Barn Buddies

Pepper provides a calming influence over his two charges at Keeneland this week
Barn Buddies: Pepper Serves As Sports Psychologist To The Greats

Passersby at Barn 22 on Keeneland’s backstretch this week were in for an unusual sight during morning training. Stakes contenders Postulation and Leafy Shade could be spotted grazing under the racetrack’s shady trees, where they were joined by a fluffy roan miniature pony named Pepper. Pepper attracts attention wherever he goes, and owner Brianne Slater said he […]

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Sancho and Runhappy confer before mealtime (Photo via Runhappy on Facebook)
Barn Buddies: Runhappy’s Support Team

Reigning sprint champion Runhappy has accumulated over 28,000 followers on Facebook, where the horse’s fans congregate for photos of the colt eating, dustbathing, and sleeping. The ownership/training team behind the big horse has a remote camera trained on his stall 24/7, and uploads screenshots from the nighttime camera for fans to see Runhappy snooze. Followers […]

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Native Dancer with Joe Hall and Hall's dogs
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: The Entourage That Soothed Native Dancer

Native Dancer, for all his racetrack achievements, wasn’t known for being the kind of horse you’d call cuddly. The winner of 21 out of 22 races, Native Dancer was a two-time Horse of the Year, made the cover of Time magazine, and was one of the top three television personalities of 1954. He was also […]

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An unidentified rider poses with Auggie in the Hennig shedrow Photo: Lisa Walker
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: John Hennig’s Right-Hand Duck

When Auggie the duck started out his life, he was (probably) expecting to be a career Easter present. The Hennig family suspects the duck they came to know as Auggie was purchased as a duckling for someone in Cincinnati who got disillusioned with him when he grew big and noisy and lost his baby fuzz. […]

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Anyone who wanted to see Weemissfrankie had to go through Pickles, her personal security detail
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: A Cross-Species Love Story

Multiple graded stakes winner Weemissfrankie may have left the track some five years ago, but she is one half of a love story that is still a thing of legend among California barn buddies. In her short time in the barn of trainer Peter Eurton, the daughter of Sunriver caught the attention of resident barn […]

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Igor the zebu stands next to his feed pan (which, for reference, is about eight inches tall)
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Igor The Rescue Zebu (No, That’s Not A Typo)

When our advertising director told me her father, Milar Farm owner Larry Mayo, had rescued a miniature zebu, I assumed I heard her wrong. Perhaps it’s a small goat or pig whose name is Zebu? What could a ‘zebu’ possibly be, anyway — a cross between a zebra and an emu? Mayo had no such […]

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Lucy gets a pat from Berghammer
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Magnuson’s New Venture Gets Some Help From A Pig

After 23 years as assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, assistant Art Magnuson decided it was time for a move to a more slow-paced environment. He purchased a 65-acre farm in Schenectady County, N.Y., about an hour’s drive from Saratoga Springs, and began his own lay-up and training operation. The neatly-kept farm nearby Featherstonhaugh State Forest […]

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George poses proudly with Kingman's two Cartier Awards
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Frankel’s Four-Legged Security Guard

Frankel deservedly received a staggering number of accolades and reverent superlatives during his racing career, and his first foals are already gaining attention for quick success in their juvenile racing season. Marketed by Juddmonte as “officially the world’s best Thoroughbred” (referring to his record 147 Timeform rating), the bay son of Galileo is no doubt […]

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Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Barn Cat-In-Training

If there’s one thing Juanito, aspiring barn cat at Jimmy Jerkens’ Saratoga shedrow, takes seriously, it’s his capacity as supervisor of morning chores. And napping. And climbing that muck pit. And helping roll bandages. And — well, everything is pretty serious work when you’re a kitten. Juanito, named after Jerkens allowance runner Unbridled Juan (because […]

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George takes an opportunity to drive the Morley golf cart
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: George, The Rat-Chasing ‘Squirrel’ Of A Dog

Considering his recent streak of success highlighted by a win in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss, it’s no surprise that trainer Tom Morley thought I’d stopped by his barn on the Oklahoma Training Track to speak with him. His second guess was that I was looking for his wife, NYRA paddock analyst Maggie Wolfendale, who […]

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