Archive for December, 2008

Second Eclipse Award for Matt Goins

Technically I’m on vacation right now but a certain event has just transpired that absolutely needs to be recognized. Matt Goins, a frequent freelance photographer for the Herald-Leader, has just won his second Eclipse Award for photography in the last three years.

Matt, who previously won in 2006 for his shot of jockey Julien Leparoux hanging over the head of his mount, Sanibel Storm, in the stretch at Keeneland Race Course in April of that year, earned his latest honor for capturing jockey Frankie Dettori in the midst of his famous celebratory leap after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf this October aboard Donativum. The photograph appeared in Al-Adiyat, the Dubai-based racing publication, on Nov. 6 and can been accessed here at:

Aside from being one of the absolute best in the game at what he does, Matt is also one of the very best people you could ever come across. His humor and wit have carried me through many a bleary morning on the backside and his passion for horses is infectious to say the least. I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside some of the most talented members of the journalism community over the years and Matt certainly fits that bill like no other.

Congratulations again to one of my most favorite colleagues. And if you want to see more of Matt’s amazing work, visit his site at

Lane’s End set for open house

I’ve written before about the fun that is stallion open house season and, thankfully, we’ve got another very special round coming up in January. Lane’s End will host an open house daily from Jan. 10-14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and – yes – reigning Horse of the Year Curlin will be available for inspection.

Curlin arrived at Lane’s End one day after being paraded before fans at Churchill Downs on the track’s final day of the fall meeting. The son of Smart Strike is set to stand his first season at stud for an advertised fee of $75,000.

Judging purely by his collected demeanor, Curlin should fit in perfectly on the Lane’s End stallion roster – which also features leading sires A.P. Indy, Kingmambo, and the aforementioned Smart Strike. Each time I have been fortunate enough to visit Lane’s End, I’ve always found their stallions to be extremely well-tempered with A.P. Indy himself being one of the most laid-back and friendly stallions I have ever encountered (although the late, great Groovy who spent his final years at WinStar might take the all-time warm and fuzzy prize in my book.)

Of course, one must remember these are still hot-blooded stallions and need to be respected as such but, nonetheless, the Lane’s End boys are an enjoyable bunch to visit. And I, for one, can’t wait to see how their newest addition is adjusting to his new life.

Lane’s End stallion Dixieland Band pensioned

Dixieland Band, one of the first stallions to enter stud at Lane’s End, has been pensioned from stud duty at age 28 due to arthritis the farm announced today.

A sire of 115 stakes winners with progeny earnings of more than $73.7 million, Dixieland Band was one of the original three stallions to stand at Lane’s End following his retirement from racing in 1985.  The son of Northern Dancer went on to sire such Grade I winners as Drum Taps, Dixie Union – who also stands at Lane’s End -, Spinning Round, Dixie Brass and Sharp Lisa.

In 2004, Dixieland Band was the leading broodmare sire and was the leading active broodmare sire in 2007 and 2008.

Lane’s End added Dixieland Band remains in good overall health and will remain at the farm.