David Schmitz

Hall of Fame Profile: Cougar Joins Charlie in Hall

Hall of Fame Profile: Cougar Joins Charlie in Hall

Cougar II, who is the first Chilean-bred to be inducted into the racing Hall of Fame, won or placed in 34 of 38 U.S. starts, but his popularity wasn't simply due to his fans leaving the betting windows happy. It was more of a case of cheering for a horse that tried hard time and time again.

Eclipse Award: Stevie Wonderboy, 2-Year-Old Male

Merv Griffin owns what one might call a "wonderboy." And we're not talking about the baseball bat that the Robert Redford character Roy Hobbs swung to perfection in the movie, The Natural. The performance that Griffin's Stevie Wonderboy gave in the 2005 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Belmont Park was as good as they come and proved just as exciting as the tape-measure home runs that Hobbs hit off "Wonderboy." Unlike those dingers, however, Stevie Wonderboy's performance was all too real.

Women of the Year: Beldame (1904)

Beldame's three-year-old season was marked by a number of wire-to-wire scores, and it didn't matter if the races were short or long, on fast or off tracks, or against males or females. She started the season in the Carter Handicap in April 1904 at Aqueduct and led all the way to beat sixteen rivals, most of them older males, under a feathery 103 pounds.

Dr. Ben F. Roach of Parrish Hill Farm Dies

Dr. Ben F. Roach, whose many stakes winners as a breeder include Horse of the Year Charismatic and inaugural Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Princess Rooney, died the morning of Sept. 16 at age 86 at the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington, Ky.

2004 Eclipse Owner: Ken & Sarah Ramsey

2004 Eclipse Owner: Ken & Sarah Ramsey

The year 2004 turned out to be the type of year for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey that the couple could only dream about a few years back. In their first appearance as Eclipse Award finalists, they won the outstanding owner trophy, and one of their horses, Kitten's Joy, won an Eclipse Award for best turf male.

Vinery's Florida Operation Underway

Vinery's Florida Operation Underway

Dr. Tom Simon, who is in the process of curtailing his Vinery Australia operation, is going full steam with his newly formed Florida venture. Simon is building a stallion station, two 40-stall barns, and two training tracks on 220 acres of land near Ocala.

Successful Appeal Off to Quick Start; May Relocate to Kentucky

Successful Appeal Off to Quick Start; May Relocate to Kentucky

Successful Appeal, who proved successful as a racehorse, is also living up to his name as a stallion. He not only heads the freshman sire list by progeny earnings, but the overall 2-year-old list, and is the only stallion with three juvenile stakes winners. His success has proved so appealing and substantial that he might make the move from Hartley/De Renzo, Walmac South near Ocala, Fla., to John T.L. Jones Jr.'s Walmac International near Lexington for the 2005 breeding season.

In Quest of a Crown: What Works Best?

In Quest of a Crown: What Works Best?

As trainer John Servis points Smarty Jones toward his Visa Triple Crown quest in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), here's a glance back on the workout schedules for the Derby/Preakness winners, starting with the most recent ones, since 1969. That year seemed a good time to start because it marked the first year that a Derby/Preakness winner went into the Belmont unbeaten.

Belmont Winner's Pedigree: Breeding Empire

Empire Maker, the colt that was supposed to win the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby (gr. I) because of his pedigree, instead won the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) because of his pedigree. That's a lot of pedigree for one horse, even for one from the vast international breeding empire of Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms.

No Surprises at Top of Experimental Free Handicap

No Surprises at Top of Experimental Free Handicap

The suspense leading up to the end of January wasn't whether the colt Vindication and the filly Storm Flag Flying would be voted champion 2-year-olds. They were. The suspense was whether the two unbeaten juveniles would be weighted above the standard weight--126 pounds for males and 123 for fillies--on the 2002 Experimental Free Handicap. They weren't.

Forty Niner Leaving Mark on Sire Ranks

Forty Niner left behind more than just memories of his dominating racing days before heading to Japan to continue his stallion career. The champion son of Mr. Prospector left behind a slew of sons who are making a mark on North America's sire lists. Four of the top 20 first-crop stallions by progeny earnings in 2002, including the runner-up, Distorted Humor, are sons of Forty Niner.

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