- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - There are no rules for Eclipse Awards voters, and maybe that is as it should be.
By Dan Liebman - There are no rules for Eclipse Awards voters, and maybe that is as it should be.
By Dan Liebman - A contemporary of Bob Courtney's was asked how he would best describe the 86-year-old owner of Crestfield Farm, who retired from selling horses following the Keeneland January sale. "If you asked 100 people who the most honest guy in the sale pavilion is, all 100 would say Bob Courtney," he said.
By Dan Liebman - During dinner with colleagues the night of Dec. 29, a member of the party returned to the table and mentioned how the New York Giants were leading the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter. A television in an adjacent room was showing the game on CBS.
By - Dan Liebman - I never met Dale Baird. In fact, I never even saw one of his horses win in person. But in 2005 I voted for him to gain inclusion in racing's Hall of Fame.
By - Dan Liebman - Usually, if sales of young horses are up, so too are sales of broodmares and broodmare prospects. As this issue devoted to the auction market shows, 2007 was a bit different.
By - Dan Liebman - Compile a list of important issues facing the Thoroughbred industry in 2008 and integrity would surely be included. Well, racing is not alone.
By - Dan Liebman - On Dec. 9, the Cathay Pacific International Races were held in Hong Kong. The following day, the Breeders' Cup announced it was adding three new races to its World Championships program. The terms "international" and "world" may imply the same thing, but there is little that is similar about the two events.
By - Dan Liebman - In 2007, at least one Thoroughbred flat race was run at 129 different racetracks in North America (another 24 ran steeplechase races only). Of those racetracks, nine now have a synthetic track surface.
By - Dan Liebman - In some ways, jockeys are no different than coal miners, oil-rig workers, and police and firemen. There is inherent risk in their everyday job. But you can't think about the risk. To dwell on it would make the job impossible to perform.
By - Dan Liebman - In a perfect world, professional athletes would all have one-year contracts. The results of their previous season would determine whether or not they would receive a raise for the following year.
By - Dan Liebman - It was an item that didn't draw many headlines. But, as Neil Armstrong so eloquently said about one small step, it can lead to a giant leap.
By - Dan Liebman - There were many longtime industry participants at Monmouth Park Oct. 26-27 for the first Breeders' Cup World Championships spread over two days. But perhaps more importantly, there was a newcomer to the sport intently watching the goings on.
By - Dan Liebman It was a routine early December night in Kentucky, when suddenly residents of South Frankfort were startled by late night fireworks. The pyrotechnics display from near the state capitol could mean only one thing -- Kentucky's first female governor had closed the deal to land the Toyota manufacturing plant.
By Stacy Bearse - It is my privilege to introduce Dan Liebman as the editor-in-chief of The Blood-Horse. Dan is the sixth chief editor in the long history of this publication.
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 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 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 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.
By Ray Paulick - Duchossois offers a special brand of hospitality to the racing fans and horsemen.
By Ray Paulick - The only master that should count is the horse and his safety.
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.
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 Ray Paulick - Funny Cide was in more living rooms than any other person or animal leading up to the 2003 Belmont Stakes.
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 Ray Paulick - The revolving door at Magna didn't start with Neuman. Since Stronach formed Magna Entertainment in February 2000, there have been six CEOs.
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.
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.
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 Ray Paulick - There is a touch of irony that Mom's Command will be inducted into the Hall of Fame the same year as the trainer of Forward Pass, Henry Forrest, who was elected by the Historic Review Committee.
By Ray Paulick - The Tin Man and John Henry have more in common than grade I victories at the ripe old age of 9.
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.
By Ray Paulick - Racing has enough problems without a grandstanding politician using his position to wage a personal war with a state regulator.
By Ray Paulick - Finally, after 23 years, Breeders' Cup officials can let out a sigh of relief. James Tafel's Street Sense proved that life does exist for a horse after winning the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
By Ray Paulick - For some, just getting a horse to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May is the realization of a dream. For others who've been there before, it's about winning -- pure and simple.
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.
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 Ray Paulick - Nobiz Like Shobiz and Tiago have a license to make beautiful music together on the first Saturday in May.
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 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 Ray Paulick - Many state racing commissioners talk about cracking down on cheaters in our sport. Indiana regulators are taking serious action.
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.
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.
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.
By Ray Paulick - Whether they race cars or horses, cheaters are getting more sophisticated today. Blood-doping agents or venom from exotic snakes and sea creatures are believed to be in use by some unscrupulous horsemen as performance-enhancing stimulants or painkillers. In a sense, it's the same kind of rocket fuel Waltrip's team was accused of putting into its Toyota.
By Ray Paulick - I had to go all the way to Dubai to hear a panel discussion about how racing officials in various American jurisdictions have different interpretations about the most basic rules infraction.
By Ray Paulick - So many people owe thanks to Jonabell Farm founder John A. Bell III, who served on countless committees with numerous industry organizations for more than a half-century.
By Steve Haskin - Fairy tales are not supposed to have unhappy endings. Barbaro was to leave New Bolton Medical Center, walking soundly with his head held high, and live happily ever after. But Thoroughbreds, despite the fairy tales they inspire, live in a different realm than Walt Disney.