Page 1

Spring fall 1013

$75 Million Reasons to get to know

Canterbury Park In June 2012, Canterbury Park signed a game-changing

10-year $75 million purse enhancement agreement with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.

A New Partnership A Significant Boost to Purses A Bright Future For Minnesota Racing

Get to know the 2013 Canterbury Park:

• Purses have doubled since 2011 • 39 stakes races, including the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby • Extended race meet, running May 17 – September 14 • Nationally-regarded turf and dirt courses managed by Javier Barajas,

Dubai Racing Club Track Superintendent • State of the Art Equine Swimming Pool • Fully Accredited by the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance • 1100 Canterbury Road, Shakopee, MN Call (952)-496-6449 for stall applications, condition books and stakes information.

volume 60/ # 1

spring 20 13


2 Message from the National HBPA

7 Industry News

12 HBPA News

14 Legislative Update



Research & Medication Update

18 Medication Committee Corner


2013 Racing Schedule for North America

Claiming the Crown – Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker dominate the

Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park.

43 Affiliate News



Moving to Mobile – Racing started out behind

other sports in apps and mobile technology, but it might be catching up.



Untangling the Unknown about Tying-Up – Research isolates the potential causes and

Los Campeones de La Gente Ride Again: Immigration Reform and its Coming Effects on Horsemen – Big changes could help horsemen

breeding issues surrounding tying-up.

tackle immigration issues.


hj in every issue

message from

the CEO

Dear Horsewomen and Horsemen of the National HBPA:

National HBPA 870 Corporate Drive Suite 300 Lexington, KY 40503 P(859) 259-0451 F(859) 259-0452

President/ Chairperson of the Board Robin Richards First Regional Vice president Stephanie Beattie Secretary/ Treasurer Ron Maus Chief Executive Officer Phil Hanrahan Vice President Central Region Leroy Gessmann Vice President Eastern Region Stephanie Beattie Vice President Southern Region Rick Hiles Vice President Western Region Ron Maus




The Claiming Crown races on December 1 at Gulfstream Park were a huge success. The fields were large, as was the on-track and off-track handle. The races were competitive, the weather was great, and Gulfstream did a first-rate job as the host for a first-class day of racing. My thanks to the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the Florida HBPA and its board of directors for their support of this event. I also want to thank all the trainers and owners who embraced the new nomination process and then sent their horses to the races. The NHBPA Winter Convention, hosted by the Tampa Bay Downs HBPA, was held February 20-24 in Clearwater Beach, Florida, just after this issue went to print. The Medication Forum, entitled “The Science behind Furosemide and its Long-Term Effects on Skeletal Mineral Balance,” was set to explore this controversial topic and the related rumors and innuendos. In addition to speaking at this forum, internationally known veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage was to cover “Effects of Training and Racing on the Musculoskeletal System.” This was sure to be an exceptional presentation that provided trainers and owners alike with some insightful and useful information. The convention had a variety of other forums, committee meetings and information sessions. The next issue of the The Horsemen’s Journal will have a full report. Medication regulation issues continue to be in the forefront of our industry. Dave Basler, chair of the NHBPA’s Model Rules Committee, attended the December Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Model Rules Committee Meeting, at which proposed medication rules were the primary topic. Prior to the ARCI meeting, Dave, Kent Stirling, Dr. Thomas Tobin and I had a series of teleconference and in-person meetings with The Jockey Club, at the request of the ARCI, in an effort to come to some sort of consensus between the NHBPA, The Jockey Club and the ARCI on various medication proposals. Numerous definitions and concepts were discussed and presented at the ARCI Model Rules Committee Meeting, and we anticipate the ARCI will soon be publishing the minutes from the meeting. Some of our recommendations were adopted, some were not adopted, and some will be subject to further discussion. Simultaneously and in conjunction with the ARCI, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) was, and is, moving forward on various mediation regulation matters, proposals and recommendations. Because Kent Stirling, the chair of the NHBPA’s Medication Committee, was unable to attend the November RMTC meeting due to a prior commitment, Dr. Tobin and I attended the meeting in Louisville in Kent’s place. One of the issues discussed at this meeting was the use by the RMTC’s Scientific Advisory Committee of “secret science.” It is our view that it is “secret science” because only those individuals who signed a confidentiality agreement were permitted to see and discuss these unpublished, non-peer-reviewed medication research papers and the data contained therein. The papers and the data supporting the conclusions contained in the research papers could not be discussed with anyone who had not signed a confidentiality agreement. Yet this data was used by the RMTC and other organizations to make proposed medication rules. It is our view that medication rules and regulations should be based on publically available science demonstrating what is in the best interest of the horse. Otherwise, reliance on “secret science” subjects its proponents to charges of being motivated by political convenience rather than reasoned decision-making. Both the RMTC and the ARCI (as well as The Jockey Club)

are proposing medication regulatory concepts based on grouping medications as either “therapeutic substances,” “therapeutic – acutely used substances,” “non-therapeutic substances,” “substances not affecting body systems” or some variation of this model. Kent Stirling and Dave Basler and their NHBPA Committees, Dr. Tobin, Robin Richards and I are engaged, as well as other HBPA leaders, on an almost daily basis, addressing these issues and proposals in an effort to make sure these concepts are in the best interests of the horse, our members and the industry. With the new Congress sworn in, we anticipate renewed potential activity at the federal level as it relates to medication and perhaps other matters related to the Interstate Horseracing Act and Internet poker. In that regard, Robin Richards, Frank Petramalo Jr. and I, along with Brian Fitzgerald from our lobbying firm, American Continental Group, and Randy Funkhouser from the Charles Town HBPA, met with various members of Congress and/or their staffs in February as part of our efforts to educate lawmakers and their staffs about Thoroughbred horse racing in general and those aspects of racing and wagering that most impact owners and trainers. While we are on the subject of Washington, D.C., laws and regulations, Will Velie, Julio Rubio, Dale Romans, Jerry Crawford and others have been very active with immigration issues and regulations. Recently, the Obama administration announced a new immigration policy whereby individuals with U.S. citizen spouses and parents will be able to remain together while waiver applications are processed in the United States. This may help to ease our industry-wide labor shortage. Please contact Will or Julio for more information about this program and other potential changes in immigration rules and regulations that may assist you in retaining and obtaining grooms, hot walkers and exercise riders from outside of the United States or keeping the employees you currently have. You can also read an immigration update on page 38 of this issue. I do want to publically recognize and thank our national sponsors, Horseman Labor Solutions, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, (The Jockey Club Information Systems) and Finish Line Horse Products Inc., for renewing their sponsorships with the NHBPA. Their ongoing support of the NHBPA and our members is greatly appreciated. Finally, a reminder that the next Executive Committee Meeting will be held April 9-10 in Lexington, and the Minnesota HBPA has graciously agreed to host the 2013 NHBPA Summer Convention from July 11-14. As always, if any of you are in Lexington, please stop by the NHBPA’s office. We welcome your comments, feedback and visits. May the Racing Gods smile on you, and may you have many visits to the winner’s circle.


Phil Hanrahan Chief Executive Officer

contributors Denis Blake Dr. Kimberley Brewer Kimberly French Kent H. Stirling Heather Smith Thomas Dr. Thomas Tobin William Velie


National HBPA

Would Like To Thank Its Corporate

photographers Denis Blake Adam Coglianese Reed Palmer Courtney Stafford

sponsors Affiliates Board of Directors - Affiliates Dr. David Harrington, Alabama J. Lloyd Yother, Arizona Linda Gaston, Arkansas David Milburn, Canada Randy Funkhouser, Charles Town Mark McGregor, Colorado Dave Brown, Finger Lakes Phil Combest, Florida Mark Buckley, Idaho John Wainwright, Illinois Joe Davis, Indiana Leroy Gessmann, Iowa Rick Hiles, Kentucky Stanley Seelig, Louisiana George Kutlenios, Michigan Tom Metzen, Minnesota R.C. Forster, Montana John W. Baird, Mountaineer Park Todd Veerhusen, Nebraska Anthony Spadea, New England Eric Mikkelson, New Mexico Tim Hamm, Ohio Bill Anderson, Oklahoma Sue Leslie, Ontario Steve Fisher, Oregon Tim Shea, Pennsylvania Robert Jeffries, Tampa Bay Downs Dr. Tommy Hays, Texas Horsemen’s Partnership, LLP Davis Ross, Virginia Ron Maus, Washington

The views expressed on these pages are those of the authors and/or advertisers, and they may or may not reflect the positions and/or beliefs of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, its officers, or Board of Directors. The Horsemen’s Journal, Volume 60 #1. Postal Information: The Horsemen’s Journal (ISSN 0018-5256) is published quarterly by the National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation, with publishing offices at 1341 Meadowild Drive, Round Rock, Texas 78664. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved. The Horsemen’s Journal is the official publication for members of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, a representative association of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse owners and trainers. HBPA is a non-profit 501(c)6 Kentucky corporation. Members receive The Horsemen’s Journal as a benefit of membership paid by the national office from affiliate dues. Annual non-member subscriptions are $14. Single-copy back issues, if available, are $7. Canadian subscribers add $6. All other

staff Denis Blake Editor 512-695-4541 E-mail: Jennifer Vanier Allen Advertising Director 512-225-4483 509-272-1640 fax E-mail: Limb Design Graphic Design The Horsemen’s Journal 870 Corporate Drive, Suite 300 Lexington, KY 40503-5419 Phone: 512-695-4541 Fax: 859-259-0452 E-mail: HBPA Website: Cover Photo: Parent’s Honor wins the Claiming Crown Jewel for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker Photo by Adam Coglianese

subscriptions outside the U.S. add $20 payable in U. S. funds. To order reprints or subscriptions, call (866) 245-1711. The HBPA National Board of Directors has determined that the publication of this periodical is necessary in the transaction of the public business required of the association. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and/or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the publisher or HBPA board or staff. Query the editor prior to sending any manuscripts. Periodicals Postage Paid at Round Rock, Texas and additional mailing offices. CANADA POST: Publications mail agreement no. 41530527. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: P. O. Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R6. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Horsemen’s Journal, P.O. Box 911188, Lexington, KY 40591-1188.



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industry news

hj news

Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs

Wise Dan Named Horse of the Year, Takes Two Other Titles

Wise Dan Wise Dan, a three-time Grade 1 winner in the United States and Canada last year, was named the 2012 Horse of the Year on January 19 at the 42nd Annual Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, The Stronach Group and Breeders’ Cup. The Eclipse Awards, held at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, honor excellence in Thoroughbred racing and are voted on by representatives of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form (DRF) and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB). Owned and bred by Morton Fink of Northbrook, Illinois, Wise Dan finished first in the balloting with 194 votes, followed by Reddam Racing’s I’ll Have Another, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1), with 30 votes, and Mrs. Janis Whitham’s Fort Larned, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), with 12 votes. Wise Dan also won the Older Male and Male Turf Eclipse Awards and becomes the first horse since John Henry in 1981 to win those two awards and Horse of the Year in the same year. As a 5-year-old in 2012, Wise Dan, trained by Charles Lopresti, won five races from six starts and competed on synthetic, dirt and turf surfaces. He began the year with a track record-setting 10 ½-length victory in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland Race Course on Polytrack in April. After losing the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on dirt at Churchill Downs in June by just a head, Wise Dan won four consecutive races on turf: the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga Race Course; the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine in suburban Toronto; the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita Park in November. In the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Wise Dan broke a course record that had stood since 1989. He finished 2012 with $2,622,037 in total earnings. John Velazquez rode Wise Dan in all of his races during 2012 except for the Shadwell Turf Mile. On that occasion, he was ridden by Jose Lezcano. Wise Dan is a chestnut Kentucky-bred gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry out of Lisa Danielle by Wolf Power (SAf). He is expected to begin his 2013 campaign this spring.

Below is a list of the 2012 Eclipse Award winners: 2-Year-Old Male: Shanghai Bobby 2-Year-Old Filly: Beholder 3-Year-Old Male: I’ll Have Another 3-Year-Old Filly: Questing (GB) Older Male: Wise Dan Older Female: Royal Delta Male Sprinter: Trinniberg Female Sprinter: Groupie Doll Male Turf Horse: Wise Dan Female Turf Horse: Zagora (Fr) Steeplechase Horse: Pierrot Lunaire Owner: Godolphin Racing LLC Breeder: Darley Trainer: Dale Romans Jockey: Ramon Dominguez Apprentice Jockey: Jose Montano Award of Merit The winner of the Award of Merit, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations and previously announced, is Nick Nicholson. The Award of Merit is presented to honor outstanding lifetime achievement in the Thoroughbred industry. Media Eclipse Awards Media Eclipse Awards also are given in the categories of photography, audio and multimedia Internet, news/enterprise writing, feature/commentary writing, national television–feature and national television–live racing programming to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. The 2012 Media Eclipse Awards winners, determined by a judges’ panel for each category and previously announced, are: Photography: Tom Keyser, Daily Racing Form, “Start of Brooklyn Handicap,” July 11, 2012 Writing – Feature/Commentary: Ryan Goldberg, Daily Racing Form, “Keiber Coa Presses on a Year After Father’s Fateful Spill,” July 7, 2012 Writing – News/Enterprise: Mary Simon, Thoroughbred Times, “Added Obstacle,” June 9, 2012 Television – Live Racing: NBC Sports, “The Kentucky Derby,” Rob Hyland, Coordinating Producer; May 5, 2012 Television – Feature: ESPN, “Notinrwildestdremz,” Heather Lombardo, Producer; October 30, 2012 Audio and Multi-Media Internet: Glenye Cain Oakford, DailyRacingForm. com, “Zenyatta: Wait for First Foal Combines Science, Art and Anticipation,” February 28, 2012

Purses Up for 2012, Wagering and Race Days Nearly Even with 2011 Equibase Company LLC released its Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators for calendar year 2012, and the figures show that purses for U.S. racing jumped 6.33% to $1.12 billion, up from $1.05 billion in 2011. The number of race days was virtually identical, with 5,310 race days in

2012 compared to 5,298 in 2011 (an increase of 0.23%), and wagering on U.S. races ticked up slightly with $10.87 billion bet in 2012 compared to $10.77 billion in 2011 (an increase of 0.96%).



industry news

Pletcher, DOMINGUEZ and Midwest Thoroughbreds Top Earnings Lists Again in 2012 Todd Pletcher, Ramon Dominguez and Midwest Thoroughbreds finished 2012 just like they did 2011 as the leading trainer, jockey and owner, respectively, by North American earnings, according to final statistics released by Equibase Company LLC, the Thoroughbred industry’s official database for racing information. Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Fort Larned led all Thoroughbreds in 2012 with North American earnings of $3,598,455. Runner-up in earnings was Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Little Mike with earnings of $2,668,742. The year-end compilations are distributed annually by Equibase and include results from Thoroughbred racing in North America from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012. Complete North American racing leaders’ lists that include all trainers, jockeys, owners and horses are available within Stats Central at Completing the list of top 10 horses by North American earnings were I’ll Have Another with $2,629,600 in earnings, Wise Dan with $2,622,037, Royal Delta with $2,009,251, Point of Entry with $1,746,600, Mucho Macho Man with $1,712,767, Zagora (Fr) with $1,689,000, Shanghai Bobby with $1,687,000 and Groupie Doll with $1,385,314. With the exception of Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner I’ll Have Another, each of the other horses on the top 10 list either won or finished second in a Breeders’ Cup divisional championship race. Pletcher, who led all trainers for the past two years and previously topped the trainers’ list from 2004-2007, sent out the winners of 233 races from 855 starts for earnings of $20,954,322 in 2012. Runner-up was Bob Baffert, whose horses won 154 races from 538 starts for earnings of $15,047,226 in 2012. Completing the list of top 10 trainers by North American earnings in 2012 were Steve Asmussen, $13,229,433 (285 wins/1,349 starts); Dale Romans,

$11,834,249 (125/763); Chad Brown, $11,060,710 (138/494); Bill Mott, $10,919,367 (102/618); Mark Casse, $10,234,707 (129/675); Doug O’Neill, $7,885,772 (94/554); Jerry Hollendorfer, $7,573,283 (212/1,058); and Rick Dutrow Jr., $7,232,708 (131/520). Ramon Dominguez, with earnings of $25,582,252, again topped the annual North American leading jockeys’ list in 2012 having also led all riders the previous year. Dominguez rode the winners of 341 races from 1,398 mounts. Javier Castellano finished second with 325 wins from 1,461 mounts and earnings of $22,441,852. Rounding out the list of top 10 jockeys by North American earnings in 2012 were John Velazquez, $19,875,351 (188 wins/979 mounts); Rafael Bejarano, $17,123,460 (257/1,125); Joel Rosario, $15,323,705 (232/1,216); Jose Lezcano, $12,852,606 (190/1,052); Julien Leparoux, $12,715,589 (181/1,048); Rosie Napravnik, $12,451,713 (193/1,200); Joe Talamo, $11,851,147 (208/1,256); and Junior Alvarado, $10,844,765 (183/1,078). Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. won a record 542 races from 1,857 starts and earned $10,150,498 in North America in 2012 to lead all owners and become the first back-to-back leading owner since 2005. Runner-up was John Oxley with 54 victories from 234 starts and earnings of $5,139,634. Completing the list of top 10 owners by North American earnings in 2012 were Ken and Sarah Ramsey, $4,837,821 (117 wins/555 starts); Reddam Racing LLC, $4,710,382 (15/136); Klaravich Stables Inc. and William Lawrence, $4,605,574 (75/347); Repole Stable, $4,340,912 (64/219); Janis Whitham, $3,762,369 (10/57); Godolphin Racing LLC, $3,749,075 (15/48); Zayat Stables LLC, $3,524,107 (50/221); and Maggi Moss, $3,430,870 (127/404).

Fiscal Cliff Legislation Reinstates and Increases Investment Incentives for Horse Owners The fiscal cliff tax legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Obama reinstated an important business investment incentive and substantially increased another incentive program for horse owners. Both incentive programs could have important implications for purchasers of horses, farm equipment and most other depreciable property in 2013. As a result of the new legislation, bonus depreciation will be reinstated at 50%, just as it was in 2012. The expense allowance will be increased to $500,000 in 2013 and retroactively increased from $125,000 to $500,000 for property purchased in 2012. Bonus depreciation applies only to new property whose original use begins with the taxpayer. All such property must be purchased and placed in service prior to January 1, 2014. A yearling can be an example of a “new” horse purchase. The $500,000 expense allowance applies to new or used property purchased

in 2012 or 2013 and can be used to reduce taxable income derived from the horse business or any other business from which the taxpayer has income. A broodmare is an example of a “used” horse. Also, accelerated depreciation for young racehorses continues through 2013. This means that taxpayers can depreciate racehorses that are 24 months and younger when purchased and placed in service using a three-year schedule rather than the previous seven-year schedule. Taxpayers may use this accelerated schedule on any remaining balance that is not written off when taking bonus depreciation and/or the expense allowance. “The reinstatement of bonus depreciation and the increase in the expense allowance are good news for horse owners and breeders,” said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA. “2013 will be a great year to purchase a Thoroughbred or farm equipment from a tax perspective. The NTRA legislative team will continue its efforts to extend these and other benefits even further to stimulate investment in the Thoroughbred industry.“

Shanghai Bobby High Weight on 2012 Experimental Free Handicap; Beholder Top Weight Filly Shanghai Bobby, the undefeated winner of the Breeders’ Cup Grey Goose Juvenile (G1) last year, received the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on The Jockey Club’s 2012 Experimental Free Handicap. Beholder, who won the Breeders’ Cup Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies (G1), was the high weight filly with 123. Shanghai Bobby and Beholder were also Eclipse Award winners in their respective divisions of 2-year-old male and 2-year-old filly. All Experimental Free Handicap weight assignments, as well as past performances for those horses, are available within the Publications and Resources section of at The Jockey Club Experimental Free Handicap, published annually since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. The weighting committee of racing secretaries was once again composed of 8



P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association, Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs and Keeneland and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The committee weighted a total of 125 males and 117 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2012 that finished among the top four in graded or listed stakes races run in the continental United States. Listed stakes in 2012 were those with a value of $75,000 or more available to all starters at no restrictions other than age or sex. Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday – Steelin’, by Orientate) won all five of his starts last year by a combined 14 lengths and earned $1,687,000. In addition to a maiden allowance race and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Shanghai Bobby won the Foxwoods Champagne Stakes (G1), the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (G2) and the Track Barron Stakes. He was bred in Kentucky by Stonehaven Steadings and is owned by Starlight Racing, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith. Beholder (Henny Hughes – Leslie’s Lady, by Tricky Creek) won three of her five starts and was second by a nose in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) with

total earnings of $1,215,000. She was bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm and is owned by Spendthrift Farm. Among sires of Experimental horses, Harlan’s Holiday leads the list of colts and geldings with five representatives; Any Given Saturday and Street Hero have four each. City Zip and Malibu Moon head the fillies’ list with five representatives each. Broken Vow and Kitten’s Joy have four each.

Combining the two lists, Harlan’s Holiday, Kitten’s Joy and Malibu Moon are the leading sires with six each, followed by Broken Vow, City Zip, Henny Hughes and Unbridled’s Song with five each. Kentucky, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania produced the largest number of horses in the 2012 Experimental Free Handicap. Of the 242 juveniles weighted, 152 were bred in Kentucky, 31 in Florida, 11 in New York and nine in Pennsylvania.

The Jockey Club, NBC Sports Group Announce 2013 “Road to the Kentucky Derby” TV Schedule The Jockey Club, in collaboration with the NBC Sports Group and six racetracks, will provide live coverage of six major prep races for the 2013 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands, as well as a 30-minute special previewing the Triple Crown season during the last two Saturdays in March and the first two Saturdays in April. The Road to the Kentucky Derby series starts with a 30-minute special previewing the televised races and the Triple Crown season. The special will air on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, March 23, from 6 – 6:30 p.m. ET. The racing telecasts kick off Saturday, March 30, with the Besilu Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park and the Louisiana Derby from Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on NBC Sports Network from 6 – 7 p.m. ET. The Wood Memorial from Aqueduct Racetrack and the Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita Park will air on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, April 6, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. ET. The series will conclude on Saturday, April 13, with two and a half hours of continuous coverage spread across two networks. A 90-minute live broadcast on NBC featuring the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland Race Course will be followed by a one-hour broadcast on the NBC Sports Network featuring the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. The NBC telecast will air from 4:30 – 6 p.m. ET; the NBC Sports Network telecast will air from 6 – 7 p.m. ET. All six races fall into the highest tier on Churchill Downs’ new points system

to determine starters for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, on NBC. The points system features 36 stakes races overall and 17 marquee events for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that comprise a 10-week run up to the first Saturday in May. “The Jockey Club is committed to bringing some of our sport’s best races to a national television audience, and we are proud to be underwriting the Road to the Kentucky Derby again this spring in collaboration with the NBC Sports Group and six racetracks,” said Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club. “Increasing the television presence of Thoroughbred racing is one of the fan development initiatives we have embraced over the past 18 months, and we will continue to aggressively cross-promote Thoroughbred racing not only on television but also on a variety of traditional and new digital media platforms.” “These important prep races build excitement and interest in the Kentucky Derby and they also complement the NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the sport of Thoroughbred racing, which already includes long-term deals for the Triple Crown races and Breeders’ Cup as well as races from Saratoga,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. Increased television coverage of Thoroughbred racing and the development of a new digital media strategy were among nine major recommendations identified in the major economic study of the Thoroughbred industry that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted in association with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in 2011.



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hbpa news

Horseman Labor Solutions Renews Sponsorship with National HBPA The National HBPA is proud to announce that Horseman Labor Solutions (HLS) is continuing its support of horsemen by again renewing its corporate sponsorship with North America’s largest racing horsemen’s representative association. Horseman Labor Solutions, an immigration service company, provides assistance in the immigration process for the international worker in the horse racing industry. According to National HBPA CEO Phil Hanrahan, “Immigration issues are complex and always changing, so the National HBPA and its members are pleased to have the expertise of Horseman Labor Solutions to provide guidance and insight in this important area. We also appreciate the efforts of Horseman Labor Solutions to keep our membership updated on current immigration issues through articles in The Horsemen’s Journal magazine and updates sent by email.” With nearly two decades of immigration legal experience, Horseman Labor Solutions helps bring workers as grooms, hot walkers and other positions for

National HBPA, Big

trainers throughout the United States. “Our mission is to provide the highest quality of service while treating horsemen and backside workers with the respect and integrity they deserve,” said William Velie, CEO of HLS. “We really appreciate the opportunity to provide our immigration services to the best in the horse racing industry,” said HLS co-owner and Chief Information Officer Briian Newhouse-Velie. William Velie and Briian Newhouse-Velie, both Oklahoma natives, are graduates of the University of Oklahoma. William attended the University of Oklahoma Law School, and Briian graduated with a Master’s Degree in Leadership Administration. He has practiced immigration law across the United States for nearly two decades and has a wide range of experience with employment-based immigration, with a focus on H-2B visas. Velie has secured the certification by the United States Department of Labor of between 3,000 and 5,000 H-2B visas annually for the past five years. For more information, visit HLS at or call Horseman Labor Solutions at 1-800-678-RACE (7223).

Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies Renew Sponsorship Agreement

Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies has once again renewed its sponsorship of the National HBPA. Established in 1976 and family-owned and operated, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies offers more than 20,000 name-brand, top-quality products developed by horse enthusiasts for horse enthusiasts. National HBPA CEO Phil Hanrahan said, “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Big Dee’s, and I know many members who count on them to deliver all their quality tack and veterinary supplies. Big Dee’s offers an incredible array of equine products at great prices, making it easy for horsemen to get everything they need to run their businesses.” Serving the equine community for more than three decades, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies specializes in race supplies and carries an extensive line of horse healthcare items. In addition, the company carries product lines for all equine disciplines—a testament to the company’s efforts to be a convenient, one-stop shopping destination for horsemen and women. The company also offers a variety of equine gifts and custom products, plus a complete line of

dog-related products. Based in Streetsboro, Ohio, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies operates a 12,000-square-foot retail store attached to its warehouse. Customers can shop by phone at 1-800-321-2142 or online at A complete product line catalog and a specific racing product catalog are available upon request. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies prides itself on its top-notch customer service and its affordable prices. One way the company achieves the best service possible is by employing telephone operators with varying backgrounds in the equine industry so that one can be found to help with any customers’ special needs. In addition, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies takes great pride in its speedy service and tries to keep all of its merchandise in stock for immediate delivery. More than 90 percent of in-stock orders placed by 3 p.m. are shipped the same day. Brenda Miavitz, general manager of Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, said, “Excellent personalized service has always been our top priority. We are here to help you. We appreciate your business and will continue to deliver quality products at affordable prices.”

Finish Line Horse Products Renews National HBPA Sponsorship The National HBPA is proud to announce that Finish Line Horse Products Inc. has renewed as a corporate sponsor. National HBPA CEO Phil Hanrahan commented, “The National HBPA and Finish Line Horse Products have enjoyed a long relationship together, and many of our members have been loyal users of their quality products for years. We are pleased that Finish Line has renewed their sponsorship and look forward to helping them promote their line of equine products to horsemen.” 12



Finish Line has manufactured products for racing and other performance horses for 35 years, but the family history with horses goes back well over a century. The great-grandfather of company founder John Edward Howe rode horseback with Teddy Roosevelt and the roughriders, and Howe’s grandson John Casper Howe had a long career as a jockey and then a trainer. Finish Line strives to provide the right products at the right price and offers a free hotline for customers to ask their trained staff about their products or just general equine-related questions. The company has also been a strong supporter of charitable causes and donates 10% of all annual profits from the sale of Fura-Free™ to the Susan G. Komen Fund.

Finish Line products are made in the USA and are 100-percent guaranteed to the horseman every time with the goal to “produce products that will show you a noticeable improvement in your horse.” That makes Finish Line’s products a necessary part of many trainers’ barn programs and a factor in racing barns throughout the country. According to Finish Line President Steve Blanchard, “Finish Line is honored to be a returning sponsor for the National HBPA. Thoroughbred racing has

always been Finish Line’s core business, and we recognize that it is one of the most demanding disciplines in the horse world. Racing success requires maximum return on every dollar, including the supplements and topical products trainers and owners need to keep their horses race ready. Finish Line is committed to providing the best products at a reasonable cost.” For more information about Finish Line Horse Products Inc., visit the company’s website at Renews Sponsorship with National HBPA The National HBPA is proud to announce that has renewed its corporate sponsorship with the largest racing horsemen’s association in North America., a component of The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. (TJCIS) of Lexington, Kentucky, offers a wide variety of services for horsemen, including equineline reports, the Trainer Program, Farm Program and Portfolio Service. According to National HBPA CEO Phil Hanrahan, “ has long been the primary source of information for horsemen, and the National HBPA is pleased to continue our partnership with TJCIS. has products to help anyone involved in the horse racing industry, from a new owner with a single horse looking to become better equipped to succeed with more information to a large operation looking for tools to operate more efficiently and profitably.” reports offer pedigrees, race records and a wide assortment of breeding, racing and sales information for individual Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses, including free five-cross pedigrees for Thoroughbreds, free auction results search for Thoroughbreds and a free racing recap for both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races. Many of the Thoroughbred reports include video replay capabilities. Numerous HBPA offices make reports available as a service to their members. The Trainer Program helps trainers, their assistants and bookkeepers streamline and, in many cases, automate the business-related details of

training horses. The Farm Program enables farms to organize all of the billing, healthcare, breeding and foaling records upon which successful operation of their business depends. The Portfolio Service allows owners and breeders to track and maintain real-time updated information on their horses. also features a Mare Produce Records (MPR) online subscription service along with both iPad and iPhone MPR apps. Also available is a free Owner Program that stores and helps owners manage their horse records, including procedures, revenue and expenses. TJCIS also offers the popular Equineline Sales Catalog app, which enables customers to download sales catalogs from around the world to their iPad. Once downloaded, the free app offers many features including annotation functionality, ability to create short lists, conduct searches and more. TJCIS has an ever-expanding database of global information available within reports and services, which includes detailed racing and breeding information from 30 countries. The National HBPA encourages its members to support corporate partners such as TJCIS that support your organization and the programs and services it provides to horsemen across North America. Visit for more information about the company’s extensive list of reports and services that can help you improve your equine business and productivity. Mobile users can visit

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national Hbpa



By Brian W. Fitzgerald, American Continental Group



The 113th Congress convened on January 3, 2013. The U.S. House of Representatives remains in control of the Republicans, who outnumber Democrats by 232 to 200. There are currently three vacancies in the House of Representatives due to the resignations of the Representatives Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO). Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has been reelected as Speaker of the House and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will continue to serve as the Minority Leader of the House. The U.S. Senate remains in control of the Democrats, who outnumber Republicans 53 to 45, with two Independents, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and newly elected Senator Angus King (I-ME), caucusing with the Democrats. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) will continue to serve as the Senate Majority Leader and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will continue to serve as the Senate Minority Leader.

Medication Legislation As we fully expected, there was no additional consideration of the Senate and House companion medication bills, S. 886, sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), and H.R. 1733, sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), during the last few months of the 112th Congress. However, based on information picked up from sources both on and off Capitol Hill, there may be new medication bills introduced in Congress that could go beyond those introduced last session, including possibly putting the rights of majority horsemen’s organizations over interstate simulcasting as currently provided for in the Interstate Horseracing Act at issue. No such bills have yet been introduced, nor have any drafts of such bills been made public as of now.

Federal Internet Poker Legislation Given the preoccupation in the closing weeks of the 112th


Congress with resolving the pressing fiscal cliff issues, as well as a lack of bipartisan support for the legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated in mid-December that he and the other proponents of the Internet poker legislation would not be attempting to move the legislation before the close of the 112th Congress but would be renewing their efforts to move the legislation in the new 113th Congress. The lead Senate Republican on the Internet poker bill, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), retired at the end of the 112th Congress, so Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and/or another Republican will have to step into the leadership role that Senator Kyl has served the past several years on the bill. Senator Kyl’s retirement from Congress will be a loss for the proponents of the legislation given his seniority and leadership position as well as his credibility in the Republican Party and particularly among conservatives.






hen one or more of your horses are under-performing and you’re not sure why, you’re always looking for something safe that gives them a boost. That’s exactly what winning thoroughbred trainer Steve Margolis was thinking when he tried a new, all-natural horse supplement around Thanksgiving time last year. He decided to put 9 of his 33 horses on the new supplement, and his team has seen remarkable results. “We picked out some of the horses that were a little more in need of something,” said Steve. “Soon after starting them on the new supplement, we noticed that the horses’ eyes were bright, they seemed to be bouncing into the races and their workouts – and were in very good shape overall. Since then, the supplement has been keeping blood levels up and energy levels in a good place…where they need to be for our horses’ daily training regimen.” With multiple horses in training between Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds and Delaware Park. . .Steve has been regularly monitoring the red blood cell levels of these horses to measure response to the supplement. He reported that, “When [he] checks the blood periodically, it stays at a really good level. It’s a powerful supplement and we’ve been really happy with the results.” The supplement Steve uses is earning the trust of top trainers at the largest tracks in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Dubai. They’re finding that EPO-Equine® is safe, effective and contains no banned substances. It’s an all-natural blood-building supplement accepted by the racehorse community. But why is it important to “build blood,” and how does this supplement work as a blood builder? Just like in people, a horse’s muscles require oxygen. Red blood cells are the oxygen-carrying cells that deliver oxygen to muscles. A higher red blood cell count = more oxygen = more muscle energy. Elevated muscle energy helps the horse perform harder, faster and longer during endurance events. In short, the ingredients in EPO-Equine® contain a natural “blood-builder.” Scientists at U.S.-based Biomedical Research Laboratories (BRL) discovered a proprietary, horse-friendly strain of Echinacea angustifolia that’s astounding researchers and trainers

due to its blood-building capabilities. Veterinarians at the Equine Research Centre in Canada ran a double-blind trial investigating the blood building properties of the active ingredient in EPO-Equine® in healthy horses. For 42 days, one group of horses was supplemented with the active ingredient in EPO-Equine® and another group of horses was given a placebo. The supplement delivered significant blood building results, increasing red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. Optimized blood levels can improve exercise physiology…for remarkable speed, strength and stamina right out of the gate. Trainers not only trust and rely on EPO-Equine® because it’s effective, but also because of its strict quality control, extensive product testing and adherence to banned substance regulations that guarantee safety. EPO-Equine® does not contain any banned or harmful substances. Every batch of EPO-Equine® is tested by an independent laboratory to guarantee that it’s clean for use in competition. Steve noted that his training team gives the formula a big thumbs up. “Another benefit we’ve seen is that our horses are maintaining a good weight on this supplement. I’d tell anyone to give it a try because it keeps the horses’ red blood cells and energy level at a good place for racing and training.” Trainers find it easy to add 1-4 scoops (3.2 grams each) of EPO-Equine® to the horse’s daily feeding routine in the barn or on the road. Within 3 to 4 weeks of daily use, you can expect to see improved natural blood levels with no undesirable side effects. Nothing else is scientifically proven to deliver these benefits in a completely safe, natural and legal formula. Trainers also find that EPO-Equine® is very affordable at the low price of just $59.95 per jar. A BRL spokesperson confirmed a special offer to make it even more affordable. Save $180 if you have multiple horses or you’re ready to commit to a larger trial with a 12jar case for just $539.55 with FREE SHIPPING. EPO-Equine® can be ordered at (and through distributors found on the website) or 1-800-557-9055, and comes with a 100% moneyback satisfaction guarantee.



research+medication update

Participants Sought for Study on Resveratrol’s Effects on Hock Lameness

Researchers at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are launching a new clinical trial to investigate the use of a compound called resveratrol as a possible treatment to slow the progression of osteoarthritis, and they are seeking 40 horses to enroll in the study “Veterinarians are encouraged to nominate horses in their care, with owners’ permission, that may fit the criteria and that can be transported to us (in College Station, Texas) for the initial treatment and examination and for the follow-up evaluation,” said trial leader Ashlee Watts, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, an assistant professor in equine orthopedics at Texas A&M. “We will begin accepting horses as soon as possible.” Chad Marsh, MS, DVM, a clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M, will also be involved in the study “Our objective is to determine the effectiveness of daily resveratrol administration for improved response and longevity of response to routine hock injections in horses with hock lameness,” Dr. Watts explained. “We expect the caseload to include a wide variety of horses currently engaged in athletic activities such as cutting, reining, rodeo, ranch work, dressage, jumping, racing or similar.” Of the 40 horses to be used in the clinical trial, 20 will be given a powdered microencapsulated resveratrol product (marketed as Resverasyn), and 20 will receive a placebo. Each horse will have its hocks injected and then will be sent home to go back to work or back into competition. Case horses will need to consume the resveratrol product once each day for four months, at the end of which they will return to A&M to be evaluated. Both the owner and the researchers will be blinded as to

which receives the resveratrol and which the placebo until the very end. Inclusion criteria for the clinical trial dictate that the horse: • Has a predominant hind limb lameness that improves and responds significantly to intra-articular anesthesia (blocking) of the distal hock joints; • Is 3 years old or older; • Weighs 250 to 650 kilograms (roughly 550 to 1,430 pounds); • Is in good general health; • Has not received intra-articular medications to the distal hock joints in the previous six months; and • Has not received nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the previous seven days. Horses will be excluded if they do not meet these criteria or if they have significant forelimb lameness that requires treatment beyond corrective shoeing. After the four-month trial period, a horse will be returned to A&M for evaluation. If the horse remains lame, it can again be given hock injections (within certain parameters) at no owner expense. There will be little or no cost to the horse owner for participating in the trial. For more information on the resveratrol clinical trial or to nominate a horse for the study, contact Dr. Watts or Dr. Marsh at (979) 845-3541, or email them at or

University of Kentucky Reports Eastern Caterpillar Outlook Experts report that the eastern tent caterpillar egg hatch will likely begin in mid-March for Central Kentucky The eastern tent caterpillar is active early each spring. It is an important insect in horse country due to its role in mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), which resulted in staggering losses of foals in the 1999-2001 outbreak. MRLS can cause late-term foal losses, early- and late-term fetal losses and weak foals. Subsequent studies by University of Kentucky (UK) researchers revealed that horses will inadvertently eat the caterpillars, and the caterpillar hairs embed into the lining of the alimentary tract. Once that protective barrier is breached, normal alimentary tract bacteria may gain access to and reproduce in sites with reduced immunity, such as the fetus and placenta. “The development of the eastern tent caterpillar—and insects in general—is directly correlated with air temperature,” said Lee Townsend, a University of Kentucky College of Agriculture entomologist. “This helps predict when they will be active. Temperature data from UK’s Ag Weather Center so far shows a pattern in Central Kentucky that is very similar to 2012.” According to Townsend, temperature information can help to predict when eggs will begin to hatch but will give no clue as to how 16



many caterpillars will be present in a given area. “Last year’s experience is the best thing to go by,” he said. “There has been a gradual but relatively steady general increase in tent caterpillar numbers, and they have become much more apparent in some areas over the past few years. However, concentrations can be spotty, heavy in some areas and very light in others. The eastern tent caterpillar overwinters in ring-like masses of 100 to over 400 eggs around pencil-sized twigs. A relatively small increase in the number of egg masses from one year to the next can mean a big jump in caterpillar numbers.” According to Townsend, horse owners with spring-foaling mares should now check their fence lines for wild cherry trees and in a few weeks for signs of tent caterpillar activity. “This is a good time to prepare,” Townsend said. “Begin by checking pasture fence lines to see how abundant wild cherry is in them. If practical, plan to move pregnant mares from areas where these trees are abundant to minimize the chance of exposure to the caterpillars. The potential is greatest when the mature tent caterpillars leave trees and wander to find places to pupate and transform to the moth stage.”









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Medication Committee Corner

Taking a Second Look at Lasix and the Breeders’ Cup By Kent H. Stirling For this issue’s Medication Committee Corner, we have a follow-up

Advisory Committee as the “most frequently” used racehorse medications.

article on Lasix and the Breeders’ Cup by Drs. Kimberly Brewer and Tom

These medications were then placed in priority groups as to which would

Tobin. The original article in the Winter issue was written by Dr. Brewer.

have research completed first to establish thresholds and withdrawal

Following this article, I have listed all the therapeutic medications that will

times. In my chart on the next page, I have listed those medications that,

no longer be permitted in the racehorse. Most of you have seen the list of

according to Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI)

the so-called “controlled therapeutic medications,” but you may not have

Chairman of the Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee Duncan

seen the entire list of therapeutic medications that was established by the

Patterson, “would be considered prohibited and violations treated more

Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) in 2003 by the Veterinary


Aftermath of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup: All Non-Lasix 2-Year-Olds Return to Lasix By Drs. Kimberly Brewer and Thomas Tobin The 2012 running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships held at Santa

been numerous reasons cited in scientific reports and layman’s opinions as to

Anita Park marked the first time juvenile races were held without race-day

why Lasix use may be advantageous. These include such factors as a possible

furosemide (Lasix). As is well known, the Breeders’ Cup juvenile races were

80% reduction in epistaxis, obvious bleeding from both nostrils, or of exercise-

run Lasix-free, in essence a major experiment to see how young horses would

induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), lessening in severity of EIPH and

perform without the medication at the international level. As discussed in the

alleviation of the EIPH-related reduction in racing performance. For whatever

previous issue of The Horseman’s Journal, a number of horses running without

reason, each individual trainer in each of these 22 individual circumstances

Lasix were known to have bled significantly during the running of the Breeders’

made the decision to add back Lasix when their horse returned to racing.

Cup races.

Of the three horses that won a Breeders’ Cup juvenile race (Shanghai

We can now review the post-Breeders’ Cup race records of these juvenile

Bobby, Beholder and Hightail) and have since raced, none of these horses won

horses that participated in the 2012 Lasix-free Breeders’ Cup races. A review of

their next start. It is impossible to tell without medical records and examination

records from the Daily Racing Form as well as Equibase provided information

of the horses whether or not the lack of Lasix allowed a bleeding episode in the

for this process. A total of only 50 juvenile (2-year-old) horses participated in

Breeders’ Cup race that resulted in a decrease in performance the next time out.

the Breeders’ Cup in 2012. Of these 50 horses, according to records reviewed,

However, we can look at the information we do have and note that 100% of the

22 have started since the Breeders’ Cup. In round figures, 44% of the horses

winners of 2012 Breeders’ Cup races that have returned to the track did not win

involved in the Breeders’ Cup have returned to the races since the event. Of the

their next start out.

22 horses that returned to the races, every single horse, a full 100%, returned to the use of Lasix for their first start after the 2012 Breeders’ Cup. This is an enormously significant statistic. All of the owners and trainers

Of the 22 horses that did return to racing after the 2012 Breeders’ Cup, only two horses won their next start. These horses were Kauai Katie and Merit Man. Because the debate on whether to use Lasix is ongoing in the United

had the option of continuing to run without Lasix, but all chose to add Lasix

States, it is important to review trends associated with this first attempt at

back for their horse’s next start. Having 100% of the horses return on Lasix for

running without Lasix. The take-home message appears to be clear, namely,

their next start after the Breeders’ Cup presumably reflects the opinion of 100%

that all the horsemen involved in this experiment appeared to be in agreement

of the trainers and/or owners that they have a better chance at success with

that Lasix use was in the best interest of their horses. All juvenile Breeders’

their horses when they run on Lasix. The reasons why Lasix was added back

Cup horses returning to racing after the “no-Lasix” experiment have, as of this

cannot be determined from a mere race records review; however, there have

writing, returned to the use of Lasix.




