A 100-foot statue of the mythical equine Pegasus looms over the Florida landscape, crushing into submission a writhing steel dragon. With no hint of understatement, this monstrous pair signal the location of Gulfstream Park, home of the Pegasus World Cup, the latest addition to the elite racing calendar and the world’s richest race.
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In May 1936, in the aftermath of the American Depression, a hastily convened meeting took place at the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California. The reason for the gathering, however, had nothing to do with movies.
In the world of horse racing, the Triple Crown is the title awarded to a racehorse who wins the biggest three races on the flat for 3-year-olds.
Each year in May, the racing world is asking the same question: Will we have a Triple Crown winner this year?
Will one three year old horse win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes?
Let’s face it. Watching the Triple Crown races on TV is not that bad. You get the close ups. You actually hear what is said in interviews.
The Grand National fences have been altered substantially in recent years. In some cases the height has been slightly reduced, in other cases the drop on the landing side has been levelled off, and in all cases the internal construction has changed from wooden stakes to a synthetic core.
The Grand National is probably the most well known horse race in the world. Controversial. Loved by some. Hated by others.
But what is it really like from the inside? From the back of a horse?
Royal Ascot is legendary in the horseracing world. Never is the United Kingdom so British. Nowhere else are so many top hats and Rolls-Royce cars to be seen. Nowhere else are so many lobsters and glasses of champagne served.
It’s early morning in Newmarket, 60 miles from London. The town is awakening. Hardly any traffic – maybe one or two garbage trucks. And a couple of blocks from the main street, 35 racehorses walk across a pedestrian crossing.
The Gold Coast is the kind of place where racing lovers can take their not-so-racing-loving family members for a week of racing events without creating trauma.
Australian horse racing is more than just the Melbourne Cup. At the Gold Coast in Queensland, you can experience racing in an environment that at first glance looks more suited for beach life.
Birds fly south for the winter in the USA, and so do people. Often, many of the best race horses, trainers and jockeys find themselves in the Sunshine State of Florida.
Making a living from a sport where breaking your body is part of the game, AP McCoy might not strike you as a man of fear.
In 1834, at the age of 6, Elias Jackson Baldwin and his mother, father and three siblings moved from Hamilton, Ohio, to an 80-acre farm in Terre Coupee Town, Indiana.
The best-kept secrets are often hiding from the spotlight. The Guy with the Golden Smile is one of them. We’ve met Dihigi Gladney, the exercise rider of California Chrome.
The winning jockey in the 2016 Dubai World Cup was Victor Espinoza. A 44-year-old rider recognized as one of the world’s best. “Why do you guys want to do this?” Victor asked us when we introduced our idea of following him over the 72 hours prior to the richest race in the world.
Twenty-five years ago, the United Arab Emirates was like a desert flower in the sand waiting patiently for the rain to make it blossom. In 1996, the wait ended.
In its 155-year history, the Melbourne Cup has been won by female owners, trainers and horses. And now, finally, by a female jockey. When a 100-1 shot wins one of the biggest races in the world, usually the horse’s name is what becomes legendary.
The Täby Racetrack in Stockholm, Sweden, is one of the most northern of its kind. Temperatures regularly drop to -10°C (14°F) in the winter, but the show goes on.
When I first found myself in Chicago, back in the autumn of 1987, it was by pure chance. The first of many on my racing travels.
Once in a while you just fall upon photos that won’t let you go. That is what happened when we were invited to like the Facebook page ”Roccam Shots”.
Twenty five years after his greatest moments on the racetrack, Sunday Silence remains a cautionary tale about bias and a story of triumphant victory. The near black runner claimed some of America’s greatest races, but he never did manage to win the hearts or respect of many in his homeland.
South Korea is small — only about the size of Maine or Ireland — but it is home to some 50 million people. Of course, 75% of these people live in the 25% of the country that is not covered in mountains.
The sport of horse racing knows no borders. It does not relate to GNP or religion. Where there are people and horses, there is horse racing.
Horse racing is full of its own special words and expressions. Sometimes it’s hard to understand. What does ”Group Races” mean? And what is a ”Black Type Pedigree?”
In racing, you’ll often hear expressions like “The Classics” or “the Classic races.” To be a Classic winner is extremely meriting to a racehorse and has a huge impact on its marketing–especially in the auction catalogues.
In the summer of 1994 Jon Franklin and three work colleagues from a William Hill betting shop drove down from London to the Glorious Goodwood race meeting ob the south coast of England.
When you talk about horses that make history, Northern Dancer has a place of his very own. Standing a mere 14.3 hands tall (150 cm) and born in Canada at the end of May, he had the odds stacked against him.
Highclere is a name that has a certain ring to it. Highclere Castle is one of the truly classic British homes, located just outside the racing town of Newbury between London and Oxford.
Her name is Black Caviar. During the four years between April 18, 2009 and April 17, 2013, the wonder mare affectionately known as Nelly left her mark not just on Australia’s racing scene, but the world’s.
In 1767 injured british soldier William Johnson was taken to the springs of Saratoga by his Native American friends, where the local water was said to heal his wounds.
Saratoga might be one of the few places anywhere in the world that gets so many visitors in spite of a total lack of beaches. Saratoga is a self-made town with lots of things to do—even on non-racedays.
A small town. A three hour drive from New York City. 150 miles from the coast. Forty minutes from Albany.
This is where you find a large part of American East Coast society in the summer.
Richard Dunwoody has been in more photos than most. Winners photos that is. During his career as a jockey he rode 1,699 winners in the UK alone.
Drag racing on horse back. Pure speed. All horse. If you are looking for the fastest equine on Earth, look no further than the quarter horse.
Two times per year the medieval city of Siena in Italy explodes in a symphony of horses, riders and colors in a way that can make the Derbies of today seem like tea parties for grandmothers.
Being the best. The most prestigious. The most seen. That’s what every race meeting in the world wants to be. But only one race can claim what is possibly the most sought after title of all – the world’s best race.
Royal Ascot is always that … Royal.
But never was it more Royal than 2012.
We don’t talk about the fact that Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee after 60 years on the British throne.
Almost everyone knows Elizabeth Arden as the woman behind a brand of cosmetics. But in the 1940s and ’50s USA she was almost as famous because of her horses.
It all started in the Middle East. The bedouins there had a different kind of warfare. Something the crusaders from Europe soon discover – the hard way.
Formula 1 cars. Soccer teams. Corporations. Everyone’s got identifying colours today. But the tradition of colours may be the oldest in horse racing. Racing authorities require that every horse owner registers a unique colour-and-pattern combination, called silks.
Many contemporary equine heroes are the inspiration for sentimental movies and posters on little girls’ boudoir walls. John Henry, on the other hand, was the archetype, the encouragement, for Everyman.
When Milan-born jockey Lanfranco Dettori arrived at Ascot racecourse on 28 September 1996, he was quite well known in the British domestic racing scene and had been Anglicized to the more familiar ‘Frankie.’ Nevertheless, on the international racing stage he was still merely in consideration for a minor role.