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Tuesday, April 22, 2008



Bob Foster welcomed this big, lovely miss by GONE FISHIN into the world 2 weeks ago.
Gone Fishin has been stamping his foals with his impeccable looks (see ad at right)


Pyro 'strong' at scene of Blue Grass debacle

By Jennie • April 22, 2008

The fog that enshrouded Pyro's six-furlong workout at Keeneland yesterday morning was apropos. Foggy pretty much sums up the Kentucky Derby standing of Pyro in many observers' minds after his mystifying 10th-place finish in Keeneland's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

The fog kept trainer Steve Asmussen from seeing much of Pyro's workout, but he saw enough to be happy.

"He was strong, very smooth, very relaxed and came back with a little blow, drank a little water," Asmussen said, adding he didn't know the time of the workout because the clockers couldn't work with the fog. "I was pleased. That was a lot more than I normally do off of a race, but he didn't exactly run really hard" in the Blue Grass.

The Pyro camp is banking that the Pulpit colt simply couldn't handle Keeneland's synthetic Polytrack that afternoon, and so some people wonder why Asmussen would work him again over the synthetic surface.

"I'm pleased with how he trains here," Asmussen said. "I thought he ran really good (finishing second) in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (after) training at Keeneland. … If he wins the Derby, we're right. If he doesn't win the Derby, we're not right."

Of Pyro's Blue Grass debacle, he said, "I treat it exactly like I do Summerly's Ashland -- a disappointing race and a concern."

Summerly ran a poor fourth -- beaten by 191/4 lengths -- in Keeneland's Ashland before winning the 2005 Kentucky Oaks.

Read more ....


Alex Brown (of is in town working with Steve Asmussen at Woodbine. He is a contributing writer for this entertaining site...


  • At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Watching the woodbine harness replays from yesterday, I am struck by all the cheap claimers,as low as 8000.I had thought that these levels had migrated to the B tracks.

    Is this an indication that we will be seeing similar claimers coming back to Woodbine thoroughbreds?

    I would love to invest 8 or 10 grand and be able to have a horse at Woodbine.

  • At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Tom W said…


    That was an interesting site 'The Rail' blog.

    There was one article by Jim Squires called 'Seaching for a Winner' about drugs and withdrawl times. I didn't realize that the U.S. had so many different state by state rules.

    Do you know what Ontario's rules are for the use of and withdrawal times for 'clenbuterol'?

    While I'm on the subject of 'Drugs' I see at Keenland they announce Lasix Adjuct. What does this mean, or what is it?


  • At 2:49 PM, Anonymous KG said…

    Anon 10:39 - dive on in. Great idea claim a horse on it's last legs at $8,000-$10,000. Pay the $85/day trainer fee and $500 per month vet and blacksmith bills (only $500 because i am sure your $10K claimer is as sound as they come). Now the fun part, enter him or her in for $15K because you don't want to lose 'em. Finish 5th by 6 lengths and take home a cool $500 - oh I forgot you need to pay for the Lasix and the Jockey out of that. So your take home is about $340. Let's look at our P&L for the month:
    Expenses = $3050
    Revenues = $340
    Looks like we are in the red.

    Well let's drop 'em back down to the $8K level. Look at that we won by a convincing 1/2 length. What do we take home from this one? Purse was $14,000. So we win $8,400 right? Wrong! Trainer gets his 10%, jockey gets his 10%, he stopped bad at the end so we scoped him after the race thats another $100 - don't for get the lasix and such. We take home a cool $6,500 from the win. Where are we now?
    Last months Red =$2,710
    Expenses =$3,050
    Revenues =$6,500
    We are in the black by $740 and all we had to do was win a race. We better keep on winning because that $8K you paid for the horse was the cheapest part of the equation. Good luck...

  • At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To KG

    I've only owned my "hypothetical" claimer for 3 hours and after your letter I am bored of it already!!

    Do you give free advice on any other subjects?

    I bet you do!!

  • At 6:50 PM, Anonymous KG said…

    Anon 4:33 - What else do you need to know - maybe I could be of some assistance?

    I think I am becoming a little harsh - maybe a little of The Drake and Cangamble are rubbing off on me - not a bad thing sometimes.

    I guess the more the merrier so jump on it - trust me the 3-4 weeks between starts is absolutely "boring".

  • At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess all the expense are tax dedeductible ??
    Bob B.C

  • At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Anon 5:59AM, you can deduct all expenses against purse money, but you are limited as to how much the government will let you deduct as total losses if losses were greater than net purse money to the owner. I'm not sure what the number is, but I know that there is a lobby to get it increased to a realistic number.

    KG, it is costlier than the average fan knows to own a thoroughbred (as you know). I did a comparative study of owning a horse at Woodbine versus owning a horse that mainly runs at Woodbine, but having it trained at Fort Erie.

    It may not be 100% accurate, but it is pretty close.

  • At 8:34 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    To Bob B.C.: They are tax deductible if you can prove to the IRS (can only speak for the US) that you are doing this for a profit and not just a hobby. Hobby law is very ambiguous at best and if you only owned one claiming horse you would be very hard pressed to prove it not to be a hobby. In meeting one of the criteria in a for-profit busniess vs. being labeled a hobby, one needs to spend 780 hours a year on their stable business. Then of course if there is a partnership on a horse only the managing partner can claim their portion of the expenses outright - all the other partners must have some sort of passive income (like a rental property) to write off any passive losses realized with the horse.

    Don't get me wrong Anon 4:33 it can be fun when things are going good but there is a lot more to it then just throwing $8K at a claimer and starting up. You might be best to jump into some sort of syndicate and owning $8K worth of a nicer horse and then your liability as far as monthly expenses are concerned are not as large.

    Cangamble, I will take a look at your comparison. I have horses training in WV, KY, Woodbine, Oaklawn, etc... just seems that the bills are what they are.

  • At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    KG, in the US, if you are a hobby owner and the horse makes money, do you claim it? Can you at least deduct the expenses against the net purses?

  • At 9:35 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    Cangamble, re: hobby income and expenses from the IRS handbook:
    "Deductions for hobby expenses are limited to the activity's gross income. A hobby loss is not allowed to offset other income."

    So to answer your question - yes. Please keep in mind that things like depreciation and amortization of the asset (horse) cannot be deducted until all other expenses are deducted first. Once you hit that threshold of gross income you are done. So I guess if you do it as a hobby most likely any income will be offset by the corresponding expenses.


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