Therapeutics That Are No Longer Approved for Use in the Racehorse In 2003, the RMTC came up with 52 racehorse medications that were “most

approve only 17 therapeutic medications with thresholds and withdrawal times,

frequently” used as per the Veterinary Advisory Committee. Shortly thereafter,

five less than the 22 the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities lists

the RMTC placed these medications into five priority groups as to scheduled

for Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.

research for thresholds and withdrawal times. But recently the RMTC decided to Below I have listed the individual medications followed by their trade names. These are the medications that apparently now can no longer be used in training for a racehorse: Acetylsalicylic Acid...Aspirin


Naproxin...Aleve, Equiproxen

Albuterol...Ventolin, Ventolin, Torpex


Pentoxifylline...Trental, Vazofirin

Aminocaproic Acid...Amicar







Ibuprofen...Motrin, Advil, Nuprin

Pyrilamine...Neoantergen, Equihist


Isoflupredone...Predef 2X






Meclofenamic Acid...Arquel






Nandrolone...Nandrolin, Laurabolin, Durabolin


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Jun. 20 – Jul. 7

Apr. 25 – Jul. 14, Nov. 7 – Dec. 22

Jul. 11-21

Jul. 17 – Sep. 4

Sep. 5-23

Oct. 3-14

Dec. 26, 2012 – Jun. 16, Aug. 15 – Sep. 15, Oct. 16 – Dec. 15

Aug. 14-25

Dec. 28, 2012 – Dec. 22

Sep. 19-29

Dec. 26, 2012 – Apr. 21, Sep. 25 – Nov. 3

Jul. 24 – Aug. 11

Alameda Co. Fair @ Pleasanton

Betfair Hollywood Park

Cal Expo/ California State Fair

Del Mar

Fairplex Park

Fresno Co. Fair @ Fresno

Golden Gate Fields

Humboldt Co. Fair @ Ferndale

Los Alamitos Race Course

San Joaquin Co. Fair @ Stockton

Santa Anita

Sonoma Co. Fair @ Santa Rosa


Apr. 13 – Oct. 14

Hastings Park

British Columbia, Canada

Jan. 11 – Apr. 13

Oct. 5, 2012 – May 7

Turf Paradise

Oaklawn Park

Apr. 26 – May 7

Santa Cruz Co. Fair @ Sonoita


Jan. 19 – Mar. 17

Rillito Park


May 4 – Oct. 14

Northlands Park

Columbus Fairplay Park


New Jersey


Sep. 10

Miles City


Atlantic City

Apr. 25 – May 1

Aug. 24 – Sep. 2


Lincoln Elko County Fair

May 10-12

Feb. 22 – May 4

May 12-19

May 17 – Sep. 14

Horsemen’s Park

Fonner Park


Canterbury Park


TBA, May – Oct.

Mount Pleasant Meadows


Jun. 1 – Nov. 2

Suffolk Downs

Apr. 4 – Jun. 8

Jan. 12 – Mar. 27, May 3 – Sep. 22

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Pimlico Race Course

Nov. 22, 2012 – Mar. 31, Aug. 16 – Sep. 7

Fair Grounds Race Course

Jan. 1 – Mar. 30, Sep. 19 – Dec. 31

Apr. 17 – Sep. 7, Oct. 2 – Dec. 19

Evangeline Downs

Laurel Park

Oct. 19, 2012 – Mar. 23, Apr. 26 – Jul. 13

Jan. 1 – Mar. 30, Dec. 1 – Dec. 31

Turfway Park Delta Downs

Sep. 7-25

Kentucky Downs




Apr. 5-26, Oct. 4-26


Schedule is based on available information at the time each issue goes to press. All racing jurisdictions have differing schedules and policies regarding the granting of future race dates that impact availability.

Alberta, Canada


20 racing 13 May 12 – Sep. 28

Presque Isle Downs

Mountaineer Race Track

Hollywood Casino @ Charles Town Races

Mar. 1 – Dec. 20

Jan. 2 – Dec. 31

Apr. 20 – May 5

Sun Downs West Virginia

Apr. 19 – Sep. 29

Emerald Downs


Jun. 8 – Jul. 13

Jan. 18 – Mar. 17, Mar. 28 – May 18

Jun. 7 – Aug. 10, Oct. 4 – Dec. 28

Apr. 11 – Jul. 6, Sep. 13 – Nov. 9

Colonial Downs

Sam Houston Race Park

Retama Park

Lone Star Park

Jul. 6 – Aug. 25

Apr. 20 – May 5

Fort Pierre Gillespie County Fairgrounds

May 11-27


Jun. 14 – Sep. 14

Jan. 3 – Dec. 28

Penn National

Marquis Downs

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

Parx Racing

Jun. 7-9



South Dakota

Saskatchewan, Canada



hj dates


Dec. 1, 2012 – Apr. 5

Dec. 1, 2012 – May 5

Gulfstream Park

Tampa Bay Downs

May 4-27

Jun. 29 – Jul. 7

Jul. 12-27

Pocatello Downs

Rupert Downs

Sandy Downs

Apr. 27 – Jun. 30, Sep. 6-29, Oct. 27 – Nov. 30

Jul. 4 – Sep. 2

Churchill Downs

Ellis Park


Apr. 19 – Aug. 11, Aug. 17 – Oct. 12

Prairie Meadows


Apr. 23 – Oct. 19

Indiana Downs

Feb. 15 – Apr. 30, Oct. 4 – Dec. 31

Aug. 3-11

Oneida County Fair

Hawthorne Race Course

May 1 – Aug. 10

Les Bois Park

Mar. 26 – Sep. 20

Jun. 8-23

Jerome County Fair

Fairmount Park

Apr. 13-27

Gem County Fair

May 3 – Sep. 29

Sep. 1-7

Eastern Idaho Co. Fair

Arlington Park

Aug. 16-17

Cassia County Fair




Apr. 6 – Aug. 30, Aug. 31 – Dec. 1

Calder Race Course


May 18 – Nov. 9

Delaware Park


May 25 – Aug. 18

Arapahoe Park


Sep. 6-8 Jul. 10-13 Aug. 7-10

Prineville Tillamook

Jun. 15 – Jul. 7

Harney County Fair

Grants Pass


Apr. 20 – Dec. 15

Mar. 4 – May 18, Aug. 24 – Nov. 9

Will Rogers Downs Woodbine Racecourse

Mar. 8 – Jun. 2, Aug. 16 – Dec. 15

Jun. 8 – Aug. 2

Apr. 19 – Nov. 17

Remington Park

Fair Meadows


Jan. 7 – May 4, Nov. 2 – Dec. 21

Jul. 19 – Sep. 2

Saratoga Race Course Beulah

Apr. 20 – Dec. 10

Finger Lakes

Sep. 7 – Dec. 3

Zia Park

Apr. 26 – Jul. 14, Sep. 7 – Oct. 27

Apr. 19 – Jun. 23

SunRay Park

Belmont Park

Dec. 7, 2012 – Apr. 16

Sunland Park

Nov. 2, 2012 – Apr. 21, Nov. 1 – Dec. 31

May 24 – Sep. 2

Ruidoso Downs


Aug. 2 – Nov. 4

May 11 – Oct. 6

Oct. 11 – Nov. 2

The Downs at Albuquerque

Ontario, Canada



New York

New Mexico

Monmouth Park



Claiming the Crown

By Denis Blake | Photos by Adam Coglianese and Courtney Stafford

Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker dominate the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park


exceptional day of racing. A special thanks ince the first running of the Claiming Crown in 1999 at Canterbury to Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey for their continued Park in Minnesota, the event to celebrate the blue-collar horses of support of the Claiming Crown, and the sport has undergone a series of changes, but perhaps none as congratulations to them for their success dramatic as those for the latest renewal on December 1. Run at at the Claiming Crown.” Gulfstream Park in South Florida for the first time, the Claiming On the racetrack, the Ramsey-Maker Crown offered its richest purse structure ever with seven races for a total pot team scored a superfecta of winners and of $850,000, exactly double the amount paid out for five races the prior year at nearly recorded five victories. The four wins Fair Grounds Race Course. Its placement as the opening-day card at the historic gave the Ramseys a total of 10 Claiming oval only added to the appeal, and the end result was a robust on-track handle Ken Ramsey celebrates a record Crown victories to extend their lead in the and attendance and record-breaking betting through Gulstream’s simulcast four Claiming Crown wins at Gulfstream Park. owner category, and Maker now has 11 network. The records did not stop there, as owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and wins in the event to take the training lead from Scott Lake with eight. trainer Mike Maker teamed to win four races, solidly perching them atop the “I was saying we should be called the King and King and Queen—my wife, all-time Claiming Crown standings. we’ve got to put her in—of the Claiming Crown,” said Ken Ramsey, whose “We’re thrilled with the way our fans responded to our opening day and By Heather Smith Thomas previous six Claiming Crown wins had come with just nine starters in the the incredible program that our owners, trainers and jockeys put on,” said Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo. “It was great partnering with the Thoroughbred Sudden lameness with heat in the foot anddistinctive red and white silks with a capital R. Ramsey and Maker had made a concerted effort to find a horse for each Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the National Horsemen’s sometimes swelling above the hoof is often of the seven divisions, and they succeeded in that challenge, although a late Benevolent & Protective Association on the Claiming Crown.” scratch left them out of one race. Gulfstream’s total handle came in at $12.22 million, up 66 percent from the sign of an abscess. Paul Goodness, senior “Mike Maker is my chief claiming guy,” Ramsey said in an interview on 2011’s opening day. On-track handle was $1.44 million, up 84 percent from the before the Claiming Crown. “We claimed about 12 or 13 horses previous member year, and a reported of 9,112 turned out for the Claiming Crown, of crowd a group farrier practice called at Saratoga, and we have horses for five of the seven races. We are pounding compared to 8,524 on opening day the year before. The starting gates were also Ahead based Round full, withForging an average of 11.1 startersthat per race is thanks to broadin support from Hill,the Daily Racing Form every day looking for ones for the other two races, so we are good to go. Trust us; we are going to come up with a horse for all seven of owners and trainers around the country. The totalhoof handle more than doubled theas being Virginia, categorizes abscesses them. We are supporting this 100 percent.” previous record of $4.9 million set in 2007 at Ellis Park. The Claiming Crown has types. “Superficial The Ramseys, who have twice won the Eclipse Award as outstanding owner, also beenof heldtwo Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) and 10 abscesses times at Canterbury.involve have campaigned a long list of top-tier horses, including Kitten’s Joy, Roses in “The Claiming Crown’s unparalleled success in 2012 was due to the strong tissues just under the horn—beneath theMay and Stephanie’s Kitten, but they seem to take equal pleasure in just about participation from owners and trainers and the incredible response from the any victory, regardless of the class level. fans thatwall, resulted in a recordor amount of handlehe being wagered,” said TOBA frog sole,” said. “Deep abscesses “He’s easy to train for,” added Maker about working with Ramsey. “He tells President Dan Metzger. “A great deal of credit must also be extended to the involve deeper structures of the foot, such as it like it is, and he places them where they’re competitive. He loves the game. It management at Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA for their unwavering makes my job easy.” support of the Claiming Crown.” bursa and sometimes tendons bones, joints, and Following is a recap of the seven Claiming Crown events, which were run “The Claiming Crown at Gulfstream was a great day of racing for owners, ligaments. These can beCEOmore complicated to starter allowance conditions for horses that had started at least once for under trainers and racing fans,” stated Phil Hanrahan, of the National HBPA. a specified price since January 1, 2011. “Thanks deal to Gulfstream Park, the Florida HBPA and TOBA for their support of this with.”




Claiming the Crown [Gulfstream Park]

$200,000 Jewel Parent’s Honor As the horses went to the gate for the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel, at 1 1/8 miles on the main track for horses that had started for $35,000 or less, the day was already a smashing success for the Ramseys and Maker, as they had teamed for three wins. But they saved the best for last as they added a fourth and somewhat unexpected victory in the day’s rich finale when 16-1 longshot Parent’s Honor turned a super afternoon into a spectacular one. Piloted by Alan Garcia, who, along with Joel Rosario, took two of the four winner’s circle trips for the Ramseys and Maker, Parent’s Honor found his way through the field of 11 to get up by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.03. While the Ramseys and Maker have proven to be among the most astute claimers in the game, the $35,000 risk they took on Parent’s Honor last August at Saratoga Race Course looked a little shaky after the Elusive Quality gelding finished last in each of his first two starts for his new connections, beaten both times by double-digit lengths. “I’ve been telling Mr. Ramsey for a while that I’ve been high on this horse, but every time I’ve run him he was probably shaking his head or rolling his eyes,” said Maker with a smile. “But he came through for me today.”

Parent’s Honor had spent most of his career in sprints, but he handled the stretch around two turns with aplomb and earned $110,000 for his effort. The now 5-year-old gelding, who was bred in Kentucky by Rabbah Bloodstock LLC, boosted his career earnings to $325,395 with seven wins in 19 starts. “It’s nice to win on the big stage down here on opening day with all the people and all the high purses,” Ken Ramsey said. “It’s fantastic.” Dominant Jeanes, a Pleasantly Perfect gelding running in the colors of Mr. Amore Stable for trainer Jason Servis, rallied well under Joe Rocco Jr. and had a short lead in the stretch before settling for second. The gelding came in from New York after winning two of his last three starts on the turf at Aqueduct and Saratoga, with the latter coming for a $20,000 tag. Local horse Flatter This, running for owner Blackacre Farms Inc. and trainer Kathleen O’Connell, closed to take third. The son of Flatter had recently finished third in the Spend a Buck Stakes (G3) at Calder Race Course. Private Tale, a five-time winner on the year, finished fourth as the 9-5 favorite and was followed by Dan and Sheila, Tuvia’s Force, Willey Elliot, American Legend, Tiz Liberty, Kings Over and Trade.



$125,000 Emerald Nikki’s Sandcastle In the $125,000 Emerald at 1 1/16 miles on the lawn for horses that had started for $25,000 or less, Richard Sherman’s homebred Nikki’s Sandcastle kept the Ramseys and Maker from visiting the winner’s circle as the gritty gelding held off Major Marvel to prevail by a head. Trained by David Kassen and ridden by Corey Lanerie, the son of Castledale (Ire) clocked the distance in 1:43.13 and returned $6.80 as the second betting choice. Many of the Claiming Crown starters had changed hands several times via the claim box during their careers, but Nikki’s Sandcastle has run for his breeder since debuting in a maiden claiming race at Oaklawn Park in February 2010. While the gelding was a capable sprinter on the main track, he did not develop into a stakes-caliber horse until moving to the grass and synthetic surfaces. Nikki’s Sandcastle could have been had for $25,000 in July 2011 at Arlington Park, and since then the gelding has won six races, including two black-type stakes. Prior to the Emerald, the now 6-year-old gelding had finished second three straight times in six-figure stakes, one on the main track at Remington Park, another on the turf at Hawthorne Race Course and the third in the $150,000 Fayette Stakes (G2) on Keeneland Race Course’s Polytrack.




“It’s been a little frustrating to see him finish second the last three times, but this makes up for it,” said Kassen. “He runs hard every time and on any surface—dirt, turf, Polytrack—although I think he’s a little better on turf. “I didn’t have him when he began his career,” added the trainer. “He came to me here in December two years ago. He had a chip in his knee. We didn’t have it removed (surgically) but healed it using a magnetic boot. He doesn’t have any conditions, so we’ll just look for the right stakes to run him in next.” That next spot turned out to be the $75,000 El Prado Stakes on December 22 at Gulfstream, and Nikki’s Sandcastle came through with a driving victory. All told, the gelding has won eight times in 31 starts with a bankroll of $391,567. The Ramseys’ Major Marvel, winner of a $100,000 stakes earlier in the year at Mountaineer Racetrack, looked like a winner under Javier Castellano but just could not get by Nikki’s Sandcastle. Mr. Amore Stable’s Exclusive Strike, conditioned by Jason Servis, beat out Grade 1 winner and betting favorite King David in a photo for third. Diamondsdiplomat, El Romano, Bingo Bango Bongo, Tom Kitten, The Best Glacier, King Kressa, Katrina’s Prince and Livingston Street completed the order of finish.

Claiming the Crown [Gulfstream Park]

$125,000 Tiara

Starsilhouette While three of the four RamseyMaker winners were relatively new acquisitions, the team captured the $125,000 Tiara going 1 1/16 miles on the turf course for fillies and mares that had started for $25,000 or less with Starsilhouette, whom they’ve had since claiming the Orientate daughter for $20,000 in August 2011. Since then, the late-running mare has earned seven victories, including her biggest win to date with a 1 ¼-length score in the Tiara at odds of 6-1 under jockey Alan Garcia. Starsilhouette also had success during the 2011-12 Gulfstream meet when she won three consecutive starter allowance contests on the turf, but she came into the Tiara with rare offthe-board finishes in back-to-back starts. “In her last race at Keeneland, she ran a great race, but it was probably a stretch too far,” said Maker about her fourth-place finish against allowance foes at 1 1/8 miles. “She had some trouble and got beat just a lengthand-a-half against a solid field.” In the Tiara, Starsilhouette dropped back to last in the field of 12 and was still eighth at the top of the stretch before swinging wide and running to victory.

“She was comfortable the way she was going and turning for home, and she did the rest very well,” said Garcia. Starsilhouette, who was bred in Kentucky by Curtis Green, hit the wire in 1:42.85 and earned a $68,750 paycheck to increase her lifetime total to $254,766 with 11 wins in 31 starts. She finished 2012 with an impressive record of six wins from nine starts, and the now 6-year-old mare banked more than $150,000 during that calendar year. Four of those six victories came at Gulfstream, with the other two at Parx Racing and Keeneland. While most of her recent success has come on the turf, where she has won six times in 19 starts, she also has two wins from three starts on synthetic surfaces and three wins from nine trips to the post on dirt. Family First LLC’s Malibu Yankee, who came into the race off a sharp allowance score at Laurel Park for trainer Niall Saville, finished second. Fleur de Lilly, a former $8,000 claimer who climbed the class ladder to become stakes-placed at Kentucky Downs for owner Band On The Run and trainer William “Buff” Bradley, held on gamely for third. Falbala, Ainsley, Lemons to Lemonade, Sky Glow, Juanita, Decennial, Silver Screamer, Idle Talk and Witch’s Orchard completed the field.



$100,000 Glass Slipper Starship Truffles In the only Claiming Crown race without a Ramsey-Maker runner due to the scratch of their Isabelle’s Thunder, Starship Truffles recorded an impressive victory in the seven-furlong, $100,000 Glass Slipper for fillies and mares that had started for $16,000 or less. Racing for owner Chasing Tails Stables and trainer Marty Wolfson, the daughter of Ghostzapper took command in the stretch and drew clear to win by four lengths. She traveled the distance in 1:22.26 with Luis Saez aboard at 5-1 odds. Wolfson, a regular on the Florida circuit, made a winning decision to place the filly in the Glass Slipper after the post position draw. “I had her in this race and the mile-anda-sixteenth race against colts (Iron Horse), but she drew the outside (14) in that one, so I decided that this was a better spot for her even though she’s been running in two-turn races,” he said. “She had won going 5 ½ (furlongs) early in her career, so I thought she would handle this. We bought her privately (after a September 17 victory at Calder). We love Ghostzapper. She’s actually still eligible for ‘a one other than’ (allowance) conditions.”




Starship Truffles returned to the track on January 13 to win a starter optional claiming race at Gulfstream to score her 10th win in 17 trips to the post with earnings of $160,005. Bred by Sanford and Irwin Goldfarb in Kentucky, Starship Truffles has spent her entire career in Florida with her last three wins coming under Saez. “I felt like I had a lot of horse, and I knew coming down the stretch that she likes to finish strong,” said the jockey. “I saw the five horse (Come Sunday) in front of me and saw Joe Bravo asking, and he didn’t have any more horse so I knew I had the race. She felt better today than her previous races.” Starship Truffles broke her maiden at first asking at Calder in a $25,000 claimer in November 2011 but then won just once in her next six outs before dropping down for a $6,250 tag. Since prevailing by more than 10 lengths at that level, she has won eight of 10 starts. Tommy Ligon’s Come Sunday, who had been running in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for trainer Diane Alvarado, closed from far back to finish a clear second. Avalon Racing Inc.’s True, who had been competing in Indiana and Kentucky for trainer by Michael Tomlinson, took third. The remaining order of finish was Cat’s Got Legs, Cool Vixen, Brandys Secret, Daddys Jewel, Ann’s Smart Dancer, Easy Ending and Tamarind Hall.

$100,000 Rapid Transit Bernie the Maestro

Claiming the Crown [Gulfstream Park]

The Ramsey-Maker show continued in the $100,000 Rapid Transit with Bernie the Maestro taking the seven-furlong event for horses that had started for a claiming price of $16,000 or less. The Bernstein gelding has been a popular commodity at the claim box as he changed barns five times during the year, most recently for a $35,000 tag when the Ramseys and Maker haltered him at Saratoga.

Bernie the Maestro tuned up for the Claiming Crown with a starter allowance win going seven furlongs at Keeneland in his first outing for his new connections on October 25. The now 6-year-old gelding produced a near carbon-copy effort at Gulfstream on Claiming Crown day as he stalked the leaders before drawing clear to a 2 ¾-length victory in 1:21.60 as the 5-2 second choice with Joel Rosario in the irons. “That was a perfect trip,” said Maker. “Speed was on the inside, and Joel placed him perfect. I really liked him today.” The number 13 turned out to be lucky for Ramsey, as it was the saddlecloth number of both Bernie the Maestro and Brother Bird, who 30 minutes earlier captured the $100,000 Iron Horse. The coincidence goes a step further as Bernie the Maestro and Brother Bird ran 1-2 in

a $20,000 claiming event last July at Belmont Park before the Ramseys owned either horse. “Thirteen is not an unlucky number if you have a horse good enough to wear it…and a jockey good enough,” Ramsey said. The victory was worth $55,000 for Bernie the Maestro, and when added to his Keeneland victory check, gave the Ramseys a $70,000 return on their $35,000 investment just four months earlier. “He broke well, and we got a chance on the outside,” said Rosario. “He did great the whole way and was the best horse I think.” Bred in Florida by Sabine Stable, Bernie the Maestro apparently enjoyed the return trip back to his home state, where he broke his maiden at Calder and scored two stakes wins there earlier in his career. The veteran gelding has won 12 of 48 career starts with a bankroll of $423,254. Shivananda Racing’s Off the Jak, trained by Shivananda Parbhoo, set the early pace and held on for second. Won Fast Bullet, who the Ramseys and Maker claimed for $14,000 last time out at Aqueduct, took third. Clean Shot, Coosada, Homeboykris, Rapid Runner, Peb Hughes, Gospel It Tiz, Indio Rooster and Skinny Peter completed the field.



$100,000 Iron Horse Brother Bird The $100,000 Iron Horse, matching horses that had started for $7,500 or less at 1 1/16 miles, featured the first of the four victories for the Ramseys and Maker, and it also proved just how regal a pedigree you can find in a “claiming” horse. In his third start since being claimed for $20,000, Brother Bird more than earned back his purchase price as he and jockey Joel Rosario got up to win by three-parts of a length and stopped the timer at 1:43.58 as the 7-2 second choice in the wagering. As his name might allude, the Yonaguska gelding has a famous older half brother in 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mine That Bird (by Birdstone), not to mention a younger half brother in three-time Grade 1 winner Dullahan (by Even the Score). Bred in the Bluegrass State by Lamantia, Blackburn and Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds, Brother Bird and his two famous siblings are all out of the unraced Smart Strike mare Mining My Own. Brother Bird, now a 6-year-old, began his racing career with a fair amount of promise, as he broke his maiden in July 2010 at Belmont




and then scored an allowance win at Saratoga that same summer. But eventually the gelding dropped down as low as the $4,500 claiming level at Laurel, and he changed hands several times in Maryland before finding his form again at Pimlico Race Course with two straight starter allowance wins. Then the Ramseys and Maker decided to pay more than four times the going price for the gelding just a few months earlier when they took him at Belmont. While Brother Bird is not likely to achieve the same level of success as Mine that Bird or Dullahan, his record now sports an impressive nine wins in 26 starts with earnings of nearly $240,000. Perhaps the most impressive feat for Brother Bird was overcoming the 13 post in a race that starts close to the first turn. “You just can’t worry too much about things you can’t control,” said Maker about drawing the outside post. “It’s either run or scratch. I thought the jock (Joel Rosario) did a great job getting around the first turn.” Waverly Acres LLC’s Jazzit, a Patricia Farro trainee who shipped in from Pennsylvania, led for most of the race and held on gamely for second. Favored Follow the Leader, who also made his last start in the Keystone State, took third for owner/trainer Kieron Magee. Saintly Love, Awesome Mich, He’s Spectacular, Victory Notion, Red Hills, Tritonk, Cunaguaro, Only Boy and Commander Tate completed the order of finish in the field of 12.

