Jennifer Kelly

Jennifer Kelly is a horse racing historian, writer, and author of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown. When she's not writing about racing's past, she's watching and wagering on racing's present, eagerly awaiting our next Triple Crown winner.

The Science of Horse Racing: Bits

Fri Sep 15 2023Jennifer Kelly

From a simple snaffle to a Norton, the right bit is just as important as the saddle and the blinkers you see on your favorite Thoroughbred.
Tall Tales of the Track: Love, Faith, and a Filly Named Signorinetta

Wed Sep 06 2023Jennifer Kelly

In the first part of the 20th century, one man’s love for a horse became an improbable story of incredible triumph.
The Heart that Wears the Crown: Citation

Sun Sep 03 2023Jennifer Kelly

At his core, Citation was a horse who was serious about his job, relentless in grinding down his competition and unbending in the face of challenges. By the time he said goodbye to the racetrack, the eighth Triple Crown winner had made an indelible mark on the hearts of fans everywhere.
The Science of Horse Racing: Who Is the Fastest?

Fri Aug 18 2023Jennifer Kelly

Whether they pull a sulky, run a long distance, or sprint over a short quarter mile, three breeds are the stars of the sport we all love, but, of the three, who is the fastest and why?
Tall Tales of the Track: Kingston Goes the Distance

Sun Aug 13 2023Jennifer Kelly

Bred by a Pillar of the Turf in James R. Keene, Kingston’s longevity on the racetrack comes in not only in the number of times he raced but in the wins he accumulated over his nine seasons, his greatness sealed in the record books and the Hall of Fame for all time.
The Heart That Wears the Crown: Assault

Wed Aug 02 2023Jennifer Kelly

With a heart as big as Texas, Assault did not let his small size or disfigured hoof keep him from wearing a crown and sealing his place in racing history.
The Science of Horse Racing: What is a Turf Hoof?

Sun Jul 23 2023Jennifer Kelly

Understanding the difference between turf and dirt hooves and what that knowledge adds to your toolbox can give you another angle to consider when making your picks.
Tall Tales of the Track: A Girl Named Ruth(less)

Fri Jul 14 2023Jennifer Kelly

More than the first name on a long list, Ruthless was the best of her generation, whose grand career on the track made her accidental demise off the track all the more tragic.
The Heart That Wears the Crown: Count Fleet

Fri Jul 07 2023Jennifer Kelly

Count Fleet swept into his classic season like no other. Virtually unbeatable at three, his trip through the three races was marked not by grinding stretch runs for the win but by the ease behind his victories, the clear joy he had in the running. The heart that wore the sixth Triple Crown was one that was both headstrong and ecstatic in one small brown package.
Horsey History in the Tar Heel State: Where Breeding and Racing Have Surprising North Carolina Roots

Fri Jun 23 2023Jennifer Kelly

Though live racing has not been part of the sporting landscape for generations, North Carolina has deep roots in the early history of both Thoroughbred racing and breeding, roots even older than the United States itself. 
The Science of Horse Racing: Four Legs and Infinite Questions

Tue Jun 20 2023Jennifer Kelly

Injuries to a horse’s leg bones can mean a range of outcomes, requiring everything from simply time to heal to ultimately having to let go of a beloved companion. From Spanish Riddle to Epicenter, the reality of the legs’ structures makes treatment and recovery a tenuous and difficult outcome that is dependent on a number of variables. 
Tall Tales of the Track: Three Times the Victory

Fri Jun 09 2023Jennifer Kelly

The Carter Handicap has long been a feature of the New York stakes schedule. Inaugurated in 1895, the race is named for William Carter, a tugboat captain and Brooklyn contractor who put up a portion of the purse money and the trophy for his namesake race. Both Aqueduct and Belmont Park have hosted the Carter, but for the majority of its history, it has been contested at Aqueduct, where, in 1944, something singular happened.
The Heart That Wears the Crown: Whirlaway

Fri Jun 02 2023Jennifer Kelly

Whirlaway, the fifth Triple Crown winner, ignited the imaginations of those along for the ride on the cusp of war in 1941.