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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

National HBPA Applauds Racing Commissioners International Medication Decision

The National HBPA applauds the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and its leadership for recognizing the need to, first, update the scientific advisory process as it relates to the development of scientifically sound medication rules and regulations that protect the health and safety of the horse and the integrity of racing and, second, simplify some of the numerous moving parts of the horse racing industry through the proposed merging of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) into the RCI.

“All equine racing medication scientific research should be transparent, independently researched, peer reviewed and publically available for analysis by the scientific community and interested industry participants,” stated Robin Richards, the NHBPA’s President and Chair, “and the RCI’s action should facilitate this process.”

The NHBPA firmly believes the RCI’s scientific expertise, with or without input from the RMTC, will produce well-reasoned medication rules and regulations that all participants in the horse racing industry (Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred) will embrace.

Phil Hanrahan, the CEO of the NHBPA, said, “I am confident the RCI’s decision will have a positive impact on our sport. Having the best and brightest scientific experts involved in the medication regulation process is a significant step forward.”

Kent Stirling, the Chair of the NHBPA’s Medication Committee, added, “As a Board member of the RMTC since its inception, I was always gratified to see everyone’s opinion considered, no matter how diverse, as we began to seriously move together towards creating rules that would produce national uniformity in our sport. In the last few years, this has not been the case as one group has clearly dominated the RMTC, and, in my opinion, stolen its independence. I applaud the RCI for its invitation to create a new partnership with the RMTC to better serve our industry. I hope the invitation is accepted.”

The NHBPA notes that the proposed merging of the RMTC into the RCI should also streamline the numerous processes currently involved with medication policy by renewing the focus on the science of medication and its impact on racing. It would remove a currently existing layer of debate from the process, reduce timelines for implementation and place the responsibility for medication policy in the hands of the very persons who are responsible for jurisdictional decisions – the regulators.

“We see all aspects of this as a positive move toward national uniformity in medication rules,” said NHBPA President Robin Richards.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ramseys Looking to Have More Fun in Saturday’s $1 Million Claiming Crown

Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey compete at the very highest level of the Sport of Kings, but they have hardly forgotten their roots in the claiming ranks. Although their names and horses are closely linked with major stakes throughout the calendar year, the Ramseys have continued to thoroughly enjoy playing the claiming game.

“I like the competition. I just like to win,” said Ken Ramsey, who, along with his wife, has been honored three times with an Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding owners and once for outstanding breeders. “I almost have as much fun leading my claimers into the winner’s circle as my stakes horses.”

No one has had more fun than the Ramseys when it comes to the Claiming Crown, the marquee event for Thoroughbred racing’s most enduring performers.

The Artemus, Ky. natives have visited the winner’s circle with a record 12 victors of Claiming Crown stakes, and they’ll be looking to have more fun Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the eight-race $1 million Claiming Crown will highlight Opening Day of the 2014-2015 Championship Meet. The Ramseys will be represented by six horses in three of the eight stakes.

“We’re a little light this year,” said Ken Ramsey, whose annual goal is to have at least one horse in all eight races.

Although they may be lacking in quantity, the Ramseys will be represented by quality. Eriugena, a 4-year-old gelding who is coming off a first and a second in optional claiming allowances in Kentucky, will carry the Ramseys’ familiar white and red colors in the featured $200,000 Jewel, a 1 1/8-mile event for horses that raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2013. The Ramseys have entered three horses in the $125,000 Emerald, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for horses that have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or less: Sayler’s Creek, who is undefeated in two starts over the Gulfstream turf; Saffron Hall, who is coming off a pair of allowance victories in Kentucky; and Longhunter, a three-time winner over the Gulfstream green.

St. Borealis, a recent winner at Churchill Downs in her first start since being claimed, and Scenario Analysis will represent the Ramseys in the $125,000 Tiara, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for fillies and mares that raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or less.

All six runners are trained by Mike Maker, who has saddled a record 12 Claiming Crown winners.

“I talked to Maker and he thinks we have a big shot to win two, which probably means I won’t get shut out. I’m going to predict we’ll win one,” said Ramsey, who visited the Gulfstream winner’s circle with two Claiming Crown winners last year and a record four in 2012.

