View From the Eighth Pole

View From The Eighth Pole: U.S. Horse Racing’s Lack Of Organization, Leadership Magnified During Crisis

Horse racing is in crisis, and not just in California or the United States, where there has been an increased focus on the sport’s equine fatalities since Santa Anita Park went through a particularly deadly period last winter. More recently, Keeneland – in the heart of Kentucky’s Thoroughbred industry – has been on the defensive […]

Continue reading
View From The Eighth Pole: California Governor’s Actions Tell Different Story Than His Words

Racing in California faces an uncertain future, based on stinging comments about the sport made by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the New York Times this week.  Newsom, a Democrat elected in a landslide last November, expressed his unhappiness with the spike in fatalities at Santa Anita earlier this year along with the regulatory oversight provided […]

Continue reading
View From The Eighth Pole: Horse Racing Should Heed Lessons From California

The metrics of the horse racing business have changed. There was a time, when I first got involved in the game in the 1970s, that attendance and wagering were the key numbers in defining success and failure of a race meeting. Off-track betting facilities, full-card simulcasting and advance deposit wagering gutted on-track business and made […]

Continue reading
View From The Eighth Pole: A Mitchell Report For Racing?

Major League Baseball was going through an identity crisis in the late 1990s and early 2000s as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds shattered home run records that had stood for decades. Attendance at Major League parks was booming and a sport that had lost some some sizzle over a players’ strike that interrupted […]

Continue reading
View From The Eighth Pole: An Opportunity Lost For Racing

More than 18 million households tuned in to NBC Sports to watch the Kentucky Derby on May 4. According to Sports Media Watch, the A.C. Nielsen ratings actually grew in the minutes after the race to 18.5 million households as stewards deliberated whether or not to disqualify Maximum Security from his apparent win. Controversy followed […]

Continue reading
View From the Eighth Pole: Staying The Course At Santa Anita

(Editor’s note: On Monday afternoon, the California Horse Racing Board announced that Friday’s special meeting has been cancelled and that discussions about Santa Anita were being moved to the regularly scheduled CHRB meeting on April 18. The following was published prior to the cancellation of the meeting.) The California Horse Racing Board meets this Friday for […]

Continue reading
Minnesota Racing Commission Responds To Paulick Commentary

In his “View From The Eighth Pole” commentary published on March 11, Paulick Report publisher Ray Paulick took issue with how the Minnesota Racing Commission has handled methamphetamine positives in recent years, including the case of a trainer who had two methamphetamine violations in a four-year period. The editorial, “Regulatory Fairness Left in the Starting […]

Continue reading
View From The Eighth Pole: The Disappearing Iron Horse

I recently took a trip down memory lane with Tom Durkin, the race caller who worked the announcer’s booth for the Breeders’ Cup’s inaugural running at Hollywood Park in 1984 and didn’t relinquish the microphone until after the 2005 edition, when the telecast moved from NBC to ESPN. Durkin gave fans a chance to relive […]

Continue reading
View From The Eighth Pole: Horseplayers Deserve Better From Stewards And Regulators

My phone started blowing up Sunday afternoon, shortly after the fourth race at Gulfstream Park was run. There were calls, emails, text messages and Twitter comments imploring me to watch jockey Tony Maragh on a horse named Musical Heart. The 3-year-old gelding by Maclean’s Music, owned by Joseph Bucci and trained by Aubrey Maragh, finished […]

Continue reading
View From The Eighth Pole: Clean Start Puts Justify In The History Books

It was always about the break. Trainer Bob Baffert has seen how a bad break can cause the best horse in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby to lose. It happened in 2010 with Lookin At Lucky, who had the misfortune of drawing the inside post in a field of 20, then leaving the starting gate […]

Continue reading
Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram