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Wednesday, September 12, 2007


WOODBINE MILE weeks starts today and with it, coverage of horse racing returns to newspapers in the city for the week.

For those racing fans and horsepeople who continue to complain (not to the newspapers mind you) about lack of coverage in the printed edition of local papers - it might do you good to read this column on the Baltimore site. (of course, if you don't have a computer, you won't be reading it).

THOROUGHBLOG tries to give some racing coverage for the local racing industry to make up for the lack of such in papers. However, THOROUGBLOG struggles to stay alive.

The Baltimore Sun does not print entries or results on (the racing section is in the middle of the story)


Paul Moore | Public Editor

September 9, 2007

The Sun, like many newspapers, is shifting more content from its traditional print edition to its Web site. Economic pressures have forced newspapers to reduce their print content, and editors are trying to mitigate that loss by posting this missing material on their Web sites. These moves also appeal to journalists already worried about growing competition from Internet news sources.

But some print edition readers can't or won't use the Internet and are frustrated because certain of their favorite items have been deleted from their newspaper. I've talked to a number of these frustrated subscribers in recent weeks, and it's difficult to know how to respond. Many have told me they either can't afford to buy or don't want to use a computer.

That means they won't be able to access the growing online world of newspapers.

A longtime reader from Essex summed it up: "If you are putting more and more material online only, you are making it less and less desirable for those of us who buy your newspaper every day. We represent the readers who have stayed with The Sun through thick and thin. We are living with what we get - but it doesn't mean we like it."

For generations, newspapers have served a vital function, providing lots of information that was important to individual readers such as stock market listings, puzzles, comic strips, horse racing statistics and TV listings. But newspapers have had to cut costs in the face of steadily shrinking advertising revenues - revenues that are decreasing in part because many readers and advertisers are moving to the Internet.

In my view, the situation is analogous to the postwar years, when television was beginning to replace radio as the dominant medium for news and entertainment. Those who wanted "the big picture" simply had to buy a TV set.

The transition to the Internet, however, is more difficult for some readers than the transition to television 60 years ago, because going online requires a degree of technical fluency. I worry that newspapers too often assume (or want to assume) that most subscribers read newspapers online as well as in print. This is not so, according to readers I hear from.

For a number of Sun subscribers, the relative low cost of a newspaper is one reason they've kept reading all these years. Some simply don't have the economic wherewithal to buy and learn how to operate a computer.

The Sun's decision to transfer virtually all of the stock market and mutual fund listings to its Web site made sense. Most trading and information-sharing is now done online and the vast majority of investors are computer literate. The amount of newsprint that newspapers saved also has been significant.

Reducing the number of TV listings in the daily paper also made sense because there are other ways to get this information - notably the 24-hour all-channel listings provided by cable TV outlets. Again, the newsprint savings were sizable.

The Sun's decision last month to offer horse racing entries and results only online is, in my view, another matter. Many people interested in horse racing do not own or have access to a computer, and the newsprint savings are minimal.

William Crawford is one of dozens of readers and horse-racing fans who have complained. "I'm really saddened and disappointed by this," he wrote. I wonder what there is to stop The Sun from eventually doing the same thing with baseball box scores." Although the likelihood of this happening is remote, I can understand how he could envision this kind of scenario.

Lewis Rutterberg said: "And now - the unkindest cut of all. No entries, no results. The lifeblood of racing fans."

Other readers have noted that certain columns and articles about homes and gardens, entertainment and business are now available only online.

Said Mrs. Peter Kavanagh: "We do not own a computer, thus we are being 'locked out' of these articles. To us, this is very unfair. We do not believe that more readers have computers than those who do not. Or is it just the elderly and poor who don't have them?"

Reader June Goldfield said: "I'm puzzled. We all know that newspapers are fighting for survival. Why, then, are we so often sent to The Sun's Internet site for further information? Wouldn't it make more sense to do vice versa, send Internet readers out to get a newspaper?"