“We have a good shot at winning in the Emerald. We’ve got a three-horse entry. We’ve got Sayler’s Creek, he could win it; Saffron Hall, he could win it; and we’ve got a horse that hasn’t run since April (Longhunter); I don’t know if Mike got him cranked up 100-percent or not. I’d say Saffron Hall and Sayler’s Creek will be tough to beat,” Ramsey said. “In the big race that we won and surprised everybody a couple years ago with a horse that paid 30-something dollars (Parent’s Honor in 2012), we’ve got a real hard-knocker called Eriugena. If he’s on his game, he may be tough.”

Ramsey hopes to be able to share a victory with some Gulfstream fans while leading a horse into the winner’s circle Saturday.

“The fans love it. I try to interact with the fans. I think it’s doing a service to the racing industry, because we always have somebody help up bring them in. I have a waiting list of people down in Florida. People enjoy that,” Ramsey said. “I’ll tell you, my picture is in more living rooms or dens or family rooms than any other owner in the country. Every time I win, it’s me and two or three more leading the horse in.”

Horse Racing Radio Network to Broadcast $1 Million Claiming Crown from Gulfstream Park

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY, announced Thursday they will return to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, FL to provide exclusive live coverage of the 16th Claiming Crown this Saturday.

HRRN’s Claiming Crown day coverage begins Saturday morning with a special edition of the network’s popular weekly talk show, the Equine Forum, hosted live from Gulfstream Park beginning at 8:00 a.m. ET. Listeners can tune in on SiriusXM channel 92 as well as on select terrestrial affiliates across the country and online at www.horseracingradio.net.

On Saturday afternoon, HRRN will showcase live coverage of five Claiming Crown races beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET, the Glass Slipper, Canterbury, Rapid Transit, Emerald and Jewel. In addition, the Iron Horse, Express and Tiara stakes will be presented on taped delay.

The network’s Claiming Crown broadcast is presented by top stallion Kitten’s Joy, standing at Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville, KY. Mike Penna will anchor the coverage along with analyst Jude Feld. A complete listing of affiliates along with SiriusXM channel information and live streaming can be found on the HRRN website.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hotel Deadline Approaching for National HBPA Winter Convention

The National HBPA Winter Convention is set for February 4-8, 2015, at the Carefree Resort and Conference Center near Phoenix, and attendees are reminded that the hotel room block closes January 7 and may sell out before then.

The National HBPA Winter Convention is hosted by the Arizona HBPA and will include a day at the races at Turf Paradise.

Make sure you check out our optional dinner outing on Friday night at the Buffalo Chip Saloon at $11 per person for BBQ and all the fixins. Beverages are extra, but the bull riding and line dancing are included.

The resort also has a full-service spa; make your reservations before you arrive!

An area dining brochure is listed on the HBPA website as well as sponsorship opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you in Arizona! For more information about registration and hotel rooms, click here.

End-of-Year Deadline for Jockey Club Foal Registration Approaching

The Jockey Club reminds owners of unregistered yearlings and 2-year-olds that to avoid additional late registration fees the requirements for registration must be completed by December 31, 2014.

The late registration fee increases from $550 to $800 after December 31 of the yearling year and from $800 to $2,025 after December 31 of the 2-year-old year.

Interactive Registration (IR) is the most efficient means to complete the Application for Foal Registration and other registration requirements. IR enables customers to check the status of their applications and, through the Registration Center, view and resolve outstanding conditions of registration.

Sign-up is free at registry.jockeyclub.com.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Record 314 Horses Nominated to $1 Million Claiming Crown

A record 314 horses were nominated to the 16th annual Claiming Crown, the $1 million showcase for the country’s top claiming horses being hosted by Gulfstream Park for the third consecutive year on December 6.

Created in 1999 to honor the blue-collar horses that are the foundation of the racing industry nationwide, the eight-race Claiming Crown will help launch Gulfstream Park’s 76th Championship Meet and will feature nominations from 128 trainers throughout the East Coast and Midwest.

“We’re very happy with the record response from horsemen to this year’s Claiming Crown,” said Gulfstream Park’s Vice President of Racing P.J. Campo. “Nominations have grown in the three years since the Claiming Crown has been held at Gulfstream by nearly 100. With the Claiming Crown being held on the opening day of our Championship Meet, we expect an exciting day of racing and a great crowd."

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the event’s all-time leading owners with 12 Claiming Crown victories, nominated 12 horses. The Ramseys captured two races last year with Deanaallen’skitten in the Tiara and Major Marvel in the Emerald.

