Lenny Shulman

Sprint Preview: Speed Thrills

The contest to determine the world's fastest Thoroughbred will feature approximately a dozen speedsters from all types of backgrounds. In addition, the NAPA Auto Parts Sprint (gr. I) will mark the only Breeders' Cup race featuring a "War of the Sexes." As many as three fillies and mares--Kalookan Queen, Carson Hollow, and Xtra Heat, will take on the boys to see which gender will prevail over six furlongs.

Equine Attorney Don Sturgill Dies at 74

Don Sturgill, prominent Lexington equine attorney who served as general counsel for both the national and Kentucky chapters of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, died Wednesday morning, Oct. 2, of a heart attack at his Lexington home.

Sprint Preview (9/12): Turn Up the Heat

The queen of the sprint division, Xtra Heat, did nothing to hurt her chances for a return crack at the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with a devastating five-length score in the $150,000 Endine Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park Sept. 7.

Serena's Song: Winning Tune

It is small wonder too that Serena's Song was tabbed for induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame this year as top contemporary female. She was brilliant and she was hickory, starting 38 times in a 30-month racing career. It's one thing to race often, it's another to capture 17 graded stakes and hit the board in another 14. She faced the best in her division, butted heads with the boys, and never took a backward step.

Pay TV: NTRA Channels Energies Into Controlling Small Picture

The Thoroughbred industry today is still paying for a bad decision made more than 40 years ago. Not only did its popularity plummet as a result of being off television during that medium's original boom time, but more recently the struggle to get possession of the sport's archives and control and coordinate its television presence has cost the industry millions of dollars.

Phoenix Rising: Sarava's Owner Savors Victory

In the 1970s, when he attended the University of Kentucky, Gary Drake would forgo class and head out to Keeneland "with $4 in my pocket trying to make my fortune." It's unlikely Drake made a score equal to the one he enjoyed when his New Phoenix Stable's Sarava shocked both him and the rest of the racing world by capturing the June 8 Belmont Stakes.

City of Hope

By Lenny Shulman -- Belmont Stakes Day was about War Emblem, Bob Baffert, and Sarava. It was also about a place called New York.

Fast Track to Nowhere

By Lenny Shulman -- A hard, fast track surface on Kentucky Derby Day takes its toll on horses that race at Churchill Downs that day.

Who's Bad?

By Lenny Shulman -- When compared with the transgressions in other professional and amateur sports, maybe racing isn't so bad.

Johannesburg Conquered the World in Championship Campaign

Johannesburg proved to be a citizen of the world in 2001. The bay colt raced twice in England, once in France, three times in Ireland, and once in the United States. One other thing--he won all seven times. Perfect on the racetrack, Johannesburg easily outdistanced his rivals and was named the 2-year-old male Eclipse Award winner.

Sikura's Death Confirmed as Accidental

The Nov. 1994 death of Canadian owner and breeder John Sikura Sr. has been confirmed as accidental following a review of the case by the Chief Coroner of Ontario. Sikura, 60, died on his way back from a restaurant when he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car in his driveway. The car subsequently burst into flames, Sikura died of smoke inhalation, and General Motors settled a product-liability suit with the Sikura family.

Trainer Mendoza Cleared in Medication Case

A board of three stewards at Santa Anita Park ruled that no penalty should be assessed against trainer Jesus (Jesse) Mendoza for a morphine positive found in a horse he trained in June, 2000. The Jan. 10 ruling stated that Mendoza had "mitigated the circumstances of the charge."

Bailey Regains Position on Top of Jockeys' Standings

In 1999 and again in 2000, Jerry Bailey lost photo finishes to Pat Day for leading rider by North American earnings. In 2001, however, Bailey made sure the camera was not necessary by finishing a furlong ahead of his competition. By the time his 12-month rampage across the continent (plus the Dubai World Cup, UAE-I) was in the books, Bailey had absolutely shattered Gary Stevens' three-year-old record for earnings, his $22,597,720 besting the old mark by better than $4 million.

Dealing With MRLS on the Farm: No Magic Bullet

Kentucky farm managers and owners are taking steps to prevent the reoccurrence of mare reproductive loss syndrome while fervently hoping last year's devastation was a one-shot deal. There are almost as many theories of what caused MRLS as there are people addressing the problem, so preventative measures differ from farm to farm.

Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., Southern California's Rising Star

Jose Valdivia Jr. is a rising star in the bright constellation that is the Southern California riding colony. His recent win aboard Val Royal in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) showed the rest of the world what two continents have already learned--Valdivia, 27, is a profound talent who is carrying forth the grand racing tradition of his family.

PVal Rides Again

The on-again, off-again career of jockey Patrick Valenzuela is on again. Valenzuela, 39, received a conditional license to resume riding from the California Horse Racing Board on Friday and will begin working horses Saturday, according to his attorney, Don Calabria.

Judge Throws Out Baffert Morphine Case

On Monday, Nov. 19, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the California Horse Racing Board's case against trainer Bob Baffert over a morphine positive found in a post-race urine sample of a Baffert-trained horse last year.

Churchill Downs Race Report: Fall Hues

The motif was unmistakably red at Churchill Downs for the 28th running of the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 10. Besides the bird of that color, University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, the state's most famous Cardinal, was on hand signing autographs for the faithful. The color scheme didn't last for the race's finish, however, when the familiar hue of Claiborne Farm's orange flashed across the wire on the back of its homebred filly Watch.

The Next Jump

By Lenny Shulman -- Not satisfied with being a champion amateur steeplechase rider in both the United States and Great Britain, a feat no one else has approached, George Sloan desperately sought to popularize his sport by putting it before the American public.

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