Paul Block wrote: "I'm getting annoyed with directions to website for additional information about articles in your print editions. For example, the front page of the Business section of 8/10/2007 instructed me to go to your Web site to read an article about Apple Inc. If I wanted to read your Web site, I wouldn't subscribe to your print edition. Maybe The Sun should decide who their audience is."

Mr. Block, The Sun has decided who its audience is. It's both print subscribers and online readers. The continuing challenge is to make the newspaper work for two distinct groups of readers.


Leonnatus Anteas may go to Super Derby

Tuesday, September 11, 2007



Leonnatus Anteas, the champion 2-year-old last year in Canada, could make his first start outside of his home country next weekend at Louisiana Downs. He is being seriously considered for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby on Sept. 22, according to his trainer, Kevin Attard.

"We're looking at it," Attard said Tuesday. "We haven't confirmed it yet, but it's looking like a strong possibility. I've got a meeting with the owners tomorrow, and we're going to discuss it."

Attard has been searching out travel options to get Leonnatus Anteas, who races for Knob Hill Stable and the Estate of Steve Stavro, from Woodbine, near Toronto, to Bossier City, La. He said his first choice would be a flight from Canada. His other option is to van to New York and catch a scheduled Tex Sutton flight on Tuesday.

"If I can fly directly out of Toronto, then that's what we would probably do," said Attard.

Leonnatus Anteas won all three of his starts as a 2-year-old, including the $294,000 Coronation Futurity at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Super Derby. He has raced three times this year, with his last two starts coming on turf. Leonnatus Anteas won an $80,000 optional claimer on Aug. 5 that sent him to post as the favorite in the Grade 2 Play the King on Aug.o25. He finished fifth, beaten 3o3/4 lengths.

"Last time he ran, it rained hard, and I think the turf got a little slick and he just couldn't really handle it," said Attard. "So, we're bringing him back onto dirt."

The Super Derby would be only the second stakes appearance at 3 by Leonnatus Anteas.

"We had some setbacks earlier in the year," said Attard. "He was kind of getting geared up for the Queen's Plate, our biggest race here in Canada, and we had to scratch him 48 hours prior to the race because of an infection in his pastern. So that was disappointing, and we kind of had to miss some time and regroup. We're kind of getting a late go to our 3-year-old campaign, but I think the timing seems right now."

Jono Jones, the regular rider on Leonnatus Anteas, would have the mount in the Super Derby.

Others under consideration for the race include Grasshopper, who would go off as the favorite following his runner-up finish to Street Sense in the Grade 1 Travers, and Going Ballistic, who in his last start was third in the Grade 1 Secretariat.

Forty Acres, winner of the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs, is probable for the Super Derby. His regular rider, Carlos Gonzalez, is the subject of a bobblehead giveaway at Louisiana Downs on Friday. The giveaway is one of several happenings heading into the Super Derby. Before the card on Thursday, a proclamation from Bossier City mayor Lorenz Walker will kick off the 28th annual Super Derby Festival, consisting of several charity events leading up to the race.


Don't forget to get your entry into the 123 racing contest on THE SCORE tonight for the 8-race card at Woodbine. Chance to win $600.00 folks.

Light card tonight to kick off Mile week but the racing gets better and more interesting as the week goes on.

Not much chance we'll be on the grass tonight for race 1, the allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs for older guys.

RACE 2 is the feature - ouch, only a 5 horse field, and stakes winner DECEW FALLS figures to be a front runner with BEAR'S KID and BOLD FINISH closely following. The sprint will be through the stretch.



Okay, before everyone goes nutso here - I am simply reporting about the number of restaurants that are offering horsemeat on its menu. Sickening to be sure.

The US is trying to get rid of horse slaughter and here is dear old T.O. getting bigger and bigger into the stuff - weird.

VIA ALLEGRO, on the Queensway in Etobicoke, is the latest one- let them know how you feel.

