The California Series: John Shirreffs, Part Two

Great expectations don't necessarily begin with lofty intent. Most new licensees start out hungry for that one lionheart of any stripe to announce their arrival. Those trainers who are routinely sent the big weekend warriors learn to acquire a more refined palate, to remodulate their ambitions accordingly. But scant few are fortunate enough to have harnessed the sort of thunderbolt that doesn't just electrify a trainer's career but leaves a patch of scorched earth for posterity. And really, how many ever expect to? In part one, we deconstructed some of...

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A Wonderful Ride: A Tribute to Kenny LeJeune

Kenny LeJeune, a highly respected horseman who operated a training center in Ocala for many years, succumbed to cancer last week at age 60. Donations in his honor can be made to the PDJF or any horse aftercare organization. His wife Carey LeJeune wrote the following tribute. The racing world just lost a fan. Ken LeJeune died at home Friday, Dec. 4 after a brief illness. In his 40-plus year career, he was a jockey, trainer, bloodstock agent and all things in between; but always A FAN. He quietly went...

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Asmussen Honored with KY Thoroughbred Owners' Warner Jones Horseman of the Year Award

Steve Asmussen--who this year became Churchill Downs' all-time win leader and only the second trainer to achieve 9,000 career victories--is the 2020 recipient of the Louisville-based Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners' Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year Award. The award recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to Kentucky racing and sharing the passion exemplified by Jones, who spent 50 years on the Churchill Downs board, including eight as chairman during the iconic track's resurgence. Warner Jones--the first and so far only breeder of a Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Breeders' Cup...

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Yonkers Cancels Racing After Horseman John Brennan Dies of Coronavirus

Yonkers Raceway canceled live racing Tuesday night after John Brennan, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York Director representing horsemen at Yonkers, passed away Tuesday from Coronavirus. The New Jersey resident was the state's first reported victim of Coronavirus.    DRF Harness originally reported Brennan's death and the Yonkers cancellation, but had not confirmed a connection. Harness Racing Update received confirmation from SOA of N.Y. President Joe Faraldo that racing was cancelled due to an "abundance of caution." HRU also reported that Faraldo has a fever and his doctor is...

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Gerry Dilger Passes Away

Breeder, consignor and Dromoland Farm owner Gerry Dilger passed away very early Wednesday morning. The 61-year-old had been hospitalized in the ICU since suffering from cardiac arrest Feb. 24, confirmed Dilger's longtime friend and business partner Mike Ryan. "We were best friends for over 40 years," Ryan said. "It is quite sudden and a big shock to us all. He was a very, very kind man and did so much for so many people. He would give you the shirt off his back. Gerry took tremendous personal pride in bringing...

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