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Stride May 3, 2010 Issue No. 5

m agazine

On to the Preakness Riding Super Saver, Calvin Borel triumphs in the Derby – again

Eventing gives retired thoroughbreds second chance

Baltimore’s best food


Friday

Pimlico R

Special post

Black-Eyed Susan Day MAY 14, 2010 • PIMLICO®

®

Benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure

®

2nd annual

$50,000 Pimlico Jockey Challenge

Eight of the nation’s top jockeys compete in Pimlico’s 2nd annual Jockey Challenge. The riders square off in four Challenge races, with points awarded based upon their finish. The winner receives the top prize of $14,000 and bragging rights as the Jockey Challenge Champion. Riders scheduled to participate are Javier Castellano, Kent Desormeaux, Ramon Dominguez, Garrett Gomez, Julien Leparoux, Anna Napravnik, Jeremy Rose, and John Velazquez. As a thank you to these athletes, Pimlico is making a $5,000 contribution to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Leg Rac

Witnes retired and br parimu female Patricia Seefeld Rowlan Wiley W Susan donatio

$50,000

Tickets t side Terr soda and


y, May 14 • The People's Pink Party

Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland

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gends for the Cure ce

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showcasing the $50,000 Pimlico Jockey Challenge participants

rse ou 10 e C 20 ac 14, oR y lic Ma Pim day, Fri

Pink Village hosted by Lite 101.9 FM and Mix 106.5 with “show us your pink” prizes Free* souvenir poster

TM

ss history in the making as eight d, female jockeys return to the saddle reak from the gate in the first-ever utuel race for former, professional, e riders. Participating legends include a J. Cooksey, Gwen Jocson, Andrea dt Knight, Barbara Jo Rubin, Jennifer nd Small, Mary Russ Tortora, Mary Wagner and Cheryl White. Support G. Komen for the Cure by making a on in your favorite rider’s name.

*to the first 3,500 Pimlico fans

Celebrity Jockey Autograph Session featuring the Challenge and

Legend riders

(11:00-11:30am, first-floor grandstand trackside)

Daily Racing Form Handicapping Seminar with Andrew Beyer, Jay Privman, and other racing

experts (11:30am-12:00pm)

Book Signing with Lynda Sasscer-Hill, author of the murder mystery, Full Mortality

to the exclusive Turfside Terrace are $100 each for Black-Eyed Susan Day, with $10 of each ticket sold donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.* Turfrace tickets offer an unparalleled view of the races from tip-up seats under a canopy, and include an all-American picnic buffet with open beer, wine, d bottled water. *for an all-sources minimum guaranteed donation of $100,000


Issue No. 5

May 3, 2010

Contents Main attractions 8

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COVER STORY Super Derby Win Calvin Borel makes it three out of four by riding Super Saver to victory in the 136th Kentucky Derby. By Ryan Patterson

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Derby Scene A pictorial of the sights at the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.

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2010 Barnstable Brown Gala The twins put on another unforgettable bash.

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The Gate Man When the horses are in the Preakness gates, Bruce Wagner will be the man pushing the start button. By Scott Serio

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Other Features 14 36

Graded Stakes Races

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Baltimore’s Best While Baltimore is known for its seafood, that’s just the beginning of the good eating in this town.

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Jumping at the Chance Some retired thoroughbreds find a second career in eventing. By Cynthia Grisolia

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Ted the Barber For a good haircut and the latest gossip, visit Pimlico’s very own barbershop.

Photographic Memories Browsing through old family snapshots of a childhood spent with champions. By Amanda Haskin

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on the cover: An emotional Calvin Borel raises his arm in celebration as he crosses the finish line first aboard Super Saver at the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. Photo: Scott serio Stride Magazine

A subsidiary of ESW Media P.O. Box 4 Colora, MD 21917 A bi-weekly publication

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STRIDE MAGAZINE

CONTACT INFORMATION E-mail: stridemagonline@gmail.com Phone: 443.693.3454

May 3, 2010

EDITORIAL STAFF Publisher: Henry Hill Design Director: Dave Zeiler Photo Editor: Scott Serio Copy editors: Paul Bendel-Simso, Michael Marlow


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Photo: eclipse sportswire

Coming up Roses Calvin Borel and Super Saver make their way to the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs following their Derby victory.

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UNSTOP With Calvin Borel aboard, Super Saver makes it look inevitable

By Ryan Patterson

S

uper Saver captured the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby, ending a streak of disappointments for trainer Todd Pletcher and giving jockey Calvin Borel his third victory in the Run for the Roses in four years. The bay son of sire Maria’s Mon completed the 1¼ miles in 2:04.45 over a sealed sloppy track. The favored Lookin at Lucky virtually lost all chance after being roughed up going into the first turn. Borel had his colt in the sixth position for most of the race before making a big move at the top of the stretch and securing the win by 2½ lengths over the Nick Zito-trained Ice Box. The trip for Ice Box was less than stellar. “The horse didn’t break that good and had to check a little at the break,” said jockey Jose Lezcano. “At the half-mile pole, he started running, but I didn’t want to go wide in a 20-horse field. I had to check at the quarter-pole, but he came again and made a big run.” The third-place finisher, Paddy O’Prado, encountered trouble, according to his threetime Kentucky Derby-winning jockey, Kent Desormeaux. “I got stopped cold at the quarterpole,” he said. “If I got through, I would have won. He stumbled real bad here at the sixteenthpole. He must have stepped in a hole. My horse, he ran his heart out. He just didn’t have the luck.” It was quite clear that Garrett Gomez’s Lookin At Lucky had more trouble than any of his foes.