Mike Maker, whose 12 victories lead all trainers in the Claiming Crown, has 28 horses nominated, 11 of those for the Ramseys, who teamed up to win four Claiming Crown races in 2012. Maker saddled Major Marvel to victory in last year's Emerald.

Other trainers to nominate horses include Hall of Famer Nick Zito, Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown, Wesley Ward, Eddie Kenneally, Marty Wolfson, Eddie Plesa Jr., Tom Amoss, David Jacobson, Dale Romans, David Fawkes and Brad Cox.

Two changes were made to this year’s Claiming Crown. The Iron Lady has been replaced with the $110,000 Canterbury, a five-furlong turf sprint for horses that have been entered to be claimed for $25,000 or less since January 1, 2013. The $110,000 Glass Slipper for females three and up was changed from seven furlongs to a one-turn mile for horses entered to be claimed for $12,500 rather than $16,000.

“I want to thank all the owners and trainers that nominated horses for the 2014 Claiming Crown,” said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA). “December 6 will be a great day at Gulfstream Park, starting with the owners and trainers breakfast, followed by a great day of racing and concluding that night with the cocktail party in the walking ring for all the owners and trainers of the Claiming Crown horses. I also want to thank the fans and handicappers who have supported the Claiming Crown in the past. With 314 nominations this year, Claiming Crown 2014 promises to offer an exciting day at the races.”

Anchoring the Claiming Crown card is the $200,000 Jewel for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream’s main track for horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since January 1, 2013. A total of 39 horses were nominated for the Jewel including Catholic Cowboy, one of four horses nominated by Zito, who won last year’s Jewel with Nevada Kid.

The most popular race among horsemen was the $125,000 Emerald, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for horses that have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or lower, which received 69 nominations. Among them are North Star Boy and Best Actor, who ran 2-3 behind Major Marvel last year.

Horses 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or less since January 1, 2013 are eligible for the $125,000 Tiara for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. Horses that have started for $7,500 or less are eligible for the $110,000 Iron Horse at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

There are a pair of $110,000 races for sprinters 3-years-old and up: the seven-furlong Rapid Transit for horses that have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or less since January 1, 2013, and the six-furlong Express for horses entered for $7,500 or less.

In 2013, Gulfstream Park track management signed an agreement with the partnership of the National HBPA and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA) to host the Claiming Crown through 2015.

“With nominations from 128 different trainers, we are very excited about the 16th running of the Claiming Crown,” said TOBA president Dan Metzger. “The changes in the nomination process proved very successful, especially with our new race, the Canterbury, drawing 41 nominations and the revamped Glass Slipper attracting 36 nominations.”

A full list of nominations and past performances is available at www.claimingcrown.com.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Agenda Announced for RTIP Symposium, Deadline for Registration Savings Nears

The Race Track Industry Program announced today that the full agenda for the upcoming Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming slated for December 8 – 11, 2014, is complete and the November 14 deadline for the regular registration rate of $550 is fast approaching. The rate for registrations received or postmarked after November 14, or at the door, is $650.

The conference is made unique by the large number of speakers representing international interests as well as those from outside the racing industry giving attendees access to a new pool of knowledge. This year’s agenda focuses on five topic areas of the greatest interest and importance to the racing industry in both North America and abroad including:

Field Size
A comprehensive look at: declining field size using studies done in the global marketplace to tackle the issues and metrics associated with field size, where it is growing, where it’s declining and the effect on the bottom line; new ideas and methods of distributing the revenues of racing that will shake up the systems currently in use; the unsustainable traditional model of running 4-5 days a week with nine races per day.

Selling the Racing Product
An insider’s perspective of: Hoosier Park’s innovative approach to marketing racing and creating as much excitement at the races as you find in the casino; the PAC 12’s successful strategies the racing industry can use to grow its customer base and new initiatives that rethink the fan experience: fantasy sports as a solution to expand the racing market and bring the sport to a younger generation of players to the sport.

Racing’s Place in the Digital World
Presentations discussing: digital technology you can afford to improve the customer experience both on and off track; how to engage influencers, maximize and measure the results of your social media efforts; the “how to” of making everything mobile - from the message to the product and service delivery; the why, what and how to of maximizing content and providing exceptional service to your customers.

Global Wagering
The Global Simulcast Marketplace again offers the unique opportunity for buyers and sellers of global racing content to meet and interact. Panel sessions presented address: the latest changes and trends as well as an update on the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s simulcast expansion into new markets; the high number of rejections by credit card companies on gambling funding transactions and what people are doing to fund accounts and avoid fraud.

