Alex Waldrop Straight Up

International Connections

I am writing this as I head to the Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan. I was here these last few days for the 30th annual Japan Cup as a guest of the Japan Racing Association (JRA). It was the first time I ever had sushi for Thanksgiving dinner. ... Read More

Giving Thanks

It is time again for my annual Thanksgiving holiday blog. Knowing that I tend to get caught up in the fun – family, friends and food – I like to take a few minutes before it all begins to express my gratitude too.... Read More

Life in '11

The Life At Ten situation raises questions about two primary concerns consistently expressed by our fans and critics alike--the safety of our horses and the integrity of our game.... Read More

Zenyatta's "Hearts and Minds" Campaign

The 27th edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships was one for the record books. It was not only fourth all time in single-day attendance (72,739 on Saturday) and highest ever in amount bet (some $180 million over the two days), but it produced a number of champions who distinguished themselves in ways only imagined some 30 years ago when the late visionary John Gaines unveiled an idea to stage a season-ending championship for Thoroughbred racing. ... Read More

A Vote Cast For Zenyatta

At last, it's here. After months of anticipation, it all comes down to one day. The ads are about to run their course. The pundits and prognosticators have all had their say. The people have engaged in ways that no one could have imagined just a few short years ago. The polls have been all over the place. The arguments and rhetoric have been heated and at times very personal. The media has given the events of the day unprecedented coverage. Finally, our collective date with destiny has arrived. ... Read More

Zenyatta a Hit with Old and New Media

Zenyatta's quest for racing immortality in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday, November 6, will be followed closely by millions around the world, and horse racing has promotional feet planted in both media worlds.... Read More

Education--A Continual Process

When we formed the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance almost two years ago, we knew that it needed to be as much as about education and best practice sharing as it was about accreditation.... Read More

A Red Carpet Weekend For Secretariat

This is an exciting weekend for horse racing—not just because of the back-to-back-to-back days of live ESPN coverage from Keeneland starting Friday. Not just because of the slew of Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races at Keeneland, Belmont and Oak Tree at Hollywood Park this weekend. But because the eagerly anticipated Disney movie “Secretariat” opens nationwide on Friday.... Read More

Zenyatta Buzz On Brink of Reaching New Heights

As of Monday morning, my most recent blog post, entitled "Zenyatta Wins Again -- This Time With Oprah", has received more than 6,200 page views and elicited more than 350 comments. Let’s see if we can do for Zenyatta what friends on Facebook did to secure Betty White an appearance on Saturday Night Live last spring.... Read More

Alliance Accreditation - An Idea Whose Time has Come

Last week, it was my pleasure to participate in The Jockey Club’s annual Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York. They asked me to present to the conference concerning the role that the NTRA is playing through our Safety & Integrity Alliance to help bring about the considerable progress that the Thoroughbred racing industry is making on the welfare, safety and integrity fronts.... Read More

Summertime Splendor

There are two highly significant opening days this week, with Del Mar near San Diego getting underway on Wednesday, the 21st, and Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York kicking off on Friday, the 23rd. ... Read More

Pimlico's Strong Finish

I have been blogging about the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance for almost two years now. What happened this week was some of the best Alliance news yet. Pimlico has now been fully accredited.... Read More

Kentucky Derby Weekend Top Ten List

Kentucky Derby weekend was special this year for lots of reasons. With apologies to David Letterman, here is my list-in no particular order, I must admit-of 10 reasons why the Kentucky Derby is one of the most exceptional events in all of sports. ... Read More

Are the Clouds Parting?

The release by Equibase of Thoroughbred Racing's Economic Indicators for the first Quarter of 2010 was no cause for celebration. We continue to see declines in handle - about 10% so far this year when measured against 2008.... Read More

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