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Calvin Borel worked Super Saver from sixth to first on yet another trademark brilliant ride at Churchill Downs.


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Photo: eclipse sportswire

PPABLE


“There are a bunch of variables: the one post, the mud, he’s never had this much stuff in his face, a mile and a quarter. There’s all kinds of stuff,” said Gomez. There were too many things going on today. I got bumped two or three times – that’s what I worried about going in. He wasn’t real willing to help me the first sixteenth of mile and take some of it. After the first one, he wasn’t willing to take too much.”

Masterful ride

While some of the runners in the Derby had trouble, Super Saver had none at all. Borel delivered another masterful ride over his Churchill Downs track. (It’s fair to say that Churchill Downs is his track, because Borel completely dominates the place. Never has a jockey been as good at a single track as Borel is at Churchill Downs.) “I had him where I wanted,” he said. “I got him off the pace and he relaxed good. I learned a lot the last time I rode him [in the Arkansas Derby]. The first time I rode him, I won on the lead, but in the last race, I took him back and learned a lot about him.” After Super Saver crossed the finish line, Borel raised three fingers to the sky, signifying his three triumphs on the first Saturday in May. The Cajun jockey won his first Run for the Roses in

The winning connections for WinStar Farm celebrate on the podium in the Winner’s Circle after Super Saver won the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby.

2007 with Street Sense. He then won on Mine That Bird in 2009, and now comes Super Saver. He is the only jockey in the history of the race to win three times in four years. He’s two wins behind Bill Hartack and Eddie Arcaro, who share the record for most wins at five. If Borel was overjoyed to win the race, trainer Todd Pletcher probably felt what the jockey was feeling, times a hundred. He could be seen pumping

his fist, a big smile on his face, after Super Saver got the job done. “It’s a joy!” gushed Pletcher. “People said we had one with our name written on it. I didn’t take anything for granted. It feels awfully good.” The Eclipse Award-winning trainer had zero winners from 24 starters in the Derby before Super Saver vindicated him. His best finish before this year came with Invisible Ink, who was second in 2001; and Bluegrass Cat, who was second at odds of 30-1 in 2006. His record before Super Saver’s win was a bit deceiving. Rarely, if ever, did any of his previous 24 starters have a “real” chance to win. They were mostly long shots. Super Saver’s win gave the late Maria’s Mon his second Kentucky Derby winner. (He also produced 2001 winner Monarchos, who owns the second-fastest winning time in the race at 1:59.97.) The gray/roan sire was euthanized in 2007 at age 14 after failing to recover from organ dysfunction. His other progeny include Grade 1 winners The field passes the stands for the first time in Derby 136, with Conveyance and Sidney’s Candy in the lead. Wait A While and Monba.

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Photo: eclipse sportswire

Calvin’s wife, Lisa, plants a celebratory kiss on the winning jockey while holding up three fingers to signify his third Derby victory in four tries.

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Upcoming Graded Stakes Races DATE

TRACK RACE

GRD.

DIST.

2010-05-08

BEL

Dwyer Stakes

II

8.5

2010-05-08

HOL

Mervyn Leroy Handicap

II

8.5 S

2010-05-08

LS

Lone Star Derby

III

8.5

2010-05-09

HOL

Railbird Stakes

III

7.0 S

2010-05-14

PIM

Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

II

9.0

2010-05-15

BEL

Shuvee Handicap

II

8.0

2010-05-15

HOL

Jim Murray Memorial Handicap

II

12.0 T

2010-05-15

PIM

Preakness Stakes

I

9.5

2010-05-15

PIM

Dixie Stakes

II

9.0 T

2010-05-15

PIM

William Donald Schaefer Stakes

III

8.5

2010-05-15

PIM

Maryland Sprint Handicap

III

6.0

2010-05-15

PIM

Hirsch Jacobs Stakes

III

6.0

2010-05-15

PIM

Gallorette Handicap

III

8.5 T

2010-05-16

HOL

Milady Handicap

II

8.5 S

2010-05-22

BEL

Sheepshead Bay Stakes

II

11.0 T

2010-05-22

CD

Louisville Handicap

III

12.0 T

2010-05-22

HOL

Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes

III

7.0 S

2010-05-29

AP

Hanshin Cup

III

8.0 S

2010-05-29

AP

Arlington Matron Handicap

III

9.0 S

2010-05-29

BEL

Vagrancy Handicap

II

7.0

2010-05-29

CD

Aristides Stakes

III

6.0

2010-05-29

CD

Dogwood Stakes

III

8.0

2010-05-29

GG

Golden Gate Fields Turf

III

11.0 T

2010-05-29

HOL

Gamely Stakes

I

9.0 T

2010-05-31

BEL

Metropolitan Handicap

I

8.0

2010-05-31

BEL

Sands Point Stakes

II

9.0 T

2010-05-31

CD

Winning Colors

III

6.0

2010-05-31

CRC

Memorial Day Handicap

III

8.5

2010-05-31

GG

Berkeley Stakes

III

8.5 S

2010-05-31

HOL

Shoemaker Mile

I

8.0 T

2010-05-31

HOL

Honeymoon Handicap

II

9.0 T

2010-05-31

LS

Lone Star Park Handicap

III

8.5

2010-05-31

LS

Ouija Board Distaff Handicap

III

8.0 T

2010-05-31

MTH

Eatontown Stakes

III

8.5 T

2010-06-00

BEL

First Flight Handicap

II

7.0

2010-06-00

BEL

Poker Stakes

III

8.0 T

2010-06-00

HOL

Round Table Handicap

III

14.0 T

2010-06-00

HOL

Ack Ack Handicap

III

7.5 S

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People said we had one with our name written on it. I didn’t take anything for granted.

