Opinions

Periodic columns from our staff and the occasional guest.

Thinking about 1984, the Tesio, the Preakness & family

April 14, 1984 makes it more than 35 years ago now. A crowded Pimlico Race Course winner’s circle in the rain. Muddy chestnut horse. Fourteen people. Mom, Dad, Sheila, Sean, Fee the Iranian van driver, owner George Strawbridge, his wife Nina, their kids Sanna and Stewart, super fan Reddy Stewart, super groom Lonnie Fuller, jockey Paul Nicol Jr. and a mostly hidden valet.

Living the Dream

I thought he won. I was almost confident, well, as confident as you can be in a photo finish.

The Iroquois over the Years

The Iroquois. It came across our radar back in 1978 when Dad was told to win it for George Strawbridge Jr. It was his goal, his grail. Owhata Chief duly did.

Ten minutes with a horse

Calls to make. Calls to return. Bills to pay. Jobs to do. Stories to write. People to see. Answers to give. Questions to ask. Podcast episodes to schedule. E-mails to answer. Grass to cut. Kids to worry about. A plane to catch in a couple days. A knee that won’t stop swelling. 

Life piling up all around you? Take five minutes and go see a horse.

Calling John Dewey

Two days after the Kentucky Derby and about eight hours after Gary West went on the Today Show and further muddied the water, I found myself trying to explain Derby.

The Thrill of Victory

One thousand, one hundred and fifty eight miles. Door to door to door to door to door. Middleburg to Camden to Aiken to Queen’s Cup to Middleburg.

On the Road

Road trip – Middleburg to Camden to Aiken to Mineral Springs to Middleburg.

The Whip

Whips. We have come to the crossroads on whips. Sure, we should have been here long ago, but, alas, here we are now. Sadly and strangely, whips (and Lasix but that’s for another day) have been thrown in the mix with injuries and fatalities at Santa Anita. The California racetrack has a problem, that’s obvious. Why that has become a whip or Lasix issue is unfathomable. Breakdowns at Santa Anita have nothing to do with whips or Lasix.

In Search of the One

Grand National morning. Wake up and for a moment, just a moment, it’s a regular day. Then it hits you fast, the realization, the expectation, the impending, the dread and delight of the impending. It’s the biggest race of your life, the biggest day of your life. See, riding is your life. Sure, you have friends and family, lovers and haters, but, for you, it’s a singular quest. You are a jockey.

Long Lost Tracks

Miles and I went to a birthday party Saturday. Atomic Trampoline. In Leesburg. I'm not sure what they call it, perhaps, a Contrived Community...there are houses and houses, shops and shops, sprawl and sprawl. Interesting in a way, certainly convenient, but a long way from the Leesburg I remember. Miles enjoyed the party, the pizza was decent, ice cream organic and the cleanup was minimal.