The Regulatory Process
A closer look at the process used in regulating racing: Racing Victoria’s control room illustrates how cutting-edge technology creates a level playing field for tracks of all sizes around the country in both wagering and officiating; the Racing Officials Accreditation Program creates a true-to-life steward’s stand on the conference stage showing the processes used and issues dealt with on a daily basis by the stewards; highlighting and dealing with current issues facing racing’s regulators today.

The conference also includes a luncheon during which The Turf Publicists of America’s Big Sport of Turfdom award winner is announced and presented as well as the Race Track Industry Program’s yearly award winners.

The Racing Officials Accreditation program is offering up to 16 hours of continuing education credit for officials who attend the entire track of regulation-based sessions or the entire Symposium. Please see the ROAP site for the details.

For a complete listing of all speakers and full panel descriptions go to: www.ua-rtip.org/symposium

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rich Tapestry’s Failure in Breeders’ Cup Reopens Debate About Lasix

Rich Tapestry (Ire), the 5-2 favorite and only horse to race without Lasix (aka Salix or furosemide) in the $1.5 Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) on November 1 at Santa Anita, finished 14th and last, beaten some 20 lengths. The 6-year-old gelding reportedly suffered a case of exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), and after the race vets graded the bleeding as a three out of four in severity.

"The disappointing result for Hong Kong's first Breeders' Cup runner reignited the debate surrounding the controversial diuretic Lasix, but Jockey Club officials were adamant they had made the right decision in dissuading (trainer) Chang from using the substance that has divided racing," said an article by Michael Cox in the sports section of the South China Morning Post.

"There was a lot of blood and dirt inside," said trainer C.W. Chang in the article. "He just couldn't breathe. Obviously he can run better than that, and it was just stopping him."

To read the complete article from the South China Morning Post, click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nomination Deadline is November 8 for Claiming Crown Races

The nomination deadline for horses for the eight Claiming Crown races is November 8, 2014, and the supplemental horse nomination deadline is December 3, 2014. The regular nomination fee is $100 and the supplemental nomination fee is 5% of the purse. The 2014 edition of the Claiming Crown races will be run on December 6, 2014, opening day of Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meeting. Nomination forms with the $100 nomination fee should be sent to either Claiming Crown Limited, P.O. Box 910668, Lexington, KY 40591-0668 [E-mail andys@toba.org, Fax (859) 276-2462] or Michael Costanzo, Gulfstream Park, 901 South Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009 [Phone (954) 457-6260, Fax (954) 457-6357, E-mail michael.costanzo@gulfstreampark.com].

Claiming Crown trophy for 2014
designed by Belinda Sillars
(Photo by Anthony Morris)
Total purse money for the eight Claiming Crown races is $1 million with the Claiming Crown Jewel having a purse of $200,000 for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream’s main track for horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since January 1, 2013. New for 2014 is the“Canterbury,” a five-furlong turf sprint for horses that have been entered to be claimed for $25,000 or less since January 1, 2013. Also, the “Glass Slipper”this year is a one-turn mile for fillies and mares that have been entered to be claimed for $12,500. Both the Canterbury and the Glass Slipper have a purse of $110,000. Nomination forms, the summary of the eight individual race conditions and the summary of conditions can be found on the Claiming Crown’s web site, www.claimingcrown.com.

According to Gulfstream Park’s CEO Tim Ritvo,“There’s a great deal of anticipation from horsemen and fans surrounding this year’s Claiming Crown. The Claiming Crown will not only kick off our 2014-15 Championship Meet, but it will be our first day of live racing at Gulfstream Park in two months. It will be an electric atmosphere. We believe this Claiming Crown, the third held at Gulfstream Park, will be the best.”

Phil Hanrahan, the CEO of the National HBPA Inc., said “Claiming Crown 2014 promises to be a great day for owners and trainers, handicappers and fans of racing all over the United States.We hope to have at least 30 nominations per race and full competitive fields on race day.” Hanrahan added, “We are pleased that the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Hotel; the Diplomat Hollywood Beach; the Hampton Inn, Hallandale-Aventura; the Hollywood Beach Marriott and Turnberry Isle Resort will be offering the Gulfstream Horsemen’s Rate for lodging during Claiming Crown weekend. Information on these rates can be found on the Claiming Crown’s website.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Jockey Club Releases 2014 Report of Mares Bred

The Jockey Club has released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2014 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 13, 2014, The Jockey Club reports that 1,547 stallions covered 34,540 mares in North America during 2014.

