for Wise Dan though. He began the season as customary as usual, with a win in the Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. But on May 16, Wise Dan became uneasy and distressed after a workout and an ultrasound discovered that he was colicking. Although not career ending, Wise Dan was sent to Rood and Riddle equine hospital and underwent surgery.

Three and a half months after the emergency surgery, jockey John Velazquez will climb aboard seven-year-old Wise Dan in the Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga. Although the track is known as the “Graveyard of Champions,” the racing public have their fingers crossed that Wise Dan, who has already survived illness, crosses the finish line first again.

Wise Dan’s record stands at 21 victories in 29 starts, including 10 Grade 1 races and career earnings of $6,802,920.

The Bernard Baruch Handicap will be run at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 30 and is Race Five with a post time of 3:15 PM (ET).

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Mucho Macho Man"

July 29, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

He appeared lifeless at birth, earning the nickname “Lazarus,” but as soon as he hit the track, his vigor and life became obvious; Mucho Macho Man was destined to be a champion. He was foaled in Florida and named after the Village People song “Macho Man,” and grew to 17 hands high, very large and muscular. Although some might say he didn't necessarily float around the track like a feather, he certainly covered a lot of ground.

His owners, Dean and Patti Reeves, purchased and placed him with horse trainer Tim Ritvo, and his training duties were turned over to Tim’s wife and fellow trainer Kathy when he accepted a job with Gulfstream Park. Mucho Macho Man was a popular and well respected horse from early on in his career and was guided by several top jockeys in his races, including Ramon Dominguez, Mike Smith, Edgar Prado and Gary Stevens.

In his early career, as a two and three-year-old, Mucho Macho Man struggled with his gangly size; as his career progressed however, this awkward phase passed. He competed in all three Triple Crown races in 2011, coming in third in the Kentucky Derby. After fighting a breathing problem after the Triple Crown, he returned to the track to win three graded stakes races in 2012, and finished a close second to Fort Larned in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

(Kathryn Lindquist featured right on "Mucho Macho Man Day" at Gulfstream Park)

In early 2013, he ran two races on the east coast and then was shipped early to Santa Anita Park to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup. He won the Awesome Again Stakes, his first Grade 1 win. He then captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic, narrowly defeating Will Take Charge and Declaration of War. His success led to him earning the Secretariat Vox Populi Award and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year, as well as two Eclipse Award nominations and the 2013 Florida Horse of the Year award.

Mucho Macho Man returned to the track in 2014 with a win in the Sunshine Millions Classic, but followed that up with a fourth place finish in the Santa Anita Handicap. Bruising on his legs was discovered and it was decided that, although sound, Mucho Macho Man had earned his retirement.

His final race record was 25:9-5-6 with earnings of $5,625,410 - he will stand stud at Adena Springs in 2015.

Famed turfwriter Steve Haskin stated that the Mucho Macho Man tale "provided enough uplifting human interest stories to fill a book,” and that book would certainly be a fairtale.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"That's Horse Racing:

California Chrome's Failed Triple Crown Attempt"

Jockey World's very own member and contributing writer, Kathryn Lindquist, attended this year's 2014 Belmont Stakes acting as Jockey World's on location correspondent to capture California Chrome's attempt at history. The following feature is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the events that unfolded.

All photos courtesy of Kathryn Lindquist, Belmont Park, 2014.

June 9, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

History was supposed to be made Saturday, June 7. California Chrome was supposed to win the Triple Crown. The drought from 1978 until 2014 was supposed to be quenched. And the fairy tale that was the story of America's horse was supposed to end with "happily ever after." But history now tells us that it was not meant to be.

Early Saturday morning, over 100,000 patrons piled onto buses, into cabs and cars, and onto special Long Island Railroad trains, beckoning images conjured from a decade lost. All were heading to Elmont, New York and Belmont Park for a chance to see history.

Purple and green dresses and suits littered the grandstand like pinpoints of color in a sea of grey. Hats adorned fashionable ladies' heads, some even wore crowns, and a handful took in the fresh summer air with purple nasal strips. The typical image of New York arrogance was washed when the sun rose over the track and replaced it with a jovial sense of community, united by a chestnut colt from California. East met West and united unconditionally alongside the race favorite.

At about 9:30 a.m., I arrived at Old Sandy for the second time in four years with a Triple Crown again on the line. I was here in 2012 for I'll Have Another's tragic turn of events. The moment I stepped out of my car and laid eyes on Belmont, I felt a tingle up my spine: today was going to be different.

The crowds were already swelling by 10 a.m. and in the press box, reporters from every major newspaper jockeyed for position. Even amid arguments over outlets and vantage points, everyone was smiling. Although no one would say it, everyone had a feeling that we would be seeing history.

The Long Island Railroad began running special trains directly into the Belmont Park grandstand before noon, evoking images of patrons squeezing onto trains to see Seabiscuit or Man O' War race in a decade when the newspaper thrived and racing was on the front page. Knowing that the throngs would hit the track like breakers on a rocky shoreline, I walked through the echoing chambers of the track in silence searching for coffee. 

The vendors were yet to open their windows, but I found one selling black coffee and purchased a cup. My hands were already shaking as I tried to pour the cream. I watched it swirl from the bottom and took a deep breath then rode the press elevator to the third floor and looked out across the track.

"I wonder what we will see here today?" I asked myself between sips.

Soon, the throngs arrived, piling off into the grandstand and overflowing into the paddock area and terrace. By noon, it was swollen with a sea of people from across the country.

I watched Close Hatches win the Ogden Phipps, Kid Cruz capture the Easy Goer and Bayern dramatically charge home in the Woody Stephens. But as Belmont Stakes post time approached, I made the difficult decision to leave the grandstand and not cheer on Palace Malice in the Met Mile. Instead I took solitude on the backside of Belmont Park.

While everyone was at the track, I strolled through the barns of Barclay Tagg and Nick Zito alone, accompanied by the chirping of sparrows and the heavy scent of dust and horse sweat. At the farthest end of the backside was Barn 26, the temporary home of California Chrome and rival Ride On Curlin.

