This Side Up

This Side Up: Don't Make Them Like That Anymore

Well, I guess it's precisely because the protagonists aren't used to the limelight that everybody has so enjoyed their arrival at center stage. But they have quickly learned that once there, with everyone hanging on your every word, you had better know your script. In the excitement of his success, under one of the most remarkable rides in GI Kentucky Derby history, connections of Rich Strike (Keen Ice) told everyone that they had the previous morning been reconciled to instead contesting the GIII Peter Pan S. at Belmont this weekend....

[ Read More ]
A Loss That Takes Us to the Epicenter

"The Derby gods." It's a device that tells us rather more about us than them. We know there's no such thing, really; and that if they did exist, they would find sadistic satisfaction in stringing us along in the delusion that they will ultimately even out their torments and benedictions, only to let the ground fall away beneath us just as we reach for the stars.

[ Read More ]
Run to Win, Not Win to Run

We live in a world where change is routinely mistaken for progress, draped in the cheap frills of "modernization"—a word that needs treating with extreme suspicion, implying as it does that any who challenge innovation are obstructing our species in some otherwise inexorable journey to fulfilment.

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: Run to Win, Not Win to Run

(Listen to this story by clicking the play button below.) [audio mp3="https://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/202204-v1-This-Side-Up-April-15.mp3"][/audio] We live in a world where change is routinely mistaken for progress, draped in the cheap frills of "modernization"--a word that needs treating with extreme suspicion, implying as it does that any who challenge innovation are obstructing our species in some otherwise inexorable journey to fulfilment. Nobody can sensibly deny that a great deal of change has indeed been for the better. Few who honor her memory at Keeneland on Saturday, I'm sure, would like to have been...

[ Read More ]
A Wrong Turn Onto the Right Road

They call it "pilot error." It's just that you have all the correction of perspective, right there, that anyone could possibly require. If a jockey makes a mistake, the consequences obviously tend to be a good deal less drastic than for a guy flying a plane.

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: No Points for Freshness

There was a time when you would load as much experience and conditioning as possible into a Kentucky Derby horse, as a mere adolescent required to jostle with 19 others through 10 furlongs. Nowadays, however, trainers are trying to reach Churchill Downs across a highwire stretched to a thread by two diametrically opposed imperatives. One is their conviction, whether through perception or presumption, that the typical, commercial-bred Thoroughbred of today can only stand up to a much lighter schedule. The other is to secure enough gate points in the trials....

[ Read More ]
An Oath to Share the Secret of Eternal Youth

It stands to reason, I guess, that the fountain of youth—the quest for which supposedly brought the first conquistadores to the shores of Florida—should instead turn out to be in Hot Springs. Certainly it seems as though there must indeed be something in those celebrated Arkansas waters, judging from the eternal vigor of an 86-year-old trainer based at Oaklawn this winter.

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: An Oath to Share the Secret of Eternal Youth

It stands to reason, I guess, that the fountain of youth--the quest for which supposedly brought the first conquistadores to the shores of Florida--should instead turn out to be in Hot Springs. Certainly it seems as though there must indeed be something in those celebrated Arkansas waters, judging from the eternal vigor of an 86-year-old trainer based at Oaklawn this winter. For a moment last Saturday, D. Wayne Lukas was going to sweep both Classic trials, Ethereal Road (Quality Road) just losing focus in the final strides of the GII...

[ Read More ]
Mandaloun Seeks to Gild New Crown

In the long story of the breed, there has never been a week's work remotely approaching the one Mandaloun (Into Mischief) bids to complete in the desert on Saturday. It opened with his formal elevation as winner of America's most prestigious race; and could conclude with him banking the biggest prize anywhere on planet Turf.

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: Mandaloun Seeks to Gild New Crown

In the long story of the breed, there has never been a week's work remotely approaching the one Mandaloun (Into Mischief) bids to complete in the desert on Saturday. It opened with his formal elevation as winner of America's most prestigious race; and could conclude with him banking the biggest prize anywhere on planet Turf. As has come to seem wearyingly inevitable, nobody imagines that the first leg of this dazing double was necessarily concluded by the disqualification of Medina Spirit (Protonico). We proudly advertise the GI Kentucky Derby as...

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: The Cap of Good Hope

As somebody remarked at the time, on seeing B. Wayne Hughes and M.V. Magnier deep in conversation one morning before the 2019 Breeders' Cup: "I'll give you 140 guesses what they're talking about." Both men were at Santa Anita representing farms that have had a transformative influence on the commercial breeding landscape, developing a similar system for launching stallions on an industrial scale. We have, of course, since grieved the loss of Hughes--but among his many legacies can now be counted a supporting role in the defeat of The Jockey...

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: Not Yet a Lost Cause

As one of few institutions of American sport to rival its fastest two minutes, the Super Bowl will reopen some painful old wounds among our community. For while many in the Bluegrass presumably feel some allegiance to their nearest NFL team, they owe a deeper loyalty to the very acres on which the game will be contested--to the memories interred below. Nostalgia for Hollywood Park will be especially piquant now that Arlington Park is in the sickening throes of a similar demise. It's no longer just John Henry, winner of...

[ Read More ]
X

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.