New ’60 Minutes Sports’ show delves into racing

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“What could possibly go wrong?”

That was my first thought when I heard cable network Showtime’s new program, “60 Minutes Sports,” is planning an April 2013 segment on horse racing featuring Doug O’Neill, trainer of this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another.

Then I realized “60 Minutes Sports” was an extension of the highly acclaimed, long-running “60 Minutes” news magazine on CBS – except the show will be all about sports. It is meant to be Showtime’s answer to “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” on HBO. Showtime is a unit of CBS.

Here is Showtime’s promotion of the new “60 Minutes Sports” program that debuts on Jan. 9 at 10 p.m. “The first name in news magazines is now the last word in sports. The award-winning team behind 60 Minutes now turns its investigative eye towards the world of sports. From in-depth reporting to the most compelling interviews…”

That makes me think of the late Mike Wallace, barging into corporate headquarters with a camera crew, armed with damning facts and figures, and demanding to speak to the company CEO. Or Leslie Stahl, asking a seemingly innocent question that effectively removes several vital organs from the interview subject.

This could be a problem, especially in light of how O’Neill was portrayed recently by a Chinese television news feature, “Death At the Racetrack,” focusing on medication in American horseracing.

Or how HBO’s “Real Sports” caught Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen like a deer in the headlights during a 2007 ambush interview about his numerous medication violations.

But maybe, just maybe, this won’t be so bad.

“I talked with one of the people who’s going to help produce ’60 Minutes Sports,’” O’Neill told the Paulick Report. “He seems like a nice enough guy, and he’s supposed to be out here (Betfair Hollywood Park) on Saturday for the CashCall Futurity. I told him if there’s anything I can do to get positive news out on our sport, then I’m in.”

That echoes what veteran CBS News producer Alan Weisman told me about the segment, which he is producing as a pre-Triple Crown feature that will follow O’Neill through the winter as he tries to make Kentucky Derby lightning strike two years in a row.

“Doug’s got four horses that have a legitimate shot this year and we’re going to be following him,” said Weisman, who has spent 40 years in television news, working as a “60 Minutes” producer, executive producer on the “Charlie Rose” show, senior producer on “CBS News Sunday Morning,” executive producer on “Sports Illustrated Television,” and a producer on the “Evening News” with Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather.

“But we do want to broaden it out to include the problems the sport has: the demographics, trying to get young people to go to the races; the controversies over drugs; the need some people see for some sort of national commissioner or somebody like that to standardize things.”

So will it be a “hit” piece?

“Not as such,” Weisman said. “If it were, you wouldn’t be getting this phone call. We are going to touch on some things that have happened, but I wouldn’t characterize it as an investigation. It’s not framed that way. But the way things can lead, you never know.”

The correspondent for the horse racing feature will be CBS News’ chief investigative reporter Armen Keteyian, an 11-time Emmy Award winner and former reporter on HBO’s “Real Sports.”

Weisman, who previously produced a horse racing feature on Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey for “60 Minutes II,” told me of this little-known connection between horse racing and CBS News.

Jeffrey Fager, who filled the giant shoes of the late “60 Minutes” creator and executive producer Don Hewitt and is now chairman of CBS News, is the son of a Boston neurosurgeon named Charles Fager. If that name is familiar it’s because the champion and Hall of Fame racehorse Dr. Fager was named in his honor after Charles Fager’s brain surgery saved the life of Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud.

The last time CBS took a look at horse racing was in 2010 when correspondent Bob Simon did what amounted to a love letter on then unbeaten champion Zenyatta just before the Breeders’ Cup. In light of what’s been reported through 2012 in the New York Times investigative series and in the wake of several Congressional hearings on drugs in horse racing, I doubt we’ll see anything that positive.

For my money, though, there is no better program on television than “60 Minutes,” so the Showtime extension, “60 Minutes Sports” is something I’m looking forward to.

As I said, what could possibly go wrong?

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  • nu-fan

    Ray, I can see your concern.  Investigative reporting is not a showcase for just the good stuff but to reveal the truth (or, at least, that is what it should do).  I just hope that the broadcast does not just dwell on the negatives.  Guess I’ll have to subscribe to Showtime, at least for that month, to find out what they will feature in that episode.  And, who knows?  It might be in agreement to what you and many of your readers have been expressing for some time.  But, then, I think I tend to think more optimistically than most.  

  • nu-fan

    Ray, I can see your concern.  Investigative reporting is not a showcase for just the good stuff but to reveal the truth (or, at least, that is what it should do).  I just hope that the broadcast does not just dwell on the negatives.  Guess I’ll have to subscribe to Showtime, at least for that month, to find out what they will feature in that episode.  And, who knows?  It might be in agreement to what you and many of your readers have been expressing for some time.  But, then, I think I tend to think more optimistically than most.  

  • Kirk S.

    Ray and to other media members, you know to do a story you don’t interview just one subject.  How other people respond or react to your questions about “Subject A” add more to the story and can point a story in a different direction than you had planned.

    O’Neill may not fear the camera around himself and his stables.  He has no idea who else will be interviewed for his piece.  If anyone associated with his Los Alamitos entries get camera time, it won’t be a love fest for the O’Neill camp.

    Having been a shooter/editor for news, I know what the intent was with the people I worked with.  I also know the standards of those same people were, which was pretty high.  But that was 20 years ago.

    When a camera and microphone points at horse racing these days, I want to duck.  Mainstream media got it wrong about “Luck” and PETA.  The New York Times articles left me with more questions than answers.  I doubt a “60 Minutes Sports” or “60 Minutes 3, 4 or 5″ is going to cover all the bases and get it right within a 15-minute package.

    • nu-fan

      Kirk S.:  I would really like to know why “Luck” got canceled.  I’ve heard so many different stories.  It was the only reason I subscribed to HBO and actually really looked forward to each episode and so did some other of my friends.  I find it hard to believe that it was ratings, alone, that had anything to do with the show’s demise.  There have been too many other television series, that were criticially acclaimed, that were kept on for more than one season in order to develop an audience.  And, if it was because of the three horses that died, I would have thought that they could have come up with other ways of filming around the horses.