It was modest, not any different than any of the other shedrows housing claiming and allowance horses. However, a bright blue Sketchers banner gave away the home of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner.

What surprised me most was the lack of media at Barn 26. There were three of us, patiently waiting for California Chrome to make his grand march to immortality. I leaned against a fence and stared into the shedrow only to see California Chrome's blazed face looking right back at me. Every time I tried taking a picture of him, he would duck into his stall, and the moment I put the camera away, he would reemerge. Camera shy, perhaps. No one said a word, afraid to spoil the delicate moment in the presence of a champion.

Alan Sherman, California Chrome's trainer, opened a can of beer and stood in the shade of an oak tree before giving a brief interview and changing into his suit. NBC News requested to enter the barn and take a quick shot of the Triple Crown hopeful, but were denied. It was too close to race time. The sound of the grandstand and Tom Durkin's voice drifted on the wind.

Exercise rider Willie Delgado emerged and made his way toward us. Always talkative, he was eager for an interview. He explained that he was fired by a previous trainer for being too heavy, and only connected with California Chrome's team through that turn of events.

"Me and Alan are trying to keep the confidence level up," Delgado said. "There's always the possibility that he gets beat. But that's horse racing. Win, lose or draw, he's a champion."

Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat was also in attendance. I shook her hand and said hello, having met her early last year in Doswell, Virgina to celebrate Big Red's birthday. She told me, "good luck today." And I told her the same.

I joked with a fellow reporter about California Chrome's deal with Sketchers, saying that the company was successful in getting us our first American Boston Marathon winner since 1983 in Meb Keflezighi, maybe it would work for getting us our first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

Then, it was show time. The green door to the shedrow shot open, security officers stepped out and told us not to run after the horses as they exited the barn, threatening to "yank our credentials." We agreed, peering into the shedrow. The halter went on, his legs were rubbed down and Sherman gave California Chrome a pat on the shoulder.

The great red chestnut colt stepped out of the shedrow and into the brilliant sunshine. Never have I seen such a perfect animal, muscles rippling in anticipation. Someone made a comment on his shimmering coat and his well groomed mane, but I was looking at his bright eyes and perked ears. The walk over was like striding into a prize fight alongside Mohammed Ali.

I followed patiently behind him on the way to the track. Watching his undulating muscles. Swallowed by a cloud of dust thrown into the air by California Chrome's hooves, I parted ways with him halfway to the paddock and went to the grandstand. I was going to watch the race with the throngs of fans, for he was America's horse.

The grandstand was charged, sparked from the promise of the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. The horses emerged from the track and the roar was deafening. The grandstand shook and then the sound quietly drifted off as the horses were loaded into the gate. The bell rang and the field burst away, prodded on by the again rising voices of thousands.

Right in front of me, as the field turned for home and straightened into the stretch, it appeared California Chrome poked his head in front. The grandstand was electric. Yet a few strides later, as he faltered and faded, that power was cut off. Over a hundred thousand patrons hung their heads as Tonalist bobbed his head over the wire to win and America's horse struggled in a tired dead heat for fourth.

The promise of a Triple Crown victor brought me to Elmont, NY this year, too, hoping to rub elbows with the likes of Bill Nack and Steve Haskin and write on a passage of Thoroughbred racing history. Instead I had to write a tragedy.

Tonalist, ridden by Joel Rosario, won the 146th Belmont Stakes in which he overtook Commissioner in a dramatic finish to win. The timer stopped in 2:28.52.

I left the track Saturday with a heavy heart. The anticipation was gone, the thrill did not last, and a Triple Crown, again, was not meant to be. I walked to my car in silence, vowing to not return another year as I could not take the heartache. I had parked in the center of the Belmont training track with other media.

The sun was just setting. The rail of the track gleamed with an orange hue as the day ended. Striding up an embankment, I walked up to the rail and put my arms across it. In the barns and over the empty track hung a sense of sadness, yet hope at the same time. Hope for a new champion next year and another attempt at the Triple Crown.

At that moment I doubted I would return to Belmont next time though, but as I exited the training track I spotted a horse shoe resting in the grass at my feet. Yes, in horse racing hope springs eternal in the most unlikely places. With a chuckle, I picked up the horse shoe and passed it in my hands, knowing in my heart that I will be there next time, win, lose or draw.

"That's horse racing," I told myself. "I'll be back."

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"California Chrome"

May 29, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

Like a fiery sunset being swallowed by the horizon, his coat gleamed. His legs, studded with white, danced eagerly across the track as though the stands were alive with cheers solely for him. His mane heaved and rippled with each confident, bounding step. The crowds, the trainers, the other jockeys and horses were all there to bow to him. And he turned the Kentucky Derby (G.1) into more of a coronation than a horse race; just as planned.

California Chrome is now America’s darling. After winning the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes he is standing on the perpetual brink of Triple Crown immortality; such a dangerous place to wait. He is trained by the father-son duo of Art and Alan Sherman, the elder having been exercise rider for the other racing giant hailing from California, Swaps. His owners are Perry and Denise Martin as well as Steve and Carolyn Coburn, who appear to be going along for the ride just as much as their jockey, Victor Espinoza is.

With a pedigree laced with superiority in every line, bearing the names of Pulpit, Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Seattle Slew and A.P. Indy, California Chrome was destined for the track, but greatness is always a question to be asked next to a pedigree chart. Distance and speed is woven throughout his bloodlines. But more than that appears to be a tactical edge, the ability to rate, to look another horse in the eye, and a tremendous turn of foot.

Overnight it appears as though California Chrome has become America’s horse, following in the hoofbeats of Smarty Jones and Funny Cide. But we all know how that pair fared on the big sandy oval of Belmont Park.

For the moment, California Chrome stands in their ghostly shadows and dodges the divots made by the 12 since 1978 who ran over the Belmont track in the pursuit of a kingly crown, only to fail. However, the hope is that he will instead dance in in the hoofprints of Affirmed and Secretariat, to the winner’s circle and a triangular trophy with just 11 names inscribed on it.

