Editorial

News, Articles, Videos and other content about Editorial

Hellion on Horseback

By Morton Cathro - In the early months of World War II, before the horse cavalry became fully mechanized, young equestrians such as Paul Mellon, George "Pete" Bostwick, and Oleg Cassini, among others from the Eastern establishment, converged on Fort Riley, Kan., to hone their riding skills and earn commissions in the United States Army cavalry. Into this temporary bastion of fox-hunting, polo-playing blue bloods rode another officer candidate, jockey Ralph Neves.

Funding the Future

By Ray Paulick - Concern was expressed in this space June 21 that Kentucky's newly created breeders' incentive program could become a divisive issue, one that might sidetrack far more important initiatives down the road than the one that has earmarked an estimated $12 million in annual stud fee taxes for a breeders' fund.

Last Call

By Joe Hickey - John S. Covalli, 78, who had ridden Miche to win the 1952 Santa Anita Handicap (upon disqualification of Intent) was about to rejoin Sally, his wife of 51 years. Nary a blood relative present; funeral home staff matched mourners: two dolls and a pair of track-sore old-timers. The one on the gimp read committal prayers from a book borrowed from a priest.

Track and Field

By Ray Paulick - In an industry where horse owners and racetrack management often find themselves on opposite sides of an issue, racetrack safety is something upon which both parties certainly can agree. A safe racetrack can help reduce the frequency of injuries to horses and riders and thereby provide long-term economic benefits to both owners and tracks.

BET On It

By Pete Lang - The Triple Crown season is a whirlwind for people in the Thoroughbred industry, especially when you're right in the middle of it.

The Power of Ten

By Morton Cathro - When owner Jerry Moss attached his green-and-pink colors to slot 10 during the post-position draw for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), he unwittingly was saddling Giacomo for a wild ride through storied Derby history.

Kentucky Pride

By Ray Paulick - It's been a long time coming for Alice Chandler, who took the reins at Mill Ridge Farm in 1962 after the death of her father, legendary horseman Hal Price Headley.

Reality: Vegas Style

By Bill Nack - For a fleeting instant, as the leaders powered off the final turn at Churchill Downs and Afleet Alex appeared to be threading his way through horses to the lead, a tremendous roar burst forth from the throngs surrounding me and suddenly, even magically, it was as though I'd been transported back to the River City and were seeing the spectacle first hand.

Bellamy's the Boss

By Ray Paulick - The "new" Churchill Downs will provide a spectacular setting, and the Thoroughbred foal crop of 2002 has brought forth an intriguing group of candidates...

Won't Get Fooled Again

By Lenny Shulman - In its first big test under the new, open, responsive management of executive director Ingrid Fermin, the California Horse Racing Board proved itself quite capable of continuing the Keystone Kops routine perfected by the regime of former executive director Roy Wood.

Where Are They Now?

By Ray Paulick - Conglomerate ownership was designed to bring economies of scale to the racetrack segment of the industry. Statistical evidence, along with unconfirmed reports that Hollywood Park may be sold to developers, suggests it hasn't worked very well in Southern California.

Big Numbers

By Evan I. Hammonds - There have been some gaudy numbers put up over the last couple of weekends by horses and humans alike. Some add spice to the coming Kentucky Derby (gr. I); some show a renewed vigor in the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

Trail Mix

By Ray Paulick - The road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) changes from time to time, and so do the roadmaps printed by the racetracks and used by owners and trainers to get their horses to Churchill Downs in optimum condition on the first Saturday in May.

New Dawn at the Downs

By Dan Liebman - On May 7 in Louisville, Ky., when the most famous race in the land is run at the most famous track in the land, the race will look the same as it did a year ago. The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is still for 3-year-olds, still at a mile and a quarter, still the first Saturday in May, and the winner still gets a garland of roses.

