Google Website Translator Gadget

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Jockey Club Purchases Majority Ownership Stake in Blood-Horse

(Press Release from The Jockey Club)The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) announced today that The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. has purchased a majority ownership interest in Blood-Horse magazine. The purchase also includes related digital and custom printing properties of Blood-Horse, the Stallion Register, and Blood-Horse’s 50% interest in TrueNicks LLC.

The announcement was made jointly by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, and Peter S. Willmott, chairman of TOBA.

“The Jockey Club stewards believe that a publication with the history, influence and brand recognition of Blood-Horse is a considerable asset for the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry and that there are certain synergies that will make it an even stronger entity as a result of this transaction,” said Phipps.

“TOBA and its predecessor breeders organization have been the sole owner of Blood-Horse since 1935,” said Willmott. “With the considerable changes underway in the publishing industry, it is our strong feeling that a partnership with The Jockey Club in ownership of Blood-Horse will enhance Blood-Horse’s ability to serve its customers, especially on digital platforms.”

Simultaneously with the closing, Blood-Horse announced the appointment of John K. Keitt Jr. as chief executive officer and publisher. Keitt has served as a senior executive, corporate attorney, and consultant with broad experience in the media and technology areas. He was the senior vice president of Global Business for The Associated Press in New York City from 2003 – 2006, and he has also been a business and legal advisor to a wide range of Thoroughbred industry organizations since 1986.

Keitt will be based at the Blood-Horse offices in Lexington, Ky., starting today.

Blood-Horse will continue to cover the issues, events and personalities in our industry in a journalistically sound manner going forward,” Phipps said. “The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies have many longstanding business and editorial relationships with other media organizations in this industry, and we will strive to maintain and enhance those relationships. We are pleased to welcome aboard John Keitt as Blood-Horse’s new business leader.”

The purchase is effective immediately and financial details related to the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction does not include ownership of The Horse, which will remain with TOBA and operate separately. Marla Bickel, the CEO and publisher of Blood-Horse Publications, will transition into a role as CEO and publisher of The Horse.

The Jockey Club and TOBA have collaborated on numerous Thoroughbred industry initiatives through the years. The most recent example is OwnerView, an owner development resource that was created in 2012 and is managed jointly by The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. and TOBA.

Friday, February 20, 2015

National HBPA Accepting Resumes for Position of CEO

As previously reported, Philip Hanrahan has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association effective February 15th. Hanrahan has served as CEO since 2011.

NHBPA President, Robin Richards, stated, “While Phil will be hard to replace, we look forward to a robust process to find a suitable replacement. We have assembled a Search Committee with many of our leaders involved, and hope to identify candidates for final evaluation this month.”

Letters of interest and resumes are now being accepted through Friday, March 6th by the National HBPA, with review by its Search Committee planned to take place in the coming weeks.

For further information or to submit a resume please visit or email

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

National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, Sponsored by Finish Line Horse Products Inc.: Risen Star, Southwest, Fountain of Youth

Welcome to the first edition of the National HBPA's Quest for the Crown, sponsored by Finish Line Horse Products Inc. Each edition features a look at the major prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Below you will find a variety of links to previews, analysis, video and more for this weekend’s major prep races.

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

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

$400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G3) * Fair Grounds * 2/21 * Approx. Post – 5:24 pm CT

Risen Star Preview by Paul Mazur –

Rising Stars Come Together in Risen Star –

Trainer Shrugs Off Near-Tragedy to Resume Winning Ways –

Risen Star Full Field Analysis – Horse Racing Nation

Classy Colts Contend for Derby Points in Risen Star – Lady and the Track

Risen Star Draws Field of 10 –

Stakes Advance – Risen Star –

$300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) * Oaklawn Park * 2/22 * Approx. Post – 4:42 pm CT

