T.D. Thornton

Bankruptcy Trustee Warns of Risk that Zayat Will Wipe Away Electronic Records

Two weeks after being granted an extra month to determine if Ahmed Zayat is hiding assets while seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the court-assigned trustee in the case told a federal judge Friday that the allegedly insolvent owner and breeder of Triple Crown champ American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) is still trying to evade scrutiny by withholding records. And trustee Jeffrey Testa further warned that the longer the case drags on, the higher the risk is that Zayat will wipe away cloud-storage financials before the trustee can examine those documents....

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The Week in Review: Quintessential 'American Way' on Display at Breeders' Cup

Nearly two decades apart, we've witnessed a Breeders' Cup in the aftermath of a devastating terrorism attack, which led to armed marksmen defending the rooftop of the host track, and now during a global pandemic, which necessitated the barring of the general public from the two-day event and kept the relatively few essential attendees masked and socially distanced from one another. Unlike 2001, this year's championships produced no singular "Tiznow wins it for America!" moment to buoy the spirit of a nation in crisis. But the crescendo of Authentic (Into...

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Two Odds-On, Length-of-Stretch Charles Town Winners DQ'd for Class 1 Positives

Two odds-on favorites who won their respective races by 15 1/2 and 7 1/2 lengths at Charles Town Sept. 17 have subsequently been disqualified after both tested positive for the widely abused-in-humans synthetic opioid fentanyl and eutylone, the street-drug stimulant known as "bath salts." The Charles Town board of stewards, however, is citing "substantial mitigating factors" and terming both "trace level" cases as "environmental contamination" that will spare both horses' trainers from steep Class 1, Category A penalties. The explanation, according to a pair of West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC)...

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Iowa Trainer Testifies He 'Accidentally Spilled' Class 1 Substance Into Feed

A Prairie Meadows-based Thoroughbred who twice ran second within eight days while carrying a Class 1, Penalty A substance that humans consume to produce psychoactive effects has earned its trainer a one-year suspension and a $1,000 fine. According to an Iowa Racing Commission ruling dated Oct. 23, trainer Robert Roe "did not dispute the findings, nor did he deny he has to be penalized" after the Sept. 20 and 28 blood and urine samples for Candy My Boy (Candy Ride {Arg}) both came back positive for the banned substances mitragynine...

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The Week in Review: The Old Man and the Sprint

The final chapters have yet to be penned in Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect)'s book, but it's safe to say the 7-year-old sprinter is in the autumn of his career. He's a closer who has excelled in a division where out-and-out front-end speed often dominates, he's run in three consecutive GI Breeders' Cup Sprints that have each drawn as "loaded" affairs won by the eventual Eclipse Award champ, and he'll seek his first Breeders' Cup win in start number four over a host track (Keeneland) whose main-track profile has been tilted toward...

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The Week in Review: The Pandemic as Positive Leverage to Revamp the Triple Crown

Now that the GI Kentucky Derby has been run on the first Saturday in September and we found out the world didn't tilt off its axis because of the pandemic's blow to tradition, it's time to start leveraging the scheduling chaos caused by COVID-19 so it serves as a way to propel the sport forward instead of back to the perceived comforts of normalcy. This year's June 20 GI Belmont S., although shortened to nine furlongs as a nod to pandemic practicality, served its purpose as a fine "welcome back...

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Week in Review: Faves Fail to Show on Saturday, but Excuses Abound

This past Saturday wasn't a great day to be a favorite in an open stakes race at the nation's premier race meets. Chalk horses went a collective one-for-seven at Saratoga and Del Mar, and the list of excuses included stutter-step starts, bumps leaving the gate, stretch-run roughhousing, getting disqualified, and being dueled into defeat in internal pace battles. Tight finishes in several stakes elevated the interest level, although the results in general did not lend clarity to the nationwide divisional races with the GI Kentucky Derby inside the five-week mark...

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Week in Review: Sport Primed for Spectator-Free Racing. But Then What?

Horseplayers were up in arms last week over a controversial disqualification at previously under-the-radar Fonner Park during a $4.1-million pandemic-inflated Pick Five sequence. Off-the-beaten-path Will Rogers Downs is flirting with $10 million in weekly handle fueled largely by bettors who, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, would have had difficulty pinpointing that track on a map. Amid the dystopia triggered by racetrack closures nationwide, such rapt attention and robust wagering on the five Thoroughbred tracks still running (Oaklawn Park, Gulfstream Park, and Tampa Bay Downs are the others) could be viewed...

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