(Originally published in the March 19, 2011 issue of The
Blood-Horse magazine. Feel free to share your own thoughts and
the bottom of the column.)
For 18 years and nine months the last page in The Blood-Horse
has been home to a wide range of opinions from participants and
observers of Thoroughbred racing. The “Final Turn” became the industry
water cooler or a counter seat at the local diner where everyone shared
opinions on the issues of the day. We’ll continue to provide a home for
those opinions, but they will have a new location in the magazine and be
published under a banner more indicative of what they are—“Industry
The “Final Turn” was introduced in the July 4, 1992, issue with a piece by Steven Crist, now publisher and columnist for the Daily Racing Form. In 1992 Crist covered New York racing for The Blood-Horse.
He wrote about the “Hero Myth,” the belief that a superhorse or a
Triple Crown winner will come along and save racing. The subjects of the
“Final Turn” have covered a broad spectrum—a lot of prescriptions for
fixing racing and even advice for breeders about dealing with
international competition. We have had many great remembrances, too,
such as one from Sean Clancy about an estate sale he attended for the
late Hall of Fame trainer Sidney Watters Jr. The piece on Watters won
the Eclipse Award for news/commentary writing in 2009.
Most pieces submitted for the “Final Turn” have challenged us or called us to action.
his inaugural column, Crist reaches the following conclusions: “No
superhorse can save racing from itself—from its mismanagement, lack of
vision, and absence of leadership. This game will change radically over
the next 20 years and will wither without preemptive, innovative
planning to react to those changes.”
Innovative ideas are
essential, so we want everyone with an interest in and a passion for
Thoroughbred racing to continue submitting thoughtful and provocative
opinions. These will be published regularly on the “Industry Voices”
blog, one of our editorial outlets on BloodHorse.com started in May
2010. The best of what is submitted will run in the magazine on a page
following “The Wire” news section in addition to appearing online.
will appear on this page beginning in the March 26 issue is a new
feature called “Winner’s Circle.” Here you will learn more about the
owners and breeders whose substantial investments in time, money, and
effort make the Thoroughbred industry work. These one-page features will
give you insight into who these people are, how they became involved
and enraptured with Thoroughbred racing, and what has brought them
success. These stories also will be posted on BloodHorse.com in a new
“Winner’s Circle” blog, where readers are welcome not only to post
comments and observations but submit their own suggestions for the
subjects of future stories.
Because the industry has so many
interesting tales, we’ll slip in a couple of features now and again
about extraordinarily successful broodmares, a new trainer that is
catching fire, or a racehorse with a compelling story that may not be a
graded stakes winner but is finding success at other levels of the game.
We want to hear suggestions on these subjects, too.
For our first
“Winner’s Circle” feature you’ll learn more about John D. Gunther, the
co-breeder of Triple Crown hopeful Stay Thirsty, whom he bred with his
son, John Darren Gunther. Later we’ll visit with George Bolton, co-owner
of The Factor, who won the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) and is headed
for the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. II).
In the “Winner’s Circle,”
you’ll learn more about the people who share your passion for
Thoroughbred racing, and you might pick up some tips that could lead to
your own success story.
Whether it is making connections or sharing ideas, The Blood-Horse is here for you and wants to hear from you.
Visit the Winner's Circle by clicking here.