Welcome to the TDN Op Ed page, where a selected stable of writers will, from time to time, offer their opinion and perspective on matters concerning the racing industry. The viewpoints expressed herein are not necessarily those of the management, but promise to represent what we consider to be responsible comment.
Comments? Please respond to TDN management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barry Irwin is the owner of Team Valor International, based in Versailles, Kentucky since 1999. A native Californian, Irwin began in racing as a staff writer for The Blood-Horse in 1969 and stopped writing full time in 1978 after 5 years as a columnist for Daily Racing Form. Irwin forms partnerships that race horses in North America, Europe, South Africa and Dubai. Top horses raced by his stable include Ipi Tombe, Unbridled Belle, Prized, Captain Bodgit and Star of Cozzene. He is Chairman of the Board of the Race for Education. He is married to Kathleen Jones Irwin.
- 1/29/2013 - ATTENTION PRO LASIX ADVOCATES
California has become the battleground in the national debate among horsemen, vets and owners over Lasix. Thanks to funding, energy and passion from the Thoroughbred Owners of California (which also has trainers on its board of directors) and Dr. Mark Dedomenico, the debate about whether to continue to use Lasix or ban it is reaching a fever pitch. — (click here to read the entire article)
- 1/19/2013 - How 'Bout Them Owners?
Rick Dutrow has officially been banned from the game for a decade. Interestingly, like the notorious American miscreant Al Capone, Dutrow was knocked off his perch not by what people suspected he did, but by technicalities. Capone was not sent to prison for murder, but famously for tax evasion. Dutrow has not been suspended for using illegal practices as many suspect him of, but for lesser infractions. — (click here to read the entire article)
- 7/26/2011 - PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP
Racing needs to wean itself off race-day medication. Various reasons have been proffered for the elimination of drugs on race day, but there is one rarely mentioned that encompasses another major problem hurting the well-being of our industry--a lack of owners willing to play to game. — (click here to read the entire article)
- 7/11/2009 - KEEP IN MIND
Patrick Neely (Thoroughbred Daily News, July 9) took to task Arthur Hancock for a previous Op-Ed (Alternative to Slots, July 2) on behalf of KEEP, an organization for which he works. The focus should not be on Mr. Hancock, but on KEEP, its founders and leaders, and on the Democrats in Kentucky led by the governor. What is KEEP? — (click here to read the entire article)
- 4/23/2009 - POLYTRACK HARD TO WATCH
I will leave it up to analysts more qualified than me to figure out whether Polytrack is safer than dirt, even though the initial evidence suggests that the synthetic surface has already saved the lives of many of our equine warriors.
From my narrow perspective, however, if somebody can tell me the good part about watching races on Polytrack, I for one would love to hear about it. — (click here to read the entire article)
- 2/25/2009 - G Men Needed
Survival of Thoroughbred horse racing on the scale we have known it may be in greater jeopardy than usual because of a confluence of events that is being fueled by the current economic crisis. Those of us who derive our incomes solely from the industry have come to fully realize horse racing is not an activity that is required for the existence of life. In the current climate, the only group outside of the game's participants that might like to see racing continue is the state governments where betting on horses is conducted, because tax revenue from horse racing in an age of unprecedented budget deficits is temporarily useful. — (click here to read the entire article)
- 1/31/2009 - THE QUAD
Last week I challenged Kentucky Thoroughbred interests not to pursue alternative gaming (VTLs). I promised to show how a positive change to the racing environment through the introduction of a new bet would serve to get racing's fan base pumped up on a regular basis. My concept is far from original, yet proven in popularity. With a twist here and there, it can, I believe, jump-start our sagging game. — (click here to read the entire article)
- 1/22/2009 - KENTUCKY SLOTS
Bill Finley penned in the January 17 TDN an editorial that is the most chilling piece of racing journalism in a long time. For import and vision, the only comparison I can make was a piece Jimmy Kilroe wrote for "Sports Illustrated" in 1967, when he said one day nobody would go to a track to see the races, but would watch them at a tele-theatre. Who could imagine such a thing ever happening? — (click here to read the entire article)
- 10/8/2008 - GOOD MAN FORCED TO SIDELINES
I don't know Larry Jones. Never met him. But am I surprised that he has had it up to here (I am pointing just north of my own Adam's apple)? No. Not at all. If not Mr. Jones, it surely would have been somebody else. Larry Jones, it seems clear to me, is probably not the first, but certainly the most notable example of a racing figure that has decided to chuck his lifelong passion because he chooses no longer to participate in a culture that has made him a target of character assassination by members of a media, both legitimate and underground, that has gone wild. — (click here to read the entire article)
- 7/11/2008 - COLLAPSE OF THE PRIVATE MARKET
As the first of the major yearling sales for 2008 is upon us, I would like to sound the death
knell for the private market and suggest that a combination of a lack of private trade and
institution of accelerated depreciation for yearlings as part of the federal government's
economic stimulus package will help prop up the yearling sales in spite of a contracting
economy. — (click here to read the entire article)
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