– Todd Pletcher Triple Crown ambitions

As many could have predicted, Super Saver will make his next start in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. The status of runner-up Ice Box is unknown at the moment. Trainer Zito said he will ponder the Preakness, but he may opt to wait for the Belmont Stakes, five weeks after the Run for the Roses. The trainer won the Belmont Stakes in 2004 with Birdstone and again in 2008 with Da’ Tara. His other colt, Jackson Bend, is also under consideration for the Preakness. D. Wayne Lukas’ Dublin is likely headed to the Preakness as well. Decisions have yet to be made for Paddy O’Prado, Lookin At Lucky, Make Music For Me and Mission Impazible. Trainer John Sadler indicated that Grade 3 Derby Trial winner Hurricane Ike is headed to the Preakness. Awesome Act will be moved to the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen. It’s quite possible that Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby from a combination of a speed meltdown, wet track, and having the masterful Calvin Borel on his back. It’s also possible that he’s improving and right now is just that good. Whatever the cause, when asked about logging his third win in four years, Borel replied, “It never gets old.” Borel says he believes the colt will win the Triple Crown. (He made a similar promise last year, guaranteeing that Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird would take the Belmont. The gelding finished third behind Dunkirk and the winner, Summer Bird.) But whether or not those Triple Crown ambitions are realized, the trio of Super Saver, Calvin Borel and Todd Pletcher have already cemented their names in the history of thoroughbred racing and its most important race. h


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May 3, 2010

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shin

Traditions in

Kentuck


ne

ky

Photos by Eclipse Sportswire

A

mid threats the weather might deliver a constant deluge and flash flooding, at least one fan opted for the safety of a life vest over a top hat or seersucker suit. But the weather, while certainly wet, was bookended by sun all day on Oaks Day and a surprising cameo appearance by the sun at post time for Derby 136. In fact, by post time for each of the big races the big hats, the bold hats, the wide hats were all out. There were blooms, plumes, bows and bands. There were fascinators and fedoras. There was no doubt this was a party for the 250,000 fans who attended the two days of racing at Churchill Downs and the goal of dressing to the nines was achieved. And for those who were not in it for fine fashion, finding a Derby theme seemed to be the mission. The “rose hat” guy, a Colonel Sanders look-a-like, Triple Crown wannabe jockeys, the lego-horse guy, the Wise Guys of the 40s and just about any hat with a horse that would be called ridiculous on any other day were all scattered throughout the crowd. To assuage worries that maybe Derby 136 was more hype, more PR than party, all you need do is look to the three British visitors Stride ran into in the paddock. They were here for the Derby, but they have attended Aintree, Epsom and Ascot. Asked to sum up their Derby experience, they replied unanimously: “It’s Brilliant!”


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Follow the Triple Crown

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Actress Marisa Miller (facing page) and Marlon, Jackie and Tito Jackson (right) on the red carpet and Barnstable Brown.

Bright

lights, Brown gala

By Scott Serio

T

he 2010 Barnstable Brown Gala was a stargazer’s dream, whether you were an invited guest or just an enthusiastic spectator. Cheers would erupt every ten minutes or so as an announcer would inform the crowd, “The Jacksons – Tito, Marlon and Jackie – have arrived,” and the noise would go flat off the charts when any University of Kentucky sports personality was introduced.

Photos by Eclipse Sportswire


Potential NBA No. 1 draft choice and recent UK grad John Wall made his appearance on the red carpet, only to venture over to the raucous skirmish line of fans for a round of high-fives and autographs. For many who came prepared with UK paraphernalia, stars like Diane Lane, Rebecca Romjin and the Jacksons were an afterthought. They came for UK’s Wall, Patrick Patterson and coach John Calipari. But make no mistake: the star power was there. Ashley Simpson and Pete Wentz attended, as did Lost’s Terry O’Quinn, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and country music star Travis Tritt. Inside, the Barnstable Brown Gala served up an amazing spread of food, sneak-peek tastes of the $1,000 mint juleps that would be sold on Derby Day, and great live music. Jennifer Holiday, the original Dreamgirl, performed. She started off with a rendition of Etta James’ “At Last” before reprising songs from Dreamgirls. Next up was special guest John Michael Montgomery, with an impromptu performance that included “Letters From Home” and “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident).” Then there were the Jacksons. If you ask event organizers, they’ll tell you this year was bigger and better than ever. But the true proof is found among the guests, especially the loyal ones who keep coming back. And they all seemed to agree that the cast of stars, the music and the food made for their best Barnstable Brown Gala yet. And for Priscilla Barnstable and Tricia Barnstable Brown, the event’s hostesses, the 22nd edition of their gala to promote funding for diabetes research and care will always be considered a glowing success. Over the years, the star-studded gala has raised millions in funding for the Barnstable Brown Diabetes & Obesity Center at the University of Kentucky. The hostesses are already formulating their plans for next year’s edition.

