ascot aug08
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Friday, January 02, 2009


Mark6Mauno's site at featured this super shot of IN SUMMATION gearing up for his big score in the El Conejo Stakes at Santa Anita yesterday - New Year's day. The 6yo is by Put It Back.


Top Trainers By Wins for 2008

Trainer Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Winning % Top 3 %

Steven M. Asmussen 3002 622 494 416 $24,235,247 21% 51%

Scott A. Lake 1918 421 343 265 $9,343,609 22% 54%

Jerry Hollendorfer 1161 282 215 163 $8,637,578 24% 57%

W. Bret Calhoun 866 228 149 117 $5,226,163 26% 57%

Chris J. Englehart 802 215 142 111 $2,472,096 27% 58%

Stephanie S. Beattie 612 212 105 68 $2,469,136 35% 63%

Todd A. Pletcher 1090 208 146 140 $13,784,546 19% 45%

Bruce N. Levine 751 188 126 104 $6,561,285 25% 56%

Gary C. Contessa 1287 178 175 166 $7,482,466 14% 40%

Anthony W. Dutrow 712 176 139 108 $7,284,586 25% 59%

Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. 709 173 124 98 $12,011,668 24% 56%

Keith G. Bourgeois 732 167 115 102 $2,777,984 23% 52%

Steven Miyadi 642 167 110 86 $1,908,431 26% 57%

Jockey Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Winning % Top 3 %

Russell A. Baze 1270 403 263 201 $7,144,503 32% 68%
Deshawn L. Parker 1603 333 218 212 $4,460,386 21% 48%
J. D. Acosta 1588 322 268 232 $6,019,073 20% 52%
Ramon A. Dominguez 1321 310 219 180 $14,560,866 23% 54%
Jose Lezcano 1384 287 237 193 $10,306,779 21% 52%
Rafael Bejarano 1290 266 252 208 $16,439,729 21% 56%
Victor Lebron 1497 263 245 222 $3,764,479 18% 49%
Seth B. Martinez 1248 259 211 185 $2,387,760 21% 52%
Eibar Coa 1412 256 208 184 $12,410,747 18% 46%
Robby Albarado 1240 250 181 190 $14,190,917 20% 50%

Horse Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Winning % Top 3 %

Chickster, a speedball from Turf Paradise and Canterbury Downs, races for $10 claiming down to $3,200 and he was claimed 3 times. He is by LOYAL DOUBLE.

Chickster 15 11 0 0 $57,440 73% 73%
Antrim County 15 10 0 2 $160,607 67% 80%
Polo Bender 19 9 4 2 $42,787 47% 79%
Henry Street 14 9 2 0 $151,460 64% 79%
Biblical Scholar 16 9 1 0 $114,126 56% 63%
Super Danny 14 9 0 1 $59,842 64% 71%
Melodic Escapade 18 8 7 0 $99,495 44% 83%
Ransom Due 13 8 4 0 $101,910 62% 92%
Desert Sea 18 8 3 4 $92,815 44% 83%
Balanced Attack 18 8 2 2 $110,215 44% 67%
Stratostar 14 8 2 1 $127,101 57% 79%
Tricks of Glory 14 8 2 1 $81,690 57% 79%
King of Speed 13 8 2 0 $151,125 62% 77%
Even Raise 11 8 2 0 $59,646 73% 91%
Majestic Game 15 8 1 3 $46,508 53% 80%
Awesome Alexandra 10 8 1 1 $109,630 80% 100%


Shocking news - multiple stakes winner TWISTED WIT (Distorted Humor) has now started twice at Philadelphia Park, yesterday for $20,000 claiming, and is no longer owned by Rolph Dais, who bought the horse as a yearling with trainer Bob Tiller.
Twisted Wit, an earner of $870,000, was 2nd by a nose yesterday at 25 to 1 in a 1 mile and 70 yard race. It was the 8yo's first route race of his career that was not a stakes race and his best placingin a route.

Hard to believe we won't see this grand old guy anymore - let's hope he stays safe. His current owner is Robert Mosco.


