Body and Soul

Body & Soul: Empire State Perspectives

Been paying attention to what's going on in the Empire State lately (er, you might know it as New York)? We speak not of the mess in the Governor's Mansion or resulting headlines and cable news rumblings. Rather, we refer to the status of registered New York-breds, exploits of which are tickling the fancy of the state's breeders--many of whom went home dancing with dollars following the conclusion of the Fasig-Tipton sale for a brace of indigenous yearlings. The sale continued a recent demand from owners, trainers, and pinhookers because...

[ Read More ]
Body & Soul: Hey Sport, How Ya Doin'?

Your correspondent distinctly remembers interviewing a youngish financial guru over lunch at The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel on Central Park West. It was in 1977, and it was shortly after Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown, something one doesn't forget. What sticks in our mind, however, was not the interview. Rather he went on a rave about "Slew" after our chat uncovered a mutual obsession with the sport. We tossed out that he might be judged a "freak" by blue-blooded observers, upon which my tablemate provocatively opined that,...

[ Read More ]
Body & Soul: What Goes Around Comes Around?

Don't let that headline throw you off--we are not about to bury anyone in keeping with the Oxford English Dictionary's definition of the proverb, i.e., "the consequences of one's actions will have to be dealt with eventually." However, there may be a little karma being tossed around herein because of what the graphic which accompanies this essay seems to indicate. To set the stage we take another bit of a dip into the endlessly fascinating brain of Dr. Franco Varola, for whom our admiration is shameless. He devoted Chapter 11...

[ Read More ]
Body & Soul: Don't Look Now… Well, Maybe We'd Better

This business about sire lines has been driving your correspondent a bit nuts for the past 40 years, dating from when he first came to understand the realm, initially through the discourses of the great analyst Dr. Franco Varola and the estimable author Abe Hewitt. In those days we all not only relied on the historical database of a rather limited number of stallions but also on the patience needed to assess the long-term impact of form, function, and pedigree. You had Phalaris and Swynford, then Nearco and Hyperion, then...

[ Read More ]
Body & Soul: Please Do Talk About Me When I'm Gone

It's not exactly an axiom but it seems almost as soon as a stallion is exported from this country, the racehorses he left behind start making a lot of noise. Without getting too deep into the bushes by matching these stallions with their offspring--while acknowledging Empire Maker, Hard Spun and Daredevil among the previous and recent returnees--we present such examples as New Year's Day (Maximum Security), Declaration of War (Decorated Invader) and Eskendereya (Mitole). To this list we have added Super Saver, one of the more surprising exports of the...

[ Read More ]
Body & Soul: How Quickly the Tide Turns…

Those of us who grew up in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s were not only blessed with some extraordinary major league teams and athletes, as well as more than enough superior racehorses, but were also lucky that so many of the radio and television play-by-play announcers were among the greatest of all time--ranging from Vin Scully in Brooklyn to Mel Allen in the Bronx to Fred Capossela at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. But the voice that sticks in our mind is that of the man who called...

[ Read More ]
Body & Soul: Freshman Stars vs. Graduation Rates

Tingling with a bit of pride at the final rankings of the 2019 Freshman Sires, we're crossing our fingers that things will remain steady in the future. That's because six of the Top 10 were listed as the ones we liked best based on various biomechanical programs which DataTrack uses to project such possibilities. Our task is to lay the odds on how the sires of these youngsters are likely to compete over the long term. We began to assemble statistics to see if there were any discernible trends in...

[ Read More ]
Body & Soul: The Plus Ca Change or Déjà Vu or “Groundhog Day” Decade

Yes, the French have a word--or a couple of expressions--for it and Hollywood has gotten into the act. And while these days there are fewer of us who know the precise definition of plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose ("the more things change, the more they remain the same") or even of deja vu ("a feeling of having experienced the present situation"), it seems everyone knows that when Groundhog Day is brought up, more people think of Bill Murray's 1993 "same stuff, different day" movie. That realization smacked...

[ Read More ]
Body and Soul: Culture Clashes

It seems that whenever your correspondent comes up with a writer's block or a dearth of exciting news to dwell upon, his hand reaches out to the trusty bookshelf and invariably falls upon the spine of either one of Dr. Franco Varola's game-changing tomes, "Typology of the Racehorse," or the sequel, "The Functional Development of the Thoroughbred." While most readers of these books might (somewhat rightfully) claim that they laid the foundation for the massive rush to accept the concept of Dosage in the study of pedigrees, we have always...

[ Read More ]
Exit Box x
X

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.