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About Terry Conway

For the past fifteen years I’ve been a contributing writer to a variety of national & regional magazines, prominent daily news-papers and websites. I have written about an array of topics such as arts & culture, chefs, food & drink, business entrepreneurs, travel, history, thoroughbred racing, and the animal and natural world.

 I'm currently a regular arts & culture contributor to WFIT's website (the NPR radio station in Melbourne.), Vero Beach Magazine and Florida Today newspaper on a number of topics. Over recent years my work has been published regularly in Blood-Horse, Long Island Boating World and The Hunt and PA Equestrian magazines.

I am a regular contributor to the websites JustLuxe.com and SeeTheSouth.com. JustLuxe is an online magazine featuring the best of luxury lifestyle and travel, while SeeTheSouth features truly unique southern destinations. My travel articles also regularly appear in Florida Today, Long Island Boating world and the Delaware County Times, a major daily newspaper just outside Philly.

I've also contributed a variety of articles to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, the Delaware County Times, and the Montgomery County Newspapers. I have been an Arts & Culture correspondent for Newsworks, the website for WHYY-TV (PBS in Philadelphia). I have been a correspondent to ESPN.com, America's Best Racing, the Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Racing Commentary.

After spending the past two decades in Wilmington, Delaware, my wife Jane, our Toller retriever Smarty and I have moved to Melbourne Beach, Fla. Located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, Melbourne Beach sits on the southern end of Florida's "Space Coast." The famed coastal highway A1A runs directly along the Atlantic. Melbourne Beach (pop. 3,000) offers unspoiled beaches with sparkling blue-green waters and thousands of beautiful seabirds and long-legged shorebirds.MB 04

Head north 35 miles on A1A and you arrive at Cape Canaveral, for decades our nation's gateway to exploring and understanding our universe. Today, Cape Canaveral is a hub for many of the most exciting new private space projects such as SpaceX, the rocket and spacecraft company founded by Elon Musk (manufacturer of Tesla vehicles). Upwards of 30 launches are planned in 2017.

Back down to earth traveling on two-lane A1A south from Melbourne Beach's compact business area brings you to a series of secluded and undeveloped natural beaches. Bonsteel Park's two-acre beach provides an excellent vantage point to catch glimpses of passing dolphins, while the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is recognized as the most important nesting area for loggerhead turtles in the western hemisphere. It's also home to the gigantic leatherback turtles.

MB 02Nearby is Sebastian Inlet State Park which connects the Indian River Lagoon with the Atlantic Ocean. Its jetty break is recognized as one of the surf world's high-performance hot spots. Three generations of world-class surfers have surfed here, including 11-time world champion Kelly Slater. The 600-acre park is also celebrated for world-class fishing, and plenty of seabirds and wildlife.

Through my writing over the past decade I have traveled to spectacular destinations such as Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev. and Sun Valley, Idaho; Cody, Wyoming/Yellowstone Park; Saratoga Springs, the Adirondacks, Saratoga Springs and Rhinebeck, New York; Port Clyde and Monheghan Island, Maine; Avalon and Stone Harbor, New Jersey; Middleburg, Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia.

Other travel adventures have included Tampa and St. Petersburg, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, Florida; and St. Simons and Jekyll Island, Georgia. My travel articles thoughtfully explore the history of the region along with museums, music and the arts, chefs and restaurateurs, wineries and craft breweries, outdoor and sporting adventures as well as profiling intriguing personalities of those regions.

In addition to my writing career I owned a marketing company where I represented a diversified list of clients in the areas of publicity, marketing and business development-- such as the famed Baldwin's Book Barn, Thoroughbred Charities of America and the Kahunaville restaurant chain. In another life I was the founder, publisher and editor of Life Sports Magazine.

Along with Jane and Smarty I look forward to writing about new adventures in Melbourne Beach, the "Space Coast" and other Florida destinations. That's Smarty below with his pals Willie and Nelson.

