What’s New…

‘Sunny Jim’ Fitzsimmons and the Kentucky Derby experience

There are few people in racing history I love more than Jim Fitzsimmons. Mr Fitz – as he was respectfully called – spent a lifetime at the racetrack. Starting as a stable hand for the Dwyer Brothers in the 1880s, he rose up the ranks to become one of the most revered trainers in American racing history by the time of his death in 1966…Read full post>>


Salvator: Folk Song of the Turf, 1890s

I spent a lot of time over the last month reading the work of racing historian John “Salvator” Hervey as it appeared in the Daily Racing Form in the 1920s. I have been down this road before but have come nowhere near exhausting the great writer as a source…Read full post>>


A Message from the Colin’s Ghost Home Office

It’s been awhile since I checked in with a new article here at Colin’s Ghost…Read full post>>


The First Kentucky Derby Winner to Race in Pennsylvania, 1876

California Chrome is not the first Derby winner to run in the great state of Pennsylvania. That distinction goes all the way back to 1876 when Vagrant won the Grand Exposition Stakes at the long forgotten Point Breeze Race Track in Philadelphia… Read full post>>


The Triple Crown “Great Ones,” 1919-1948

I have been hunting for a copy of Kent Hollingsworth’s The Great Ones, a classic work of horse racing history, for many years. A few weeks back, I saw a copy on e-bay and put in my bid. I am happy to report that I have finally nabbed my paper white whale … Read full post >>


Man o’ War to skip the Kentucky Derby, 1920

Many historians have identified the late 1910s as the moment when the Kentucky Derby began its upward trajectory towards it current standing as the most famous race in North America and, arguably, the world… Read full post >>


Thoroughbred Racing Masterpiece Now an E-book

While doing some research last night, I stumbled across something that I wanted to share. I found that Jimmy Breslin’s Sunny Jim: The Life of America’s most Beloved Horseman James Fitzsimmons is now available as an e-book … Read full post >>


The Brooklyn Handicap, 1904

The Brooklyn Handicap will be run today in its new position on the New York racing calendar as a Friday feature a day before the Belmont Stakes. The Brooklyn Handicap, run for the first time in 1887, once stood among America’s most significant stakes races … Read full post >>


Belmont Park, “Consecrated to racing,” 1937

The value of the land at Hollywood Park is why its owners decided its history as a race track will end in 2013. Think about that as you read this 1937 piece about Belmont Park from Turf & Sport writer O’Neil Sevier … Read full post >>

Pittsburgh Phil’s Thoughts on the Pari-mutuel Machines

In 1948, Horace Wade wrote an article titled “Uncle Phil’s Boy” for the Turf and Sport Digest about James McGill. McGill, a lifetime “racetracker”, was close to eighty years old working in California and Chicago as a racing official at the time of the articles publication … Read full post >>


A Bookmaker’s Operation 1937

Among the pages of the Turf and Sport Digest from December 1937 is a valuable description of a bookmaking operation at the end of an era. It was written just prior to the widespread adoption of the pari-mutuel system in New York, the last significant place where bookmaking was tolerated at America’s racetracks … Read full post >>

One Response to “What’s New…

  1. francis hocke says:

    we lived in wisconsin 1995 to 2007..I did alot of barn sales. I picked up a old harness had metal medalions on both sides with the words JIM DANDY THE LEATHER WAS REALLY OLD AND WORN. i wonder if this could be the same horse

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