New York Thunder

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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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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Friday Insights: Godolphin Colt Leads Late-Night Action At Turfway

9th-TP, $70K, Msw, 2yo, 6f (AWT), 9:55 p.m. A Godolphin homebred, HOLD OUT (Street Boss) will carry the royal blue for the first time Friday night. The colt is a son of Wipe Out, already the dam of GISP Degree of Risk (Cairo Prince). She also produced the dam of the ill-fated GSW New York Thunder (Nyquist). Wipe Out is herself a half to GI Forego S. winner Emcee (Unbridled's Song), GSW/G1SP Surfer (Distorted Humor) along with the dam of GSW Marzo (Medaglia d'Oro). Notably, her half-sister Baffled (Distorted Humor)...

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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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Mark Casse: “I'm Not Proud Of Our Sport”

Appearing as the Green Group Guest of the Week on this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse grew emotional when the subject of the rash of fatalities that have plagued the sport this year came up. Believing that the industry has not done all that it can to help alleviate the situation and that tracks must embrace a return to synthetic surfaces, Casse admitted that his outlook on his profession and the sport has changed for the worse. "This is sad to...

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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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`We're Not Going to Have to Worry About Tradition. We're Going to Be History.' Q and A With Mark Casse

Mark Casse may have made more starts over dirt and synthetic surfaces combined than any other trainer in history-over 5,000 starts on synthetic and 5,000 on dirt in the past 15 years alone. He estimates that he has sent horses out to gallop, breeze, or race over a synthetic surface 150,000 times in the past 10 years.  With a base at Woodbine, where they race and train over a Tapeta surface which sports one of the lowest instances of catastrophic injuries in North America, Casse offered to sit down with...

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Devastated and Shaken by New York Thunder Tragedy, Trainer Delgado Finding It Hard to Carry On

After watching the best horse he ever trained, New York Thunder (Nyquist), suffer a catastrophic injury in Saturday's GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S., trainer Jorge Delgado had to get out of Saratoga. Shortly after the race, he drove back to his base at Monmouth Park, arriving there about 4 1/2 hours after the field crossed the wire in the Jerkens. It was 9 o'clock, but he needed to be with his horses. "I had to go to his stall to make sure he wasn't there," Delgado said. "It was...

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Unbeaten New York Thunder Tragically Breaks Down in Deep Stretch in Allen Jerkens Memorial; Longshot One in Vermillion Inherits Win

The sensationally fast New York Thunder (Nyquist) was well on his way to a fifth victory from as many starts in Saturday's GI H. Allen Jerkens S. at Saratoga, but fell when well clear at the sixteenth pole and suffered a life-ending injury in scenes eerily reminiscent of those three weeks ago when Maple Leaf Mel (Cross Traffic) catastrophically broke down just before the wire of the GI Test S. One in Vermillion (Army Mule) found his best stride in the stretch and inherited the victory at odds of 19-1....

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Fatalities Mar Travers Saturday at Saratoga

On a day that was supposed to be a celebration of the Grade I Travers S., a pall was cast over Saturday's card at Saratoga when two horses broke down on the card and had to be euthanized. Including racing and training, they were the seventh and eighth equine deaths during racing at the meeting. Four horses have died during training. One Saturday fatality was on the turf, the other on the dirt. Both horses were ridden by Tyler Gaffalione. Travers Day continued a very difficult stretch for horse racing,...

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