Smarty XmasCard

Top Equine Surgeon Doubles Up as Top-Rated Wilmington Restaurateur Print E-mail

Newsworks
WHYY-TV (PBS)
January 2015

Is there a doctor in the house?  If you are dining at Domaine Hudson there is a good chance you will meet its new proprietor, Dr. Mike Ross.DH 1

Novices to the hospitality industry, Dr. Ross and his wife Beth purchased the popular wine bar and eatery from Tom and Meg Hudson in late 2011. The Rosses have ratcheted up the original owners' culinary tradition and elevated it to one of the best dining experiences in the state.

A man of boundless energy, a typical day for Dr. Ross starts at dawn with a drive from his Chadds Ford home to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Chester County, one of the largest and most sophisticated equine hospitals in the world.

An internationally renowned equine orthopedic surgeon, Ross dons surgical scrubs and heads to the operating theater where a half-ton horse has been anesthetized, winched into the air and then lowered onto the operating table. Over the next hour or so Ross performs meticulous arthroscopic surgery on the horse's injured leg joint. Afterwards the animal is returned to a padded stall to wake up and begin his recovery.

Among a countless list of Ross' patients is the great thoroughbred DaHoss who won the 1996 Breeders' Cup Mile and then in 1998-- a year after Ross' surgery on DaHoss' hind leg-- came back to again win the  Breeders' Cup Mile which NBC-TV race broadcaster Tom Durkin dubbed "the greatest comeback since Lazarus." Thanks to Ross' skills over 32 years as a surgeon and professor, countless horses have returned to high-level competition or gone on to have productive lives in second careers.

 
Jamie's World Print E-mail

The Hunt Magazine
Winter 2014

He lives his life and paints his pictures from the vantage point of isolated islands.JWyeth Hunt1

James Browning Wyeth's connection to Monhegan Island-- ten nautical miles off the mid-Maine coast-- dates to the summers of the late 1950s when he first vacationed there with his father Andrew. Inspired by the rocky landscape, rugged cliffs and dramatic ocean vistas, he purchased the cottage and studio of famed artist Rockwell Kent in 1968. Wyeth also owns a more isolated  cottage and studio on Southern Island just off the coast of the picturesque village of Tenants Harbor.  

Point Lookout Farm near Chadds Ford is yet another symbolic Wyeth island.  It is named for the rocky ridge of land that crosses what was once a major Indian trail and commands a sweeping view of the tumbling Brandywine River below. An isolated property, Point Lookout has been a primary location for the artist's portraits of an odd and magical mix of animals that encompass so much of Wyeth’s personality, humor, wit and sense of wonder.

Wyeth's worlds will all be celebrated in "Jamie Wyeth," the first retrospective devoted to his career at the Brandywine Museum of Art on display from January 17 through April 5. The traveling exhibition will present a full range of work, consisting of  111 paintings, works on paper, illustrations, and mixed media assemblages (collages of three-dimensional items).  The artist's works provide an in-depth examination of his stylistic evolution while showcasing the diversity of an artistic output now in its sixth decade.

Finished works will be shown alongside the preparatory drawings and studies. They trace the wide arc of the artist's development from his childhood drawings at age three through various recurring themes inspired by the people, places, and objects that Wyeth knows so well.

 
It's About Time Print E-mail

The Hunt Magazine
Winter 2014

America's first soldier, George Washington, carried one. Gentlemen stored them in the watch pocket of the vest of their three-piece suits. Ubiquitous until the First World War, locomotive engineers and conductors counted on their timepieces to keep the trains running on time.Watch 4

Travel to the little Susquehanna river town of Columbia, Pa. and you will discover one of the finest collections of pocket watches at the National Watch & Clock Museum. With an entrance evocative of the Acropolis, the museum houses more than 12,500 clocks, watches, timepieces and timekeepers, a third of them on display.

The timepieces range from sundials and a replica of a 5,000-year-old Egyptian pot that measured water dripping at a steady pace to atomic clocks capable of dividing "time" into microscopic parts to Mickey Mouse watches, all housed in its 18,000 square feet space. Visitors learn why time is important and how time shapes our world.

"Humans have never been able to control the weather, the seasons, or the passage of time itself," says Noel Poirier, museum director since 2007. "Measuring time is the closest we’ll get to it. It may be the defining act of civilization. It makes planning and strategy possible. When watches and clocks became affordable for everyday people, it gave them back the control of their daily lives."

