Is this a reason racing doesn’t attract more fans?
Tom Noonan
by noonante
1M ago
Horse racing participants have seemingly perpetual discussions about the existential threats to the ongoing viability of the sport and what can be done to counter those threats and attract new fans. Equine safety is, rightfully, one of those challenges. Declines in handle, at least in part fueled by “computer-assisted wagering,” may be less troubling but are nonetheless significant. I participate in a regular Zoom call with friends from our college days. It’s about ten regulars, two of whom who have an interest in horse racing in addition to me. I do not know if the others are simply not inter ..read more
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He wants to be the head of racing?
Tom Noonan
by noonante
3M ago
In late October, thoroughbred owner Mike Repole announced the formation of what he is calling the National Thoroughbred Alliance. As reported by Bill Finley in the Thoroughbred Daily News, Repole said he hoped the group could solve “some of the sport’s problems and create growth” in an industry obviously in need of both. He went on to say: ”There isn’t anybody that has a vision for this sport. On top of no vision, there is also no strategy.” Here is how he had refined that vision and strategy in remarks he made at last week’s Eclipse Awards: “So I implore you, please … be selfless over selfish ..read more
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It’s time to get rid of the Gaming Commissioners in New York
Tom Noonan
by noonante
5M ago
The most recent controversial topic in New York racing is just one more indication that the State Gaming Commission is both an embarrassment to racing and further proof that this regulatory body has outlived its usefulness. If you were caught up in holiday events and do not follow closely racing media, you may have missed the outrage over a disqualification decision in the ninth race at Aqueduct this past Saturday. The horse who crossed the finish line second, Brick Ambush, was disqualified and placed last following an incident that occurred at the quarter-pole near the end of a New York Stall ..read more
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60 Minutes – the NHBPA doesn’t get it
Tom Noonan
by noonante
6M ago
For those who watched CBS’ 60 Minutes November 12, there was little that close followers of the sport did not already know. That caused me initially to be disappointed, but I am not in the program’s target audience. In Bill Finley’s article in Thoroughbred Daily News he notes that the show has an audience of some 9 million viewers. It is intended for the vast majority of viewers who know next to nothing about horse racing or whose knowledge is limited to watching the occasional Triple Crown race. But if I did not “get it” initially, the head of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Ass ..read more
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The Test for Racing
Tom Noonan
by noonante
10M ago
There’s a popular racetrack aphorism: “If you didn’t have bad luck, you wouldn’t have any luck at all.” That could describe the state of the sport in recent months, particularly among casual or non-fans. At Derby time, a spate of deaths at Churchill Downs, including on Derby day itself, sparked yet another of the existential crises racing too often confronts. Saturday at Saratoga – again, one of the sport’s preeminent sites – an absolutely devastating fatal breakdown occurred in the final yards of The Test Stakes, a Grade 1 event for three-year old fillies. The day was all set for the feel-goo ..read more
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Belmont Stakes Analysis
Tom Noonan
by noonante
1y ago
The Blue Ribbon Belmont Stakes Analysis is up on the Horse Racing page ..read more
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NY’s Gaming Commission – it’s time to put us out of our misery
Tom Noonan
by noonante
1y ago
This post is for subscribers Type your email… Subscribe ..read more
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“With friends like these….”
Tom Noonan
by noonante
1y ago
The long-awaited national program addressing drugs in horse racing with uniform rules and enforcement was implemented on Monday, March 27. Because of legal action filed by opponents of the new law, an injunction was issued and the federal agency overseeing it suspended it until May 22. While in effect for five days, the world did not come to an end in spite of the fear-mongering and apocalyptic rhetoric of those denying the evident need for reform in racing. Leading the opposition over the years have been organizations such as the National Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association, some ind ..read more
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Is HISA already unraveling?
Tom Noonan
by noonante
2y ago
I’ll leave the punchlines for others. A year ago, Donald Trump, who at the time was President of the United States, signed legislation that was the most significant step ever to reform horse racing with its numerous failings. A year later that law may have hit a major roadblock, and Trump had nothing to do with it. Last week, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) “suspended” their negotiations to have USADA become the independent enforcement body to implement the federal law (also known as HISA) mandating a national medication c ..read more
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A growing sense of owner responsibility?
Tom Noonan
by noonante
2y ago
There may not be many silver linings to a once-prominent trainer being sentenced to five years in a federal prison for doping violations or to the ongoing saga of Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit. But one salutary aspect appears to be a growing sense that it is not just trainers and veterinarians who bear sole responsibility for drug violations but owners as well. While that may obvious, so far there have been no legal consequences for owners other than losing a purse following a medication violation. That may finally be changing. Last week two prominent racing media sites have singled out one ow ..read more
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