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It Won't Be the Same

By Paul Volponi -- Johnson was elected to racing's Hall of Fame in 1997. The honor was a tribute to the trainer's incredible consistency. He was enshrined without a dominating champion. Instead of a Pegasus, he rose on the wings of a work ethic that woke him at 2:30 a.m. each morning as he walked a treadmill and watched tapes of races before heading to the barn.

Cowboy Up

By Dan Liebman -- About 10 years ago, Robert A. "Cowboy" Jones quit keeping track. But it's safe to say the number is more than 50,000. While others spend billions each year on diet books, diet pills, diet fads, and diet programs, Cowboy Jones lost 50,000 pounds in a sweatbox. Didn't cost him a penny.

Remembering Ray Rogers

By Alan F. Balch -- When racing lost Ray Rogers in July at the age of 87, one of our last links disappeared to a different sport we knew so well, not that long ago.

Tired of Weighting

By Dan Liebman -- These days, the country's best older horses rarely line up and race against each other in handicaps. Trainers often decline to run if their charges are asked to carry weight, and racing secretaries know that. Since racing secretaries today aren't going to really weight horses, let's just do away with handicaps and move on.

Little Patch of Heaven

By John Williams -- Of all the runners to have carried the famous flamingo pink silks of Harbor View Farm, Affirmed and his brilliant champion daughter Flawlessly stand above the others in the hearts of Lou and Patrice Wolfson.

Between the Lines

By Dan Liebman -- Among the comments heard at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale were two that were neither profound nor lengthy, but nonetheless quite significant. From Patrick Lawley-Wakelin: "People were more prepared this year." From Walt Robertson: "It is a good time to own a horse."

'Freebie'

By Lenny Shulman -- The picture lingers in the mind of Trudy McCaffery, and in the memories of racing fans. Two great gray horses thundering down the stretch in the 1997 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), shadow roll to shadow roll, both with one eye on the finish and one fixed on each other, making sure they were running together till the end.

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.

A Real Horseman

By Steve Montemarano -- His quick sentences are a collage of racing history. Looking into Jimmy Croll's blue eyes, one senses sincerity. He puts you at ease, and his uncomplicated approach to both people and horses becomes clear. When in Croll's company, there's no struggle to make conversation. Heck no. It's a straight-up affair.

Ethics For Sale

By Ray Paulick -- Kentucky's two Thoroughbred auction companies, Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland, were not happy when the subject of ethics in the bloodstock market was broached here in an April 3, 2004, editorial.

Fairly Spectacular

By Morton Cathro -- Horse racing's venerable merry-go-round, better known as the Northern California Fair Circuit, once again is on its dizzying summertime whirl through the county fairs of the Golden State.

Serving with Distinction

By Ray Paulick -- A story in the July 3 issue of The Blood-Horse on the resignation of William S. Farish as the U.S. ambassador to the Court of St. James took an unfair and undeserving shot at the master of Lane's End Farm, a longtime friend of the Bush family whose three-year tenure as ambassador came at one of the most trying times for America since World War II.

Distance Limitations

By Earl Ola -- Thirty years ago, there were 220 racetracks in America; today there are just over 100. Belmont's stands where filled for races like the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, the 2 1/4-mile Gallant Fox, etc. Today the same races are run at 1 1/4 miles and Belmont's stands are mostly empty for those races.

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.

Big Horses

By John W. Greathouse Jr. -- It has been a rough time at our family-owned farm recently. My mother, brothers, and I have had to bury the two best stallions ever to stand at Glencrest Farm. Clever Trick was euthanized June 5 and Wavering Monarch had to be put down just 12 days later.

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."

The Road to Frankfort

By John Gaines -- Kentucky is widely acknowledged as the horse capital of the world, the leading horse state in the United States, and the epicenter of horse industry leadership. Paradoxically, this leadership doesn't extend to our own state capital or to forging an economic partnership with fellow Kentuckians.

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.

Summer Wind

By Lenny Shulman -- As the Thoroughbred tribe dispersed from its heady gathering at Belmont Park June 5, still flush with more media coverage than it could have dreamed, the question in everyone's head became, "How do we keep this tidal wave of interest going?"

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.

A Tough Translation

By William Nack -- Of the many images that kept resurfacing in the mind's eye in the wake of Saturday's Belmont Stakes, none was more vividly or repeatedly recalled than the two scenes played out in and around Penny Chenery's set of box seats near the finish line.

Golden Years

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

Someday

By Susan Baldrige -- It was a simple farm, nothing fancy, with a quaint farmhouse and an old, stone barn with irregularly shaped box stalls. The farm had one tiny sign with a black horse painted on it that quietly announced you were there. That was exactly three years ago.

