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Friday, August 18, 2017

OwnerView Accepting Nominations for “New Owner of the Year” Award

OwnerView has announced that it is accepting nominations for the 2017 New Owner of the Year award, presented by Fasig-Tipton, which will honor a new Thoroughbred owner who has been successful in the sport and has had a positive impact on the industry.

The deadline for nominations is September 15, 2017. The award will be presented at the Thoroughbred Owner Conference in Del Mar, scheduled to be held October 30 through November 1 during the week leading up to the 34th running of the Breeders’ Cup Championships.

Nominees for the New Owner of the Year award must have owned Thoroughbreds for less than four years, have an interest in a horse at the time it won a stakes race in the past 12 months, and have a verifiable owner’s license in 2017.

Anyone, including current owners, can nominate an owner who meets the criteria for the award. Thoroughbred performance as well as a nominee’s promotion of the sport will also be considered. A selection committee that includes industry personnel and established owners will choose the winner.

Sol Kumin and LNJ Foxwoods were awarded the 2015 and 2016 New Owner of the Year awards.

“The annual Thoroughbred Owner Conference celebrates Thoroughbred ownership so it is the perfect venue to present such an award,” said Gary Falter, project manager for OwnerView.

To submit a nomination, please contact Gary Falter for a nomination form at (859) 224-2803 or gfalter@jockeyclub.com.

More information about the Thoroughbred Owner Conference, including online registration, can be found at ownerview.com.

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.

Formed in 1898, Fasig-Tipton is North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction house.  With headquarters in Lexington, Ky., the company conducts 14 sales annually in Lexington; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Hallandale Beach, Fla.; and Timonium, Md.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Big Kick Wins Claiming Crown Preview Race at Indiana Grand

Big Kick (photo by Linscott Photography)
For the first time in the history of the track, Indiana Grand, in cooperation with the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), have teamed up to offer a special bid to the Claiming Crown. A special race was held as part of the Wednesday, Aug. 16 racing program with the winner automatically getting a free nomination and shipping allowance to participate in the Claiming Crown Iron Horse during the event at Gulfstream Park on December 2.

A field reduced to five due to four scratches started the one mile and one-sixteenth race on the dirt with Lamu and Manny Cruz busting out along the inside post for the early lead. The duo maintained that spot through a majority of the two-turn race, feeling the presence of Far Out Kailee and Richard Bracho on the outside for most of the way.

In the final turn, Wild About You and Fernando De La Cruz slipped out three wide as Big Kick was still on the rail looking for an opportunity to get out and get on the move. That opportunity arrived coming out of the turn and the 8-year-old Tiznow gelding split horses to grab the lead. The field was still tightly bunched into the stretch, and everyone had the opportunity to overtake Big Kick, but he was strong to the finish line, winning by two and one-half lengths over Wild About You for second. Race favorite Far Out Kailee finished third.

Owned by Maggi Moss of Iowa, Big Kick earned his 13th career trip to the winner’s circle. The well-bred gelding has made 47 career starts and with the win in the $25,000 prep for the Claiming Crown, his earnings are now in excess of $385,000. He came to Trainer Tom Amoss’ barn via a claim last year at Indiana Grand and has found a permanent home.

“He has been a very good starter horse since we claimed him,” said Amoss. “He’s one of the family now. Maggi (Moss) has already told me that when he’s ready to retire, there is already a home for him.”

As far as his future, Amoss said that Big Kick might be a possibility to be included in the $110,000 Iron Horse at the Claiming Crown in December at Gulfstream Park.

“If he won today, we talked and it is definitely under consideration,” added Amoss, a five-time leading trainer at Indiana Grand. “I’m encouraged that Indiana Grand offered $1,000 toward travel expenses to go, so it’s a possibility.”

Amoss added that they may have found the key to Big Kick.

“He’s an old pro,” said Amoss. “The secret to his success for us is that he loves peppermints. Every evening when I walk the barn, I feed him peppermints and he’s repaid us by winning.”

Big Kick has now won over eight different tracks under nine different jockeys. It is the second consecutive win for Mena on Big Kick. It also marked seventh win for the partnership of Amoss and Moss since being claimed in May 2016.

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Big Kick won the 2014 San Juan Capistrano Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita going 1 3/4 miles on the turf.

The addition of the Claiming Crown Iron Horse Stakes “win and you’re in” came to fruition earlier this year. Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Joe Davis, president of the Indiana HBPA talked about the possibility of bringing a connection to the event to Indiana.