Surf the results from Jan. 1 and there were a litany of breakdowns at various tracks.

Fair Grounds:
Heelbolt (USA)

Heelbolt, 4-year-old colt by Gift of Gib (Elocutionist), shattered left front ankle and was euthanized, allowance on turf Fair Grounds 1/1/2009.
Trainer: Sturges Ducoing



Charles Town - Laninademisojos
Philadelphia Park - Serve Notice, race 1, $12,500

Here are some sites you may want to jot down:




MALCOLM PIERCE sent out 2 winners for Live Oak Stud yesterday at Fair Grounds - Fan Dame (Lear Fan), who won her maiden on the grass and the promising filly Points of Grace (Point Given), who won an allowance race at a route distance for her 2nd win in 3 races.

SCOTT FAIRLIE won a race at Philly Park yesterday with OK NOTHANKSFORASKN, for $20K claiming. Trainer Maggie Couse does the saddling for Fairlie who stays in Toronto. The gelding was claimed.



(you might even consider the Sovereign Awards problematic in this way as well but that's another column)

The problem with the awards is that only a few photos published online qualify
for submission. The rules state photos (and articles) must be "published in a
paid-circulation publication OR on the Internet at a web site that is a same-
name affiliate of a paid-circulation publication or recognized broadcast news
organization." This eliminates all but a few websites, and most of the photos
published on those would have been included the print version any way.

Given that there are fewer and fewer print publications (newspapers especially)
that cover racing in North America, you can see how this will reduce the field
substantially. It's worth noting Matt Goins winning photo (Frankie Dettor jumping off a grey horse) appeared in a Dubai magazine,
not a North American one. I noticed that some of the other blogs discussing
this posted links to all sorts of photos at places like Flickr. Unless the
photo appeared in print or on a qualifying website, it would not be eligible.

Plus each photographer is limited to two entries per year, so sure, Sarah
Andrew may shoot lots of nice photos per year, but she can't send them all in
even if they all appeared in the TDN. I am not sure whether TDN would even
qualify anyway since it is a free publication with no print version, although
they do quote a subscription cost for a faxed version. Cindy Dulay of Horse-
Races.Net won the 2004 award as you all know, but only because Mid-Atlantic
Thoroughbred magazine agreed to print her photo could she even enter it. Had
it only appeared on her website, as most of her photos do, it would never have
qualified to be entered.

The key point is, racing print coverage is shrinking fast but it's growing on
the electronic front.
There are so many independent news sites online now, however none of them qualify for the awards because, as the rules state, they are not affiliated with a same-name paid-circulation print publication or recognized broadcast news organization. However, we can't just "open the floodgates" and have every photo and article that appeared in every little blog, photo gallery (flickr, smugmug, etc), facebook page, forum, etc. qualify either. Then ANYBODY could just qualify themselves by opening a website, and you could imagine how many thousands of amateur photos and articles would get dumped into the NTRA's lap when submissions open for the media Eclipse Awards!

Perhaps the solution is to allow websites that are recognized by an industry
association or have NTRA to set up their own process for websites to be made
eligible. A good way to determine eligibility for standalone online
publications already exists: membership in American Horse Publications. Take
a look at the membership list for Equine-Related Websites:

These websites had to apply for membership (qualification is based on traffic
and making money via advertising or charging a subscription fee) and pay dues
of $250 to join. Legitimate news/info services would easily qualify for
membership, but blogs, photo galleries, forums, and such probably would not,
and most would balk at the membership fee anyway.



New York Unveils Steroid-Free Racing

Published: January 1, 2009

When a 4-year-old filly named Chernobyl Princess crossed the wire in front in Thursday’s first race at Aqueduct, she became not just the first winner of a new year but also the first winner of a new era in New York racing. Like all horses in the race, Chernobyl Princess was required to run steroid free.

A new set of racing regulations banning the use of anabolic steroids went into effect Thursday at the state’s racetracks, ending a decades-old practice.