California Chrome has won five races in a row, and is looking to make that number an even six. I will be at Belmont Park on June 7 to cover his dance with destiny as a press member, reporting exclusively to Jockey World from the barns, backstretch and grandstand; cheering America’s horse home, every step of the way.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Smarty Jones: America's Horse"

May 1, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

He was as American as apple pie, as patriotic as Old Glory and loved more than any racehorse in recent memory. A third-generation descendant of Mr. Prospector, with a pedigree laced with the strains of greatness, blood derived from Triple Crown winners Secretariat, Count Fleet, War Admiral and Omaha, and even the legacy of Man O’ War. But he was ordinary, smallish, brown and slightly awkward; like a brown paper bag loose on the wind outside a grocery store. But somehow, he became the horse America loved and brought home for discussion around dinner tables and into family life. His name was Smarty Jones.

 

He was born at Fairthorne Farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania, named after Milly “Smarty Jones” McNair, the mother of co-owner Pat Chapman. At birth, the horse was said to have a strong willed character much like his mother, so the name stuck. Pat and her husband Roy had originally handed the training of a young Smarty Jones to Bobby Camac, but in December 2001, Camac and his wife were murdered, leaving Smarty Jones without a trainer. In 2003, the Chapmans chose John Servis to oversee Smarty Jones’ training.

 

His progress was going well, when in July 2003 Smarty was schooling in the starting gate, spooked, reared and smashed his head on the top of the gate. With blood pouring out of his nostrils, laying unconscious on the track, it appeared Smarty Jones had killed himself, and the racing dreams of Servis and the Chapmans as well.

 

But somehow he survived and after three weeks in the hospital and a month recupperating on the farm, Smarty Jones was put back into training. In November 2003 he won his first race at Philadelphia Park under Canadian-born Jockey Stewart Elliott by 7 and ¾ lengths. Two weeks later, he took the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes by 15 lengths, earning the best speed figure of his generation and the best of any Derby winner as a 2 year old.

 

In 2004, Smarty Jones continued his winning streak by capturing the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct by 5 lengths. He was then shipped to Oaklawn Park, where he stamped himself as a Kentucky Derby contender, winning the Southwest Stakes, the Rebel Stakes (with the fastest Thorograph number ever given to a 3 year old), and the Arkansas Derby.

 

On May 1, 2004 on a sloppy track Smarty Jones lifted the hopes of a nation and became the first unbeaten Kentucky Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977. On May 15, shortly after Smarty Jones was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he won the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, by a record margin of 11 and ½ lengths.

 

Smarty Jones, undefeated, rolled into Belmont Park in New York with the strongest chance to win the coveted Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978. His popularity caused television ratings to skyrocket. Breeders offered to purchase breeding rights to him with figures as high as 50 million dollars. He seemed perfect, strong and simply unbeatable.

 

But in sports, no one is unbeatable and nothing is a sure thing. On June 5, 2004, Smarty Jones, under increased pressure from other horses and jockeys in the race, had his winning streak broken as he was unable to hold off a late charge by Birdstone in the final furlong. This was the first time Smarty Jones had ever been passed in a race, it was his only loss, and in the end it was truly the only race that mattered. He was retired due to chronic bruising of his ankle bones in August 2004 and was voted the 2004 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three Year Old Male Horse. His name was even ranked as one of the top 5 Google searches for the year.

 

Take away the Derby, the Preakness, the 5 million dollar bonus he received from Oaklawn Park for sweeping their race series and the Derby; take away the pedigrees, the TV ratings, the stud fees, the wins and the loss: in the end what is remembered most about Smarty Jones is the way he made people feel, the joy he brought them when they watched him race. The 2004 Belmont Stakes was the only horse race I have ever cried after watching, they were tears of sadness at the time; but in hindsight, perhaps they were tears of joy and thankfulness for Smarty Jones and all he had given me and America.

 

Now, 10 years later, we are entering a new Triple Crown season and we can only hope there is a horse remotely similar to Smarty Jones as he streaked across the Churchill course that memorable first Saturday in May.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Bayern"

March 29, 2014 by Kathryn Lindquist

To fans of Thoroughbred horse racing, the name "Bayern" may evoke images of the undefeated colt and potential Derby entry. But to a traveler, "Bayern" conjures images of striking mountains, Christmas markets and Biergartens. In German, "Bayern" means "Bavaria" one of the most culturally rich and beautiful destinations in Europe. In other words, it is the best in travel and perhaps the best in racing, too.

Undefeated, Bayern most recently triumphed in an allowance race Feb. 13 by 15-lengths at Santa Anita. The son of Offlee Wild had only raced once prior, Jan. 4, when he broke his maiden.

Although visually impressive, this colt has history already set against him. He did not race as a 2-year-old and the last horse to win the Derby without a freshman season was Apollo in 1882. Since then, 58 horses, including the mighty Curlin in 2007 and Bodemeister in 2012, tried, and failed, to do so.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Bayern looks to be his best Derby chance and best possibility of beating the jinx of inexperience. His first race, run at seven furlongs saw the clock stop at 1:22 1/5 and a 3 1/4 length win. With Gary Stevens in the irons, he was hand ridden through the last furlong in 12 1/5 seconds. He rated behind horses that day, showing patience and push-button speed.

In his second race, only facing allowance company, he defeated the field by 15 lengths, running the final quarter of a two turn race similar to the Derby course in 24 seconds under another hand-ride.

It is true that he did not face much in either of his starts, but he has speed, and speed is not something that can be taught. His sire, Offlee Wild won at 1 1/4 miles, the Kentucky Derby distance, and also defeated the popular Funny Cide. His dam was unraced but has Thunder Gulch in her pedigree, a Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner.

Bayern still has much to prove down the Kentucky Derby trail, but at the moment his potential is unmatched and all he can do is move forward from here.

 

Jockey World Member Kathryn Lindquist has been a racing fan for many years. She first became involved in the sport as a press member at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in 2007 when she photographed the final race of her favorite racehorse - three time Eclipse Award champion McDynamo. She is currently pursuing a career in international relations and is an avid distance runner.

