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 Editorials

Thoughts from our editor, Joe Clancy. For archived editorials click here.

Senior Senator aims for history in the Hunt Cup

Joe Davies thought himself a competent amateur steeplechase jockey in 1983 so when Joy Slater went down with a broken collarbone a week before the Maryland Hunt Cup, Davies made a phone call.
“Mrs. Fanning, you don’t know who I am but I sure would like to ride Cancottage,” he said.
Trainer Jill Fanning, whose English-bred horse was bidding for his third victory in the race, didn’t really hesitate.
“Well, I already have Charlie Fenwick lined up, but you sound like a nice young boy and if you’re interested you could ride the pony and take Cancottage to the start for us.”

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Big scores boost region

I guess it’s the improbability of it all. Or something like that anyway. People ask me, and I’m sure you too, all the time: “Why horse racing?” Sometimes I struggle for an answer. Other times, I come up with things like Belmont Stakes Weekend turned in by Mid-Atlantic-bred horses.

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Star horses breed success in Pennsylvania

Hello, Pennsylvania. Take a bow for 2018, a year where your Thor­oughbred racing accomplishments included four – yes four – Eclipse Award winners with ties to the Keystone State. The quartet consisted of two horses bred in the state and two more who trained and raced there.

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Save Pimlico, because it’ll be worth it

Last summer, I wrote a “Save Pimlico because. . .” column in this space. Long on sentiment and short on facts or direction, the column was supposed to make people think, to be an inspiration of some kind, to fill this space in a somewhat lively fashion, provide some context to the whole thing – oh, and beat a deadline.

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For Buckstud, with feeling

Sometimes the obituaries can be a bit much. A few recent ones packed a big punch and took a chunk out of the region’s (and the nation’s) Thorough­bred world. Cot Campbell, Willard Thomp­son, Rick Violette, Bruce Smart, Walter Reese, Bob Levy, Buck Woodson – and too late to make this magazine Dr. Matthew Mackay-Smith – must be having some conversation in the track kitchen at Afterlife Downs about now. 

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Region finds successes on big stages

Snippets of success from around the region and beyond:

So what does it feel like to be on the verge of watching a horse you bred line up for a $2 million race?

“I’m calm, but I don’t know why. I feel like it’s already decided. Somebody knows who wins this race, we’re just watching it play out.”

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Idle thoughts, oddball ideas at the sales

The stuff you think about at a horse sale that get a little monotonous after awhile…

If I were designing a sales pavilion, I’d look hard at the English/Irish versions where the horse for sale gets the opportunity to walk while the auctioneer rat-a-tat-tats through the bids. It’s always going to be a foreign environment for a horse, but the ability to walk has to help. Horses in the rings at Tattersalls and Goffs or wherever else, look calmer, a little less agitated by it all, and buyers get one last chance to see them walk. 

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Everybody wins with wagering push for jumpers

Imagine for a moment racing without betting, where each racetrack attracted spectators with atmosphere, amenities and customer experience. 

There’s no television pundit, no odds board, no post-time delay, no carryover. It’s just racing, a day out, entertainment with horses and jockeys. What would the purse structure look like? How different would it all be? Would racing survive? Could it actually happen?

Well, this is – essentially – American jump racing. 

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