Guest Column: Farewell to a friend and mentor

The mood at Suffolk Downs on October 4, 2014 was grim and the weather gods seemed to be sharing the despair that permeated throughout the local racing community. The raw, rainy, quintessentially miserable New England fall day was a fitting backdrop to what, at the time, looked like the swan song for horse racing at the East Boston oval.

What a Long, Strange Trip it's Been...

Dust off those rusty strings just one more time…

“Gonna make ‘em shine,” Arch Kingsley, Jr. said in a text, referencing a Grateful Dead ballad, before mounting his first ride in eight years. 

Oklahoma track renovation nears completion

Forty-one seconds. No horse will ever work a half-mile that fast on Saratoga Race Course’s Oklahoma training track – not on purpose anyway – but it was the bullet figure (:41.09 to be precise, sort of) for depositing 25 tons of dirt in less than a sixteenth of a mile Tuesday morning as a complete overhaul of the historic 1-mile oval nears completion.

Landing Party: Leap of a Lifetime

Two black-and-white photos, grainy but matted and framed, sit on the table in front of Dr. John R.S. Fisher. He’s in the 50-year-old images, the jockey aboard Landing Party at the 17th fence of the 1971 Maryland Hunt Cup, and tries to conjure the feeling of flight.

“That’s the greatest fence I ever jumped,” he says, slowly, as if he’s feeling it again. Must be some feeling.

Oaklawn Mornings: Ready for the Derby

As horses ship in for the Arkansas Derby and other horses ship out for the year, I find myself reminiscing on the 2021 meet at Oaklawn Park.

Strides with IV Hendrix: Riding out with Jack Fisher

Jack Fisher is a master of the quick draw. As he paces down the aisle of the bank barn at his Butler, Md., farm, he reaches toward his right hip. He grasps, wields and answers before his cell phone rings a second time.