Editorial

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Commentary: Big Red

By John L. Califano - At the horse's burial service, master of ceremonies Ira Drymon, a Kentucky horse breeder and farmer, said, "I would like, however, to think of this, not as a funeral in the usual sense, but as a celebration..."

Commentary: Old Friend

By Amy Zimmerman - There are other places in this magazine where you can read about John Henry's humble beginnings, his legendary racing career, and his wonderful retirement. This is not about that.

Commentary: Out of Competition Testing

By Joe Gorajec - If a drug existed that enhanced performance yet was undetectable by traditional testing methods would it pose a clear and present danger to the integrity of our sport? Would some trainers succumb to the lure of success and easy money knowing they could cheat with impunity? The answers seem obvious.

Commentary: The Hearty Boys

By Evan I. Hammonds - The Triple Crown races of the spring are in the books, and the summer races at Saratoga and Monmouth have been run. The true test of sophomore runners comes in the fall, when they take on older horses for the first time.

Commentary: Beatdown

By Paul Moran - The decline of racing's presence in the nation's newspapers follows in lockstep the absence of editors from the decision-making structure who were interested in the sport at a time when racing was considered a part of the culture -- something that no longer exists outside Kentucky.

Change of Speed

By Ray Paulick - Conventional wisdom suggests front-running horses have a huge advantage if they are allowed to set the tortoise-like fractions established in this year's Blue Grass. But Polytrack has thrown conventional wisdom out the window.

If Bay Goes Away

By John C. Harris - I sadly realize that Bay Meadows, which is the longest continually running racetrack in California history, is destined to go away, probably in the not-too-distant future. However, Northern California may be irreparably damaged if the track is not even part of the mix for 2008 when racing dates are discussed by the CHRB later this year.

Tune In

By Ray Paulick - Nobiz Like Shobiz and Tiago have a license to make beautiful music together on the first Saturday in May.

Tainted Vote

By Bill Christine - When I mentioned to a colleague that I was taking on the Racing Hall of Fame again, he tried to dissuade me. "That's too easy," he said. "That's not shooting fish in a barrel; that's shooting a guppy in a teacup. Pick on somebody slightly harder, like President Bush, or Britney, or Frank Stronach."

Putting Safety First

By Ray Paulick - The CHRB's mandate is not only the right thing to do for the safety of horses, it is a benefit to owners, too, and ultimately for the tracks. Fewer injuries ensures there will be more horses in training, which will lead to larger field sizes, which usually translates to increased pari-mutuel handle. Owners are always happier to have horses racing and training rather than convalescing or recovering.

Desert Spectacle

By Steve Haskin - And then, of course, we come to the remarkable Invasor, who along with Asiatic Boy, moved the breeding industry in Argentina to a new level and put all of South America on the global map, even though that continent has been producing champions in the United States for decades.

Garden State

By Dan Liebman - New Jersey's Monmouth Park was formally announced as the host site in the fall of 2004, and from the look of the plant in mid-March, the first-time site will be ready to take racing's center stage, though much still remains to be done.

The Decline of the Sport

By Morton Cathro - Too many days of racing. Too many short fields. A multitude of breakdowns. Too many drug issues, with prominent trainers under scrutiny. Too many top horses retired prematurely to the breeding shed. Squabbles, lawsuits, and the ethics of dual agency...Are these and other concerns threatening the viability of racing and the loyalty of its fans?

Hoosier Daddy

By Ray Paulick - Many state racing commissioners talk about cracking down on cheaters in our sport. Indiana regulators are taking serious action.

He's the Man

By Cynthia Biamon - And then he emerged...heading straight toward one of the world's most famous tracks and to his thousands of fans. His blinkers revealed just enough of hungry eyes, eyes that were taking in the surroundings, sizing up the competition, and readying to devour all opponents.

New York State of Mess

By Ray Paulick - If you're a little confused about the future of racing in New York, join the club. If you're not confused, you're probably not thinking clearly.

