Billy Turner, trainer of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, dies at 81

REDDICK, Fla. (AP) — Billy Turner, who trained Seattle Slew to a Triple Crown sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes in 1977, has died. He was 81.

Turner died Friday at his home in Reddick where he had been in hospice care after battling prostate cancer for two years, according to a statement from his wife, Pat.

Seattle Slew became horse racing’s 10th Triple Crown winner and first to go undefeated during his 3-year-old season. The colt was named Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male in 1977.

“There was no relief in winning the first leg, or the second. I had to win all three,” Turner told the Baltimore Sun in 2010. “I knew that horse had the ability to do it. All I had to do was to hold things together.”

Seattle Slew’s owners moved the colt to trainer Doug Peterson by the end of that year when they disagreed with Turner’s plan to rest the colt after the Triple Crown. Seattle Slew ran afterward and was badly beaten.

Turner was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1981. He had 533 victories and purse earnings of $17,501,009 during his career, according to Equibase…

How new proposed rules would deter horse racing’s drug cheats

Trainer still furious about Maximum Security DQ in Kentucky Derby; Belmont Stakes next?Thoroughbred racing’s drug cheats would face stiffer sanctions, stronger deterrents and surprise testing if a set of proposed rules announced Thursday are adopted.

Negotiations between the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have yet to yield a contract or put a price on streamlining the sport’s drug enforcement, but the rules released for public feedback anticipate a more vigorous, centralized and consistent model than the patchwork arrangement that currently exists among America’s 38 racing jurisdictions.

Positive tests involving prohibited substances would be subject to multiyear suspensions: two years for a first offense; up to four years in the event of aggravating circumstances or for a second violation within 10 years.

Therapeutic medications banned only on race day could trigger a 30-day suspension and up to a 2-year ban in the event of aggravating circumstances or a fourth violation within a five-year period.

Race-day violations would mean automatic disqualification for the horse.

These penalties are potentially more punitive than those currently imposed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. According to the KHRC’s guidelines, a first offense involving a Class C drug such as betamethasone calls for a suspension of no more than 10 days for the responsible trainer…

Horse Racing News from Pennsylvania

Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act

The most significant regulatory change in horse racing oversight is making headway.

Rather than the patchwork regulating 38 racing statesincluding Pennsylvania, a uniform national standard is coming.

A draft of proposed anti-doping and medication rules is out and a comment period is open. Changes begin next July.

Key changes include:

  • The bans the anti-bleeding medication Lasix on race day in all 2-year-old and stakes races. Last week, all 14 Breeders’ Cup world championships ran without Lasix for the first time.
  • Primary substances are never allowed, including anabolic steroids and erythropoietin (EPO) that can increase red blood cells and boost aerobic capacity.
  • Secondary substances as anti-inflammatories and supplements cannot be used on race day.
  • Up to 48 hours before a race, Horses are allowed to ingest only water, hay and oats two days before a race.
  • There be no detection of any prohibited substance beginning at midnight on race day

Millions Unused in This State Fund Intended to Benefit Thoroughbred Racing

30/9/2021 Horse Racing Tips and Best Bets – WaverleyA recent audit of the Gaming Commission’s monitoring of gamblers listed on gaming exclusion lists found no deficiencies, but Auditor Suzanne Bump said the agency could do a better job of collaborating with the Legislature and other organizations to address the horse racing industry here, including the use of casino revenues to support racing.

The 2011 law that legalized casino gambling in Massachusetts carved out a portion of gaming revenues to flow into a Race Horse Development Fund (RHDF) that is meant to support each side of the horse racing world — the standardbreds that run at Plainridge Park Racecourse in Plainville and the thoroughbreds that used to run at Suffolk Downs. But with thoroughbred racing gone from the Bay State and the state’s casinos raking in record amounts of revenue, the statutory restrictions on the fund have led to a $20 million pot that largely cannot be spent as intended. …

“While MGC has done a noteworthy job managing the state’s emerging gaming industry, our audit makes clear the Commission should bring all relevant stakeholders to the table to consider the Race Horse Development Fund’s most effective use,” Bump said. “This consultation and collaborative effort would enhance oversight of the fund, and would benefit breeders, owners, and the industry as a whole.”

As of the end of August, the fund had a balance of more than…

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Upstate New York

2021 Saratoga meet breaks betting record again

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Despite above average rainfall and ongoing fears about the spread of coronavirus, more than one million horse racing fans returned to the Saratoga Race Course this summer and set an all-time betting record.

New York Racing Association President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said the all-source handle, or the total amount of money bet, reached more than $800 million, the third year in a row that the handle record was broken during the 40-day meet.

“Thanks to the energy, enthusiasm and support of the best fans in horse racing, the 2021 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course has been a tremendous success,” O’Rourke said in a statement.

He also noted that this year’s meet “has been a summer reunion like never before,” after NYRA raced without fans in Saratoga in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re especially pleased that the return of fans has translated into strong business for downtown Saratoga Springs and the entire Capital Region community,” he said. “The summer meet at Saratoga is as strong as any point in its storied history.”

Thoroughbred owner Rick Porter Left lasting legacy of caring for horses as much as people

There was something about Rick Porter that drew people to him.

Fans would come out to Delaware Park to watch a race simply because they knew Porter had a horse running in it.

And it was an impressive record to be following, too.