      • Barbara

        Google can be your friend.

        The show was canceled because of repeated injury and death to the horses used in filming, and because PETA got on the case. The bad publicity – and the fact that there is no way to guarantee a horse will not be hurt.

        • nu-fan

          Barbara:  Why assume that I do not know how use Google?  Maybe, I am just not naive enough to believe everything that is on it.  There is an old saying amongst those in the computer industry:  GIGO:  Garbage in, garbage out.  Also, there is a lot of information that is not made publicly and, sometimes, what information is sent out is “filtered truth”.  Wondered if there was someone who might have another clue as to the reasoning for the cancellation of this show.  The writing and cast were excellent.  HBO cancelled Luck; I cancelled HBO. 

          • Barbara

            Sometimes there isn’t a conspiracy and the truth is just that. 

          • 3875waldo

            “There’s a conspiracy behind that statement!” (said the racetracker…)

  • Kirk S.

    Ray and to other media members, you know to do a story you don’t interview just one subject.  How other people respond or react to your questions about “Subject A” add more to the story and can point a story in a different direction than you had planned.

    O’Neill may not fear the camera around himself and his stables.  He has no idea who else will be interviewed for his piece.  If anyone associated with his Los Alamitos entries get camera time, it won’t be a love fest for the O’Neill camp.

    Having been a shooter/editor for news, I know what the intent was with the people I worked with.  I also know the standards of those same people were, which was pretty high.  But that was 20 years ago.

    When a camera and microphone points at horse racing these days, I want to duck.  Mainstream media got it wrong about “Luck” and PETA.  The New York Times articles left me with more questions than answers.  I doubt a “60 Minutes Sports” or “60 Minutes 3, 4 or 5″ is going to cover all the bases and get it right within a 15-minute package.

  • nu-fan

    Kirk S.:  I would really like to know why “Luck” got canceled.  I’ve heard so many different stories.  It was the only reason I subscribed to HBO and actually really looked forward to each episode and so did some other of my friends.  I find it hard to believe that it was ratings, alone, that had anything to do with the show’s demise.  There have been too many other television series, that were criticially acclaimed, that were kept on for more than one season in order to develop an audience.  And, if it was because of the three horses that died, I would have thought that they could have come up with other ways of filming around the horses.

  • Dantana

    Will this promotion of Doug O’ Neil never end?  Another fluff piece about loving care for
    for horses and ill children.  Are T J Simers and Mark Verge  consultants? 

    • Whomp

      They’re at the track with cameras.  You know what happens at tracks.  Don’t worry about promotion.

  • Dantana

    Will this promotion of Doug O’ Neil never end?  Another fluff piece about loving care for
    for horses and ill children.  Are T J Simers and Mark Verge  consultants? 

  • Whomp

    Couldn’t say no, could be a disaster.  Nice piece Ray.

  • Whomp

    Couldn’t say no, could be a disaster.  Nice piece Ray.

  • Whomp

    They’re at the track with cameras.  You know what happens at tracks.  Don’t worry about promotion.

  • Ben K McFadden

    “..there is no better program on television…”. Can’t wait for 60 Minutes to bring their objective investigative journalism and additional media exposure to racing.  Just look what they did for Audi.

  • Ben K McFadden

    “..there is no better program on television…”. Can’t wait for 60 Minutes to bring their objective investigative journalism and additional media exposure to racing.  Just look what they did for Audi.

  • Kris

    There’s only one reason for this new show to pick Doug O’Neil as its first racing subject:  To make racing look bad.  Otherwise, they would have picked John Sheriffs, Bill Mott, or even Bob Baffert.

    • nu-fan

      Kris:  Or, to the general public, they might know Doug O’Neill since he was the trainer of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner as well as that of the Preakness.  To the general public, these other trainers are not household names.  But, they might remember Mr. O’Neill’s name just because of those two races, which the public may have watched.  The other races?  Not really.  They are not on network channels, only HRTV and TVG, which most people do not probably watch.  Again, just thinking of another possiblity of why they are interviewing Doug O’Neill.   Of course, the controvery surrounding him also gives this show another angle to cover.  Makes him more interesting to interview than most other trainers.

      • Barbara

        Yeah that wise cracking white haired guy that has won nine spring classics including three Derbies would be a bad call. And certainly not the genuine horseman in the ball cap that trained the most popular and accessible horse in the past 30 years just two years ago. Definitely not the guy who won two BC Classic races last year or trained the horse that went 16-0 and put him in the Hall of Fame. Nah, lets go with Doug O’Neill and shine a guiding light on the sport. The guy my non racing friends know as, “Hey, did you watch the Derby? Did that guy give his horse drugs? Is that why he didn’t run in that last race?”

        • nu-fan

          Barbara:  Your continued “loyalty” to the white haired guy is admirable but, after awhile, a bit tiring.  By the way, isn’t he the guy that didn’t win one Breeders’ Cup race this year even with the number of entries he had?  Most people do not follow horseracing that much.  Some watch the big race, the Kentucky Derby, and that is pretty much it.  Maybe, the other Triple Crown races if there is a horse that is highly publicized to win all three.  A few might watch the Breeders’ Cup.  But, if they do remember a name, it is going to the be name of the last win–and, in this case, it is the Derby–as well as one who is interviewed more often than most. But, you will notice that I did acknowledge that Mr. O’Neill has had some controversy surrounding him.  So, perhaps, it doesn’t hurt to keep things in perspective.  Try it sometime.