Claiming the Crown [Gulfstream Park]

$100,000 Express Tiban The Claiming Crown card kicked off with the $100,000 Express for horses that had started for a price of $7,500 or less going six furlongs on the main track, and favored Tiban came through to score a memorable victory under jockey Calvin Borel. It appeared as though 13-1 longshot Pot of Gold was going to secure the win until jockey Pedro Cotto Jr. misjudged the finish line and stood up early, allowing Tiban and Borel to prevail. “I got confused with the poles,” said Cotto. “I feel very bad. I should have been more prepared.” Pot of Gold, a now 7-year-old gelded son of Touch Gold, did hold on for second to earn $20,000 for owner Blue Top Holdings Stable and trainer Jorge Navarro. “It’s unfortunate (what happened to Cotto),” said Borel. “I’ve been there. We’ve all had those days. I had a good trip, and when I saw (Cotto) pull up, I knew I had it.” Tiban, a Flatter gelding owned by Joey Merritt and trained by Tim Glyshaw, hit the wire a half-length in front as the 2-1 favorite in a time of 1:09.91. The well-traveled Tiban, who was bred in Kentucky by John Baker, only won once in his

first nine career starts—although that victory was a 21-length romp in a maiden special weight affair at Beulah Park. But the gelding appeared to find his stride in March 2012 while still racing for his breeder as he reeled off a four-race winning streak against $5,000 and $7,500 claiming foes at Turfway Park and Churchill Downs. He was claimed twice during that streak, and since being taken for $7,500 by Merritt and Glyshaw they have kept him out of claiming races and run him in starter allowance, optional claiming and allowance company. Including his Claiming Crown victory and two subsequent wins at Fair Grounds, Tiban has now hit the board in 16 consecutive races with a career record of 23-11-6-1 and earnings of $180,813. “He definitely turned out to be a good claim for $7,500,” said Glyshaw. “He ran such a good race last time at Churchill (a second-place finish in a $52,000 allowance before shipping to Gulfstream). It took a really nice horse to beat him. Calvin gave him a great ride today. I’m glad he flew down to ride him.” IAB Stables’ County Gun, a regular competitor on the Florida circuit for trainer Tamara Levy, ran third and was followed by Gibson, Island Sunset, Cover Price, Isn’t She Grand, Funny Tide, Nemo Landing and My Place Anytime.




Moving to


Racing started out behind other sports in apps and mobile technology, but it might be catching up By Kimberly French

According to data compiled in 2011 by the research entity In-Stat, 200 million people, or roughly 65 percent of Americans, will own a smartphone and/ or a tablet by 2015, and 86 percent will use those devices to watch video. On Black Friday 2012, Amazon reported its highest-ever total sales of the Kindle family of e-readers and tablets. On the following Cyber Monday, a tablet was sold every second, and research firms predict tablet sales will increase by 60 percent during 2013. With the trend of trading traditional desktop computers for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and e-readers, it makes sense for horse racing, along with other sports and entertainment industries, to follow suit and embrace the mobile explosion. The near-instant delivery of information through this medium could help introduce new fans to the sport and increase the ease of access to entries, results, replays and handicapping tools for existing racing fans as well as for those employed in the business. However, the racing industry failed to take advantage of the power of television when other sports were using it to increase their exposure (the National Football League, now America’s most popular sport, had to convince 30



ABC to begin airing “Monday Night Football” in 1970), and even now, the sport of kings is not exactly going all in on mobile mania. Currently, there are approximately 350 apps available for the iPhone when a search for “horse racing” is performed, and most of these are games and wagering tools. Equibase has a solid presence with its TrackMaster Pocket Handicapper, Racing Yearbook and Today’s Racing (entries and results) while The Jockey Club has equineline and several other apps for horsemen, including ones for mare produce records and sale catalogs. Daily Racing Form provides TicketMaker, and The Blood-Horse also has an app. The Breeders’ Cup produced an app the last two years for its races, and of course some tracks like Del Mar, Penn National Race Course and Churchill Downs have their own apps, but certainly racing could and probably should have a larger presence in the Apple iTunes App Store and for Android phones.

>>The future of apps According to mobile research specialist Research2Guidance, “Apps will eventually be as important for companies as web pages are today.” To support

Susan Lustig McPeek


Repent and Harlan’s Holiday. “I taped it and then watched it again with a legal pad in my lap. Then I Googled horse racing apps, and there really weren’t any, so then I Googled football apps, basketball apps and baseball apps. They were out there for every other sport you could think of, and that’s when I went on ESPN’s ScoreCenter app. They had every sport except racing on there, so I told myself someone needs to do this for horse racing.”

>>Delivering horse races now With the aid of Sue, his former wife, McPeek launched his odyssey to develop and implement an app modeled after ESPN’s ScoreCenter, which delivers scores, information and more after the user enters the teams or people he or she would like to follow. Much of the information is delivered by push notifications, which are similar to a text message. After several years, a variety of obstacles and with the help of the The Jockey Club Technology Services and Equibase, the McPeeks’ app, entitled Horse Races NOW, enables users to review entries, results, race replays and live video as well as receive notifications when a favorite horse, jockey or trainer is running. Originally released for iPhone users, Horse Races NOW also recently became available for Android users through Google Play (formerly known as the Android Market). The app currently costs $1.99, and McPeek said a small subscription fee of $2.99 per month may be instituted in the future for premium features, with a portion of that being shared with racetracks and horsemen’s purses. “I asked seven developers for estimates, and I met a group of guys that said they could do this for me for about $50,000,” McPeek said. “I said, ‘Hell, some years I lose that just on yearlings,’ so I hired them, but it wasn’t done in three months, then four months and then five months and when they did give it to me, I couldn’t use the product at all. That is when I took this to The Jockey Club and asked if they could help finish it, and they have done a great job. Equibase has also been very kind with their help, and Keeneland was nice enough to allow us to beta test it. We also have been working with Roberts Communications for the streaming video. “It’s been an expensive venture, as I’ve sunk probably half a million into it,” he continued. “We’ve had legal issues, and we are ready to fill the app up with racetracks in North America, as well as provide all replays, but we are working on that. It’s been very challenging, and I’m lucky I train a lot of nice horses so we are able to make ends meet.”


The Apple iPhone wouldn’t be released until five years after trainer Kenny McPeek saddled millionare Repent to win the 2002 Louisiana Derby, but smartphones are now the primary source of information for many people and his Horse Races NOW app delivers a wealth of horse racing data.

that statement, the report offers six reasons: the ubiquity of smartphones, manifoldness of possibilities, ubiquity of apps stores, unmatched user experience, proximity to customers and better visibility. “Although there is a lot of clamor about the discoverability of apps, especially in the iTunes App Store, standing out among 140,000 apps is much easier than being found amongst millions of websites,” wrote Ralf-Gordon Jahns of Research2Guidance. “In addition, these distribution platforms are stores, and unlike the web or its search engines, they are designed to sell and present products. Cross-selling and promotions are components of their core features. The new generation of app stores makes it easier than ever before to be in the forefront of millions of potential customers’ minds. “Although there is still a long way to go before many companies learn how to benefit from and engage in this exciting new market, it won’t take long before it becomes standard business practice, especially for media, consumer goods, automotive and food companies to communicate with their customers via an app,” he continued. “This applies especially to the Western and Asian countries with high smartphone shipment rates but will also impact emerging markets with a short time-delay.” This report was released around the same time conditioner Kenny McPeek was watching a show on MSNBC imparting a similar message, and after some research of his own, he decided this was a market horse racing needed to enter. “I was watching this show called ‘Planet of the Apps,’ which was kind of a cheesy take on ‘Planet of the Apes’ and was very informative on how to make an app and how businesses have changed because of them,” said McPeek, who has saddled nearly 1,300 winners including top runners Sarava, Tejano Run,

“I Googled horse racing apps, and there really weren’t any, so then I Googled football apps, basketball apps and baseball apps. They were out there for every other sport you could think of, and that’s when I went on ESPN’s ScoreCenter app. They had every sport except racing on there, so I told myself someone needs to do this for horse racing.”



feature The McPeeks jumped into and stayed the course on this project because they both truly believed an app such as Horse Races NOW was a necessity for the sport. “The fan base wants these races delivered to their phones,” McPeek said. “It is simple, easy and fast. A lot of people say racing is too slow for this format because there are 30 minutes between each one, but with an iPhone you can be notified when your favorite horse is racing, watch the video for two or three minutes and then put your phone back in your pocket to go about your business. You can’t do that with basketball, baseball or football. “I am really proud of what we have made,” he continued. “We are going on more than 40,000 downloads, and it brings about an average of 100 people in a day. I was extremely proud when three kids I’d never laid eyes on came up to me in the paddock at Keeneland last fall and told me they loved the app, as their parents would not let them have wagering accounts and they didn’t have satellite televisions. It made me say to myself, ‘Yes, this is what these kids need. They know how to use their iPhones, iPods and iPads.’” Besides technical issues, determining the app’s cost and various other business pitfalls, McPeek feels there is really only one true obstacle for Horse Races NOW’s continued success. “I think there is a large percentage of people who haven’t grasped how to use the technology,” he said. “You would be surprised how many people have iPhones that don’t know how to turn their notifications on and off. Also, I’ll tell people to go ahead and download the app to try it, and they either can’t remember their Apple ID or never got one. It’s the younger generation that figures that stuff out. “I am concerned about the financial viability of this, but that is not why I got involved,” McPeek continued. “I read a question-and-answer session with the gentleman that started Pinterest (a popular photo-sharing application). He explained to the interviewer that he had no marketing strategy and never spent money on marketing. All he concentrated on doing was making his product better every single day. They only started off with 200 registered users the first month and now have over 17 million people. That’s what I’m going to do—keep working on making this better and better, and the people will come, so it will continue to grow. This is what the fans want.”


>>A different way to draw in new fans Derby Jackpot, billed as the first legal online gambling game, was released from its beta testing phase and officially launched to North America on January 30 of this year. Although it is not an app, Derby Jackpot’s website can be accessed via a smartphone. 32



Developed by brothers Tom, Bill and Walter Hessert after a trip to the Preakness Stakes several years ago, Derby Jackpot allows bettors to place wagers on real live horse races and is geared toward the general public that knows nothing about racing. “My brother Tom and I knew nothing about racing,” Walter explained. “In fact, I think it was Tom’s first horse race, but my brother Bill had been involved in the industry before. We had a great time, and it was an extraordinary experience. That’s when we saw this as an awesome game you should be able to play online with your friends like most other games nowadays. After we started looking into it, we discovered there were 50,000 races in the United States each year, but federal legislation outlaws online wagering (on other sports, poker and casino games), so horse racing is the only legal form of real money gaming. We were really excited to build a game that appealed to people like us who didn’t know anything about horse racing and were coming in green. What we wanted Derby Jackpot to be was something like our experience at the Preakness that day.” It took the brothers about a year to organize financial backing and receive approval from racing commissions, but Walter contends the main issue was explaining to people on the regulatory side and within the industry what they were attempting and what they hoped to accomplish. That took a lot of demonstrating the game and traveling around to racetracks explaining their concept and goals. “We didn’t have a lot of red tape to go through because we were straightforward and our game does fall within the pari-mutuel law,” Walter said. “We also were not trying to create any new kind of wager, but people in the racing business just needed to wrap their head around it because as a racing person, they would be used to a different product.” Licensed and regulated by the Oregon Racing Commission, Derby Jackpot certainly does not resemble the TwinSpires or TVG formula. There are no trainer or jockey statistics, and only the names of horses in the field are visible. There is also no specific track schedule, and a player only discovers when the next live race is by a clock at the top of the page and then must click on the clock in

order for the track name to be revealed. It’s certainly not something a seasoned handicapper would use, but that’s not the target audience. The game covers harness racing as well as Thoroughbred racing and offers three forms of wagering: the “Monkey” bet, which is a win bet; the “Granny” bet, which is a show bet; and the “Dime” bet, which is a 10-cent superfecta. Funds can easily be deposited or withdrawn immediately after the race results become official. Hessert stresses how the game is geared toward players who don’t have a background in the sport, and it offers a chat feature so that friends (or strangers) can play the races and interact with each other. Derby Jackpot only accepts wagers from about half of the 50 states, and just like a wager placed through a traditional advanced deposit wagering (ADW) company, the money goes directly into the pari-mutuel pool and thus a portion goes to horsemen in the form of purses. “A lot of our customers are surprised there is horse racing at other times of year besides the Triple Crown,” Walter said. “The great thing is there are usually at least 150 races in the U.S. every day, so there is great racing and a playing opportunity all the time. It may not always be the best quality racing, but these races are still fun to watch and for our players to bet on every single day. Our players pick their horses by their favorite name or an odds range they are comfortable with that makes it exciting to watch the race and have the potential to get a payout. Some of them will even just use their lucky number to make a bet.” Future plans for Derby Jackpot include a mobile site later this spring that will make it easier for smartphone users to play. “We are building the mobile site now, and that will be launched by March,”

Walter said. “Whenever we have the opportunity, we will explore Android phones in the near future as we want to be in the forefront for a mobile app. When Apple allows real-money gaming apps in the U.S., then we will certainly be right there for that as well.” It’s anyone’s guess whether a game like Derby Jackpot will push new fans who have fun with a relatively simple online betting game to dive into the complexities of handicapping and betting at a track, OTB or through a traditional ADW, just as it remains to be seen if the game will generate significant handle for tracks and horsemen. Even so, it is clear that Derby Jackpot and similar games provide the potential to tap into a younger fan base, and an app like Horse Races NOW is there to help them get to the next level and become true fans of the sport.


“We are building the mobile site now, and that will be launched by March,” Walter said. “Whenever we have the opportunity, we will explore Android phones in the near future as we want to be in the forefront for a mobile app. When Apple allows real-money gaming apps in the U.S., then we will certainly be right there for that as well.”

mpr_hj_Layout 1 2/6/2013 1:38 PM Page 1




Untangling the Unknown about

Tying-Up Research isolates the potential causes and breeding issues surrounding tying-up By Heather Smith Thomas

Denis Blake

Muscle problems are fairly common in athletic horses, and muscle pain and cramping associated with exercise has been recognized for more than a century with various terms used to describe it (azoturia, Monday morning disease, etc.). In recent years, veterinary researchers have found that there are several different forms with different causes that fall under the broad definition of “tying-up.” Dr. Stephanie Valberg, professor and director of the University of Minnesota Equine Center, has been doing research on muscle problems in horses for many years and has seen the understanding of the problem change for the better. “When we first started doing research on tying-up in the 1980s, people assumed that all horses tied-up for the same reason,” she said. “One of the early theories was that they accumulated too much lactic acid in the muscles. When we took muscle samples from horses during tying-up episodes, however, we didn’t find high lactic acid concentration in their muscles.




Courtesy Dr. Stephanie Valberg

“We did biochemical measurements from muscle biopsies to figure out whether there were different causes for tying-up and used high-speed treadmills to do the studies,” she added. “We had Thoroughbred horses from the racetrack (horses that had Dr. Stephanie Valberg of the University of Minnesota has helped problems with further the understanding of tying-up over the last two decades. tying-up) and Quarter Horse pleasure horses that tied-up and searched for the differences.” Research funds came from the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, American Quarter Horse Association, Morris Animal Foundation and University of Minnesota Equine Center. One of the most common problems, exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER), is broken down into two categories: sporadic (with no underlying abnormality or functional defect in the muscles) and chronic. The latter condition is due to specific inherited abnormalities and can be broken down further into two distinct types: polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) in Quarter Horses, warmbloods and draft breeds (horses with heavy muscles) and recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER) in Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and a few Arabians and warmbloods. The prevalence of RER in Thoroughbred racehorses is about 4.9% in the United States, 5.4% in Australia and 6.7% in the UK.

Explaining RER

Preventing and minimizing RER episodes With Thoroughbreds that tie-up, their management should be closely examined to figure out what can be done to decrease excitement. “It often helps to stall the horse next to one they are compatible and comfortable with, so they are not fussing with the horse next door,” Dr. Valberg recommended. “It also helps if they are in a quiet area, where they are not watching horses going back and forth since that stresses them. They should be


Genetics of RER

“We’ve done studies to try to find out why these horses tie-up,” said Dr. Valberg. “We believe they inherit an abnormality that makes excitement trigger tying-up. Certain lines of Thoroughbreds are more predisposed than others. We also found that regulation of muscle contraction and relaxation is abnormal in horses that have chronic problems. There are many Thoroughbreds A proper diet and keeping a horse calm can help prevent episodes that experience of tying-up, but Dr. Valberg says some horses are predisposed to sporadic tying-up the problem because of genetics.

Courtesy Dr. Stephanie Valberg

“Thoroughbreds usually don’t start tying-up until they are fit and in race training,” stated Dr. Valberg. “They tend to be 2- and 3-year-olds; young horses have more problems than mature ones. It’s usually the more nervous ones that are affected, generally fillies, particularly if they have a nervous disposition.” This tying-up is often associated with excitement. “At the racetrack, episodes of rhabdomyolysis commonly occur when these horses are just galloping (rather than racing), because they are being held back and upset at being held back—fighting the rider,” she said. “If they are coming back to the barn and want to jog instead of walk and you try to make them walk, they may tie-up. Or if something gets them really excited, they are more likely to have problems.” In Standardbreds, episodes most commonly begin after 15 to 30 minutes of jogging, although clinical signs may not be apparent until after they finish exercising. In Thoroughbreds exercising on a treadmill, RER most commonly develops with intervals of walk, trot and canter and is less common at a fast gallop.

exercised first, so they are not watching all the other horses and having to wait for their turn. If they are exercising with other horses, choose calm buddies. “Management is a huge key,” she continued. “Try to limit the amount of time these horses are standing still. We found in treadmill exercise trials that horses tend to have more problems with tying-up if they’ve been standing in a stall for two days and then you take them out and exercise them. It’s better to get them out every day and not give them days off. Provide opportunities throughout the day to get them out of the stall.” These horses do better if kept in small paddocks, with more room to move around. “If horses have severe problems with tying-up, they can be taken away from the track and trained at home in a different environment, where they can get out more,” she said. The change may help enough that the horses can be trained. “We’ve found that it doesn’t affect their racing performance at all if you can get past the tying-up episodes in early training,” Dr. Valberg explained. “Much of getting past it is just getting them calmed down and accustomed to being in training and used to being at the track. “Another thing that seems to help is diet changes,” she added. “These horses get very excited on high grain diets. They tend to be very nervous horses, so they burn calories easily and it’s hard to keep weight on them. If you substitute fat for part of the grain, it helps take the nervous edge off and they are calmer. We created Re-Leve (a special diet very high in fat) to provide enough energy for these horses. Thoroughbreds need a specialized high-fat, low-starch feed to get enough calories. Feeds must be very palatable because these horses become finicky when they need to eat that much.” The feed industry has developed these feeds for horses that need high levels of energy, but you need to know how much starch is in the feed. “Some high-fat feeds are also high in starch, and those won’t work for RER horses,” explained Dr. Valberg. Usually you need a product that’s at least 10% to 12% fat and relatively low in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), which is how the starch is usually measured. Dr. Valberg recommends a NSC level of no higher than 15% for RER horses.



feature (an occasional episode that may or may not be repeated), but this chronic form (where they keep tying-up) is inherited.” Studies on the genetics of RER show that it’s a dominant trait. “This means the affected horse gets it from one parent,” she explained. “But we’ve also seen some horses in which all of their offspring tie-up. Perhaps both genes are affected, inheriting the trait from both parents. These individuals may be severely affected and when you breed them, all of their offspring will get one of those genes and be predisposed to tying-up.” A breeding trial at the University of Minnesota evaluated the number of offspring of RER horses that had a positive contracture test. Results suggested an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance with an equal ratio of male and female affected Thoroughbred offspring. Using a clinical diagnosis of RER rather than the contracture test, offspring of RER-affected dams also appeared to inherit the disorder as a dominant trait, with more females than males having clinical signs. But several variances and other potential modifying genes makes this hard to evaluate. A recent genome-wide association study in U.S. Thoroughbred horses found a significant association between RER and SNP (a DNA sequence known as a single-nucleotide polymorphism) markers on equine chromosome 16, but this location is different from that reported by a Japanese research group. Unraveling the genetic puzzle is difficult, because tying-up can be influenced by other things. A horse might have inherited that gene but also have a very calm disposition and get by without showing problems. There are also many interrelated factors. “Once in a while you find a filly that’s extraordinarily difficult to train,” said Dr. Valberg. “You do everything you can, and she still ties-up. Many times, those fillies are taken out of training and retired to breeding and produce offspring that have problems with tying-up.” Yet breeders are probably not influenced by (or are sometimes unaware of) this trait when making breeding selections; many of these horses are very athletic, with desirable bloodlines for racing. “If you can manage this disease, it’s not a disadvantage in racehorses,” she said. “They still perform well. The biggest problem could be if a horse inherits a double dose. Rather than just having one copy of the gene, they have two. This might explain why some horses are very difficult. That might be something, genetically, that a breeder could try to avoid if we get a genetic test for this in the future. I don’t think people will try to completely breed away from it, however, because it’s found in some very good bloodlines and people won’t want to stop breeding those. They just won’t want to double it up.”