“We formed a partnership with the horsemen and decided to offer this race,” said Greely. “It turned out to be a nice quality race for us. Joe (Davis) and I talked and we spoke to TOBA and the National HBPA about adding it. We selected a category that we felt we had horses in the region ($8,000 starter going long) that would fit well in here.”

In addition to $1,000 toward travel expenses for Big Kick courtesy of Indiana Grand and the Indiana HBPA, they will also cover the $100 nomination fee.

The Claiming Crown, held in association with TOBA and the National HBPA, formed in 1999 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. It was designed to showcase the “blue collar” type horses in eight different races contested on both turf and dirt surfaces at different distances. The “Crown” has moved to different tracks throughout the years. Gulfstream Park will host the event through 2018. All eight races include purses in excess of $100,000.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sunday’s Round Table Conference to be available via Live Stream

The Jockey Club will provide a live video stream for Sunday’s 65th Annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on jockeyclub.com. The two-hour conference begins at 10 a.m. EDT.

In addition to the live stream on The Jockey Club’s website, the event can be viewed on TVG2 and tvg.com/live. Updates from the conference will be tweeted from @jockeyclub using #tjcroundtable.

A video replay of the Round Table Conference will be available later Sunday afternoon, and an official transcript of the proceedings will be available on The Jockey Club website by Tuesday, August 15.

The agenda, with links to speaker biographies, is available on jockeyclub.com.

The Jockey Club Round Table Conference was first held on July 1, 1953, in The Jockey Club office in New York City. The following year, it was moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where it has been held every August since.

Transcripts of every Round Table Conference are available in the “Resources” section of The Jockey Club website.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Is There a Hero Residing in Your Barn?

Horsemen are reminded that the August 1 deadline to submit nominations for the 2017 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards is almost here. This year, there will be a total of six awards which will carry total prize money of $128,000, an increase of $13,000 over last year.

Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the principal sponsor of the awards in association with The Jockey Club, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA). Godolphin also sponsors the equivalent Stud and Stable Staff Awards in Ireland, Australia, Britain and France.

The Keeneland Association has graciously offered to host the awards again this year which will take place on Friday, October 13th.

A new award category has been added, “The Newcomer Award,” which will recognize an individual who has been working in any area of Thoroughbred racing and/or breeding for less than five years as of May 8th, 2017. In addition to the prize money for this award, the winner will also receive a five-day educational tour to Dubai with flights and accommodation included.

Dan Pride, COO of Godolphin in America, said, “On behalf of Godolphin, we would like to thank everyone that made the first year of the TIEAs a huge success, including the nominators. The involvement of the HBPA, Jockey Club and TOBA, as well as media support from the TDN, BloodHorse, the Daily Racing Form and TVG, was instrumental in bringing these awards to fruition. The first group of nominees was so impressive across the board and we fully expect to see that again this year. It’s extremely heartwarming that the hardworking men and women in our industry receive the recognition that they truly deserve.”

For more information and to nominate online, please go to www.godolphinusawards.com. You’ll also be able to watch the video of the 2016 ceremony, view frequently asked questions and download the nomination form.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Additional Visas for Temporary Workers Provided Until End of Current Fiscal Year

U.S. businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers will be able to hire up to 15,000 additional temporary nonagricultural workers under the H-2B program under a final rule that the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor submitted to the Federal Register today. To qualify for the additional visas, petitioners must attest, under penalty of perjury, that their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm if it cannot employ H-2B nonimmigrant workers during fiscal year (FY) 2017.

After consulting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly determined there are not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labor to satisfy the needs of some American businesses in FY 2017.

"Congress gave me the opportunity to provide temporary relief to American businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary workers," said DHS Secretary John Kelly. "As a demonstration of the Administration’s commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap."

The H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker program was designed to serve U.S. businesses unable to find a sufficient number of qualified U.S. workers to perform nonagricultural work of a temporary nature. Congress set the annual H-2B cap at 66,000. A maximum of 33,000 H-2B visas are available during the first half of the fiscal year, and the remainder, including any unused H-2B visas, is available starting April 1 through September 30. On March 13, 2017, USCIS received sufficient H-2B petitions to meet the full FY 2017 statutory cap of 66,000. In May, Congress delegated its authority to the Secretary to increase the number of temporary nonagricultural work visas available to U.S. employers through September 30. The Secretary took the intervening time to consult with the Secretary of Labor on the issue and to properly develop this rule in accordance with Congressional requirements.

Starting this week, eligible petitioners for H-2B visas can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and must submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA with their petition. A new tip line to report general H-2B abuse and employer violations has also been established.