          • Barbara

            I don’t get points for loyalty to the ballcap guy or the other HOF’er? And yeah, that’s Bob that didn’t win one BC race. That’s why you noticed;-)

        • James D. Jimenez

          Barbara,
          It’s said that we have two arms, one to carry water and the other to carry fuel for the flames. When it comes to anything negative about Doug O’Neil you are usually one of the first with the fuel, and with Bob Baffert you’re the first with the water. I’ve admitted that I work for Mr. O’Neill perhaps you should disclose your true association with Mr. Baffert.Here we have lots of potential for positives but you insist on drumming up old past issues. How would you fare if everyone knew as much about you?JDJ

          • Barbara

            I love your bucket analogy. I’d fare fine. I’m no where near as interesting as your boss. I relayed a true anecdote about DO’s notoriety in the main stream of folks that only watch TC races. I didn’t bring this “up.” Ray wrote a column about it and then NuFan made what I thought was a nonsensical response to “why” DO is the subject.

            On Bob, I defend him more for sport here – as he takes far more crap than he deserves, too. And yes, he helped me out when I worked in the media years ago, and he shared insight about training racehorses that I appreciated. Interesting that you focused on me “defending” Baffert  - I didn’t name him – I addressed the credibility of all three trainers that Kris listed in order as preferable to DO as a subject if the reason was due to who was most well known by the unwashed masses.

          • James D. Jimenez

            I’m glad you would fare well and I hope I would also. 

            I can understand now way you have a fondness for Mr. Baffert, he’s just not my cup of tea. 

            I know & have worked with Mr. Sheriffs & have a ton of respect for him. 

            I shoe horses for Mr. O’Neill and I’m sure that many people feel that would sway me about many issues, the bottom line is that it won’t! Has he had some issues? Yes, but it should be clear to all that he has paid the price and has made tremendous efforts to right the ship. The bottom line is that on the backside you will not find many people that have a bad word to say about Doug. The lower you go on the totem pole the fewer bad things you’ll hear. This guy would give you the shirt off his back and not think twice. The time and money he puts towards charity would simply shock and embarrass must of us! He will grant and complete any and every interview that is asked of him no matter how long it may take.

            Is there a better spokesman for racing? Maybe, but I doubt that they’d give the effort and time to be that spokesman. I hope that this can shine a positive light on the game as it surely needs it and the powers that be have chosen Doug to be that person.

            Best to you,

            JDJ

          • Don Reed

            Oh.  You again.

          • Kris

            James D. Jimenez,
            I usually don’t get into a disagreement between others but  whatever Barbara thinks of O’Neil is irrelevant, it is what this show will say about your boss and what the viewing public will think about him and the sport as a whole that matters.  Peace

      • Kris

        Nu-fan, I do appreciate your positive attitude, this sport would do well to have more fans like you.  With that said, O’Neil has many skeletons in his closet and we will have to see if the people involved in this program happen to mention any of them.  If this “60 Minutes Sports” show is anything like the regular show then I do believe we will hear about Doug’s past.  I will say this about Doug; he is a very likable guy to interview.  
        As for Sheriffs and Baffert:  Remember that JS trained the only horse to be featured on “60 Minutes,” and if there is any trainer in the country that can lay claim to being a household name it is Bob Baffert.
        I look forward to seeing the show.  

        • nu-fan

          Kris:  I think that what I am saying is that the “general public” does not know that much about horseracing.  Those who follow it, know of these and other trainers.  But, for the general public, they do not know that much about trainers.  They may follow the horses or the jockeys.  But, trainers?  No.  I don’t think so.  If they remember trainers at all, it would be the ones who win the big races.  Or, if they see interviews.  O’Neill has been featured on more interviews than most other trainers but, even there, these were on the cable horseracing channels that the general public may not watch.  Part of the declining importance of horseracing regarding the general public.  But, I thank you for being civil.  Others on this website would do well to learn from you.  And, yes, I think that many of us commenting on this website look forward to seeing that show.  Who knows?  It may end up surprising a number of us in what it will cover.  We’re all speculating….

          • Kris

            Thank you, Nu-Fan, civility goes a long way and when we are respectful of one another I do think the conversation is much better.

          • Don Reed

            You guys keep this up, you’re going to get a civil rights movement reignited.

          • Kris

            Thank you for the laugh, 3875waldo.  It is appreciated :)

          • Don Reed

            Good!  Now, swing on over to the “TVG To
            Broadcast Santa Anita Winter Meet…” Story. “Letter to Allevato.”
            One or two more chuckles coming up.

    • Ohio Bred Girl

      Or Graham Motion.

      • Kris

        Ohio Bred Girl,
        Motion would be an excellent selection for an interview.

  • Kris

    There’s only one reason for this new show to pick Doug O’Neil as its first racing subject:  To make racing look bad.  Otherwise, they would have picked John Sheriffs, Bill Mott, or even Bob Baffert.

  • nu-fan

    Kris:  Or, to the general public, they might know Doug O’Neill since he was the trainer of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner as well as that of the Preakness.  To the general public, these other trainers are not household names.  But, they might remember Mr. O’Neill’s name just because of those two races, which the public may have watched.  The other races?  Not really.  They are not on network channels, only HRTV and TVG, which most people do not probably watch.  Again, just thinking of another possiblity of why they are interviewing Doug O’Neill.   Of course, the controvery surrounding him also gives this show another angle to cover.  Makes him more interesting to interview than most other trainers.

  • Beachy

    If the shoe fits… 

  • Beachy

    If the shoe fits… 

  • Barbara

    Google can be your friend.

    The show was canceled because of repeated injury and death to the horses used in filming, and because PETA got on the case. The bad publicity – and the fact that there is no way to guarantee a horse will not be hurt.

  • Barbara

    Yeah that wise cracking white haired guy that has won nine spring classics including three Derbies would be a bad call. And certainly not the genuine horseman in the ball cap that trained the most popular and accessible horse in the past 30 years just two years ago. Definitely not the guy who won two BC Classic races last year or trained the horse that went 16-0 and put him in the Hall of Fame. Nah, lets go with Doug O’Neill and shine a guiding light on the sport. The guy my non racing friends know as, “Hey, did you watch the Derby? Did that guy give his horse drugs? Is that why he didn’t run in that last race?”

  • s/s

    Let the games begin.

  • s/s

    Let the games begin.