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John Michael Montgomery performs during the Gala.

Sneak preview tastings of the $1000 W her Olympic medal on the red carpet

The hostesses P


Woodford Reserve Mint Julep at the Gala (above) and Allison Baver shows off at Barnstble Brown (right).

Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable (left) at the Louisville mansion that has hosted the Gala for 22 years (above).


The dessert display inside of the Gala (left) and Rebecca Romjin and Jerry O’Connell on the red carpet (above).

Original Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday performs at the Barnstable Brown Gala (left) and University of Kentucky Basketball Coach John Calipari is surrounded by television reporters on the red carpet at the Gala (above).

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Top 10 Things I Learned at My First Kentucky Derby By Mrs. Stride

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 28

Meet thy neighbors. You really have no idea who the guy in the rain poncho is. Hats suggested, fashion statement required. Mint juleps and lilies: You have to try them. Infield mud is more than dirt and water. You really don’t want to imagine every element of Derby mud. Smile! There might be a photographer 200 yards away with a 600 mm lens stalking a hat photo, like my husband ... All traffic transgressions are forgiven in Louisville if you use your signals and practice your Excuse me’s. Bet the favorite and the long shot. Your chances are all the same, especially when Calvin is involved. Bluegrass or blue skies – you might not get both. There is no such thing as “the slow lane” in Louisville. Everyone picks a speed, usually something on the sedate side. Oaks Day and Derby Day have very distinct personalities. There is definitely a little more Mardi Gras on Derby Day, and a little more afternoon tea on Oaks.

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Where is she?

You’d never know it by looking at this crowd, but Blind Luck -- who at this point in the race was well back -- edged out Evening Jewel by a nose to win the 136th Kentucky Oaks. 30 STRIDE MAGAZINE May 3, 2010


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Manning the When the horses line up for the Preakness, Bruce Wagner will have his finger on the button

Photos and story by Scott Serio

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T

he most likely place for something to go wrong in a thoroughbred horse race is at the starting gate. And no one knows this better than Bruce Wagner, the man in control of the button that will open the gates for the running of the Preakness. Wagner has been involved with racing

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since he was 15 years old. He has hotwalked horses, professionally ridden as a jockey, has been a steeplechase rider and worked as a trainer. But the man who met his wife while working as a gateman at Pimlico has spent the last 22 years of his life making sure horses go into the gate safely and exit safely.


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You just want a fair start; you keep your eyes on the difficult horses, and make sure everyone comes away together.

– Bruce Wagner

Says Wagner, “You just want a fair start; you keep your eyes on the difficult horses, and make sure everyone comes away together.” This year will mark Wagner’s ninth time ensuring a fair start at the Preakness. The path from working as a hotwalker and groom for Dick Dutrow Sr. to his current job has been an eventful one. “I rode on the PA circuit at Penn National for maybe three years,” he recalled. “I am not sure how many winners I had – 250, maybe 300. Then I rode steeplechase for two years, but I got tired of getting hurt.” Wagner then turned to training, but that didn’t quite suit his tastes, either.

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“Chasing money from owners wasn’t my thing,” he says. When a job opened up for an assistant starter at Delaware Park, he jumped at the opportunity. Since then, he has come into contact with a lot of horses, many of them great – and some of them stubborn. “There was this one horse, Itron, he tried to turn over and pull on the bridle, but we got him up and off.” Itron was never a factor in the 1995 edition won by Timber Country, but he got away in good enough order to sit fifth in the field into the clubhouse turn. Wagner attributes much of the success of his gate crew, and the crews of

May 3, 2010


Bruce Wagner says his main objective as the gateman at Pimlico is to ensure a fair start for every race.

all the racetracks that are at the level of the Triple Crown, to two factors: close cooperation and accurate information sharing. “We keep really good track of every horse that runs in Maryland. We keep marks on certain horses that need certain things,” says Wagner. “And now we are now involved by computer with all the other states.” This information helps Wagner make important decision come race time. “Before the race,” he says, “I will check the numbers, assign each assistant starter to a horse. Some

guys get along with certain horses; I try to pair up assistant starters with the horses they match up with best.” There is an added level of help for the Triple Crown. According to Wagner, Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont share gate staff. “They will work the Triple Crown. Maybe they have experience with a local horse that has certain needs.” Wagner also thinks it helps with the development of the assistant starters with whom he works. “They get to experience different crews, and they

might be able to pick something up along the way that will help us.” Wagner is happy to be where he is and to be involved with horse racing. He takes his job seriously, always keeping the fair start as the ultimate goal. But when it comes time to take credit, he demurs. “Anyone can do my job. The guys in the gate, they have the tough job. They get banged around a lot. “It is a tough job,” he repeats, “and my crew is the best gate crew around. I wouldn’t work with anyone else.” h

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Meet Ted

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the Barber

To doctors and lawyers, jockeys and trainers – well, to everyone who has wandered into his barber shop, he is Ted the Barber. Since 1980 the man with the scissors, whose real name is Charles Ambrose, has been operating the tiny barber shop tucked in a corner of the grandstand at Pimlico Race Course.  The two-chair establishment is as much about friends sharing gossip as it is cutting hair. With a Fearless Fosdick sign in the window, a Seabiscuit poster right next to it and a classic barber pole outside, the shop dates back to long before Ambrose purchased it. The pensioned railroad worker was working in the jockey’s room when the opportunity arose. Thirty years later, Ted the Barber is still there, serving up donuts, coffee and a good cut to race fans and horse racing Hall of Famers alike. If you find yourself in need of a trim when you arrive at “Old Hilltop” look up Ted the Barber.  The cut will be solid and the conversation might even lead you to an inside tip on who might win the Preakness.