The annual statistics represent approximately 92% of the mares that eventually will be reported as bred in 2014. According to historical trends, The Jockey Club expects to receive RMBs representing an additional 2,000 to 3,000 mares bred during the 2014 breeding season.

The number of stallions declined 8.9% from the 1,698 reported at this time in 2013, and the number of mares bred increased 1.1% from the 34,174 reported at this time last year.

The number of stallions covering 100 or more mares increased from 88 in 2013 to 97 in 2014. These stallions accounted for a greater percentage of the total mares reported bred this year — 36.4% of all mares bred in 2014 versus 34.0% of all mares bred in 2013 as reported at this time last year. RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2014 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com.

Further book size analysis shows an 8.3% increase in the number of mares bred to stallions with a book size of 100 or more in 2014 when compared to 2013 as reported at this time last year; a 12.9% increase in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 75 and 99; a 4.8% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 50 and 74; a 1.2% increase in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 25 and 49; and a 9.2% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size fewer than 25.

The stallion Kitten’s Joy led all stallions with 204 mares bred in 2014. Rounding out the top five were Into Mischief, 203; Scat Daddy, 202; Midnight Lute, 186; and Violence, 181.

Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2014, Kentucky’s 233 reported stallions covered 16,826 mares, or 48.7% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions increased 7.2% percent compared with the 15,695 reported at this time last year.

Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2012, Kentucky, Florida, and California, New York, and Maryland stallions covered more mares in 2014 than in 2013, as reported at this time last year.

A detailed breakdown is available at jockeyclub.com.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

OwnerView’s Thoroughbred Owners Conference Kicks Off October 13 in Lexington

Approximately 300 owners, prospective owners and other industry stakeholders are expected to be on hand when OwnerView’s first Thoroughbred Owners Conference kicks off Monday, October 13, with a tour of Keeneland racetrack and a welcome reception at Adena Springs Farm.

The conference is sponsored jointly by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Keeneland Association, The New York Racing Association Inc., and the Stronach Group, and all formal presentations and panel discussions will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at the Keeneland sales pavilion.

A limited number of spots are available for those wishing to attend. All conference details, including the complete schedule of events, registration forms, host hotel information and other tourism tips for the Bluegrass Region are available at ownerview.com.

Tom Durkin, who recently retired as the track announcer at the New York Racing Association tracks, will serve as master of ceremonies for the conference.

Tuesday’s agenda features a series of panels involving racetrack executives, owners, trainers, jockeys and bloodstock advisors.

Legendary golfer and longtime Thoroughbred owner/breeder Gary Player will deliver the keynote address for the conference late Tuesday afternoon. Player has owned the 20,000-acre Gary Player Stud in South Africa since 1974 and is consistently among the leading breeders in South Africa. He has frequently implored those involved in horse racing to come up with innovative ideas that would generate interest in the sport.

Wednesday’s agenda includes a panel discussion devoted to the care of horses and people in the Thoroughbred industry and a segment with young people with a family history in the sport. Ogden Mills Phipps, the chairman of The Jockey Club, will deliver closing remarks for the conference Wednesday afternoon and a closing reception is scheduled at Stonestreet Farm.

“This conference is a natural extension of our efforts to retain and attract owners, and we’ve seen keen interest from the panelists and speakers as well as those who have registered to attend,” said Gary Falter, vice president of operations for OwnerView. “Once again, we are grateful to Keeneland for making its facility available and to all four racing organizations for their sponsorship support.”

OwnerView is a website and information resource developed by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to assist both current and prospective Thoroughbred owners by providing 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.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Statement from the National HBPA on Dr. Larry Bramlage's Lasix Comments

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association thinks it important to respond to remarks made by Dr. Larry Bramlage during his acceptance speech after receiving an award at the Thoroughbred Club of America’s 83rd Testimonial Dinner. Dr. Bramlage is a superb veterinarian and well deserving of recognition. We believe he also cares deeply for the horse and the industry. However, we do take strong exception to comments made by Dr. Bramlage. In his speech, Dr. Bramlage calls for banning race day administration of furosemide (Lasix), the diuretic proven to reduce Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH or “bleeding”).

