Maple Leaf Mel

2023 New York-Bred Divisional Championship Nominees Released By NYTB

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) named their nominees for the Empire State's divisional champions of 2023, the organization said in a Friday morning release. A panel of New York turf writers, broadcasters, handicappers, racing analysts and photographers will vote on each division and for the New York-bred Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the NYTB Awards Dinner sponsored by the New York Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund on Monday, May 13 from 6-9 p.m. ET. at Sacred Saratoga on the property of GMP Farm in...

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Eclipse Finalists Tallied For Awards Show Jan. 25

The finalists for the 2023 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing, were announced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), The Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) Saturday.. Winners in 17 horse and human categories will be handed out on FanDuel TV and other outlets, during the 53rd annual Eclipse Awards, presented by FanDuel Racing, John Deere, Keeneland, The Jockey Club and the NTRA, on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The evening will culminate with the announcement of the 2023 Horse of...

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2023 Media Eclipse Awards Winners Include TDN Writers' Room Podcast

The Thoroughbred Daily News was among six 2023 Media Eclipse Award winners Friday when the awards were announced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. The 2023 Media Eclipse Award winners are as follows: Multimedia - TDN Writers' Room Podcast - "Wade and Carson Jost," Sept. 20, 2023; Thoroughbred Daily News Gulf War veteran Wade Jost and his son, Carson, joined TDN Writers' Room podcast hosts Bill Finley, Randy Moss, and Zoe Cadman on Sept. 23 for an in-depth and emotional...

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The Week in Review: In 2024, the Sport Needs to Do Better

The remaining days in 2023 dwindled to a few last week, a welcome development considering the year that it was. Yes, there was some good news. Arcangelo (Arrogate) winning the GI Belmont S. for trainer Jena Antonucci was as good a story as we've seen in some time. The saga of Cody's Wish (Curlin) continued to tug at our heartstrings. The sales continue to post huge numbers. Purses have soared in Kentucky and at Oaklawn, with maidens running for pots in excess of $100,000. But for every good story there...

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What Was Your Favorite Moment of 2023: Delrene Sims

My favorite moment, Arcangelo winning the Belmont, plus the Travers. And his trainer Jena Antonucci's poise and professionalism during his career and how she carried herself through all the hoopla. The most poignant moment, for me, was seeing the empty stall of Maple Leaf Mel with the flowers from the trainer of the winner who showed such great class in declaring that Maple Leaf Mel was clearly the winner and offering his condolences to Melanie.

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The Most-Read TDN Stories Of 2023

As the year winds down, now is a relatively quiet time for horse racing. But there was nothing quiet about 2023, a year, it seems, where the bad news stories overshadowed the good news stories. What resonated most with TDN readers? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be our stories that reported on some of the darker aspects of the sport. Here are the top 10 most widely read stories of 2023 and the number of views they received: 1) Europeans Unleashed As Santa Anita is Struck by Tragedy, by Emma...

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Master Of The Ring: Eddie Ortiz

In early August, during the second session of this year's Fasig-Tipton New York Bred Yearlings Sale, a member of the Hidden Lake Farm consignment's team led a uniquely colored grey Ghostzapper filly into the sale ring and handed her off to the ringman on duty, Eddie Ortiz. As the auctioneer introduced the filly and bidding ensued, each nervous flick of her ear was met with a reassuring stroke down her neck, along her back and across the underside of her belly. Quiet words were spoken, only heard by Ortiz and...

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The Week In Review: The Year In Which Saratoga Lost Its Mojo

At the conclusion of racing on Monday, Saratoga will have handled about $800 million for the meet, the third highest handle figure ever for the track. On-track attendance once again topped one million, and was officially at 1,055,543 after Saturday's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup Day card with two racing days to go. Yet, by just about any measure, it was not a good meet. Saratoga came into 2023 with the wind at its back. Every year the racing seemed to get bigger, the handle would grow and more and...

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Letter To The Editor: From A Young Fan

My first race was two years ago. The 2021 Haskell Invitational S., the summer before my senior year of college. It was the post parade that hooked me. When "Born to Run" sounded through the grandstand as Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon bounced onto the track, it didn't matter how the race would go. I was in. It was enough to latch onto despite the outrage I felt towards my home-state regulators for an ill-advised whip rule that took down Midnight Bourbon, along with my exacta box. But...

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Adapt, Evolve, or Be Forced Out of Existence. Letter to the Editor: Amanda Luby, Welbourne Stud

In racing, there is nothing more horrific than watching a horse break down in front of you. My heart goes out to every person connected with each of the horses that has lost its life in this manner and to each fan who's witnessed this. As my husband said after Maple Leaf Mel's tragic end, "They're just innocent animals!" He left immediately after her death, horrorstruck, and, fortunately, was not at the track on Travers Day. Like countless other casual fans who've seen such awful things, it is unlikely that...

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Op/Ed: Synthetics, Fans, and the Future of Racing

It's been another devastating month for horse racing. Even the most hardened racetrackers needed a few minutes to gather themselves when Maple Leaf Mel, steps away from a first Grade I, broke down in the Test at Saratoga on the Whitney undercard. It was a similar story on Saturday when the unbeaten New York Thunder, seemingly on his way to a spectacular victory in the GI H. Allen Jerkens, went down in mid-stretch and, in front of a crowd of 48,292, was humanely euthanized. It was the second fatality on...

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'No Evidence' of Issues with Tracks, According to NYRA's O'Rourke

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY. - In the wake of two fatal breakdowns during the Travers day program Saturday, New York Racing Association officials faced the questions of if they should immediately cancel the remaining races on the card at Saratoga Race Course and whether to run on Sunday. After fact-finding sessions both days, NYRA President and CEO David O'Rourke said the courses were deemed safe for competition--the jockeys were in agreement--and racing continued as scheduled. The catastrophic leg injuries that led to two horses being euthanized Saturday brought the total of...

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