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Friday, April 18, 2014

National HBPA's Comments Regarding The Stronach Group's Integrity Initiatives

The National HBPA supports various aspects of the Stronach Group’s integrity initiatives while at the same time questioning the reality and practicality of some other aspects of the initiatives.

“The Stronach Group’s support of national uniform therapeutic medications and severe penalties for multiple medication violators is consistent with the National HBPA’s often-stated position on these topics,” said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the NHBPA.

“As we have consistently demonstrated, the devil is in the details with regard to the regulation of medications and violator penalties,” Hanrahan said.  We believe that the NHBPA’s six point plan for medication regulations has been, and continues to be, a valid model for the industry to follow,” stated Hanrahan.

Significant components of the Stronach Group’s integrity initiatives directly align with the NHBPA’s position regarding the regulation of racing medication:

1.      The National HBPA’s focus has always been, and remains, the health and safety of the horse, the safety of the jockey, and the safety of all individuals coming into contact with the horse including grooms, hot walkers, trainers, and veterinarians.

2.      The National HBPA believes a truly independent and transparent Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (“RMTC”) composed of industry stakeholders (including the NHBPA, The Jockey Club, the USTA and TOBA, among others) not dominated by an individual organization, with input from appropriate medical and veterinary professional bodies such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners, must be the final evaluator of relevant medical and veterinary science.

3.      The National HBPA believes that RMTC approved medication rules should be reviewed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International on behalf of state racing commissions, and following an evaluation based on science and medical research with all industry stakeholders being heard, the rules should be adopted or rejected by a majority vote.

4.      The National HBPA contends that uniform medication rules must be based solely on published scientifically determined regulatory thresholds, with published scientifically determined withdrawal time guidelines, all based on and supported by data published in the scientific literature.

5.      The National HBPA believes that RMTC and ISO-17025 accredited laboratories should perform all medication testing.

6.      The National HBPA does not tolerate cheating in this sport.  The NHBPA supports rules wherein repeat offenders of medication rules, after due process, should be severely penalized, including permanent expulsion from the industry.

“What is important is to keep our eye on the prize, developing regulations and reasonable ‘house rules’ that promote safety, integrity in racing and the care of our equine athletes,” stated Robin Richards, the President and Chair of the National HBPA.

“Horsemen welcome Mr. Stronach’s initiatives, however they must be practical enough to implement,” Richards said.

Phil Combest, the President of the Florida HBPA cautioned that the Stronach Group’s initiative may have an unattainable timeframe in many states.

“While there are some positive suggestions in the Stronach Group’s initiatives, the September 1, 2014 deadline is virtually impossible to achieve in Florida,” Combest said.  “The Florida legislature adjourned without taking any action on the legislation that the Florida HBPA, working with The Jockey Club, proposed.  It is unlikely that the Florida Legislature will take this matter up in a special session before September 1, 2014”.

Combest went on to add, “I suspect there are other racing jurisdictions throughout the United States that will face similar hurdles with regard to obtaining legislative approval of thoroughbred racing medication rules before September 1, 2014”.

“On behalf of Florida’s horsewomen and horsemen, the Florida HBPA is committed to working with the management of Gulfstream Park to improve the quality of racing and the care and safety of our horses” said Kent Stirling, the Executive Director of the Florida HBPA and the Chair of the NHBPA’s Medication Committee.”

“There are a significant number of real-world problems associated with the Stronach Group’s central pharmacy concept, and these problems likely will cause radical negative changes in the way veterinary medicine is practiced at the racetrack that could potentially put horses’ lives and health in jeopardy and which may increase the cost of veterinary services to owners,” Stirling said.

Monday, April 14, 2014

National HBPA Applauds the ARCI's Actions Regarding Medication Regulations

The National HBPA commends and applauds the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s (ARCI) actions last week approving various changes to some of the Medication Model Rules.

“The fact that the ARCI has been able to take a step back from where it was before, and making revisions based upon both scientific measures and veterinarian needs, represents a resurgence of reality-based rulemaking,” said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the NHBPA. “For many industry observers, this isn’t exactly man-biting-dog news, but the NHBPA thinks it’s important for horsemen to recognize positive steps when they occur,” added Hanrahan, who noted that in the ARCI’s approved medication related changes, in general, represented good news for the health management of our equine athletes and the safety of jockeys.  

“The various changes to recently passed medication model rules recommended by the RMTC and adopted by the ARCI earlier this week, will move the industry closer to the uniformity that the National HBPA has always hoped would be realized,” said Dave Basler, the Chair of the NHBPA’s Model Rules Committee, and Executive Director of the Ohio HBPA. Basler added, “The NHBPA is in complete agreement with Ed Martin, the President of the ARCI, that the industry needs to break free from what he referred to as a ‘culture of negativity.’ In that vein I very much respect Mr. Martin for his acknowledgement at Tuesday’s ARCI Model Rules Committee meeting that the ARCI moved forward too quickly on certain model rules based upon various outside pressures.”