Eleven Entered in Redrawn Southwest Stakes – Horse Racing Nation

Southwest Stakes Postponed Because of Weather –

Full Field Derby Dreaming in Southwest Stakes –

Southwest Stakes Preview by Nicolle Neulist –

Oaklawn Park News and Notes –

Southwest Stakes Preview –

$400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) * Gulfstream Park * 2/21 * Approx. Post 5:30 pm ET

That Handicapping Show – Fountain of Youth Preview –

Fountain of Youth Preview by Paul Mazur –

Frosted Looks to Turn Tables on Upstart in Fountain of Youth –

Upstart on Upswing Going into Fountain of Youth – Lady and the Track

Itsaknockout Takes Swing at Derby Prep in Fountain of Youth – Louisville Courier-Journal

Gulfstream Park News and Notes –

Helpful Links:

Complete Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule with Point Values –

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard –

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info –

Kentucky Derby Power Rankings from Leading Handicappers –

Profiles of Leading Kentucky Derby Contenders –

Daily Racing Form's Derby Top 20 –

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen –

Sunday, February 8, 2015

National HBPA Concludes Convention, Expands Membership

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) on Sunday brought down the curtain on its winter convention after conducting a wide variety of forums and expanding its membership to include the Wyoming HBPA. The four-day event, hosted by the Arizona HBPA, was held at the Carefree Resort near Phoenix. In addition to the educational meetings, horsemen from across North America enjoyed an outing at Turf Paradise and a trip to an authentic western saloon complete with bull-riding.

“This was one of our most successful conventions yet with a diverse group of speakers addressing several important topics facing the racing industry,” said Robin Richards, president and chairperson of the NHBPA. “We are also pleased to welcome the Wyoming HBPA and bring even more members into our organization.”

The convention kicked off with keynote speaker Mike Rogers, president of the racing division of The Stronach Group. In a wide-ranging address, Rogers spoke about takeout rates, simulcast fees, exchange wagering and marketing North American racing around the globe.

In the racehorse aftercare forum, Dennis Miller, founder of the Arizona division of CANTER, described the process of transitioning and placing former racehorses into new homes. He mentioned how CANTER volunteers will even come to the track to take photos and video to help owners and trainers in placing horses who do not have a future in racing.

On the topic of growing the fan base, the NHBPA’s Robin Richards was joined by Tom LaMarra, news editor for The Blood-Horse; Eric Halstrom, vice president of racing operations for Canterbury Park; and Sean Clancy, writer, editor, publisher and owner of ST Publishing, Inc.

“Customer service at tracks needs to improve and education is critical to generating fans,” said Clancy. “We say we are different in horse racing with horses and horsemen, but if we don’t educate and differentiate ourselves, we are no different than other sports and gambling.”

One of the most heavily attended sessions covered out-of-competition testing and featured a panel moderated by National HBPA CEO Phil Hanrahan and comprised of Phil Combest, president of the Florida HBPA; Dr. Clara Fenger, PhD, DACVIM, a Central Kentucky veterinarian; Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International; and Peter Sacopulos, an attorney and racehorse owner in Indiana.

Dr. Fenger, who serves as secretary for the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians, cautioned that the goal of such testing should be to find those using illegal, performance-enhancing drugs without interfering with legitimate therapeutic and medical treatment needed by horses.

“The entire point of the testing is to identify cheaters and have a level playing field, not unfairly penalize people not cheating,” she said. “We don’t want to go beyond the lines of what is unfairly affecting the performance of a horse during a race.”

The final forum of the convention covered medication issues and included a distinguished panel of speakers: Marybeth Brown-Pirrone, a New Mexico state Board of Veterinary Medicine member; Dr. Clara Fenger; Patrick Gallagher, a Chicago attorney involved in the pharmaceutical industry; Rachael Pontikes, who acts as litigation counsel for compounding pharmacies; and Dr. Thomas Tobin, a noted researcher and author at the University of Kentucky, Gluck Equine Research Center.

