JC / Railbird

#delmarI met Marc Subia today and he told me the story of his amazing autograph jacket. "It's my most prized possession." Marc started coming to Del Mar with his dad in the 1970s. It's his home track. And he's been collecting jockey autographs for decades ...Grand Jete keeping an eye on me as I take a picture of Rushing Fall's #BC17 garland. #thoroughbred #horseracing #delmarAnother #treasurefromthearchive — this UPI collage for Secretariat vs. Sham. #inthearchives #thoroughbred #horseracingThanks, Arlington. Let's do this again next year. #Million35That's a helmet. #BC16 #thoroughbred #horseracing #jockeysLady Eli on the muscle. #BC16 @santaanitapark #breederscup #thoroughbred #horseracing

2019 Derby Prep Schedule

It’s 10 points towards the Derby gate for Mind Control, winner of the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day. With the start of the 2019 preps, the big Kentucky Derby prep schedule and results spreadsheet — which includes charts, replays, and speed figures — returns for another season.

Things I Read, 2018 Edition

Let’s not call this a list of bests — head down in archival literature and grad school for most of the year, I didn’t read as expansively or widely about racing in the past 12 months as I might have in past years to make that kind of claim. These are the stories, and writers, that stuck with me in 2018. Read:

1. Kit Chellel’s profile of Bill Benter, his algorithm, and almost a billion dollars won: The gambler who cracked the horse-racing code (Bloomberg)

2. When Gronkowski (the human) went to Belmont. The details in this story are fantastic! I won’t spoil the fun: A tale of two Gronkowskis, and their day at the Belmont Stakes (Boston Globe)

3. This look at the man who stays behind. Pascual Rivera, barn foreman: What’s the magic behind six Kentucky Derby winners? (Los Angeles Times)

4. Reporting that will break your heart: Hazel Park Raceway closure causes ripple: ‘You don’t do people like this’ (Detroit Free Press)

5. The story of a Minnesota-bred American Pharoah baby that encapsulates all the dreams that drive this game: Triple Crown champion’s colt, born just outside Twin Cities, is a stunner (Star Tribune)

6. Tim Layden on a tremendous call: Remembering Chic Anderson’s call of Secretariat’s record run at 1973 Belmont Stakes (Sports Illustrated)

7. How you never forget the good ones: Dave (Saratoga Special)

8. Insights into how Equibase controls racing data: Getting from ‘Cease and Desist’ to ‘Come Work With Us’ (Thoroughbred Daily News)

9. Diana Hurlburt, on Aqueduct and Suffolk Downs.

10. Hambla Bauer on owning a horse and kicking around the New England circuit in 1940. Yes, this one’s a throwback. My thanks to Eric Banks for the introduction to one of the first women to take a seat in the Saratoga press box: Chicken one day, feathers the next (Saturday Evening Post)

Sports Betting Is Here

Anticipated as it was, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling killing the sports betting ban rocked a lot of players across the gaming industry. I wrote something for SB Nation about horse racing and its flashy new legal competition.

If you’re looking for something else to read, I’m bookmarking some of the more interesting/informative stories I’ve come across about sports betting, racing’s reaction to the ruling, what might happen next in Massachusetts, and the opportunities for sports media: Find the links on Pinboard.

Derby ’18 Links

It’s that time of the year again — it’s Kentucky Derby! Hello Race Fans is out with its cheat sheet for the 2018 field, and J.J. Hysell’s capsule ‘capping of each contender will get even the most casual Derby fan up to speed on this Saturday’s starters. (The cheat sheet’s perfect for Derby parties.)

For handicapping:

The historical criteria spreadsheet is back and updated with the 2018 draw.

Don’t forget the Derby prep results spreadsheet: Get the charts and watch the replays for each of this spring’s Derby points races. Beyer and TimeformUS sped figures are also included.

Need historical Derby charts? Download the 1991-2017 charts here (ZIP).

Get free Derby past performances from Brisnet (PDF).

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