  • Josh

    Despite his prior mistakes, O’neill was one of the best personalities and ambassadors of our sport during this year’s Triple Crown. I haven’t seen any prior trainers do as many PR spots as Doug did and I really believe he wants to put his image and the image of our sport in good light. Hopefully CBS gives him the opportunity to do so. 

    • Ohio Bred Girl

      Hoping for the best as well, but one correction: medication violations are not “mistakes.”

      • Annmaree

        To be accurate, Doug’s “mistakes” were not classified as “medication violations”, because elevated levels of TCo2 is not a “medication”.  Anyone wanting the facts needs to read the entire report involving O’Neill.  He was only found guilty because of the California “trainer is responsible” rule.  There were no drugs involved in the recent incident.  This is not splitting hairs, either.  There are many natural substances, and lasix is one of them, that can cause elevated TCo2 levels, including a horse’s feed.  He was specifically found not guilty of the practice of “milkshaking”.

        • Annmaree

          Slight correction:  wording appears to imply that Lasix is a natural substance….it is a legal drug.

    • nu-fan

      Josh:  I agree with you.  I hope that CBS gives him the opportunity to do so as well.

    • Stanley inman

      Josh,
      You wrote;
      “…Hopefully CBS gives him the opportunity to do so”
      “…to put his image and the sport in good light”
      You mean his image doesn’t square with his history?
      That he deserves a “special” to set his record straight?
      Ask Doug if you can join up on his next “good will tour”
      As the sport’s spokesman.
      Ask nu-fan to drive doug’s
      “Warm n fuzzy” bus to rehabilitate us
      In the public’s imagination.
      Make sure you have plenty of
      “Lassie episodes” on board
      to keep spirits up .

      • nu-fan

        Stanley:  You do have a cynical streak in you.  Why?  Is it because you are part of the horseracing industry and are seeing that it has diminishing fan interest.  And, with it, your livelihood. And, now, you feel free to bash fans?  Wow.  No wonder horseracing, at its current pace, will continuing going downhill. Fortunately, horseracing fans can go to other sports/entertainment fields.  Plenty of options for us.  Where are you going to go? 

        • Stanley inman

          Nu-fan,
          Where to start;
          “….cynical streak…because
          you are part of the horseracing industry
          …seeing finishing fan interest…
          And with it your livelihood”

          So funny nu-fan
          Everybody I know who has been an OWNER for longer than a couple of weeks
          Makes a livelihood doin something else that enables their
          Participation in this great support.
          So my cynicism is not connected to your mistaken assumptions
          About livelihood;
          Nor is it originate in my concern about fans;
          I understand that part of the equation and it’s connection to my cynicism;
          (Which is defined as
          “doubting the sincerity and goodness of human motive,
          To show that doubt with sarcasm”)

          You and I are fortunate to have the Paulick Report
          My venting about leadership
          Your education
          Benefits both of us.
          Had you witnessed as many here have
          How this grand sport has been raped by
          The self-interest of many in leadership positions
          You might appreciate the caustic impatience of those who
          See social media to be the godsend it is to bring transparency
          To those like yourself who appear clueless,
          Nothing personal my friend.
          Giving hope that the next generation will be better stewards than
          We have been.
          We can begin by admitting,
          Doubting the Sincerity and goodness of …
          If our cynicism is poisoning your education
          Please try to understand it before you pass judgement
          Dylan said,
          “don’t criticize what you don’t understand”

          • nu-fan

            Stanley:  And, you have no responsibilities for having more civility with others?  And, you do not pass judgments? If all of you want to just vent, perhaps, there should be a “venting” link on this website for those of you, insiders, who only want to gripe, complain, and speak ill of each other.  Regardless, if the horseracing industry wants fans, they should embrace them, not critiicize them needlessly.  Come down from your mountain.  You are not some “guru”.  The horseracing industry, at times, acts as if it was some private country club.  Perhaps, some of the fans do understand…. And, the industry wonders why the fans keep disappearing?

          • Stanley inman

            Nu-fan,
            My comments are not intended to be
            personal,
            (Even though they sound so.)
            Your points have been taken.
            Fans don’t stop being
            Fans
            because of who is standing beside them at the track
            (or at paulick report IMO)

          • Stanley inman

            Fan warning****
            Stand too close
            to apologists for status quo
            may result in injury
            from friendly fire.

          • nu-fan

            Stanley:  Agreed and all’s well.

  • Josh

    Despite his prior mistakes, O’neill was one of the best personalities and ambassadors of our sport during this year’s Triple Crown. I haven’t seen any prior trainers do as many PR spots as Doug did and I really believe he wants to put his image and the image of our sport in good light. Hopefully CBS gives him the opportunity to do so. 

  • David

    Even if such a piece isn’t positive (can’t imagine being a
    target of anything), industry factions representing, breeding, care, training
    and track operation will get together and respond in order . . . oh yeah, that’s
    right, this industry doesn’t have a unified voice does it?  Never mind.

    • nu-fan

      David:  I love your comments!  They give me a chuckle–and, in a good way.

  • David

    Even if such a piece isn’t positive (can’t imagine being a
    target of anything), industry factions representing, breeding, care, training
    and track operation will get together and respond in order . . . oh yeah, that’s
    right, this industry doesn’t have a unified voice does it?  Never mind.

  • More Or Less Safer

    They’re following Doug O’Neill and his horses on the way the the Derby. Armen Keteyian, not exactly Steve Haskin, is the lead correspondent.  All while trying to establish the show and drive viewers. With the Triple Crown on NBC and not one shred of racing on CBS. 

    Don’t worry; be happy. 

  • More Or Less Safer

    They’re following Doug O’Neill and his horses on the way the the Derby. Armen Keteyian, not exactly Steve Haskin, is the lead correspondent.  All while trying to establish the show and drive viewers. With the Triple Crown on NBC and not one shred of racing on CBS. 

    Don’t worry; be happy. 

