By Dan Liebman - The preliminary recommendations of the Sales Integrity Task Force were released Oct. 15, and though the diligent work of the group is admirable, it fell far short of providing a strong blueprint for needed changes in the public auction arena.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 pacesetters. We cast a broader net for more drugs than any other sport.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.