Details on eligibility and filing requirements will be available in the final rule and on a new uscis.gov webpage to be published when the final rule is posted for public inspection. This page will also include information on how individuals can report abuse in the program.

If members of the public have information that a participating employer may be abusing this program, DHS invites them to submit information to ReportH2BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and Instagram (@USCIS).

Monday, July 10, 2017

Calling Horse Racing’s Heroes: 2017 White Horse Awards Deadline Approaching

A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. There are heroes all around the horse racing industry, and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) wants to recognize these selfless servants. RTCA is currently seeking nominees for its 15th Annual White Horse Award (WHA).  

These awards are presented annually at Race Track Chaplaincy of America’s White Horse Awards program to individuals who have done something heroic or have gone up and beyond on behalf of human or horse. It is a way to recognize those unsung heroes of horse racing, whether their actions are headline-grabbing, or the quiet and not-so-obvious kind of heroism.

This year’s White Horse Awards program will take place on Thursday, November 2, at Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California, just prior to the beginning of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships being held at the same track. In addition to the White Horse award hero recognition, two other awards will be presented:

Tribute to Excellence Award- Individual who has consistently demonstrated professional excellence and leadership in the horse racing industry;
Community Service Award- Individual who has made significant contributions to the welfare of racetrack chaplaincy ministries.

To submit a nomination for either the White Horse, Tribute to Excellence, or Community Service Awards, visit www.facebook.com/pg/rtcanational/events for a complete list of rules and selection criteria, as well as downloadable nomination forms. The deadline for submission is September 8, 2017. For more information, please contact the RTCA National Service Center at (859) 410-7822.

                                                                               --------

More about the White Horse Award – The WHA was established in 2003 to recognize individuals within the horse racing industry for their acts of selflessness and bravery. The most recent recipients were Bob Hubbard Horse Transportation & KC Horse Transport, two competitors who put aside their business interests to save many horses from oncoming wild fires.

More about the Race Track Chaplaincy of America - The overall mission of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), through its Councils and Chaplains, is to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse racing industry. For more about the support RTCA provides to chaplains at race tracks, please click here, or “Follow” us on Facebook.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Jeff Fager of CBS News to Deliver Keynote Address at Fourth Thoroughbred Owner Conference

Jeff Fager, the award-winning executive producer of “60 Minutes” and a Thoroughbred owner, will deliver the keynote address when OwnerView and BloodHorse host the fourth Thoroughbred Owner Conference in Del Mar, Calif., this fall.

The event will be held at the Hilton San Diego / Del Mar from October 30 – November 1, the week leading up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Breeders’ Cup Ltd. is the presenting sponsor for the conference.

As in years past, the Thoroughbred Owner Conference is designed to educate, inform, and entertain new, prospective, and current Thoroughbred owners through a series of panels and social events.

With Fager at the helm over the past 14 years, “60 Minutes” has maintained its status as the most watched news program in America. Fager also served as the first chairman of CBS News from 2011 – 2014, when he reorganized the news division’s platforms on television, radio and the Internet.

He was the recipient of the 2012 Paul White Award, which recognizes an individual’s lifetime contributions to electronic journalism, from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

This fall, Simon and Schuster will publish Fager’s book Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television’s Most Influential News Broadcast and Owner Conference attendances will receive an autographed copy of it.

Fager became interested in horse racing through his father, Dr. Charles Fager, a Boston-based neurosurgeon.

In 1965, Dr. Fager was credited with saving the life of trainer John Nerud. Nerud then honored the doctor by bestowing his name upon a racehorse.

Dr. Fager the Thoroughbred went on to become the only horse to ever win four different championship awards in the same year, earning Horse of the Year, Champion Older Horse, Champion Turf Horse, and Champion Sprinter in 1968. That year, he set a world record for a mile in the Washington Park Handicap, covering the distance in 1:32.20.

Dr. Charles Fager passed away at the age of 90 on April 8, 2014, and John Nerud died at the age of 102 on August 13, 2015.

Currently, Fager owns and co-owns Thoroughbred racehorses in New York and Ireland. He has campaigned the stakes runners Miss Melinda and Final Chapter.

“Beyond his extraordinary achievement in the field of television news, Jeff and his family have a long and interesting connection to Thoroughbred racing,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club.  “We are looking forward to hearing about that history and about his experiences as an enthusiastic Thoroughbred owner and fan.”

Attendees at the owner conference will enjoy three days of conference presentations, a dinner at the Hilton San Diego / Del Mar, multiple opportunities to network with panelists and industry personnel, and the option to attend the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday and Saturday.

Conference details, including the complete schedule of events, registration forms, host hotel information, and other tourism tips are available at ownerview.com.

