Paulick

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Fade to Black

By Ray Paulick -- One of the interesting things about Thoroughbred racing is the penchant so many people have of knocking something into oblivion, and later complaining about the fact it's gone. Take TVG, for example.

Purses and Wallet

By Ray Paulick - The gap between purses in Thoroughbred races in the United States and money spent in the American Thoroughbred auction market widened in 2006. While total purses for the year aren't yet known, the projection is that they will be up by a couple of percentage points to just north of $1.1 billion, which would be an all-time record.

Filly Sold Before Fasig-Tipton Sale Should Have Been Scratched

The second-highest-priced horse sold at this week's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale -- a Chief Seattle filly purchased Tuesday for $270,000 by bloodstock agent Buzz Chace -- was bought privately for $29,000 by pinhooker John Brocklebank less than 24 hours earlier and should have been scratched, according to Fasig-Tipton officials.

Guild's Gertmenian Called 'Absolute Disgrace' in House Hearing

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee looking at jockey health and welfare issues was sharply critical of current Jockeys' Guild management during a hearing on Tuesday that began with testimony from paralyzed rider Gary Birzer and ended with a comment calling Wayne Gertmenian's actions as Guild president and CEO an "absolute disgrace."

Bellamy Road, Others Drill at Muddy Saratoga

Despite overnight rains that left Saratoga's main track muddy for the second consecutive morning, some key workouts were recorded Sunday for two grade I stakes for 3-year-olds contested at the spa next Saturday, the 1 1/4-mile Travers and the seven-furlong King's Bishop.

Casner to Take Over as Chairman of TOBA

Bill Casner of WinStar Farm has been elected chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, replacing Cobra Farm's Gary Biszantz, who was first elected to a one-year term in 2001 and re-elected three successive years.

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.

Hollywood Ending?

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

$1.9-Million Songandaprayer Colt Tops Barretts Sale

Bob Lewis outlasted fellow Californian Sidney Craig in the bidding for a Songandaprayer colt at Tuesday's Barretts selected sale of 2-year-olds in training, paying $1.9 million for a horse who breezed a quarter-mile in what announcer John Henderson said was a world record time of :20.6 seconds.

For Keeps

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

The Big Chill

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

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Exit Visa

By Ray Paulick -- Racing will be saying farewell this year to a man who has had an enormous influence on the sport over the last decade, as Carl Pascarella retires as chief executive officer of Visa USA.

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.

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.

No Gift Exchange

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

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.

Open Book

By Ray Paulick - Though its brightest days may be in the past, the Japan Racing Association has decided to allow a little more sun to shine on a sport and industry that for the past 50 years has virtually been closed to outsiders.

KEEP It Up

By Ray Paulick -- The Kentucky Equine Education Project is critical to the future of all horse breeds in Kentucky.

Every Jockey's Nightmare

Ray Paulick - David Guillory has never watched a replay of the race that ended his riding career. He's never wanted to. Guillory remembers turning into the stretch, seeing a horse just in front veering in on him, and yelling at the horse's rider. He doesn't recall what happened next, but he doesn't need to see a videotape to remind him.

Bumpy Ride

By Ray Paulick - The Nov. 7 dispute between a group of riders and the management of Churchill Downs was not the first and surely will not be the last time jockeys have taken action to express displeasure with their plight.

Ayes for Texas

By Ray Paulick -- Lone Star Park was a sight to behold Oct. 30 when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships came to town. An enthusiastic crowd of 53,717 horse lovers from around the world was on hand to take part in the most important day in the history of the Texas racing industry.

Slot the Vote

By Ray Paulick -- Comedian George Carlin would have you believe that "paper or plastic" and "aisle or window" are the only real choices in America these days. With important national, state, and local elections coming up Nov. 2, I beg to differ.

Taking Care of Business

By Ray Paulick -- This is supposed to be the time of year when the racing world starts talking Saratoga and Del Mar, and the search begins for the hot 2-year-olds who look like they could be Triple Crown prospects 10 months from now.

<i>The Blood-Horse Electronic Edition</i> Launched

Blood-Horse Publications, a multimedia publishing company that traces its roots to 1916, has officially launched The Blood-Horse Electronic Edition, a complete new digital edition of The Blood-Horse, the Thoroughbred industry's leading weekly news and information magazine.

Garden Party

By Ray Paulick -- The intention of the Breeders' Cup to hold the World Thoroughbred Championships at Monmouth Park in 2007 is good news for New Jersey racing and breeding interests, but the industry's economic picture there could be far worse by then than it is today.

Business or Sport?

By Ray Paulick -- Currently playing across America's racing landscape are two stories that reflect the difficult decision owners of championship-level racehorses face concerning when to have their stars "call it a career."

Ethics Update

By Ray Paulick -- The Jockey Club of England reiterated its call for "increased transparency in bloodstock transactions"; the Belmont Stakes on NBC was reality television at its best.

Racing At Its Very Best

By Ray Paulick -- Haven't we been here before? A horse, one that by the first Saturday in June is carrying too heavy an impost--an entire industry--for any Thoroughbred, is caught and passed in the cruel stretch of New York's Belmont Park.

Golden Years

By Ray Paulick -- Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed both raced at four, enhancing their reputations...

An Outrage to Owners

By Ray Paulick -- Regulations that keep a trainer from defrauding an owner are not important enough to be enforced...

Gotcha

  • TOBA

By Ray Paulick -- In racing's ongoing drug war, the fiercest battles are being fought on the backstretch.

Buyer Beware

By Ray Paulick -- The Jockey Club of England apparently is poised to clamp down on the fleecing of horse owners by banning agents and trainers found to be in serious violation of an industry code of ethics from the country's 59 racecourses.

Sugar and Spice

By Ray Paulick -- The victories by Tabasco Cat in the 1994 Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were looked upon by the late William T. Young as his happiest moments in racing.

Muscle Tussle

By Ray Paulick -- How serious is the drug problem in contemporary sports? Serious enough that President Bush, a former partner in Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers, has called for a White House summit to examine the use of steroids among amateur and professional athletes participating in football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and track and field.

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