Robin Richards, Chair and President of the NHBPA added, “The NHBPA agrees with Mr. Martin that uniformity is a worthy goal, but we as an industry have to get it right.” Richards further stated, “The NHBPA believes that action taken at the ARCI’s meeting is a positive step to get it right and that, in fact, the Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Medications is a ‘living document’ that will be periodically amended based on scientific research.”

The actions by the ARCI are consistent with the NHBPA’s position regarding the regulation of racing medication:
1. The National HBPA’s focus has always been, and remains, the health and safety of the horse, the safety of the jockey, and the safety of all individuals coming into contact with the horse including grooms, hot walkers, trainers, and veterinarians.
2. The National HBPA believes a truly independent and transparent Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (“RMTC”) composed of industry stakeholders (including the NHBPA, Jockey Club and TOBA, among others) not dominated by an individual organization, with input from appropriate medical and veterinary professional bodies such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners, must be the final evaluator of medical and veterinary science.
3. The National HBPA believes that RMTC approved medication rules should be reviewed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International on behalf of state racing commissions, and following an evaluation based on science and medical research with all industry stakeholders being heard, the rules should be adopted or rejected by a majority vote.
4. The National HBPA contends that uniform medication rules must be based solely on published scientifically determined regulatory thresholds, with published scientifically determined withdrawal time guidelines, all based on and supported by data published in the scientific literature.
5. The National HBPA believes that RMTC and ISO-17025 accredited laboratories should perform all medication testing.
6. The National HBPA does not tolerate cheating in this sport. The NHBPA supports rules wherein repeat offenders of medication rules, after due process, should be severely penalized, including permanent expulsion from the industry.

Phil Combest, the President of the Florida HBPA stated, “The Florida Horsemen are gratified to hear that the ARCI has displayed a willingness to step back and revise and update some of the important aspects of the Medication Model Rules. There is no question that uniform medication rules are one, if not the, most critical challenges to racing universally. That’s why we have to get it right and that’s simply not an easy process.”  Kent Stirling, the Executive Director of the Florida HBPA and the Chair of the NHBPA’s Medication Committee, added, “Horsemen across the country want just one thing, a level playing field, and that’s what Uniform Medication is all about. Florida is 100% on board with that goal and we’ll continue with an open and frank dialogue with the ARCI, the Jockey Club and the RMTC as we move forward united toward that common end.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

National HBPA's Quest for the Crown: Preview of the Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes

Welcome to the sixth edition of the National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, a weekly look at the major prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Below you will find a variety of links to previews, analysis, video, free PPs and more for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland and the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park on April 12.

After the links, you will also find useful information about the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule, points standings and leading contenders.

If you have a link to suggest, please email hj@hbpa.org. You may also post your comments or selections to this blog by clicking the comment link at the bottom of this posting.

$1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) * Oaklawn Park * 4/12 * Approx. Post - 6:07 pm CT

Bayern Takes Oaklawn Spin for Arkansas Derby - Bloodhorse.com

Triple Crown Insider: Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes Preview (video) - Onefasthorse.com

HRRN Plans Blue Grass, Arkansas Derby Show - Bloodhorse.com

That Handicapping Show: Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby (video) - Bloodhorse.com

Oaklawn Park News and Notes - Oaklawn.com

Bayern, Tapiture meet in Ark. Derby - ESPN.com

Arkansas Derby video preview - DRF.com

Arkansas Derby & Blue Grass Stakes Preview - Horseracingnation.com

Arkansas Derby – Post Positions, Picks, M/L Odds, Free Past Performances - Downthestretchs.com

$750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (G1) * Keeneland * 4/12 * Approx. Post - 5:45 pm ET
Helpful Links:

Complete Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule with Point Values - KentuckyDerby.com

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Power Rankings from Leading Handicappers - KentuckyDerby.com

Profiles of Leading Kentucky Derby Contenders - KentuckyDerby.com

Daily Racing Form's Derby Top 20 – DRF.com

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - BloodHorse.com

Thursday, April 3, 2014

National HBPA's Quest for the Crown: Preview of the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby

Welcome to the fifth edition of the National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, a weekly look at the major prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Below you will find a variety of links to previews, analysis, video, free PPs and more for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) at Santa Anita and the $1 million Twinspires.com Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5.

After the links, you will also find useful information about the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule, points standings and leading contenders.

If you have a link to suggest, please email hj@hbpa.org. You may also post your comments or selections to this blog by clicking the comment link at the bottom of this posting.

