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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.

Commentary: Spending Time With The Old Man

Commentary: Spending Time With The Old Man

By Eric Mitchell - It's been almost 20 years since I'd seen the Old Man, and the first time for Matthew. You know how time gets away. The Old Man's health has not been too good lately so a visit was essential.

Commentary: Substandard

Commentary:  Substandard

By Dan Liebman - For baby boomers, 60 is the new 40; for airlines, 6 a.m. is the new 8 a.m.; and, according to a recent advertisement in The Blood-Horse, for the Thoroughbred industry, 6% stakes winners from foals is the new "gold standard."

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: Surfers and Sellers

Commentary: Surfers and Sellers

By Evan I. Hammonds - One thing we should already know about next year's round of yearling sales is that there will be changes to the conditions of sale. The Sales Integrity Task Force has until the end of the year to come up with recommendations to the Kentucky legislature to address several issues involving the sale of horses in the Bluegrass State.

Commentary: Three Weeks of September

Commentary: Three Weeks of September

By Eric Mitchell - In many ways, Keeneland September has already established itself as an event. Why else would consignors continue to offer more horses there? They have to believe they are selling at the epicenter, and that there is no better place to be.

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: Running Start

Commentary:  Running Start

By Dan Liebman - Thankfully, someone at the time did have an interest in standing Danzig, Storm Cat, and Mr. Prospector, respectively. And, our breed has been changed forever because of their decisions.

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: Battle Lines

Commentary:  Battle Lines

By Evan I. Hammonds - Advance deposit wagering, which most sources agree accounts for about 10% of handle on Thoroughbred racing, is the sport's latest battleground.

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: 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: Scandalous

Commentary: Scandalous

By Ray Paulick - Racing has no commissioner, so when a substance, possibly cobra venom, was found in a trainer's barn a month ago, there is no swift and decisive action, only inaction.

Commentary: Now's The Time

Commentary: Now's The Time

By Ray Paulick - Unlike existing news products delivered once a day, BloodhorseNOW.com will be a vibrant, constantly updated online resource pulling in the latest information from racetracks, auction rings, and breeding sheds.

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: Last Laugh

Commentary: Last Laugh

By Ray Paulick - Funny Cide was in more living rooms than any other person or animal leading up to the 2003 Belmont Stakes.

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: Forked Tongue

Commentary:  Forked Tongue

By Ray Paulick - Included in that "it's not illegal if you can't test for it" category is cobra venom, the use of which has been rumored for years. The substance, believed to be 1,000 times more powerful than morphine, can help a horse run through pain by blocking impulses through the nervous system. Use of the substance in horse racing is illegal. Worse yet, it's cruel to the animal.

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: Chip In

By Dan Liebman - Pre-sale surgeries didn't keep horses such as Real Quiet and Curlin from becoming classic winners. Disclosure wouldn't have, either.

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: Follow That Car

By Dan Liebman - But just imagine if the owner of every racetrack in North America could agree to do what is best for the sport overall, realizing what is best for all is best for one. Think of one network carrying every race televised across the continent with a cohesive schedule understood by fans.

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: Jewels Of The Triple Crown

By Ray Paulick - What fans got this year were three incredible horse races that ended with three very accomplished and deserving winners, punctuated by the history-making performance of Rags to Riches, the first filly winner of the Belmont since Tanya in 1905.

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: Peak Preakness

By Ray Paulick - The fighting spirit shown by both Curlin and Street Sense in this terrific stretch battle epitomizes what breeding and racing Thoroughbreds is all about.

Bay Watch

By Ray Paulick - Racing has enough problems without a grandstanding politician using his position to wage a personal war with a state regulator.

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.

Made To Be Broken

By Ray Paulick - This year brings us to a couple of tried and tested chapters from the unwritten trainers' manual regarding the Kentucky Derby: the "two-prep" and "unraced juvenile" rules.

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.

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.

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.

Turn Signal

By Ray Paulick -- Twenty years ago, in the infancy of whole-card simulcasting, there were fears that only the so-called "super tracks" would survive -- those offering the highest-quality racing signals to receiving sites around the country.

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