Monday, January 29, 2007

And so it goes....

The sun rises, the sun sets, tides roll in and out and the horse racing world has seen another untimely death. Although this happens all too often in the world of the Thoroughbred, it happens too often in the human world as well. A lot of people have really taken to this story and it may have even sparked additional interest in these amazing animals. With so much tragedy in the human world, it should be kept in perspective. Barbaro lived a charmed life, albeit short, knowing care and success that 3/4 of the human population of this planet will never know. I hope that equine veterinary science was advanced by what they learned but in the end the injury was just too much to overcome in an animal whose breeding, genetics and reason to exist centered around being able to run. Quality of life issues may face us all at some point and it is an extremely important and personal question to which there is no "right answer". I have some faith that Barbaro now gallops rolling fields of grain on a plain filled with fillies!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Do I hear $100,001......going once....sold to the TBA!

Step right up and bid on a KY Derby Trophy over at eBay! I stumbled across this over at the Bloodhorse and as curiousity would have it (and you know it killed the on), I just had to go over to eBay and see for myself. Anyway, the article says it is a replica cast from the original from 1970 Dust Commander win. The seller is doing it to raise $$$ for a cat rescue. You need to read the article or else you might think I was making this up. Ah, truth remains much stranger than fiction.

Okay, now if we all pool our winnings and various ad revenues, this would look great in the TBA virtual Trophy Case.......

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sir, have you been drinking?

After the incredibly sad story about the vet giving horses pre-race vodka cocktails (literally and via injection), I was surprised to read a bit about the testing, or lack of testing for the presence of alcohol in race horses. Of course, being a bit naive, I was surprised to learn this is actually not as rare as it may be reported but that the blood test is really $$$$ and they are developing an equine Breathalyzer test. I am all about calm horses and everyone knows a 2yr old TB colt can be a handful but injecting the animal and then sending them out to race seems reckless. I guess if you can stay one step ahead of the testing, there are those in all sports (look at steroids and baseball or cycling), that will try to get away with getting that edge. Now maybe if the horse acquired the taste for a post-race stoli and grapefruit slurped from the feed tub, that might be different....

Monday, January 15, 2007

Don't let it bring you down....

Why do so many race tracks have the word "downs" in them?
Downs as a noun has a definition which demonstrates the English origin:
Often, downs. (used esp. in southern England) open, rolling, upland country with fairly smooth slopes usually covered with grass.

Churchill Downs: It wasn't until the Louisville Commercial newspaper used the name "Churchill Downs" on a recap of the ninth Derby that the historic track got its namesake.
There's no way possible that John and Henry Churchill could have envisioned that their family name would go down in infamy back in 1874. All they did was unload a piece of land that was part of Kentucky's declining stock farms to Col. M. Lewis Clark. Only a year after this acquisition, Clark's brand-new Louisville Jockey Club served as host to an estimated 10,000 spectators for the first Kentucky Derby on May 17, 1875, when Aristides ran to glory.
Here are some links of other "downs":
Kentucky Downs

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Looking ahead at the Donn Handicap

Some interesting family history that this race honors. This year it looks like Invasor will be running so I look forward to hearing Kenny Mayne say the name In-va-sor and watching him strut his stuff as an "older" horse. So, as we wait out the doldrums of January, this race on February 3rd should be a fun pre-Super Bowl Saturday. In the meantime, enjoy some Gulfstream Park history about the Donn family.

The Donn family owned Gulfstream until '90, when it changed the first of two times within two years, but Doug Donn Jr. was retained as CEO until his retirement in 2004. Here are some other milestones of the Donn:
  • 1944 James Donn Sr., owner of Exotic Gardens and one of the creditors left unpaid when Gulfstream closed, stepped in to take over the reins and Gulfstream ran a 20-day race meeting with an average attendance of 4,534 and an average handle of $281,902.
  • 1961 James Donn Jr. became president of Gulfstream. The then-largest tote board in the world was erected in the infield.
  • 1978 Doug Donn, following the death of his father, James Donn Jr., was elected Gulfstream Park president.
  • 1991 The Donn Handicap was selected the inaugural race in the American Championship Racing Series.
  • 1995 Cigar was the story at the 63-day meeting, winning the Donn and Gulfstream Park handicaps en route to an undefeated season and Horse of the Year honors.
  • 1996 Cigar continued his winning streak (it would reach 16) with a smashing score in the Donn Handicap, his season debut.

    The winners of the Donn Handicap since 2000:
  • 2006 - Brass Hat
  • 2005 - Saint Liam
  • 2004 - Megalia D'Oro
  • 2003 - Harlan's Holiday
  • 2002 - Mongoose
  • 2001 - Captain Steve
  • 2000 - Steven Got Even

Monday, January 08, 2007

Homer meets the Jockey Elves.

I have resisted long enough. Although my video postings may be a little offbeat, this is priceless!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

NTRA "Moment of the Year"

Vote now (it requires a free membership). I looked high and low for The Tin Man's Arlington Millions walk-away win (you know I have to support the older fella here) but that didn't make the top 10 (what the heck is the matter with those guys over at the NTRA anyway?!).

Being a Kentucky guy, I had to go with Barbaro's impressive Derby win.

Hey you also get entered for a 1 in a million shot at $1,000.....
somebody's gotta win right??

Have fun with it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Horses

You may not know this but all Thoroughbreds celebrate their birthdays on January 1st. Thoroughbreds all have their birthday on the same day. This makes it easier for keeping racing,breeding and showing records.