Final Turn

Thanks, Cozzene - by Sean Feld

The passing of Cozzene Oct. 8 made me reflect on what my life would have been without our "introduction" when I was young. His presence has been a constant thread throughout my life, beginning when I was about 3 years old.... Read More

All Aboard - by Dan Liebman

After viewing a study conducted for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the organization's senior vice president of communications and industry relations, Keith Chamblin, had this to say: "Our core fans are pissed."... Read More

Run On Courage--Who Saved Whom? - by Marty Bowman

With racehorse rescues becoming news today, it is not uncommon to hear a story of a horse that was "rescued" and how he became a successful jumper, hunter, dressage champion, child's show horse, etc. This is a story of a rescued horse that didn't go on to the show world, yet became a champion in any case.... Read More

In My Lifetime - by John L. Califano

Except for the Triple Crown races, and before the inception of the Breeders' Cup, Belmont Park's Jockey Club Gold Cup--run intermittently at Aqueduct--was the preeminent event in Thoroughbred racing and a true test of stamina and class.... Read More

A Man of Passion - by Terence Collier

Few of us are ever close to "great" persons. The family of Winston Churchill comes to mind; the sisters of Mother Teresa's convent; the inner circle of John F. Kennedy. Our casual and usually inappropriate overuse of the adjective "great" may even diminish the person we are trying to praise.... Read More

Blown Away - by Gary McMillen

When the mayor of New Orleans (referring to the approaching Hurricane Gustav) described the Doppler radar image as the "mother of all storms" and decreed a mandatory evacuation of the city, I packed my bags in a hurry. The fear factor was escalated when reporter Geraldo Rivera followed with a description of the storm as "an awesome killing machine."... Read More

Future of Injury Prevention - by Dr. Wayne McIlwraith

I testified as part of the "Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse" Congressional hearing June 19. It was both disillusioning and enlightening. I naively thought I was invited along with three other veterinarians to talk about all the issues influencing fatal injuries in racehorses.... Read More

Cash Flow - by Martin Stiles

"Why are Thoroughbreds not as tough as they used to be?" That is the question of the day, being asked by racing columnists, editors, and punters. It should surprise no one that the answer turns out to involve money.... Read More

Little Things Still Count - by Jeff Klenner

It is my belief that today's racetrack executives are prone to treating patrons as a commodity. They don't honor the fact that fostered by familiarity and memories of days gone by, most fans have a strong identification with their local tracks. This attitude is not unlike the allegiance that fans often have to their local sports franchise. However, it is a double-edged sword, since the same fans may, at times, be harshly critical and vocal about the problems suffered and mistakes committed by such entities.... Read More

Furious - by Diane McClure

Through the HBO documentary "Running for Their Lives" I recently became aware of the pipeline of sending horses from the backstretch to the slaughterhouse. We need to establish a core value system with a policy plan whereby we can expose and eliminate these pipeline participants.... Read More

Running on Empty - by Joe Hickey

Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Aug. 11, 1972 - From inside the darkened recesses of Primrose Path, where the power players and wannabes sit down with Jack Daniel's and Jim Beam to schmooze and make deals, a cry rose above the revelry, "You guys better sharpen your pencils."... Read More

Red, White, and Renew - by Kevin Lay

For six weeks in late summer, top Thoroughbreds, owners, and trainers assemble in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to put on a one-of-a-kind equine display. Saratoga Race Course is often referred to as "America's Great Race Place" or simply "The Spa." My wife and I have made the sojourn each August since 1999 and we admit--we're hooked! ... Read More

It Isn't Dead Yet - by Craig Bandoroff

If there is anyone who has worried about the health of our industry more than I have the past 20 years, I feel sorry for that person. Always, it seems, there is bad news: declining attendance, declining handle, offshore wagering issues, drug positives, reduced field size, aging fan base, high-profile breakdowns, diminished soundness of the breed.... Read More

Subsidize or Downsize - by Robert Laurence

I don't gamble. Shoot, I don't even fill out a March Madness bracket. I do follow the games to see how the seedings play out. The win-or-go-home format makes irrelevant that great artifice of the gambler--the point-spread.... Read More

Telling Time - by Evan Hammonds

It's amazing that six weeks can go by so quickly, yet also seem like an eternity. Was it just last month, or was it last year when we saw Big Brown bound past us on the Churchill Downs backstretch during a chilly morning in Louisville?... Read More

Great Pretenders - by E.S. Lamoreaux III

No matter what happens in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the 2008 Triple Crown season will always be defined by the triumph and tragedy of the heir apparent crown prince, Big Brown, and the fallen heroine, Eight Belles.... Read More

Rule V.6. - by Gary Fenton

As a Thoroughbred owner, I stand on the shoulders of giants. Horse racing's tradition and history are like no other. However, in the past 30 years, we've been surpassed by the major sports leagues.... Read More

It Just Is - by Joel Turner

It is what we owners and breeders fear the most. A call from a farm employee, trainer, or vet with that oddly familiar, awkward tone foretelling the bad news we have lost one of our horses. Or, perhaps even worse, in the moment of excitement and anticipation of competition, one of our horses goes down on the track or falls over a jump.... Read More

Feeling the Chill - by Evan I. Hammonds

Cold lies the heart of Thoroughbred racing following Eight Belles' untimely end after Kentucky Derby 134. The dark side of the toughest game in town showed itself once again on the national stage, this time in the nation's biggest race.... Read More

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