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Julia Tutweiler (Pulpit x Caroline’s Gold, by Touch Gold) before and after her debut race at Saratoga Race Course. Joel Rosario up for Bill Mott.

The morning I last went to Belmont Park, there was a horse who lost its rider somewhere around the main track, treating me to an impromptu performance by the outriders. With the sirens blaring and flashing, the horse thankfully did what its training taught it to do, and the situation was over and done with quickly.

Thanks, Laughing [IRE]. We’ll miss ya.

Oh my stars, here’s a future one in the making! Sea Trial, the daughter of champions Unbridled’s Song and Storm Flag Flying.

The story of my latest Tapit obsession: Juba.

"WHO IS THAT #6? HE IS SO CUTE!" I was standing with a gal named Sally looking over the form for a maiden special weight and from above, I spotted this adorable gray fella. "Juba? And oh he’s by Tapit. Maybe he’ll do something today… ARE YOU GONNA WIN, BUDDY?"

Indeed, Juba looked up at me cooing to him and gave me an eyeball passing me by on the way to the gate. He made a solid run in the stretch to send me into a tizzy, and managed to hang on for 3rd in his first race at 15-1 odds. GO JUBA!

Breeders’ Cup epiphanies:

23 years ago a defending older champion mare ran against a promising (and arguably the best in the country at the time) three-year-old Pennsylvania-bred filly in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Honor Code

Pedigree Handicapping Appreciation Photoset: Horses I love by the stallions I love: Ghostzapper

Contested, Moreno, Hear the Ghost, Za Approval, & Mystical Star

This photoset has more of a story than the others, and it’s probably one of my favorite Saratoga memories from this year’s visit. I was just getting the hang of shooting workouts at the Oklahoma training track and was trying to focus on some lead ponies coming in when I heard this erratic squeal to my left. Usually, that’s not good news when I hear it, oft the vocal sign of a horse who wants to get away. Then I look over, and this bratty chestnut horse was kicking and squealing while galloping down the lane, its exercise rider cracking up laughing. The horse was merely trying to break the hold its rider had, to let it go and run as it pleased. Such an adorable moment, I wish my photos had been a bit better and I knew who this pair was.

Edit: Chasinsunsets let me know this is Abel Flores with one of Steve Asmussen’s horses. Thanks, friend! :)

Who were you cheering on when the gates opened that first Saturday in May? My Kentucky Derby horses throughout the years (Tumblr has a dumb limit of 10 photos):

  • 2013: Normandy Invasion (4th)
  • 2012: Union Rags (7th)
  • 2011: Nehro (2nd)
  • 2010: Ice Box (2nd)
  • 2009: Desert Party (14th)
  • 2008: Big Brown (1st)
  • 2007: Street Sense (1st)
  • 2006: Steppenwolfer (3rd)
  • 2005: N/A, I don’t think I followed the race that year for whatever reason
  • 2004: Action This Day (6th)
  • 2003: Empire Maker (2nd)

Not pictured: 2002 - War Emblem (1st), who ran in the first Derby I ever watched.

The best Thoroughbred horse racing blog on Tumblr! Updated daily with handicapping analysis, photos, editorials, and things gathered 'round the web.

Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.

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