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Tagg Time: Longtime Mid-Atlantic trainer completes his Triple Crown

“I’ve known him my whole life.”

Words used when asked about a friend, a comrade, a peer, a brother in arms, a member of the band. You know a person who has been in your circle so long, it feels like they helped you draw the circle.

Old jump riders, they’re in your circle.

When Barclay Tagg won the Belmont Stakes with Tiz the Law June 20, the question was asked and answered.

“I’ve known him my whole life.”

And in a way, I guess I have.

May Days: Preakness people deal with 2020 change

In spring 1893, Geneva College defeated New Brighton YMCA 3-0 in the nation’s first college basketball game, the World’s Fair opened in Chicago, Thomas Edison unveiled the kinetoscope, an early motion-picture device, and Baltimore endured life without a Preakness. All these years later, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, economic devastation and (as of late May and early June) civil unrest, history repeated itself. Spring came and went in Baltimore without a Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. And life went on, more or less.

Extinguishing Fear: How to prepare for, prevent a barn fire

Silence erupts across the farm. The afternoon breeze falters, the sparrows go quiet and the typical hum of activity ceases. The air holds a feeling of distress, as if a storm is bound to make a thunderous appearance. But this storm holds no soothing rain. Within the barn walls, crimson flames begin to eat away at the timber frame. Smoke snakes through every crevice, pours along the aisles and through the stall windows. Shavings and bits of hay ignite, leaving ash and floating ember. Frightened horses snort, paw, pace. Flared nostrils find temporary solace in the clean air coming through small windows to the outside of the barn. As sirens scream in the distance, the chorus of distressed neighs echoes with urgency. . .

Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19's regional impact on regional tracks, the spring steeplechase season, and sales. 

Ladies in Waiting: Part 2

Call it Round Two. Last month’s feature checking in on an assortment of broodmares around the region spilled over into even more and – as usual – they’re all stars in their own way. Loved, fussed over, cared for, the region’s mares come from all corners of the Thoroughbred world but most trace back to a decision by somebody somewhere to buy a horse. Generations later, the families are still going strong.

Ladies in Waiting 2020

Region’s mares fuel industry as foaling season ramps up

The chestnut filly’s face looks like somebody splashed a three-inch paintbrush from forehead to muzzle. She has three white socks and four white feet, and catches eyes without trying. She’s three days old, the only foal on a farm expecting eight more. She wears a tiny leather halter, a green and gray blanket the size of a tablecloth. Her curved, fuzzy ears don’t miss a sound.

Full Speed Ahead: Big sales numbers rev up breeding success for Marama, Doetsch

For sale: High-performance racer, 2019 model, brown, impressive features, carefully maintained, multi-track potential, zero mileage, keyless entry, traction control, must see. Make best offer.

The car seller unveiled his gem at a Lexington, Ky., showroom in November. Speed-seekers worldwide congregated, inspected, assessed, exalted. A British rep closed the bidding at $500,000.

From a modest production line, auto dealer George Doetsch Jr. had delivered a Maryland-bred blockbuster. Here’s the thrust: A chancy broodmare who raced winless and foaled in a field has him steering among the cavalcade of horse-making glitterati.

Wide Open: Wasabi joins region’s stallion game as 2020 breeding season approaches

Venture capitalist, Loyola University professor and racing fan TK Kuegler dove into the Thoroughbred industry with the creation of Wasabi Ventures Stables in 2017. Less than three years later, more than 400 people call them-selves members and own anywhere from 0.5 to 4.99 percent of at least one racehorse.

With the growing roster of customers, and horses, Wasabi’s racehorse business is off and running at the track, at the sales and on the farm with an expanding group of broodmares.

So what’s next?

A stallion. Kuegler and Wasabi will be a complete Thoroughbred entity in 2020, involved in virtually every aspect of the industry with the purchase of Force the Pass for stud duty.


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