Julien Leparoux, who appears to be looking straight at me (omg) in this pic I snapped at Keeneland last week, will ride top contender Union Rags in the Derby on Saturday.
Badminton may be off the schedule this weekend, but the greatest two minutes in sports are most definitely still ON for Saturday. Are you ready? How long is a furlong? Who ran it the fastest? Examine your Derby expertise in the Kansas City Star’s Pop Quiz. [KCS]
The Los Angeles Times has taken a look at the field, including the unbeaten Gemologist and lightly raced Bodemeister, and concluded there’s “no real favorite”—which is a tricky thing to say, especially when racing fans are involved. [LA Times]
On Conquering Triple Crown Demons: “He remembers everything from the last time. The last time that really mattered, that is. That was six years ago, when thoroughbred horse trainer Michael Matz brought a giant, unbeaten three-year-old colt named Barbaro to Churchill Downs and left in very real pursuit of the Triple Crown.” [Sports Illustrated]
Q&A with William Fox Pitt: “Which horse would you most like to own and why (from any Equestrian sport)? Michael Jung’s horse La Biosthetique Sam FBW (the current World and European Champion combination). I would retire him so I had a better chance of winning Gold in London! I think he would enjoy his retirement with me! If I could own Sam and ride Oslo in London I would be a very happy man!” [Horsetalk]
British dressage star Carl Hester took Horse and Country TV on a tour of his flooded Gloucestershire farm. Looks pretty darn deluged. Know what’s also in Gloucestershire? Badminton. [Horse and Country]
Nations Cup show jumping competitions are in for a makeover. The Saudi Equestrian Fund has made its sponsorship conditional on involving more federations, including the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South America. [COTH]
Three horses used in a therapeutic riding program at Frying Pan Park, site of Area II’s Difficult Run Pony Club Horse Trials in Herndon, Va., are expected to make a full recovery after surviving multiple stab wounds. Police are still looking for the perpetrator. [WUSA9]
Most Ridiculous Headline: A VERY Big Mac! World’s biggest McDonald’s with 1,500 seats to be built for games
Best of the Blogs: The Retired Racehorse Training Project’s Steuart Pittman weighs in on the NYT’s racing articles: “The New York Times article was not about the devotion of humans to their racehorses and the glorious life that they lead. It was an effort to shock its readers and get a reaction. It described the use of anti-inflammatories as having feed ‘laced’ with painkillers.” [Pittman]
“…as I walk around the collecting ring on my first ride, Griffin, with cold rain finding its way through the minute flaws in my rain gear, and trickling down my back, I look up to see Ralph Hill, looking like some deranged pirate, walking beside me. Rain is dripping off both points of his moustache, off his pony tail, and glistens off his gold earing. He gives me that manic grin, and announces, ‘Another day at the office!’ And I think, ‘This is going to be a long day.’ ” [Denny Emerson]
Hot on HN: “The star of this video is is Classic Goldrush, a 15.2-hh pinto crossbred that competes in 2* eventing and Grand Prix show-jumping. Bridle optional, apparently.”
From Horse Quencher: Anytime a horse moves to a new barn – whether to live there or just stay a few days to compete – the natural order of things is upset. And that’s enough to slow or stop water intake, especially for the new kid on the block. So get him a welcoming drink, with Horse Quencher.
As Denis O’Brien, Assistant Manager Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Stud, Norfolk, says, “We use Horse Quencher when new horses arrive at the farm, or when horses have undergone surgery and return to us from hospital. At these times the horses can be unsettled for a few days, often going off their food and water. Horse Quencher has been excellent in helping to reduce the risk of impaction colic, a very costly and distressing condition. The hydration of horses when traveling can be overlooked and Horse Quencher will assist those who reduce their fluid intake while being transported nationally and internationally. In a nutshell Horse Quencher has helped whenever the horses have a change of routine, or environment, when moving from trainers to the farm, for pre-and-post sales, for traveling and while recovering from injury and confined to the box.”