Registrations are available for the full conference and a social-events-only registration is available to spouses or partners of attendees. Both types of registration include Breeders’ Cup tickets.

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 website was launched in May 2012.

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Interactive, Electronic Edition of The Horsemen’s Journal Summer 2017 Issue is Now Available

The interactive, electronic version of The Horsemen’s Journal’s Summer 2017 issue is now available online. It is an enhanced version of our Summer issue, which is currently being mailed. To view it, click here.

Features in the issue include:

OLD FRIENDS’ MOST CHARMING RETIREE
Silver Charm is one of several Triple Crown race winners enjoying the good life in retirement

NO LASIX RACING: GOOD IDEA OR FAILED EXPERIMENT?
A closer look at the concept and what it means for the safety of horses and riders

SMART TECHNOLOGY TRACKERS
Remote monitoring devices are set to have a big impact on the horse industry

ACUPRESSURE FOR HORSES
Noninvasive Chinese therapy uses acupuncture points to ease pain, promote well-being

THE LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT COMMISSION COMPLAINT RESOLUTION
A primer and a plan for change for horsemen

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.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Images, Presentations and Videos from the Pan Am Conference and IFAR now Available

Images, presentations and videos from the Pan American Conference and the International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) are available online.

To view the Pan Am materials, visit panamdc2017.com and click the Resources tab.

To view the IFAR materials, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com and click Resources tab and then click the link to the presentations.

The IFAR conference, held May 18 and 19, 2017, coincided with the Pan Am Conference, which was held May 17 – 20 in Washington, D.C., and concluded with a trip to the 142nd Preakness Stakes. IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide.

The Pan Am Conference, hosted by The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel, was a mix of business and social events, including the Preakness Stakes Celebration presented by the Stronach Group and the Gala Dinner of the Pan American Conference presented by Longines, featuring the Longines Ladies Awards, for a global audience surrounding the Thoroughbred industry. The event was attended by more than 400 representatives from 25 countries.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

HBPA of Ontario Announces New Online Initiative to Promote Horse Racing and Racehorse Ownership

The Ontario Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new initiative developed to promote the growth of horse racing in this province.

The HBPA of Ontario Board of Directors has decided to produce an online series aimed at attracting new owners to the Thoroughbred industry and new fans to the track. The series, Talkin' Horses, will pick up from the HBPA of Ontario’s award-winning television show of the same name which ran for three years on CTV Television. With the
continued growth of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, and the popularity of watching programming online and on-demand, the decision to offer the series digitally was made strategically to reach a millennial demographic.

The show, which will have 10 episodes through the summer and fall, will be an energetic, fast-moving look at how to get into affordable racehorse ownership, handicapping a horse race and picking a winner - plus features on the people and horses in the sport and detailed previews of all the big races.

The HBPA of Ontario has contracted television and radio host Jason Portuondo and racing writer Jennifer Morrison, each from the television iteration of Talkin' Horses, to produce the 2017 online series. It will be directed by the award-winning Alex Narvaez of Narvaez Productions, producer and editor of The Strombo Sessions with George Stroumboulopoulos and creator of short films, television series and promotional movies for the Toronto International Film Festival.

For updates stay tuned on Twitter and the HBPA of Ontario (www.hbpa.on.ca) or Talkin Horses (www.talkinhorses.com) websites.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Aftercare Advocates Stress Owner Responsibility, Humane Treatment at First International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses

International advocates for equine aftercare emphasized owner responsibility and humane treatment in addition to sharing insights on retirement programs for horses whose racing or breeding careers have ended during the two day International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR), which held its first conference in Washington, D.C., on May 17 and 18, 2017.

The IFAR event coincided with the Pan American Conference, an international conference on Thoroughbred racing hosted by The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel.

“The IFAR conference featured presentations from a unique international gathering of aftercare participants from some of the sport’s top organizations in Thoroughbred aftercare,” said Di Arbuthnot, chairman of IFAR and chief executive of Retraining of Racehorses. “Having our conference coincide with the Pan American Conference enabled us to share our views on aftercare best practices with a truly global audience, which is part of our mission.”

IFAR conference topics covered all aspects of Thoroughbred aftercare, including post-racing options, connecting aftercare and horseplayers, harmonization of the rules of racing for owners, and standards for aftercare providers.

In her presentation to the entire Pan Am Conference on Thursday, Arbuthnot discussed IFAR’s vision for aftercare in the global Thoroughbred industry and reminded attendees how important aftercare is to the entire industry.

