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HRN Original Blog:
Around the Oval with Melaina Phipps

Belmont Beyond the Backstretch, Part 2

Driving on the road above it you might miss it, but taking the low road on the Hempstead Turnpike side of the backstretch it’s larger than life . . .
This greenhouse takes up a large corner of Belmont’s backstretch and it is filled to the brim with the blooms that brighten the Park. It seems that NYRA not only plants many lovely and varied flowers around the Park, it also grows them! I had no idea that such an endeavor was part of the culture of Belmont Park, but hey, you do learn something every day.


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Older Comments about Belmont Beyond the Backstretch, Part 2...

Pretty cool, isn't there a greenhouse at Saratoga, too?
Beautiful ~!

Meet Melaina Phipps

I came to horseracing only about a decade ago. (And no, I am no relation to the celebrated racing family of the same name.) My equine interests prior to that began, as they do for most young girls, with riding lessons and horse shows, and ended up with me playing polo while a graduate student at UVA and thereafter. It was entirely unexpected that I should spend time on the backstretch at Saratoga in the summer and on the rail at Payson Park in Florida in the winter watching some of the best trainers and horses in the country work. But that’s where I found myself and where my interest in this wild ride of an industry took shape. I don’t exercise racehorses; I don’t work with a trainer.  I watch, I listen, I ask a lot of questions, and I learn.  I enjoy supporting equine charities. Sometimes I bet a little.

I leave the handicapping and serious race talk and examination to those more knowledgeable than I. What I’d like to share through Around the Oval are some of the myriad observations, stories, histories, events, charities, places, and personalities that make up the variegated landscape of the Thoroughbred racing industry. If you find any—or all—of it interesting, please leave comments. Have any particular interests you’d like to read about? Send word—suggestions are more than welcome! 

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