Ray Paulick

A Shared Scandal

By Ray Paulick -- Major League Baseball is trying to come to grips with a growing drug scandal involving anabolic steroids that some people feel already has tarnished some of the sport's most sacred records. It's one scandal that, for now, racing has managed to avoid.

Alive and Kicking

By Ray Paulick -- The attendance, wagering, and television audience numbers posted for this year's Triple Crown series do not support the notion that this is a dying industry.

Triple Interest

By Ray Paulick -- While media interest in this year's Belmont Stakes is unprecedented, the year-round depth of quality of racing is epitomized by the likes of Kona Gold, Xtra Heat, and others.

Great Expectations

By Ray Paulick -- Racing fans from the baby boomer generation were spoiled by the remarkable careers of the three most recent Triple Crown winners, Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), and Affirmed (1978). Maybe that's why the knockers are lining up to take their shots at War Emblem as he bids for the Triple Crown.

The Natural

By Ray Paulick -- Mike Pegram calls Bob Baffert "an artiste." Bob Lewis says he is "unbelievable." And Prince Ahmed Salman, whose colors have been carried to victory in four consecutive Triple Crown races by the Baffert-trained duo of Point Given and War Emblem, proclaims the conditioner a "genius."

Look of Eagles

By Ray Paulick --Sometimes it's easy to forget what's important about the game. People can argue long into the night about seemingly important issues like marketing, takeout rates, or medication and drug testing, but then a remarkable talent like Seattle Slew comes along and reminds everyone that the horse is king of this sport.

Derby Potpourri

By Ray Paulick -- Giving credit to assistant trainers; changing the entry and graded stakes money rules; and a call to increase the Kentucky Derby purse.

Frankel Pointing Medaglia d'Oro to Preakness

Trainer Robert Frankel made it perfectly clear the morning after the Kentucky Derby what his plans are for Medaglia d'Oro, who finished fourth with a troubled trip, eight lengths behind the victorious War Emblem. "I'm going to win the Preakness with him," Frankel said.

Karma Classic

By Ray Paulick -- Handicapping 101 teaches things like pace, trips, and class, but does not cover what the late oddsmaker Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder used to refer to as the "intangibles." When it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the intangibles sometimes seem just as important as the measurable factors.

24-Carat Crown

By Ray Paulick -- Three jewels in the Triple Crown? Not nearly enough, it says here. The series of classic races that ushers in springtime as much as the crack of the bat on opening day has far too much history, far too many heroes, to say there are only three jewels.

Fueling the Fire

By Ray Paulick -- For a change, let's all accept the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby as the best horse. Period.

Medication, Regulatory Matters on Front Burner

While the Thoroughbred industry makes an aggressive push toward unification on the issue of drug testing and medication, two organizations involved in the regulation of racing -- the Association of Racing Commissioners International and the National Association of Pari-Mutuel Regulators -- continue to go their separate ways.

Driving Us Crazy

By Ray Paulick -- Just as the automobile replaced the horse and buggy a century ago, the manufacture of automobiles has supplanted in importance the breeding and racing of Thoroughbreds in Kentucky, based on the recent actions of Gov. Paul Patton and state legislators.

First Lady of the Turf

By Ray Paulick -- The late Queen Mother was the "First Lady of the Turf" and her love of horses may have helped her live to 101.

Program With a Purpose

By Ray Paulick -- The free ride is over. Now it is time to pay up to keep the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program on track.

Hitting the Target

By Ray Paulick -- Good news and bad news came out of consumer research made public during the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's fourth annual Marketing Summit recently.

MRLS Mess

By Ray Paulick -- As live foal reports from The Jockey Club confirm the full impact of last spring's Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, the breeding industry continues to be frustrated by uncertainty over the cause of the problem.

Miracle Man

By Ray Paulick -- I've never been to an old-fashioned tent ministry revival, but the crowd fervor was straight out of Elmer Gantry when Henryk de Kwiatkowski took the stage following his purchase of Calumet Farm at the March 26, 1992, bankruptcy auction.

Fifteen Minutes of Infamy

By Ray Paulick -- With racing broadcasts taking a backseat to other sports on ESPN, producers should be prepared for an altered time period.

Champion Tempera: A Good One For Harty

It's only fitting that Tempera is the first horse to represent trainer Eoin G. Harty with an Eclipse Award. The daughter of A.P. Indy gave Harty his first career stakes win on Aug. 4, 2001, when she romped to a nine-length victory in the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar.

Fleecing of America

By Ray Paulick -- Maybe the horse industry should borrow a page from the marketing program for the modest, but fast-growing the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association.

By All Accounts

By Ray Paulick -- Concern for the racing fan and the industry doesn't appear to be driving some of the decisions regarding account wagering in California.

Santa Anita Race Report: The Master

"You're killing me!" Bob Baffert called out to fellow trainer Bobby Frankel, who was posing for pictures in the winner's circle following Juddmonte Farms homebred Mizzen Mast's romping victory in the Feb. 2 Strub Stakes (gr. II). "I may have to go back to Los Alamitos."

Unhappy Endings

By Ray Paulick -- Racing has more strikeouts than home runs when a horse's career comes to an end.

Found Money

By Ray Paulick -- Gimmicks and bonuses are fine to help attract racing sponsors. But record keepers should show some discretion in deciding what counts and what doesn't.

Fee Follies: Breeding at the Right Level

The late John M.S. Finney once compared the science of Thoroughbred breeding with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. "Where E represents equine investment," Finney said, "M represents money, and C represents confusion--E equals MC squared."

The Endless Fight

By Ray Paulick -- TVG isn't the only one getting hurt by the impasse with Magna over account wagering in California.

Johannesburg Propels Hennessy to Top of Juvenile Sire List

Johannesburg was the "big horse" for Hennessy prior to last year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, having won all six of his races in Europe, three of them in group I company. His 1 1/4-length triumph in the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) put Hennessy on top of the list of leading sires of 2-year-olds in 2001 and convinced management of Irish-based Coolmore to jump the son of Storm Cat's 2002 stud fee from a previously announced $20,000 to $45,000 live foal.

TVG-Magna Negotiations at Impasse Over Exclusive Contracts

Talks between Magna Entertainment and the TV Games Network are over, according to TVG president Mark Wilson, who has been negotiating with Magna chief executive officer James McAlpine in hopes of striking a deal to bring Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, and other Magna tracks to TVG's racing and wagering network.

Most Popular Stories