$1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) * Santa Anita Park * 4/5 * Approx. Post - 3:30 pm PT

Santa Anita Derby Preview (video) - DRF.com

Santa Anita Derby Free PPs and Picks - Downthestretchs.com

Pursuit of the Crown: Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby (video) - HRTV.com

Kentucky Derby: Pressure's on for Candy Boy in Santa Anita Derby - DRF.com

Triple Crown Insider: Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby Preview (video) - ThoroughbredDailyNews.com

Santa Anita Derby: TV Schedule, Post Positions, Odds, Contenders and More - Bleacherreport.com

Santa Anita Stable Notes - Santaanita.com

Triple Crown Infographic: Santa Anita Derby - Bloodhorse.com

Santa Anita Derby: California Chrome tops big-name field - DRF.com

$1 million Wood Memorial (G1) * Aqueduct * 4/5 * Approx. Post - 5:40 pm ET
Helpful Links:

Complete Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule with Point Values - KentuckyDerby.com

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Power Rankings from Leading Handicappers - KentuckyDerby.com

Profiles of Leading Kentucky Derby Contenders - KentuckyDerby.com

Daily Racing Form's Derby Top 20 – DRF.com

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - BloodHorse.com

Friday, March 28, 2014

National HBPA's Quest for the Crown: Preview of the Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby

Welcome to the fourth edition of the National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, a weekly look at the major prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Below you will find a variety of links to previews, analysis, video, free PPs and more for the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course and the $1 million Besilu Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park on March 29.

After the links, you will also find useful information about the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule, points standings and leading contenders.

If you have a link to suggest, please email hj@hbpa.org. You may also post your comments or selections to this blog by clicking the comment link at the bottom of this posting.

$1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) * Fair Grounds * 3/29 * Approx. Post - 6:10 pm CT

Fair Grounds News and Notes - FGNO.com

Louisiana Derby Preview with Free PPs - Downthestretchs.com

Down to the Wire – Florida Derby/Louisiana Derby (video) - Derbyologist.com

Triple Crown Insider: Florida and Louisiana Derby Preview (video) - ThoroughbredDailyNews.com

An In-Depth Preview of the Louisiana Derby - ISportsWeb.com

Intense Holiday On Rail for Louisiana Derby - BloodHorse.com

Grindstone Elevated Louisiana Derby in 1996 - BloodHorse.com

Triple Crown Infographic: Louisiana Derby - BloodHorse.com

$1 million Florida Derby (G1) * Gulfstream Park * 3/29 * Approx. Post - 6:48 pm ET

Helpful Links:

Complete Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule with Point Values - KentuckyDerby.com

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Power Rankings from Leading Handicappers - KentuckyDerby.com

Profiles of Leading Kentucky Derby Contenders - KentuckyDerby.com

Daily Racing Form's Derby Top 20 – DRF.com

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - BloodHorse.com

Friday, March 21, 2014

National HBPA's Quest for the Crown: Preview of the Sunland Derby and Spiral Stakes

Welcome to the third edition of the National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, a weekly look at the major prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Below you will find a variety of links to previews, analysis, video, free PPs and more for the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park and the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park. New links will be added as the races draw closer.

After the links, you will also find useful information about the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule, points standings and leading contenders.

If you have a link to suggest, please email hj@hbpa.org. You may also post your comments or selections to this blog by clicking the comment link at the bottom of this posting.

$550,000 Spiral Stakes (G3) * Turfway Park * 3/22 * Approx. Post - 6:28 pm ET

Preview of the 2014 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park - Isportsweb.com

Spiral Stakes Information and History - Turfway.com

Triple Crown Insider Preview (video) - Thoroughbreddailynews.com

The Spiral Stakes Preview from Gary Roedemeier - WHAS.com

Spiral Stakes is Turfway's day to shine (with video) - Cincinnati.com

That Handicapping Show: Spiral Stakes (video) - Bloodhorse.com

Spiral Stakes Preview with Free Past Performances - Downthestretchs

The First of the Final Derby Preps (selections) - Bloodhorse.com

$800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) * Sunland Park * 3/23 * Approx. Post - 5:40 pm ET


Helpful Links:

Complete Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule with Point Values - KentuckyDerby.com

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Power Rankings from Leading Handicappers - KentuckyDerby.com

Profiles of Leading Kentucky Derby Contenders - KentuckyDerby.com

Daily Racing Form's Derby Top 20 – DRF.com

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - BloodHorse.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

National HBPA's Quest for the Crown: Preview of the Rebel Stakes

Welcome to the second edition of the National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, a weekly look at the major prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Below you will find a variety of links to previews, analysis, video, free PPs and more for the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park. New links will be added as the races draw closer.

After the links, you will also find useful information about the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule, points standings and leading contenders.

If you have a link to suggest, please email hj@hbpa.org. You may also post your comments or selections to this blog by clicking the comment link at the bottom of this posting.