"Affirmed"

March 4, 2014 by Kayla Jarvinen

Foaled on February 21, 1975, Affirmed was born at Harbor View Farm in Florida. Bred and owned by Lou Wolfson, during his racing career, Affirmed was trained by Laz Barrera. Starting off as a two-year-old at the track, he raced through his four-year-old year and made up half of the great Affirmed/Alydar rivalry that was cemented in racing history and will never be forgotten. He had the teenage sensation, jockey Steve Cauthen, as his rider for a good portion of his career and legendary jockey Laffit Pincay for the later part. He’s also the last Triple Crown winner to date.

Out of the Crafty Admiral mare, Won’t Tell You, Affirmed was by Exclusive Native who was also bred and owned by Harbor View Farm. Exclusive Native had wins in the Sanford Stakes and Arlington Classic as part of his racing résumé and was later the sire of the 1980 Derby-winning filly, Genuine Risk. He was also the leading sire in North America in 1978 and 1979. Affirmed’s dam, Won’t Tell You, won a few races as well and through her sire, Crafty Admiral, Affirmed is the great-great grandson of 1937 Triple Crown winner, War Admiral, and the great-great-great grandson of Man o’ War.

Affirmed’s first race came at Belmont Park on May 24, 1977 and he won, breaking his maiden first time out. The following month, on June 15 in the Youthful Stakes, he raced for the first time against the horse that would become his main rival during his 2 and 3-year-old seasons: Alydar; whose sire, ironically, was also Exclusive Native’s sire and Affirmed’s grandfather. Alydar’s grandfather was Native Dancer, Affirmed’s great-grandfather. Affirmed and Alydar met multiple times in 1977, with Affirmed coming out victorious in four out of the six meetings and Alydar claiming the other two. These included Affirmed’s wins in the Hopeful, Futurity, and Laurel Futurity Stakes. At the end of the year, Affirmed received the Eclipse Award for American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.

After their last race together in 1977, Affirmed and Alydar went their separate ways until they met again in Kentucky in the spring of 1978. As Affirmed prepped for the Kentucky Derby, he added wins in the San Felipe Stakes as well as the Santa Anita and Hollywood Derby’s to his record. He then won the Kentucky Derby by 1 ½ lengths and the Preakness Stakes by a neck, holding off Alydar both times. In the Belmont Stakes Affirmed and Alydar raced neck and neck through-out the second half of the race and Affirmed barely pulled ahead to win by a nose, making him the 11th Triple Crown winner in one of the most spectacular races in racing history. Alydar, on the other hand, had the bittersweet honor of being the only horse to ever place second in all three Triple Crown races.

Affirmed went on to win the Jim Dandy Stakes in August and met up with Alydar for the last time in the August 19 Travers Stakes, where he pulled out yet another win but was disqualified for interference and placed second behind Alydar. In their 10 starts together, they finished 1 – 2 in nine of them. Affirmed placed second and fifth respectively in his remaining starts in 1978 and was awarded the Eclipse Award for American Champion Three-Year-Old Male and was also named 1978 Horse of the Year.

Coming back to race as a 4-year-old, this time with jockey Laffit Pincay up, Affirmed won the Strub Stakes, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Woodward Stakes, among others. His last start was on October 6, 1979 in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. During his career, Affirmed raced against such greats as Exceller, Spectacular Bid and the 1977 Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. He wrapped up 1979 with an Eclipse Award for American Champion Older Male Horse and his second Horse of the Year Award. The following year, 1980, Affirmed was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame.

Over-all, Affirmed won 22 of his 29 career starts, placing second in five of them and third once, finishing out of the money only one time. He earned $2,887,999 in purse earnings, making him the first North American Thoroughbred to earn over $2,000,000. He was ultimately retired to stud at Jonabell Farm, siring 9 champions, more than 80 stakes winners and noted for producing turf runners, although he never ran on the grass himself.  

On January 12, 2001 Affirmed was euthanized due to laminitis. He was buried at Jonabell Farm, which in a way, was fitting; it brought him full circle, as the colors of the Harbor View Farm silks were draped over him once again.  

 

Jockey World Member Kayla Jarvinen is 19-years-old and pursuing a riding career in horse racing. She enjoys meeting new friends in this wonderful industry, and loves networking and promoting our sport in a positive light to new and "old" fans alike. She also assists Frankie with Jockey World and its projects.

"Drosselmeyer"

April 29th, 2013 by Magic Toppin

Drosselmeyer is well known for pulling off an upset by winning the third leg of the 2010 U.S. Triple Crown and also the 2011 Breeders' Cup Classic. Named after the Walt Disney character that played in the Nutcracker, Drosselmeyer was a kids favorite! Overcoming the competition with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith made him a bettors favorite as well.

Drosselmeyer, bred by Aaron and Marie Jones, and by Golden Ballet out of Distorted Humor, was purchased by Winstar Farm for $600,000 as a yearling. Winstar is well known for their racing stable of 1,700 plus acres and impressive list of stallions such as Distorted Humor and Tiznow.

Drosselmeyer won the 142nd annual 2010 Belmont Stakes with 12-1 odds. While becoming the spoiler, he beat out the favorite, Ice Box, who finished a distant 8th in the race. The colt would have been able to run in the Kentucky Derby; however, he failed to meet the necessary earnings to make the field after losing the Grade 2 Risen Star and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. New York's "D" train was retired to stud in 2011; he stood his first season, in 2012, at Winstar.

During his career, Drosselmeyer made 16 starts and won 5 of them. He is part of an elite roster of seven horses to win both a Triple Crown race and the Breeders' Cup Classic, joining such greats as Sunday Silence, Unbridled, and Curlin. Just as Drosselmeyer's victory in the Classic was voted the NTRA's 2011 "Moment of the Year" we now sit back and wait to see if any of his offspring will give us another special moment to remember.

Jockey World Member Magic "Ceo" T. Toppin is an aspiring jockey who has both a travel company and social media websites for various sports. He currently has almost 15,000 followers but would like to eventually expand his reach to 50,000. His goal is to show kids in his hometown that you can be anything you want to be with hard work, determination, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. Magic is focused on pursuing his dreams and isn't looking back.

