Ray’s Paddock

Lamoreaux: The ‘Wonder Horse’ Who Launched 1989 Saratoga Season

The year was 1989.  That would be 30 years ago.  The date was August 2 to be precise.  It was opening day at Saratoga where a then record 30-thousand plus patrons showed up, brought by talk of a new “wonder horse.” It would be a Saratoga year that would see the last of  Angel Cordero […]

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Ray’s Best Bets Presented By Del Mar: A Visit To Eclectic Encinitas

Encinitas is an oceanfront town of about 60,000 people located just five miles north of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif. It’s a beautiful drive alongside the public beaches through Solana Beach and Cardiff by the Sea on the 101 South Coast Highway to this funky little beach enclave sprinkled with interesting […]

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Thoroughbred Industry Organizations’ Statements On Current Crisis

It began with a media death watch during a cold and wet winter at Santa Anita Park. As the number of racing and training fatalities increased at the Arcadia, Calif., track (it topped out at 30 from Dec. 26 through June 22), local and then national media began to take notice. Santa Anita owner Belinda […]

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Racing Royalty: The Story Of Horseman And Steward Don Le Vine

Over an excruciating and tension-filled 21 minutes and 57 seconds on the first Saturday in May, many Americans learned of the work performed by stewards at racetracks. In that time, the three stewards at Churchill Downs reluctantly made history by disqualifying the first-place finisher in the 145th Kentucky Derby and awarded the victory — meaningful […]

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Can They Do That? The Legal Precedent (Or Not) Behind Hollendorfer’s Exclusion

In the wake of announcements from The Stronach Group (owner of Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields in California, Gulfstream in Florida and Laurel and Pimlico in Maryland), and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club that Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer would be denied stalls and entries at their facilities, readers have been asking […]

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The Friday Show Presented By The MATCH Series: Who’s In Charge?

For the horse racing industry, there’s been no respite from protests and media scrutiny in 2019. Things went to another level this week with a vote in Los Angeles on Thoroughbred racing in California. In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss what the racing industry should do — if […]

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Commentary: Anabolic Steroids And Lasix – More Similarities Than You May Think

I believe that for many horsemen, administering performance-enhancing drugs to our horses — if they can get away with it — is based on the sad fact of trying to stay competitive at all cost. For those of you who have already begun to do a slow burn just reading this — stay with me. […]

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Ray’s Best Bets Presented By Del Mar: An Idyllic Dark Day At Torrey Pines

Opening week at Del Mar was a challenge for me at the betting windows. After a chalky kickoff to the meet last Wednesday, when seven of the 10 races were won by betting favorites, the four days that followed offered a greater variety of payoffs. Only nine of the next 33 races went to favorites, […]

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Biting The Dust: A Long Goodbye To Mount Pleasant Meadows

It was early February and the rail was dead at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Its remains laid stacked in a tangled heap of PVC and metal in the center aisle of Barn D, sheltered from the stinging wind of a Michigan winter storm. The dilapidated barn did little to stop the gusts that whistled through its […]

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In Defense Of Horse Racing: Facing The Question Of Ethics

A spike in racehorse fatalities at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., earlier this year led to the publication of numerous articles criticizing the horse racing industry fundamentally for being unethically destructive of horses. This sort of press endangers the future of horse racing. For horse racing to survive, it has to face its ethical […]

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