$600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) * Oaklawn Park * 3/15 * Approx. Post - 6:04 pm CT

That Handicapping Show: The Rebel Stakes (video) - Bloodhorse.com

FROM GATE TO WIRE: Look out for Tapiture in Arkansas' Rebel Stakes - Mywebtimes.com

Rebel Stakes Preview with Free PPs - Downthestretchs.com

Rebel Stakes Video Preview - DRF.com

Rebel Stakes: Entries, Post Positions & Odds - Anddownthestretchtheycome.com

Tapiture, Strong Mandate Renew Rivalry in Rebel Stakes - Horseracinginsider.com

Oaklawn Park News and Notes - Oaklawn.com

TCI Insider Video Preview of Rebel Stakes - ESPN.com

Roedy's preview of the Rebel Stakes Derby Prep at Oaklawn Park - WHAS11.com

Helpful Links:

Complete Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule with Point Values - KentuckyDerby.com

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Power Rankings from Leading Handicappers - KentuckyDerby.com

Profiles of Leading Kentucky Derby Contenders - KentuckyDerby.com

Daily Racing Form's Derby Top 20 – DRF.com

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - BloodHorse.com

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2014 Fact Book, State Fact Books Available on The Jockey Club Website

The Jockey Club announced today that the 2014 edition of the Fact Book is available in the Resources section of its website at jockeyclub.com.

The online Fact Book is a statistical and informational guide to Thoroughbred breeding, racing and auction sales in North America. It also features a directory of state, national and international organizations.

Links to the Breeding Statistics report that is released by The Jockey Club each September and the Report of Mares Bred information that is published by The Jockey Club each October can now be found in the Breeding section of the Fact Book.

The 2014 editions of State Fact books, which feature detailed breeding, racing and auction sales information specific to numerous states and Canadian provinces, are also available on The Jockey Club website. The State Fact Books are updated monthly.

“The information available in both the online Fact Book and the State Fact books provide not only a statistical history of the sport but also objective insights for anyone interested in the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies collect a great deal of data and want those inside and outside our industry to have the most accurate and timely information at their disposal at all times.”

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Interactive, Electronic Edition of The Horsemen's Journal Spring 2014 Issue is Now Available

The interactive, electronic version of The Horsemen's Journal's Spring 2014 issue is now available online. It is an enhanced version of our Spring 2014 issue, which is currently being mailed. To view it, either click here or click on the flipping magazine icon above.
Features in the issue include:
  • Million-Dollar Claimers The Claiming Crown returns to Gulfstream Park with larger purses and an additional race
  • Coming Together in California The National HBPA’s Winter Convention in Pasadena offered something for everyone
  • Blood Tests for LifeHumans are not the only species that can benefit from blood tests 
  • The Gene Genies Genetic testing can help determine which runners will go the distance
Much more than a PDF, the interactive electronic edition of The Horsemen's Journal includes the ability to save, print, email, or share content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Please enjoy this exciting offering from the National HBPA and share it with anyone you think might enjoy it.

All hyperlinks/URLs and email addresses in the electronic edition are working, clickable links. So be sure to click on some of them - especially those in the advertisements to get more information on the great products and services being offered by the companies supporting your horsemen's organization.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

National HBPA's Quest for the Crown: Preview of the San Felipe Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby

Welcome to the first edition of the National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, a weekly look at the major prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Below you will find a variety of links to previews, analysis, video, free PPs and more for the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs and the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Sanata Anita Park. New links will be added as the races draw closer.

After the links, you will also find useful information about the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule, points standings and leading contenders.

If you have a link to suggest, please email hj@hbpa.org. You may also post your comments or selections to this blog by clicking the comment link at the bottom of this posting.

$300,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) * Santa Anita Park * 3/8 * Approx. Post - 2:00 pm PT

Sherman Keeps Ticking With California Chrome - Bloodhorse.com

That Handicapping Show: Santa Anita Handicap and San Felipe Preview (video) - Bloodhorse.com

Bayern Out of San Felipe With Bruised Quarter - Bloodhorse.com

Rapid Riser Bayern Focus of San Felipe Stakes - Bloodhorse.com

Santa Anita Park Stable Notes - Santaanita.com

San Felipe Stakes Preview - Horseracingnation.com

San Felipe Stakes Selections and Free PPs - Downthestretchs.com

$350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) * Tampa Bay Downs * 3/8 * Approx. Post - 5:25 pm ET

Conquest Titan, Vinceremos Loom in Tampa Bay - Bloodhorse.com

Tampa Bay Derby Handicapping Preview (video) - DRF.com

Tampa Bay Derby Preview - Horseracingnation.com

Tampa Bay Derby Selections and Free PPs - Downthestretchs.com

Bond Holder Out of Tampa Bay Derby - ESPN.com

Tampa Bay Downs News and Notes - Tampabaydowns.com

Vinceremos continues bonus bid in Tampa Bay Derby - Brisnet.com

Helpful Links:

Complete Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule with Point Values - KentuckyDerby.com

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info - KentuckyDerby.com

Kentucky Derby Power Rankings from Leading Handicappers - KentuckyDerby.com

Profiles of Leading Kentucky Derby Contenders - KentuckyDerby.com

Daily Racing Form's Derby Top 20 – DRF.com

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - BloodHorse.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Santa Anita Handicap Added to New Racing Series on FOX Sports 1

FOX Sports 1 and The Jockey Club announced that the network will provide live coverage of the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) from Santa Anita Park on Saturday, March 8. The telecast, as part of The Jockey Club Tour on FOX, will air from 7 - 7:30 p.m. ET.

