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Suffolk Notes

Penn National, George Carney, and as-yet-unidentified revenue streams. If you follow horse racing — if you follow Massachusetts racing — it sounds like the set-up to a bad joke, doesn’t it? But those are the options for continuing Thoroughbred racing in the state that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will discuss at a meeting next Thursday. […]

No Bluff

When the Boston Globe endorsed the Wynn-Everett casino proposal the day before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission began its deliberations on the Boston-area license, the newspaper dismissed the likelihood that Suffolk Downs would close unless Mohegan Sun was the winner: According to the track, it will end racing if the casino does not open. But the […]

The Price to Pay

It’s over. The years-long pursuit of Suffolk Downs for expanded gaming — first, for casino legislation in Massachusetts, then for one of the three resort casino licenses authorized by the Commonwealth in 2011 — came to an end on Tuesday when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, by a vote of 3-1, awarded the Boston-area license to […]

Lights on Broadway, Texas Champion and OTTB Ambassador, Passes Away

It was a simple tweet: "RIP Lights on Broadway"Immediately, I was enveloped with sadness.It was back in 2008 when Lights on Broadway (Majestic Light), winner of $572,000 in 83 starts; 2001 Texas Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse/Gelding, was purchased off a crowded slaughter truck for $300. Show More Summary

60 Years Ago: Public Perception Of Horse Racing Not So Good Then Either

Federal Men aka Treasury Men In Action was a TV series that ran in the Golden Age of television, from 1950-1955. Here is a horse racing related episode: "Case of the Losing Gamble" Original broadcast date: December 16, 1954. An investigation is launched into a person's taxes and horse racing. Show More Summary

Before the Hall of Fame

I remember Ashado mostly for her fourth-place finish, a dead heat with Island Sand, in the 2005 Personal Ensign at Saratoga. I met trainer Larry Jones that weekend, when he hired me to walk his filly. It was the first time I’d handled a $1 million earner, and Island Sand was ill-tempered and nippy. Her […]

More Media

John Pricci on the racing media: Without objective coverage, what passes for reportage these days often is rewritten press releases, that is when industry media bother to make the effort at all. Internet news disseminators have joined this bandwagon, learning to follow the money—their own—and tend not to trumpet any commentary that could be construed […]

Bayern Figures

The Travers is now a possibility for Bayern after the 3-year-old colt trained by Bob Baffert wired the Haskell, winning by 7 1/2 lengths (replay). He was given a Beyer speed figure of 109 for the effort, two points higher than his freaky Woody Stephens win on Belmont Stakes day, and the second-highest Beyer awarded […]

Dettori’s Spa Day

Frankie Dettori’s luggage didn’t make it to Saratoga on Friday, but he eventually did, getting to the track in time to leg up on Tiz Sardonic Joe in race seven after missing his first two rides on the card. In borrowed tack (his pants were lent by Rajiv Maragh, his crop by Julien Leparoux), Dettori […]

Media Matters

There are two newsstands in my neighborhood, and some time ago, I stopped at one to pick up a magazine with a cover story that was being chattered about online, but which was not online because its publisher is notoriously hostile to the web. A student from a local business school stopped me as I […]

Dettori’s Spa Day

Frankie Dettori’s luggage didn’t make it to Saratoga today, but he eventually did, getting to the track in time to leg up on Tiz Sardonic Joe in race seven after missing his first two rides on the card. In borrowed tack (his pants were lent by Rajiv Maragh, his crop by Julien Leparoux), Dettori rode […]

Summer Begins

Saratoga opens today! Hooray! Don’t forget your mortality as you’re joining Tom Durkin in his final opening race call, “And they’re off at the Spaaaaa!” Because, “The Spa may be timeless, but we aren’t.” (I kid, Joe. That’s so true.) Today’s Schuylerville Stakes drew five 2-year-old fillies, which has Bill Finley pondering how to fix […]

Last Word (This Year)

NYRA’s Martin Panza on why he’s not having conversations about changing the Triple Crown schedule by moving the Belmont Stakes into July: “Right now if you look at the Triple Crown, a month or three weeks before the Derby is when the preps end and there’s really not another big 3 year-old race until a […]

Analyzing The EquiLottery

Almost 5 years ago I wrote a blog piece Could A National Lottery Help Racing Grow? That post was made before the Ontario Liberal government pulled the plug on the Slots At Racetrack partnership. It was evident back then that horse racing was not growing and that there was a need to attract new gamblers with new money. Show More Summary

Tired Of Small Fields Anyone?

It is getting tougher and tougher to make a score at the track. There are many reasons why, but number one is, without a doubt, the seemingly never ending parade of races with 4-7 betting interests in them.Whether you make horizontal or vertical wagers, short fields limit value and limit how much you can win. Show More Summary

Fantastic Fugue

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes ended in a new course record time of 2:01.90 and a reversal of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Turf finish when The Fugue kicked clear to win by two lengths over Magician. Watch the replay: Heavily favored Arc winner Treve finished third. Jockey Frankie Dettori said the filly didn’t feel right […]

The Calendar

Bob Ehalt on tinkering with the Triple Crown schedule: Moving the Belmont Stakes to July will not help NYRA. If anything it will turn June into a dead spot on the NYRA calendar and force it to conduct its biggest race of the year during a period of time most people in the New York-area […]

Countdown

Jockey Jane Magrell is closing in on 1000 wins: “I’m not a wimp,” she said. “I’ve got six-pack arms that are bigger than the thighs of most male jockeys, and I don’t take any crap. I don’t hold anything back, and I don’t candy coat anything. “I start my day at 4 a.m. When I […]

Dans La Famille

Ryan Goldberg profiles the remarkable Criquette Head-Maarek: … as far back as the age of 5, Head-Maarek said, she told her father she wanted to be a trainer. “One day he said to me, ‘You marry a trainer, but you won’t be a trainer because there are no women trainers,”’ she recalled. But in 1978, […]

Belmont Figures

Tonalist was given a Beyer speed figure of 100 for winning the Belmont Stakes. TimeformUS rated his performance a 102.

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