Ray’s Paddock

The Friday Show Presented By The 158th Queen’s Plate: Hialeah Hope, Royal Attraction?

Hialeah Park was once one of the most elegant venues of Thoroughbred racing in the country. The physical facility remains gorgeous inside and out, but the racing product has deteriorated — boiling it down — to a series of match races between 15-year-old Quarter Horses going 100 yards. In this edition of The Friday Show, […]

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View From The Eighth Pole: Blame State, Not Brunetti, For Mockery Of The Sport At Hialeah

I visited Hialeah Park for the first time nearly 30 years ago, on Dec. 26, 1987. Though I’d been cautioned that the grande dame of South Florida racing was not what she once was – that the war track owner John Brunetti had lost to Gulfstream Park over the prime winter dates had taken its […]

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First Time’s The Charm: Remembering Mr. Hooper

When a 96-year-old Thoroughbred trainer turned heads recently by winning a fist-bumping race at Gulfstream Park, there was an immediate flashback to one name, Fred W. Hooper, who more than any other personified racing’s unique claim to being a cradle to grave sport. I first met Mr Hooper in the early spring of 1996 on […]

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The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine Racetrack: Changing Of The Crown?

Only one horse ran in all three legs of the Triple Crown this year, which has prompted the seemingly annual discussion about whether it’s time to make changes to the timing of the races, offer incentives or make other tweaks. In this edition of The Friday Show presented by Woodbine Racetrack, Scott Jagow and Ray […]

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View From The Eighth Pole: The Race To The Breeding Shed

There was a time, not so long ago, that sporting men and women would breed Thoroughbreds to race them. Today, it seems, we have more business people who race to breed. With the 2017 Triple Crown in the books – and three different horses winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont for the ninth time […]

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Beck: Is AAEP Protecting Horses … Or Its Own Interests?

Various members of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, the group of industry organizations promoting passage of federal legislation that would bring uniform standards to our sport under the direction of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, have spent a good deal of time with representatives of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) over the […]

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The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine Racetrack: Songbird In The Flesh, Belmont Day Breakdown

The 149th Belmont Stakes won’t bestow Triple Crown honors on a horse this year, but the main event and surrounding races certainly appear dreamy for horseplayers and other fans of horse racing. In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick get a special backside sneak preview of champion Songbird before she […]

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Could Belmont Run By Epicharis Be Start Of Something Big For NYRA?

The New York Racing Association hopes Epicharis’ participation in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday will help to usher in a new era of regular appearances by Japan-based horses in its major races. NYRA officials persuaded Epicharis’ connections to make the long journey from Japan by offering a $1-million bonus if their quest should […]

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Coltimus Prime Gives Rene Douglas A Clásico Return To Panama

Rene Douglas made a triumphant return to his native Panama on Sunday, where he launched a riding career that would carry him to 3,587 victories over 27 years in the United States. That career ended suddenly on the afternoon of May 23, 2009, when a horse Douglas was riding at Arlington Park fell, rolling over […]

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The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine Racetrack: Fantasy Meets Reality?

A judge’s ruling in California has the potential for major repercussions in the horse racing industry and possibly, the entire world of Daily Fantasy Sports. In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss the ruling against Derby Wars in a lawsuit filed by the Stronach Group. What does it mean […]

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