Dr. Bramlage fully appreciates the fact that Lasix benefits the racehorse: “Let there be no doubt about what I am saying. I believe furosemide is valuable to the horse when racing.” We agree with his position because conclusive medical science exists on the topic and shows the use of Lasix eliminates bleeding in some horses and reduces the severity of bleeding in others.

However, Dr. Bramlage trots out the tired argument of The Jockey Club, of which he is a member, that Lasix must be eliminated because the “general public can’t understand it and the continual drumbeat of journalists, most of whom truly have no idea of what they are talking about, will become a death knell if we don’t stop it.” He further says, “It is not the drug that is bad, it is the public argument that plays out in the press that hurts us the most.”

Dr. Bramlage says the public “can’t discriminate between furosemide and cocaine…”  We are confident it can. If The Jockey Club invested the time, money and effort spent to date on politicizing the use of furosemide into a campaign of education and enlightenment, we believe the public and the limited number of full-time racing journalists would have a far different perception of Lasix use.

Credible efforts by the collective voices of this industry to tell the truth would eliminate the confusion about which Dr. Bramlage complains. All responsible participants in horse racing and breeding should recognize that sacrificing good science on the altar of political pandering and public misperception is bad policy – for the industry and for the horse.

Rather than working to educate the public and the media, The Jockey Club and, unfortunately, Dr. Bramlage have chosen to give up and not work to correct public misperceptions that ignore science. The impact of doing this is clear: the losers will be the racehorse and those who own them. Dr. Bramlage acknowledges this in his remarks, making it clear that to forbid the use of race day Lasix will “be terminal to some horses’ careers ...”

The National HBPA in its Mission Statement and everyday efforts encourages the highest standards of horsemanship to continuously improve the care, health and safety of the horse, and to support the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of nationwide uniform rules that promote safety and integrity in racing. Our mission is incompatible with accepting anything less for our horses.

Dr. Bramlage titled his speech, “I did the best I could!” hoping that when in Heaven he could tell his boyhood pet horse, Buckshot, just that. We sincerely believe Dr. Bramlage has done that as a practicing veterinarian. But if we are complicit in allowing good science to be unseated by public relations pandering, and if racehorses become the casualty of organizations jockeying for political position, none of us could meet any of our horses in Heaven and make the same claim to them.

Mrs. Robin Richards
President & Chairman

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ron Rippey Award for Handicapping Media Announced

Brisnet.com will present the first-ever award for handicapping media at the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters dinner on Wednesday, October 29, at The Derby in Arcadia, Calif.

The inaugural Ron Rippey Handicapping Media Award is open to any article, blog post, or video pertaining to a handicapping topic published (in print or online) this year. Eligible topics include how to handicap/bet a race, post-race trip notes, or general essays on money management or use of speed ratings. The award is open to anyone with published content related to handicapping and offers a $1,000 cash prize plus reasonable accommodation to attend the NTWAB dinner to receive the award.

“Handicapping horse races is both an art and a science, and the ability to produce compelling content about the topic is a specialty that deserves recognition,” said Brisnet.com Director of Marketing Ed DeRosa. “We not only want to acknowledge the good work done in this regard but also encourage people to continue to produce this type of content, and who better to honor than successful handicapper and newspaper columnist Ron Rippey.”

Rippey won the 2006 National Handicapping Championship, was a 10-time qualifier for the prestigious annual event, and a beloved regular on the contest circuit. He also wrote about racing and made picks for the Newark Star-Ledger and contributed Spotlight Selections to Brisnet.com for major race days. Rippey died August 26.

“Ron’s enthusiasm for both playing the game and writing about it was infectious,” DeRosa said. “He wanted to beat you, but he wanted you to have fun while he did it, which is the essence of good handicapping content.”

Steve Byk, Jessica Chapel, and Paul Rolfes will serve as judges for the inaugural award, and the trio brings together a mix of media experiences:

*Byk is host of the long-running ‘At The Races’ on SiriusXM, publisher of DerbyTrail.com, & managing partner of Dee Tee Stables;

*Chapel founded her eponymous JessicaChapel.com—one of the longest-running blogs in racing—in 2004, helped launch Daily Racing Form blogs in 2007, and currently works on BreedersCup.com digital media initiatives; and

*Rolfes is an editor with the Louisville Courier-Journal who writes about horse racing and previously covered & handicapped both breeds for the Columbus Dispatch.

