Sean McCarthy

Exercise Riders a Shrinking Pool of Talent

When Lorna Chavez moved from England to the United States in 1995, the land of abundance had a surfeit of skilled participants willing and able to don helmet and boot and join the nation's ranks of exercise riders. "I started in Delaware," said Chavez, a former jockey, of her time as an exercise rider for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. But that was a quarter-century ago. "Now, there aren't enough riders around," she said. "Especially good ones." And that means busy racetracks of a morning are increasingly populated with...

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The Trainer’s Business Model: “Spiraled Out of Control”

Adam Smith, the so-called father of economics, once said this about the slickly oiled business machine: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." In other words, the more vested the butcher, the brewer or the baker is in the overall fiscal health of his or her own enterprise, the better the overall product for the rest of us. Smith died in 1790, and so, quite what he would have said...

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Santa Anita Welfare Crisis: One Year On

This Sunday marks a year to the day Battle of Midway (Smart Strike) suffered catastrophic injuries during a morning workout at Santa Anita, unleashing a tempest of opprobrium the likes of which the industry has never before faced in terms of intensity and sustained impact. Of course, Battle of Midway's fatal injury wasn't alone the catalyst--the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Breeders' Cup winner was one of three fatalities at the track within two days. His death was also the 18th to mar the facility since racing had resumed towards the end of...

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