Calcium malfunction RER is believed to be due to an abnormality in regulation of muscle contraction and relaxation. “We’ve tried to figure out exactly what is wrong in the muscle,” stated Dr. Valberg. “One factor involved in muscle contracting and relaxing is the movement of calcium in the cell. Calcium is stored in membranous storage sites within the cell. When it is released, it interacts with proteins to make the cell contract, and then it has to get pumped back into the storage sites so the muscle can relax. This happens many times a second when the horse is moving. As the muscles contract and relax, the calcium is moving in and out of these storage sites. We think this is where the abnormality occurs in these horses when the muscle cell is moving calcium back and forth.” Yet the exact defect in regulating muscle contraction in RER horses has not yet been identified. The increased sensitivity of RER horses in contracture testing may be a non-specific indicator of an abnormality in other pathways governing muscle contraction. “The amount of calcium in the muscle is not influenced by dietary calcium,” said Dr. Valberg. “But it is influenced by many different factors and 36



hormones within muscle tissue itself. We think part of the reason mares are more predisposed to the problem is because they are so much more easily stressed and upset, particularly when they are cycling.” So much has been learned about RER over the past few decades, but there is still work to be done. However, an understanding of the root causes and the genetics involved can help horsemen and horsewomen keep it under control.

Medications for RER Some trainers use a low dose of tranquilizer prior to exercise during the early phase of training when trying to get horses settled down. This makes them a little more calm and mellow until they adjust to the training, explained Dr. Valberg. Some mares show signs of RER during estrus. Hormones to suppress estrus behavior, such as progesterone injections, may be beneficial. Testosterone and anabolic steroids have been used at racetracks to prevent RER, but their use is no longer permitted. “One of the medications (Dantrium or dantrolene) used for tying-up can be helpful,” said Dr. Valberg. “You can’t race on this medication, but it works for trying to get horses into training and settled into the environment at the track.” Dr. Erica McKenzie, an associate professor of large animal internal medicine at Oregon State University, has been looking at muscle tying-up problems in Thoroughbreds and other horses and the use of dantrolene as treatment. This drug acts on the calciumrelease channel in the muscle. “We started looking at this in 2002,” she said. “Dantrolene works on reducing calcium release within the muscle cells. We performed treadmill trials and found a positive impact with this drug if we administered it to the horses before exercise. “Since then, I’ve been looking at dantrolene in terms of how much to give, whether a person should give it before feeding or not, etc.,” she added. “The most important thing to recognize is that a lot of these horses can be effectively managed through diet and appropriate exercise regimens.” Dr. McKenzie said the cost of the treatment runs about $20 to $40 depending on the size of the horse and that it is fairly shortacting, with some degree of action for about four to six hours. The drug seems to have found its niche for treating horses that are severely affected and can’t be managed adequately through typical regimes. Currently this drug is used primarily in Thoroughbreds. “My recommendation for horses that tie-up is to follow the diet and exercise regimes that have been designed for them,” she explained. “Dantrolene should not be used as a convenient fix.” The cost alone will likely deter people from using it in that fashion. “We did a trial looking at whether a person should feed or fast the horse before giving the drug,” said Dr. McKenzie. “They need to be fed recently, within the previous four hours of receiving it, in order to absorb the drug adequately. Otherwise you are basically throwing the drug away.”

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Immigration Reform and its Coming Effects on Horsemen

In late January, two of the power centers of Thoroughbred racing got together at Gulfstream Park to address an issue vital to their sport. The issue did not involve purse splits or medication but something much more important and humane—the welfare of the immigrant backside workers throughout the United States. Jerry Crawford, founding partner of Donegal Racing and vice chairman of the Breeders’ Cup, and Dale Romans, vice president of the Kentucky HBPA and recently named Eclipse Award winner for outstanding trainer of 2012, met to discuss both the possibilities of guiding the many undocumented backside workers to legal status and helping the sport obtain a workable visa in the future for exercise riders, hot walkers and grooms from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The approach they took was both hands-on and policy-driven. At Gulfstream, the duo met with trainers to gain feedback and gauge interest in seeking a durable visa for their workers. At Palm Meadows Training Center, Crawford and Romans, along with National HBPA Latino Liaison Julio Rubio, met directly with hundreds of workers in the trackside kitchen to determine the number of candidates who would qualify for the comprehensive immigration reform proposed by Congress and President Obama. While details still remain unclear regarding exactly how the proposed immigration reform will affect our sport, Romans and Crawford met at Gulfstream knowing that the time to act to advocate for the interests of the sport, as well as the welfare of the backside workers, is now. From the early pronouncements that have come from both Congress and the President, there are several main parts to immigration reform legislation that will directly affect trainers and backside workers. While the proposed immigration reform is made up of several parts, including increased border security, increased visas for high-tech workers and other components, the two most important aspects of the proposals in relation 38



Big changes could help horsemen tackle immigration issues By William Velie and Craig McDougal Denis Blake

Los Campeones de La Gente Ride Again:

to horsemen are allowing those currently here without lawful status who have jobs and a clean record to become lawfully present members of society and the introduction of a mandatory computer database employment authorization verification system currently called E-Verify. If past precedent is a guide, the opportunity for people without lawful presence in the United States to sign up for “regularization” of their status will be very brief. In 2001 during the last immigration reform, the window of opportunity was only four months. The concern from the NHBPA is that its horsemen who qualify for regularization to lawful status do not miss their window of opportunity. The NHBPA is acutely aware of the logistical challenges of assisting their many HBPA state affiliates to deliver outreach programs to backside workers who may not be aware of the details and requirements of any coming immigration reform. The NHBPA, in concert with their state affiliates, has been working for the last several years to meet the challenges and opportunities of possible immigration reform to allow any backside workers and their families who may qualify to take advantage of the brief grace period. Over the next several months, the state affiliates will be following immigration developments closely so as to react rapidly with a comprehensive plan of action to include as many of its horsemen who qualify for regularization. As positive a development as the opening of a brief window of opportunity for many international horsemen to come out of the shadows and “fix” their status is, to the sport the challenge of properly staffing the backsides of tracks and barns in the coming age of mandatory E-Verify is equally daunting. In the past, a trainer could accept the worker’s representation at face value that their work authorization documents were genuine. The safe harbor of accepting documents at face value, absent knowledge that they were improper, allowed trainers immunity from liability if federal authorities audited their premises and workers were not authorized to be working. With the arrival of E-Verify, the safe harbor will be gone as soon as a trainer runs documents and the database reveals them to belong to someone else or that they are not genuine. In a perfect world, the elimination of this safe harbor would not be a problem. Unfortunately, in the modern urbanized United States, there are not enough Americans to fill the foundational jobs of groom and hot walker that a Thoroughbred operation must have to operate safely. Through programs such as Groom Elite, directed by Dr. C. Reid McLellan, and the North American Racing Academy, directed by former NHBPA CEO Remi Bellocq, our sport expends substantial time and resources to reach out to interested Americans, train them (often at no cost to the trainee) and place them in jobs with trainers eager to have their assistance. Groom Elite offers free training programs at most HBPA tracks, plus several high schools and community colleges and even in some correctional facilities. Yet despite the substantial efforts to recruit and train Americans, a chronic shortage exists in the supply of Americans willing to fill foundational backside jobs. Almost one year ago, in reaction to a two-year negative trend of decisions being issued by USCIS resulting in the majority of H-2B temporary work visas for horsemen being denied in the United States, Crawford and Romans assembled forces and took their case to Washington, D.C. In meetings with USCIS, they learned that a key concept in the definitions governing the H-2B visa had been reinterpreted somewhere in the bureaucracy and was causing most Thoroughbred trainers’ H-2B temporary visa applications to be denied. The effect on tracks’ and trainers’ operations was disastrous, causing backsides of tracks to become dangerously understaffed, sometimes overnight. Workers who had been in the U.S. legally for years serving as central players in their trainer’s operations were losing their visas and having to immediately leave the country. Trainers were losing most of their staffs that they had consistently legally employed on H-2B visas with no warning. Through Romans’ and Crawford’s efforts, as well as those of Jay Hickey of the American Horse

Council and Phil Hanrahan and Robin Richards of the NHBPA, the H-2B is once again a viable option for short-term seasonal labor needs of horsemen. The most important outcome of the meeting with USCIS and Romans and Crawford however was a meeting of the minds with the agency and the sport that the H-2B really isn’t the proper visa for horsemen. During the meeting, it was brought to the attention of the agency that in 2006 the major professional sports leagues, the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB, had petitioned Congress to be let out of the H-2B visa and have their players be properly classified as athletes. Up until their special legislation, called the COMPETE (Creating Opportunities for Minor League Professional, Entertainers and Teams) Act, their top-level players were treated as athletes, however, their minor league players were treated as H-2B laborers. Their leagues suffered similar inconsistency and denials from USCIS, as our sport has suffered of late. After the COMPETE Act legislation, USCIS recognized minor league team members as P-1 athletes along with their major league affiliates. During the meeting with USCIS, Crawford and Romans pointed out that our sport meets the definitions laid out in the COMPETE Act and that our sportsmen and women too should be recognized as athletes by immigration. At the time this article goes to press, all indications are that our sport will be recognized on equal footing with the other great American sports and our international horsemen will be treated as athletes. An athlete visa lasts for up to five years, as opposed to the 10 months of an H-2B, and is not required to demonstrate that the trainer’s need is limited by a particular season to 10 months or less a year. Given the difficulties of the H-2B visa program and the coming of E-Verify, our sport would have been left dangerously short of qualified workers to care for the horses we rely on to make the races run. Through the direct efforts of Crawford and Romans, our sport has a tangible plan to meet its needs of legally staffing the tracks with an adequate supply of qualified horsemen and horsewomen. Recently on the backside of Churchill Downs, Crawford was presented a small trophy by Julio Rubio on behalf of the backside workers who he has done so much to help that simply said “El Campeon de La Gente,” or Champion of the People. Even though in size it comes nowhere close to the grandeur of the many trophies Jerry and Dale have amassed in their victories on the track, it should carry equal weight because it was given out of the sincere appreciation of the people who recognize the value of their deeds. Through their recent actions looking out for both the welfare of the workers and protecting the interests of the trainers, once again it can be said that Los Campeones de La Gente ride again!

Major Changes in Immigration are Occurring Right Now! If you would like for Will Velie, immigration attorney with Horseman Labor Solutions, and National HBPA Latino Liaison Julio Rubio to come speak to trainers and backside workers regarding these important changes, please contact Velie at (405) 922-3210 or Rubio at (502) 645-7215.

William Velie and Craig McDougal are attorneys with Horseman Labor Solutions, an immigration services company that represents horsemen throughout the United States in immigration matters. Horseman Labor Solutions, a sponsor of the National HBPA, can be reached online at or by phone at 1-877-678-RACE.



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Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the publisher or National HBPA board or staff. Alabama HBPA Alabama-bred Stakes at Fair Grounds Thanks go out to Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans for once again hosting the Magic City Classic and Kudzu Juvenile races for Alabama-breds on December 30. The $50,000 Magic City Classic for 3-year-olds and up with eight horses entered was won by Abama Light, the only filly in the race and going off at 44-1 odds. Abama Light came from off the pace with a strong close to win by three-quarters of a length with Kevin Smith riding. Abama Light is owned by Taylor Nelson, trained by Eric Nelson Jr. and was bred by Hamby Horses. Sired by Phantom Light, she is out of Chelsea’s Bloomers, by Storm Brewing. The $25,000 Kudzu Juvenile matched three fillies and three males and was won by the odds-on favorite filly Loco Sweet, ridden by Miguel Mena. Loco Sweet is owned by Walnut Hill Stable LLC, trained by Jonas Gibson (previously trained by Randy Nunley) and was bred by James Alan Nunley. She is by Double Honor out of Calling Angels, by Phone Trick. Contract Update There is still no contract with the Jefferson County Racing Association (JCRA). Talks with JCRA had started to look promising but seemed to come to an end when Victoryland Greyhound Park, owned and operated by the same individuals as JCRA, opened its doors with electronic bingo machines that State Attorney General Luther Strange has deemed to be illegal. In the face of no further attempts to negotiate with the Alabama HBPA, the litigation currently underway continues. Maybe one of these days…

submitted his permit application to the Arizona Department of Racing. His application has now moved into the second stage, toward approval. Gary would like to run 68 live days and 68 dark day simulcasts. The idea of running longer sure excited horsemen. Horsemen remain positive about being able to race close to home. With new ownership and management, the Arizona HBPA is excited to join in and work for the betterment of all. A second track running in Arizona is good for the economy and will be good for Prescott Valley. Gary has received enthusiasm from the local business owners and officials in the Prescott Valley area. Turf Paradise We are just over halfway through the Turf Paradise meet as of press time for this issue. For the second time this season, Turf Paradise has experienced difficulty with the track during rainy weather. Due to the weather, we lost six days of racing. In order to give horsemen an opportunity to race, Turf Paradise, after consulting with the Arizona HBPA and jockeys, moved the Tuesday, January 29, card to Thursday, January 31. This was well-received and was the first time is quite some time we have raced on a Thursday. The crowd and handle were good. The Arizona HBPA will work with Turf Paradise to possibly make up some of the other lost days before the season closes. Turf Paradise hired Steve Woods to consult on the track surface. He has been instrumental in the implementation of changes to the surface. The Arizona HBPA will again this year co-sponsor Camel Day on March 23. Turf Paradise has several scheduled events in March. • March 2 - Wine, Women & Horses • March 16 - Free cooler bag with paid admission • March 17 - Dollar Day Remember: Safety first; your family expects you home tonight.

Arizona HBPA Yother Elected President As of January 15, J. Lloyd Yother, formerly vice president, took over the reins for Gary Miller (see below) as president of the Arizona HBPA. Lloyd has been busy meeting with committees on legislation and contract issues. Lloyd is a seasoned board member and will handle the presidency in stride. He is committed to serving all horsemen for the betterment of horse racing in Arizona. Lloyd owns and operates his own construction business in Carefree, in addition to being J. Lloyd Yother an owner and breeder of Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses. He is also an AQHA director for Arizona. Prescott Valley Past President Gary Miller stepped down in order to purchase the Prescott Valley (Yavapai Downs) track. Gary resigned January 15 as president of the Arizona HBPA to pursue ownership of the track. We would like to thank Gary for his time and service and his family for all his time away from home. Gary has taken on a new venture that will help racing and horsemen in Arizona. Horsemen are excited about the anticipated opening of the Prescott Valley track this summer. The reopening of the track seems to be the buzz these days. Gary has

Arkansas HBPA Arkansas HBPA members partnered with our Arkansas Race Track Chaplaincy and Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Horsemen’s Association for a great Deana Echols from the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ Christmas party and Horsemen’s Association, Loretta Brennan of the for our backside in Arkansas HBPA, Linda Gaston of the Arkansas HBPA, December. Santa Chaplain Rich Heffington and Debbie Holthus of the Claus was a huge Arkansas HBPA get ready to serve Christmas cupcakes at success. We had Oaklawn Park around 400 people, and 53 children attended. All the children received a gift, and we had two lucky children who received new bicycles. We gave out almost 40 adult gifts, including two flat-screen televisions. Fried chicken and all the trimmings were served with Christmas cupcakes for dessert. Everyone left with goodie bags full of candy, chips and warm gloves. It was a tremendous success, and great fun was had by all who attended.




Oaklawn Park was off and running with a full card on opening day, January 11, but because of a huge rainstorm that flooded the track, causing deep trenches across several Santa Claus was a big hit at the Christmas party areas of the track surface, the races were cancelled for the next two days until the track could be repaired. As in the past, the Arkansas HBPA, partnering with Oaklawn, went back in time and offered corned beef sandwiches for 50 cents and drinks for a dime, which is always a crowd-pleaser. Then on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we joined with the track again for an Oaklawn hat giveaway for all paying customers. Gov. Mike Beebe appointed our president, Bill Walmsley, to the Arkansas Court of Appeals. It is a tremendous honor for him, and all of our board congratulates him. Due to his appointment, Mr. Walmsley had to step down from our presidency. After a called board meeting, Linda Gaston was elected our new president, and Ron Ball was elected to our board. We are looking forward to working with our new board and a very successful racing meet at Oaklawn this year.

Charles Town HBPA Election Results On December 3, the Charles Town HBPA completed the election process for the board of directors for the 2013-2015 term. On December 4, it was announced that Raymond J. Funkhouser II was elected president. The membership voted the following for another term: James W. Casey, Lee Couchenour, Elaine Hagy, Tina Mawing, Larry Miller, Jeff Runco and Mark Russell. New members include: Tim Grams, serving for the first time on our board is Raymond J. Funkhouser III and James Miller. Alternates are: Richard Knapp, who is serving for the first time, Trevor Hewick, James Starkey and George Yetsook. On December 15, the board held their first meeting. President Funkhouser recommended James W. Casey to serve as vice president, and the board unanimously voted in favor. Committees were set up, and goals were discussed for 2013. Charles Town Makes History On December 15, trainer Jeff Runco was inducted into the Charles Town Hall of Fame for his achievements and contributions to the racing industry. Runco marked his 3,000th career victory in 2011. He is known to take on apprentice riders and give them an opportunity to develop a riding career. Runco is serving his fourth successive term on the CTHBPA Board of Directors, chairing the Backstretch/Track Condition Committee and serving on the Condition Book Committee. Congratulations, Jeff. Jockey Jose Montano, who lost his bug in October 2012, was honored with the Eclipse Award as the top apprentice jockey. He finished as leading apprentice in North America with 187 wins in 2012. Based here at Charles Town, Montano was the winningest jockey at the track last year with a total of 44

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225 wins from 1,075 starts and earnings of $3,613,984. Much of his success came from his mounts for Runco. What a team! Belated Happy Birthday to Trainer Richard P. Butts Jr., 90 Years Young On January 22, trainer Richard Butts Jr. celebrated his 90th birthday. He is still actively racing here at Charles Town. Originally from Texas, he has been training since 1962 and has raced in 17 states, Mexico and Canada. He came to Charles Town, liked it and settled here in 1985. He keeps a stable of 12 horses, is on the shedrow every day, still saddling winners and cooling out horses. New Racing Secretary Named for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races On February 5, it was announced that, effective immediately, Charles McIntosh has been named the new racing secretary for Charles Town. McIntosh is familiar with the racing industry, having worked in numerous racing positions at other tracks, and has been at Charles Town for the past three years. Best wishes to Mr. McIntosh, and we look forward to a good working relationship with him.

Florida HBPA Another Successful Race Meet Underway at Gulfstream By Kent H. Stirling, Executive Director As the economy slowly pulls itself out of the recent recession, we have two racetracks just seven miles apart that appear to be going in different directions. One track has spent a huge amount on advertising horse racing on billboards, magazines, radio and on every local television station during the course of the last five years, and the other track spends little money on horse racing in the media, although they do advertise their casino. For what it’s worth, the latter track’s casino outperforms the casino at the track that focuses on Thoroughbred horse racing. Since we are horsemen, we will focus our attention on the track that spends heavily advertising horse racing rather than promotions at their casino. In 2011, Gulfstream Park ran the December dates for the first time and crushed the wagering handle numbers of Calder Race Course for any of the years when they previously ran the December dates. In 2012, Gulfstream rather impressively outdistanced their own on-track wagering handle numbers from the previous December in both the live product and the out-of-state simulcasts. Through the middle of January this year, Gulfstream’s live on-track wagering was up 12.6%, and its simulcasting or full-card handle was up almost 18.5%. The live numbers were really much better than they appear as 24 fewer races were offered in the first 30 days of this Gulfstream meet, because they ran fewer races per day than previously. When one adjusts for those 24 missing races, the live on-track handle then is up 22% over the first 30 days compared to the 2011-2012 meet. These handle numbers are even more impressive when one realizes that the first 30 days of the 2011-2012 meet included an extra Saturday and Sunday, because a number of four-day race weeks were run that December, while this current Gulfstream meet has run only five-day race weeks. ITW wagering handle, or wagering within the state of Florida, on the live product is down 6% when comparing the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 meets,




but when adjusted for the number of races, it is just about even or up 0.2% for the current meet. ITW full-card or simulcasting wagering on out-of-state tracks bet within Florida is down just about 10% this year. Little advertising is used promoting Gulfstream’s live signal and the accompanying out-ofstate simulcasts in the rest of the state, which makes it more apparent how Gulfstream’s local adverting has paid dividends. Interstate wagering, or ISW, on Gulfstream’s live product is down 0.5%, but when adjusted for the number of races, it jumps to up almost 8%. This then means that the winter’s most popular wagering signal that has emanated from Gulfstream for the last 12 years is up significantly over last year, which was up over the previous year (2011). Gulfstream seems to reinvent itself every year. This year it brought in the Claiming Crown, which was on life support after last year’s edition when one race couldn’t even be used because of lack of entries at the host track. Gulfstream made last year’s failed race go and added another Claiming Crown race to the card. The seven races had 78 entries, and wagering on-track for just those races was a Claiming Crown record of $1,118,235. This had to be way more than double any other Claiming Crown handle. The interstate wagering handle on these former blue-collar horses was $8,159,376, which was probably more than triple any other Claiming Crown’s interstate simulcasting total. Next year, the Claiming Crown will offer a million dollars in purses as the Florida HBPA Board of Directors has once again voted to increase some of the purses and add one more race. This event now joins the Sunshine Millions, Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth and Donn Handicap as one of Gulfstream’s biggest event days. Besides hosting the Claiming Crown, Gulfstream Park also hosted the Eclipse Awards for the first time, and it was probably the first time ever that the Eclipse Awards were hosted by a track. But aren’t these racing’s most important awards? So why shouldn’t they be hosted every year by a racetrack? There is only one track with a large, elegant room that can accommodate more than 500 people comfortably, and that would be the beautiful Sport of Kings room at Gulfstream. I would expect we will be seeing other industry events at Gulfstream, and I would not be surprised to see another Breeders’ Cup in the not too distant future. Since I am often perceived as always praising Gulfstream while not equally praising that nearby casino with a racetrack, I feel it only fair to be at least a little critical of Gulfstream. The new Gulfstream can’t hold one third as many people as its predecessor could, and that brings me to my pet peeve about the track. Last year, Gulfstream stopped publishing their handle numbers, and I suggested to management that they should again publish those handle numbers, particularly the interstate simulcasting handle numbers, which are by far the highest in the country. Gulfstream complied and printed all their handle numbers from ontrack, within the state and their interstate simulcasting numbers. But then they went even further and started publishing “calculated” attendance numbers. When you have a racetrack facility with free admission, two casinos and numerous entrances to the track from the Villages at Gulfstream, how do you know what your track attendance is? Possibly some secret formula based on programs sold, betting “whales” present and number of customers having lunch at Christine Lee’s divided by the number of gray horses on the card? We have asked that these “calculated” attendance numbers be dropped, but through Donn Handicap day, February 9, they are still being published. According to these attendance numbers, per capita wagering on December 2 and December 23 was $159. But the Christmas season brought out the heavy hitters as the per capita wager went to $420 on December 28 and a

whopping $516 on December 26. With what seemed like giant crowds on two Saturdays, we learned that track capacity is exactly 9,112, the attendance on both Claiming Crown day with a total wagering handle of $2,086,000 and Donn Handicap day when the total handle was $2,841,000. It seems Gulfstream is doing itself a huge injustice by continuing to publish its “calculated” attendance numbers, which seem to be ultra-conservative. One of the local papers began their article on the Grade 1 Donn and cofeature Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap with the following: “A huge crowd reminiscent of Florida Derby Day witnessed two memorable races on what was billed as Super Saturday at Gulfstream Park.” I know Gulfstream at this point probably can’t accommodate more than 11,000 or so, but doesn’t a “huge” crowd sound better than total attendance of 9,112? Backside Doings Chaplain Tom LaPointe and his assistant Alberto Grimaldi were busy over the holidays handling Christmas dinners at Calder, Gulfstream and Palm Meadows (pictured). They also helped with presents for Christmas parties for children of the backside workers and took a busload of parents and children to the incredible Santa’s Enchanted Forest… More fishing trips were arranged including the one pictured that had 45 backsiders enjoying a day of fishing with lunch and snacks (pictured)…While the Calder Summer Soccer League had six teams, the Palm Meadows Soccer League has eight teams competing this year (pictured)… The chaplain gives out between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds of sandwiches every week to workers on the three backsides. He feeds many families with food that is given to him or food that he buys from food banks for next to nothing…The Calder Groom Elite graduation class had 15 graduates and now the Groom Elite class at Gulfstream is approaching graduation day…The medical clinic has been busy with close to 200 patients treated and another 100-plus were treated with free flu shots.