The 77th edition of the Big ’Cap is expected to feature leading handicap horses Game On Dude, Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge. Game On Dude won the historic race in 2011 and 2013 and Mucho Macho Man beat Will Take Charge by a nose in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita last November 2.

Will Take Charge, the Eclipse Award winner as outstanding 3-year-old of 2013, was second to Lea in the Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park in his 2014 debut, which was shown live on FOX Sports 1 on February 9. Mucho Macho Man won the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on January 18 by 14 lengths.

The prestigious mile-and-a-quarter Santa Anita Handicap has been won by Hall of Famers such as Seabiscuit, Round Table, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry, Alysheba and Best Pal.

“We’re thrilled to add a gem like the Big ’Cap to the FOX Sports 1 schedule on March 8,” said Michael Mulvihill, FOX Sports’ senior vice president, Programming and Research. “This rematch of the top two finishers from last year’s spine-tingling Breeders’ Cup Classic will be one of the most anticipated races of the year, and we’re happy to give it the national platform it deserves.”

“We are delighted to be a part of The Jockey Club Tour on FOX and to be able to showcase this magnificent race in Eastern Prime Time on Fox Sports 1,” said Santa Anita Chairman Keith Brackpool. “We want to thank the connections of Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge for committing to this historic rematch, and we’re hoping to have Game On Dude and a strong overall contingent of local horses as well. That said, this year’s Santa Anita Handicap should provide our fans with great racing and compelling television and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

“This edition of the Big ’Cap promises to be one of the most exciting and most important races of the year, and we are elated that our television partner could find a spot for it in the programming schedule and that The Stronach Group was willing to shift the post time slightly to accommodate us,” said Jason Wilson, vice president of business development for The Jockey Club.

A replay of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic featuring Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge is available at http://youtu.be/M9orPvB6Ju0.

After the Santa Anita Handicap, The Jockey Club Tour on FOX series of races will continue with eight other telecasts that will feature several of North America’s most prestigious races for older horses, including the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest Thoroughbred race.

Monday, February 17, 2014

RTIP Racing and Gaming Symposium Transcripts Now Online

The Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) at the University of Arizona is pleased to announce that the transcripts and PowerPoint presentations from the 2013 Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming are now available online. Materials can be accessed through the program’s website at http://ua-rtip.org/symposium_racing_gaming/2013transcriptsppt_presentations.

Forty-six speakers participated in 12 panels and two workshops during the event held on December 9-12 at the Westin La Paloma Resort. Two key panels on Wednesday and Thursday mornings focused on regulation and its effect on many areas of racing. Also, safety and security were key topics in multiple panels on maintaining a safe racing surface, safety of our equine retirees, creating a secure work environment and cyber security. The engine that drives our business–the bettors–were also featured on several panels about handicapping contests, the new Esquire show “Horseplayers” and how to present the best data to our customers.

The transcripts and other media are free to access and use for research. Reporters wishing to use them for publication must contact the Race Track Industry Program at (520) 621-5660.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Deadlines Approaching for Race For Education Scholarships

Horsemen and their children are reminded that deadlines are approaching for a variety of Race For Education scholarships.

The HBPA Horsemen scholarship, which awards up to $6,000 per year, has a deadline of March 28. Administered in partnership with the National HBPA, this scholarship is for children of horse farm and backstretch employees.

There is also a Thoroughbred scholarship for students from any background wishing to pursue a career in an equine or agriculture industry with a deadline of February 28. Other scholarships are also available, including ones for residents of Washington state and New York state and for Hispanic or African-American students who are children of horse farm or backstretch employees. Additionally, there is a scholarship for students to attend the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program.  

Through academic development programs, tutoring, internships, financial literacy training and scholarships, the Race For Education provides opportunities for educational success for young people with significant financial need and academic challenges. The program has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships and funding to over 375 students. The primary funding for the Race For Education comes from the Racehorse Nomination Program, which invites racehorse owners to nominate their horses to the program and agree to donate a percentage of the horses’ earnings to the foundation. Other significant funding comes from federal programs and a partnership with Thoroughbred Charities of America’s Annual Stallion Season Auction.

For more information, go to www.raceforeducation.org.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit Set for July

The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced that the fifth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will be held Tuesday, July 8, and Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Lexington, Ky.

Once again, the summit will be underwritten and coordinated by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and hosted by the Keeneland Association. The two-day workshop brings together a wide cross-section of the breeding, racing and veterinary communities.

“We owe it to our athletes, both equine and human, to do all we can to ensure their safety and convening this summit to exchange ideas and develop new programs is one of the best ways we can do that,” said Edward L. Bowen, president, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

The summit will be held in the Keeneland sales pavilion and it is open to the public; a live webcast will also be available.

“The safety and welfare of our athletes is unquestionably priority No. 1,” said Keeneland President & CEO Bill Thomason. “Keeneland is proud to host this summit which has, in its brief history, a proven track record of successfully advancing initiatives that are vital to the integrity and health of racing.”

A formal agenda and a list of speakers will be announced at a later date.

