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Thursday, January 24, 2008


MARCHFIELD, winner of last year's BREEDERS' STAKES, is back in training as he recorded a slow 3 furlong prep at Winding Oaks Farm Tuesday morning.
According to THOROUGHBLOG'S POLL, fans are not sure is Sealy Hill, Leonnatus Anteas or some other horse is going to be the star of 2008.
(note, the Poll is about to be removed and we'll put up some sort of list of Queen's Plate contenders)

The entries are piling in for the THOROUGBLOG FRESHMAN SIRE CONTEST, they are recorded on the site (if you have not seen yours, then send me another note!).

Pick 10 1st year sires (lists can be found in sire books such as the Blood-Horse stallion register).

I will tabulate points for wins, stakes wins and graded stakes wins (see a previous post on this to get more details, just do a search up top) and will post standings periodically.

The deadline is not until MARCH 31 to get entries in.

Prizes still haven’t been determined..let ya know soon!


Okay, think you know your breeding? There are about 90 FIRST CROP SIRES listed in the BLOOD-HORSE SIRE BOOK (stallions with their first crop of 2yo's racing this year).
THOROUGHBLOG invites you to send a list of 10 stallions (it can be through the Comment section of the Blog - it's easy to sign up, no strings! - or you can send it to me via email but all entries will be published so that there is a record of everyone's picks - therefore, no ANONYMOUS names!!) and collect points through the year.
A prize for the top 2 finishes will be offered - I have to figure out what it will be in the next few weeks.

ANYWAY - the points will be on a scale like this (I hope to have someone keep records of this frequently so that we can post standings along the way)


I will make the deadline for entries MARCH 31, 2008....JUST BEFORE WOODBINE STARTS and around the time Delta Downs and other places are getting ready to race 2yo's.


So get studying!!! You can send in your entry any time...

*ALSO, those who send in comments about topics being discussed – remember, sometimes you put the comment on that post but the post appeared days ago and some may not see it. Make sure you know what post you are putting your comment on.

Note that a writer sent in a comment on “GREY DAYS” that they have a Bold n Flashy offspring for sale.

*AND, in answer to a question recently about the voters and selections in the Eclipse Awards (The Drake sent in a question, who voted for Panty Raid or Octave over Rags to Riches), I have no idea about some folks and their choices when they vote.

If the list of voters is like that for the Sovereign Awards for Canada there are always going to be some odd birds.

At the risk of sounding like I’m picking on horses/people…look at some of these examples of folks who got points at this year’s Sovereigns:

SILKY SMOOTH got a point for Horse of the Year?


*Teresa at has a lovely essay today about horse slaughter…

And for one of my current fans whose comments I did actually delete…(and I apologize if this comes across as crass..)
“It’s my bloggy and I can wrote what I want to…write what I want to…”


Weather may affect a marquee event at Santa Anita,1,5145428.story?ctrack=8&cset=true

Track officials monitor condition of Cushion Track in the rain ahead of Saturday's four races that are part of the Sunshine Millions.

By Larry Stewart, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 24, 2008

The combination of heavy rain and a defective synthetic track has put racing at Santa Anita in jeopardy through the weekend, which includes one of the marquee events of the Arcadia racetrack's winter meet.

Scheduled for Saturday are four of the eight races that make up the Sunshine Millions. The other four are scheduled to be run Saturday at Florida's Gulfstream Park. The eight races offer a total of $3.6 million in purses.

Entries are limited to horses bred in California and Florida. About a dozen were flown from Florida to Ontario Airport and transported to Santa Anita on Tuesday, and a like number flew from California to Miami.

But everything remained in limbo Wednesday, particularly after the rain that had been predicted hit just before 4 p.m.

Santa Anita's synthetic Cushion Track was sealed, or compacted tightly after the morning workouts.

"We'll see how it weathers the storm overnight," Santa Anita President Ron Charles said late Wednesday.

"Everyone is well aware this track has a major, major defect in its ability to drain, and it is frustrating for everyone in the industry, not just us at Santa Anita. But I must say the owners and trainers I've talked to have been very understanding."

A heavy rain resulted in Santa Anita canceling three days of racing Jan. 5 to 7. Never before had three consecutive days of racing at the track been canceled because of rain.

The Cushion Track was installed last summer at a cost of nearly $11 million.

A polymer binder and fiber, which in tests have shown to remedy the drainage problem, will arrive from various sites this weekend and be ready to apply next week, weather permitting, Charles said.

There has been speculation about possibly moving races to Hollywood Park in Inglewood or Golden Gate Fields in Northern California, but Charles declined to comment on that.

Moving Saturday's races, particularly at this stage, would seem to be unlikely because of the logistical problems it would create.


Vic Zast on asks why can’t we keep betting simple?

Each horseplayer has endured the embarrassment of having his reputation sullied in the company of the clueless. There’s no bigger burden that having to pick winners when you’re called upon.

By Vic Zast

(CHICAGO, IL. - Jan. 23, 2008) Reduced from the embrace of the elements of nature and relegated to the dark of a windowless bowl in a Las Vegas casino, it may look like the sliding-downhill side of a sport that was once the pinnacle of class. But there are people who actually like this.

