Chelsea Hackbarth

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Cambra Enjoying Ride With ‘The Coolest Dude’

Taylor Cambra may be just 21 years old, but he sounds significantly older when he speaks about his horses. It could be because he has spent nearly every day in a saddle since before he was able to walk, that he spent time on the rodeo circuit riding bucking horses, or because he grew up […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Family Support Strong Behind Vekoma

Brothers Mike and Ted Gatsas have owned Thoroughbred racehorses for 21 years, and race days are an excuse to get the entire family together. This year, their children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to join Gatsas Stables at the pinnacle of the sport when Blue Grass Stakes winner Vekoma enters the starting gate for […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Two ‘Rednecks From Tennessee’ A ‘Perfect’ Match

Best friends since their childhood in rural Tennessee, Clint Joiner and Tyler Alexander are on the ride of a lifetime with Kentucky Derby hopeful Plus Que Parfait (a phrase meaning the past perfect verb form in French, literally translated as “more than perfect”). Alexander’s wife videoed him watching the ridgling’s UAE Derby victory: he was […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘I Am Horse Racing’ Gains Momentum

It all started last week with a group of friends sitting around Christina Blacker’s dining room table, drinking coffee and empathizing with one another. They felt defeated by the recent media uproar and public backlash over the spate of equine deaths at Santa Anita Park, but no single person was quite sure what to do […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Ageless’ Jon Court Riding A Rebel High

A conversation with veteran jockey Jon Court is full of joy and laughter – he’s just that kind of guy. On Tuesday, the thrill-seeking 58-year-old answered the phone in the middle of a bicycle ride up and down the hills of Hot Springs, Ark., and never missed a breath while talking about his latest triumph […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Rebel Shakeup Puts War Of Will On Top

A pair of undefeated colts suffered their first losses in Saturday’s dual editions of the G2 Rebel Stakes, and while neither Game Winner nor Improbable was defeated by more than a neck in their first start of 2019, I decided to give top ranking to a different Kentucky Derby contender. War of Will has done […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Zanatta Banking On Some New York ‘Espresso’

The Espresso Shot keeping Dan Zanatta awake late at night these days isn’t of the caffeinated variety. Rather, the 32-year-old owner is pondering the next steps for his talented sophomore filly bearing the same name: a New York-bred daughter of Mission Impazible. Last Saturday’s Busher Stakes win at Aqueduct earned the equine Espresso Shot a […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘I Got My Eyes Closed, I Can See It All Over Again’

His hands are the thing I notice first. The disparity of strength and frailty is alarming: perpetually curled, the man’s long, slender fingers are a sharp contrast to the gnarled knuckles and calloused palm that graces mine when he nervously shakes my hand. The man’s face might not reveal the truth about his age, but […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Up-And-Coming Irishman ‘On A Heck Of A Ride’

Trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer saddled his first stakes winner in January, watching a filly he picked out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile sale for $55,000 score in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes. Last Saturday, Needs Supervision raced wide throughout and was knocked around a bit on the far turn to finish fifth in the G2 Rachel Alexandra. […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: No ‘Genie In A Bottle’ Needed For Derby Prospect Tax

If you’re going to do something, do it well. Danny Gargan has worked every day of his life on the racetrack, but he didn’t start out wanting to be a horse trainer. It’s a curious beginning for the conditioner and part-owner of G3 Withers winner Tax, a strong prospect on the Road to the Kentucky […]

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