May 26, 2024

Best of Hanson: 2021 Anthology

Ron Turcotte
Ron Turcotte (Courtesy Keeneland Library Thoroughbred Times Collection)

With the resumption of a more normal racing calendar in 2021, there were fewer opportunities for me to dive deep into historical subjects over the last 12 months compared to the pandemic-affected year of 2020. However, there were enough to again compile a handy, year-end anthology.

For the seventh time, I present readers an opportunity to re-visit (or check out for the first time) my favorite historically-oriented features that I had the pleasure of producing over the past year. The previous anthologies are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015.

Turcotte at 80: Reflections beyond the big two

An undisputed highlight this year was my conversation with Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte. We went beyond the usual Secretariat and Riva Ridge chatter and talked about some of the other famous mounts and memories of his riding career.

The 10 best horses beaten by Secretariat

Not all talk about Secretariat was omitted this year. In this piece, I ranked the best horses “Big Red” ever beat during his brilliant 21-race career in 1972-73.

Rediscovering historic Triple Crown TV coverage

One of the more amazing discoveries for me this year was finding network television footage of nearly every Triple Crown race held in the 1960s and early 1970s. I broke down what’s available and what to look for in this handy guide.

The Queen’s Arrival

Coinciding with’s 50th anniversary, I looked back at one of the proudest moments in company history when Queen Elizabeth II visited its Lexington headquarters in October 1984.

Queen Elizabeth’s top race horses of all time

A companion piece to the one on the Queen’s visit, I offered a list of the best horses ever to sport the royal colors since her ascension to the throne in 1952.

What is Tennessee’s legacy on horse racing and the Kentucky Derby?

Coinciding with‘s launch in Tennessee, I looked back at the history and legacy of racing and breeding in the Volunteer State.

The Top 10 elite talents for Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms

Following the death of Prince Khalid Abdullah in early January, I picked out 10 of the best runners ever to have sported the green and pink colors of Juddmonte Farms.

Finally, there’s my three-part series on the origins and evolution of, which began life as Bloodstock Research Information Services in 1971:

Brisnet at 50 Part 1: The beginnings

Brisnet at 50 Part 2: Survival and Growth

Brisnet at 50 Part 3: Acquisition and Expansion