Apr 072019

Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

John Adams

Two of Us

A few years back Phil opined about the best milkshakes in Alberta.

Phil’s favorite was always Licorice with an order of fries that had enough salt to melt the coldest heart.

Burger Barn Millet

5003 47 Avenue
Millet, AB T0C 1Z0

Only the man who has enough good in him to feel the justice of the penalty can be punished.

William Ernest Hocking

HOERDT,KELLY O                     
Commission Rule Number : 15 A(3)(B) NAD 71(3) AND 50 (A)                                                
Date Issued : 28-MAR-2019
Total Due :   5000.00
Violation Occurred : Race 5 at FRASER DOWNS on 24-MAR-2019 horse NELLIES ONTHEMONEY

Phil has a question:

When the penalties for a positive test are not sufficiently stiff doesn’t the fine become just another insignificant cost of doing business.

Phil has an idea:

First offense penalties:

Automatic 1 year suspension for any Class 1 drug positive.

Automatic 9 month suspension for any Class 2 drug positive.

Automatic 6 month suspension for any other Class drug positive.

And the kicker:

For one year from the date of the ruling every horse entered by the owner of the horse that had the positive test will have a pre and post race blood test to be analyzed at a lab of the Regulatory Body’s choosing at the cost of the owner.

For one year from the date of the end of the suspension every horse entered by the trainer will have a pre and post race blood test to be analyzed at a lab of the Regulatory Body’s choosing at the cost of the trainer.

We all know that the jiggies have the best chemists on their payroll, but at least that type of penalty would be a start.

We all know that the cheaters will continue to find ways to cheat, but at least the playing field will be a tad more level.

I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty.

Chief Joseph

Prison Grove

NY Times – Jacobs – Eat Your Veggies: Study Finds Poor Diets Linked to One in Five Deaths

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.
Doug Larson

Call Any Vegetable

Which vegetable did Noah leave off the ark?

The Leek

NY Times – Kilganon – The Pizza-and-Beer Train: New York City’s Hidden Railroad

Train in Vain

Be like a train; go in the rain, go in the sun, go in the storm, go in the dark tunnels! Be like a train; concentrate on your road and go with no hesitation!     

Mehmet Murat ildan

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.

 John F. Kennedy

The Mercury News – Krieger – Rodeo bulls better bred through science to buck riders

A man who misses his opportunity, and monkey who misses his branch, cannot be saved.
Hindu Proverb

PBR – Pro Bull Stats


Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.

James F. Byrnes

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Dr. Seuss

Bloodhorse – Angst and Oser – Portland Meadows Will Not Reopen for Racing

Paulick Report – Breeders’ Cup ‘Evaluating Contingency Plans’; Churchill ‘Could Host On Short Notice’

NY Times – Marchese – A-Rod on Doping, Getting Therapy and No Longer Being the Villain

TDN – Boyd Browning – Op/Ed: Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

Four things come not back: The spoken word, The sped arrow, The past life, The neglected opportunity.

Arabian Proverb

Paulick Report – Drug Maker Issues Statement Regarding Bisphosphonates: Unscrupulous Use ‘Morally Reprehensible’

Bloodhorse – Eric Mitchell – Better Bisphosphonate Test and Tighter Controls Coming

TDN – Sid Fernando – Taking Stock: How We Got Here

Paulick Report – U.S. Senators Introduce Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act To End Soring

TDN – Letters to the Editor: Barry Irwin

TDN – Kelsey Riley – Following South America’s Lead On Lasix

TDN – ARCI Considering Banning Entries From Bisphosphonate-Treated Horses

TDN – The Jockey Club Issues Statement Calling for Change

He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.

William James

TDN – Bill Finley -Op/Ed: The CHRB May Just Have Saved the Sport of Horse Racing

Paulick Report – View From the Eighth Pole: Staying The Course At Santa Anita

Paulick Report – Voss – Stronach Group Reforms: Questions In California And A View From The Mid-Atlantic

Baltimore – Sun – Wood and Broadwater – Maryland Senate advances plan to aid horse track owner on Laurel, Bowie renovations, require progress on Pimlico

Bloodhorse – Oser – Diverse Panel Voices Horse Racing Integrity Act Support

Bloodhorse – Angst – Congressman Andy Barr: Horseracing Integrity Act Needed

Feinstein, who is not known for ever doing anything related to racing, rifled off a letter saying that racing should be halted at Santa Anita until an investigation could be completed into the deaths of 23 horses.