“We all have a shared responsibility for the welfare of racehorses, which extends beyond the track. Across the entire animal welfare debate, the spotlight is on an animal’s quality of life and the emerging concept of a life worth living,” Arbuthnot said. “The welfare of racehorses throughout their lifetime is one of the single greatest issues facing the racing industry. A key function of IFAR is to provide help and support by sharing expertise and good practice on a global basis whilst recognizing cultural differences.”

Thursday’s keynote address was delivered by Michael Blowen, a former film critic for the Boston Globe and founder and president of the Thoroughbred retirement facility Old Friends. He also made his presentation at the Pan Am Conference.

“Horses have value and I consider [equine] retirement a legitimate career. This is their third career. These horses are priceless. Racing is based on competition on every level: racing, breeding, sales and others. When these horses come to our farm, that competition is over. They tell us how they want to be treated,” he said.

“I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to have the thrill of a lifetime every day.”

The IFAR conference was hosted by The Jockey Club and supported by Godolphin and was open to all racing jurisdictions, aftercare organizations and other interested parties.

A video of the event and PowerPoint presentation will be available on the IFAR website, internationalracehorseaftercare.com, soon.

IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide. Working with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, IFAR will raise awareness of the importance of welfare for Thoroughbreds, improve education on lifetime care, and help increase demand for former racehorses in other equestrian sports. For more information on IFAR, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Nominations to open for the second annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards

Nominations will open on Monday, May 8th, for the 2017 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards which were held in America for the first time in 2016. Nominations can be submitted until Tuesday, August 1st, at midnight. This year, there will be a total of six awards which will carry total prize money of $128,000, an increase of $13,000 over last year.

Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the principal sponsor of the awards in association with The Jockey Club, The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA). Godolphin also sponsors the equivalent Stud and Stable Staff Awards in Ireland, Australia, Britain and France.

The Keeneland Association has graciously offered to host the awards again this year which will take place on Friday, October 13th.

A new award category has been added, “The Newcomer Award,” which will recognize an individual who has been working in any area of Thoroughbred racing and/or breeding for less than five years as of May 8th, 2017. In addition to the prize money for this award, the winner will also receive a five-day educational tour to Dubai with flights and accommodation included.

Dan Pride, COO of Godolphin in America, said, “On behalf of Godolphin, we would like to thank everyone that made the first year of the TIEAs a huge success, including the nominators. The involvement of the HBPA, Jockey Club and TOBA, as well as media support from the TDN, BloodHorse, the Daily Racing Form and TVG, was instrumental in bringing these awards to fruition. The first group of nominees was so impressive across the board and we fully expect to see that again this year. It’s extremely heartwarming that the hardworking men and women in our industry receive the recognition that they truly deserve.”

For more information and to nominate online, please go to www.godolphinusawards.com. You’ll also be able to watch the video of the 2016 ceremony, view frequently asked questions and download the nomination form.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Congress Poised to Pass Limited H-2B Cap Relief

As you know, the H-2B visa is of vital importance to the horse racing industry. The National HBPA, along with others in the racing industry and other industries that use the H-2B visa, have been working hard to ensure this visa remains a viable option. The good news is that Congress is poised to provide limited H-2B cap relief. Below is an update from the H-2B Workforce Coalition:

Late yesterday, Congress reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. Thanks to a massive effort from everyone in the H-2B community, the bill contains limited H-2B cap relief.

The House and Senate are expected to pass the bill this week and send it to President Trump for his signature before Friday. This agreement essentially ends the chance of a government shut down next week.

The bill provides the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the authority to raise the H-2B cap when he determines that there is an economic need. It limits the total number of H-2B workers to that may enter the U.S. during fiscal 2017 to 129,547, the number of new and returning H-2B workers admitted to the U.S. in fiscal 2007. After the bill becomes law, we must work with the Administration to encourage the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement this provision.

The bill contains the following language:

SEC. 543. Notwithstanding the numerical limitation set forth in section 214(g)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(B)), the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, and upon the determination that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2017 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor, may increase the total number of aliens who may receive a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)) in such fiscal year above such limitation by not more than the highest number of H–2B nonimmigrants who participated in the H–2B returning worker program in any fiscal year in which returning workers were exempt from such numerical limitation.

We will provide additional updates as the bill moves through the legislative process. Thanks again to everyone for the tremendous outreach to lawmakers. Your voices were heard on Capitol Hill.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

H-2B Call to Action - We Have 10 Days to Make a Difference!

We have 10 days to make a difference!

