William Nack

View From The Eighth Pole – Horse Racing At The Crossroads: Reform Or Die

The headline reads “The Breaking Point,” followed by the statement: “A rising toll of racetrack breakdowns has shaken public confidence and put the Thoroughbred industry at a crossroads.” The article speaks of the apparent fragility of the modern Thoroughbred and the increasing reliance on corticosteroids and other therapeutic medications in the American racehorse and whether […]

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Remembering Bill Nack…And ‘The Quarter Horse Guys’ Who Have Dominated The Triple Crown

It was only fitting that in the aftermath of Bob Baffert’s Preakness victory with Justify, it was left to his longtime rival D. Wayne Lukas, to put things in perspective. After Lukas’ longshot colt Bravazo nearly caught Justify with a late rush out of the Pimlico fog, the senior statesman of California’s backside said this: […]

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Master Storyteller: Like Eclipse, It Was Nack First, The Rest Nowhere

Shortly after I became Blood-Horse magazine’s editor in 1992, I was introduced to Bill Nack at a press party on the Triple Crown trail. He sized me up, nodding a few times, didn’t seem all that impressed or interested. Nack was the preeminent horse racing writer – of that or any era. His work for Sports Illustrated set […]

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Training For The Triple Crown: An Historical Perspective

Bob Baffert, trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah, was scheduled to fly to Louisville, Ky., on Monday night to check in on the Zayat Stables’ homebred son of Pioneerof the Nile as he gears up to run for the Triple Crown in the June 6 Belmont Stakes. Jockey Martin Garcia, who is typically aboard […]

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‘Pure Heart’: Revisiting Nack’s Personal Portrait of Secretariat

On the eve of California Chrome’s attempt at making history in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, Sports Illustrated showcases Bill Nack’s moving portrait of the sport’s greatest runner, Secretariat. The article originally ran in SI’s June 4, 1990 issue. Read more at Sports Illustrated.com

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Kirkpatrick: a celebration as it was meant to be

From the cocktail wiener hors d’oeuvres to the 1970s photograph of a leering Arnold Kirkpatrick watching a female streaker interrupting a Kentucky Derby party, this was no ordinary memorial service for a dearly departed friend. It’s exactly what Arnold Kirkpatrick would have wanted, his friends said. Don’t mourn his death, but celebrate his life. Good […]

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF RACING ANNOUNCES JOE HIRSCH MEDIA ROLL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS

PRESS RELEASE Turf writers Steven Crist, Charles Hatton, William Nack, and Walter “Red” Smith have been named the inaugural selections to the National Museum of Racing’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor. The honorees will be recognized in a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 1 at Belmont Park, the day before the Joe Hirsch Turf […]

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JIM GAFFNEY JR: THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING US TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE

Jim Gaffney Jr., the son of Secretariat’s exercise rider Jim Gaffney Sr. who recently passed away, left a heartfelt comment in the story from William Nack featured on the Paulick Report last week. The Paulick Report wanted to take the opportunity to highlight his well wishes and give a fitting ending to the life of […]

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NACK CELEBRATES THE LIFE OF JIMMY GAFFNEY

By William Nack Jimmy Gaffney, Secretariat’s exercise rider for most of the colt’s career, died in his sleep this morning at his home in Commack, Long Island, according to his wife, Mary. Jimmy also rode Riva Ridge until he left trainer Lucien Laurin before Secretariat’s Belmont. But it was Jimmy who rode Secretariat every morning […]

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