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More than Baltimore cuisine starts with seafood, but it doesn’t end there – in fact, it doesn’t end Story and photos by Scott Serio

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You can find plenty of good food in and near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Blue crabs ready for cooking at Bo Brooks Restaurant STRIDE MAGAZINE May 3, 2010(inset).


W

ith the Run for the Roses done, an exuberant Cajun Calvin Borel is headed to Baltimore – a Kentucky Derby winner for the third time in four years, piloting the only horse with a chance to win the Triple Crown. When Borel and the rest of the racing world arrive in a little less than two weeks for the 135th running of the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course, they’ll be looking to party it up and enjoy the Triple Crown ride. The Derby might have charm and history, but as a host for the second jewel of the Triple Crown, Baltimore more than holds its own, with a practically unending variety of excellent restaurants that can satisfy the taste of any visitor. Many lie close to the Inner Harbor, the beating heart of “Charm City.” And the culinary delights will in many cases be centered around that local delicacy, the Chesapeake Bay blue crab.

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A taste of the bay

They’re called “blue crabs,” of course, but after local stalwarts like Bo Brooks Restaurant are done with them, they certainly are not blue. And the first question you might ask yourself after eating a crab cake or crab fluff is, “How did this taste come out of that?” But set aside all fears. Despite the possible peril of proclaiming, “I got crabs when I went to Baltimore,” be assured that the informed listener will respond with “steamed or crab cake?” (And yes, Bo Brooks has them steamed as well.) Located right on the water off Boston Street in the city’s Canton neighborhood, the restaurant can be picked out at a distance by the red-and-white lighthouse. Its view of the harbor is wonderful. While the steamed crabs and crab cakes are great, the signature dish for years has been the crab fluff. Deep-fried until golden brown, the fluff has a bit of a spicy bite to it – and one is an under-

Bo Brooks’ amazing crab fluff will have you wondering how something so tasty came out of a creature so ugly.

taking unto itself. But Bo Brooks is just one of a string of restaurants that begins at the southern end of the Inner Harbor at the Rusty Scupper along the harbor’s promenade – where you find M&S Grill and La Tasca – and continues to the epicenters of Baltimore cuisine: Fells Point and Little Italy.

Not far from the local seafood mecca of Bo Brooks is another site with a more Mediterranean flair. Kali’s Court is found on Thames Street in Fells Point, just a bit down from Duda’s Tavern (more on that subject in a bit). Kali’s Court has an upscale menu that matches its upscale clientele and its décor. If

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you visit, be sure to try their grilled bronzini – the house specialty. Just a few doors down the block from Kali’s Court on the corner is Duda’s. It has long been known for it humongous portions, but it was also voted the “Best Crab Cake” by readers of Baltimore’s weekly City Paper. The beer list is astonishing, a dizzying array of off-thewall brews – including the Congolese Simba (it’s the one with the lion’s head as a logo).

Little Italy, big taste

Just a few blocks away from Fells Point, working your way back towards the Inner Harbor, is Little Italy, which boasts a selection of restaurants that will satisfy any Italian cravings. Aldo’s, Da Mimmo and Sotto Sopra are excellent choices, but the top of the list is Germano’s. Whether you get the osso buco, veal Masala or tortellini opera, an excellent meal at the family-owned and -operated restaurant on High Street is

Crabs aren’t the only seafood to be had in Baltimore.

the norm. Sabatino’s is another venerable old player in Little Italy. They serve wonderful food, but if you’re in a hurry and want some Italian to go – maybe for a

picnic on the promenade at the Inner Harbor – go for the Bookmaker’s Salad, a super-sized salad topped with shrimp, Genoa salami, provolone cheese, a hard-boiled egg and Sabatino’s award-

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Fareedah Griffin, of Pimlico’s Finish Line Bar, holds up a bloody Mary, made as only she knows how.

winning house dressing. Just to round out the appetizer, you get a half-loaf of Italian bread. No matter the choice for dinner, there is only one choice for dessert in Little Italy, Canton or Fells Point: Vaccaro’s. They have an assortment of Italian pastries and gelato, but for the majority of patrons, the draw is the cannoli. Since 1956, the family-owned bakery has been dishing out tastes of Sicily. And after your cannoli, be sure to grab some almond cookies or biscotti to go.

