Final Turn

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Commentary: Piece of Cake

by Joe Hickey - Stepping down from his Windfields jet, E.P. Taylor bounded across the tarmac into the terminal building, where he pulled up short in front of a vending machine. "Help me, Joe. I don't have any U.S. change."

Commentary: More Anna Houses

By Donna Chenkin - Transformation of a dream often begins with acts of imagination that elevate a starting vision of change above the intimidating presence of things as they are.

Commentary: Let's Get Fiscal

By Richard Zwirn - While not an economist, it was clear that these are difficult fiscal times. Costs for just about all goods and services have risen dramatically.

Commentary: A Matter of Integrity

By Rep. Ed Whitfield - Three years ago, Congress examined the explosion of steroid use plaguing Major League Baseball. The integrity of the game was called into question and a dark cloud was cast over America's favorite pastime.

Commentary: Group Therapy

By Bruce Greene - I have been to the racetrack thousands of times. From Churchill Downs on Derby day, to the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale on Marathon day. I have memories of tracks and champions that no longer exist.

Commentary: A Reasonable Approach

By Alex Waldrop - On Feb. 27, I appeared before a Congressional Subcommittee for a hearing entitled, "Drugs in Sports: Compromising the Health of Athletes and Undermining the Integrity of Competition."

Commentary: Spring Colors

By Terese Karmel - Several years ago, I heard one of the finest speeches at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inductions when trainer D. Wayne Lukas reminisced about that year's horse nominee, Winning Colors.

Commentary: Get the Door, Please

By Dan Farley - I was intrigued when I read in Daily Racing Form that of the top 30 finishers in a recent million-dollar handicapping contest in Las Vegas sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, six were women.

Commentary: The Right Move

By Bill Casner - "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" -- No one understands this better than Mr. Richard Shapiro and his fellow California Horse Racing Board members in the wake of the problems with Cushion Track at Santa Anita.

Commentary: Because of a Horse

By Steve Haskin - With Thoroughbred racing in the United States going through perhaps the roughest time in its history, it is reassuring to know that the passion people around the world have for the sport and for the horse still is as strong as ever.

Commentary: Surfaces and Shut-downs

By Morton Cathro - Santa Anita's wet-weather woes flooding its synthetic track remind a dwindling number of oldtimers of the rain-soaked, not-so-grand opening a half-century ago of Golden Gate Fields and its clay-like racing surface that doomed the track to temporary oblivion.

Commentary: Full Court Press

By R. Alex Rankin - As always, Robert Courtney Sr. has perfect timing. His retirement from owning and running a Thoroughbred breeding farm has been the right thing for him and the right thing for an industry in need of reflection.

Commentary: Feisty

By Robert Laurence - Let me tell you about our Thoroughbred. Feisty, by Acaroid, out of Some One Finer, by Lord Rebeau. It would be generous to call her pedigree "modest."

Commentary: Past Posting

By Ed Martin - Sometimes it's good that racing does not command the front page of USA Today's sports section as often as it should.

Commentary: More than All Right

By - David Mullins - The word "legend" is used frequently these days to describe people. Some might say the term is overused. But when one calls Dale Baird a legend, the term is apt and fitting.

Commentary: Woe(Whoa?) is Fairmount

By - Kathy Kranz - Last year I was privileged -- yes, privileged -- to witness Lawyer Ron winning the inaugural St. Louis Derby. But the 2006 running was the one and only, the first and last, the alpha and the omega St. Louis Derby.

Commentary: Big MC

By - Joe Clancy - I never saw anything in racing like McDynamo winning a fifth consecutive Breeders' Cup Grand National Steeplechase (NSA-I) at Far Hills, N.J., Oct. 20.

Commentary: Oh Me, Oh Myectomy

By - Cot Campbell - Clearly, God was in a whimsical mood when He designed the bodily structure of the Thoroughbred racehorse.

Commentary: More is Less

By - Morton Cathro - With the dust -- pardon, mud -- hardly settled from the first-ever two-day Breeders' Cup, the powers that be already are talking of further expanding racing's annual championship event.

Commentary: Who Cares?

By - Dr. C. Reid McLellan - Education? We don't need no stinkin' education!" Few horsemen actually use that paraphrase of Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles movie quote in public, but many practice that mantra, even if they don't preach it.

Commentary: King Edward

By - Sean Feld - I did not know Ed Nahem personally, but when I read that he had died Oct. 31 of liver failure it brought back many memories of one of my favorite horses.

