Final Turn

Unprecendented Progress - by Alex Waldrop

Even though the Kentucky Derby is a month away, the spotlight is shining brightly on safety issues relating to Thoroughbred racing. Recent media accounts provide ample evidence that over the next two months, and perhaps for a much longer period, we are going to be under the microscope like in no other time as we near the one-year anniversary of Eight Belles' tragic accident.... Read More

Numerology - by Robert Laurence

Let me tell you a story: I was out of town over the President's Day holiday, and when I returned home, I was curious about who had won the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. I like the looks of this horse Old Fashioned and wanted to see if he'd taken a step toward the Derby.... Read More

Gaming Analysis - by Nick Nicholson

Picking up a newspaper or turning on the television to learn today's bad economic news has become part of our daily lives. It is not exclusively a Kentucky problem by any stretch of the imagination. In Kentucky, as in other states, government officials are forced to make difficult decisions.... Read More

Putting the Horse First? - by Dr. Patricia M. Hogan

The American Association of Equine Practitioners recently released its White Paper containing veterinary recommendations for improving the safety and welfare of the Thoroughbred racehorse. It is an admirable effort and contains many constructive suggestions for the racing industry to consider.... Read More

Partners or Vendors? - by Dr. Bart Barber

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a veterinarian is the camaraderie that exists in the barn. Outside of the business of the day, health of the horses, and specific cases, there is always discussion about yesterday's races, upcoming races, or what's going on in the news.... Read More

Lost Treasure - by Jeff Morris

Early on the morning of Jan. 31, our sport suffered the loss of one of its greatest living treasures. Eddie Logan, Santa Anita Park's shoeshine attendant since the track's opening day Dec. 25, 1934, died at his home at the age of 98.... Read More

If I Was a Horseman - by E. Abraham Ola

If I was a horseman, I would know that unbalanced Thoroughbred racehorses breakdown. I would look at finish line videos and see that almost every American-trained Thoroughbred racehorse runs slightly slanted to the left, unbalanced in its action and stride. ... Read More

What If? - by Dr. Jennifer Durenberger

"You know, Doc, that filly you scratched the other day? We X-rayed that ankle, and she had the beginnings of a condylar fracture..." I hear these words a few times each year when a trainer or private veterinarian is kind enough to give me an update.... Read More

Garden Plot - by Tom LaMarra

The large concrete apron was cracked in numerous places. The infield tote board was boarded up. The interior of the first-floor grandstand looked and smelled like it did in the 1970s. The near-abandoned barn area resembled something out of a horror movie.... Read More

Remembering Ken - by Jack Will

Ken Avanzino, a longtime Thoroughbred owner, breeder, and articulate advocate for the sport, passed away far too soon on Nov. 20 at age 71 after a tough battle with cancer.... Read More

Words on a Page - by Claire Novak

Had you told me at the start of the last season that I would begin this one as a free agent, I would never have believed you. I expected to work in Lexington, fulfilling my aspirations to make it big as a Turf writer, for the next 25 years or so. ... Read More

Life's Work - by Sean Clancy

It was his binoculars that got me. The ones hanging from an old wooden brush box in an old wooden barn, cracked down the center of the sight line, leather strap twisted and knotted, edges worn to metal, his name--S. Watters--clicked in the plastic label and pasted along the rim of the lens.... Read More

Family Photos

The note was slipped to me at the press table. It was from a fellow journalist covering the 1999 University of Connecticut men's basketball team in its first national championship year. But this night, the game is a blur. All I can think about is the note. It would transform me from a lifelong horse racing fan to the owner of a Thoroughbred.... Read More

The Attendant by Paul Volponi

On racing's biggest days the information mill grinds with monumental force. And the rumblings can be heard everywhere, even in the equalizer of all stations lofty and somewhat lower--the men's room.... Read More

Over and Out - by Jay Jones

My love for the sport of Thoroughbred racing was born on a gray, August dawn at Saratoga. The great Texas sportswriter Blackie Sherrod had written that Saratoga was "the granddaddy of American racetracks," so I had to go.... Read More

Write Words - by Karen Johnson

I'm terrible with good-byes. I cry at Hallmark commercials and dopey movies. So I knew the day that I said farewell to Rewrite, the mare my sister Kathy and I owned, would require plenty of Kleenex.... Read More

Breeders' Cup Implications - by Peter Land

I have had the pleasure to witness two Breeders' Cup World Championships live, as an observer at Monmouth Park last year and as an active participant this year at Santa Anita. Leaving the breathtaking vista of the San Gabriel Mountains, I contemplated the decisions we made in the last 12 months and the short- and long-term implications for the Breeders' Cup. Let me share some of those thoughts.... Read More

...And Then Some By Evan I. Hammonds

Michael Tabor strolled down the apron at Santa Anita Park, shielding the bright California sunlight with a baseball cap and a dark pair of shades. Peering out at the Pro-Ride surface the morning before the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships would begin, the Coolmore principal answered a simple question with a response that was as clear as the day's view of the San Gabriel Mountains.... Read More

A Higher Standard - by Alex Waldrop

The health and safety of our human and equine athletes, and the integrity of our sport are our highest priorities. These fundamental principles will guide the newly formed National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.... Read More

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