A taste for adventure

If you’re feeling a bit more venturesome, two dining spots just up Charles Street from the Inner Harbor in Mount Vernon are worth your attention: Thairish, at 804 N. Charles St.; and The Helmand, at 806 N. Charles. You can’t find more authentic Afghan cuisine than that served at The Helmand. Owned by Qayum Karzai, brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the elegant restau-

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rant serves purely perfect entrees like Banjan Laghatag, Kaddo Borawni and Koufta Challow. Wondering what they are? Visit, find out, and be delighted. Next door to the refined airs of The Helmand is Kerrigan Kitikul’s Thairish, a gem of a neighborhood café that specializes in Thai food. You can easily miss the tiny place whose food was once voted “Best Place to Eat Six Days a Week” by the City Paper. For the uninitiated, and those who can’t take the full heat of spicy Thai cuisine, the Pad Thai is a terrific choice – whether you go with the chicken, shrimp or tofu. Moving a little way up the heat chart is Stride’s favorite Thairish offering. Yes, there is a little heat, but not too much (let’s call it “sweet heat”). Nevertheless, ordering the curry-based Masaman could be a mistake anyway: It will thoroughly satisfy you, but when you return to Louisville, Miami, Chicago, Minneapolis or from wherever you traveled, you will only be left thinking,

May 3, 2010

Man! I wish I could make Masaman like Kerrigan! Don’t try. The effort would be doomed to failure. There really are many more dining options in Charm City than can be written about in one article. Like New York, Baltimore is a melting-pot city that boasts practically all nationalities. And the personalities of these people shine through in their food – and in their drinks. Which brings us to the last jewel in this Triple Crown tour of Baltimore cuisine. It can be found at Pimlico, the home track of the Preakness. Not often remarkable for anything culinary, racetracks would usually be the last place to look for a “best of,” but Pimlico is exactly where you should go for the best bloody Mary. Venture to the Finish Line Bar and see Fareedah Griffin. Her simple recipe has just the right combination of sweet, hot and pure kick. Stride Magazine welcomes you to Baltimore. h


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Photo: eclipse sportswire/Sarah k. andrew

At the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, retired racehorses get another chance to shine

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Becky Holder rode Courageous Comet to a third-place finish in this year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.


Jumping

into a second career

U

nder threatening April skies, fans clutch their umbrellas as they prepare for Day 2 of the Rolex Kentucky ThreeDay Event. A half-hour before the first horse-and-rider team breaks from the deck to begin the day’s event – a grueling four-mile cross-country marathon – anorak-clad spectators have already staked out spots along the challenging obstacles of the course. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the sun breaks through the clouds. It’s typical of how things can go here. The Rolex, which is held each April at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, is an exceptional – and often unpredictable – event filled with thrills and sometimes some terrifying spills. Winning the Rolex, the only four-star Three Day Event held in the Americas, brings enormous prestige. And this Rolex might hold an additional windfall: A good showing here will weigh heavily when it comes time to select the eventing team that will represent the United States at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held at the venue from Sept. 25 to Oct. 10. And while the 2010 Games will bring international attention to the horse park and to the state, the U.S. eventing team could shine some unanticipated light on another Kentucky staple: the racing industry. On Day 1 of Rolex – dressage day – 53 horse-and-rider teams competed. More than 30 of those horses were

Photo: eclipse sportswire/Sarah k. andrew

By Cynthia Grisolia

Amy Tryon takes Leyland over an obstacle in the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

thoroughbreds, many of them bred in the Bluegrass State, and at least eight had started their careers on the racetrack.

Second careers

Two-time Olympian Amy Tryon

came to Rolex armed with two off-thetrack thoroughbreds (OTTBs): Leyland and Coal Creek. Tara Ziegler brought Buckingham Place. A grandson of the great Buckpasser, he made 40 starts and earned over $23,000. Phillip Dutton’s The Foreman raced under his

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Photo: Candice Chavez

Photo: eclipse sportswire/Sarah k. andrew

registered name, Four Across, and landed in the winner’s circle once in 21 starts. El Primero, now nicknamed Tony, was bred in Idaho, where rider Sara Mittleider reportedly picked him up for $300. Wonderful Will raced 11 times and even had a brief career as a lead pony before finding his true calling as an eventer. There is also former Australian racer Neville Bardos, whose sale for $850 saved him from slaughter. The most celebrated OTTB, however, might be Courageous Comet. Landing in second place at Rolex in 2008, the former stakes-placed racehorse carried his co-owner and rider Becky Holder all the way to the Summer Olympics that year. “When I first saw Comet, I wanted him instantly,” says Holder, who has had the horse since he was 5. “He has a very special way of moving over the ground and is a natural athlete.” Now 14, Comet is listed among the best Three Day Event horses in the world. He wasn’t a bad racehorse, either. Bred in New York, the son of Comet Shine was a four-time winner out of 36 starts and placed third in the 1999 New York Stallion Times Square Stakes. Comet’s career earnings totaled $71,780. “I’ve had several OTTBs that have been successful in the event world,” says

Tara Ziegler brought Buckingham Place to the Rolex event.

Holder, “and I am a big fan of their heart and inherent competitiveness.” Comet, meanwhile, isn’t the first exracehorse to ascend to the Olympic level in eventing. Tryon campaigned the bold jumping Poggio II (who raced as Chesterstimetoofly) to a bronze metal in Athens in 2004, and they returned to the Olympic stage in 2008, after which Poggio retired. Tryon is now competing at the advanced levels on several

Boyd Martin rode Neville Bardos, who was saved from slaughter, in this year’s Rolex.

