24-year-old James Stierhoff wins the Maryland Hunt Cup on Twill Do after Across The Sky blows a 30-length lead with a refusal at the third-to-last fence.
Further south, the Rolex **** is chugging along despite tornado warnings and the haphazard routes of European riders to circumnavigate the volcano debris to reach the U.S. My lanky favorite, William Fox-Pitt, is currently in the lead on Cool Mountain. Fellow Brit Oliver Townend, who won Badminton and Burghley last year, fell from Cruise Master and was hospitalized. He and the other three people who fell on today's cross-country course all appear to be fine, and set to complete the competition.
William Fox-Pitt and Cool Mountain at the Head of the Lake, Rolex.
Rachel Alexandra is going to race for the second time this year, heading to Friday's La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The first Saturday in May is closing in, and so the Derby stories are coming out of the woodwork. One of the more esoteric is that Major League Baseball coach Joe Torre owns a share of a Derby contender this year, Homeboykris (oh, the humanity).
And lastly, my alma mater, Rutgers, is holding its annual celebration in New Brunswick. Part of the weekend-long proceedings is an auction of horses used by the school to give students in the agricultural program hands-on experience in caring for and training young horses. In the past, Rutgers bought draft-cross foals from ranches out West that specialized in producing Premarin, an estrogen replacement for women, from pregnant mares' uring. This year, they branched out and also bought four mustangs from Nevada. Not all the horses sold last year; the economy has people cutting back. So good luck, RU Rambling Rose, RU Canella (pregnant), RU Casanova, RU Marley (mustangs), and RU Firedance, RU Pardner, RU The Good Witch, RU Shivna, RU Woodstock, RU Honky Tonk, RU Genesis, and RU Brisa (PMU horses).
The handsome mustang RU Casanova meets a stool for the first time.
New Jersey Star Ledger - Rolex
Daily Mail - nasty photos of Townend's fall
ESPN Sports - Rachel Alexandra
Yahoo! Sports - Joe Torre
New Jersey Star Ledger - Rutgers mustangs
Rutgers - The Young Horse Teaching & Research Program