  • Joannaprile

    Everyone makes mistakes & Doug is not the 1st trainer to do that.He is a great person.He did so much PR for horseracing before & after the Derby & the Preakness,have other trainers done that much?On his Facebook & Twitter pages he always responds to fans,answers questions you ask & keeps fans posted on his horses & when they will be racing.After IHA was retired he offered fans a way to get IHA buttons & had them sent out.I know because I asked for & received them.Will I be watching that program,you bet & I will be taping it.I will always support & root for Team O’Neill.Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but the time between the Derby & the Preakness was magical and it made a lot of people horseracing fans & made people like me,fall in love with IHA & Lava Man & a kid named Mario.

    • Dcurtis78

      Very well said, too bad that all the naysayers won’t agree, but then they live to be negative, sad . I will be watching the program and I am sure Doug will handle it well.

    • nu-fan

      Joannaprile: Nice comments that you made.  I don’t know if Mr. O’Neill is any better or worse than other trainers regarding the issues of medication violations.  But, it seems to me that he has become the whipping boy for so many.  Why?  Is it to deflect any light shining on others?  Is he the scapegoat?  Most people blindly jump on a bandwagon.  So much easier to do than to really look at things more critically.  One of the reasons that this show may be featuring Mr. O’Neill for a bit, is for the reasons that you mentioned.  He might be the one with whom so many fans have a good relationship and accessiblity with.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the broadcast has to say….  By the way, I’ll Have Another was my favorite this year as well.  And, I still love to hear and watch stories about Lava Man.  I think it was TVG that had a feature on him last week, maybe, on Legends.  Can’t quite remember.

      • Noelle

        I agree about the scapegoating.  Richard Dutrow got huge negative press in part because of his blithe attitude toward the (then legal) steroids he dosed Big Brown with.  At the same time other, less controversial, trainers at that year’s Belmont, when asked about their own use of steroids on their horses, answered “no-comment” and got away with it.  I’m not a Dutrow fan, but fair’s fair.  I’d be willing to bet most or all of Big Brown’s contemporaries were routinely injected with steroids. 

    • Don Reed

      The “everyone makes mistakes” attitude (dodge; evasion; falsehood) ignores the fact that THE ONLY PERSON BEING DISCUSSED is Doug O’Neill.

      Nice try with the diversion, by slandering everyone else.  It didn’t work.

      And trying to obfuscate Doug’s “mistakes” [INTENTIONAL overages] using Mario as a “Derby sentimental” hostage is particularly offensive. 

      Care to tell us what “mistakes” Mario’s made?  “Everyone” makes them, ya know.  Let’s drag hiom into your mud, just to exonerate (as if that’s possible) Doug. 

      No ethical holds barred, no proof of accusation required.

  • Joannaprile

    Everyone makes mistakes & Doug is not the 1st trainer to do that.He is a great person.He did so much PR for horseracing before & after the Derby & the Preakness,have other trainers done that much?On his Facebook & Twitter pages he always responds to fans,answers questions you ask & keeps fans posted on his horses & when they will be racing.After IHA was retired he offered fans a way to get IHA buttons & had them sent out.I know because I asked for & received them.Will I be watching that program,you bet & I will be taping it.I will always support & root for Team O’Neill.Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but the time between the Derby & the Preakness was magical and it made a lot of people horseracing fans & made people like me,fall in love with IHA & Lava Man & a kid named Mario.

  • Ohio Bred Girl

    Hoping for the best as well, but one correction: medication violations are not “mistakes.”

  • Ohio Bred Girl

    Or Graham Motion.

  • nu-fan

    Barbara:  Why assume that I do not know how use Google?  Maybe, I am just not naive enough to believe everything that is on it.  There is an old saying amongst those in the computer industry:  GIGO:  Garbage in, garbage out.  Also, there is a lot of information that is not made publicly and, sometimes, what information is sent out is “filtered truth”.  Wondered if there was someone who might have another clue as to the reasoning for the cancellation of this show.  The writing and cast were excellent.  HBO cancelled Luck; I cancelled HBO. 

  • Dcurtis78

    Very well said, too bad that all the naysayers won’t agree, but then they live to be negative, sad . I will be watching the program and I am sure Doug will handle it well.

  • nu-fan

    Barbara:  Your continued “loyalty” to the white haired guy is admirable but, after awhile, a bit tiring.  By the way, isn’t he the guy that didn’t win one Breeders’ Cup race this year even with the number of entries he had?  Most people do not follow horseracing that much.  Some watch the big race, the Kentucky Derby, and that is pretty much it.  Maybe, the other Triple Crown races if there is a horse that is highly publicized to win all three.  A few might watch the Breeders’ Cup.  But, if they do remember a name, it is going to the be name of the last win–and, in this case, it is the Derby–as well as one who is interviewed more often than most. But, you will notice that I did acknowledge that Mr. O’Neill has had some controversy surrounding him.  So, perhaps, it doesn’t hurt to keep things in perspective.  Try it sometime.

  • nu-fan

    Joannaprile: Nice comments that you made.  I don’t know if Mr. O’Neill is any better or worse than other trainers regarding the issues of medication violations.  But, it seems to me that he has become the whipping boy for so many.  Why?  Is it to deflect any light shining on others?  Is he the scapegoat?  Most people blindly jump on a bandwagon.  So much easier to do than to really look at things more critically.  One of the reasons that this show may be featuring Mr. O’Neill for a bit, is for the reasons that you mentioned.  He might be the one with whom so many fans have a good relationship and accessiblity with.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the broadcast has to say….  By the way, I’ll Have Another was my favorite this year as well.  And, I still love to hear and watch stories about Lava Man.  I think it was TVG that had a feature on him last week, maybe, on Legends.  Can’t quite remember.

  • nu-fan

    David:  I love your comments!  They give me a chuckle–and, in a good way.

  • nu-fan

    Josh:  I agree with you.  I hope that CBS gives him the opportunity to do so as well.

  • s/s

    Can’t wait to see investigative reporting 60 minutes does. Perhaps most of you will need to watch this as you seem to know little of his history. Right now he is on a PR fix never seen in racing before. The 60 minutes story will enlighten you.