An Outrage to Owners

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

Ominous Clouds

By Dan Liebman -- Fletcher was very polished in congratulating Smarty Jones' owners, trainer, and jockey. But his ears had to be ringing from Churchill CEO Tom Meeker's comment that, "The sun wasn't shining too bright in Kentucky today but I have a slight feeling it was shining in Pennsylvania."

Bonus Round

By Ray Paulick -- Smarty Jones' win in the Derby will feed the dreams of thousands who own or breed on a modest scale...

Philly Faithful

By Tom LaMarra -- "The Chapmans are people with great hearts, the kind of people that really make the business go. If we didn't have people like them, we wouldn't have a Derby."

Dust at the Downs

By Ray Paulick -- Rather than focus on inconveniences, Derbygoers should take a look at what will be the finished product...

Derby Doings

By Evan I. Hammonds -- This year, there is one absolute. For the first time since 1956, the Kentucky Derby will be run without the presence of Joe Hirsch.

Song Well Sung

By Ray Paulick -- Robert Sangster was not only forward-thinking, he was universal in his approach to the business...

Bonuses and Purses

By Dan Liebman -- If Smarty Jones wins the Kentucky Derby it will be a great story...but it should not be allowed to distort Smarty Jones' earnings as a racehorse or his sire's place on the list of 2004 leading sires.

Spring Blossoms

By Ray Paulick -- This year's Derby promises to be especially interesting because with all but a couple of the major preps in the books, there is no clear-cut favorite.

Read On

By Chip Tuttle -- "...any student of media could tell you the trend away from full-time Turf writers at major metropolitan dailies has more to do with lower circulation, loss of ad pages, and rising costs of newsprint than lack of interest in horse racing."

Gotcha

  • TOBA

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

Public Perception

By Bob Summers -- The racing industry might learn something from what I overheard recently at an off-track betting parlor in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Busch League

By Ray Paulick -- Michael Busch wields a great deal of power in Maryland. The Democratic speaker of the House of Delegates is such a force that he could single-handedly kill a major industry, one valued at $10.6 billion that provides more than 20,000 jobs in his state.

Weighing In

By Larry Levin -- The recent running of the Strub Stakes (gr. II) followed a pre-race diversion into the arcane area of weight assignments. Toccet's connections protested their impost of 123 pounds, arguing that the allowance conditions of the race, properly interpreted, called for only 117. The conditions were so poorly worded that Toccet's owner had to appeal the decision of Santa Anita's officials to the stewards to resolve the matter in Toccet's favor.

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.

Industry Dilemma

By Ray Paulick -- Horse slaughter is the most emotional issue facing the Thoroughbred industry, and there is widespread support within the industry for proposed federal legislation to ban the slaughter of all horses for human consumption.

A Humane End

By Priscilla Clark -- Cries of outrage are still being heard wherever horse lovers express their views, and the terror and suffering Ferdinand undoubtedly endured in a slaughterhouse sparked profound soul searching throughout the racing community.

Countdown

By Terese Karmel -- Each winter as I watch the icicles hanging off my roof, my thoughts turn to those summer days I spend in Saratoga. Around the end of January, my partner and I start asking ourselves whether we're more than halfway to opening day.

Groundhog Day

By Ray Paulick -- Kentucky legislators can't learn everything about the horse business in the few weeks that remain before the session deadline to file bills. It requires professional lobbyists, but it also takes commitment from the rank and file.

King Lou

By Harry Miller -- For more than 22 years, the first ad in the Classified Advertising section each and every week was always for Lou Salerno's Questroyal Farm. Lou has now decided to devote all his energies to another of his passions, fine art. He has passed the torch to Chris Bernhard, who calls his farm Hidden Lake.

Landslide

By Ray Paulick -- For clues as to why the coronation of Mineshaft as Horse of the Year was not unanimous, a call to Sigmund Freud would be necessary. The human mind can be a strange thing.

A Happening

By Cot Campbell -- The prime necessary ingredients to attract and retain horse owners are: glamour, recognition, tax benefits, and profit. In that order.

Forever Young

By Ray Paulick -- William T. Young will be remembered for many things by many people. He was kind, honest, brilliant, tough, funny, engaging, modest, independent, loving, and loyal...

Remembering W.T. Young

By John Y. Brown Jr. -- An associate retorted when Abraham Lincoln died, "now he belongs to the ages--he was a man--take him for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again." I think this can be said of Bill Young...

High Priority

By Ray Paulick -- This year-end headline could not have gone unnoticed by anyone operating a racing stable--large or small--or by the leaders of organizations whose mission is to improve the economics of the Thoroughbred industry: 2003 Handle Up Slightly, But Purses Decrease.

Grand Opportunity

By Jim Squires -- Being both an incurable reformer and a glutton for punishment, it is hard not to be envious of the opportunity Gov. Ernie Fletcher has given his newly constituted Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

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