You know how long a federal investigation can take? Two words: Mueller Report.

Politicians: Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Progressive, Independent can’t help themselves. Any event that lends itself to widespread media coverage, as the horrific situation at Santa Anita has, is going to bring out the soap boxes.

This is happening without the feds having an official role in racing regulations. The sport is in enough trouble with dunderheads like the California Horse Racing Board in control. The thought of what might happen if Uncle Sam is ever given real jurisdiction ought to give pause to anyone arguing for a federal role in policing the game.

Horse Race Insider – Jicha – Wood can’t catch a break; Beware Baffert’s other in Santa Anita Derby

If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win.
Mel Brooks

The Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank based in Harrisburg, has long lambasted the fund as “emblematic of corporate welfare.”

“It’s a tax on slot machines. It’s a subsidy,” said Nathan Benefield, the foundation’s vice president. “And if you have money to subsidize horse racing, you shouldn’t be raising taxes on working families.”

The Inquirer – Wood – Pa.’s horse-racing industry gets more state money than Health or Agriculture Departments

Sugar Daddy

As Santa Anita officials try to figure out why their racetrack has become so dangerous, it will also have to deal with a mounting public relations problem. Animal rights activists have protested outside the gates, and PETA has called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to close the track and asked the Los Angeles County district attorney to open an investigation into the use of drugs that mask injuries.

It is a problem that a beleaguered industry has long anticipated. In 2016 and again last year, members of the greyhound racing industry have anchored panels at the University of Arizona’s annual Global Symposium on Racing. They have spoken about the missteps made as their sport has dwindled to 17 or so racetracks.

“Is It Possible That Horse Racing Is One Referendum Away From Disappearing in Your Jurisdiction?” the discussion was titled in December. “Lessons Learned From the Greyhound Industry.”

NY Times – Drape – Horse Deaths at Santa Anita Spell Trouble for an Industry

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.


The Wood Memorial winner’s namesake was a Roman historian who chronicled inter alia Nero and the burning of Rome. Rightly or wrongly Nero was said to have fiddled while Rome burned. Although a historical impossibility as the fiddle was not invented for another 10 or so centuries, the phrase has come to be commonly used for those like the CCW and QKB who do nothing but take their salaries while everything around them collapses.

Thoroughbred racing in North America has to wake up and start being proactive rather than reactive. Read Wood’s article in the Inquirer about 10 or 20 times to understand that the thoroughbred industry is in a battle for every dollar it can glean and the sundry other factions battling for those dollars are far better organized and positioned than the current mishmash of governing bodies and associations in the thoroughbred industry. Remember that every one of those organizations scrambling for the dollars will exploit every weakness and every negative public perception to benefit themselves.

“It’s a tax on slot machines. It’s a subsidy,” said Nathan Benefield, the foundation’s vice president. “And if you have money to subsidize horse racing, you shouldn’t be raising taxes on working families.”

Phil has a question:

When dollars get tight how do you refute Benefield’s argument.

And whatever you say will be refuted by – Does that mean we should put a tax on Netflix and keep Blockbuster open.

CBC – Century Mile racetrack opens, with new season just four weeks away

Phil has a question:

Other than a HRA position holder is there any one in Alberta who thinks that the opening of the Century Mile is all that we need to get thoroughbred racing back on track after a decade of the QKB’s deliberate pro-jiggie anti-thoroughbred tactics.

Is any one out there impressed with Kent Verlik’s ability to help with the rejuvenation of thoroughbred racing in Alberta.

Does Kent Verlik have a better plan than the Edmonton Oiler’s Sideshow Bob.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work.


Paulick Report – Heart To Heart Prepares To Defend His Title In Maker’s 46 Mile

Bloodhorse – Angst – Record Qualifying Points Likely Needed to Make Derby

Horse Racing Nation – Anothertwistafate’s ‘next step’ a final Kentucky Derby 2019 prep

Horse Race Insider -Pricci – Suddenly Derby Waters Got A Lot Deeper

River Deep Mountain High

Paulick Report – Roadster Emerges As 6-1 Favorite In Fourth Kentucky Derby Future Wager

TDN – Sunday Roundup: Vekoma, Tacitus Well; Jaywalk Remains On Oaks Path

Paulick Report – Both Rebel Winners, Improbable Expected For Arkansas Derby

Paulick Report – ‘He Gives You Everything’: Gray Attempt Fires Bullet Toward Arkansas Derby

If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets.