The largest such institution in the country, the museum's main focus is on 19th century American timepieces, but it also displays earlier English tall-case clocks, similar to grandfather clocks, and timepieces from Asia and Europe.

 
Main Sequence: Storms Home in BC Turf Print E-mail

PA Equestrian
December 2014

He came. He saw. He conquered. And then some.Main 1

Since arriving at trainer Graham Motion’s stable from England last winter, Main Sequence is a perfect four-for-four. He capped off his brilliant season in the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf  by rallying wide and storming down the stretch to take the lead in the final sixteenth and to hold off the stubborn Brit Flintshire to win  the 1 1/2 mile race in 2:24.91. The victory was his fourth consecutive Grade-1 triumph.

“I was going so good,” jockey John Velazquez said. “My concern was getting the horse to the lead too early.”

“I thought at the top of the stretch he would win,” Motion added. “It all worked out so well. The only question was whether he got to the front too early.”

A 5-year-old gelding, Main Sequence is owned by the Niarchos family (Flaxman's Holdings). He has trained at the Fair Hill Training Center throughout 2014. His victory in the $3 million race gave  Motion his second Breeders’ Cup Turf win, who won the BC Turf a decade ago at Lone Star Park with then stable star Better Talk Now. Known as "Blackie,"  Better Talk Now is still at FHTC keeping an eye on things.

As customary, Main Sequence was well back early in the field of twelve. He made steady progress on the far turn and was seventh with a quarter-mile remaining, trailing the leader, Chester County's Hardest Core, by about 3 1/2 lengths. With Hardest Core tiring Main Sequence began closing on the leaders. Flintshire (3-1) led narrowly over Telescope (8-5) with a furlong remaining, but neither could hold off Main Sequence who blew by the two Euros to win by a neck in a time of 2:24.9.

 
Vinyl Making a Comeback Print E-mail

Newsworks
WHYY-TV (PBS)
December 2014
TheHuntMagazine.com
January 2015

 

Newspapers are shrinking, flip phones are disappearing, and vinyl records are back.GroovesTubes 1

Left for dead with the advent of CDs in the 1980s, vinyl is making a comeback with a new generation. While records are not going to replace digital music on IPods, smart phones and laptops, demand has been strong enough for major electronics companies to start making old-fashioned turntables again.

Last week Adam Martin was scouring the record bins at the Grooves and Tubes shop in Centerville searching for some rare finds.

“There is a much warmer sound with albums compared to digital downloads," related Martin,  28, a paralegal who lives in Greenville. "It's the sound that the artist intended when they recorded their music. I think the way music has been consumed it's been so instant and immediate that there is now a backlash by young people who really appreciate music. They are focused on buying more and more vinyl. It's about making music tangible, enjoying the whole experience."

About a quarter of a century ago vinyl LPs began their decline in popularity. First came the cassette and when CDs took hold, record labels shuttered their LP pressing plants. While there was still a devoted audience of record collectors, the general public flocked to CDs, prized for their portability. Vinyl records were crushed. However, over the past decade CDs have lost significant ground to digital downloads and to the rising use of streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify.

 
Richmond: Growing A Dynamic "New South" Destination Print E-mail

Delaware County Times
December 2014

You could always count on Richmond being all things Confederate. After all, it didn’t just secede from the nation, it became the capital of the Confederacy. No trip to Virginia's capital has been complete without a drive down tree-shaded Monument Avenue. Striking bronze statues of Robert E. Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, Jefferson Davis and others line the center parkway leading downtown to the Confederate White House, the Museum of the Confederacy and the Confederate Memorial Chapel.Rich 1

But, here's the thing. If you are one of the countless folks who happen to be flying past Richmond on I-95, you are missing out on an intriguing stopover.  Over the past half dozen years the city has morphed into a robust destination, one of the cultural icons of the “New South." Century-old tobacco warehouses have been transformed into lofts and art studios and the formerly buttoned-up downtown now has life after dusk.  Independent businesses are bustling with people.  The historic Altria Theater has just undergone a $63 million renovation. There is a vigorous and varied food scene that is gaining national attention.