Martin gave an update on the relationship between RCI and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. He addressed the merger of the two proposed by RCI, which was declined by the RMTC. RCI then formed a scientific advisory committee to make recommendations for model rules.

“The RCI remains a member of the RMTC and will continue to rely on its lab accreditation (program),” Martin said. “We will continue to take policy recommendations from the RMTC as we would any other group. An important difference is sometimes lost: The RMTC makes recommendations, not rules.”

Fenger spoke about the 26 drugs on the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule and potential problems with the threshold levels, especially considering that testing can now detect parts per quadrillion. She raised the same concern she did in an earlier forum about out-of-competition testing in that it makes it difficult for veterinarians to treat horses for medical and therapeutic issues.

“I don't know what we’ll be able to use to treat horses,” she said. “Our vet trucks will basically be bicycles.”

Also at the convention, the NHBPA issued a proclamation thanking CEO Phil Hanrahan for his service to the organization. Hanrahan announced in January that he would step down from his position following the convention. The NHBPA also posthumously honored Tom Metzen, Jr. for his work on national insurance issues affecting horsemen.

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

National HBPA Readies for Winter Convention

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) will hold its Winter Convention in Carefree, AZ at the Carefree Resort & Conference Center from Wednesday, February 4th to Sunday, February 8th with the Arizona HBPA as the host affiliate.

Scheduled on the agenda are multiple panels that will be of interest to NHBPA convention attendees and guests, beginning with Keynote Speaker Michael Rogers. Mr. Rogers is the President of The Stronach Group’s Racing & Gaming Division and will be discussing, “Horseracing today and tomorrow from the perspective of The Stronach Group.” Michael’s presentation will review the industry currently and how The Stronach Group will meet the challenges it foresees in the future.

“We look forward to having Michael Rogers from The Stronach Group come as our guest to be the Keynote Speaker during our Winter Convention. He is one of the foremost industry leaders in his position with great insight on how everything comes together to make racing the best it can be,” said Robin Richard’s, President of the NHBPA. “Along with Michael, we have a great set of panels put together with many experts from their various fields who we know will help horsemen to better understand the various aspects of the business of racing.”

The additional panels during the convention are: “Out-of-Competition Testing” a conversation with various industry viewpoints on the positives and negatives to such procedures; “Thoroughbred Aftercare” will discuss CANTER and its role in helping horses move off the racetrack into new homes; “Growing the Fan Base, Part 2” will include multiple points of view to increase the outreach of the racing industry from on-track to social media; “Therapeutic Medication Regulation in the United States, 2015 and Thereafter” will address a broad range of therapeutic medication challenges, and possibilities from a variety of perspectives.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

NHBPA CEO Will Leave Horsemen’s Organization in February

Philip Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (NHBPA), will step down mid February 2015 after the conclusion of the NHBPA Winter Convention in Carefree, Arizona.

“Phil has been an invaluable asset to the National HBPA” said Robin Richards, President of the organization. “He has always demonstrated a willingness to cultivate what is in the best interest of horsemen and women, and just as importantly, strived for the health, safety, and integrity of the horses with which we work. We are better for his efforts here, and I speak for all horsemen when I say that we wish him all of the best in his life and pursuits.”

During his three-year-tenure with the NHBPA, Mr. Hanrahan worked tirelessly with many industry organizations such as the ARCI, ROAP, and TOBA. He contributed greatly in transitioning the Claiming Crown from Canterbury Park to Gulfstream Park, where it has been held for the last three years. During the initial Claiming Crown at Gulfstream, he helped in the development of the Claiming Crown trophy now in use and given to the connections of the winning horses.

In conjunction with his working among various industry participants, Mr. Hanrahan also put together a variety of knowledgeable panels during the NHBPA’s twice-annual conventions that garnered enthusiasm and educated the public on interests vital to horses and horsemen. He demonstrated resolve in working out a myriad of fine detail necessary to generating change and compromise among the many and disparate forces at work in the racing industry.