Hope Springs

By Richard Zwirn - The initial stages of grieving -- denial, anger, bargaining, sadness -- sped through my mind in a blur. I tried reminding myself how fortunate we are: healthy kids, roof over our heads, food on the table, good friends. Still, it wasn't easy, this feeling of loss, the waste of a lovely, full-term foal.

Won't Be Fueled Again

By Ray Paulick - Whether they race cars or horses, cheaters are getting more sophisticated today. Blood-doping agents or venom from exotic snakes and sea creatures are believed to be in use by some unscrupulous horsemen as performance-enhancing stimulants or painkillers. In a sense, it's the same kind of rocket fuel Waltrip's team was accused of putting into its Toyota.

It's the Horse, Stupid

By Sarah Reschly - If racing learns one thing from the spectacular outpouring of public emotion during Barbaro's eight-month ordeal, it should be this -- it's the horse, stupid. Your fans love your horses. From a marketing standpoint, the horse is racing's greatest asset; however, the business does little to protect it, and in so doing, is risking everything.

Consistently Inconsistent

By Ray Paulick - I had to go all the way to Dubai to hear a panel discussion about how racing officials in various American jurisdictions have different interpretations about the most basic rules infraction.

Exclusivity is Right

By David Nathanson - The question is not whether horse racing needs television (it clearly does), but rather how we can improve our television coverage while distributing it to the widest possible audience to attract new fans and incremental wagering revenue.

A Life of Giving

By Ray Paulick - So many people owe thanks to Jonabell Farm founder John A. Bell III, who served on countless committees with numerous industry organizations for more than a half-century.

Final Chapter

By Sean Clancy - In early January, I found myself at my kitchen table, trying to figure out an end to the book I was writing on Barbaro and Matz. I couldn't shake Matz' voice from my head, "How do you know that's the end? Maybe there's a lot more to the story..."

Unhappy Ending

By Steve Haskin - Fairy tales are not supposed to have unhappy endings. Barbaro was to leave New Bolton Medical Center, walking soundly with his head held high, and live happily ever after. But Thoroughbreds, despite the fairy tales they inspire, live in a different realm than Walt Disney.

Beyond Barbaro

By Ray Paulick - Roy and Gretchen Jackson's beloved colt demonstrated other-worldly intelligence, matched only in size and scope by his courage and heart. Barbaro could play the role of the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man -- after they'd been to see the Wizard of Oz. Wouldn't it be nice if some of those attributes gravitated toward Thoroughbred industry leaders?

I Guarantee It

By Evan I. Hammonds - We're pretty sure there are no guarantees in Thoroughbred racing. However, let's step out for Breeders' Cup XXIII at Churchill Downs Nov. 4. There are a few "automatics." I guarantee it.

Thanks for the Memories

By Ray Paulick - This week's issue of The Blood-Horse takes a trip down memory lane for a look at favorite Breeders' Cup moments. Here are mine.

21 Days and Counting

By Ray Paulick - If you didn't find something to like at Belmont Park, Keeneland, or the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park over the weekend of Oct. 7-8, you must not like horse racing.

The Big Battles

By Dan Liebman - Many famous bidding wars have taken place at Keeneland, but never has the competition been as fierce as that between the ruler of Dubai, and the master of Ireland-based Coolmore Stud.

A Real Bluegrass Man

By Jim Cullen - I first met Dan Mallory through an associate at work. I was a staff writer for an industry trade publication and wanted to breed a mare to a freshman stallion I thought would be popular. The only problem was I didn't own a mare.

I Declare

By Morton Cathro - If recent action by the California Horse Racing Board should become permanent and be embraced by other states, racing might well see the return of the old, largely forgotten "declaring to win" rule invoked by the umbrella-wielding gentleman of yesteryear--with the unintended consequences it sometimes brings.

Human Error

By Christine Janks - There is no mystery to me why we are having all these breakdowns. Even one is horrific, but when I see breakdowns occurring on almost a daily basis, I feel that finally the time is right to point the finger back where it belongs.