Moving beyond its fixation with the Civil War, a new generation has brought a younger vibe to this city that lies on the fall line of the James River in central Virginia. Richmond has emerged as a top-flight player on the Southern arts and culinary scene.  Roots-based Southern restaurants and cafes are mixing down-home flavors with cuisine inspired by the state's varying coastal and farm regions.

 
Building on PA Derby Day's Huge Success Print E-mail

 

PA Equestrian
November 2014
 

It was a game of catch him if you can. In a reprise of the $1 Million Pennsylvania Derby, Bob Baffert trainee Bayern shot out of the gate to grab the lead and hung on to win the $5 Million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1. The day before, Untapable, the 2014 Parx Cotillion Stakes winner,  scored a convincing victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Parx racetrack brass must have been grinning like Cheshire cats.

Back in 2010 Parx Chief Operating Officer Joe Wilson and other executives officials decided to move the PA Derby from its existing Labor Day date to later in September, a month after the Travers Stakes in Saratoga and six weeks prior to the Breeders' Cup Classic.  A year later they also tacked on a major bonus-- $200,000 to the connections of any horse who won a Triple Crown race, the Haskell or the Travers to run in the PA Derby. The race has been televised by the Philly NBC affiliate since 2011.

In addition, in 2012 the $1 Million Cotillion Stakes was moved to PA Derby Day to create a "mega-event" for Parx. In year five the "Great Switch" hit a booming home run.

On a dazzling final Saturday of summer (Sept. 20), the parking lot was overflowing at the Bensalem track as a large and raucous crowd turned out to witness California Chrome and Haskell winner Bayern battle in the PA Derby. It was the biggest racing day in the 40-year history of Parx (once known Keystone and then as Philadelphia Park) as well as in the history of Pennsylvania horse racing. Thirty minutes prior to the PA Derby, Kentucky Oaks winner and odds-on favorite Untapable powered home in the Cotillion Stakes.

The total betting handle at the track and around the country was a stunning $10,393,671, crushing the previous track handle by $5 million. More than $3 million was wagered on the PA Derby, an impressive 300 percent leap over 2013.

Racing fans also got to see a track record fall in the PA Derby, a record that was set less than a month after the track opened on Nov. 4, 1974. Selari Spirit ran a mile and an eighth in 1:47 on Nov. 30, 1974. This year Haskell winner Bayern uncorked a time of 1:46.96  for the 1 1/8 miles race, running his rivals off their feet winning by 5 3/4 lengths.

"That was just a powerful performance," said Baffert. "He broke well and they let us go and [jockey] Martin [Garcia] hustled to get away from California Chrome. When California Chrome was pinned in there, I knew it was going be tough for California Chrome. He was the target, we weren't the target. When Bayern runs like that, nobody's going to beat him."

In 2012 the Travers dead-heat winners (Alpha and Golden Ticket) traveled to Bucks County to run in the PA Derby. Another top colt, Handsome Mike, took the race. Last year, the top two runners in another Travers photo-finish (Will Take Charge and Moreno) came to Parx. Will Take Charge won the PA Derby, but six weeks later lost by a short head to Mucho Macho Man in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic. Will Take Charge became the first Pennsylvania Derby winner to be named champion 3-year-old male.

After the season wraps up in December, racing's graded stakes committee evaluates the status of existing stakes race. A few go up, others go down. After attracting the eventual 3-year-old champion male, the Derby and Preakness winner and possible Horse of the Year (Bayern or California Chrome) in three consecutive years, the odds are that the PA Derby will join the Cotillion as a Grade-1 race in 2015.

Note: Parx COO Joe Wilson did not respond to phone calls seeking comment on this story.

Main Sequence: Brilliant in BC Turf

He came. He saw. He conquered. And then some.

Since arriving at trainer Graham Motion’s stable from England last winter, Main Sequence is a perfect four-for-four. He capped off his brilliant season in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf  by rallying wide and storming down the stretch to take the lead in the final sixteenth and to hold off the stubborn Brit Flintshire to win  the 1 1/2 mile race in 2:24.91. The victory was his fourth consecutive Grade-1 triumph.