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other OTTBs, including Leyland and Coal Creek, 10-year-old geldings mined from Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA, near Tryon’s home base. The track is “a great outlet – and it’s definitely in my price range,” laughs Tryon. “I would never have been able to afford horses that weren’t off the track.” Tryon is so committed to OTTBs, she is considered a regular on the backstretch, and has developed enough of a relationship with trainers that they now often call her about prospects, not only for herself, but for her clients as well. “Some end up being children’s hunters, some ending being equitation horses, and some, if they continue to improve as event horses, hopefully like doing the four-star level,” she says. “Thoroughbreds tend to be very genuine and tend to have really good work ethics.” The small but mighty El Primero has similar small-track roots. He began his racing career at Les Bois Park in Boise, ID. “He had six starts and never outran a single horse,” says his rider, Mittleider. While the 15.2h son of Dr. Dan Eyes never made it to the winner’s circle, Mittleider says Tony can boast a number of other accomplishments, such as being the first Idaho-bred to compete at the highest level in eventing. Indeed,


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Photo: Katherin Eaton/Eclipse Sportswire

for three consecutive to the track, pull a horse years, Tony finished in out of a stall, and know the top 20 at Rolex. if it’s going to fit them,” For the 24-year-old she says. “What we have Mittleider, an OTTB was a to offer is a horse that’s natural option, since both been evaluated, has been of her parents were thoroff the track for a few oughbred trainers. But months, and a rider can the horses, she says, are see exactly what their disathletes with the qualities positions are going to be necessary for the rigors of like.” Also, she adds, “It’s eventing. “The off-track very hard for racetracks horses already have a lot to do more than they are of life experiences,” she doing. They’ve got to run says, “they have been fit a business. They can’t reand they already have ally have herds of people the ‘go’ button installed, coming in. So hopefully which is important in an they’ll support groups event horse.” like ours, and let us marAnna Ford, program ket them and show [the director at New Vocahorses] for what they tions, a racehorse adopare.” tion agency started by It’s an open question her parents with faciliwhether an OTTB will ties in Ohio, Michigan, be invited to the coming Tennessee and Kentucky, World Equestrian Games. has made a career of findIt will take the rest of the ing new homes for exsummer for the official racehorses, and attests selection team to choose Becky Holder rides Courageous Comet during the dressage phase of to the natural abilities of who will represent the the CIC 3* Maui Jim Horse Trials at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, last July. thoroughbreds. “They United States in Lexingare very trainable, espeton. But such publicity up lines of communication between cially if you can keep them comfortable could have a significant effect on the tracks and sport horse people could help in their environment,” she says. “Most reputation of the racehorse. many more OTTBs find new homes and of the problems that [less experienced] “It definitely would be great exposecond careers. “I don’t think that racepeople have when they are first comsure,” says Ford. “It’s important to see track people are very aware of the othing off the track is that they throw too that these horses, even if they have er horse sports where thoroughbreds many new things at them at once, and raced, can go on and do more, even excel,” says Mittleider, “and it’s likely they can’t handle that.” the Olympics and World Games – and they don’t know how to make contact Ford has seen many sport horse that’s just huge.” with those sports.” people, but especially eventers, looking On the final day of Rolex, the staTryon adds: “If you make yourself for potential rides among her retrained dium jumping concludes on a wildly known at your local track, make it geldings and mares, most of which had windy afternoon. When the last fence is known that you are looking for a sound minor injuries that ended their racing cleared, Holder and Courageous Comet young horse that maybe doesn’t run careers. “We definitely have a lot of find themselves in third place. Dutton well, hopefully people will start calling eventers come through,” she says, “and and The Foreman finish fifth, giving you. It’s not as intimidating as it may it’s my favorite crowd, because to do them both a good shot at an invite to seem.” eventing, you have to know your stuff, the WEG. Of the top 10 finishing horsBut Ford notes that many competiand thoroughbreds fit in so well there.” es, eight of them are thoroughbreds and tive riders don’t have the experience or three are off the track. expertise of a Rolex-level equestrian. Making connections Mittleider, who once again finished While eventers, professional or oth- They aren’t comfortable going directly in the top 20, maybe sums it up best: erwise, are doing their part to provide a to the track – often for good reason. “I just love thoroughbreds,” she says. “Amy Tryon and Becky Holder, they solution when it comes to off-the-track “They are hardworking and generous. I unemployment, most feel that opening know enough that they can go down think that I will always have them.” h

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in t h e gam e

‘All the pretty horses’

Family photo album preserves precious childhood moments By Amanda Haskin “When you wake you shall have all the pretty horses. Blacks and bays, dapple grays…” That lullaby pretty much sums up my childhood. Indeed, I grew up with quite a number of pretty horses. It started at 10 months old, with a very pretty bay named Northern Dancer. From that day on, my picture was taken with a lengthy list of champion Thoroughbreds. A chestnut stallion called Secretariat soon followed. A sunny afternoon was spent playing in a field with a sweet dapple gray by the name of Lady’s Secret. I rode in a car up the rolling Pennsylvania hills as Lonesome Glory galloped alongside. I picked flowers as Da Hoss grazed just inches from me, only a week after his second Breeders Cup Mile win. Genuine Risk showed off her first foal to me. And I saw the regal Dahlia twice – first as a baby in my mother’s arms, and then years later, standing on my own two feet, now tall enough to reach her nose. I introduced my dolls to Precisionist, gave a bouquet of dandelions to Alydar, and Holy Bull nibbled on my hair. And I have it on good authority that my first kiss just may have Amanda Haskin is all grown up now. been from Cigar. He was quite the charmer. Then there was Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Forego, John Henry, Damascus, Mr. Prospector, His Majesty, Danzig, and Spectacular Bid, who by that time was white as snow. The list goes on and on. Mighty photo albums lined our shelves at home, as they still do today. The pages are not as white as they used to be, and some are now frayed along the edges, but the albums are still there, forming a wall of memories that any horse lover would dream about. On my last trip home, I looked at some of these albums. The covers creaked open, revealing a rich tapestry of scenes – this horse, that farm, big smiles, outdated outfits. But instead of joy or nostalgia, a strange emotion crept into

