By Ray Paulick -- The Saratoga season of 2003 is one New York Racing Association officials will not soon forget, and for good reason. They overcame numerous obstacles to post record numbers at what most people acknowledge is American racing's most important meeting.
Trainer John Ward received a surprise phone call on Wednesday from New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, three days after the Kentucky horseman made comments critical of the federal investigation of the New York Racing Association.
A construction program that began 2 1/2 weeks ago to install video lottery terminals at Aqueduct racetrack in New York has been halted because of the ongoing criminal investigation of the New York Racing Association.
Slot machine exclusivity at New York racetracks may be short-lived, two legislators from the Empire State said on Tuesday during an afternoon session of the Saratoga Institute on Racing and Wagering Law.
By Ray Paulick -- It's almost August and the racing season is in full swing as major horses prep for this fall's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Thanks to TVG, you can see it all from your living room.
Madeleine Paulson, widow of multiple Eclipse Award-winning breeder and owner Allen Paulson, helped rekindle images of her late husband's greatest champion at Del Mar on Monday when Life's Pleasures, a 3-year-old half sister to two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, closed with a rush to break her maiden going one mile.
The condition of 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Sarava was improving on Monday, one day after he underwent emergency colic surgery, but trainer Bob Baffert said New Phoenix Stable's Wild Again colt was "not out of the woods yet."
Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner who went on to capture the following year's Horse of the Year title with a dramatic victory over 1987 Derby hero Alysheba in the Breeders' Cup Classic, is dead. The Blood-Horse has learned the big chestnut son of Nijinsky II died sometime in 2002, most likely in a slaughterhouse in Japan, where his career at stud was unsuccessful.
Who are we to tell the Japanese or anyone else how they should discard the horses we once loved? Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Slaughter is legal in the United States, and there is nothing that would guarantee Ferdinand would not have ended up in one of the slaughtering plants here if he fell into the wrong hands.
By Ray Paulick -- By using the power of its American Graded Stakes Committee, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association is taking a leadership role to ensure the highest standards are being used to test those horses competing in America's most important races.
By Ray Paulick -- One of the last things Thoroughbred racing needs is another organization that duplicates or comes into conflict with the work of others. That must be avoided if the Thoroughbred Championship Tour, a concept developed by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, comes to fruition.
Congress passed a $350-billion tax cut measure on May 23, but the bill did not include a clause eliminating an existing 30% withholding tax on winning pari-mutuel wagers placed by foreigners through U.S. betting pools.
Former President Bill Clinton, among those packed into Pimlico's Turf Club on Preakness Day, predicted New York-bred Funny Cide, winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), would also win the Visa Triple Crown's second jewel.
After a thorough review of dozens of photographs and a replay of the NBC tape of the Kentucky Derby and interviews with various individuals, the Kentucky Racing Commission board of stewards determined that jockey Jose Santos did not carry anything other than a whip in his right hand when he won the Kentucky Derby with Funny Cide on May 3.
The Thoroughbred industry has taken two giant steps toward matching a pledge of $500,000 from distiller Maker's Mark for the development at the Kentucky Horse Park of the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
In the movie business, sequels usually don't measure up to the originals. But Thoroughbred breeder Arthur B. Hancock III, owner of Stone Farm near Paris, Ky., is hoping a 2003 foal he has nicknamed Superman II is every bit as successful as a 1997 colt Hancock dubbed Superman, later named Fusaichi Pegasus.
By Ray Paulick -- There wasn't a hotter trainer in the country than Larry Barrera for a brief time in the late spring of 1980. Larry, the son of Hall of Fame conditioner Laz Barrera, was just 20 years old when he saddled three stakes winners at Hollywood Park over a five-day period.
By Ray Paulick -- It is difficult to review operations for the first five years of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association without wondering what might have transpired if the forerunner to the NTRA--the owner-driven National Thoroughbred Association--had gotten off the ground.
War Emblem, North America's champion 3-year-old male of 2002 who was sold to Japan's Shadai Stallion Station for nearly $18 million in September, is having difficulties covering mares in his first year at stud and his owners are negotiating a settlement with an insurance company.
By Ray Paulick -- While for some the trail to the Triple Crown begins the minute a healthy foal hits the ground, a more realistic starting point is when the first major prep races are shown on live television.
The number of mares bred in Kentucky in 2002 -- the year after mare reproductive loss syndrome first hit -- fell by 3.4% from 2001, but the state's broodmare population remains 33% higher than it was a decade earlier, according to figures released by The Jockey Club.
By Ray Paulick -- The NTRA needs to clearly define for voters what the awards are supposed to recognize and should take control of who votes for the awards, inviting a panel of 50 to 100 of the most qualified and unbiased people in racing to participate.
There were no standing ovations and only a handful of laughs at the 32nd annual Eclipse Awards Dinner held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Monday night. But emotions ran high during many of the presentations, not the least of which during Michael Paulson's tearful acceptance of the Horse of the Year trophy for Azeri.
The respective presidents of Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park said they have pulled out all the stops in marketing this Saturday's $3.6-million Sunshine Millions, a unique program matching Florida-breds vs. California-breds at the two Magna Entertainment owned racetracks.
Kentucky's leadership role in breeding excellence may be slipping and too many of the state's legislators fail to understand the importance of the state's Thoroughbred industry, how it works, and who it represents.