“While there are many racing related issues that will continue to be worked on after my departure, I believe we are moving in the right direction for horsemen and women in North America.” stated Phil Hanrahan. “It has been my pleasure to work with the leadership of the NHBPA and the Affiliates. They are horsemen and women dedicated to the welfare of the horse and the integrity of the sport of horseracing. I wish all the members of the HBPA great success in their future racing endeavors.”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

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

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

  • Double Take - Ramseys, Maker and Zito produce repeat performances in the $1 million Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park
  • A First Step Toward a Long-Needed Solution - Immigration, executive action and how it affects horsemen
  • Something in the Air - Study finds particulates in stable air can cause airway inflammation and affect performance
  • Standing Guard - The Racing Officials Accreditation Program prepares those who regulate the sport
  • Clenbuterol: The Myth vs. The Facts - A look at clenbuterol and its therapeutic effect on horses

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.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Thoroughbred Charities of America Auction Underway

The 25th annual Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) Stallion Season Auction began today at 9 a.m. and offers a wide variety of seasons, trips, tickets, unique experiences and other auction items. The six-day fundraiser consists of an online and telephone auction and culminates with a live Select Stallion Season Auction on Saturday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky.

The majority of TCA’s seasons will be offered and sold during the online and telephone auction. Online bidding will continue through Friday, January 9 at 5 p.m. EST. Telephone bids will be accepted on Friday, January 9 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST. More than 200 seasons representing stallions in 11 states and Canada are available in the auction. A link to the list of seasons and bidder registration is available by visiting

Fifteen seasons and all non-season items will be sold in the live Select Season Auction on Saturday, January 10. Bidders or their authorized agents may bid on the select seasons by attending the live auction in-person or they may bid on the select seasons during the online and telephone phase with the highest bidders earning the right to bid by phone during the live auction. For bidders that cannot attend the live auction but are interested in non-season items, absentee bidding is available.

The Select Season Auction will offer the following seasons:
Into Mischief
Kitten’s Joy
Malibu Moon
Medaglia d’Oro (offered with a free return to the stallion in 2016 should a live foal not be produced)
Pioneerof the Nile
Quality Road
Trappe Shot
Warrior’s Reward
Will Take Charge
Distorted Humor
All seasons will be sold on a no guarantee basis unless otherwise noted.

The following non-season items will be available for bidding in the live auction:
African Safari
Two-Day High Performance Driving Course at the Porsche Sport Driving School
John Deere CX 4x2 Gator
Triple Crown Ticket Package
Equine Air Transportation
Two Tickets to the Final Four in Indianapolis
Two-Year Lease on a 2015 Dodge Ram Truck
Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II Timepiece
Ultimate Eclipse Awards Weekend with Private Jet Transportation
HorsePower Sports Package Including Breeders’ Cup, NASCAR and Indy 500 Tickets
An Exceptional Weekend for Four in Wine Country

The Select Season Auction will celebrate 25 years of TCA and be hosted by Tom Durkin featuring music by Arthur Hancock and Friends. Graham and Anita Motion and CANTER USA will be honored with TCA’s annual Allaire du Pont Leadership and Industry Service awards. Tickets are still available may be purchased by visiting

TCA Stallion Season Auction sponsors include Brushwood Stable, Rosenberg Thoroughbred Consulting, Lael Stable, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, PBI Bank, Candyland Farm, John Deere, Bourbon Lane Stable, Stoll Keenon Ogden, L.V. Harkness,, Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, Flair Equine Nasal Strips, Thoroughbred Daily News and Blood-Horse Publications.

TCA was formed in 1990 to raise and distribute funds for charities in the Thoroughbred industry which provide a better life for Thoroughbreds both during and after their racing careers by supporting retirement, rescue, research and by helping the people who work with them. Over the last 24 years TCA has distributed over $20 million in grants to more than 200 Thoroughbred-related organizations. TCA is the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

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

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

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

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:

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, 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].

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,

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

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

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

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