"Man o' War"

March 25th, 2013 by Kayla Jarvinen

Man o’ War was foaled on March 29, 1917 at the Nursery Stud Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He was bred by August Belmont II, whose father was founder of Belmont Park racetrack. First called “My Man o’ War” by Belmont’s wife, in honor of her husband who was a soldier in World War I, the name was later altered slightly and shortened to simply “Man o’ War.” When Belmont was forced to sell his yearling crop in 1917, the chestnut colt was bought by Samuel Riddle at the price of $5,000 and came under the care of trainer Louis Feustel. He would grow to be 16.2 hands and approximately 1,150 pounds. He would also become known as one of the greatest Thoroughbreds in racing history.
 
Man o’ War’s first race came as a two-year-old on June 6, 1919 at Belmont Park, with jockey Johnny Loftus aboard. It was an easy 6 length win. He went on to win his next 5 starts, and by the close of the year had races such as the Grand Union Hotel Stakes, United States Hotel Stakes, Hopeful Stakes, Futurity Stakes, and Youthful Stakes to his record. Man o’ War’s seventh race on August 13, 1919 was the only one he would lose during his 21-race career. It was before the time of starting gates and Man o’ War was unprepared as the race went off, yet went on to finish second to a horse fittingly named, Upset; a term now often used in sports and believed to have been taken from the name of the horse who was responsible for Man o’ War’s solitary defeat.
 
As a three-year-old, Man o’ War added another 11 wins to the previous 9 he had earned the year before. His jockey, Johnny Loftus, was also replaced by Clarence Kummer, after Loftus’ license renewal was denied. Man o’ War’s first race in 1920 came in the Preakness Stakes, which he won, before going on to win the Belmont as well by 20 lengths, this time against only one other horse. That year Man o’ War also won the Travers Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Stuyvesant Handicap, and the Withers Stakes, among others. His last race was the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup against Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner in 1919. Man o’ War won it by 7 lengths and retired with multiple records to his name, even though he had often carried over 130 pounds and as much as 138, during his races. He won 20 out of 21 starts and earned $249,465, more than any other horse during his time.
 
Ultimately retired to stud at the Riddle owned Faraway Farm, Man o’ War was mainly bred to Riddle’s own mares. He sired 386 registered foals including 64 stakes winners and the 1937 Triple Crown winner, War Admiral. He has been awarded many honors; inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1957, the Man o’ War Stakes was created in 1959 at Belmont Park, and streets have been named after him; both the Man o’ War Boulevard in Lexington, Kentucky and the Man o’ War Road in Riddlewood, Pennsylvania.
 
On November 1, 1947 Man o’ War passed away of a heart attack and thousands of people came to pay their tribute at his funeral. His groom, Will Harbut, died a few weeks earlier. Man o’ War is buried inside the entrance to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky underneath a life-size statue of himself. He’s been voted “Horse of the Century” and remains so in the hearts of many.

 

Jockey World Member Kayla Jarvinen is 19-years-old and pursuing a riding career in horse racing. She enjoys meeting new friends in this wonderful industry, and loves networking and promoting our sport in a positive light to new and "old" fans alike. She also assists Frankie with Jockey World and its projects.

"War Emblem"

February 21, 2013 by Magic Toppin

War Emblem hit the scene like many great stallions in the past and left a legacy that many horse owners can only dream of. Owner Russell L. Reineman hand picked trainers Bob Baffert and Frank R. Springer to mold War Emblem into the best he could be. Foaled in 1999, the beautiful dark brown rocket came from a lineage consisting of Mr. Prospector and Sweetest Lady. In 2002, the eventual Champion 3-year-old Male award-winner won the Illinois Derby and Haskell Invitational Handicap. However, the biggest feather in the stallions cap were victories over that year's Travers and Jim Dandy Stakes winner, Medaglia d’Oro, who presented a very tough challenge for him. 
 
Beating Perfect Drift, winner of the Indiana Derby and Stephen Foster Handicap, put War Emblem on the map as a household name. Bonus earnings received because of his Illinois and Kentucky Derby wins, enabled War Emblem to get some of the best training in the game. The Kentucky Derby displayed the stallions' speed right from the beginning with the first half going at a fast pace of 46 seconds. War Emblem held off the entire field from the beginning and pulled away at the end to win by 3 lengths. During the Preakness Stakes, War Emblem went neck to neck with Menancing Dennis much of the way before going on to win the race while fighting off all challengers. 
 
However, just one race short from completing the Triple Crown, the pressure became too much and War Emblem would stumble out of the gates in the Belmont Stakes, never catching up to 70-1 long-shot and eventual winner, Sarava. War Emblem, who will always be known as one of the best speed demons to hit the scene, retired with over 3 million dollars in earnings, which is only one of many things fans have to remember this great horse by.

Jockey World Member Magic "Ceo" T. Toppin is an aspiring jockey who has both a travel company and social media websites for various sports. He currently has almost 15,000 followers but would like to eventually expand his reach to 50,000. His goal is to show kids in his hometown that you can be anything you want to be with hard work, determination, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. Magic is focused on pursuing his dreams and isn't looking back.

"Smarty Jones"

January 21, 2013 by Magic Toppin

Smarty Jones blazed onto the scene in 2003, coming from a pedigree of Triple Crown hopefuls such as Funny Cide, and winners such as Man O’ War. Having been foaled in 2001 from the breeder “Someday Farm” owned by Roy and Patricia Chapman, the stallion was given an opportunity at top training for his coming races. John Servis was training a true winner in the making by forming a bond with the colt that not many trainers are able to replicate.

In July 2003, that bond was put to the test when Smarty Jones was being schooled at the starting gate and had a terrible spill. Unconscious, he was treated by Dr. Dan Hanf for shock with bleeding in his nostrils. Fortunately, Smarty Jones quickly recovered from the skull fracture and the bond between trainer and horse was only strengthened. 

After nearly ending his career before it had even started, Smarty Jones embarked on a whirlwind journey, instantly captivating fans with a win at Philadelphia Park by 7 ¾ lengths. With his dominating performance in the Kentucky Derby, Smarty Jones became the first undefeated Derby winner since Seattle Slew. Not long after that, Sports Illustrated came calling in search of a front page cover story, as the nation began to flock towards the winning energy that Smarty Jones poured out for the appreciative fans. A victory in the Preakness came next, as audiences continued to flock to the racetrack and breeders outbid each other, competing for the breeding rights to one of the most charismatic horses to hit the track.