Among the major accomplishments that have evolved from the previous four summits are the Equine Injury Database; the Jockey Injury Database; the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, which provides science-based testing of racing surfaces to enhance safety for horse and rider; a uniform trainer test and study guide; the publication of stallion durability statistics; and the movement by state racing commissions to create regulations that void the claim of horses suffering fatalities during the conduct of the race.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation’s leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. Since 1983, the foundation has provided approximately $19.9 million for 299 specific projects at 40 universities. Additional information about the foundation is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Donn Handicap Kicks Off New Racing “Tour” on Fox Sports 1

The February 9 running of the $500,000 Donn Handicap, the first major race of the year for older racehorses, will kick off “The Jockey Club Tour on FOX” series of races, which will be televised on FOX Sports 1 during 2014. The new series includes eight other telecasts that will feature several of North America’s most prestigious races for older horses as well as the $10 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest Thoroughbred race.

The announcement of the 2014 schedule was made today by David Nathanson, general manager and chief operating officer of FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, and Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club.

While the nine telecasts will predominantly feature older horses, there will also be prominent races for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. The Toyota Blue Grass Stakes Day from Keeneland will provide fans the opportunity to watch contenders on the 2014 Triple Crown trail and the Saratoga Special from Saratoga Race Course in August will showcase 2-year-olds that might compete in the 2015 Triple Crown.
Each telecast will include at least two top stakes races featuring the leading horses in North America. The complete list of all races, as well as the names of the on-air talent for the shows, will be announced in the near future, pending final approval from all necessary organizations.

The partnership between the FOX Sports Media Group and The Jockey Club is a multi-year agreement that was announced in August 2013. FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network, launched on Saturday, Aug. 17.

“We’re excited to begin our relationship with The Jockey Club on February 9 with live coverage of the Donn Handicap on FOX Sports 1,” said Nathanson. “FOX Sports is planning to take a fresh approach to horse racing coverage with a focus on the horses, jockeys, trainers, owners and horseplayers that make the sport one of America’s best pastimes.”

“As we have often stated, increasing the national television presence of Thoroughbred racing continues to be a key component of our fan retention and development efforts under the America’s Best Racing banner,” said Phipps. “This uniquely structured series will help casual fans follow the stars of our sport beyond the Triple Crown and into the summer and fall as many of them aim for the Breeders’ Cup. The inclusion of the Dubai World Cup certainly brings the sport’s international flavor to the series, and we are grateful to all of the participating racetracks for making these races available for our series.”

The agreement also includes international and Spanish-language rights, including the ability to air races on FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish-language sports network.

To view the schedule of races, click here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 Eclipse Award Finalists Are Announced

Led by Horse of the Year candidates Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge and Wise Dan, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters today announced the finalists for the 2013 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. Winners in 17 horse and human categories will be announced at the 43rd annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group on Saturday evening, January 18 at the Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Of the 272 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 249 (91.5%) took part in this year’s voting. Finalists were determined in each category by voters’ top three selections, using a 10-5-1 point basis. Eclipse Award winners are determined solely by first place votes.

The 2013 Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
Horse of the Year: Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge, Wise Dan
Two-Year-Old Male: Havana, New Year’s Day, Shared Belief
Two-Year-Old Filly: Chriselliam (IRE), Ria Antonia, She’s a Tiger
Three-Year-Old Male: Orb, Palace Malice, Will Take Charge
Three-Year-Old Filly: Beholder, Close Hatches, Princess of Sylmar
Older Male: Game On Dude, Mucho Macho Man, Wise Dan    
Older Female: Joyful Victory, Royal Delta, Tiz Miz Sue
Male Sprinter: Points Offthebench, Sahara Sky, Secret Circle
Female Sprinter: Dance to Bristol, Groupie Doll, Mizdirection                    
Male Turf Horse: Magician (IRE), Point of Entry, Wise Dan      
Female Turf Horse: Dank (GB), Laughing (IRE), Mizdirection
Steeplechase Horse: Divine Fortune, Gustavian, Italian Wedding
Owner: Juddmonte Farms, Midwest Thoroughbreds, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey
Breeder: Adena Springs, Morton Fink, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey        
Trainer: Bob Baffert, Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher    
Jockey: Javier Castellano, Joel Rosario, Gary Stevens
Apprentice Jockey: Victor Carrasco, Manuel Franco, Edgard Zayas

In addition to honoring the 17 winners in the horse and human categories, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will be recognized with an Eclipse Special Award. Jim Benes will receive an Eclipse Award as the Handicapper of the Year. Members of the media will be honored for outstanding coverage in six categories.

The Eclipse Awards, which will be televised live on HRTV, are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies. The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Those awards are voted by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters (NTWAB). Eclipse Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.

