Esther Marr

KEEP Rally Draws Nearly 1,000

KEEP Rally Draws Nearly 1,000

Nearly a thousand people traveled to Kentucky's state capitol in Frankfort June 17 to rally for a cause they have stood behind for years: to boost the horse racing industry by way of expanded casino gaming.

Kentucky Horse Industry Rally Draws Nearly 1,000

Nearly a thousand people traveled to Kentucky's state capitol in Frankfort June 17 to rally for a cause they have stood behind for years: to boost the horse racing industry by way of expanded casino gaming.

With a special session currently underway that could pass a bill that would allow video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks, the Kentucky...

Former Trainer Guides New Racehorse Transition Program

Barbara Luna has spent most of her life working in various aspects of the Thoroughbred industry, from hot walking horses as a college student, to becoming a licensed owner and trainer later on down the road. Throughout her endeavors she discovered that even greater than her love of campaigning runners was the passion that came from helping retired race...

Saez Has Back Pain from Delaware Spill

In addition to being directly involved in an equine-related tragedy at Delaware Park May 26, jockey Gabriel Saez is experiencing prolonged back pain from the accident that has since kept him from participating in his livelihood.

New Horse Owners Learn About Breeding Process

If there's one thing the horse industry needs, its new blood to fuel the sport. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association (TOBA) works each year to accomplish just that through its new owner seminars and breeding clinics, the most recent of which took place at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., May 29. The three-day clinic will...

New Owners Learn About Breeding Process

New Owners Learn About Breeding Process

If there's one thing the horse industry needs, its new blood to fuel the sport. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association works each year to accomplish just that through its new owner seminars and breeding clinics, the most recent of which took place at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. May 29.

Michigan Gov. Slashes Thoroughbred Funding

After an executive order from Gov. Jennifer Granholm that 100% of the $1.4 million earmarked for Michigan's Thoroughbred programs for 2009 would be used instead to deal with the state's immense budget deficit, local horsemen feared their industry would die a quick death.

Wiggins Reacts to Losing 'Rachel'

Wiggins Reacts to Losing 'Rachel'

The morning after it was announced that powerhouse filly Rachel Alexandra had been sold to Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Harold T. McCormick, trainer Hal Wiggins went about his business as usual, in spite of the empty stall where the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner used to reside.

Oaks: Lukas Reveals Trio Attack Strategy

Oaks: Lukas Reveals Trio Attack Strategy

For the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Lukas has not one, not two, but three fillies that are looking to take the lilies from overwhelming favorite Rachel Alexandra...or at least get a whiff of them by checking in second, third, or even fourth.

Talented Older Females Set for Turf Mile

Talented Older Females Set for Turf Mile

A seasoned and accomplished field of older females is set for the May 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs, in which graded stakes winners Ballymore Lady, Dawn After Dawn, and Elusive Lady appear to be in top form.

Oaks: Finley Has No Concerns About Rachel

Oaks: Finley Has No Concerns About Rachel

Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds is looking forward to simply enjoying the ride in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). And even though the pressure will be high on his filly Justwhistledixie, who will try to measure up against the heavy morning line favorite Rachel Alexandra, Finley is refusing to let himself get anxious about something he can't control.

KY Oaks: Everyone Chasing Rachel Alexandra

KY Oaks: Everyone Chasing Rachel Alexandra

Prior to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) post position draw the morning of April 28, Mike Rutherford, owner/breeder of Flying Spur, and Michael Lauffer, co-owner of Rachel Alexandra, discussed the chances of their fillies in the 1 1/8-mile, $500,000 race May 1.

Inside Track: Go Green

Inside Track: Go Green

After watching a Discovery Channel show documenting how residents of Greensburg, Kansas, were rebuilding their tornado-ridden city as a "model green community," horse industry veterans Chad and Tammy Hassenpflug became determined to support that community in a special way.

Oaks: Rachel Sizzles a Half in :46 2/5

Oaks: Rachel Sizzles a Half in :46 2/5

Though her work was a bit fast for his taste, trainer Hal Wiggins was more than satisfied when his filly Rachel Alexandra made it back to the barn in good shape after zipping through a half-mile in :46 2/5 at Churchill Downs the morning of April 27.

Banned Suffolk Trainers Reinstated

Three of the five trainers that were banned from Suffolk Downs last fall for violating its zero tolerance policy toward horse slaughter have been reinstated and will be allowed to saddle horses for the East Boston, Mass. track's 2009 season, which runs May 2-Nov. 7.

Air Power: All Natural or Not?

While it's common knowledge within the Thoroughbred industry that trainer Jeff Mullins is in hot water with the New York Racing Association for administering a herbal cough remedy to his horse Gato Go Win prior to the April 6 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, fans and horseman who are not familiar with various equine medications may be wondering exactly what ingredients make up this over-the-counter product.