It wasn't to be, however, when Smarty Jones fell just short of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, losing to the 36-1longshot, Birdstone. Even though that race ended in bitter disappointment for the entire stallions' team, Smarty Jones was still able to garner lifetime earnings amounting to over $7 million dollars. Most would agree, that for a horse that literally stumbled into his first race, that's not too bad.

Jockey World Member Magic "Ceo" T. Toppin is an aspiring jockey who has both a travel company and social media websites for various sports. He currently has almost 15,000 followers but would like to eventually expand his reach to 50,000. His goal is to show kids in his hometown that you can be anything you want to be with hard work, determination, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. Magic is focused on pursuing his dreams and isn't looking back.

"Barbaro"

November 25, 2012 by Magic Toppin

Back in 2006 there was a colt named Barbaro who captivated the whole nation and in my opinion was just one race away from history. Owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the 4-year-old bolted onto the world stage with just 6 wins worth over 2 million dollars and the coveted NTRA “Moment of the Year” award to his name. However, the biggest moment came when he won the 2006 Kentucky Derby and was a sure favorite to complete the long coveted Triple Crown that has been elusive for decades.

Major wins were ratcheted up quickly at the Laurel Futurity (2005), Tropical Park Derby (2006), Holy Bulls Stakes (2006),and the Florida Derby (2006) coming from a pedigree of Dynaformer and Dam La Ville Rouge. Barbaros' Kentucky Derby win was special because of how he dominated the race from start to finish and even gained a fan from the United Parcel Service.

Unfortunately, a false start at the Preakness Stakes derailed any chance for a Triple Crown victory as he fractured three bones in his hind leg. The injury was severe and exhaustive steps where taken to help the colt, including 5 separate operations to try and stop the laminitis. This injury is detrimental to horses such as Barbaro because they need to be able to distribute their weight evenly on all four legs. The surgery team at the Univers New Bolton Center in Kennett Square implanted a synthesis stainless steal Locking Compression Plate and 27 screws to provide maximum strength for Barbaro.

However, further setbacks and complications left the Jacksons with no other choice but to euthanize the 4-year-old as fans gathered around race tracks to say good bye to the young stallion. Barbaro and his meteoric rise sits upon a statue at the entrance to Churchill Downs for fans to remember how great a fight he put up during his ordeal.

Jockey World Member Magic "Ceo" T. Toppin is an aspiring jockey who has both a travel company and social media websites for various sports. He currently has almost 15,000 followers but would like to eventually expand his reach to 50,000. His goal is to show kids in his hometown that you can be anything you want to be with hard work, determination, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. Magic is focused on pursuing his dreams and isn't looking back.

"Black Caviar"

October 24, 2012 by Magic Toppin

In a farm located at Gilgai Farm in Nagambie, one of the biggest stars in the horse industry is coming back for an encore performance. The undefeated mare from down under, Black Caviar, is looking to take back her throne as one of the most dominant race horses we have seen in the last 150 years. She is known by the moniker "Black Flash" and is still recuperating from her injury sustained during her June debut at Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. 

Ridden mostly by jockey Luke Nolen, the undefeated queen from down under has left her fans speechless with her perfect 22-0 record. She has come from an outstanding Pedigree with blood lines of Bel Espirit and Helsinge, who are both from Australia as well. Her first race was a quick conquest of the field on August 22, 2009 and has made her English inauguration this year a smashing success. In February she captured the 1400 m Future Stakes at Caulfied. Peter Moody however, throws out a word of caution when asked about the status of the great mare's future in racing, when he replies that as long as Black Caviar is at "110%," she will continue to dominate the racing scene as she strides herself even further into the record books. 
 
The autumn campaign for 2013 is an uncertain one, however, since there has been talk about retiring the queen in all of her glory, undefeated and never contested. With over $6.8 million dollars in winnings it's a sure bet that she will always go down as one of the favorites to ever touch foot on the track. Her fans can put their fears to rest though, because there has been recent discussion on bringing her to the 2013 Melbourne and Sydney Autumn Racing Carnivals, where racing fans will be clamoring for one last look at the legend we call "Black Flash!"

Jockey World Member Magic "Ceo" T. Toppin is an aspiring jockey who has both a travel company and social media websites for various sports. He currently has almost 15,000 followers but would like to eventually expand his reach to 50,000. His goal is to show kids in his hometown that you can be anything you want to be with hard work, determination, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. Magic is focused on pursuing his dreams and isn't looking back.

"Emma's Encore"

September 20, 2012 by Kayla Jarvinen

If you had judged her based solely on her Freshman year as a racehorse, Emma's Encore would not have made much of an impression. Her Sophmore debut showed more promise, though it still left room for improvement. But horse racing makes its own rules and with 2 recently added graded stakes victories on her resume, this 3-year-old filly could be stepping it up in a big way. 

Out of the Wild Again mare French Opera, by graded stakes winner Congrats, Emma's Encore  was bred in Florida before being sold for a mere $2,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Owned by Brenda Mercer and Peter A. Berglar, Emma's Encore has only been in trainer Allen Jerkens barn since early this year. It appears to have been a match meant to be as every one of her 6 in-the-money finishes from 10 lifetime starts have come in the Jerkens barn. 

As a 2-year-old, Emma's Encore was no better than 5th in 3 Maiden Special Weight starts; the first coming at Hoosier Park, while the remaining two were run on Kentucky soil. With a little over 3 months off and a change of barns behind her, Emma's Encore kicked off 2012 with a 3rd before breaking her maiden at Gulfstream Park later that month. She went on to add another win in her following start before finishing 8th in her stakes debut. 

In the spring, Emma's Encore was given another brief rest before placing 2nd in an Allowance Optional Claimer at Belmont. It obviously gave the filly the boost she needed and she went on to capture the G3 Victory Ride Stakes in June, before winning the Prioress Stakes by a nose at the prestigious Saratoga meet last time out, with Jockey Junior Alvarado aboard. 