Congress must address federal spending bills for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 by April 28 to avoid a government shutdown. The primary opportunity that we have for getting the Returning Worker Exemption reenacted and saving the H-2B visa program for this season is by inclusion of the language in the spending bill that must be passed by that date. Congress needs to hear a steady drum beat from H-2B users across the country if we are going to be successful in reinstating the returning worker exemption through a year-end spending bill. Your help is crucial in this endeavor.

CALL TO ACTION #1
Please call both of your Senator's offices and ask him/her to sign on to Senator Flake’s (R-AZ) letter to leadership in support of the returning worker exemption being included in the appropriations measure for the remainder of fiscal year 2017. The letter will be sent on Friday so they must sign on THIS WEEK. 

You can reach your Senators through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. To find out who your two Senators are please go to this website: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

CALL TO ACTION #2
Call your member of Congress and ask the member to please contact Speaker Ryan’s office and ask that the Speaker ensures that the H-2B Returning Worker Exemption is included in any appropriation measure to fund the balance of FY 2017.

DO NOT CALL SPEAKER RYAN’S OFFICE YOURSELF UNLESS YOU LIVE IN HIS DISTRICT.  

You can reach your Representative through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121.  To find out who your Representative is please go to this website: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Even if you have already made multiple phone calls and visits to your member of Congress and your Senators, please call again today, tomorrow, and every day until April 28th. Please let me know what you are being told by the staffers that answer the phone. Thank you!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Race Track Chaplaincy of America Announces Board of Directors for 2017

Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), a ministry that serves the horse racing industry at racetracks and training facilities across the United States and beyond, has announced this year’s board of directors:

Elliott Walden (President)- President & CEO, WinStar Farm.  Has served RTCA on many levels, working closely with both the KY. and NY. Chaplaincies.

Rich Gimmel (Vice President)- Owner and chairman of Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc., currently Executive Director of the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy Council.

Chaplain Humberto Chavez (Secretary)- Senior Chaplain for the New York Race Track Chaplaincy since 2003, serving Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.

Chaplain Darrell Winter (Treasurer)- Chaplain at Ruidoso Downs for 17 years and the RTCA National Treasurer for the past 2 years.

Arnie Frazee (Region Director’s Representative)- Has served on various committees and Board positions within RTCA, based out of the Remington Park Race Track Chaplaincy.

Karen Chavez (Women’s Ministry Representative)- Leads women’s ministry for the New York Race Track Chaplaincy and has previously held the position on the RTCA National level.

Jody Parmenter (Council President’s Representative)- Serving as the Council President for the Emerald Downs Chaplaincy in Washington state.

Chaplain Dwight Brown (Chaplain’s Representative)- Chaplain at Evangeline Downs for the last six years.  Also serves as a Pastor of a church in Louisiana and Police Officer with the Opelousas Police Department.

Allyn Mann (Industry Representative)- Director of the Animal Health Division of Luitpold Animal Health.  Has committed the past 29 years to working in the animal health industry.

Dan Waits (Executive Director)- Began role of RTCA Executive Director in 2016.  Previously served as Executive Pastor in two Kentucky churches.  Prior to ordination, served in the KY. Governor’s Office and as a Program/Account Manager in the automotive industry.

Executive Director Dan Waits expressed enthusiasm about working with the new RTCA Board. “I’m grateful to have served with those board members whose terms have ended and welcome our newest board members.  It’s a great balance of folks that are involved every day in the horse racing industry and care deeply about the ministry.  I look forward to working together as we continue to improve RTCA’s ability to serve.”

Since 1972, the Race Track Chaplaincy of America has served the horse racing industry through the work of Chaplains, Councils, and volunteers at horse tracks and training facilities across the United States and beyond.  The mission of RTCA is to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse racing industry.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Interactive, Electronic Edition of The Horsemen’s Journal Spring 2017 Issue is Now Available

The interactive, electronic version of The Horsemen’s Journal’s Spring 2017 issue is now available online. It is an enhanced version of our Spring issue, which is currently being mailed. To view it, click here.

Features in the issue include:

ALL FOR ONE
Horsemen gather in Las Vegas for the National HBPA’s Annual Convention with a theme of working together

IMMIGRATION ISSUES
A look at what new policies and executive orders mean for the racing industry

A CALL FOR COMMON SENSE IN TESTING
How supersensitive testing and contamination are affecting horsemen

OUT IN THE COLD
Ingredients in over-the-counter cold medicines can wreak havoc on a trainer’s livelihood and an owner’s prized racehorse

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.

"Salty" Roberts, Founder of National Chaplaincy, Dies at 85

"Salty" Roberts
Horace William “Salty” Roberts, founder of Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), passed away Friday at the age of 85. Salty died at a hospice care center in Hollywood, Florida, located near his home in Cooper City, following a sustained illness.

