Dan Liebman

Juvenile Fillies Preview: One for the Books?

The past two years, a homebred filly has come into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with three straight wins and exited the World Thoroughbred Championships with four victories, a win that made history, and being an easy choice for an Eclipse Award.

The Shipping News

By Dan Liebman - For whatever reasons--there are surely many--this could be the first time in the history of the Breeders' Cup that no starter that last raced in England makes the trip for one of the event's turf races. If that is the case, it will be a shame.

Maryland Oh Maryland

by Dan Liebman -- In a feature story in last week's issue of The Blood-Horse, Airdrie Stud owner and former Kentucky governor Brereton C. Jones said he is personally against slot machines. If truth be told, there probably isn't a single horse breeder who actually hoped the day would come when slots would be necessary for the survival of racing.

What a Girl

By Dan Liebman - David Greathouse can't remember who it was that first told him Battle Creek Girl was for sale. It was the winter of 1980 and Greathouse and his brother, John Jr., were looking to purchase some fillies off the racetrack to breed to stallions at their family's Glencrest Farm near Midway, Ky.

Staying Motivated

By Dan Liebman - An article about Dubai published in the Chicago Tribune travel section July 4, 2004, states that the ruling Maktoum family's oil riches bring in about $250 million a day, or roughly $1 billion every four days.

From Texas Tea

By Dan Liebman - William S. Kilroy was racing a small, modest stable in Louisiana 30 years ago when he decided he wanted to enter the breeding side of the business. He approached a family friend with whom he had much in common, and the two hatched a plan to execute Kilroy's wishes.

Fallon's World

By Dan Liebman - Journalists live for good stories. More so, good quotes. So, when British jockey Kieren Fallon said the following, it was like music to a columnist's tone-deaf ears: "We all know you can't fix races. It doesn't happen. It does in a fairy-tale world but not in the real world."

Jones Sells Walmac to Son, Trussell

John T.L. Jones Jr. has sold Walmac International to entities controlled by his son, John III, and his son's former partner in several horse ventures, Bobby Trussell. The deal, signed Sept. 10, involves the farm's property but no stallion interests.

Striking Out

By Dan Liebman - If only the Aug. 21 ESPN telecast of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), Alabama Stakes (gr. I), and Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) had followed the baseball game between Colorado and Montreal rather than Richmond and Redmond.

Air It Out

By Dan Liebman - In early September, the first meeting is scheduled to be held of the new task force examining the Thoroughbred sales arena. The group is being organized by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and is in response to the questions raised by the Alliance for Industry Reform (AIR) and its founder, Satish Sanan.

Horse Racing 2025

By Dan Liebman -- There are so many interest groups involved that this is probably not even a realistic vision. Sure, at such events as the Jockey Club Round Table and Arizona Symposium, many of racing's leaders do assemble. But after a few meetings, they return to their own little worlds.

Step Up to the Plate

By Dan Liebman -- Hall of Fame trainer P.G. Johnson recently died; his plaque doesn't mention he won the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) with Volponi. Johnson not only trained the colt, but he and his family owned and more importantly to many of us, bred him as well.

Cowboy Up

By Dan Liebman -- About 10 years ago, Robert A. "Cowboy" Jones quit keeping track. But it's safe to say the number is more than 50,000. While others spend billions each year on diet books, diet pills, diet fads, and diet programs, Cowboy Jones lost 50,000 pounds in a sweatbox. Didn't cost him a penny.

Glowing Tribute, Dam of Sea Hero, Dies at Age 31

Glowing Tribute, the dam of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Sea Hero and six other major stakes winners, died Aug. 5 of colic. One of the top broodmares of recent times, the 31-year-old daughter of Graustark was owned by John R. Gaines at the time of her death.

Tired of Weighting

By Dan Liebman -- These days, the country's best older horses rarely line up and race against each other in handicaps. Trainers often decline to run if their charges are asked to carry weight, and racing secretaries know that. Since racing secretaries today aren't going to really weight horses, let's just do away with handicaps and move on.

Between the Lines

By Dan Liebman -- Among the comments heard at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale were two that were neither profound nor lengthy, but nonetheless quite significant. From Patrick Lawley-Wakelin: "People were more prepared this year." From Walt Robertson: "It is a good time to own a horse."

Ominous Clouds

By Dan Liebman -- Fletcher was very polished in congratulating Smarty Jones' owners, trainer, and jockey. But his ears had to be ringing from Churchill CEO Tom Meeker's comment that, "The sun wasn't shining too bright in Kentucky today but I have a slight feeling it was shining in Pennsylvania."

Bonuses and Purses

By Dan Liebman -- If Smarty Jones wins the Kentucky Derby it will be a great story...but it should not be allowed to distort Smarty Jones' earnings as a racehorse or his sire's place on the list of 2004 leading sires.

Good Break Makes Difference for Be Gentle

Be Gentle lost all chance right out of the gate in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She won the $230,000 Golden Rod (gr. II) Saturday at Churchill Downs by getting out of the gate first and leading all the way. It just goes to show what racing luck can mean.

It's About Slots

By Dan Liebman -- The future of Maryland racing may not depend on the number of starts per stall, but perhaps the number of slot machines per grandstand.

Weisbord to Launch New Equine Exchange

Barry Weisbord, the publisher of Thoroughbred Daily News and an innovator in the Thoroughbred industry, will announce the rules and structure of his newest venture at a press briefing in Lexington Nov. 7.

Mixed Emotions

By Dan Liebman -- The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is a day for celebration. But this year it also left pedigree lovers feeling a twinge of sadness. Of the nine winners on the day, four are by sires now deceased.

Turf Has First Breeders' Cup Dead-Heat

For the first time in Breeders' Cup history, a race ended in a dead-heat. In a thrilling three-horse stretch drive, High Chaparral and Johar finished on even terms, with Falbrav just a nod behind those two in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I).

Dollar Bill Retired; Stud Plans Unknown

Dollar Bill, who ran third in the July 5 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) in his only start this year, has been retired. The 5-year-old horse, owned by Gary and Mary West, is by Peaks and Valleys out of the Saratoga Six mare Saratoga Dame.

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