The Wilmington native saw great success as a thoroughbred owner, campaigning 20 graded stakes horses and multiple champions, including Havre de Grace, Songbird, Omaha Beach and Eight Belles.

One of his most recent victories was at the Delaware Handicap in 2017, one of the state’s biggest races of the year, with Songbird and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Others in the industry respected his deep knowledge of horses and admired his expertise in the business.

John Mooney, executive director of racing at Delaware Park, said…

Eight will get in gate for Belmont Stakes without Trainer Bob Baffert

Belmont Park horse racingTrainer Doug O’Neill knows this isn’t horse racing’s shining moment. Medina Spirit, who won the Kentucky Derby only to fail a drug test, won’t line up at the starting gate at the Belmont States on Saturday. And Medina Spirit’s trainer, Bob Baffert, the sport’s biggest name, won’t have a horse in the race, since he’s temporarily suspended from New York racetracks.

There’s just no escaping any of that — Baffert has even been lampooned on “Saturday Night Live” — but there is, at least, a chance to course correct. O’Neill, whose horse, Hot Rod Charlie, is the third betting choice in a field of eight at 7-2 morning line odds and drew the No. 4 post position at the Belmont Stakes draw on Tuesday morning, could be one of the keys to a changing script. Well, at least for a day.

“I do think this sport could use some more stories of the connections between horse and human and how, like in the Derby, there were like 250 people there all because of Charlie,” O’Neill said. “Charlie brought all these people together, so you know horses are amazing. They’re mirrors of us and we said it all the time, if you give them love, they gave it right back to you. I think these are the stories that we don’t really talk about a lot.”

The 2-1 favorite, Essential Quality, got the second post position, and…

Make Horse Racing about True Sport

true sport of horse racing tampaThey say the first time you “breeze” a racehorse (that is a term for letting them run as if you were in an actual race) the adrenaline rush is so high that when you get off your legs crumple underneath you.

I had just graduated from college and had the opportunity to gallop race horses. This was a childhood dream of mine, so I thought if not now, when? Can’t be doing this when I’m 50. I signed on the dotted line

The job was at Fairview Farm in Landrum, S.C., which included a mile and a quarter track. I arrived and was told to shorten up my stirrups, put on my helmet and begin galloping. I had to pinch myself because here I was galloping some of the most elegant, athletic horses in the world, a dream come true!

After many hours of galloping, you can earn the opportunity to “breeze” a horse. The guys in the barn all referred to me as “New York” as they found my fast-talking New York persona incredibly amusing . The big day came and I heard over and over again from the barn workers,

“Hey New York, be careful, your legs are gonna crumple when you get off,” accompanied by a lot of laughter. I had ridden over some pretty imposing fences in my show jumping career, so I just laughed right back at them.

When we got the horses to the track (you run in pairs) the trainer told us to pick up a nice slow gallop and when we hit the quarter pole to drop down on the rail and let them run.

It is hard to describe the elevated beauty of that moment. The power, the grace, the wind in your face. It was like nothing I had ever experienced, even when jumping huge fences and getting that moment of suspension in the air. This was a whole different level of thrill..

Industry Profile: Hall of Fame jockey Bobby Ussery

Horse racing fans have been in their element recently with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes grabbing national attention. Nothing can compare to the adrenalin rush fans get when their favorite horses come charging down the stretch in the sport’s most iconic races.

Controversy is nothing new in the horse racing game and Hall of Fame jockey Bobby Ussery can attest to that with some firsthand knowledge. The affable 85-year-old lives in Presidential Place in Hollywood and still counts himself as a big horse racing fan. Robert Nelson “Bobby” Ussery was born in Oklahoma and retired in 1974 with 3,611 race wins. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1980.

Medina Spirit, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, is embroiled in controversy after testing positive for the steroid betamethasone in post-Derby testing. If the second round of testing comes back positive, Medina Spirit will be disqualified…

Deja Vu. Baffert’s KY Derby winner Medina Spirit fails drug test

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bob Baffert’s frustration was apparent as he tried to digest the latest positive drug test involving one of his prized thoroughbreds.

This one involves Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, Baffert’s fifth horse to fail a drug test in a year, which the Hall of Famer vowed to fight “tooth and nail” in the latest doping scandal for horse racing and arguably the sport’s premier trainer.

Flanked by his attorney Craig Robertson in a morning news conference at Churchill Downs on Sunday, Baffert said his barn was told that Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, double the legal threshold in Kentucky racing, in a postrace sample…

“This shouldn’t have happened,” Baffert said, [after another Grade 1 winner of his tests positive]. “There’s a problem somewhere. It didn’t come from us.”

Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby on May 1 by a half-length over Mandaloun, giving Baffert his record-setting seventh victory in the race that starts the Triple Crown season. Medina Spirit is still expected to race in the Preakness, the Triple Crown’s second jewel, on Saturday.

Related New: Churchill Downs issued this statement following the news of the positive drug test on Baffert’s Derby winner, suspending one of the winningest trainers of all time for running his horses at their racetracks.

The colt galloped Sunday at Churchill Downs and is expected to leave the track with stablemate Concert Tour and head to Baltimore on Monday.

Baffert was planning to saddle Medina Spirit and Concert Tour in the Preakness, going for a record eighth victory in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Except for 2020 when the races were run out of order due to the coronavirus pandemic, Baffert is undefeated with a Derby winner in the Preakness, which holds its post position draw Monday…