Illinois HBPA


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Indiana HBPA New Legislative Session, New Governor: Same Challenges for Indiana Racing With the convening of the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly, uncertainty became the operative word. Twenty-eight new legislators took their seats and joined the new governor in the responsibility of shaping state policy. Forty-three members of the 100-person House of Representatives have two years or less of service in the legislature. Republicans will be fully in charge of the process, with supermajorities in both the House and Senate. With margins of 69-31 and 37-13, respectively, Republicans can operate both houses without the necessity of input from the minority party. Denis Blake

After almost four years of planning and wading through the inevitable red tape, we are proud to announce that the retired horse program at the Vandalia State Correctional Center is becoming reality. The official name of the project will be Fairmount Park Second Chance Ranch at Vandalia State Correctional Facility. Here is where the project stands. A contract has been signed, an instructor has been hired, a total of 51 acres split into three areas has been fenced, and a classroom has been completely renovated by the inmates. We have one huge run-in shed up and two others are being built. In addition to the run-in sheds, we have an 18-stall barn with a large hayloft. We have set up accounts with several vendors to supply feed, hay, straw and lumber as they are needed. Sixty percent of the retired horses will be from Fairmount Park. The rest will come from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s program. Putting a project such as this one together is a massive undertaking and takes cooperation from many people. The evolution of this began with Fairmount Park following the lead of Suffolk Downs in establishing an anti-slaughter policy. The policy states that any owner or trainer who knowingly sells or takes a horse to a sale resulting in the horse being sent to slaughter from the racetrack may lose their stalls and be asked to vacate the grounds. The next important step was Janice Brooks giving a PowerPoint presentation at the National HBPA Winter Convention in January 2009 with the topic being the care and transition of Thoroughbreds after their racing days are over. We needed to extend our “horses for sale� program to include ones with problems and that were harder to place. This event caused two important things to take place. First was the introduction of our RACE (Racehorse Alternative Choice Environment) program, which allows horsemen to turn over injured or unwanted horses. We then put their picture and information on our website to try to find them a new home. To date, through a lot of time and effort we have transitioned more than 80 horses. Second was meeting the representative from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and learning about the prison program. This started us down the long road that has brought us to where we are today. We contacted the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC), and they immediately loved the concept. After many meetings with the folks at the DOC, the plan started to progress and led us to the Vandalia Facility. We then got the Illinois Legislature involved, and this resulted in the House and Senate passing resolutions with unanimous votes encouraging the plan to become reality. Here is how the program will work. The funding will come from RACE and Fairmount Park, as well as fundraisers and outside donations that will be taxdeductible. The Illinois HBPA will not be involved in any financial responsibility. We will transport our horses to the facility as they are available and turn them over to the instructor hired by the DOC. The inmates will be taught to care for the horses through classroom and hands-on training. The horses that are sound enough to be transitioned to other disciplines will eventually go to new homes. This rotation will ensure that there will always be room for more horses to be included in the program. In addition, the RACE program will continue to take horses in and find them new homes as well. The result of the prison program is that the retired horses get new homes and the inmates who care for them get something as well. There is a bond that is created after a few months that most of the inmates have never experienced. This quite literally changes their lives. Upon completion of their program,

they receive credit for the course. Statistics have proven that of the ones who complete the program, very few return to prison. After their release, they receive help in finding jobs as grooms on farms and at racetracks. The latter has been applauded by the Illinois Racing Board. Licenses will be approved based on the same rules that apply to all applicants. The final result of this program is that there are a lot of winners. The inmates, the horses and, because less crimes are committed by the people who benefit from this program, the citizens of Illinois also win. Fairmount Park and its horsemen are proud to be the first to make this innovative idea a reality. The bottom line is everybody and every horse deserves a second chance.


Denis Blake


New Republican Governor Mike Pence was sworn in on January 15. By midday on his second day, he had announced a budget proposal that would take all of the 15% of racino revenues dedicated to racing in 2007 and redirect them to the state’s general fund. The governor, who ran on a platform of job creation and encouraging investment, had decided to decimate most of the 10,000 jobs involved in the agribusiness that is racing and breeding in the state. This legislative process that will be responsible for crafting a new two-year budget will continue through the end of April, but horsemen have been put on high alert by this and other legislative proposals put forth in the opening month. One proposal would have banned all “licensees of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission” and their spouses from wagering on races in Indiana. Thankfully, the initial committee hearing the bill agreed that barring horsemen from betting on horse racing was not in the state’s interest. Possibly, good sense prevailed; or maybe it was the vision of angry spouses that carried the day. Another proposal would cut the revenue dedicated to horsemen’s purposes from 15% to 12%. Yet another bill would grant additional capabilities and tax concessions to the state’s riverboat casinos and to the tracks’ racinos, ultimately costing horsemen nearly $10 million from dedicated breed development funding. As of the publication deadline, the issues are far from decided. Horsemen have friends in the legislature, but the task of educating so many new members and convincing a majority will be daunting. Under the direction of Indiana HBPA President Joe Davis, we will make use of grassroots contacts and will highlight a favorable economic impact study released in 2010.

Our argument is not counterintuitive. It makes no fiscal or public policy sense to decimate a growing billion-dollar agribusiness industry that generates 10,000 jobs and $69 million in state and local tax revenues in order to add $60 million to the state’s projected surplus. Whether that argument is persuasive remains to be seen. New Centaur Purchase of Indiana Downs Brings Big Changes, Big Opportunity New Centaur, owner of Hoosier Park, has cleared all regulatory hurdles on the way to purchasing Indiana Downs and Indiana Grand Casino. The deal was scheduled to close just after the editorial deadline for this publication. What that will likely mean to Thoroughbred racing in the state is an end to splitting the racing season between two tracks. It is likely that with the opening of the spring meet at Indiana Downs on April 23, all flat racing will be conducted at Indiana Downs. Under that scenario, all Standardbred racing will take place at Hoosier Park. Indiana Downs will host 120 days of racing, with 114 dedicated to Thoroughbred racing with some American Quarter Horse races and six dates solely dedicated to Quarter Horse racing. Through June 29, racing will take place Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with a 6 p.m. post time. Beginning July 1, Mondays will be added to the schedule to accommodate the addition of 2-year-olds to the race card. New Centaur pledged to make improvements to the track surface, to heighten efforts to market racing and to add 300 additional stalls at Indiana Downs, at least half of which were to be completed in July 2013, as conditions for regulatory approval. The Indiana HBPA recognizes that even with the relatively speedy completion of the purchase transaction, New Centaur could have a difficult time meeting that deadline this year. Though it is our desire to have adequate stabling capacity on the backside of Indiana Downs in order to maximize the racing opportunity and potential of the Indiana Thoroughbred industry, we have proposed a potential alternative this year. We proposed that an agreement be pursued between Turfway Park and New Centaur for whatever additional stall space is necessary, as early as is possible, to provide for the possibility that construction of new barns may not be feasible on deadline this year. It would be our hope that some form of shuttle service be included in conjunction with that agreement. Details for that arrangement were not set when this article was written, but we are hopeful that this change will signal a new beginning and new opportunities for Indiana Thoroughbred racing. Stay tuned. Indiana BOAH Removes Piroplasmosis Testing Requirement (from news release) The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) voted at their January meeting to lift the equine piroplasmosis testing requirement for horses entering Indiana racetracks, effective February 1. The BOAH implemented the testing requirement two years ago in response to the increasing number of horses testing positive at Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetracks across the country. The continued testing for equine piroplasmosis coupled with the decreasing occurrence of positive tests last year led the board to its decision. Dr. Angela Demaree, equine medical director for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, reminds trainers to review entry requirements for Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park prior to shipping horses. “BOAH removed the testing requirement for equine piroplasmosis; however, both Indiana racetracks still require equine herpes virus vaccination within the




last six months and a negative Coggins test for equine infectious anemia within the last 12 months for all horses entering association grounds during both the Standardbred and Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meets,” she said. Additional information about equine piroplasmosis and the board’s decision can be found on the BOAH website, Veterinarians with questions can contact Dr. Demaree at Indiana HBPA Announces New Address, Personnel Changes The Indiana HBPA has changed its mailing address. During the racing season, the organization will continue to operate out of our offices on the backside of Indiana Downs. But throughout the year, all Indiana HBPA mail and any mail for the Indiana Benefit Trust Board should be directed to 32 Hollaway Boulevard, Brownsburg, Indiana 46112. Longtime Indiana HBPA official Steve Stults announced his retirement, effective January 1. After several years as executive director of the Indiana affiliate and most recently as the director of the Indiana HBPA Benefit Trust Board, Steve helped guide the organization into the modern era and helped shape it into a professionally-run business and trade association. All horsemen and women racing in Indiana owe him our thanks. Responsibility for benevolence activities will now be the focus of Lisa Stephens. As office manager, Lisa had been directly involved in day-to-day operations of the Indiana affiliate and its backside benevolence program. Now, as benefit trust administrator, she will oversee the program under the direction of the Benefit Trust Board. Lisa can be reached at (765) 698-7830 or Barring surprises, Michael Brown will continue as Indiana HBPA executive director. Michael can be reached at (317) 903-4382 or at

Iowa HBPA 2013 Iowa HBPA Schedule of Events April 1-4 – Intro to Groom Elite 99 April 17 – Iowa HBPA General Membership Meeting/Iowa HBPA Board Meeting April 19 – Opening of the Prairie Meadows Race Meet April 28 – Annual Iowa HBPA Awards Dinner Held in Conjunction with ITBOA Awards Dinner May & June – Groom Elite 101 held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays June 16 – New Owners Seminar June 28 – HART (Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds) Silent Auction June 28 & 29 – Iowa Festival of Racing Featuring Three Grade 3 Races July 8 - 27 – Adventureland Tickets Will be Sold and Available for Use August 3 – Iowa Classics Night Featuring Iowa-Bred Stakes Races August 11 – Closing Day of the Meet Important Information for 2013 Race Meet TRACK HOURS Training Hours (Tuesday, March 19 – Monday, March 25) MAIN TRACK HOURS: Closed TRAINING TRACK HOURS: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (No Break) Training Hours (Beginning Tuesday, March 26 – Saturday, April 6) MAIN TRACK HOURS: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Break Time 10:55 a.m. – 11:35 p.m.) TRAINING TRACK HOURS: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (No Break) Training Hours (Beginning Sunday, April 7) 48

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MAIN TRACK HOURS: 6 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (Break Time 7:55 a.m. – 8:35 a.m.) TRAINING TRACK HOURS: 6 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Break Time 8:35 a.m. – 9:05 a.m.) Sunday Training Hours (Beginning Sunday, April 21) MAIN TRACK HOURS: 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. (Break Time 7:55 a.m. – 8:35 a.m.) TRAINING TRACK HOURS: 6 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (Break Time 8:35 a.m. – 9:05 a.m.) Beginning Monday, April 22, both main track and starting gate will be CLOSED on Mondays. There will be NO working of horses on the training track. Workouts on the main track ONLY. GATE SCHOOLING The starting gate will open on Tuesday, April 9. Hours: 8:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Beginning Sunday, April 21, the gate hours on Sundays will be from 8:35 a.m. – 10 a.m. Beginning Monday, April 22, the starting gate will be CLOSED on Mondays. WORKOUTS Trainers shall be responsible for reporting to the clocker the names and the distances to be worked of all horses entering the racetrack for workouts. Information can be relayed through the gap attendant located at the 15/16ths pole. Horses that have not raced in the last 60 days must have one official timed workout within the last 30 days to be eligible to enter. First-time starters must have two official timed works and be gate-approved to be eligible to enter. NO EXCEPTIONS! The clocker will be on duty Tuesday, March 26. PREFERENCE DATES Horses will receive a zero (R0) date if papers are received in the racing office by Tuesday, April 16, at 3 p.m. Preference dates will not be granted to horses without a current negative Coggins test. For more information on preference dates, please refer to the preference section in the condition book. PADDOCK All grooms (or any other person handling horses in the paddock) will be required to wear lightweight vests that will be supplied by Prairie Meadows. The vests will be available upon arrival into the paddock area and will be picked up as the horses enter the track for the post parade. SAFETY EQUIPMENT All personnel on horseback must wear an approved safety helmet at all times. All jockeys, exercise riders and pony personnel are required to wear an approved safety vest at Prairie Meadows. Prairie Meadows and Canterbury Park to Host Extended Racing Opportunities for State-breds in 2013 Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa, and Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota, will extend opportunities to host restricted races for Thoroughbreds foaled in Iowa or Minnesota during this year’s racing season. This arrangement is beneficial to both racing jurisdictions because it will allow Minnesota Thoroughbreds to compete at Prairie Meadows in restricted races written for Iowa Thoroughbreds prior to the start of the Canterbury Park race meet on May 17. Likewise, when the Prairie Meadows Thoroughbred meet concludes in mid-August, Iowa Thoroughbreds will have an opportunity to run alongside Minnesota Thoroughbreds in designated race restrictions at Canterbury Park through mid-September. This program is slated to launch with the return of the 67-day Thoroughbred racing meet at Prairie Meadows on Friday, April 19. Derron Heldt, Prairie Meadows’ director of racing, reports that the two


Kentucky HBPA President’s message Kentucky racing continues to struggle under the intense competition of casinos located on our borders. Yet we, as an industry, have been unsuccessful in convincing Kentucky’s General Assembly that our signature industry continues to diminish under the burden of other forms of gaming. Earlier during our plight, we often heard from legislators “not until there is blood on the water” will action be taken. One wonders exactly what must occur to show how much the racing industry in Kentucky has suffered. Several tracks, including Churchill Downs, have dramatically reduced their racing schedule. Turfway Park, for instance, has reduced their racing days from 114 days to 51 days in 2013, yet the hemorrhage continues. Horsemen continue to leave the state at an alarming rate due to limited opportunities to race for decreased purses. It is no


tracks are currently planning to host restricted races each week during the time that the other track is not racing Thoroughbreds, and three or four categories (conditions) of races are currently being considered. The Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, led by Leroy Gessmann, proposed the concept to the Minnesota HBPA last summer hoping to offer additional racing opportunities for horses from both states. “This is an excellent opportunity for Iowa Thoroughbreds to run in restricted state races beyond mid-August when our season ends at Prairie Meadows,” said Deb Leech, president of the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, “and the same holds true for Minnesota-bred horses to run, before Canterbury opens, in state-restricted races here in Iowa. We are thrilled that Canterbury Park and Prairie Meadows were both receptive to this idea and worked with the Iowa and Minnesota HBPAs to make this happen. Purse structures are comparable, so this is an attractive option for our breeders and owners. We look forward to a successful first year of these additional races and building on it for the future.” Canterbury Park’s 69-day racing season begins May 17 and concludes September 14. “This collaboration presents additional racing opportunities for owners of Iowa- and Minnesota-breds,” Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said. “With the Canterbury meet now extending into mid-September, we are excited to give the Iowa-bred horses the opportunity to race at Canterbury after the Prairie Meadows race meet concludes.”

longer a mythical threat, and the title “Horse Capital of the World” appears to be ill-suited when looking at the present state of the racing in Kentucky. We appreciate the professionalism and business acumen displayed by racing commissioner and KHBPA Vice President Frank Jones and fellow racing commissioner Frank Kling along with Marc Guilfoyle, deputy executive director of the KHRC, to correct the problems associated with the Lasix project. The numerous mistakes in the initial stages of the experiment, in which only KHRC veterinarians can administer Lasix, appreciably improved following their suggestions on how to streamline the effort. Yet, at the end of the day, have the ends justified the means, and has the integrity of the sport in Kentucky really been dramatically improved? It would appear that a more reasonable alternative at a significant cost savings would be to emulate Indiana and have a security guard shadow racetrack practitioners as opposed to hiring a squadron of veterinarians to administer Lasix. Kentucky horsemen were well represented at the 2013 edition of the Eclipse Awards. Dale Romans, vice president of the KHBPA; Buff Bradley, a KHBPA director; and Charlie Lopresti all garnered awards at this year’s ceremony. Charlie did a masterful job of training Morton Fink’s Wise Dan, who earned Horse of the Year honors along with Champion Older Horse and Turf Horse. Groupie Doll was named the Champion Female Sprinter for trainer Buff Bradley, who co-owns the mare with his father, Fred, Brent Burns and Carl Hurst. Dale Romans capped off a remarkable year with the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer. Congratulations to each and every one for their outstanding achievements. Good luck on your racing endeavors, Rick Hiles, President, KHBPA Fair Labor Standards Act Kenny McPeek, KHBPA director, has requested that the KHBPA alert horsemen of their responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act. “It is important that every trainer be made aware of what the Department of Labor (DOL) expects from us in order to prevent possible penalties and fines,” McPeek said. “Many horsemen operate under the mistaken assumption that employees working at commercial racetracks are exempt from minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping, and that is not the case,” explained Karen Garnett, district director with the Labor Department. Horsemen are required to post the Fair Labor Standards Act in their stable Denis Blake




(a laminated copy of the act can be obtained in the KHBPA office). In addition, horsemen are responsible for complying with minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and youth employment provisions of the law. For additional information, visit the Wage and Hour Division website at, or call the toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, at (866) 487-9243. Dale Romans to be Honored by Kentucky General Assembly It has been a year of recognition for Dale Romans’ accomplishments as a Thoroughbred trainer and ambassador of the Thoroughbred racing industry. Dale was honored with the Big Sport of Turfdom Award voted on by turf publicists around the country for his contributions to racing and his work with the media, racing publicity and marketing departments. On numerous occasions, he has introduced his racing stars to the general public, which has been extremely well-received. He continues to be outspoken on the importance of race-day Lasix and a reasonable therapeutic medication policy for the health and welfare of the equine athlete. In earning his first Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding trainer of 2012, his horses won 125 races and earned $11.8 million in purses, including nine Grade 1 events. He won arguably more marquee races than anyone in the country last year. Included in the impressive list of achievements by his charges: the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, Arlington Million and $3-million Breeders’ Cup Turf with Little Mike; the Metropolitan Mile and Clark Handicap with Shackleford; Keeneland’s Blue Grass Stakes and Del Mar’s million-dollar Pacific Classic against older horses with Dullahan; and two of the top races for female turf horses in New York’s Just A Game and Keeneland’s First Lady with Tapitsfly. (Jennie Rees of the Louisville Courier-Journal assisted in compiling and writing this story.) Horsemen and Turfway Park Move Forward to Remain Open as Training Center Faced with the unsettled future of River Downs and a lack of viable options, horsemen led by the efforts of David England are pursuing utilizing Turfway Park as a training center. Turfway has embraced the concept, and David is moving forward, communicating with horsemen who have expressed interest in stabling at the facility after the race meeting ends in April. “We have sent out several hundred brochures throughout the country,” Dave explained. “I have been on the phone day and night, and we have hundreds of commitments. Churchill Downs and Indiana Downs are considering providing free shuttle service.” Turfway Park has easy access to 12 racetracks and offers several advantages, including a one-mile all-weather track, safety rail, turnout pens, starting gate, clocker, 24-hour security, dormitories, bathhouses, restrooms and many other amenities. “With its central location and safe training surface, Turfway Park is a perfect training facility,” commented Buff Bradley. “The Turfway track is very safe and works well for 2-year-olds and bringing horses back from layups,” Mike Maker explained. Interested? Contact David England at (859) 240-9747.


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Immigration Reform and Impact on Horsemen This past January, trainer Dale Romans, Donegal Racing founding partner Jerry Crawford, Will Velie from Horseman Labor Solutions and Julio Rubio held meetings with trainers and owners and met with workers at Gulfstream Park, Palm Meadows Training Center and Fair Grounds Race Course. The purpose was to discuss the possibilities of guiding the many undocumented backside workers who work with horses in various different fields to obtain legal status and to help the industry obtain a workable visa for exercise riders, grooms and hot walkers from United States Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS). Julio met directly with hundreds of workers by walking barns and having meetings at track kitchens as well as the chapel at Fair Grounds, where he informed them who would qualify for the comprehensive immigration reform proposed by Congress and the President. Over the next several months, we will be keeping our members, as well as all state HBPA affiliates, updated with immigration developments so we can react rapidly with a plan of action to include as many workers that qualify for regularization. There might be a very brief window for your workers to apply, so we urge our members to please contact Julio Rubio with any concerns regarding this very important comprehensive immigration reform at (502) 645-7215. The HBPA is You The HBPA, established in 1940, is an organization of owners and trainers numbering approximately 30,000 nationally in 23 states and Canada and more than 6,000 in Kentucky. The association is governed by a board of directors consisting of owners and trainers volunteering their time and elected by the membership every three years. The HBPA is committed to working for the betterment of racing on all levels. The HBPA represents owners and trainers on several fronts: • The HBPA is present in negotiating sessions with each racetrack regarding purse structure, equitable share of simulcast revenues, overall track safety, sanitation and security. • The HBPA provides benevolence to horsemen in need, education and recreation programs to the backstretch, various insurance packages that include—free of charge to members—fire and disaster insurance and claiming coverage. Visit one of the fully staffed HBPA offices at the currently running racetrack in Kentucky for details. • The HBPA works in conjunction with the chaplaincy program and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund to provide support and benefits for horsemen. • The HBPA supports scientific research and marketing initiatives on a regional and national level to help promote interest in Thoroughbred racing. • The HBPA is at the forefront in litigation and legislation on issues involving horsemen’s rights in regard to interstate simulcasting, proprietary rights, casino gambling, therapeutic medication, sports betting and many other areas of concern to horsemen. How can I join? You are invited to drop into the HBPA office to meet the staff and learn more about current projects and how you can get involved in helping to improve the industry. There are no membership fees. Remember, this is your organization. Become an active participant and one of the horsemen helping horsemen. To join, all you need to do is fill out our membership card and fax, mail or email it back to us. For more information, please visit our website at and click on “How to Join.”


