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Robert Treadway: As Breeders’ Cup nears, can’t help but think of ‘Gip,’ its first president


As this year’s Breeders’ Cup weekend approaches (Nov. 1-2), I think back to my last memory of the Breeder’s Cup’s first president, the late C. Gibson Downing.   We were at flamboyant horseman Tom Gentry’s last sales party, in 1991. …

Robert Treadway: What if they had a Derby and only 3 horses showed up? It happened!


For the 139th Kentucky Derby, 20 horses will vie for the blanket of roses at Churchill Downs, a number that surprises no one. In modern times, Derbies have gone off with 15-20 entries, with rare dips below that. But what …

Robert Treadway: Along with producing lifelong racing fan, Secretariat changed a life


Forty years ago, Secretariat won the 1973 Kentucky Derby, setting a record that stands to this day. This past year, we saw the Maryland Racing Commission revise its time for the 1973 Preakness, which had been in dispute all of …

Robert Treadway: A hundred years ago, two longshots came in – a horse and a horse race


  Last year, when I’ll Have Another paid $32.60 to win the Kentucky Derby, I was ecstatic that a longshot had won it, proving my adage that in racing, or in life, a longshot will occasionally come in. One hundred …

Robert Treadway: Bob and John’s excellent
adventure, or memories from 1994 Derby


The 1994 Kentucky Derby was one of the most dramatic Derbies ever, featuring an upset victory by Go for Gin over the heavy favorite Holy Bull, who would go on to become 3-year-old champion for that year. But on the …

Robert Treadway: In the 1948 Derby, Eddie Arcaro really did have right Calumet mount


The night before the 1948 Kentucky Derby, Eddie Arcaro, set to ride Citation, worried that he’d been picked to ride the wrong half of Calumet Farm’s entry, and that stablemate Coaltown would carry off the victory.   “Eddie, you can …

Robert Treadway: A dead heat? Truly? There was another – those doubts existed then too


Last Saturday, a race that was criticized before it was run for the dullness of its entries turned out to be the most exciting of the racing year – so far. Longshot Golden Ticket and 2-1 favorite Alpha ran a …

Robert Treadway: Meet Col. Phil T. Chinn
and the Case of the Movable Quarter Pole


“In truth,” my old friend and longtime Blood-Horse Editor and Publisher Kent Hollingsworth quoted legendary horseman Col. Phil T. Chinn as having said shortly before his death in 1962, “I did not always reveal my full knowledge of the animal …

Robert Treadway: The Ky Derby’s lowest point — only three entries in the 1892 race


Last May, 20 runners vied for the blanket of roses at Churchill Downs, a number that surprised no one. In modern times, Derbies have gone off with 15-20 entries, with rare dips below that. But what if you had a …

Robert Treadway: How a horse by that name put Lexington at center of Thoroughbred map


It is difficult to imagine a time when Lexington, the town, was not the center of Thoroughbred breeding in the United States. That wasn’t the case, though, until Lexington, the horse, put it on the Thoroughbred map.   As we …

Robert Treadway: Civil War changed racing forever – starting with re-capture of Asteroid


“They’re taking Asteroid!” someone shouted to Robert A. Alexander, owner of Woodburn Stud, and of its top Thoroughbred – many said the top Thoroughbred in America – Asteroid. Confederate raiders had invaded Alexander’s farm, just across the Woodford County line …

Robert Treadway: Making history by changing history affirms greatness of runner-up Sham


  The Maryland Racing Commission made history by changing history Tuesday when it unanimously voted to change Secretariat’s official winning time for the 1973 Preakness from 1:54 2/5 to 1:53 flat, setting a record for the race that still stands. …

Robert Treadway: Back to the drawing board (and wait) as Triple Crown drought continues


This weekend, I built a fire in a fire ring, near the back porch, with its Tibetan prayer flags waving in the breeze, and as the smoke drifted over the Bourbon County pastures and trees, in the general direction of …

Robert Treadway: Affirmed vs. Alydar, great duel Triple Crown – Alydar 2nd three times


The great duel between Affirmed and Alydar in 1978 produced the last Triple Crown winner, as Alydar came in second to Affirmed in all three races, the only time in its history that the same two horses won and placed …

Robert Treadway: Derby, Preakness behind
us – at last – hope for Triple Crown winner


As the Preakness Stakes has joined this year’s Kentucky Derby in racing history, it gave us something historic, something we’ve had only eleven times since I graduated from high school: three weeks of hope. I’ll Have Another is within one …