Sunday, December 31, 2006

TBA 2006 is in the books; very nice gesture by a great group dedicated to the sport and beauty of Thoroughbred Racing

Members of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (TBA) have announced their donation of $1,060 to Old Friends, a retirement and rescue organization for pensioned Thoroughbreds, in the name of their 2006 Horse of the Year, Bernardini.

Bernardini is one of a select few trying to pin down the 2006 Eclipse award for Horse of the Year. However, the TBA has established an objective point system that could, in future years, yield a different winner from the Eclipse victor. This new value system serves an important purpose.

Unlike similar awards that are given each year based solely on subjective media and industry voting, the TBA's Horse of the Year award is given to the horse with the most points earned in Graded Stakes.

The core of the TBA's mission, the standings reward owners and trainers for running horses in stakes races more often, giving fans more opportunities to become familiar with a horse. Also, the standings make it easier for fans to follow the sport, allowing them to take in the top ranked horses at a glance and giving them access to the same kind of easy-to-understand rankings that other sports fans take for granted.

"The main objective of the award is to bring attention to horse racing as a long-time and storied national past time, not merely a specialized and exclusive sport," Patrick Patten said. "We hope these rankings start that trend. We also hope the larger horse racing community begins to demand such standings and that the industry sees the benefits of wider fan bases through easily identifiable standings." Patten, the proprietor of "Pulling Hair and Betting Horses," developed the standings.

"We feel that if adopted by a group who can back standings with money and/or accreditation the standings will arrive at a true 'Horse of the Year,'" he said. "Furthermore, for our champion, it cannot be said that the award was due to a coastal or geographical bias or based on foreign form."

Old Friends is a charitable organization with a mission to care for retired racehorses. Founded by Michael Blowen in 2002, the Midway, KY, organization cares for 15 pensioned Thoroughbreds, including Ruhlman, an eight-time stakes winner, and Bonnie's Poker, dam of 1997 Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Have you heard about the Bird blog?

Proving that it's never to early to begin eying that first Saturday in May, John (aka Not to the Swift) is providing mane to hoof coverage of a promising young colt, Birdbirdistheword, on the derby trail and has actually created a blog devoted to one derby-bound horse. You should check it out over at the Birdbirdblog.
Very interesting horse with solid connections and, for me the kind of rags to riches story you just gotta love since he was a $32k purchase. I am certain John will give us every angle here so being a bandwagon jumper, I am on this one early and will be counting on John to help me either count this pony in my derby exotics or rule him out!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dear Santa....

I have been a reasonably good guy this year and I would like to ask for some Christmas gifts for the beloved sport of Thoroughbred Racing:

1) Imagination for anyone whose job it is to promote the sport of Thoroughbred Racing
2) Healthier horses in 2007, strong bones and fewer missteps (whether that means Boniva or Wonder Bread or new Nike horse shoes)
3) Yours truly to hit some inspired exotic for 4 figures but only at the track and only on a live race I am playing. (I have hit for 3 figures but 4, now that would send me into a frenzied whooping and hollering to the point that I would probably trot onto the track and high five the jockey, slap the owner on the back and kiss the horse on the nose). Not that I would be wildly rich from such a score but I would at least be momentarily brilliant at the track....priceless!
4) TBA Bloggers who really kick some a$$ to get some National recognition and credit for spreading the word, keeping interest alive, not forgetting the past and being damn entertaining while doing it: John, Patrick, Alan, Tracey, Ruben, Sue, Brad And really most everyone else at the TBA as I enjoy their insight, commentary, and have learned much more than I ever would have scanning the mainstream media because these are true fans and students of the game. Sure they bring their point of view but they weave a great patchwork quilt of perspective on the sport. Whether it is a current event or a historical tidbit, you will find it all on the TBA
So Santa, see what you can do with my list and I will be sure to set out some milk and cookies for you.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pathetic Excuses, but a nice holiday ornament and good intentions for 2007!

Okay my lack of posts this past month may have surprised no one as my readership has likely dwindled to that. But given the holidays, extremely busy with work and my running, and then combine that with my normal "dormant time of the year for the horse racing side of my brain" and there you blogging. Of course, it looks like I have been missing quite a bit at some of the other blogs and also a very nice redesign of the DRF site. Honestly though, I really won't get back in the horse racing swing until sometime in January as the Derby trail starts heating up in the warmer climates. Anyway, I will do better after the first of the year so if anyone has missed my news, notes, rants, etc....I will be back in force in 2007. In the meantime, gotta get the check in the mail to Patrick and here is possibly the greatest Christmas ornament ever (thanks to my wife for shopping around for this one).