  • s/s

    Can’t wait to see investigative reporting 60 minutes does. Perhaps most of you will need to watch this as you seem to know little of his history. Right now he is on a PR fix never seen in racing before. The 60 minutes story will enlighten you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peyton.c.lasiter Peyton Charles Lasiter

    Kind of a double edged sword. If everything comes out rosey then no need to pursue changes. If the results are negative then people leave the arena.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peyton.c.lasiter Peyton Charles Lasiter

    Kind of a double edged sword. If everything comes out rosey then no need to pursue changes. If the results are negative then people leave the arena.

  • James D. Jimenez

    Barbara,
    It’s said that we have two arms, one to carry water and the other to carry fuel for the flames. When it comes to anything negative about Doug O’Neil you are usually one of the first with the fuel, and with Bob Baffert you’re the first with the water. I’ve admitted that I work for Mr. O’Neill perhaps you should disclose your true association with Mr. Baffert.Here we have lots of potential for positives but you insist on drumming up old past issues. How would you fare if everyone knew as much about you?JDJ

  • Barbara

    Sometimes there isn’t a conspiracy and the truth is just that. 

  • Barbara

    I don’t get points for loyalty to the ballcap guy or the other HOF’er? And yeah, that’s Bob that didn’t win one BC race. That’s why you noticed;-)

  • Barbara

    I love your bucket analogy. I’d fare fine. I’m no where near as interesting as your boss. I relayed a true anecdote about DO’s notoriety in the main stream of folks that only watch TC races. I didn’t bring this “up.” Ray wrote a column about it and then NuFan made what I thought was a nonsensical response to “why” DO is the subject.

    On Bob, I defend him more for sport here – as he takes far more crap than he deserves, too. And yes, he helped me out when I worked in the media years ago, and he shared insight about training racehorses that I appreciated. Interesting that you focused on me “defending” Baffert  - I didn’t name him – I addressed the credibility of all three trainers that Kris listed in order as preferable to DO as a subject if the reason was due to who was most well known by the unwashed masses.

  • Don Reed

    Very simple. 
    Make Tiger Woods a top racing official – well, at the very least, make him
    a “Kentucky Colonel” – and CBS will at once go into the tank,
    protecting one of their assets – the way they did when Wallace
    “interviewed” Woods, some years ago.

    • Stanley inman

      Don,
      You have a fertile mind
      Tiger in Kentucky colonel get up
      Literal or figuratively
      Priceless

      • Don Reed

        He’s quite popular in England, so there, we bring in the Gilbert & Sullivan robes.  Kelsey Grammar can caddy.

  • Don Reed

    Very simple. 
    Make Tiger Woods a top racing official – well, at the very least, make him
    a “Kentucky Colonel” – and CBS will at once go into the tank,
    protecting one of their assets – the way they did when Wallace
    “interviewed” Woods, some years ago.

  • Don Reed

    Oh.  You again.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    This could be just the “EXPOSURE” “THE GAME” needs to start sending it back to the top of the sports world where it RIGHTFULLY  BELONGS!!!…ty CBS…

    • David

      I envy the passion but the racing you want so dearly to get
      back on top plays to entirely different audience than years ago.  This one has little patience for lack of transparency,
      (perceived) animal cruelty, the “charm” of racing’s insider orientation and refusal
      to change to fit today’s lifestyles. 
      No, racing must change Jim in order to warrant the affection to you hope
      for; the worse thing that can be done is to “educate” one on the tired old
      version of once, glorious bygone years.

      • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

        David, You my FRIEND are right on time…Pure transparency is PARAMOUNT in order to save “THE GAME”… I am part of that DIFFERENT AUDIENCE!!!…Amen & ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    This could be just the “EXPOSURE” “THE GAME” needs to start sending it back to the top of the sports world where it RIGHTFULLY  BELONGS!!!…ty CBS…

  • David

    I envy the passion but the racing you want so dearly to get
    back on top plays to entirely different audience than years ago.  This one has little patience for lack of transparency,
    (perceived) animal cruelty, the “charm” of racing’s insider orientation and refusal
    to change to fit today’s lifestyles. 
    No, racing must change Jim in order to warrant the affection to you hope
    for; the worse thing that can be done is to “educate” one on the tired old
    version of once, glorious bygone years.

  • Stanley inman

    Ray,
    This is what PR does best-
    Takes a non-subject
    and turns it magically
    into an entertaining experience for it’s audience.
    Reminds me when my kids were in elementary soccer.
    Lots of hope, bucket loads of aspirational dreams
    Most of which were
    Delusional;
    The real moment;
    Just getting out and kicking the ball with your kids.
    Let’s just go to the track today
    Before they bulldoze it down.

  • Stanley inman

    Ray,
    This is what PR does best-
    Takes a non-subject
    and turns it magically
    into an entertaining experience for it’s audience.
    Reminds me when my kids were in elementary soccer.
    Lots of hope, bucket loads of aspirational dreams
    Most of which were
    Delusional;
    The real moment;
    Just getting out and kicking the ball with your kids.
    Let’s just go to the track today
    Before they bulldoze it down.

  • Stanley inman

    Josh,
    You wrote;
    “…Hopefully CBS gives him the opportunity to do so”
    “…to put his image and the sport in good light”
    You mean his image doesn’t square with his history?
    That he deserves a “special” to set his record straight?
    Ask Doug if you can join up on his next “good will tour”
    As the sport’s spokesman.
    Ask nu-fan to drive doug’s
    “Warm n fuzzy” bus to rehabilitate us
    In the public’s imagination.
    Make sure you have plenty of
    “Lassie episodes” on board
    to keep spirits up .

  • Stanley inman

    Don,
    You have a fertile mind
    Tiger in Kentucky colonel get up
    Literal or figuratively
    Priceless

  • Don Reed

    The “everyone makes mistakes” attitude (dodge; evasion; falsehood) ignores the fact that THE ONLY PERSON BEING DISCUSSED is Doug O’Neill.

    Nice try with the diversion, by slandering everyone else.  It didn’t work.