For more information or to submit an entry, e-mail RippeyAward@Brisnet.com by Tuesday, September 30.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Minnesota HBPA Announces Election Results

The Minnesota HBPA election results were announced September 4.

There were four candidates running for two open owner positions on the board of directors.  

Tom Metzen Sr., Owner/Director and current President, was reelected for another three-year term.

Owner Claudia Goebel, new to the board, will also serve three years.

Owner/Trainer Bernell Rhone will serve another term and ran unopposed.

The board elected Tom Metzen Sr. as President and Jack Walsh as Vice President for 2014-2015.

Friday, September 12, 2014

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

The interactive, electronic version of The Horsemen's Journal's Fall 2014 issue is now available online. It is an enhanced version of our Fall 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:

  • Meet Me in OKC - Horsemen come together for the NHBPA Summer Convention in Oklahoma City
  • Supplying Demand - Steuart Pittman and the Retired Racehorse Project aim to bring back demand for Thoroughbreds in other disciplines
  • Wandering Withdrawal Times and the RMTC Model Rules -Time for the RMTC to get “days”
  • Prepurchase Exams for the Layman - Evaluating a horse on your own before going ahead with an official veterinary exam can save you money
  • Embracing Technology May Improve Racehorse Performance - High-speed treadmills show promise

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.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Charles Town HBPA Launches Online Newsletter

The Charles Town HBPA has just launched the first edition of its online newsletter titled Beyond the Paddock. According to the first issue, the goal of the newsletter will be to “educate you on horse racing's large impact on the financial well being of our entire community. We will share stories with you about...Real People...Real Jobs...Real Impact!”

The first issue includes a letter from Charles Town HBPA President Randy Funkhouser along with information about the economic impact of horse racing in West Virginia. To find out more or to sign up for the newsletter, visit the Charles Town HBPA website at www.cthbpa.com.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

McCarron, Jenkins and Crump to Judge America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest

Chris McCarron, Rodney Jenkins, and Diane Crump will team up at Pimlico Race Course on Sunday, October 5 to provide commentary and insight on the performances of ten Thoroughbred ex-racehorses performing in ten equestrian sports during the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover: A Marketplace and National Symposium.

America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest is designed to educate the equestrian public about the process of training an ex-racehorse for a second career. The horses are new to their respective disciplines, but their trainers are experts. The public has been watching their progress on the RRP website (RetiredRacehorseProject.org) and will vote for their favorites from September 25 – 28. A second round of voting will take place during the October 5 demonstrations and immediately after.

“We chose these judges not only because they are three of the most accomplished horse people in America, but also because they are three of the most entertaining personalities in racing,” said RRP President Steuart Pittman. The role of the judges is to comment on each performance and question the trainers in a format similar to that of Fox Television’s American Idol. They do not decide the winners but can influence the popular vote with their commentary. The event offers $10,000 in purse money and can be watched live at BloodHorse.com. It will be emceed by Stan Salter of Maryland Horse Radio.

The contestants represent the sports of dressage (Nuno Santos with Now and Then), eventing (Phillip Dutton with Icabad Crane), foxhunting (Christy Clagett with Saba Rock), show jumpers (Armand Leone and New Vocations with Discreet Dancer), show hunters (Bev Strauss and Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue with D’Sauvage), polo (Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Marisa Bianchi with It’s A Little Chilli), ranch work (Dale Simanton with Rikim), barrels and western dressage (Patrick King with Pookie’s Princess), steeplechase (Jazz Napravnik with So Outspoken), Pony Club (Hannah Gilhool with Mad Bomber).

Chris McCarron retired as a jockey in 2002 as America’s all-time leader in earnings. He won two Eclipse Awards, was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame, and later served as General Manager of Santa Anita Park and as a racing analyst for TVG. In 2005, he created the North American Racing Academy to train future exercise riders, jockeys, and horsemen.

Diane Crump, was the first American woman to ride at a major track (Hialeah in 1969), the first woman to win a stakes race, and the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby (1970). She won 228 of her 1682 races as a jockey. After retiring from race riding she created Diane Crump Equine Sales, Inc., a successful business that matches horses and buyers in the sport horse market.

Rodney Jenkins trains a strong barn of some forty racehorses out of Laurel Park, but made history in the horse show world. He not only dominated both the hunter and jumper rings throughout the 70s and 80s, but he did it primarily on Thoroughbreds. His most famous winner was Idle Dice, a Charlestown claimer who won 31 Grand Prix in his career, including two at the age of 21. Rodney is in the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, and was Maryland’s leading racing trainer in 2004.