Jeff Odintz, the trainer of Chernobyl Princess, said the rules had little effect on him because he had never used steroids with his horses.

“I’m glad they did this because I think it’s better for the horses if they don’t get them,” Odintz said. “I’m not really sure how much this will level the playing field. I’ve always felt that they are equine athletes and the main thing you needed from them was speed. I didn’t see why steroids would be a help.”

But other trainers apparently felt differently. Some veteran horsemen said they first saw steroid use in the mid-1960s and noted that steroids helped finicky eaters with their appetites. Though steroids may not necessarily increase speed, they could create a stronger, bigger animal. With no federal or state laws preventing the use of most steroids, most racing jurisdictions permitted them. Steroids were legal in 2008 in the three states holding Triple Crown races.

A 2003 study conducted by Pennsylvania racing officials found that 60 percent of horses racing in that state had been treated with at least one steroid. Pennsylvania later banned steroids, but other states were slow to act.

The anti-steroid movement gained momentum when it was revealed that Big Brown, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, was treated with the drug before the Derby. A public outcry ensued, causing many states to act.



Jennie Rees

Curlin deserves to be Horse of Year again

January 2, 2009

It might have been a grim season overall, but there is one compelling 2008 race whose outcome won't be known until later this month: Horse of the Year.

Even though reigning champion Curlin finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, this Eclipse Award voter again is casting a ballot for the colt for North American racing's top honor. After all, Curlin is North America's first $10 million earner and was the first Dubai World Cup winner to return to capture three Grade I races.

His Classic wasn't great, but it wasn't bad, and he was running on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride, a surface that cannot be considered the same as dirt -- over which Curlin went 5 for 5 in a transcontinental campaign.

To penalize Curlin for getting beat would discourage any owner and trainer of a dirt horse in a championship hunt from taking a shot at synthetic surfaces. The last thing we need to do is further encourage horses not to run.

I love Zenyatta and applaud her owners for keeping her in training in '09. But even with her flawless record, I can't vote for a filly who did not step out of her division for Horse of the Year unless there are inferior handicap males and 3-year-old colts. With Curlin and once-beaten Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown to consider, that's not the case.


  • At 10:12 AM, Anonymous dana said…

    Hey Jen,

    Just want to respond to something you said as at least one "anon" commenter came over my to blog and gave me some unnecessary sass while referencing your explanation below:

    "I noticed that some of the other blogs discussing
    this posted links to all sorts of photos at places like Flickr. Unless the photo appeared in print or on a qualifying website, it would not be eligible."

    I'm at least one of the blogs that posted such photos. Just want to make it clear that I'm aware that many if not all of these photos would not qualify. My post was meant to showcase some of the great photos throughout out the year, not comment on where eclipse photos should come from or the process in general. In fact, because of that post, I decided that next year I'll do a "year in images" post.

  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…


    Love the anon commenters! I have my set up now that the anon comments are deleted before they evener get to my mailbox!

    anyway, yes, I realized that anyone having the "eclipse awards do-overs' was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek thing, for lack of a better phrase.
    For sure I know that you know they would not be eligible.
    But it is fun to put up nice photos for the numerous talented photographers out there whose work will never get to be seen otherwise - since racetrack photographers in many jurisidications are dictators and, essentially, tell the track what to do.
    Thanks for the note.

  • At 11:07 AM, Anonymous dana said…

    Smart re: anon commenters! I have mine set up to go into a moderation queue but I approved that one because I wanted to speak to the point as I figured others might be thinking the same thing.

    There really are a lot of talented photographers out there, I'm already looking forward to my year in images post for 2009!

    Also, Notonthesamepage's 115 Beyer is outta hand! (feeling too lazy at the moment to go comment on that post but wanted to share the sentiment).

    as always, thx!

  • At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Sarah K Andrew said…

    Thanks for sharing this info with your readers and for raising awareness of the process.

    One minor correction: TDN does indeed have a print version, which is distributed at top sales and major races worldwide.

    Love the blog - keep up the great work :^)

    Best Wishes,
    Sarah K Andrew


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