Mel Brooks

Brisnet – Genaro – History Summons Tacitus After Wood Memorial Win

Bloodhorse – Ehalt – Tacitus Proves His Mettle in Wood Memorial

TDN – Son of Close Hatches Scores Narrow Victory in Wood Memorial

Paulick Report – Tacitus ‘Matured A Ton’; Wood Top Three Headed To Kentucky Derby

Phil has a question:

Have you ever seen a horse as cool, calm and collected as Tacitus was post race after having been pinballed all over the track coming out of the gate and into the first turn.

Did the Aqueduct stewards call Vinnie Barbarino to consult on the inquiries.

How many people were saved googling Tacitus by Genaro’s article.

Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable.

Paulick Report – Juarez Suspended 15 Days, Fined $2,500 For Wood Memorial Ride

Garden and Gun – It’s Time for a Mint Julep

Great things are won by great dangers.


Bloodhorse – Angst – Vekoma Delivers Dominating Performance in Blue Grass

TDN – Carasso – Candy Ride’s Vekoma Runs to the Money in the Blue Grass

Paulick Report – Vekoma ‘Has A Lot Of Gears’; Distance ‘Not A Question’ For Win Win Win

If presidents can’t do it to their wives, they do it to their country.

Mel Brooks

LA Times – Cherwa – Racing! Roadster and Game Winner head to Kentucky

Bloodhorse – Daugherty – Roadster Rallies to Santa Anita Derby Score

TDN – Roadster Runs Down Game Winner in Battle of the Bafferts

Paulick Report – Roadster Runs Down Stablemate Game Winner In The Santa Anita Derby

TDN – Japan’s Master Fencer Confirmed For Derby

NY Times – Taylor – Harvard Is Investigating Fencing Coach for Sale of Home to Prospective Student’s Father

TDN – Bill Finley – So Which Baffert Horse Will Win the Kentucky Derby?

Phil’s giving Finley a mulligan as this piece was written before the lacklustre Santa Anita Derby.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Albert Einstein

2019 Kentucky Derby Leader Board

Phil has a question:

What did we learn from this weekend’s 3 races:

Some trainers and owners have to call quick audibles as the Kentucky Derby leaderboard is very crowded and Master Fencer is coming over from Japan.

Some trainers and jockeys have tough decisions to make on Derby commitments over the next couple of weeks.

Tacitus should be #1 with a bullet on the Derby Dozens this week as he overcame 2 bumping incidents and still prevailed in a roughly run Wood Memorial.

After his roughhouse performance in the Wood Memorial will Juddmonte apply to rename Tacitus after that other famous historical scholar – Butkus.

There’s no Justify in the less stellar California Contingent this year.

Vekoma, Win Win Win and Signalman all had a useful prep race with Vekoma displaying some serious run after he got his head facing the proper direction.

This could be the most wide open Kentucky Derby we’ve seen in decades.

Children of the Revolution

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

Francois Bacon

Mustang Sally

TDN – Thornton – TDN Derby Top 12 for April 9

Paulick Report – Hackbarth – The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Making Sense Of Major Preps

Bloodhorse – Haskin – Derby Dozen – April 9, 2019 – Presented by Shadwell Farm

TSN – CP – Santana’s walk-off homer gives Indians win over Jays

Cleveland seems to be loaded with musical talent this year. Carlos Santana hitting and Justin Bieber’s brother pitching.

A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.

Black Magic Woman

Austin Chronicle – Watson – Mixed Metaphors

We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible. George Santayana

Orange Blossom Special

I went to a general store but they wouldn’t let me buy anything specific.

Steven Wright

Brisnet – Always Shopping Acquires a Gazelle Win for Repole

I rationalize shop. I buy a dress because I need change for gum.     

Rita Rudner

Bloodhorse – Out for a Spin Pulls 52-1 Ashland Shocker

Phil has a question:

When wagering on a Pick 3, 4, 5 or 6 at Keeneland how can you figure out which race to hit the ALL button.

The New Yorker – Menand – What Baseball Teaches Us About Measuring Talent

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.

Erma Bombeck

Mel Brooks Tribute

Bloodhorse – Hammonds – Bellafina Dominates Santa Anita Oaks

Portobello Belle

2019 Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard

Long Road

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – King – The inspirational story of a trainer who has left everyone in his wake this season

Garden and Gun – April 2019 Reading List

The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.
Edgar Allan Poe

Phil M Stockmen

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