Racing in the news

Many of my fellow bloggers are bemoaning the lack of interesting racing news out there as we head towards the inner track season…but I guess I am more easily engaged than they (and I mean that as a compliment to them), as I am having a hard time writing posts short enough to publish. A few post-Thanksgiving tidbits on which to nibble:

Last week I wrote about the feature on Karakorum racing in the New York Times; National Public Radio picked it up over the weekend, interviewing a Karakorum owner on Weekend Edition Saturday. I can’t say that the woman interviewed is the most racing-savvy I’ve ever heard (then again, she was dead-on in her analysis of Midnight Lute), but given the way that horseplayers are being portrayed these days, I’ll take any positive depictions we can get.

Received in my e-mail inbox today my newsletter from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation; highlighted is Barclay Tagg’s enrollment in the TRF’s Pony-Up Program, in which participants donate a set amount of money for each of their winners. Tagg will donate $50 for each winner he saddles; the list of participants consists of Gary Contessa, Jimmy Jerkens, Lisa Lewis, Kiaran McLaughlin, Ken McPeek, Graham Motion, Chuck Simon, Todd Pletcher, William Entenmann, Howie Tesher, Tom Albertrani, John and Susan Moore and Brent Johnson. As if most of these trainers don’t already provide us with enough reasons to root for their horses, here’s another.

Browsing the NYRA website this evening (OK, so maybe things ARE a little slow), I stumbled across an invitation, from Jan Rushton, to a brunch benefiting BEST (Backstretch Employees Service Team); the theme is “Behind the Scenes: Women in Horseracing.” The event takes place at Aqueduct this Sunday, December 2nd, and will feature the documentary “Women in American Horse Racing,” followed by a discussion in which Jan and “other special women in the racing industry” will discuss their experiences. Might be worth a look…

3 thoughts on “Racing in the news

  1. Nice to see Todd Pletcher on that list. I hope they get more trainers to sign on for this worthwhile program. Where’s our friend Michael Matz?

  2. The discussion with the women in racing does appear as if it deserves a look. Looking back to the 70’s, women had difficulty working in the industry. Few women were taken seriously or even thought capable and as jockeys, they had even greater difficulties to face to make it to the “big leagues.” Robin Smith and others helped break the barriers; however, the spectacle of Mary Bacon sure did not do much to improve the woman’s movement within the racing and outside the community, IMHO. We have made great strides since the 70’s, when you look at Julie Krone but on the other hand where are the other great woman riders? We still don’t have a Derby winner and there are no woman ranked in the top echelon of riders or would be considered a familiar name when the Derby comes around every May. As far as trainers, women have made advancements there as well but again no real “household” names. Unfortunately, recent women trainers are known for either finishing a close 2nd in the Derby or having a top 3YO taken away from them. Yes, this discussion would be interesting to attend. Women have made great advancements in the racing industry but we have a long way to go as well. I would love to hear their stories. PS. There’s a great write up on Mary Bacon on Maryjean Wall’s blog at

  3. Thanks for the link, Trip–great story. I didn’t really know much about Mary Bacon.A few summers ago I attended a women in racing panel at the Racing Museum; a NYRA vet, Sherry Ross of the Daily News, trainer Leah Gyrmati, and jockey Chantal Sutherland talked about their experiences. While some of the discussion really focused on them as women in the field, much of it was just about racing, which was great, because it exceptionalized the women a little less.I’m pretty sure that I’m going to go on Sunday, so I’ll post a full report next week.

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