Harrah’s Louisiana Downs 2013 Race Meet

2235 Creswell Lane Extension, Opelousas, LA 70570 Toll Free: 866-4-Racing *

8000 Hwy 80 East, PO Box 5519, Bossier City, LA 71171 318-742-5555 *









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Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino 2013 Race Meet

Fair Grounds Race Course 2013 Race Meet

2717 Delta Downs Dr., Vinton, LA 70668 337-589-7441 *

1751 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70119 504-944-5515 *



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Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino 2013 Race Meet








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Michigan HBPA The resilience of Michigan horsemen seemingly never ends Clearly, the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives stand behind efforts to assist the state’s racetracks and horsemen. The Michigan Farm Bureau, equine veterinarians and positive horse racing public opinion surveys also recognize and demonstrate that allowing additional forms of parimutuel wagering at racetracks is aimed at supporting the equine agricultural infrastructure of our state and not an expansion of gaming. In their support, they clearly recognize that the more than 70 years of horse racing in Michigan originally established the platform for public wagering and that the continued erosion of racing revenues is directly linked to the proliferation of legal and illegal online gambling, state-sponsored lottery games, “charity” poker rooms and 25 casinos. Supporters also understand that leveling the playing field in Michigan would only follow other neighboring states that long ago recognized the importance of horse racing to their agriculture and tourism industries. The changes and improvements are long overdue. For the first time since 1995, Michigan’s certified horse organizations (CHO) and Michigan breeders demonstrated their willingness to work together in 2012 and the expectation is that all horsemen from all organizations will continue to do so in 2013. While the Michigan HBPA understands that every CHO has its own issues and challenges, we recognize that we have much more in common than what makes us differ. We all buy, breed, raise, train, insure and continually care for horses. We buy trucks, farm equipment, implements, fuel, grain, hay, feed and medicines. We all employ caretakers, grooms, blacksmiths, veterinarians and drivers/jockeys. We all build barns, fences, paddocks and pastures. And we all maintain thousands of acres of equine farmland in every county in Michigan.

While we have a grasp on our similarities, the Michigan HBPA will be the only CHO that clearly positions the Thoroughbred horse and Thoroughbred racing in the forefront of all of our efforts. To do otherwise would invalidate our purpose and nullify the efforts of the past seven decades. The 2013 Michigan Thoroughbred/mixed breed meet will be held this year at Mt. Pleasant Meadows in mid-Michigan. This meet will be conducted from May to October with 43 days of weekend racing. The MiHBPA election resulted in George M. Kutlenios becoming the new president of the organization. Outgoing president Douglas “Bobbie” Barron was elected to the board, Ginny Uelmen was re-elected, and new board members include Julie Atwood and Dan Atwood. Minnesota HBPA Canterbury Park Purses Minnesota horsemen anticipate a terrific race meet in 2013! Opening day, featuring the Lady Slipper, kicks off our exciting stakes program presenting a wide selection of turf and dirt events offering stakes purses that are up $900,000 over last year! We’ll be racing 69 days from May 17 to September 14, making the meet two weeks longer than last year. Fifty-eight of these days will feature both Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse races. Post time will be a half-hour earlier on Thursday and Friday evenings. This makes post time for the first race on those evenings at 6:30 p.m. This year will mark the richest meet in Minnesota racing history with the bounty being more than $12 million in purse funds this year. Our overnight purses are projected to be more than double what they were as recently as 2011, thanks to the Mystic Lake Purse Enhancement Fund. Stakes have been Denis Blake


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Canterbury Park Hires a New Track Superintendent Javier Barajas, recently hired as track superintendent, will maintain our racing surfaces, which have always been known as two of the safest in the industry. Javier is currently at Meydan Racecourse in Mad Al Sheba, Dubai. Those of you who have raced at Arlington Park, Fair Grounds or Retama Park in the past may be acquainted with Javier. We welcome Javier to Minnesota and Canterbury Park! More Information Online For more information, including detailed overnights, stakes information and the condition book, visit For information about the HBPA in Minnesota, visit our new website at or see our business page on Facebook at MNHBPA.


increased by more than 20%, and overnight purses are up 25%. Highlights include the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby and the $125,000 Mystic Lake Mile on turf. We will be welcoming several new racing stables to Canterbury this year, as the enhanced purses will bring trainers and horses from areas we haven’t seen before. Our stable area opens Monday, April 22, and the track opens for training Thursday, April 26.

Mountaineer HBPA 2013 Racing The 2013 racing season kicks off at Mountaineer Casino Race Track and Resort on Friday, March 1, and runs through December 20 featuring nine races each racing day, March through August, and 10 races September through December. Post time is 7 p.m. The meet will begin with a 10% purse increase, which brings the bottom purse to $8,100. The highlight of the meet is the West Virginia Derby on August 3 with a special 2 p.m. post time. Retirement Plan The Mountaineer HBPA has been working on the distribution of the West Virginia Racing Commission Retirement Plan for the years 2001-2009 as directed by the commission. The registration period for the new plan will take place March 15 through April 26. Participants should visit the HBPA office for more information and to fill out the application. Contract The Mountaineer HBPA and Mountaineer Casino Race Track and Resort signed a three-year agreement, which began on January 1, 2013. The agreement is available to review in the HBPA office.

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By-Laws The HBPA Board of Directors By-Laws Committee has been working on revisions to the existing by-laws. The board hopes to have them distributed for a vote sometime in the spring of 2013. The by-laws had never been revised and needed to have revisions to allow for technological advances for meetings and approvals. The proposed revisions will be mailed to members to cast their vote of approval. HBPA Trust The Mountaineer HBPA Trust offers $4,000 in medical benefits to members who meet the eligibility requirements and $1,000 in medical benefits for each child. Visit Lora Bailey in the Trust Office for more information. Chaplaincy Under the direction of a newly elected board, the Mountaineer Chaplaincy has several new programs in the planning stages, including a welcome-back spaghetti dinner and a corn-hole tournament. The chaplaincy continues to provide both a clothing and food pantry for those in need on the backside. For more information on any of these programs, please contact Chaplain Jim Smith. Remember to check the office and for our monthly newsletter! Nebraska HBPA A Message from the President The Nebraska HBPA Board of Directors is providing this message to give you an update on the status of racing in Nebraska. When I stepped up as president in April of last year, I had been on the board for seven months and there was still no new location for racing in Lincoln. This concerned me greatly because Lincoln is our second-largest market in the state in terms of simulcasting and live racing and, therefore, revenue. Without a location in Lincoln, revenues for the state as a whole would be greatly diminished, and in our view, live racing would be all but over. The situation began in late 2006 when University of Nebraska officials first started discussions to take over State Fair Park. Although State Fair Park officials initially resisted efforts to move from the property, in 2008 the Nebraska Legislature put a package together to move the fair off the property to Grand Island. The Nebraska HBPA had no ownership interest in the property, so our bargaining power was limited, but the University entered into a three-year lease agreement for the property to give us time to come up with an alternate plan. The University also proposed that we move to property they owned at 84th Street and Havelock just north of the Lancaster Event Center. After the HBPA signed the lease for a dollar a month for three years, it became evident that the 84th Street location was not going to work for many reasons. Among other things, if the University partnered with the HBPA on a horse facility, the building had to meet many stringent University design standards, which made the building unaffordable. The entire racetrack property was also in the floodplain and floodway. That particular property also did not have contiguous water and sewer access. Obtaining this access would have cost $3 million alone, before any construction even started. The University also intended to keep all property with road frontage (and out of the floodplain) for its own private commercial development. For these reasons and many others, it was determined that a new location should be obtained in order to control our own destiny. HBPA employees and 54

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board members actively pursued several properties in and around Lincoln. For various reasons, many of the properties were not suited for racetrack construction or they were unaffordable. Finally, in the spring of last year, the HBPA contracted with the Dial Corporation and Norman LeGrande to obtain approximately 100 acres to build a new facility including a one-mile racetrack surface located at Hwy. 77 and West Denton Road. The HBPA has worked for many months to amend the Planned Unit Development (a legal agreement that outlines the allowable uses on the property) with Dial Properties to get approval from the city to build the track. The Lincoln City Council formally gave their approval in September, which allowed the HBPA to break ground at the new location in October. This location was much more desirable because, among other things, sewer and water access is available nearby. The ground on which the facility and barns will be located is out of the flood plain, and the board felt it was affordable. Many horsemen have asked why we are building a new facility instead of just focusing our efforts on Fonner Park, Columbus and Omaha. The issue is that approximately $18 million is wagered in Lincoln; it is the second-largest simulcast market behind Omaha. When you take $18 million out of the handle, purses will decline even more than they have in recent years. Long term, the Nebraska market cannot survive without the annual revenue brought in from Lincoln. The HBPA is using the current simulcast revenue from Lincoln to pay for construction of the new facility. Again, some have asked why the HBPA doesn’t use the simulcast revenues to increase purses. This would be possible for only one year because we would not be able to simulcast in 2014 if there is no new facility. Without the ongoing revenue from Lincoln, the circuit would not be able to sustain itself. Soon after the new facility is open next year, we will be able to do an evaluation of revenue coming in to that location and a timeline on how soon we will be able to build the permanent racetrack surface and related buildings, including barns. We want to be able to start construction on these things as quickly as we can but be able to pay as we go so as not to get into too much debt that we can’t pay back. In summary, although many people have said this project is a pipe dream or that it will never happen, let me assure you that it is very much a reality despite many setbacks. I am very proud of the board of directors for hanging in there and making this dream a reality. This board has put in many, many long hours of negotiations and deliberations to make racing the best we can in Nebraska! Todd Veerhusen, President, Nebraska HBPA

New England HBPA We welcome the new year and are looking forward to racing. Suffolk Downs announced the meet would start Saturday, June 1, and run until November 2. June will have three days a week racing, and July will begin the four days of racing per week. The barn area is to open six weeks prior to June 2. We are promised a condition book by March 1. Since the new gaming bill was passed in 2011, we have watched a long process to bring gaming to Massachusetts. Meeting the January 15 deadline to pony up $400,000 each for the right to further pursue one of the three casino or one slot parlor license were 11 interests. Three of these will compete for the license in the area that includes Boston. Suffolk Downs, which borders East Boston/Revere, remains the favorite to be the successful candidate. Both the NEHBPA and the Massachusetts



In order to facilitate the construction process at River Downs, many options are being discussed regarding the 2013 live racing schedule, including potentially running the River Downs racing dates at Beulah Park this summer. The Ohio HBPA is hopeful that the River Downs racing dates situation will be resolved prior to the mid-March publication of this magazine. For all of the latest updates regarding Thoroughbred racing in Ohio, please visit our website at

Oklahoma HBPA (Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma) Oklahoma Equine Survey As a crucial segment of the agricultural industry, equines and equine operations make a significant contribution to the quality of life in Oklahoma. The equine industry is essential to the economy in Oklahoma, and it is imperative we continue to be an equine-friendly state. As an important component of the economy in Oklahoma, we must measure its impact and collect data to continue to promote the growth and support of all equine endeavors in Oklahoma. In addition to the expenditures in the equine industry (racetracks, equine show, competition facilities, breeding, training and boarding), we attract thousands of participants from outside of Oklahoma. Not only does the equine business directly provide jobs for thousands Denis Blake

Thoroughbred Breeders Association have worked tirelessly to support the Suffolk application. The future process will include a local approval election, a comprehensive investigation of the principals and a judgment by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on which applicant will most benefit the state of Massachusetts. We believe that the economic contribution of the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry will have a major impact on the decision. On the assumption/expectation that pari-mutuel racing will be part of the Massachusetts landscape, the Gaming Commission has a subcommittee named the Race Horse Development Fund Committee charged with recommending how the money coming to racing from the slots/casinos will be allocated. This committee will propose the Thoroughbred/Standardbred percent split. They will have oversight on the management of the money based on the statute’s equation of 80 percent for purses, 16 percent for breeders’ awards and four percent for horsemen’s benefits. An issue that is current and important to all horsemen is how to use this four-percent benefit money to in fact benefit all participating horsemen. Is it insurance, retirement accounts, current savings or other innovative ideas? Should it be structured so a majority of our horsemen are participating/ benefiting without needing to meet a matching-funds equation? Every side of this issue has support so it is important that our members voice their opinion and identify their interest. This issue is on the table now. Let us hear from you. We are sad to report that longtime trainer Frank Shannon passed away. He was loved and respected and will be missed. We look forward to an early spring and the return of our horsemen to Suffolk Downs.

Ohio HBPA The 2013 racing dates are set for two of Ohio’s three Thoroughbred tracks while plans are still being worked on for the other. Beulah Park will race 88 days in 2013. The winter-spring meeting, which began on January 7, runs through Kentucky Derby Day on May 4. Beulah’s fall meeting will begin on November 2 and run through December 21. Thistledown, which will become the first Thoroughbred racino in Ohio this spring, will conduct 122 days of live racing this year under an agreement between the track and the Ohio HBPA. Thistledown’s video lottery terminal operations are expected to open in early April with the live racing season set to begin on Apri1 19. Under the agreement, stabling will begin at Thistledown on March 18 with training scheduled to begin on March 20. Live racing at Thistledown will be conducted on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule in April. Wednesdays will be added to the schedule in May and June. July will feature five days per week of live racing with Thursdays being added. Thursdays are then dropped from the schedule in August and September, when there will once again be four days of live racing per week. Wednesdays are dropped from the schedule in October through the end of the live meet on November 17. River Downs, which is owned by Pinnacle Entertainment, is currently in the midst of a major renovation project in preparation for the addition of video lottery terminals, which is expected to occur in early 2014. In January, the track’s grandstand was demolished as were more than 20 barns. The main track and the turf course are also being moved as part of the renovation project. Construction will begin shortly on the grandstand and the barn area as well as a new building to house the VLTs.




of Oklahomans, but it also provides jobs indirectly through feed, bedding, veterinarian services and other sectors of the equine industry’s infrastructure. On February 1, the TRAO mailed an Oklahoma Equine Survey to all TRAO members. The survey has been designed to determine the inventory and economic contribution throughout the state. It is extremely important everyone participate in this survey to have an accurate scope of the equine community in Oklahoma. Thank you for your participation. TRAO Election Results The TRAO is pleased to announce that Bill Anderson has been elected as the new president of the organization and Danielle Barber, formerly the assistant executive director, has been named executive director. The TRAO would also like to congratulate the newly elected owner/breeder board of directors: Randy Blair, Ellen Caines, Boyd Caster, Joan Charlton, Dave Faulkner, John Smicklas, C.R. Trout and Robert Zoellner. 2013 Oklahoma Thoroughbred Race Dates Will Rogers Downs: March 4 to May 18 (32 Race Days) March: 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 April: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 May: 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 18 Fair Meadows: June 8 to August 2 (34 Race Days) June: 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 July: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 August: 1, 2 Remington Park: August 16 to December 15: (67 Race Days) August: 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31 September: 2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29 October: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 November: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 29, 30 December: 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15 Important Stallion Stakes Deadlines Stallion Stakes V Foal Nomination Deadline: By January 31, 2013 $150 By June 1, 2013 $350 (DOES NOT INCLUDE START FEES) By December 31, 2013 $750 (DOES NOT INCLUDE START FEES) By June 1, 2014 $3,500 (DOES NOT INCLUDE START FEES) Entry Day $10,000 (STARTER FEES INCLUDED)

HBPA of Ontario Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel In the 2012 winter edition of The Horsemen’s Journal, we provided an update on the Horse Racing Transition Panel, the three-member panel appointed by the Honorable Ted McMeekin, Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), to lead in consultations with the horse racing and breeding industry to “determine its willingness to work together in a way that recognizes both the public interest and current fiscal climate.” This past October, the panel submitted to Minister McMeekin their final report reiterating their consensus findings from August 2012; Ontario’s vibrant, world-class horse racing industry requires public funding, though less than 56

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the Slots at Racetracks Program (SARP) had provided. The panel detailed their own Sustainable Horse Racing Model for the conduct and management of horse racing in Ontario, which mapped out a “new path forward for the industry including a new model for horse racing that focuses on the consumer and one that is rooted in principles of good public policy – accountability, transparency and the assurance that any dollars invested are returned to the public through tax revenue.” Over the last few months, racetracks throughout Ontario have applied to the government for the transition funds. Only racetracks complying with the new standards of transparency and accountability set down by the panel will be allocated transition funding. To read the report or for further information relating to the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) public relations campaign and lobby efforts, we recommend you visit Two-Year Deal with Province Reached by Woodbine On January 23, the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) announced they had reached a two-year agreement in principle with the Ontario government for transition funding and, after many months of simultaneous negotiations, had negotiated a lease agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) for slot machine floor space at Woodbine Racetrack. Nick Eaves, CEO of Woodbine, noted that while the agreements provide short-term stability, a long-term, sustainable model for WEG and the Ontario horse racing industry could only be achieved by integrating horse racing into the province’s overall gaming strategy. He added that a core element of that strategy must be permanent expanded casinos at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks. HBPA and Woodbine Reach a Two-Year Agreement In conjunction with the news of the agreements Woodbine had made with OMAFRA, the OLG and the Ministry of Finance, the HBPA of Ontario acted quickly to work with our partners at WEG to ensure racing continues at Woodbine over the next two years. Furthermore, we recognize that over a very short period of time the industry must come together to develop a new horse racing and breeding model founded on the principles outlined by the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, which will become the industry benchmark for the future. Racing Returns to Woodbine Horsemen began to ship into the backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack on March 1 and began training on March 3. There will be 133 race dates, just 19 short of the 2012 season. The season opener at Woodbine is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, with the kickoff for the season taking place on Friday, April 19, at the 38th annual Sovereign Awards, where we will celebrate the champions of the 2012 racing season in Canada. To purchase tickets to the Sovereign Awards, please contact The Jockey Club of Canada by telephone at (416) 675-7756 or by email at Trainer and Assistant Trainer Testing Information for 2013 Applications are due three weeks prior to the test dates listed below. All applications must be complete and include all back-up documentation required by 3 p.m. on the due date. Test Dates at Woodbine Racetrack Application due: March 13, 2013 Test date: March 27, 2013 Application due: April 3, 2013 Test date: April 24, 2013 Application due: May 1, 2013 Test date: May 22, 2013 Application due: July 3, 2013 Test date: July 24, 2013


Fort Erie Racetrack For the last three years, the HBPA of Ontario has worked in conjunction with our partners at the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium (FELRC) and the town of Fort Erie to ensure that live racing continued at Fort Erie Racetrack. During this time, we invested or loaned the FELRC considerable monies for the betterment of racing on behalf of our members. It has, to say the least, not been easy, and Fort Erie Racetrack probably would not have stayed open without the support of Ontario horse people, who continued to bring their horses to compete at the track. The HBPA of Ontario applauds not only the horse people of Fort Erie for their continued support but also the management and staff at the track for doing their best to reinvigorate fan interest. As part of their gaming modernization plans, the OLG removed slot machines from three Ontario racetracks in April 2012, and unfortunately, Fort Erie was one of those tracks. This setback has not deterred the management and staff at the border oval from making plans for the future of the historic racetrack. The FELRC has applied to the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) for 76 days of Thoroughbred racing and five Quarter Horse race dates in 2013. However, in order for Fort Erie to operate in 2013, an alternative revenue stream is required as revenues from SARP will cease at the end of March 2013. Realizing this to be a priority, the FELRC, with the support of the HBPA of Ontario, submitted an application in December 2012 to OMAFRA for transition funding in order to continue run live racing in 2013 and beyond. The FELRC and HBPA are waiting to begin negotiations with the OMAFRA panel.