    And trying to obfuscate Doug’s “mistakes” [INTENTIONAL overages] using Mario as a “Derby sentimental” hostage is particularly offensive. 

    Care to tell us what “mistakes” Mario’s made?  “Everyone” makes them, ya know.  Let’s drag hiom into your mud, just to exonerate (as if that’s possible) Doug. 

    No ethical holds barred, no proof of accusation required.

  • Don Reed

    He’s quite popular in England, so there, we bring in the Gilbert & Sullivan robes.  Kelsey Grammar can caddy.

  • James D. Jimenez

    I’m glad you would fare well and I hope I would also. 

    I can understand now way you have a fondness for Mr. Baffert, he’s just not my cup of tea. 

    I know & have worked with Mr. Sheriffs & have a ton of respect for him. 

    I shoe horses for Mr. O’Neill and I’m sure that many people feel that would sway me about many issues, the bottom line is that it won’t! Has he had some issues? Yes, but it should be clear to all that he has paid the price and has made tremendous efforts to right the ship. The bottom line is that on the backside you will not find many people that have a bad word to say about Doug. The lower you go on the totem pole the fewer bad things you’ll hear. This guy would give you the shirt off his back and not think twice. The time and money he puts towards charity would simply shock and embarrass must of us! He will grant and complete any and every interview that is asked of him no matter how long it may take.

    Is there a better spokesman for racing? Maybe, but I doubt that they’d give the effort and time to be that spokesman. I hope that this can shine a positive light on the game as it surely needs it and the powers that be have chosen Doug to be that person.

    Best to you,

    JDJ

  • Kris

    Nu-fan, I do appreciate your positive attitude, this sport would do well to have more fans like you.  With that said, O’Neil has many skeletons in his closet and we will have to see if the people involved in this program happen to mention any of them.  If this “60 Minutes Sports” show is anything like the regular show then I do believe we will hear about Doug’s past.  I will say this about Doug; he is a very likable guy to interview.  
    As for Sheriffs and Baffert:  Remember that JS trained the only horse to be featured on “60 Minutes,” and if there is any trainer in the country that can lay claim to being a household name it is Bob Baffert.
    I look forward to seeing the show.  

  • Kris

    James D. Jimenez,
    I usually don’t get into a disagreement between others but  whatever Barbara thinks of O’Neil is irrelevant, it is what this show will say about your boss and what the viewing public will think about him and the sport as a whole that matters.  Peace

  • Kris

    Ohio Bred Girl,
    Motion would be an excellent selection for an interview.

  • nu-fan

    Kris:  I think that what I am saying is that the “general public” does not know that much about horseracing.  Those who follow it, know of these and other trainers.  But, for the general public, they do not know that much about trainers.  They may follow the horses or the jockeys.  But, trainers?  No.  I don’t think so.  If they remember trainers at all, it would be the ones who win the big races.  Or, if they see interviews.  O’Neill has been featured on more interviews than most other trainers but, even there, these were on the cable horseracing channels that the general public may not watch.  Part of the declining importance of horseracing regarding the general public.  But, I thank you for being civil.  Others on this website would do well to learn from you.  And, yes, I think that many of us commenting on this website look forward to seeing that show.  Who knows?  It may end up surprising a number of us in what it will cover.  We’re all speculating….

  • nu-fan

    Stanley:  You do have a cynical streak in you.  Why?  Is it because you are part of the horseracing industry and are seeing that it has diminishing fan interest.  And, with it, your livelihood. And, now, you feel free to bash fans?  Wow.  No wonder horseracing, at its current pace, will continuing going downhill. Fortunately, horseracing fans can go to other sports/entertainment fields.  Plenty of options for us.  Where are you going to go? 

  • Stanley inman

    Nu-fan,
    Where to start;
    “….cynical streak…because
    you are part of the horseracing industry
    …seeing finishing fan interest…
    And with it your livelihood”

    So funny nu-fan
    Everybody I know who has been an OWNER for longer than a couple of weeks
    Makes a livelihood doin something else that enables their
    Participation in this great support.
    So my cynicism is not connected to your mistaken assumptions
    About livelihood;
    Nor is it originate in my concern about fans;
    I understand that part of the equation and it’s connection to my cynicism;
    (Which is defined as
    “doubting the sincerity and goodness of human motive,
    To show that doubt with sarcasm”)

    You and I are fortunate to have the Paulick Report
    My venting about leadership
    Your education
    Benefits both of us.
    Had you witnessed as many here have
    How this grand sport has been raped by
    The self-interest of many in leadership positions
    You might appreciate the caustic impatience of those who
    See social media to be the godsend it is to bring transparency
    To those like yourself who appear clueless,
    Nothing personal my friend.
    Giving hope that the next generation will be better stewards than
    We have been.
    We can begin by admitting,
    Doubting the Sincerity and goodness of …
    If our cynicism is poisoning your education
    Please try to understand it before you pass judgement
    Dylan said,
    “don’t criticize what you don’t understand”

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    David, You my FRIEND are right on time…Pure transparency is PARAMOUNT & I am part of that DIFFERENT AUDIENCE!!!…Amen & ty…

  • r u kiddong

    More like what could go right.

  • r u kiddong

    More like what could go right.

  • nu-fan

    Stanley:  And, you have no responsibilities for having more civility with others?  And, you do not pass judgments? If all of you want to just vent, perhaps, there should be a “venting” link on this website for those of you, insiders, who only want to gripe, complain, and speak ill of each other.  Regardless, if the horseracing industry wants fans, they should embrace them, not critiicize them needlessly.  Come down from your mountain.  You are not some “guru”.  The horseracing industry, at times, acts as if it was some private country club.  Perhaps, some of the fans do understand…. And, the industry wonders why the fans keep disappearing?

  • Noelle

    I agree about the scapegoating.  Richard Dutrow got huge negative press in part because of his blithe attitude toward the (then legal) steroids he dosed Big Brown with.  At the same time other, less controversial, trainers at that year’s Belmont, when asked about their own use of steroids on their horses, answered “no-comment” and got away with it.  I’m not a Dutrow fan, but fair’s fair.  I’d be willing to bet most or all of Big Brown’s contemporaries were routinely injected with steroids. 