The year end goal for the gutsy filly lays among the Breeders' Cup Championship Races contested in November. First, however, she must pass what may be her most difficult test yet, in Saturday's Gallant Bloom Handicap.

 

Jockey World Member Kayla Jarvinen is 19-years-old and pursuing a riding career in horse racing. She enjoys meeting new friends in this wonderful industry, and loves networking and promoting our sport in a positive light to new and "old" fans alike. She also assists Frankie with Jockey World and its projects.

"Fort Larned"

August 21, 2012 by Katie Clawson

There is starting to be a buzz around Breeders’ Cup Classic hopeful Fort Larned. After having a slow beginning to his career, he is starting to show his true talent while in the care of trainer Ian Wilkes. The colt is one of the lucky few to win a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race for this years Classic. 

Janis s homebred Fort Larned is by E Dubai and out of the Broad Brush mare Arlucea. His second dam is the two-time Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Bayakoa. The 4-year-old has a record of seven wins from seventeen starts in three seasons of racing and has earnings of $881,236.

Finishing fourth at Churchill Downs in his only start as a 2-year-old, Fort Larned came back to break his maiden at Gulfstream Park on the dirt. After finishing fifth to Shackleford in an allowance race, Ian Wilkes switched him over to the turf. That route proved unsuccessful except for one win that came over the Kentucky Downs “European-style” turf course. Three starts later, back on the dirt of Churchill Downs and with blinkers on, Fort Larned romped in the slop by 6 ¾ lengths, which rounded out his 3-year-old campaign.

He started the year off with a fourth place finish, then came an impressive win in the Challenger Stakes; both at Tampa Bay Downs. The colt came right back later that month in the Skip Away Stakes and set a new track record for the mile and three-sixteenths distance at Gulfstream Park. Getting squeezed between horses just after the break of the Stephen Foster resulted in a last place finish, but Fort Larned returned to his winning ways when he dominated both the Cornhuskerandninth running of the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga could be his next stop, a race that has been won by the likes of Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Holy Bull, and Cigar.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Mucho Macho Man"

July 23, 2012 by Katie Clawson

Standing over 17 hands tall, Mucho Macho Man is finally starting to coming into himself. He has earned $1,306,410 thus far and won four of his last five starts after trainer Kathy Ritvo gave him a five-month lay-off. The story of Mucho Macho Man and his connections is truly an amazing one. 

Three weeks late and believed to be born dead, he is from the first crop of foals by Macho Uno. Out of the Ponche mare Ponchein Florida. Around the same time Mucho Macho Man was born, trainer Kathy Ritvo received a heart transplant that ultimately saved her life. 

After he broke his maiden in his third start for owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, he ran second in the Nashua and Remsen Stakes as a 2-year-old. In his 3-year-old debut he ran fourth in the Holy Bull, followed by a win in the Risen Star and third place finishes in the Louisiana Derby and Kentucky Derby. Mucho Macho Man then posted disappointing efforts in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, running sixth and seventh respectively. Following his time away from the track, he came back to racing with three wins in a row: A dominating 5 ¾ length allowance win at Aqueduct, a win in the Sunshine Millions Classic and the Gulfstream Park Handicap. Muchot fire in the Alysheba Stakes, but came back with a dazzling performance in the Suburban Handicap under Mike Smith. He could be making his next start in the Whitney Handicap or Woodward, both at Saratoga Race Course.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Contested"

June 27, 2012 by Katie Clawson

The Bob Baffert barn is always loaded with top horses and Contested is certainly one of them. Though she ran poorly in her last start, she is still regarded as one of the best three-year-old fillies in the country. 

Bred by Cherry Valley Farm, Contested is the daughter of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper and is out of the Arch mare Gold Vault. At the Keeneland September 2010 Yearling Sale, Natalie “Jill” Baffert was the fillies winning bidder. She took her home for $110,000. 

Contested first hit the track as a two-year-old at Del Mar and finished second beaten by a neck. Martin Garcia was aboard for her first four starts. She broke her maiden at Santa Anita in her next race by 6 lengths. Contested later sustained a bone chip and was on the shelf for six months, but came back to the races in a big way when she won at Santa Anita by 5 ¾ lengths. Her stakes debut came in the Eight Belles Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. Hitting the lead at the head of the stretch, Contested pulled away to win by 4 ¾ lengths. With Javier Castellano as her new jockey in the Acorn Stakes, she went wire to wire and won by 5 lengths over Zo Impressive. However, Zo Impressive got the better of Contested in the Mother Goose and finished first while Contested ran last of five.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Paynter"

June 20, 2012 by Katie Clawson

There is always a horse that is on the rise and on people’s watch list; right now that is Paynter. The three-year-old is owned by Zayat Stables LLC and trained by Hall of Fame member Bob Baffert. However, he has encountered some bad luck in his short career. 
 
Paynter is a son of Awesome Again, out of the full sister to Tiznow, Tizso. Zayat Stables LLC purchased him at theKeeneland September 2010 Yearling Sale for $325,000. In five starts, Paynter has already earned $352,225. 
 
In his first start, with Martin Garcia aboard, Paynterll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby two months later. Paynter stumbled at the start under Martin Garcia and ended up a disappointing fourth. He was shipped to Churchill Downs later that month for the Derby Trial, but the colt caught a sloppy track and was beaten 1 ½ lengths by Hierro. Paynter later ran in an allowance race on the Preakness undercard and crushed the field by 5 ¾ with Mike Smith piloting. Without Bodemeister, Paynter carried the hopes of the Baffert/Zayat team in the 144th Belmont Stakes. Smith sent Payntert until the final sixteenth that there was room for Union Rags along the rail. Paynter was beaten by a neck, loosing a shoe during the race.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Game On Dude"

June 12, 2012 by Katie Clawson

One of the toughest older horses on the racetrack today is Game On Dude. Trained by Bob Baffert, he has twelve in the money finishes from seventeen starts and earnings of $2,344,658. The five-year-old Awesome Again gelding has shown no signs of stopping there.

Out of the Devil His Due mare Worldly Pleasure, Adena Springs is his breeder. Game On Dude was offered at auction, but did not meet his reserve price. Diamond Pride LLC, Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable LLC, and B. Schiappa now own the horse.

