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 Editorials

Thoughts from our editor, Joe Clancy. For archived editorials click here.

Can racing answer the questions?

A photo of a leading Irish trainer sitting on a dead horse, while smiling and offering a peace sign, wound up on the internet. The country’s leading apprentice jockey of 2020 got suspended and fined for riding at a lower weight than published in the program. Racing’s Hall of Fame released a list of finalists that included a trainer with 45 violations on the thoroughbredrulings.com website managed by The Jockey Club. A standout filly won a 2020 Eclipse Award after failing two drug tests.

Determined to make a difference

February can be tough on Matt Dorman. Twenty-five years ago last month, his sister Barbara was murdered. She was 36. Doctors and investigators said her killer was having a psychotic episode when he stabbed her, and later determined that he was insane. He’d been released from a psychiatric hospital without community-based care late the previous year.

All we got, just in time

Underdog sports teams headed to the playoffs, a big tournament or some important game will frequently proclaim, “We all we got.” And follow up with, “We all we need.”

Remembering Dr. Feelgood

I never met Dr. Feelgood, and I’m mad about it. The dark gray gelding was everything right about the Thorough­bred – fast, tough, smart, game, friendly, classy, cool. The December magazine covered his victory in the Dash for Cash on the West Virginia Breeders Classics card in October.
And now I’m writing his obituary.

Progress, sure, but drug debate isn’t going away

Call it the 77-percent rule. In Novem­ber, New York State Gaming Com­mission equine medical director Dr. Scott Palmer noted that 77 percent of the more than 100 Thoroughbreds formerly in the barns of trainers indicted this spring for the use of performance enhancing substances tested positive for the medication clenbuterol.

Horses deliver, for everyone, in 2020 Preakness

Kegasus. The guy who tried to fight Artax. Infield lacrosse games. Afleet Alex and Scrappy T. Infield concerts. Genuine Risk and Codex. Infield races on the rooftops of portable toilets. Secretariat’s timer malfunction. Shopping-cart hustlers. Bodexpress. Park Heights front-lawn chicken barbeques.

Ratings system worth a look for flat racing

One day this winter, in between covering races at Laurel Park, I got a phone call from Georganne Hale. Could I come to the office of track president Sal Sinatra? It felt a little like getting summoned to the principal’s office, and my first reaction was to wonder if I’d written something Sinatra didn’t appreciate.

Getting it right for a horse that mattered

The horse just stood there with his head over the yoke screen in a five-stall barn on a Pennsylvania afternoon. Bay, old, plain, but regal, wise. Something said class, like he’d been places and done things.

Then his halter nameplate came into proper view.

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