  • Noelle

    I don’t know whether this particular broadcast will be a hit piece, maybe not, but as long as American racing insists on its current drugs regime, American racing will be a target for hit pieces – if not now, then whenever some new incident causes mainstream reporters to take a look at America’s refusal to ban drugs the rest of the world does well without. 

    • Don Reed

      We too busy not banning guns to ban drugs.

      • JLC

         Wish we could ban mental illness. 

        • Don Reed

          [In response to JLC, who responded to a comment about banning guns]

          If we do that, Brad informs me, I’m off this site as a commenter.

  • Noelle

    I don’t know whether this particular broadcast will be a hit piece, maybe not, but as long as American racing insists on its current drugs regime, American racing will be a target for hit pieces – if not now, then whenever some new incident causes mainstream reporters to take a look at America’s refusal to ban drugs the rest of the world does well without. 

  • Dantana

    If the four horses with a “legitimate shot” run like I’ve Had Enough, then the segment will be mercifully short.
    Will the CBS team cover shock-waving, joint & back injections, etc?

  • Dantana

    If the four horses with a “legitimate shot” run like I’ve Had Enough, then the segment will be mercifully short.
    Will the CBS team cover shock-waving, joint & back injections, etc?

  • Don Reed

    We too busy not banning guns to ban drugs.

  • Annmaree

    To be accurate, Doug’s “mistakes” were not classified as “medication violations”, because elevated levels of TCo2 is not a “medication”.  Anyone wanting the facts needs to read the entire report involving O’Neill.  He was only found guilty because of the California “trainer is responsible” rule.  There were no drugs involved in the recent incident.  This is not splitting hairs, either.  There are many natural substances, and lasix is one of them, that can cause elevated TCo2 levels, including a horse’s feed.  He was specifically found not guilty of the practice of “milkshaking”.

  • Annmaree

    Slight correction:  wording appears to imply that Lasix is a natural substance….it is a legal drug.

  • Stanley inman

    Nu-fan,
    My comments are not intended to be
    personal,
    (Even though they sound so.)
    Your points have been taken.
    Fans don’t stop being
    Fans
    because of who is standing beside them at the track
    (or at paulick report IMO)

  • Stanley inman

    Fan warning****
    Stand too close
    to apologists for status quo
    may result in injury
    from friendly fire.

  • nu-fan

    Stanley:  Agreed and all’s well.

  • Kris

    Thank you, Nu-Fan, civility goes a long way and when we are respectful of one another I do think the conversation is much better.

  • JLC

     Wish we could ban mental illness. 

  • Don Reed

    [In response to JLC, who responded to a comment about banning guns]

    If we do that, Brad informs me, I’m off this site as a commenter.

  • Don Reed

    You guys keep this up, you’re going to get a civil rights movement reignited.

  • http://www.facebook.com/judith.donlan.3 Judith Donlan

    What could go wrong? Surely you jest?  Do you really expect fair and just reporting from CBS, NBC or ABC..  CBS is well known for distorting facts and unabashed media control.  What do any of these so called “reporters” know about the racing industry?  You can bet they are not going to enhance the public perception of the sport.  Granted, the Sport does need a wake-up call on several fronts, but let’s make certain there’s someone involved that can help this uneducated crew by explaining both sides of a sticky situation if it should evolve as “news” in sports.  I’m not certain the thoroughbred industry needs CBS or any other media controlled news forum picking at the bones of what could be old skeletons in the closet.  Let’s try to help the industry clean up parts that need attention from within by monitoring more carefully the actions of trainers, owners and other backside employees.  We don’t need sensational reporting under the guise of “sports reporting”.  I’ll be viewing their reports and hope they are honest, fair and interesing as well.      

    • 3875waldo

      Judith, I agree with you.  You’re reading this at the same moment that the mainstream American media (including FOX) is now grotesquely exploiting the Newtown CT massacre. 

      If this is what they do with human tragedy, it will be no holds barred with the horse stories (even if its necessary to fabricate them; misquote people; manipulate electronic recordings of quotations; make false accusations, etc.).

      But Ray’s opening line was not to be taken literally; he’s being sardonic (with a shaving or two of sarcasm). 

  • http://www.facebook.com/judith.donlan.3 Judith Donlan

    What could go wrong? Surely you jest?  Do you really expect fair and just reporting from CBS, NBC or ABC..  CBS is well known for distorting facts and unabashed media control.  What do any of these so called “reporters” know about the racing industry?  You can bet they are not going to enhance the public perception of the sport.  Granted, the Sport does need a wake-up call on several fronts, but let’s make certain there’s someone involved that can help this uneducated crew by explaining both sides of a sticky situation if it should evolve as “news” in sports.  I’m not certain the thoroughbred industry needs CBS or any other media controlled news forum picking at the bones of what could be old skeletons in the closet.  Let’s try to help the industry clean up parts that need attention from within by monitoring more carefully the actions of trainers, owners and other backside employees.  We don’t need sensational reporting under the guise of “sports reporting”.  I’ll be viewing their reports and hope they are honest, fair and interesing as well.      

  • 3875waldo

    “There’s a conspiracy behind that statement!” (said the racetracker…)

  • 3875waldo

    Judith, I agree with you.  You’re reading this at the same moment that the mainstream American media (including FOX) is now grotesquely exploiting the Newtown CT massacre. 

    If this is what they do with human tragedy, it will be no holds barred with the horse stories (even if its necessary to fabricate them; misquote people; manipulate electronic recordings of quotations; make false accusations, etc.).

    But Ray’s opening line was not to be taken literally; he’s being sardonic (with a shaving or two of sarcasm). 

  • Kris

    Thank you for the laugh, 3875waldo.  It is appreciated :)

  • Don Reed

    Good!  Now, swing on over to the “TVG To
    Broadcast Santa Anita Winter Meet…” Story. “Letter to Allevato.”
    One or two more chuckles coming up.

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