Taking Stock: Varola, Hewitt Discuss Vaguely Noble & Caro

If you are a student of pedigrees, you'll know of Franco Varola and Abram S. Hewitt. If not, take my word for it that they were two giants in the field of pedigree research, and both were excellent writers. Varola, an Italian whose first name was Francesco, is known for two iconic books, "Typology of the Racehorse" and "The Functional Development of the Thoroughbred," both of which examined influential stallions by aptitude and classified them as "chefs-de-race" within the dosage framework originally developed by Lt. Col. J.J. Vuillier at the...

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Kateri Proving a 'Souper' Purchase for Newtown Anner

In his early days in the Thoroughbred business, Hanzly Albina served the Foustok family's Buckram Oak Farm as assistant farm manager and later managed Four Roses Thoroughbreds for the same operation. "As a young person in the business, you don't get to do a lot, but you get to study a lot," Albina recollects. The horseman is now applying that and other knowledge he's acquired over the years as an advisor to Maurice and Samantha Regan's Newtown Anner Stud, the breeders of 'TDN Rising Star' and GII Rachel Alexandra S....

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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...

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Keeneland Life's Work Project No. 7: John Williams

Nobody, we keep telling ourselves, remembers a time quite like this. And that's true even of John Williams, who has seen just about everything in our business. But he did once experience something pretty similar--worse, if anything, strictly in terms of the springtime routines of a stallion farm. That was when Caro imported a wildly contagious venereal disease from France to Spendthrift, and the Department of Agriculture wanted to put a chain on the gate. Williams imagined that he'd already fulfilled his most stressful task, in boarding a plane to...

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