May 28, 2020

The 2019 Best of Hanson Anthology

‘Tis the season to be with family and friends, and/or if you’re so inclined, with reading material while sitting by a warm fire with a mug of hot chocolate.

Continuing a tradition started in 2015, I’ve gone back through the past 12 months and compiled a list of my best historically-oriented features published during the course of 2019 that readers may (or may not) have missed. In addition to the items at Brisnet.com, I’ve decided this year to also include several that were published at KentuckyDerby.com and the TwinSpires.com blog.

You can share any thoughts and comments with me via Twitter (@VPHanson).

Pensive: The near Triple Crown winner that flopped out of a year-end title

A look back 75 years to the colt who went from near-immortal to one of the sporting flops of the season.

Newborn Songbird filly a rarity as a product of same season three-year-old champions

Following the birth of an Arrogate filly to Songbird, a review of blue-blooded offspring produced by three-year-old champions from the same crop.

The Kentucky Derby winner with the best prep season in history

On the 40th anniversary, recalling Spectacular Bid’s amazing run to the Kentucky Derby.

There was no model for Sir Barton

A look back at the sport’s first Triple Crown winner on the centennial of his three-race sweep.

The Story of Majestic Prince

Updated from its original publication in 2009, a Longform on the “Greatest Generation” of American Thoroughbreds on the 50th anniversary of their 3-year-old season.

Phenom to Journeyman: The Riding Life of Bill Boland

The Hall of Fame jockey’s illustrious career is recounted by the man himself nearly 70 years after he won the Kentucky Derby.

Five historical disqualifications that remain controversial

In the wake of this year’s Kentucky Derby, a look back at five other historically controversial disqualifications on the track.

Time machine: Why the 2019 Preakness is like 1951

The composition of this year’s Preakness field was unlike any other in nearly seven decades.

Reigh Count: The Kentucky Derby winner that conquered Epsom

The story of the colt who conquered two famed courses: the 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs and the 1 1/2 miles at Epsom Downs.

Approaching its final call to post, an appreciation for Suffolk Downs

Recalling the major racing and non-racing highlights at the historic Boston oval that permanently closed this summer.

The time when the lights were turned on, and then off, at Arlington Park

The story of when Chicago introduced major-league night Thoroughbred racing to the American public, and then stopped.

In Excess a cautionary tale of making the right Breeders’ Cup race choice

When you have multiple Breeders’ Cup race options for your star runner, the story of In Excess shows how important it is to choose the right one.

Ten horses that peaked in the Breeders’ Cup

The title says it all.

Garden of Riches: When New Jersey hosted the richest races in America

Once upon a time, the richest races run every year were held in New Jersey every November. Both proved stepping stones to stardom.

All-Decade Eclipse Awards: The Best of the 2010s

The best of the best from the decade now ending.