This is Horse Racing
(Editor’s note: The following is an edited press release.) U.S. challenger Rawnaq features among 47 entries, the third-highest level in the last 11 runnings, for the £300,000 Grade 1 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on the third day of The Festival, St. Patrick’s Thursday, March 16.
Glenn DiSanto walked into the office at ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption just off Waters Road in East Greenbush, ever-present smile on his face, light in his eyes and not a hair out of place on a sunny but windy afternoon in upstate New York. DiSanto greeted Lisa Molloy, ReRun’s executive director sitting behind her desk, and me, leaning against the wall between the door and sunlit windows.
Now that we’ve got Friday the 13th behind us (almost) it’s time to get down to business and into the weekend. The middle of January is fast at hand and with it a fairly busy slate of racing to preview in the latest installment of Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal.
When Russ Harris died late last month, many were hit with a wave of nostalgia for an era lost to time. The 1970s brought off-track betting to New York and the tabloid papers had multiple handicappers analyzing the NYRA tracks. The New York Post and Daily News, along with Long Island’s Newsday, combined for a pretty large force of handicappers.
California Chrome, Arrogate and Songbird – virtual locks to take home titles in their respective divisions – are finalists for 2016 Horse of the Year honors.
The holiday season is in the books. New Year’s Eve and Day, too. Days now are spent counting down, looking ahead to the end of winter perhaps, maybe the Pegasus World Cup, Cheltenham Festival, Triple Crown and the first hints of spring. Some are still quite a ways off, so what better reason to settle in for the winter slumber than racing on the tube.
Tod Marks won an Eclipse Award. When the news came into the email inbox, everyone on the TIHR team smiled even though the winning photo did not appear in one of our projects. Marks, a vital piece of the equation at The Saratoga Special, this website and – back in the day – Steeplechase Times, is one of a kind. He works hard, captures noteworthy images, makes deadlines, exceeds expectations.
Now the list is complete. Appropriate that the No. 1 story on our Top 10 for 2016 that recaps the most well read stories on this website is a piece about a man who lived life to the fullest and who’s loss is felt by those who knew him best.
We’d like to wish all our faithful and supportive readers a Happy New Year. Don’t burn the candle too low Saturday night; or least not until taking in a day of racing and maybe even a little college football. If it’s racing you’re in the mood for you’re in luck because on the last day of 2016 we’ve got the final Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud.
And then there were two. We’re down to the two most popular – specifically the most read – stories published on this website in 2016. The first eight are an eclectic collection of remembrances, recaps of inspiring victories and colorful columns. The second most read piece of the year dealt with an issue that affects so many, alcoholism, and specifically the public battle fought by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux.
Stories leading up to and during the Triple Crown always get plenty of action here at This Is Horse Racing – two appeared in last year’s 15 for 2015 and four showed up on the 14 for 2014 – and this year is no exception either.
Now we’re really into the nitty gritty. The four most popular stories of the year are right here, along with the last four days of 2016.
The end of the year is always a time filled with reflection and remembrance of those we lost. In October the world of steeplechasing lost an old school horseman in Dr. John K. Griggs who was successful in many aspects of the game.
Faithful readers know that we hinted there would be more stories from the world of steeplechasing – the tip coming plainly in our Christmas Day post – and the sixth most read story of the year is our recap of one of the game’s most interesting and historic races.
The racing world is filled with stories of horses and humans overcoming the odds, bouncing back from injury and even staring death in the face and somehow coming through alive.
Now that the presents have been opened, the eggnog polished off and in-laws sent on their merry way it’s time to get back to the serious business of the season. The end of the Christmas holiday means the start of racing for the winter and spring at Santa Anita Park and we’ve got that and other top tier action covered in the annual Boxing Day Special presented by Pin Oak Stud.
We rolled out a new feature in 2016 and it proved plenty popular with readers. Born from conversations with each other and during the annual ST Publishing “Summit” in January, the feature wanted to get into the minds of the game’s players to find out who the one horse was that made all the difference. And thus, the Horse Who Changed Everything was born.
A little more than two years ago when he penned a touching letter to his colleagues, fresh from surgery to remove one of his kidneys and still dealing with the diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer, Bill Mooney wasn’t about to let the circumstances get him down.
The Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup continues to gain popularity and recognition here in the U.S. but it’s always been a big deal in the eastern Caribbean island and the heart of Jude Feld.
As amazing as it seems we are down to the final 10 days of the year, so what better way to reflect back than with a review of the most popular stories of 2016 from the “pages” of This Is Horse Racing.