Tickets to the Eclipse Awards are available for $400 each. Order forms for tickets and the Eclipse Awards weeklong schedule of events are available at http://bit.ly/18TJ0Tx. Hotel reservations at the Westin Diplomat can be made at http://bit.ly/1kVxdac. Hotel reservations at the Trump International can be made at http://bit.ly/1h8WgXe. For additional information, please contact Michele Ravencraft of the NTRA at 859-422-2657 or mravencraft@ntra.com.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pletcher, Castellano and Ramseys Top Leading Earners for 2013

Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano and Ken and Sarah Ramsey finished 2013 as the leading trainer, jockey and owners, respectively, by North American earnings, according to final statistics released by Equibase Company LLC, the Thoroughbred industry’s official database for racing information.

Breeders’ Cup Classic (Gr. 1) winner Mucho Macho Man led all Thoroughbreds in 2013 with North American earnings of $2,984,000. Will Take Charge, who narrowly lost to Mucho Macho Man in the Classic, was also a close runner-up in earnings, finishing the year with a total of $2,960,977.

The year-end compilations are distributed annually by Equibase and include results from Thoroughbred racing in North America from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. Expanded North American racing leaders’ lists that include all trainers, jockeys, owners and horses are available within Stats Central at equibase.com.

Completing the list of top 10 horses by North American earnings were 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan with $2,751,972 in earnings, Game On Dude with $2,575,735, Orb with $2,557,566, Beholder with $1,860,000, Verrazano with $1,691,300, Magician (IRE) with $1,650,000, Princess of Sylmar with $1,539,000 and Dank (GB) with $1,536,500. With the exception of Kentucky Derby winner Orb, all other horses ranked in the top 10 competed in the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Pletcher, who led all trainers for the past three years and previously topped the trainers’ list from 2004-2007, sent out the winners of 224 races from 946 starts for earnings of $25,248,816 in 2013. Runner-up again for the second consecutive year was Bob Baffert, whose horses won 133 races from 570 starts for earnings of $15,317,291 in 2013.

Completing the list of top 10 trainers by North American earnings in 2013 were Chad C. Brown, $13,395,419 (148 wins / 543 starts); Steve Asmussen, $11,924,891 (307/1,525); Bill Mott, $11,760,692 (113/612); Jerry Hollendorfer, $11,221,761 (241/1,049); Mark Casse, $8,565,108 (128/679); Michael J. Maker, $8,357,325 (228/998); John W. Sadler, $7,727,780 (121/695); and Doug O'Neill, $7,611,224 (129/864).

Javier Castellano established a single-season earnings record in leading the annual North American leading jockeys’ list in 2013, breaking the previous record set by Ramon Dominguez in 2012. Castellano rode the winners of 362 races from 1,617 mounts and ended the year with earnings of $26,213,507. Joel Rosario finished second with 275 wins from 1,295 mounts and earnings of $21,585,941.

Rounding out the list of top 10 jockeys by North American earnings in 2013 were John Velazquez, $19,364,851 (178 wins / 929 mounts); Rafael Bejarano, $15,600,454 (258/1,153); Irad Ortiz Jr., $14,343,518 (223/1,508); Jose Lezcano, $13,953,334 (170/964); Mike E. Smith, $13,797,517 (84/422); Rosie Napravnik, $13,242,202 (269/1,228); Luis Saez, $13,102,164 (175/1,310); and Junior Alvarado, $12,863,592 (191/1,076).

Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens, who came out of retirement in 2013 after a seven-year hiatus, ended the year as the 12th leading rider by North American earnings with 69 victories from 383 mounts and earnings of $11,910,748.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey won 230 races from 880 starts and earned $12,231,045 in North America in 2013 to lead all owners. Runner-up was Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. with 401 victories from 1,479 starts and earnings of $7,230,797.

Completing the list of top 10 owners by North American earnings in 2013 were Gary and Mary West, $4,520,470 (48 wins / 206 starts); Darley Stable, $4,461,648 (69/364); Repole Stable, $4,323,838 (52/204); Drawing Away Stable and David Jacobson, $4,088,458 (90/398); Maggi Moss, $4,030,021 (143/418); Juddmonte Farms Inc., $3,820,465 (26/100); John C. Oxley, $3,537,290 (44/235); and Willis D. Horton, $3,236,001 (9/31).

In addition to the official North American racing leaders’ lists available at equibase.com, Equibase also provides a second set of leaders’ lists that includes the results of the Dubai World Cup card from March 30, 2013, at Meydan Racecourse. Including these international earnings, Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom led all horses in earnings with a total of $6,060,000 and the winning rider, Joel Rosario, led all jockeys with $27,585,941. There were no changes in the other categories.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Free Equine Nutrition Course Open to More Online Learners

An equine nutrition course that attracted 24,000 online learners when it was launched by the University of Edinburgh earlier this year is to be repeated. The free, degree level course, which is organized by the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, will begin its second five-week run in January.

Participants from across the globe took part in the course first time round. Topics covered include anatomy and physiology of the equine digestive tract and equine nutrient sources. There are also modules on dietary management for different kinds of horses and ponies, particularly those with nutrition-related disorders.

There will be lecture videos and quizzes to work though each week and an opportunity for participants to share their thoughts and ideas with others on the course. Assessment will take place at the end of the course with a series of multiple choice questions.