Commentary: Bye George

By - Esther Marr - I've only worked in the Thoroughbred industry for two years, so I don't pretend to know the history of horse racing to the extent of most people I encounter each day in my profession.

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: 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.

Commentary: Weighty Issue

By Morton Cathro - Now that synthetic surfaces appear to be doing the job they were designed to do -- that is, prolong the lives and limbs of Thoroughbred racehorses -- it may be time to act on long-sought legislation that would prolong the lives and limbs of the athletes who ride those horses.

Commentary: Field of Play

By Bob Summers - I've been playing horse races for 47 years and have not regretted a minute. But I've just passed another birthday and feel it's time to get one little confession off my chest.

Commentary: Dirt Racing's Demise?

By Tanya Gunther - It is impossible to put my head in the sand and ignore the demise of dirt racing's dramatic impact on the sport.

Commentary: Truckin'

By Dan Kenny - Dwayne Hayworth had convinced his boss that young horses could be brought to racing fitness with a regimen that included truck training. Four horses at a time were tethered to a vehicle and exercised at controlled speed by the driver. It's a bit like a coach-and-four, with an SUV instead of a coach.

Commentary: Adjusting the Focus

By Dr. Scott Stanley and Dr. Rick Arthur - Horse racing was ahead of other sports in implementing a drug-testing program, and in many ways we are still the paceĀ­setters. We cast a broader net for more drugs than any other sport.

Commentary: Howdy, Partner

Commentary: Howdy, Partner

By Dan Liebman - What was the most interesting thing about the $2.2 million sale topper of the annual Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale was not the breeder, consignor, or sire of the colt, but the buyer and underbidder.

Commentary: First Love

By Jeff Deitz - Face it, guys and dolls. We all remember our first time. Mine was unforgettable -- Wednesday, Aug. 16, 1972, two months after those five yo-yo's broke into Watergate, precisely 35 years ago. I was already 23 but hell, it happens when it happens.

Commentary: Charming Trip

Commentary: Charming Trip

By Steve Haskin - When the doors of the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., open for Silver Charm Aug. 6, there will be no one blocking his way, and he will take his rightful place among the greats of the sport.

Commentary: Lord...the flies!

By Richard Zwirn - Thoroughbred farms and stables are inundated with them this time of year. There are way too many to eradicate, as for every one you see, there are thousands you don't. Flies are survivors.

Commentary: Legend Of The Bitterroots

By Morton Cathro - For the first time in anyone's memory there'll be no horse racing this summer at the Ravalli County Fair in Montana's beautiful Bitterroot Valley. And the good folks of Hamilton (population 4,443) are, if not bitter, mighty unhappy.

Commentary: Take Route 2

Commentary: Take Route 2

By Tom LaMarra - Gaming in West Virginia and other states has kept racetracks open, put money in horsemen's pockets, and encouraged breed development. Whether it has done anything to spark long-term interest in and stability for horse racing is dubious at best.

Commentary: A Modest Proposal

Rob Whiteley - The Proposal. Every member of the Thoroughbred family will contribute to industry well-being by immediately investing his or her own money.

Commentary: The Owner's Owner

Mace Siegel - As gifted as he was as a television producer, and as much as he enjoyed that trade, Ed Friendly fell in love with another industry, and those of us in the Thoroughbred industry, particularly in California, are fortunate he did.

Commentary: Own Responsibly

Dr. Tom Lenz - It's a simple philosophy, and one that makes perfect sense. If prospective and current horse owners are responsible and research their options before they commit to buy, breed, or sell a horse, the result will be fewer unwanted horses.

Commentary: Sex Sells

By Dan Liebman - Sure, this is no Bobby Riggs versus Billy Jean King but that's what marketing is all about -- taking something people aren't sure they care about and making them realize they should care about it.

Commentary: Distance Dilemma

By Clay S. Robinson - What the breed needs is a series of big money stakes on dirt over a longer distance of ground.

Commentary: Back Into The Hole

By John McEvoy - I have been caught in the squeeze between aggressive corporations battling for monopolistic control of "the product" while turning a frigid shoulder to the people who purchase the product.

Charmin and Sheets

By Bill Nack - The Derby, unique and demanding, requires that a horse be absolutely dead fit to win it.

Still A Mystery

By Pete Pedersen - Why did this man, at the height of his career, choose death? The answer is locked in the soul of Robert McDaniel, never to be revealed.

The Circle Game

By John Angelo - My call once again to distant post times began this past September when I heard from Michael Blowen, director of Old Friends, that Kiri's Clown and Awad would soon join the farm's other Thoroughbred retirees.

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.

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."

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