Salty witnessed and experienced firsthand the needs of what he considered to be his family—the workers who care for horses on a daily basis on the backside of racetracks. Following a dramatic spiritual conversion, he began ministering to track workers in the late 1960s. Salty took the first step toward establishing the first recognized worship services on the backside of a thoroughbred race track in 1970.

His efforts spread to other race tracks and led to the establishment of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) in 1972. From that early beginning, the RTCA today supports chaplains ministering at 39 racetracks and training centers throughout the nation.

“Salty had a real burden on his heart for the people that he worked with,” said long-time friend Pat Day, a Hall of Fame jockey and currently president of the Kentucky chapter of RTCA. “He eagerly shared that burden by establishing a ministry to serve them right where they worked and often live—on the backside of race tracks.”

Of the passing, Dan Waits, Executive Director of Race Track Chaplaincy of America said, “Countless lives and generations to come have been and will be impacted by the Christ-centered work of Salty Roberts. We stand on his shoulders, and RTCA will continue to honor his legacy by carrying out the mission he established.”

Of his efforts to share Christ with racetrack workers, Salty once said, "I never did become a top jockey or a leading trainer, but God has given me something better than all that. He gave me the gift of salvation through his Son, and at the end of my life, when I hear him say, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant,' I'll know I've won my race. That's the greatest honor I could ever receive."

The Race Track Chaplaincy of America which Salty founded continues to serve the horse racing industry today with Chaplains, Councils, and volunteers at horse tracks and training facilities across the United States and beyond. The mission of RTCA remains the same: to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse racing industry.

Salty is survived by his wife, Dallas; six children: Mark Roberts, Lygia Colton (Kevin), Mary McKeever, Chris Roberts (Melissa); Paul Roberts, and Alicia Gargiulo (John); nine grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

For more information on the work of the ministry that he started, go www.rtcanational.org.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kentucky HBPA Endorses EquiLottery as ‘Important Innovation’

The Kentucky HBPA, one of the country’s largest horsemen’s organizations, has endorsed EquiLottery, the innovative lottery product based on the results of live horse racing.

Brad Cummings, EquiLottery’s founder and chief executive officer, called the stamp of approval from the Kentucky division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association “an important piece in moving the game towards adoption in its home state of Kentucky and beyond.

“We are delighted to count the Kentucky HBPA as core supporters of our mission to bring the excitement of live horse racing to the masses through our unprecedented lottery experience," Cummings said. “This organization has been a friend of EquiLottery since our public unveiling, and their support has been foundational to our continued momentum. We thank their entire leadership team for standing with us while we have dedicated ourselves to creating this new distribution and revenue opportunity for horse racing and increasing returns to the good causes supported by state lotteries around the country."

The Kentucky HBPA represents about 6,000 owners and trainers racing at the commonwealth’s five Thoroughbred tracks, working on issues such as funding and increasing race purses, ensuring safety measures at the track and assisting in services that take care of the professional and personal needs of their members. The Kentucky HBPA is the second such organization to show public support for EquiLottery, following the endorsement of West Virginia Racing United, which is made up of horsemen’s associations in the Mountain State.

"We have been thrilled to support Brad and his vision for EquiLottery over the years," said Kentucky HBPA president Rick Hiles. "It is so vital that we bring new people into the sport for this industry to have the bright future we all know it can enjoy. While we welcome any new revenue opportunities, the HBPA is most enthusiastic about the chance to introduce millions of people across the country to the excitement of live horse racing through this important innovation. EquiLottery is by far the best model we have seen to accomplish this goal. We wholeheartedly back this product and ask state leadership in Kentucky to do the same."

Since its public announcement over the summer of 2014, EquiLottery has worked diligently to develop its lottery product based on the results of live horse racing. The company has structured agreements with lottery-industry leader IGT Global Solutions and tote-system leader AmTote International to deliver a cohesive lottery experience for state lotteries and their players.

EquiLottery recently announced its first racetrack agreements with Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Eldorado Resorts’ Mountaineer Park, both in West Virginia. The Kentucky-based company is also in development on its IOS and Android mobile app that will allow players to watch races live and on replay, scan tickets and set push notifications for upcoming races — all from the convenience of their mobile devices.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

First International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses Conference Set for May 2017 in Washington, D.C.



The International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) will hold its first conference in Washington, D.C., on May 17 and 18, 2017, coinciding with the Pan American Conference.
 “This aftercare conference provides horse racing representatives from around the world with the opportunity to discuss the aftercare of our Thoroughbred racehorses,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “In addition to the major racing nations, we hope to include racing and aftercare representatives from smaller countries and emerging racing nations who share our mission to provide proper care of Thoroughbreds during their lifetimes.”