The America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest is a part of the Thoroughbred Makeover: A Marketplace and National Symposium October 4-5 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The weekend includes a Thoroughbred Marketplace sponsored by Thoroughbred Charities of America, seminars about transitioning racehorses to second careers, and demonstrations by top Thoroughbreds in multiple disciplines. Marketplace entries are being accepted at RetiredRacehorseProject.org and the catalogue of horses can be viewed there during the week before the event.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Simulcast Conference Deadline Approaching

“Is Racing Keeping Pace with Technology” will be the theme of the 22nd annual International Simulcast Conference in Delray Beach, Fla., on Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The conference, which will be held at the Marriott Delray Beach, will feature presentations and discussions on available technology and how it can be used to the benefit or detriment of pari-mutuel racing.

As technology continuously exercises increased impact on consumer trends, conference sessions will be devoted to the influence of technology from a competitive perspective, in enhancing the viewing and wagering experience, and what response technology may require for the industry to stay current with consumer demands.

Among the areas to be discussed:
•Mobile device use on-track
•High definition production and home delivery
•Fan and bettor experience

The International Simulcast Conference is co-sponsored by the TRA and Harness Tracks of America, in association with the American Greyhound Track Operators Association. Conference attendance requires registration with the TRA. Hotel rooms are still available and reservations may be made by calling the Marriott Delray Beach at 561-274-3200 and requesting the “International Simulcast Conference” block. The deadline for hotel reservations is September 12. Conference registration deadline is September 19. For more information, including the conference registration process, please visit www.tra-online.com.

Monday, August 18, 2014

HBPA Horsemen Reaffirm Their Support of Lasix

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) restated its strong support for the continued use of Lasix at its summer convention held August 15-17, 2014 in Oklahoma City. Lasix is currently the only recognized treatment for pulmonary bleeding, a serious exercise induced disease that affects nearly all race horses. In doing so, the National HBPA joins the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (THA), the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) in supporting Lasix use. Together these four horsemen's groups have nearly 50,000 owner and trainer members who race in the United States and Canada.

Those attending the Oklahoma City convention heard a panel of nationally recognized experts that stated current medical science does not support The Jockey Club's call for banning the race day use of Lasix, a ban that would inevitably be harmful to horses. The Jockey Club, a 100 member private organization, proposed doing so as part of its support for federal regulation of racing stated at its recent Round Table meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Ironically, The Jockey Club chose to ignore a landmark 2009 scientific study, which it largely funded, conclusively proving the effectiveness of Lasix as treatment for pulmonary bleeding in race horses. The Jockey Club also ignored the advice of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), an industry wide group of which it is a member. The RMTC found no medical or scientific reason for discontinuing the use of Lasix.  Similarly, The Jockey Club brushed aside racing experience in New York where it is headquartered. With the advent of Lasix treatment in 1995 the incidence of epistaxis in New York racing, the most severe form of pulmonary bleeding in horses, immediately dropped by 80%.

Pulmonary bleeding is inextricably associated with horses, and puts the health of horses and safety of jockeys at risk. Until a better treatment for this progressive disease is identified, there is no possible ethical or humane justification for depriving racing horses and their riders of the protective therapeutic benefits of Lasix.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com) based in Lexington, KY is the largest racing horsemen’s representative organization in North America with 29 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supply’s, Equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products Inc., and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Jockey Club Projects Foal Crop of 22,000 in 2015

The Jockey Club is projecting a 2015 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop of 22,000, it was announced by Matt Iuliano, the organization’s executive vice president and executive director.

The projections for the 2013 and 2014 foal crops were 23,000 and 22,000, respectively.

“The projection for the 2015 foal crop is based on reports of mares bred received to date, and we estimate that approximately 80% of those reports have been received,” Iuliano said.

Additional foal crop information is available in The Jockey Club’s Online Fact Book at jockeyclub.com/factbook.asp and in the online state fact books.

The foal crop projection, traditionally announced in mid-August, is computed by using Reports of Mares Bred (RMBs) received to date for the 2014 breeding season. RMBs are to be filed by August 1 of each breeding season.

Stallion owners who have not returned their RMBs for the 2014 breeding season are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Interactive Registration, which enables registered users to perform virtually all registration-related activities over the Internet, is the most efficient means of submitting RMBs and is available at registry.jockeyclub.com.