The equine nutrition course was one of six free courses for online students to be launched by the University of Edinburgh in January.

These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been delivered via the Coursera partnership - a network of leading international universities which offer short undergraduate-level online courses free of charge.

Equine course organizer Dr. Jo-Anne Murray said: “We were delighted with the response to the first course and hope that many more people will sign up this time round. If anyone wants to take part, all they need is internet access and a keen interest in equine nutrition.”

Dr. Murray is a senior lecturer in animal nutrition and program director for the Veterinary School's on-line program in equine science.

Dr. Murray has a PhD in equine nutrition, a Masters in e-learning, a postgraduate diploma in animal nutrition, a postgraduate certificate in higher education and degree in equine science.

To learn more about the course, please go to: https://www.coursera.org/#course/equinenutrition.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

OwnerView to Host National Ownership Conference in October

OwnerView, the website and information resource developed by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to assist both current and prospective Thoroughbred owners, will host a national, two-day Thoroughbred ownership conference in October 2014 at Keeneland Race Course, it was announced today.

The conference, sponsored jointly by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Keeneland Association, The New York Racing Association Inc., and the Stronach Group, will feature panel discussions with prominent industry participants as well as an exhibit hall and several informational and educational networking events with owners and industry representatives.

“Del Mar is delighted to be part of a logical and essential effort to grow our game through the encouragement of new ownership in conjunction with educational opportunities for all owners,” said Joe Harper, president and chief executive officer of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. “We believe that when you bring a good group of dedicated people together — as is the case here — that positive things invariably happen.”

“Owners are the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry, and the future of our great sport is incumbent upon the energizing and engagement of current and prospective owners,” said Bill Thomason, the president and chief executive officer of Keeneland. “Not only as a racing facility, but also as the world's largest Thoroughbred marketplace, Keeneland is proud to serve as the host for the first year of this unique event. We look forward to working with The Jockey Club, TOBA and our other track sponsors in the months ahead as we plan the agenda and make the necessary arrangements.”

“Our industry must strive on a daily basis to create an outstanding experience for existing owners and to make it even more desirable for prospective owners to get in the game,” said Chris Kay, CEO and president of The New York Racing Association Inc. “We are proud to support OwnerView as it plans this important ownership conference next October.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to invigorate current owners while also stimulating new ownership and partnerships in our great sport,” said Mike Rogers, president of the racing division of The Stronach Group. “Having current and future owners participate in this conference, and having a central resource in OwnerView in which they can acquire information, is fully supported by The Stronach Group. We look forward to the national Thoroughbred ownership conference at Keeneland in 2014 as well as working with our friends throughout the Thoroughbred industry in the next several months.”

Additional details about the conference, including dates, will be announced in the coming weeks.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.

Additional information about OwnerView is available at www.ownerview.com or by contacting Gary Falter at gfalter@jockeyclub.com or (859) 224-2803.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

California Racetrack Practitioner to Lead the AAEP in 2014

Racetrack practitioner Jeff Blea, DVM, partner in VonBluecher, Blea, Hunkin Inc., Equine Medicine and Surgery, in Sierra Madre, Calif., was installed as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) during the Dec. 10 President’s Luncheon at the association’s 59th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Blea possesses significant expertise in ethical and policy issues affecting racetrack veterinarians and is a strong advocate for improving the racing model for both the horse and the practitioner through adoption of uniform rules among racing jurisdictions.

At the age of 8, Dr. Blea moved with his family from Santa Fe, N.M., to New Orleans, La., where his father trained Thoroughbred racehorses. In high school, Dr. Blea began exercising horses in the mornings before taking out his jockey’s license during his senior year, winning his first race aboard Miss Ethel at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 13, 1983. However, a morning training accident five months later at Jefferson Downs abruptly ended Dr. Blea’s riding career.

Dr. Blea enrolled at Colorado State University, where he obtained his bachelor’s in 1989 and his DVM in 1993. After graduation, he was hired as an associate with Robert Story Equine in New Mexico where he cared for racing Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds at Sunland Park and Ruidoso Downs. The following year, Dr. Helmuth VonBluecher brought Dr. Blea into his Southern California racetrack practice, where Dr. Blea became a partner in 1998. The five-veterinarian practice serves Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Pomona racetracks. Dr. Blea concentrates his practice on musculoskeletal issues and lameness diagnostics.

Dr. Blea serves on the AAEP’s Finance and Audit Committee and as chair of the On Call Task Force. He previously served on the board of directors from 2003-2005 and on the Equine Welfare, Membership, Nominating, Professional Conduct and Ethics, Public Policy, Racing and Student Relations committees. In addition, Dr. Blea serves on the University of California, Davis Intramural Grant Research Committee and on the boards of the Southern California Equine Foundation, Dolly Green Research Foundation and California Retirement Management Account (CARMA).

Outside of practice, Dr. Blea enjoys spending time with his wife, Annie, who also is a veterinarian, and their daughters Faith and Abby.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. The AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.