Application due: September 4, 2013 Test date: September 25, 2013 Testing Fees Trainer test: Initial Fee $200 / Re-test $25 Assistant trainer test: Initial Fee $100 / Re-test $25 For further information and to download applications, please visit

On February 4, the FELRC announced that Nordic Gaming Corporation has offered a two-year lease extension to the FELRC at $395,000 per year, beginning April 1, 2013, and saving the consortium $255,000 per year. It is hoped by the FELRC board and track management that Nordic’s offer to reduce the rent will go a long way to aid in the FELRC’s application for transitional funding. Horse Welfare Realizing the racing industry in our province, and indeed across Canada and the U.S., requires a humane alternative to slaughter, representatives from OHRIA, the HBPA of Ontario, LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, ORC, WEG and OMAFRA met in January to discuss equine welfare issues. We recently sent out an update to HBPA of Ontario members specifically requesting that they not send horses to slaughter and provided contacts for those within the equine community who could provide alternatives. A list of the contacts is available at

Oregon HBPA We have great news! As of April 1, Randy Evers will be our new executive director. He has been involved with racing for many years and will be leaving the Oregon Racing Commission, where he was their executive director. We are so excited to have him on board; he will be such an asset to our organization! Our election has brought to us a new president, Steve Fisher, who has been a trainer for many years all over the Pacific Northwest. We welcome him. New board members include Bennie Webb and Bruno Maelfeyt, who are trainers, and Michael Pollowitz, who is an owner. Welcome to them also. Returning board members are Ron Sutton, Nick Lowe, Gleason Eakin, Susan Calvert, Jonathan Nance, Debbie Funk and Dave Runyon. The Portland Meadows summer/fall meet ended on December 9, and the leading Thoroughbred trainer was Jonathan Nance with 48 wins. The leading Denis Blake




Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse rider was Luis Torres with a total of 109 wins. Congratulations go out to both of them. Leading owners were David and Patty Runyon. Dave is one of our board members. With our new schedule, we had thousands of new customers enjoy the warm weather while watching the races. All sources handle totaled $18,370,901 during the 2012 summer/fall meet for an average daily handle of $306,182. This was down from the 20112012 meet due to sharply lower export handle. Hopefully with our new customer base we can change that with our next meet. At this time, negotiations have not begun on our next contract. We hope to get you all updated as soon as we know for certain all the details. The Route Claiming Series final was won by Overtime Victory, trained by Steve Fisher and owned by Bob Seapy. Everyone really enjoys these claiming series for both fillies and colts/geldings. There was a lot of claiming, bringing out the trainers to study each horse and its past performances to see if they can pick the winner in the end. In November, we had Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino. On a great day all around, Calypsonoted, bred, trained and owned by Eric Jensen, won the Don Jackson Futurity going two turns for the first time. The Oregon His Stakes was won by Lari’s Lil Larry, trained and owned by Jerry Lynn and bred by Cindy Hoover. Stopin Memo, trained by Steve Fisher, owned by Donna Jensen and bred by Eric Jensen, won the Oregon Hers Stakes. Midda’s Gold Touch, owned by George and Rose Hurliman’s Hurliman Enterprises LLC, trained by Debora Fergason and bred by Bar C Racing Stables Inc., proved to be one of the easiest winners of the day in the Lethal Grande Stakes. There were three starter handicaps, which were won by Ziggy Zack, trained and owned by Jay Suppah; Color Me Tuff, trained by Eulia Bischoff and owned by Bear Creek Stables LLC; and Smart as Jim, owned and trained by Mike “Bubba” Bullene. Way to go everyone. Oregon-breds rule! We have the dates for our summer race meets. The schedule includes Union on June 7-9, Grants Pass from June 15 to July 7, Prineville on July 10-13, Tillamook on August 7-10 and Harney County (Burns) on September 6-8. The OTOBA will again be offering the Hi-Point Challenge, and this year the top five fillies and the top five colts/geldings will win cash prizes with $1,000 for first, $750 for second, $500 for third, $250 to fourth and $125 to fifth. The owner and trainer must be current members of the OTOBA by July 31, 2013. That’s a great incentive to get involved this summer. We lost a few horsemen right at the end of 2012, and our hearts go out to the families of William “Clocker Bill” Morrison and Dean Vogt. We also lost: A.J. Brandenburg (June 3, 1925 – October 5, 2012) – A.J. started his career at the age of 17 with trainer Tom Smith, who trained Seabiscuit. He became a prominent Thoroughbred trainer in the Pacific Northwest and raced at Portland Meadows for more than 50 years. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, daughter Susan Ellis, grandson Kent Ellis, great-granddaughter Lila Ellis and his cat, Lettle. James Easley (September 29, 1958 – December 15, 2012) – Everyone here at Portland Meadows remembers James and his wife, Patty, always were holding hands. James was always ready to help in any way that that he could, and he will be greatly missed. That’s all for now. We hope everyone is keeping busy this winter, and we can’t wait for spring. Give us some sunshine!

Pennsylvania HBPA Horse racing is alive and well in Pennsylvania. Both Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and Presque Isle Downs (PID) showed significant rises in handle in 2012. Penn National was up 20% in off-track wagering, 58

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and PID was up 12% for the season. At a time when casino numbers have dropped overall in Pennsylvania, due to competition from neighboring states, it is encouraging that horse racing has held its own. The resurgence at PID was begun by former president and general manager Fred Buro, who initiated changes to the existing racing model. He now serves as CMO for the parent company. Two new barns were built in 2011, and an additional two barns were built in 2012. This adds 200 stalls to the barn area and should increase the number of horses stabled on the grounds. Debbie Howells, director of racing, is focused on creating a fan-friendly environment at PID. It is hoped that fuller fields and a takeout that benefits the bettor, tethered to a midweek schedule (Sunday-Thursday) with a proven post time at 5:25 p.m., will add to the rise in handle. Opening day at Presque Isle Downs will be on May 12 and will run five days a week through September 28. Friday and Saturday live racing will no longer be offered. The new weekly schedule for live racing will run Sunday through Thursday. Post time will continue at 5:25 p.m., and TVG will carry multiple programs throughout the season. A new management team at Penn National augurs well for the future of horse racing. Dan Silver, formerly from NYRA, is the new director of racing, and Dave Bailey, formerly of Gulfstream Park, bring solid racing credentials to Penn National. They have launched a new and exciting program of racing that includes an aggressive stakes program headed by the inaugural running of the Penn Mile Stakes on June 1 for 3-year-olds on the turf with a $500,000 purse. The abbreviated winter racing schedule ended in February, and the regular season began on March 1. The election for president and the board of directors was held in November. Owner/trainer Tim Shea, a former member of the board and a fixture on the backside, was elected president. The board is composed of five owners and five trainers. The owners are Kenneth C. Bowman, Thomas G. McClay, Vicky Nightingale, Richard Reveley and Dennis Sweigart. The trainers are Sandee Martin Beattie, Todd Beattie, Clovis Crane, Murray Rojas and Flint Stites.

Tampa Bay Downs HBPA

A big crowd turned out for the annual Christmas party

The Tampa Bay Downs HBPA kicked off the 20122013 season with its annual Christmas party on December 20. A big “thank you” to everyone who volunteered their time to help serve food to the enormous crowd of owners, trainers and backside employees.

Stop by the Our HBPA is proud to be a HBPA office sponsor of “Chester,” the 2012 for coffee Path Region 5 Horse of the Year. and donuts Chester is part of the Bakkas on Saturday mornings and Equestrian Center Therapeutic see our popular Riding Program for handicapped “tree for all children and adults, located seasons” in Hillsborough County. The dedication of the staff and volunteers involved in this effort is to be commended. Other notable charitable


Virginia HBPA Board Election Results Members of the Virginia HBPA by mail ballot elected a new board of directors to serve for the next three years. The board has 14 seats, seven for owners and seven for trainers. Six of the seven owner members elected were incumbents, including Susie Chatfield-Taylor, Nellie Cox, Jill Gordon-Moore, Susie Hart, Robin Richards and David Ross. The seventh owner member newly elected is Emily Day. She and her husband, trainer Jimmy Day, own and operate


organizations that we are proud to be affiliated with include the Holiday Sharing Fund of Oldsmar, Florida, and Catholic Charities Mobile Medical with Sister Sarah Proctor and her medical volunteers. Charitable organizations such as these not only enrich the lives of our backside but the surrounding community as well. This plaque recognizes the Tampa Upcoming events for spring Bay Downs HBPA’s contribution to the include the annual HBPA owner/ Bakkas Equestrian Center Therapeutic trainer appreciation dinner and the Riding Program horsemen’s barbecue with dates to be announced. The 11th annual Florida Cup Day, sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Owners’ and Breeders’ Association, Tampa Bay Downs and the Tampa Bay Downs HBPA, will be held on Saturday, April 6, with $450,000 in stakes purses.

Daybreak Stables in White Post, Virginia. Six of the seven trainers elected also were incumbents, including Susan Cooney, Donna Dennehy, Carlos Garcia, Diana McClure, Stephanie Nixon and Ernie Oare. The new trainer member is Daniel M. “Speedy” Smithwick. He and his wife, Eva, own and operate Sunny Bank Farm in Middleburg, Virginia. Before returning to his native Virginia, Smithwick was based for 17 years in Louisville, where he trained and raced principally in the Midwest. At its first meeting in January, the new board elected officers for the upcoming year. They are: President David Ross, Vice President Stephanie Nixon, Treasurer Jill Gordon-Moore and Secretary Diana McClure. For the past seven years, President David Ross has been the leading owner at Colonial Downs. His current stable of 35 horses also competes in four other states. Outgoing Virginia HBPA President Robin Richards did not stand for reelection because of her newly assumed duties as president of the National HBPA. Colonial Downs 2013 Stakes Schedule Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA agreed on a revamped stakes schedule for this summer’s meet, starting on June 8 with the $50,000 Zeke Ferguson Memorial Stakes for steeplechasers. Two weeks later on Saturday, June 22, the track will card the $300,000 Colonial Turf Cup (G2) for 3-year-olds and up going 1 3/16 miles, the $100,000 Edward P. Evans All Along (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf and the $75,000 Da Hoss Stakes, including $25,000 from the Virginia Breeders Fund, at one mile on the turf for 3-year-olds and up. Rounding out the day is the $30,000 Old Nelson (Starter Handicap) at 1 3/16 miles on the turf for 3-year-olds and up. The following Saturday, June 29, is Ladies Day at Colonial Downs. On that day, the track will run the $75,000 Buckland Stakes, including $25,000 from the Virginia Breeders Fund, for fillies and mares competing at 5 ½ furlongs on the grass. Denis Blake




The next big Saturday is Commonwealth Turf Day on July 6. Colonial will offer five $50,000 turf stakes races for Virginia-breds. They include the Punch Line, at five furlongs for 3-year-olds and up; the Oakley, for 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, at 5 ½ furlongs; the Bert Allen, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles; the Brookmeade, for 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, at 1 1/16 miles; and the Jamestown for 2-year-olds at 5 ½ furlongs. Colonial’s summer race meet ends on Saturday, July 13, with the $500,000 Virginia Derby (G2) at 1 ¼ miles for 3-year-olds. Co-featured that day is the $150,000 Virginia Oaks (G3) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the grass. Three $75,000 turf stakes, with $25,000 from the Virginia Breeders Fund, complete the card. The three stakes are the Kitten’s Joy for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ½ miles, the Tippett for 2-year-old fillies and the Chennery for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Both 2-year-old races are at 5 ½ furlongs. D.G. Van Clief Jr. appointed to Virginia Racing Commission Governor Bob McDonnell appointed noted horse industry executive D.G. Van Clief Jr. to fill the seat of Virginia Racing Commission member David Reynolds, whose five-year term expired at the end of 2012. Van Clief has held many executive positions in the racing industry, including chairman of Fasig-Tipton, chairman of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and president of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. He is also a member of The Jockey Club.

Washington HBPA WHBPA and WTBOA Mourn the Loss of Co-worker The loss of Joe Pirone earlier this year hit hard at the joint offices of the Washington HBPA and Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association. While his last official titles at the WTBOA had to do with advertising, sales and administration, anyone in the industry could tell you that Joe was the all-important cog in the wheel of every special project, every summer and winter-mixed sale, every event. Joe was the liaison between the horsemen and breeders, understanding all aspects of the industry clearly. He was the behind-the-scenes guy, intuitively knowing when and where his assistance was most Joe Pirone needed, and he never hesitated to help out. Besides that, he was one of the most recognized and well-loved figures in Washington racing and breeding. Joe was the “only boy” in a “family” of coworkers who shared office space and a love for Thoroughbred racing. Although Joe came in handy to jumpstart their car batteries or at times lift heavy stuff, it was Joe’s obvious affection for his family, horses, dog and the racing community that will be missed most by a now all-female staff. “I knew Joe for many years, since he worked on the gate at Longacres,” said WHBPA Executive Director MaryAnn O’Connell, “but it was in the last two years that I really got to know him. He cared so much about the industry, would always stick up for ‘the little guy’ and had more compassion than most people you come across in life.” O’Connell added, “He was a guy that wasn’t afraid to say, ‘I love you!,’ although for us girls, the words always followed a surprise package of treats that were delivered to his desk.” No doubt, Joe was a family man. He and his wife of 30 years, Mary, met at 60

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the track and planned to spend the rest of their days together training horses. At the WTBOA, he often enlisted the help of his sons, Kenny and Paul, who were fixtures at the offices and sales. More recently, it was grandsons Solomon and Joey whose visits broke the routine and truly brought out the joy in Joe. The Thoroughbred industry lost a dedicated, don’t-give-up, work-withwhat-you-got, have-a-good-time kind of horseman when they lost Joe Pirone. His customary broad smile and great sense of humor that welcomed new folks and old friends alike will remain in the hearts of all of those who consider him family. Joe is survived by his wife, Mary; sons, Kenny (and wife Elizabeth) Pirone of Puyallup and Paul Pirone of South Prairie; daughter Hannah (and husband David Spaulding) Pirone of Port Orchard; brother Al (and wife Julie) Ferro of Ridgefield; sister Connie (and husband Tom) Van Well of East Wenatchee; four grandchildren and an extended family that includes all who knew, loved and respected him throughout Washington’s Thoroughbred racing industry and beyond. Emerald Downs Announces 75-day Meet Opening April 19 The Emerald Downs stable area has been open since February 1, and horsemen will have a total of 10 weeks of preparation for the opening of the 2013 Emerald Downs live race meet. On February 8, the Washington Horse Racing Commission approved the track’s request for 75 days of live racing in 2013 beginning Friday, April 19, and closing Sunday, September 29. Although the number of days is down slightly from last year, horsemen were pleased to have an additional week of preparation time and to hear the meet will be extended one more week in the fall. Live racing will be every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with holiday racing on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, Independence Day, Thursday, July 4, and Labor Day, Monday, September 3. The annual fireworks spectacular follows the races on Wednesday, July 3. Post times are 6:45 p.m. on Fridays and 2 p.m. on weekends and holidays. The Washington HBPA approved a purse structure equivalent to that at the end of the 2012 meet (including a 5% raise from the beginning of 2012), and the 2013 stakes schedule includes 29 events (see below), highlighted by Emerald Downs’ pinnacle event, the 78th running of the Longacres Mile (G3). The Mile annually features many of the nation’s finest middle-distance horses and is set for Sunday, August 18. The recent changes to how workers’ compensation premiums are calculated and collected seems to have attracted more trainers to apply for stalls at Emerald this year. The new pay-as-you-go system eliminates the large annual premium and upfront costs at the time of licensing. Premiums have been made more equitable with an average cost per day per horse at $1.31 - $2 (depending on the number of horses per groom). This rate covers all exercise, pony persons and grooms under the trainers’ employ. See the last issue of The Horsemen’s Journal for more information on the insurance changes. Emerald Downs 2013 Stakes Schedule Sun., May 12 * HASTINGS HANDICAP * 3 & UP F&M, 6F, $50,000 guar. Sun., May 19 * GOVERNOR’S HANDICAP * 3 & UP, 6.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., May 26 * SEATTLE HANDICAP * 3 YO F, 6.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., June 2 * AUBURN HANDICAP * 3 YO C&G, 6.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., June 9 * WA STATE LEGISLATORS STAKES * 3 & UP F&M, 6.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., June 16 * BUDWEISER HANDICAP * 3 & UP, 8F, $50,000 guar. Sun., June 23 * IRISH DAY HANDICAP * 3 YO F, 8F, $50,000 guar. Sun., June 23 * COCA-COLA HANDICAP * 3 YO C&G, 8F, $50,000 guar.



Sun., July 7 * BOEING HANDICAP * 3 & UP F&M, 8F, $50,000 guar. Sun., July 14 * KENT HANDICAP * 3 YO F, 8.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., July 14 * SEATTLE SLEW HANDICAP * 3 YO C&G, 8.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., July 21 * MT. RAINIER HANDICAP * 3 & UP, 8.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., July 28 * EMERALD EXPRESS * 2 YO C&G, 6F, $50,000 Sun., Aug. 4 * ANGIE C STAKES * 2 YO F, 6F, $50,000 Sat., Aug. 10 * WASHINGTON OAKS * 3 YO F, 9F, $65,000 Sun., Aug. 11 * EMERALD DOWNS DERBY * 3 YO, 9F, $65,000 Sat., Aug. 17 * WTBOA LADS STAKES * 2 YO C&G, 6.5F, $50,000 Sun., Aug. 18 * EMERALD DISTAFF * 3 & UP F&M, 9F, $65,000 Sun., Aug. 18 * LONGACRES MILE (G3) * 3 & UP, 8F, $200,000 guar. Sun., Aug. 25 * BARBARA SHINPOCH STAKES * 2 YO F, 6.5F, $50,000 Sun., Sep. 1 * Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge * 3 & UP QH, 440 yds * WASHINGTON CUP XI * Sun., Sep. 8 * DIANE KEM STAKES * 2 YO F WA, 6F, $35,000 guar. Sun., Sep. 8 * DENNIS DODGE STAKES * 2 YO C&G WA, 6F, $35,000 guar. Sun., Sep. 8 * JOHN & KITTY FLETCHER STAKES * 3 YO F WA, 8F, $35,000 guar. Sun., Sep. 8 * CHINOOK PASS STAKES * 3 YO C&G WA, 8F, $35,000 guar. Sun., Sep. 8 * BELLE ROBERTS * 3 & UP F&M WA, 8.5F, $35,000 guar. Sun., Sep. 8 * MUCKLESHOOT TRIBAL CLASSIC * 3 & UP WA, 8.5F, $50,000 guar. Sun., Sep. 29 * GOTTSTEIN FUTURITY * 2 YO, 8.5F, $75,000 Sun., Sep. 29 * NWSS CAHILL ROAD STAKES * 2 YO, 6F, $50,000 added

Emerald Downs to Host Giant 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in August The Northwest’s premier horse racing venue will be a basketball hotbed this summer when Emerald Downs introduces EmD3-On-3, a two-day hoops extravaganza on 30 courts in the north parking lot. The inaugural EmD3-On-3 is scheduled for August 10-11, the week before the Longacres Mile, and is expected to attract players from all over Washington and possibly beyond. The event will be modeled after the extraordinarily successful Hoopfest in Spokane, which began with 2,000 players in 1990 and has grown to one of the city’s biggest events with nearly 28,000 players and 3,000 volunteers in 2012. “The Puget Sound region is one of the nation’s biggest hotbeds for basketball, with tremendous interest and participation in youth, high school and collegiate programs,” said Emerald Downs President Ron Crockett. “A 3-on-3 tournament is a natural, and we have a great venue that is centrally located for easy access.” To be held on 30 side-by-side half-courts in the parking lot north of the grandstand, EmD3-On-3 is open to teams and players of all ages and abilities. Cost per team is $120 with each team guaranteed at least three games. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact event coordinator Bob Fraser at or (253) 288-7028. First-year sponsors will enjoy inaugural year pricing for the first five years of sponsorship renewal. Established in 1996, Emerald Downs is considered the gem of racing in the Pacific Northwest. The facility sees over 400,000 visitors a year, and according to Emerald Downs President Ron Crockett, the track employs 240 people during non-racing season and 460 during live racing months. Thoroughbred racing in the state of Washington boasts an economic impact of $253 million each year.

Denis Blake


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John W. Rooney Memorial Stakes - Listed For Fillies and Mares - Three Years Old and Upward

One Mile & 1/16 (Turf )

June 8

$75,000 (g)

May 27



The Go For Wand Stakes - Listed For Fillies Three Year Olds

One Mile & 70 yards

June 15

$75,000 (g)

June 3



The Obeah Stakes - GIII For Fillies and Mares - Three Years Old and Upward

One Mile & 1/8

June 15

$100,000 (g)

June 3



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One Mile & 3/8 (Turf )

July 13

$200,000 (g)

July 1



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One Mile & 1/16

July 13

$300,000 (g)

July 1



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6 Furlongs

July 20

$100,000 (g)

July 8



Delaware Handicap - GI For Fillies and Mares - Three Years Old and Upward

One mile & 1/4

July 20

$750,000 (g)

July 8


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9998 State Route 43, Streetsboro, OH 44241 1-800-321-2142 •


Angels-Style Saddle

Plaid Sheet

This exercise saddle has a plain seat, colored leather and plain flaps. Colors: Black, Blue, Brown, Green or Red


$299.95 FOB


Fleece Girth & Saddle Towel with purchase

Classic Plaid Stable Sheet

Tooled Exercise Saddle

Classic Navy and Tan lightweight poly cotton stable sheet. Features: - Open Front - Double Buckle closure - Bias Surcingles - Leg Straps Sizes: 68”- 86”

#7306 Pyrantel Pamoate #614R $4.95 Equimax #5155 $9.95 Anthelcide #2509 $5.99


by Monteray Eco-Tan leather, rough-out seat, stainless steel stirrup bars. 7.5 lbs. Seat Colors: Black, Blue, Brown or Red


Reg $42.95

$289.95 FOB

FREE 2-Tone Bridle with purchase

Exercise Saddleby Lone Star Environmentally friendly 4mm thick leather for longer life. Full grain leather seat. 6 lbs. Seat Colors: Black, Blue, Brown or Red #8884

$259.95 FOB

Dewormers Buy 11 Get 1 FREE Strongid #614 $6.99 Quest #213Q $8.95 Quest Plus #213QP $10.95

12+ $4.75

12+ $5.85

Dewormers Buy 12 Get 2 FREE

Bimectin #728B

Vetrap by 3M CoFlex by Andover #127 200+ $1.39ea #2568 200+ $1.09ea Buy More & SAVE!



12+ $6.79 12+ $8.50 12+ $10.50 12+ $2.75

Furacin #298 144+ $5.25ea 36+ $5.50ea 12+ $5.75ea 1-11 $6.25ea


Jack’s Mfg.

Compare to ReducineTM

#1691J $14.95 6+ $14.25ea 36+ $13.95ea


Equine Gastric Ulcers!

Equine gastric ulcers affect up to 90% of race horses and 60% of show horses. Ulcers are the result of the erosion of the lining of the stomach due to a prolonged exposure to the normal acid in the stomach. A horse’s stomach continually secretes acid, which can result in excess acid when the horse is not eating regularly do to there being no feed to neutralize the acid. Horses are designed to be grazers with regular intake of roughage. In addition, the horse can develop ulcers by stall confinement, high grain diets, traveling, strenuous exercise, and finally the chronic administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Available now at:


3M Rundown Patches

A natural oral alternative to anabolics. Helps increase muscle mass, strength and energy.

4 per pack

#1821 6+ $63.95ea 1-5 $69.95FOB

#1748 $2.95 25+ $2.45

uct Prod al i Spec

Avai la

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#4654 $21.95

Body Builder

$19.95 ea


$18.00 ea

Horse Gold Inc. 4654 St Rd 64 East, Unit 317, Bardenton, Florida 34208 Expires: 6/15/2013 Check out current specials at

Source Code: HBPA

with the

Inside Track Super Pack

For years, Todd Pletcher has trusted his horses with the Inside Track Super Pack. Gain the competitive advantage with the winning combination of all natural LubriSynHA and Re-Borne. LubriSynHA is a once daily, orally absorbed joint supplement that helps keep your horse sound by lubricating his joints. Re-Borne whole, liquid, concentrated, bovine colostrum gives your horse the nutrional boost he needs to perform at his best with four all natural growth factors. Call today to find out how the Inside Track Super Pack is harnessing the power of science to improve superior genetics. • • 800-901-8498




Prove the Pedigree


Power Skill Potential

The Horsemen's Journal - Spring 2013  
The Horsemen's Journal - Spring 2013  

The official publication of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association