Fool Me Twice

By Ray Paulick - The Guild officers, convinced this time by California-based jockey Alex Solis in the Chris McCarron role, are in the process of hiring two racing outsiders to direct them: sports agent Dwight Manley, who became a millionaire by acquiring rare coins, and civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose integrity and credibility have never fully recovered from a scandal involving a mistress, a child out of wedlock, and questionable payments.

A Rose By Any Other Name

By Ray Paulick - Business was up. Television ratings were down. That's the quick summary from this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--the first run with Yum! Brands as the presenting sponsor.

Time Tested

By Ray Paulick - Unlike human sports, Thoroughbred racing doesn't conduct surprise tests between starts in search of blood-doping drugs. By relying only on race-day tests, that leaves the regulators of our sport living in yesterday's world.

Taking Root

By Ray Paulick - Kentucky politicians need to understand the educational and lobbying efforts undertaken by the Kentucky Equine Education Project are not a one-and-out deal. The horse industry, which for too long was nonexistent in Kentucky politics, quickly became the state's No. 1 lobbying force. And that's exactly what Kentucky's top industry should be.

Going For Broke

By Ray Paulick - With extraordinary luck to go with soundness, speed, heart, and three full racing seasons, the Forestry colt bought by Coolmore and its partners for an all-time record price for a horse sold at public auction could dig nearly halfway out of that $16-million hole while racing.

Belly-to-Belly Business

By Dan Liebman - You may think it is ludicrous to spend $16 million for an unraced horse--any unraced horse--and for 99.99% of the buyers in the world, you would probably be right. But for the buyer and underbidder on this colt, Coolmore and Darley, respectively, it can make sense.

Butt Out

By Lenny Shulman - The rumors of Gulfstream Park's demise, happily, are vastly exaggerated.

Oh for the Yesteryear

By Eugene Levey - Change is inevitable and necessary, but it should be made for the right reasons. Unfortunately, most of the changes in recent years have robbed racing in general and racing fans in particular. I speak of the abbreviated careers of modern-day racehorses compared to their counterparts of yesteryear.

Declining Action

By Ray Paulick - Racing has a problem with declining economic indicators. But the real crisis is its inability to take action.

Penny's Thoughts

By Ray Paulick - The respected and beloved Penny Chenery, who brought the crowd to its feet when she was honored with an Eclipse Award of Merit, set the standard for class and elegance while reminiscing about her longtime love affair with horse racing and the life-changing experience of owning Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner and two-time Horse of the Year.

Entry-Level Error

By Terese Karmel - Whenever I visit my family, who are scattered up and down the East Coast and as far west as St. Louis, I invariably touch down at Baltimore/Washington International Airport. There, like a strong wind, the tug of my Washington, D.C., roots pulls me back to the more than two decades I spent in that city. I relish the chance to read the Washington Post, the paper I was raised on; the paper that, as a journalist, has always been my standard.

Leaner Leadership

Ray Paulick - One year from now, when The Blood-Horse conducts its annual year in review, it's likely that Jan. 8 will stand out as one of the most important dates on the calendar. In fact, it could be one of the most critical days in the modern history of the Thoroughbred industry.

Taxing Times

By Ray Paulick - On Dec. 9, Jeb Bush said he reluctantly would sign legislation authorizing slot machines at four Broward County pari-mutuel operations, including Gulfstream Park in Hallandale. The gambling machines were approved by a 57-43 margin of Broward County voters in a referendum in March.

Less is Less

By Ray Paulick - The 2005 Horse of the Year vote figures to be a one-sided affair. Saint Liam raced strictly in grade I competition from early February until late November and won four of six races, including the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge in an impressive farewell performance.

The Big Chill

By Ray Paulick - Freezing samples puts cheaters on notice that they are not necessarily free and clear just because the initial drug screening detected no illegal substances.

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