Stacked Deck

By Ray Paulick - Only one trainer in the modern era of Thoroughbred racing--D. Wayne Lukas--has started more horses in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) than Nick Zito. Beginning with Thirty Six Red in 1990, Zito has sent 14 horses postward in the Run for the Roses. Two of them have won: Strike the Gold in 1991 and Go for Gin in 1994. He's sitting in the catbird seat with as many as five potential contenders for the 2005 Kentucky Derby.

Triple Threat

By John Angelo - My wife, Lorrie, and I have danced the same dance every spring for the decade we've been together. She discovers me late one night with the VCR remote in hand watching "The Life and Times of Secretariat" or "Jewels of the Triple Crown."

A Breed Apart

By Dan Liebman - What does is take to operate a Thoroughbred breeding farm in the height of the breeding season? In this issue of The Blood-Horse, we attempt to show you.

For Pete's Sake

By Joe Hickey - Silky catkins on the willows; daffodils grinning 'neath the windbreak: Derby day is a-coming.

Century Mark

By Ray Paulick - On May 4, 2005, it will be 100 years to the day since Belmont Park opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Royal Remembrances

By Terese Karmel - When Shakespeare's King Richard III cried out, "a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse," how could the playwright have known what would occur at York Racecourse more than five centuries later?

Hollywood Ending?

By Ray Paulick - The good old days? They weren't that long ago for horse racing fans in Southern California.

Permanent Financing

By Edward S. Bonnie - Would you pay $5 per start to support better drug testing, research, and track security? The average Thoroughbred races eight times per year. Hence, the average Thoroughbred owner would pay $40 per year per horse to help ensure competition on a level playing field.

For Keeps

By Ray Paulick -- The horse industry now has a strong voice in Frankfort that will be heard.

More Than a Milkshake

By Dr. Rick M. Arthur - The California experience has been successful. The tracks and horsemen, on their own and outside of the state regulatory system, eliminated 99% of the problem (25% to 0.2%) in six months.

The Big Chill

By Ray Paulick - Human sports and racing have faced the same challenge: the cheaters are ahead of the labs.

Never Can Say Goodbye

By Larry Levin - What does a jockey have to do to be banned from Thoroughbred racing?

Today's Job Market

By Ray Paulick - This item of interest from the Feb. 25 issue of USA Today: a horse racing groom has the worst job in sports.

Hollywood Ending

By Morton Cathro - Racing is full of unlikely scenarios, few of which have been more unlikely than the one featuring Hollywood screenwriter Ethel Hill and War Knight, the Thoroughbred she called "Tuffy."

Grape Consequences

By Ray Paulick - Jess Jackson, the California vintner who is making headlines for his increasing involvement as a Thoroughbred owner and breeder, undoubtedly was more than a mildly interested spectator when the Supreme Court returned to work in Washington, D.C., the week of Feb. 21. So are many others in the racing industry.

Time to Unite

By Gary Biszantz - As chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association I feel an obligation to encourage all horsemen to unite and support uniform medication rules for the United States.

Incomparable Gaines

By Ray Paulick - Best comment I ever heard about John Gaines was from Lexingtonian Arnold Kirkpatrick, who said Gaines was "smarter than a tree full of owls."

Inspired Visionary

By Greg Avioli - John had the amazing ability to synthesize large amounts of information and draw immediate and clear conclusions.

Galloping Ghost

By Ray Paulick - Nearing $1 million in earnings, Chindi's days as a runner may be numbered, but they aren't over yet.

Advice For Men Only

By Victor Zast - To men who are true horseplayers, racing is a daily passion that starts with a scan of the entries and ends with a reading of the results.

That's Show Biz

By Evan Hammonds -- A pat on the back goes to all involved at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association for putting together a smooth and slick presentation of the 34th Eclipse Awards Jan. 24. A special nod should be given to Debbie Blair, the event coordinator and vice president of customer service at NTRA/Breeders' Cup.

