Steve Haskin

  • Bolt d'Oro Taking the Right Path

    I have stated on several occasions that I am a firm believer in starting a horse's 3-year-old campaign in a sprint to sharpen him up for the rigors of the Triple Crown trail.

  • Giving Thanks: Thoroughbred Times Days

    It was the winter of 1986, and I was in a major lull in my potential writing career. I was just becoming enthusiastic about racing again after a brief hiatus in 1982, '83 and '84, during which my wife Joan and I had become fanatic birdwatchers

  • The Unsolved Mystery of Arrogate

    We should remember the Arrogate who raised goose bumps on our arms and left us numb from the experience of watching him run. And we should ignore the phantom who floundered at Del Mar, as we would any mirage.

  • The Return of Swaps

    This was the extent of my racing foundation, and it all started with Swaps and Nashua and two guys talking about them on a bus. After all, how could you not love the name Swaps?

  • Selection Saturday: Bombs Away

    Once again, this is about longshots and value. I don’t have enough money to bet favorites and pick 6’s and superfectas, so I’ve got to take a few stabs.

  • An Unexpected Loaded Gun for the Classic?

    But let's start by being more logical. The Classic is simple: Arrogate or Gun Runner? That is where everyone will be focusing their attention. In the two previous showdowns between these two antagonists, Arrogate proved to be the fastest gun alive.

  • Angles Galore on European Longshots

    This has to be one of the deepest contingents of European invaders, with a number of proven contenders, and a number of live longshots who could very well be sitting on a huge upset.

  • Why Gunnevera Should Run Well at Del Mar

    In the case of Gunnevera, he has one main weapon, and that is a wicked turn of foot and an explosive move on the far turn. As powerful a weapon as that can be, it is not meant to be sustained over a distance of ground.

  • O'Brien Resolute in Pursuit of the Classic

    Few, if any, owners and trainers have been more on a mission to win a single race than Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien when it comes to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which has eluded them for 17 years.

  • Pace the Key to an Oscar Performance

    Now that Brian Lynch has decided to forge ahead to the Breeders' Cup Turf with Oscar Performance, he has to figure out how to beat the Euros and the American older horses going a mile and a half.

  • Still Dreaming After All

    Ulcers, good news? Most definitely when it not only provided an explanation for Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming's abrupt form reversal, it virtually plucked him out of retirement and put him on the path for a 4-year-old campaign.

  • The Empire That Almost Was

    There is no doubt the greatness was there with Classic Empire. And there is no doubt it was confronted by enough obstacles to prevent it from fully surfacing. But it did on occasion manage to trickle out, to show the world what might have been.

  • Keen Ice Right Where He Wants to Be

    Keen Ice may have lost the battle, as in the $750,000 purse of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but don't be surprised when the war is over on the evening of November 4 he is the last one standing.

  • Poo Pooing the Preps

    We have entered a new era on the Triple Crown trail, where many trainers now plan only two preps for the Kentucky Derby. It has proven successful over the past decade, so more and more trainers are adopting that philosophy.

  • West Coast Offense

    With his 7 1/4-length romp in the grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, West Coast has now rattled off four consecutive stakes victories, all dominating scores.

  • In Search of the True Milers

    So, one must ask: When is a mile not a mile? In a pure horse racing sense it is a mile run around two turns instead of the more traditional flat mile around one turn.

  • The Power of the Horse

    The spiritual power of the horse and the amazing healing powers, both physically and mentally, it possesses when it comes to humans.

  • Does Arrogate Still Rule in Baffertland?

    Just as Arrogate burst on the national scene last year with great fanfare in the historic Travers Stakes, so too has his successor, West Coast, a colt Bob Baffert thought so highly of he contemplated running him in the Belmont Stakes.

  • Rachel Thriving Eight Years After Woodward

    Rachel Alexandra was led out of her barn, her coat glistening and dappled and a bit lighter than when she was racing. As she stood placidly in the morning sun, she was not bothered in the slightest by the two visitors fawning over her.

  • Lady Eli’s Amazing Story Continues

    Waiting for a horse like this is something Sol Kumin and Jay Hanley no longer will do. For as many top-class horses as they own and will own, they know in their heart they will never again have a horse like Lady Eli. Nor will anyone else.

  • John Henry, Phil Marino, and Early Cajun Days

    If John Henry had one positive trait, it was his ability to touch people's lives. Of course, everyone knows how John affected the lives of Ron McAnally and Sam Rubin, but no one's life was affected more by the horse than Phil Marino's.

  • Secretariat Photo Album

    I have posted photos of Secretariat over the years, but never all of them in one place. I figured it was time to put all these photos together in a single blog, just to have them archived and easily accessible.

  • Secretariat Still Omnipresent After 44 Years

    Despite the emergence of numerous equine superstars and three more Triple Crown winners, Secretariat is still the gift that keeps giving. More than four decades later, his name still is part of our vernacular and in many ways of our culture.

  • Long, Hard Struggle For Female Jockeys

    When Diane Nelson passed away at age 54, her days riding regularly on the tough New York circuit were long forgotten by many. But those who followed racing in the Big Apple remember her as a top rider.

  • Arrogate, Where Are You?

    The more Arrogate accomplishes, the more we want to see if he can top it. Unlike the vast majority of today's champions, we want to know just how high a ceiling our champions have.

  • Hammer Time: My Wildest Assignment Ever

    It didn't take the M.C. Hammer long to make a major impact on the sport with the exciting filly Lite Light, who surged into national prominence by capturing the Las Virgenes Stakes, Santa Anita Oaks, Fantasy Stakes, and the Kentucky Oaks.

  • Get your Scorecard, the Travers Trail Has Begun

    While it is still too early to get a clear picture of who is going where, one thing is for certain: the Haskell, Jim Dandy, and Travers are going to be extremely competitive and entertaining events, from which a solid 3-year-old leader should emerge.

  • The Truth About Patch

    Humans and animals overcoming physical handicaps and going on to achieve great things has always been a sure way to bring out the sentimental side of people, who admire grit and resolve in the face of adversity.

  • The Day Hansel Defied Lasix

    To set the stage for Hansel's Belmont victory, one must go back to Churchill Downs, where the colt had thrown in an inexplicably bad performance in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 10th after looking like a winner at the top of the stretch.

  • The Amazing Tapit: The Whole Story

    Tonalist...Frosted...Creator...Tapwrit. If not for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah defeating Frosted in 2015, Tapwrit would have been Tapit's fourth consecutive Belmont Stakes winner.

  • Belmont Analysis: End of a Long Odd Journey

    Here we are at the end of the road--the often unpredictable Belmont Stakes, without the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winner, without the favorite Classic Empire, and with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the head of the Japanese invader Epicharis.

  • 25 Years Ago: A.P. Indy Gets His Classic

    There was no doubt that A.P. Indy would be a heavy favorite in the Belmont Stakes. All that was left was for the colt to have his all-important major work. Unfortunately. the night before it poured at Belmont, turning the track into a quagmire.

  • Epicharis and Belmont a Perfect Fit

    If you want to get a bit more adventurous and take a shot on a horse who not only could win the Belmont, he could win in impressive fashion, then why not take a good hard look at the Japanese invader Epicharis.