Two hundred seventy-eight of the world’s best handicappers (Believe that and you believe lightning can strike twice in the same place) are gathering for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship – a two-day exercise in picking winners and the right races on which to bet. Hundreds others – onlookers, members of the press, cheerleaders and event organizers - will be joining them.

The super-dedicated contestants will be expected to make 15 make-believe bets, with eight races mandatory and seven races each selects from Friday’s and Saturday’s cards at several leading tracks. On the basis of this paltry serving, there will be nonetheless a purse of $1 million for the tournament’s top performers, with $500,000 for the one that finishes first.

Never, not even when the NTRA of Tim Smith proclaimed horse racing a series of special events, did anyone expect it to come to this. The HRC tournament won’t approach the World Series of Poker, but it is certain to round up a representative posse in the Red Rock’s sterile simulcast room.

Gambling, at best, represents only one-third of horse racing’s promotional features. Yet, in recent decades, all attention has been turned away from the two attributes that drew many people to it in the first place. At its essence, the pastime is a competition among animals that engages people for the purpose of sharing in risk.

Spending an afternoon in the open air at the rail of a racetrack affords interested parties with a unique, endangered experience. Enjoining camaraderie with a social encounter and a chance to try your luck should be an unbeatable combination. But, it’s not. And it might be that people have been brainwashed to think that you must know what you’re doing to participate. That’s a double whammy for even “the greatest game” to withstand.

It is arguable that a day at the races is the most fun when you know little about what’s going on. There are no false expectations about going home a winner, just the hope that you might bet on one. Cashing the rare ticket in the course of an afternoon can result in a bonanza. Experience teaches us that blind luck is alive and well, even when playing numbers or jockeys or horse’s names.

What will happen this weekend in Las Vegas is as far from the origins of the sport as imaginable. When the founders of racing began their competitions they knew all along that there’d be gambling. Not much has changed with everything else. Horses run and the fastest wins and that’s it. How sublime.

True, the pari-mutuel system pits one person against the others and rewards those people who select the winner. But the sport thrived for decades by keeping itself simple. Why must we now make it difficult to like and to learn?

Each horseplayer has endured the embarrassment of having his reputation sullied in the company of the clueless. There’s no bigger burden that having to pick winners when you’re called upon. Scared money wrings the luck out of four-leaf clovers. In truth, handicapping is an element known and practiced by only half of the sport’s attendance.

The congregation at the Red Rock casino represents the hardcore. They will attack the task of handicapping with systems and numbers and daring. Few will rely on hunches, which can be the most fun when you’re merely a beginner. The winner will be hailed a genius, when, in fact, he was merely King for a Day.

With the advent of technology, the establishment decided that there would be more money to be made by abandoning the sport’s essence than by sticking with it. They were right in this decision because a world that neglects change is lost. But when sticking a hat pin in a program can’t produce riches, it’ll be doomsday.



By KOMO Staff

AUBURN, Wash. -- An ex-racehorse was found dead and two others have been found malnourished in Auburn.

Now, the racing community is furious and is demanding an investigation of the woman who had promised to save those horses.

Just three months ago, Tuker was healthy and considered fat. But now you can see his ribs. The thoroughbred was sold from an Auburn ranch in September in good health. Five days ago, Skagit County Sheriff's deputies brought him back, near death.

"He just walks lethargic," said horse caretaker Karen Angelos.

All Tuker wants to do is eat. His rib bones poking through his coat makes Angelos think he hasn't been fed since he left their ranch three months ago. Deputies say the horse was so hungry, he ate the wood right off a fence post.

Tuker's hips are sunken in and so are his eyes, and sores are all over his body.

"It's just so sad, it's just an empty feeling," Angelos said.

Tuker is one of three horses that retired from racing at Emerald Downs in September. All of them were sold to the same Skagit Valley woman.

"Everything looked right with this gal and we thought they would be in good hands," said horse trainer Melody Slocum. "We thought she was nice."

In November, the new owner missed a payment on the horses. Melody thought the woman hit a financial rough patch.

It wasn't until last week they learned the horses were allegedly being neglected. And one of them, Slew City Gem, who just ran her final laps at Emerald Downs last year, may have died from starvation.

"We got a call from the Sheriff saying she's dead and probably starved to death and her body was thrown over a cliff," Angelos said.

"To find out they starved her to death, it's a bad feeling," Slocum said.

The Skagit County Sheriff's Office is investigating, and horse lovers are demanding criminal charges. A third horse involved has also been located, but it's not clear yet what its condition is.

Editor’s note: TUKER ran three times last spring at Emerald Downs with a second and a pair of 4th’s. He raced for Swag Stable, trainer Ivan Slocum. He’s by Future Storm out of an Alysheba mare.

SLEW CITY GEM was a maiden after 22 races. She was by Slew City Slew out of a Rare Brick mare and was owned and trained by the same folks. Bred by Keith Swagerty.


  • At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't know the details of this case but that woman must have been mentally ill. Lucky that this type of case is not all that common, you'd have to wonder why no one reported her sooner though, there must have been signs that she was unstable.

    My fear is that we are going to see more abuses as people are unable to find a market for unwanted stock. Some of these rescue people are so busy saving horses from auctions for $300 a head, only to discover that no one wants to pay the $400 a month it costs to maintain each rescue case.


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