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 BloodHorse.com in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on ESPN.com, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.
Articles by Claire Novak
May 11, 2008
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
May 08, 2008
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
May 08, 2008
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
May 04, 2008
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
April 13, 2008
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
March 30, 2008
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
February 11, 2008
October 25, 2007
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
October 11, 2007
October 10, 2007
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
September 21, 2007
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
September 16, 2007
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
September 02, 2007
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
August 06, 2007
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
August 02, 2007
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
July 23, 2007
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
July 07, 2007
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
May 31, 2007
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
May 29, 2007
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
May 19, 2007
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
May 13, 2007
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
May 06, 2007
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
May 03, 2007
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
April 28, 2007
1. Street Sense (Street Cry–Bedazzle): Breeder/owner James Tafel says there's no particular reason for the "sense" portion of his colt's name. The first part, of course, is derived from the name of Street Sense's sire.
2. Scat Daddy Read More
April 19, 2007
Hall of Fame jockeys Steve Cauthen, Angel Cordero Jr., Pat Day, Don Brumfield, Earlie Fires, Chris McCarron, Bobby Ussery, and Kent Desormeaux took questions from racing fans and signed autographs at Keeneland in an April 18 event that supported Read More