Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

Articles by Claire Novak

Mine That Bird Will Not Run in Travers

The Aug. 29 Shadwell Travers Stakes lost some of its luster hours before entries were taken Aug. 26 when it was announced that Mine That Bird, winner of the Kentucky Derby, would not run in the "Mid-Summer Derby" at Saratoga Racecourse

Former Thoroughbed Jockey Gary Boulanger Recovering From Injuries

Former jockey Gary Boulanger, who rode the Florida circuit before he was injured in a 2005 spill at Gulfstream Park, was recovering from surgery Nov. 8 following a farm accident at a facility in Davie, Fla., where he had been teaching riding Read More

Eight Bells for Eight Belles

A petition urging Churchill Downs to honor Fox Hill Farms' deceased filly Eight Belles by ringing eight bells, a nautical euphemism for "finished," prior to the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is gaining Read More

Great Expectations: Barbaro's Brother

On the morning of April 30, as the eyes of the nation turned to Churchill Downs for the upcoming running of the 134th Kentucky Derby, a Brook Ledge horse van arrived at Stephens Thoroughbreds in Ocala, Fla. While trainer Michael Matz supervised the Read More

Eight Belles Wristbands Benefit Rescue

Six days after Eight Belles' catastrophic injury in the Kentucky Derby Presented, owner Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms approved a wristband manufactured in memory of the gallant filly, with proceeds to benefit Midlantic Horse Rescue.

According Read More

Derby Winner Big Brown in Good Shape the Day After

Speaking to reporters on the Churchill Downs backside the day after Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. was cautiously optimistic regarding his starter's chances in the Preakness Stakes.

"I really liked him in (the Read More

Pletcher Duo One-Two in Blue Grass Stakes

Trainer Todd Pletcher had just one victory at Keeneland under his belt going into the April 12 card. But he won again when it counted, and with Monba and Cowboy Cal finishing 1-2 in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), it looks like Read More

Curlin Conquers the World in the Dubai World Cup

As 12 horses headed to the post in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), trainer Steve Asmussen stood in the paddock at Nad Al Sheba racecourse. "I’m just wanting the real Curlin to show up,” he said. Moments later, the Smart Strike colt more tha Read More

Racehorse Identification More than Flipping Lips

A weekly feature found only on, The "Inside Track" is dedicated to the people in Thoroughbred racing that may not always make the headlines, but Read More

Samaritan Who Saved Racehorse Groom Named White Horse Award Winner

Navy Aircraft Mechanic first class Johnny Arrendondo Ponce became the first non-track worker to win the Race Track Chaplaincy of America's White Horse Award when it was presented Oct. 25 at the Taylor Made Stallions' White Horse Heroes Luncheon Read More

Teuflesberg Surgery Successful; Prognosis Good

Teuflesberg, who fractured both sesamoid bones in his left front leg in the Oct. 6 Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland, underwent a successful surgery Oct. 11 at Rood & Riddle Equine Read More

Kentucky Farm Managers' Meeting Focuses on Equine Health

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club focused on equine health and biosecurity and offered a presentation by guest speaker Roberta Dwyer, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVPM, of the Gluck Equine Research Center Oct. 9.

Prior to Dwyer's Read More

Belmont Equine Medical Center to Bear Ruffian's Name

The state-of-the-art equine medical facility currently under construction at Belmont Park will be named after the great filly Ruffian, the IEAH Corporation announced Sept. 20.

"We are honored to able to carry out the legacy of Ruffian on th Read More

Australians Seek American Help in Fight Against Equine Influenza

In a Sept. 14 meeting at Keeneland Race Course, William Inglis and Son – Australia’s leading Thoroughbred sales agency since 1867 – sought American help to fight the ramifications of an equine influenza outbreak that could result in the loss of Read More

Barbaro Jockey Prado Injured in Saratoga Fall

Jockey Edgar Prado took off his mounts and was hospitalized with a possible injured right ankle following a Sept.1 racing accident at Saratoga Race Course.

The jockey rode Christophe Clement trainee Admiral Bird to a second-place Read More

Eight Inducted into Racing Hall of Fame

Eight legendary figures from the Thoroughbred industry were inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Aug. 6, as University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino gave the keynote address at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion Read More

Rags to Riches Sound, Training at Saratoga

Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches shipped from Belmont Park to Saratoga Race Course July 31 and has galloped over the upstate New York racing surface the past two mornings. Trainer Todd Pletcher said the 3-year-old filly would continue to gallop Read More

Rags to Riches Pulled Up During Drill

Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches was pulled up Sunday morning shortly after beginning a five-furlong workout at Belmont Park. According to Daily Racing Form, the 3-year-old filly did not display any immediate signs of injury. Read More

Kentucky Equine Humane Center Draws Interest

The Kentucky Equine Humane Center held its inaugural open house June 23 at the organization's leased property in Nicholasville, Ky. Formed to facilitate adoption of unwanted horses in Kentucky and to provide humane treatment and shelter during Read More

Trainers of Belmont Contenders Ship, Plan Final Works

With the June 9 Belmont Stakes fast approaching, trainers of the expected contenders were making plans for travel and pre-race works May 31.

Larry Jones will ship Hard Spun to Belmont Park from Delaware Park June 2 and will ready the son of Read More

Eight to be Inducted into Racing Hall of Fame

Five persons and three horses will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Aug. 6. The class is the largest since nine were inducted in 1978.

Jockeys Jose Santos and John Sellers; trainers Henry Read More

Appeals Judge Upholds Ruling in Funny Cide Case

The Florida District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Miami Herald in a defamation case filed by the owners of Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby.

The case centered around the Read More

New Pennsylvania Track to Install Tapeta Surface

Presque Isle Downs, the new Erie, Pa. track owned by MTR Gaming Group, will install Michael Dickinson's synthetic Tapeta racing surface before its inaugural Thoroughbred meet begins Sept. 1., said Rose Mary Williams, director of racing at Read More

Barbaro's Owners Purchase His Derby Saddle

The saddle worn by Barbaro in the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) sold for $220,000 at the May 4 Mint Jubilee Gala, with proceeds of the sale going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund.

Dwight Manley, national Read More

Churchill Prepares for Visit from Queen

Staff members and security guards at Churchill Downs are preparing for a visit from Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip, who will attend Saturday's running of the Kentucky Derby.

According to Julie Koenig Loignon, official Read More