April 1, 2012 |
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Horse trainer Michael Matz woke up Sunday about 4 a.m. and, as he always does, looked at his phone. He's got an app on the phone attached to a camera outside the stall of his big horse, Union Rags. "He was just laying down in the stall, laying there with his head on the side, just really resting," Matz said later Sunday morning. "When he's like that, he really takes care of himself well. " On Saturday, Union Rags had finished third as the 2-5 favorite in the Florida Derby.
January 19, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Kelsey Lefever was well-known in the Pennsylvania horse world. The 24-year-old horse trainer from Chester County competed at the Devon Horse Show and traded show ponies and draft horses on the Internet. At Penn National, near Harrisburg, one of the biggest racetracks in the state, she schmoozed thoroughbred owners, telling them she would find great homes for their horses when their racing careers were over. In fact, state police allege, Lefever was selling the horses - as many as 120, by her admission - to contractors for a Canadian slaughterhouse, where they were butchered and shipped overseas for human consumption.
August 16, 2011 |
CARL HANFORD trained five-time Horse of the Year Kelso (1960-64). Horse and trainer often spent their summers at Delaware Park. Carl's wife, Millie, was the track's paddock attendant for nearly 30 years. Their daughter, Gail, is a DelPark trainer. Carl, 95, died Sunday morning at his Delaware home. Millie passed away in 2005. So what happens in yesterday's first race at Delaware? M's Angel, trained by Gail and making her third lifetime start, won by 5 3/4 lengths. Horse racing is very much a sport about karma.
August 6, 2011 |
Linda Toscano has been in the winner's circle at the Meadowlands Racetrack more than any other female trainer. Earning more than $10 million in purses, Toscano has become comfortable there, but the winner's circle at Saturday's 86th edition of the Hambletonian would be foreign territory. Taking home the winner's share of the $1.5 million purse would make Toscano the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, yet facing 85 years of history doesn't seem to faze her. "They always ask me the gender thing," Toscano said Tuesday at the news conference for the Hambletonian draw.
July 11, 2011 |
JUAN CARLOS GUERRERO arrived from Mexico when he was 14, hoping to get an education. He ended up at the race track. In the next quarter-century, he got a doctorate in horse. In 2010 and 2011, the trainer has put up unprecedented numbers at Parx Racing, winning with 40 percent of his starters. This being horse racing, nobody puts up those kinds of numbers without significant skepticism. The assumption is that Guerrero must have some kind of pharmaceutical edge. The problem with assumptions, of course, is that they are not facts.
June 24, 2011 |
As Buck Brannaman says, he doesn't work with people with horse problems. He works with horses with people problems. The documentary "Buck," directed by Cindy Meehl, follows the horse trainer as he travels across the country and teaches people how to work with their equine mates in ways that are both effective and far-reaching. Several interviewees who attended Brannaman's clinics proselytize about his methods, claiming that they not only learn to train their horses correctly, but his teachings bleed over into their real lives as well, in how they go about their jobs and treat their kids and spouses.
May 19, 2011 |
Eagles coach Andy Reid has a little time on his hands these days so, last Friday, he visited Fair Hill, Md., to see Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Brett Veach, an Eagles pro and college scout and longtime horse racing fan, suggested the coach make the trip to the training center, a horse racing Shangri-la. "I'm really not into horse racing, but I'm into the sheer strength and athletic ability [of the horses]," Reid said. "It fascinates me. " The coach took in the scene and said: "I thought it was unbelievable.
May 4, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - No female trainer has ever won the Kentucky Derby. No trainer with a replacement heart has ever won the Derby, either. Kathy Ritvo is trying to do both. Three years ago, Ritvo watched the Derby in a critical care unit of a Miami hospital, waiting for a donor. Six months later, after being tethered to machines that kept her heart functioning, Ritvo got her donor, and her new heart took over for the old one that was completely worn out. Ritvo, 41, is at Churchill Downs this week.