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my mind. Regret. I suddenly realized that I didn’t have one true memory of these scenes, that my only “memories” of these remarkable experiences were through photos and stories. Even once I was old enough to capture these moments, I lacked the appreciation to really make them stick in my head. Despite what my father enthusiastically tried to tell me, I couldn’t fully understand who these horses were, or what they had accomplished. That feeling of regret was quickly followed by an overwhelming sense of guilt. How many people would kill for experiences like this? Yet, to my naïve younger self in these photos, it was just another horse. It pains me to write that. Admittedly, I took it all for granted, not knowing at the time how lucky I really was. While my dad was having me pose for pictures (no doubt encountering some resistance and overly dramatic rolling of the eyes in later years), I didn’t realize he was actually giving me a very special gift. I have to believe that he knew I couldn’t appreciate all this then, and that’s why he froze these moments in time. He wanted me to look back at them all these years later and think, I did this – how lucky was I? Sitting here now, looking at a photo of me as a baby with chubby cheeks meeting Northern Dancer, I’m thinking that very thought. I suppose childhood memories can only be fully embraced in retrospection. Only then do we grieve over their transience and celebrate their sublime purity. That’s why we take photos. So those moments will one day be suspended in time and bound by gilded picture frames. Untouchable. A brief glimpse into who we were and the experiences that made us who we are today. I am the person I am today because of years of green pastures, white fences, shaded stables, the soft purring of barn cats, the crinkling of peppermint wrappers, and of course the blacks and bays and dapple grays. Thanks to my dad and a library full of photo albums, I will always have cloudless memories of all those pretty horses. *** As an addendum to this column, I have been asked if I plan to stay involved in horse racing, and in what capacity. To answer that question, I must once again return to

Little Amanda kisses Dahlia (top left); pets Lady’s Secret (top right); offers Alydar a treat (center); says hello to Cigar (bottom left); and gets up close to Dahlia at a younger age (bottom right).

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my past. For as long as I can remember, I have tried to find a way to keep racing in my life. As a teenager I wanted to be a trainer, until I realized how early in the morning I’d have to wake up. Then I wanted to be a bloodstock agent because it sounded cool. But I soon came to the realization that I understood more about quantum physics than I did about equine conformation. I eventually decided to become a veterinarian, majoring in pre-vet in college and spending my summers working at the New Jersey Equine Clinic under Scott Palmer and Patty Hogan. But after three school years of organic chemistry and systems physiology, and two summers spent covered in blood and holding castrated testicles, I knew that wasn’t for me, either. I rebelled against all things science-related by changing my major to English and Art History, and decided that I would make lots of money and become a horse owner. When it became clear that an English

As a teenager I wanted to be a trainer, until I realized how early in the morning I’d have to wake up.

ous journalist, traveling to the Middle East to report back on my cultural and glamorous experiences in a faroff land. In my head, I was Kipling. I wrote that article with all the enthusiasm and flowery metaphors I had in me, and actually received a lot of great feedback. People were saying that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and making jokes about my dad being a good “sire” – that he was the next Storm Cat. I was honored and touched by all the compliments. But most importantly I knew I made my dad proud. So the answer to that question is, of course, yes. But it took a while for me to realize I was destined to follow in my father’s footsteps and actually write about horse racing. I guess life doesn’t always show you the easy path. It’s all those dead ends and roundabouts that allow you to recognize the right path when it appears before you. I know now that horse racing will remain in my life as long as I keep writing about it. h

major was not going to make me rich, I resigned myself to just being a horse racing fan, and maybe a suave gambler like some female Damon Runyon character. But just when I was about to start smoking cigars and learning the art of slapping a rolled up program into my hand, my father told me he was going to the Dubai World Cup and he found a writing assignment for me. Pat Cummings wanted me to write a piece for his website, DubaiRaceNight.com, chronicling my first trip to Dubai. I was ecstatic. Suddenly I was a seri-

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A taste of what you’ll find:

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march 3, 2010 issue no. 1

➧ Fascinating and inspiring characters of the racing world, including owners, jockeys and trainers ➧ Historic racetracks and their hometown communities ➧ Travel tips on where to stay and where to eat when visiting the top tracks around the country

No One Said It Would Be Easy Uptowncharlybrown on the Kentucky Derby Trail

Horses, Hurricanes & Gumbo

Rachel vs. Zenyatta

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Last look…

The view of the winner’s circle if you happen to have a trackside seat. Winning trainer Todd Pletcher is in there somewhere. We think.

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