Speakers will represent many aspects of Thoroughbred aftercare and welfare, from promoting and retraining to connecting aftercare to bettors and developing non-racing agreements for owners.

Boyd Martin, a three-day event rider, is the keynote speaker on Wednesday. He has finished in the top 10 at every four-star event in the world except Badminton (England). Originally from Australia, Martin moved to the United States in 2007. One of his best-known horses is Blackfoot Mystery, an off-track Thoroughbred.

Thursday’s keynote address will be given by Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends and former film critic of the Boston Globe. Old Friends is a Thoroughbred retirement facility consisting of two farms, one in Kentucky and one in New York, that provide homes for pensioned stallions and other Thoroughbreds whose careers in racing and breeding have come to an end.

Representatives from prominent groups such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners (Kathleen Anderson), Au-delĂ  des Pistes in France (Lisa-Jane Graffard), International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, Japanese Racing Association (Takahiro Nishio), Racing Queensland (Dr. Eliot Forbes), Racing Victoria (Raelene Harrison), Retired Racehorse Project (Steuart Pittman), Retraining of Racehorses in the United Kingdom (Di Arbuthnot), The Humane Society of the United States (Wayne Pacelle), The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (Kristin Leshney), and Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (Stacie Clark Rogers) will provide their perspective insights on Thoroughbred aftercare.

IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide. Working with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, IFAR will raise awareness of the importance of welfare for Thoroughbreds, improve education on lifetime care, and help increase demand for former racehorses in other equestrian sports.

Attendance at the IFAR conference, which is hosted by The Jockey Club and supported by Godolphin, is open to all racing jurisdictions, aftercare organizations and other interested parties.

“We hope to promote the versatility and adaptability of Thoroughbreds globally,” said Di Arbuthnot, chief executive, Retraining of Racehorses.  “We want the world to know that Thoroughbreds can excel in other equestrian sports as well as they excel in racing, and they also make fantastic companions, hacks, therapeutic horses – the list goes on.”

IFAR has also announced the launch of its website, internationalracehorseaftercare.com, which is a resource for anyone interested in the welfare of Thoroughbreds. The website features the IFAR Principles of Aftercare, which have been developed in collaboration with IFAR steering group members and welfare specialists drawing on the expertise of international governing bodies. It will also provide educational resources, expert support, and updates on IFAR and its members. 

“IFAR is committed to bringing together the organizations from around the world that facilitate and promote the retraining of racehorses to share expertise and best practices,” said Dr. Eliot Forbes, CEO, Racing Queensland, chair, Racing Australia, Retirement of Racehorses Committee. “In addition to information and resources focusing on aftercare, the website will provide inspirational content and showcase achievements on a global scale.”

To sign up for the conference or for more information on IFAR, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com or contact registration@internationalracehorseaftercare.com  
Those who wish to attend only the IFAR meetings, send an email to registration@internationalracehorseaftercare.com indicating so. There is no cost to attend the business meetings themselves of IFAR.
For those who wish to attend the remainder of the Pan American Conference, including the Gala Dinner featuring the Longines Ladies Awards and Preakness Stakes (see the Pan American Conference Program), the cost will be $500. Please use the same address above for registration information. 

The Pan American Conference, hosted by The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel, is a mix of business and social events that will take place in Washington, D.C., May 17 - 20, 2017, in the days leading up to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. Attendance of the IFAR Conference includes the social events of the Pan American Conference on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. For more information on the Pan American Conference, visit panamdc2017.com.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

An Open Letter to the Industry on Environmental Contamination

National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback and Dr. Steven A. Barker, one of the world’s foremost experts in equine drug testing and research, have written an important open letter to the industry on environmental contamination.

The letter begins, "On behalf of owners and trainers in every jurisdiction, we would like to address comments made during a recent Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting regarding the dismissal of several dextrorphan cases. Dr. Mary Scollay, who serves in an advisory capacity for the KHRC as its equine medical director, told those regulators that environmental contamination as a source had nothing to do with three violations for the presence of dextrorphan in urine being thrown out.

After publicly thanking the KHRC last month for taking the lead on the significant issue of environmental contamination, something horsemen deal with on a day-to-day basis, we find Dr. Scollay’s comments disappointing. We believe Dr. Scollay is mistaken regarding elements of environmental contamination. Yet in explaining why the cases were dismissed, she also established a sensible policy change."

To read the complete letter published in the Thoroughbred Daily News, click here.