Stardom Bound Looking for Sixth Grade I

Stardom Bound Looking for Sixth Grade I

Although champion Stardom Bound is the clear choice for the April 4 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) opening weekend at Keeneland, the daughter of Tapit has her work cut out of for her when facing an accomplished field of eight other females looking to secure a spot in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Keeneland Race Loses Sponsor Lane's End

Keeneland Race Loses Sponsor Lane's End

After 12 years of sponsoring the Breeders' Futurity Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, William S. Farish's Lane's End has relinquished its support of the $500,000 event. The 1 1/16-mile Futurity for 2-year-olds is run in early October and had been sponsored by the farm since 1997.

Inside Track: Gift of the Heart

Inside Track: Gift of the Heart

Even though Iain Holmes didn't pioneer the concept of using a Thoroughbred racehorse's name to raise awareness for a cause, the fact he's used that platform to promote the act of saving lives via organ donations still deserves some accolades.

Peppers Pride: Happy to be in Kentucky

Peppers Pride: Happy to be in Kentucky

On a warm and windy overcast morning March 6, trainer Joel Marr stood pensive in the shedrow of his undefeated modern-day world record holder Peppers Pride's new home at Nathan Fox's Richland Hills Farm near Midway, Ky. Although in less than 24 hours, he will be bidding farewell to the best horse he has ever trained, Marr approached the subject with ease.

Racetrack VLT Bill Clears Kentucky Panel

Revised legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks unanimously passed out of a House of Representatives committee Feb. 12, but its sponsor is unsure the measure will be voted on by the full House during the current General Assembly session.

Turfway Injuries Down in January

Turfway Injuries Down in January

A month after Turfway Park experienced eight catastrophic breakdowns during its 21-day holiday meet, state veterinarian Dr. Bryce Peckham and Turfway president Bob Elliston were on hand at a Feb. 10 Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting in Lexington to present commissioners a much more positive report.

Churchill Trims Spring Stakes Schedule

Churchill Trims Spring Stakes Schedule

Churchill Downs has unveiled a stakes schedule for its 2009 spring meet that is headed by the 135th renewals of the $2-million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). There will be 29 events with total purses of $7.575 million.

KY Farms Deal With Ice Storm Aftermath

KY Farms Deal With Ice Storm Aftermath

While the icy wonderland that has blanketed the Bluegrass region left more than 600,000 Kentuckians without power the week of Jan. 25, Thoroughbred farm managers are doing all they can to keep their operations functional and safe in spite of property damage and lack of electricity.

FRIENDS Has Friend in Florida HBPA

In December, the Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing Development and Safety, a horse rescue ranch in Broward County, Fla., was unable to foot its bills, and as a result, was nearly forced to close its doors. Thanks in part to several recent donations -- including $10,000 from the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association -- the facility has been able to keep afloat in spite of the dismal economy.

Fairmount Implements Horse Welfare Plan

To make its position clear on horse slaughter, Fairmount Park in Illinois has put in place a zero-tolerance policy that would take stalls away from trainers involved in the practice. And in an effort to address the unwanted horse situation, the track has created an adoption program for Fairmount runners when they retire from racing.

Inside Track: Second Chances

Inside Track: Second Chances

When Windswept Lady arrived at Shannon Hahn's Argyle, N.Y-based Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary near Saratoga Springs with her newborn foal, the outlook looked grim for the granddaughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.

Female Sprint Eclipse: Indian Blessing

Female Sprint Eclipse: Indian Blessing

Indian Blessing couldn't have ended 2008 on a more perfect note when she registered a gutsy 1 1/2-length score Dec. 27 in the La Brea (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. The win marked her fifth lifetime grade I victory.

Fair Grounds Breakdowns Look 'Unusual'

Though five horses have been euthanized as a result of catastrophic breakdowns at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots since Jan. 17, Dr. Tom David, equine medical director for the Louisiana State Racing Commission, said the incidents appear to have no direct connection with the condition of the racing surface.

2009 BC Stakes Program Still in Works

2009 BC Stakes Program Still in Works

Breeders' Cup officials, who announced Dec. 11 they were suspending the Breeders' Cup stakes program and a week later decided to fund the program using money from the organization's reserve account, have yet to approve which races will receive the added money.

Inside Track: A True Original

Inside Track: A True Original

Attorney Jim Philpott has taken a lot of journeys throughout his life. And though he was casually involved with horses at a young age, he never imagined his career path after law school would eventually revolve around the Thoroughbred world.

Hall of Fame Ceremony Date Changed

Hall of Fame Ceremony Date Changed

The National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame ceremony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which for a number of years has taken place on a Monday in early to mid August, will be moved to Friday, Aug. 14 this year.

Shadwell Horseman Witham Dead

Bob Witham, a veteran horseman who broke horses for Shadwell Farm for more than two decades, died Dec. 17 at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital in Columbia, S.C. He was 65.

Inside Track: Lucky Stars

Inside Track: Lucky Stars

Many Thoroughbred farm workers consider themselves lucky if they played a part in buying, selling, or raising at least a couple successful horses throughout their careers.

War Cry to Stand at Hunter View Farm

War Cry, a $2.7-million yearling and a half-brother to grade II winner and prominent sire E Dubai (by Mr. Prospector) and grade I winner and European champion producer No Matter What (by Nureyev), will stand the 2009 season for $2,500 at Richard Moylen's Hunter View Farm near Caledon, Ontario, Canada.

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