Game On Dude started his career as a three-year-old for trainer Michael Mareina. After a second and first place finish in two maiden special weights, he stepped up to the Florida Derby and finished seventh. “Dude” was then moved to trainer Bob Baffert. He checked in fifth in the Derby Trail, but later gave Baffert his fourth win in the Lone Star Derby, taking it by 4 ½ lengths. Game On Dude was tried in the Belmont Stakes, but ran fourth. After a six-month lay off, he came back to win an optional claiming race and later the Santa Anita Handicap which involved a fifteen minute inquiry. “Dude” then lost four in a row, but came back to win the Goodwood. Soon after, he suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to Drosselmeyer. This year, Game On Dude has won the San Antonio, finished twelfth in the Dubai World Cup, and won the Californian Stakes.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Dullahan"

June 4, 2012 by Katie Clawson

Named after an Irish folk tale, Dullahan has much to live up to being a half brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. The son of Even The Score has seven in the money finishes from nine starts. His next start will come in the Belmont Stakes.

Phil and Judy Needham and Bena Halecky are the breeders of Dullahan. He is out of the Smart Strike mare Mining My Own. Dullahan was sold for $250,000 at the Keeneland September 2010 Yearling Sale and Donegal Racing now owns the chestnut colt.

Jockeys Julien Laparoux and Kent Desormeaux have both piloted the Dale Romans trainee. Dullahan’s first three starts were in maiden special weights and he finished in the money twice. His stakes debut came in the With Anticipation at Saratoga. The colt stalked the pace and finished a solid third. Dullahan finally won when he took the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity by ¾ of a length. In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he closed hard from last, finishing fourth. After a four-month lay off, Dullahan was beaten by a length for first in the Palm Beach Stakes. The Blue Grass was his best race yet, charging late to beat Hansen by 1 ¼. He collected $200,000 for a third place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Javier Castellano will be aboard in the upcoming Belmont Stakes.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Mr. Commons"

May 29, 2012 by Katie Clawson

Mr. Commons is one of the top horses in California, especially when it comes to turf racing. With ten in the money finishes from thirteen starts, he always tries his best. He also has the combination of trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith on his side.

Bred by St. George Racing LLC, Mr. Commons is sired by Artie Schiller, out of Joustabout (Apalachee). He was sold for $70,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky 2009 Select Yearling Sale. Later in his racing career, Mr. Commons was bought back by St. George Racing LLC.

As a juvenile, he finished sixth in his first start and then followed that with two wins at the beginning of his 3-year-old season. Mr. Commons took a huge step up and ran third in the Santa Anita Derby. After a disappointing race in the Preakness last year, finishing eighth, he won the Oceanside Stakes by 1 ½ two months later. The colt then went on a three-race loosing streak in the Del Mar Mile Handicap, Oak Tree Mile, and Breeders’ Cup Mile. Mr. Commons came back with two monster performances in the Sir Beaufort, winning by 3 ¼, and in the Arcadia when he won by 1 length. He had trouble finding running room in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile and finished second. In the American Handicap, Mr. Commons was closing hard, but was too late and finished second. He never gives up, no matter how he finishes.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Mark Valeski"

May 21, 2012 by Katie Clawson

Trainer Larry Jones, jockey Rosie Napravnik, and owner/breeder Brereton Jones proved once again that they make a great team, this time with their colt Mark Valeski. The hard-knocking 3-year-old has never been worse than fourth in six lifetime starts and with Napravenik aboard, never worse than second.

Mark Valeski is sired by Proud Citizen, out of Pocho’s Dream Girl, (Fortunate Prospect). He was offered at the Keeneland September 2010 Yearling Sale, but did not meet his $22,000 reserve price. No one wanted him as a yearling and his next start may be in the Belmont Stakes.

Mark Valeski was unlucky first out and had to face Union Rags. With Gabriel Saez aboard, they finished fourth. Later, he took a big step forward and broke his maiden by 4 ½ lengths at Delaware Park. He won an allowance optional claimer by 1 length with jockey C. J. McMahon, after moving to Fair Grounds Race Course. In the Risen Star, which is normally used as a Kentucky Derby prep, Napravnik rode Mark Valeski for the first time. They battled hard down the stretch, but were beaten a nose at the wire. The Louisiana Derby was rocked when 99-1 Hero Of Order beat Mark Valeski and Napravnik by ½ length. His connections decided to skip the Derby and he prevailed in the Peter Pan Stakes by 1 ¼.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

"Went The Day Well"

May 14th, 2012 by Katie Clawson

When coming into the Kentucky Derby with a lightly raced horse, there will be some speculation. Can the horse get the 1 ¼ mile distance, will he like Churchill’s track, and of course, is he good enough? Went The Day Well may not have won the Derby, but he showed how good he really is.

Bred in New York by James Patrick Delaney, Went The Day Well is by Proud Citizen, Tiz Maie’s Day, by Tiznow. He was sold at the Keeneland November 2009 Breeding Stock Sale for $15,000 and then at Tattersalls October 2010 Yearling Sale for $43,385.

Went The Day Well raced twice in Europe for trainer Ed McMahon and placed in both. Team Valor International and Mark Ford then bought the colt and brought him stateside to trainer H. Graham Motion’s barn. In his U.S. debut, he never fired and ran fourth at Gulfstream Park with Edgar Prado up. Now with Javier Castellano aboard, Went The Day Well powered home to get his first win by 1 ¼. Went The Day Well later won the Spiral Stakes by 3 ½ with John Velazquez piloting and earned a spot in the Derby. Things didn’t go his way in the early stages of the Kentucky Derby, but finished a fast closing fourth with Velazquez. He is expected to race in the Preakness Stakes next.

 

Jockey World Member Katie Clawson started riding when she was 8 or 9 years-old. Drawn to the sport by the great Zenyatta, she began to seriously follow horse racing in the summer of 2010 and feels that everyday her knowledge of the sport grows, along with her enthusiasm. An aspiring jockey, Katie loves this sport and wants to see it get the recognition it rightfully deserves. In her own words, "I can barely contain my excitement when it comes to being a jockey in the future."

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