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This Is Horse Racing – Original news/feature content about Thoroughbred racing from the team behind The Saratoga Special and more.
Updated: 2 hours 38 min ago

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with David Cannizzo

5 hours 47 min ago

Fifty-five horses occupy stalls in David Cannizzo’s barns at Saratoga and Belmont Park and he could probably talk about all of them, but . . . let’s stick to a reasonable sampling. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 9 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

Patient Approach

August 24, 2016

Shug McGaughey believes a little time never hurts. 

McGaughey has taken his time with Stuart Janney III’s On Leave, a 3-year-old daughter of War Front entered in today’s $100,000 Riskaverse Stakes going 1 mile on the turf at Saratoga Race Course. 

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Barclay Tagg

August 24, 2016

Ever meticulous and attentive to detail, trainer Barclay Tagg runs a tight ship. Last week at his barn on the main track after training, grooms bathe horses, pick hooves, apply Bowie Mud, ice legs and scrub stall mats. Tagg picks rogue pieces of straw from stall doors as he makes his way down the barn aisle. Almost every horse leaves their hay to greet him, begging for scratches with pricked ears and cheerful expressions. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 8 issue of The Saratoga Special.) 

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Graham Motion

August 24, 2016

Graham Motion came out firing early at Saratoga, with four wins from his first 13 starts at the meet. Home base is Maryland’s Fair Hill Training Center, but he’s got 20 stalls on the Saratoga backside near the main track’s three-eighths pole. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 7 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Eric Guillot

August 24, 2016

Everyone at Saratoga Race Course seems to know the infamous Eric Guillot, be it for his strong Louisiana accent coupled with mind-boggling allegories, delectable gumbo or for monstrous upsets in major Saratoga stakes. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 6 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Bruce Brown

August 24, 2016

Curious heads poke out of their stalls as trainer Bruce Brown zips back and forth from his barn to the Oklahoma Training Track in a red golf cart, overseeing his string of horses whose schedules he neatly organizes onto two white boards outside his tack room. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 5 issue of The Saratoga Special.) 

Work in Progress

August 23, 2016

Sometimes a non-traditional approach is just what it takes to get the most of out a horse. That said, if you ask Niall Saville about the program for his starter in today’s 1 5/8-mile John’s Call Stakes on the turf, which includes dressage, jumping, and lots of hill work, he’ll tell you it’s just part of the usual routine.

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Al Stall Jr.

August 23, 2016

Somebody stole Al Stall’s training board – right out of the tack room. That’s why his 18-horse Saratoga roster is scribbled in black pen on a small, paper trainer’s chart. The handwriting won’t win many prizes, but the horses are there and they’ll likely win a few races before Stall returns to his Kentucky base for the fall season. (Editor's note: Originally published in July 31 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Steve Asmussen

August 23, 2016

Steve Asmussen is on the doorstep of a huge, perhaps even monstrous, stretch at Saratoga Race Course and beyond. The two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer, Asmussen will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next month (Editor's note: Originally published in July 30 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Ralph Nicks

August 23, 2016

Ralph Nicks resides in the same barn as last year, nestled below the trees between Barclay Tagg and Mark Hennig, a winding walk from the Morning Line Kitchen.

Last year, The Special hit the old new kid on the block as Nicks was back in Saratoga for the first time in years. It was about his return. Nicks had 12 horses – 12 ripened and ready for a strong show. (Editor's note: Originally published in July 29 issue of The Sarartoga Special.)

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Dallas Stewart

August 23, 2016

Dallas Stewart’s stable for the 2016 Saratoga meeting could not be a truer reflection of himself. Like the native of New Orleans who trains them, the horses are full of personality and a love of racing. Stewart’s string totals 14 and ranges from unraced 2-year-olds to Grade 1 winners. (Editor's note: Originally published July 28 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

2016 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Jeremiah Englehart

August 23, 2016

Trainer Jeremiah Englehart walked through the grounds of Saratoga Race Course Monday afternoon, shortly after his trainee Cansomebodyplease finished 10th in a field of 10 in the fourth race, and pondered. “I try not to set too many goals because this place will humble you in a hurry,” he said with a smile and a laugh. “Maybe one more win, that will be the goal.” (Editor's note: Originally published in July 27 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

The air up there

August 22, 2016

Mike Smith swelled up his chest after Songbird won a battle with Carina Mia in the Coaching Club American Oaks July 24.

“My mare’s never had to dig, you know what it does to champions sometimes,” he said. “All of a sudden, they’ve got some new air.”

Twenty-seven days later, Songbird walked into the gate for Saturday’s Grade 1 Alabama Stakes, her nine-race win streak on the line. She was breathing new air.

Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Ron Moquett

August 22, 2016

Ron Moquett isn’t concerned with win percentages and makes no bones about it.

He’s concerned with developing the horses in his care and that’s exactly what he hopes to do with his string of 10 bedded down in the Clark Stakes Barn just behind the paddock on Frank Sullivan Place. (Editor's note: Originally published in July 24 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Mark Casse

August 22, 2016

Trainer Mark Casse hesitated and then said it. “I think we’ve got about eight millionaires in the barn. Wow. That’s something when you think about it.” Then he started counting. “Kaigun, Dynamic Sky, Lexie Lou, Za Approval – they’re in Canada. And here we’ve got Tepin, Catch A Glimpse and . . . well, maybe there’s only six. I think there’s one more though. That’s going to bother me.” (Editor's note: Originallay published in July 23 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Todd Pletcher

August 22, 2016

Todd Pletcher’s stable is loaded and deep. This is nothing new, at least in recent memory, as Pletcher begins his quest for a seventh straight and 13th career training title when racing begins today at Saratoga Race Course. (Editor's note: Originally published in July 22 issue of The Saratoga Special.) 

Monday, Aug 21 picks from The Saratoga Special

August 21, 2016

Two huge weekends await for the season and one final day of racing remains in the fifth week of the 2016 Saratoga Race Course meeting. A nine-race card is on tap for Monday, highlighted by the $100,000 Summer Colony Stakes for older fillies and mares on the main track.

Speed test in Lake Placid

August 21, 2016

Jimmy Toner joked last week about shopping for a little assistance in his quest to solve the riddle that is Catch A Glimpse. 

Sweet Sound

August 19, 2016

The air is still at 5:30 Friday morning, the sky a gentle gray glow, like an old lamp slowly finding the strength to light again. Horses trickle down veiny dirt paths through the body of the backside. The gaps around the track will open soon, allowing the faintly illuminated bays, chestnuts and grays inside.

Jim Bond’s first set waits along the west side just off of Clare Court. Barclay Tagg’s horses stand outside his barns. Others circle nearby shedrows.

Adirondack Do Over

August 18, 2016

The petite bay filly stands quietly just inside the entry of her stall, dozing in and out on a quiet Thursday morning in Rick Violette’s barn. The main track has just begun its break, and the backside of Saratoga Race Course seems to slow down for a moment. Her ears prick as a visitor looms in the entrance, and she spins around, eager to accept a pat on the head. A golf cart whizzes by the corner stall and her ears flash right, seeming to notice the hay hanging for the first time and begins to nibble.