Here is an excerpt from a Cooking Blog that will really get you fat for french fries and why horsemeat is better - gag.


June 14, 2007

"Which leaves us only to decide on a fat medium. For years, McDonald's used beef tallow. In 1990, the chain switched to vegetable oil due to concerns about cholesterol. Nonetheless, most fry afficionados acknowledge the superiority of animal fat in the process, which adds a complexity of taste plain vegetable oil does not possess. Others go further, arguing that certain animal fats -- beef, but especially horse -- make for unsurpassed fries. Enthused by Jeffrey Steingarten's examination of this very issue, and having discovered Blumenthal's superior process, I set out to do a little animal versus vegetable fat test for myself. The biggest obstacle was getting my hands on some horse fat.

"You want to make french fries, don't you?" was the standard response from butchers on the subject of horse fat. There’s usually a knowing chuckle, too. Unfortunately, it's also customarily accompanied by an apology and an explanation that, "Sorry, there's just not enough of a market to make it worthwhile."

This is not the case in Europe, where many cuisines, including those of Sweden, France, Belgium, and parts of northern Italy have a long history of including horse meat in their diet. Rachel and I first encountered horse on a menu in Venice, where it's occasionally used in cicchetti -- Venice's signature bite-sized bar food -- and in main courses. We didn't try it, however, until we visited Bruges in Belgium, where we enjoyed a little snack of horse sausage with fries.

Of course, the notion of eating horse is largely foreign to English-speaking North Americans, some of whom view horse consumption with the same revulsion others reserve for snacking on the family pet. Attitudes are slowly changing here, however. Horse is beginning to show up on menus in Toronto. La Palette, a bistro-style restaurant in the Kensington, serves horse tenderloin, for example, and Coca, which models itself after a tapas bar, also has horse tenderloin cecina on its menu. There are, I think, three fundamental reasons for the change: first, horse meat is a higher protein, lower fat alternative to other red meats like beef; second, Toronto is home to immigrant communities, most especially Italians, for whom horse is a welcome addition to the table; and, third, we live in close proximity to Quebec, which produces and consumes large amounts of horse.

Not that any of these factors make it easy to find horse fat. Unlike cows, pigs, and ducks, horses are quite lean, so collecting fat requires substantially more effort. Limited demand for the product merely compounds the problem, forcing butchers to only sell the product in bulk if they hope to make any money from it. The first butcher I spoke to, an Italian specializing in horse meat no less, refused to sell me horse fat, explaining that it simply wasn't worth the effort. She did, however, sing the praises of horse fat fries, which she lauded for their more pronounced flavour. When I did finally find a butcher willing to sell me horse fat, I had to buy a whopping twenty-two kilos (that's fifty pounds, for the metrically challenged). Unrendered. On the upside, it's incredibly cheap -- the whole lot cost only twenty-five dollars.

The process for rendering horse fat is identical to that for rendering pork fat, which is described beautifully by Derrick of An Obsession with Food. In a world of mass-produced food, it's also immensely satisfying to whip up something as elemental as "lard." What starts as an unappetizing mass of fat, fascia, and tissue prone to rot, becomes a creamy disc of amazing utility and longevity with only minimal intervention. It may sound odd to conceive of it as such, but rendering is really an act of purification.

The horse fat fries were delicious, with a well-rounded flavour. As a control group, we also made a batch of fries using the exact same method but with vegetable oil. The veggie fries were wonderful, too, but lighter-tasting and not as complex. The most noticeable difference was in the aftertaste -- fries cooked in vegetable oil are clean, the flavour disappears once the potato leaves the palate, whereas the horse fat fries leave a barely noticeable but satisfying meaty note that lingers even after the fries are finished. It is one of nature's crueler truths that the best way to appreciate this subtle difference is to sample fries that have cooled to a point that slightly compromises their texture."


  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen, that commentary about horsemeat was just wrong. Good to see Leo headed south..any update on Alezzandro?


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