Ray’s Paddock

View From The Eighth Pole: Lessons From The Past About Toothless Tigers And Herding Cats

Twenty-five years ago, Brian McGrath was introduced during a luncheon at the 21 Club in midtown Manhattan as horse racing’s first “commissioner.” Well, maybe not the commissioner for all of horse racing – just for the racetracks who were members of Thoroughbred Racing Associations, which had hired him. McGrath had no juice with regulatory bodies, […]

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What’s Different This Time? Racing History Shows An Evolution Of Attitudes About Fatal Injuries

In 1993, just ahead of that year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park, the Associated Press published a headline that could just as easily have been written this year: “Breeders’ Cup officials hoping for safety.” A short item from writer Ed Schuyler Jr. detailed the organization’s response to a series of five high profile equine […]

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Donna Brothers: PETA Is A Bully

I can no longer remain silent about my love for horses and for horse racing for fear of backlash from PETA and other extremist organizations that claim to be looking out for our horses’ welfare. PETA’s modus operandi is to scream louder than the people and industries they attack, but unfortunately, while they promote themselves as […]

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A Jockey/Veterinarian’s Open Letter to Dianne Feinstein: ‘I Only Ask That You Recognize The Progress Being Made’

Dear Honorable Senator Feinstein, Thank you for caring so much about our state and having a compassionate ear to listen to each individual need. I wanted to address some of your concerns over the horse racing industry. I am a veterinarian, as well as a jockey, a combination of pursuits that gives me a unique […]

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Confronting The Boogeyman On Auction Radiographs

It’s a story as old as radiography itself. An auction prospect comes to the sales grounds with a mild to moderate imperfection on its x-rays, potential buyers flee at the sight of a less-than-pristine vet report, the horse hammers for less than hoped-for, and then it goes on to become an elite runner. Obviously, not […]

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View From The Eighth Pole: A Sport In The Crosshairs

Oct. 27, 1990, was the most somber day I’ve spent at a racetrack. That was when the New York Racing Association hosted the Breeders’ Cup at Belmont Park for the first time on a sunny but cold afternoon. Two horses perished in the day’s first championship race when Mr. Nickerson suffered an apparent heart attack […]

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How Dr. Edward H. Fallon Streamlined The Breeding Season

Advances in knowledge and technology have made the chances of getting a mare pregnant during the breeding season as high as they’ve ever been, and that efficiency has shaped the breeding industry’s schedules and production into what we know today. The difference in a few days for getting a mare ready for the breeding shed, […]

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After PETA Scandal, West Virginia Tracks And Horsemen Making Plans To Institute Necropsy Program By January 2020

West Virginia’s racing commissioners reacted with horror and outrage to a series of photos distributed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) several weeks ago, and vowed that change would be coming as a result.  PETA published a set of photographs taken by an unnamed whistleblower which appeared to show the body […]

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PR Special Keeneland November Sale: Back In Time With Woodburn Stud

The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale rolls on into Book 2 and the Paulick Report is there with another edition of the PR Special. In this issue, features editor Natalie Voss enters the Kentucky Farm Time Capsule to look at the long and storied history of Woodburn Stud, the home of the breed-shaping stallion Lexington […]

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Breeders’ Cup Mum On Mongolian Groom’s Exam History

If you’re looking for details on the veterinary exam history of Breeders’ Cup Classic runner Mongolian Groom, who was fatally injured in the Santa Anita stretch on Nov. 2, you’re not going to get them any time soon. The horse, who suffered multiple fractures of the lower part of his left hind cannon and upper […]

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