“I was going so good,” jockey John Velazquez said. “My concern was getting the horse to the lead too early.”

“I thought at the top of the stretch he would win,” Motion added. “It all worked out so well. The only question was whether he got to the front too early.”

A 5-year-old gelding, Main Sequence is owned by the Niarchos family (Flaxman's Holdings). He has trained at the Fair Hill Training Center throughout 2014. His victory in the $3 million race gave  Motion his second Breeders’ Cup Turf win, who won the BC Turf a decade ago at Lone Star Park with then stable star Better Talk Now. Known as "Blackie,"  Better Talk Now is still at FHTC keeping an eye on things.

As customary, Main Sequence was well back early in the field of twelve. He made steady progress on the far turn and was seventh with a quarter-mile remaining, trailing the leader, Chester County's Hardest Core, by about 3 1/2 lengths. With Hardest Core tiring Main Sequence began closing on the leaders. Flintshire (3-1) led narrowly over Telescope (8-5) with a furlong remaining, but neither could hold off Main Sequence who blew by the two Euros to win by a neck in a time of 2:24.9.

The Arlington Million winner, Hardest Core-- owned by the Bentley family and trained by Eddie Graham-- got a bizarre ride from Parx jockey Eriluis Vaz. The strapping bay sailed to the front at the three-quarters pole running a swift 1:11.15, clocked the mile in 1:36.10 and took the lead turning for home. Tiring down the stretch Hardest Core finished eighth by five lengths.

Since last summer Main Sequence has won the United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park in July, the Sword Dancer at Saratoga in August, and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 27.

"He did everything so well and so easily today," Motion said. "He broke really well and went on from there and did everything great. It really was a team effort (with the previous trainer in England, David Lanigan) and the horse has been spectacular. He's really suited to American racing and he just gets better and better. He's a very impressive horse."

Ten years ago Better Talk Now put Motion on the map as a skilled conditioner.

"When you start winning Breeders' Cup races, that puts you at a different level," Motion remarked. "I'm so fortunate to train for Maria (Niarchos) and the family. I grew up watching their horses run as a kid. It was  a name that was very special. When I first started training for them, quite honestly, I had to pinch myself. I can't say enough about this horse. What he's accomplished in a very short space of time here is remarkable."

Main Sequence is likely to be rested for the remainder of the year with a trip to Dubai in March for an early season target in 2015. With the BC Turf victory, Main Sequence surely locked up the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding turf horse. With the scrambled results of Bayern, California Chrome and Shared Belief in 2014, Main Sequence should also be a strong candidate for the Horse of the Year title.

"I hadn't even thought about Horse of the Year now, but I think he should be," Motion stated. "Horses don't win four Grade-1 races in a row like that. How many horses can do that? He has to be one of the best I've trained."

Main Sequence's 2014 resume looks quite a bit like Wise Dan's in 20i2 and 2013 when he was voted by racing journalists and executives Horse of the Year.  So, why not?  

Tapit filly sells for $3 million

Three eggs washed down by a quick pint of Guinness may not be the standard breakfast of champions. But for former Fair Hill trainer Michael Dickinson, the mixture helped fuel his grey colt Tapit who won three of six races during 2003-2004.

Today, Tapit is snowy white and is the nation's leading sire and stands at Gainesway Farm near Lexington. Reviving eye-popping stud fees of yesteryear, Tapit will stand in 2015 for a $300,000 fee.

A filly by Tapit established a record price for a weanling sold at public auction in North America, selling for $3 million to Bridlewood Farm late in Wednesday's second session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

The now 13-year-old son of Pulpit out of the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels stood for an advertised fee of $150,000 in 2014. He set the single-season earnings record for a North American-based sire October 31, when Untapable won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, eclipsing the earnings mark set by Smart Strike   in 2007.

Overall, Tapit is the sire of 448 winners, including 57 stakes winners, 33 graded winners, and four champions, from seven crops racing. From 783 foals of racing age, his 608 starters have amassed $66,772,350 in earnings. For the second year in a row Tapit was America's leading yearling sire with an earnings average of $628,289.

 
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