Stark Reminder

By D.G. Van Clief Jr. -- The charges outlined in the federal indictments in New York point out the immediate need to improve our wagering systems and the pre- and post-race security of our horses. They are a stark reminder that, as an industry, we must accelerate the pace of the steps we have taken over the last few years to upgrade these areas.

Ghostly Vote

By Dan Liebman -- In Smarty Jones and Ghostzapper, Eclipse Awards voters were faced with two clear and deserving choices for 2004 Horse of the Year. Now they have spoken.

Meritorious Character

By James E. Bassett III -- When one thinks of Charles J. Cella, a myriad of descriptions flash by. "Indescribable" comes easily to mind, overshadowed by "indomitable" or perhaps "indestructible," followed by "unpredictable" or almost surely "unpersuadable." But lest we overlook the obvious, certainly it would be "unforgettable."

Raising the Stakes

By Ray Paulick -- Getting caught is no picnic, but occasional fines, suspensions, and hefty legal bills are included in the price some horsemen have been willing to pay to live on, or over, the edge of the game's rules and regulations.

Stablemates

By Joe Hickey -- Bonds made as classmates, teammates, roommates, shipmates, and soulmates often last a lifetime. And so, too, can bonds made among stablemates.

Crossroads

By Ray Paulick - It is probably an understatement to say that 2005 is going to be a challenging year for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association/Breeders' Cup. The direction and mission of the organization could be subject to change as it navigates crossroads on the near horizon.

Integrity No Easy Task

By Cot Campbell - Our Code of Ethics, presented to the world in mid-December, has been received agreeably. Predictably, there has been commentary on what "they" should have done. I have waited until Jan. 15--when my duties as chairman ended and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association took over--for any personal observations.

Shaking Things Up

By Ray Paulick -- There was something a bit unsettling about how the California racing industry began a crackdown in February 2004 against the use of "milkshakes"--the loading of bicarbonates through a stomach tube as a performance-enhancing aid in Thoroughbreds.

Putting the Legs in Legacy

By Lenny Shulman -- For the past few years, Michael Paulson has been busy watching a reality show on TV in his Las Vegas home. His tastes don't necessarily run to "Survivor," "American Idol," or the other garbage that passes for entertainment in the 21st century. Paulson's viewing has been taken up by a horse--Azeri--whom he's watched race by race, frame by frame; remote in one hand, stopwatch in the other.

Cot To Be Good

By Ray Paulick - Some unsolicited advice for Cot Campbell, chairman of the Sales Integrity Task Force: Get an unlisted telephone number. Campbell's stewardship of this most difficult issue was inspiring, and his phone soon should be ringing off the hook with inquiries and job offers from scores of failed committees, task forces, and do-nothing organizations within the Thoroughbred world and beyond.

A Worthy Calling

By Morton Cathro - Sports history is replete with "the streak," that strung-together necklace of accomplishments proudly worn by great teams and legendary athletes: Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak; undefeated heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano's 49 straight victories; golfer Byron Nelson's 11 PGA tournaments in a row; Michael Jordan's seven consecutive NBA scoring records; Citation and Cigar's sweet 16s.

No Gift Exchange

By Ray Paulick - The execution of Magna's vision has been difficult given its isolationist philosophy.

Brush Strokes

By Steve Haskin -- When it came to sheer toughness, Broad Brush was in a class by himself.

Worldwide Woes

By Ray Paulick - In many ways, the Japan Racing Association is the envy of the racing world. As a branch of the national government's ministry of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, the JRA controls all facets of the industry, including racecourse management, scheduling, marketing, licensing, drug testing, and pari-mutuel operations.

Original Thinking

By Pete Spanos - With the leaves still falling from Keeneland's splendid 2004 fall meet, it is appropriate, perhaps obligatory, to offer a fan's salute to the old guard's open minds, adventurous spirits, and free-thinking ways. Yes, I said Keeneland. Who would have thought they could be such radicals?

Most Popular Stories