The Stronach Group

The Stronach Group Joins PETA in Urging Ban on Sale of Horses to South Korea

After viewing PETA's video expose of the slaughter of racehorses in South Korea, including the stallion Private Vow, The Stronach Group is endorsing PETA's efforts to ban the sale of North American Thoroughbreds to South Korean racing interests. PETA can now show that Private Vow was sold to South Korea for stud duty in 2014 and ended up being slaughtered for meat in July. He sired 196 foals in the U.S. and South Korea. Belinda Stronach, chair and president of The Stronach Group, said, "The Stronach Group is urging all...

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Gulfstream May Install a Synthetic Surface

Looking for ways to avoid overusing the turf course at Gulfstream Park, The Stronach Group may install a synthetic Tapeta surface at the South Florida track. The news was revealed by Stronach Group COO Aidan Butler during his appearance on this week's TDN Writers' Room, presented by Keeneland. Butler said that The Stronach Group is looking into the possibility of having three tracks at Gulfstream, dirt, turf and synthetic. The grass course at Gulfstream is under heavy use throughout the year, but it had been getting a two-month break while...

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Shocker–Gulfstream Races Go Off at Post Time

After years of dragging its races out and running as many as seven or eight minutes after the listed post times, Gulfstream Park had a major surprise for horseplayers Wednesday on the opening day of the Championship Meet. The races were run at their advertised post times. The change was ushered in by Aidan Butler, who had been working at the California tracks for The Stronach Group, the owners of Gulfstream, before he was recently promoted and reassigned, with his new duties including overseeing Florida racing. "There are so many...

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No Lasix in Maryland's Graded Stakes Starting in 2021

The Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) voted unanimously  Wednesday to expand a race-day Lasix ban that began this year with 2-year-olds to include horses of any age competing in graded stakes starting in 2021. "A few months ago, the commission passed an emergency regulation restricting Lasix to any horse that's two years old for the next three years, as part of [a negotiated] agreement between the HBPA and The Stronach Group," J. Michael Hopkins, the MRC's executive director, explained prior to the vote during the Dec. 2 teleconference meeting. "Moving forward,...

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The Week in Review: For Plesa, a Bittersweet Ending to Calder Saga

From a racing standpoint, there could not have been a more appropriate way for Calder to go out. There when the track ran its first ever race in 1971, trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. won the last race run at the track that had been rebranded as Gulfstream Park West. Plesa won for the 1,326th time at Calder/GPW Saturday when Diligent (Temple City) won the final race that will ever be run at the South Florida racetrack. "I didn't ask anybody to put me in the last race. It just happened....

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Mark Casse On Clenbuterol Changes

Editor's Note: In Monday's TDN, Bill Finley made reference to Mark Casse's comments on Clenbuterol in a Mar. 2 Op/Ed in the TDN. Casse sent us this note in response. Much has changed since my Mar. 2 Op/Ed with regards to Clenbuterol. Canada made big changes to their Clenbuterol policy and, as a result, we have seen almost none of the nonsensical form reversals that had haunted us in the past at Woodbine in 2020. I was elated to see the Clenbuterol changes for 2021 in the Mid-Atlantic region. Also,...

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Costanzo Named Gulfstream Racing Secretary

Michael Costanzo has been appointed Gulftream Park's new racing secretary, replacing the outgoing Dave Bailey. Costanzo had served as the track's assistant racing secretary for the past year. A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, he joined the Gulfstream racing office in 2009 and was its stakes coordinator for five years before becoming assistant racing secretary. He was previously part of the Breeders' Cup notes team and public relations manager at Calder Race Course. "We're delighted with the work Mike has done for...

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Major Racing Organizations to Jointly Fund Study On Lasix in 2-Year-Olds

The Stronach Group, Breeders' Cup Ltd., Churchill Downs Inc., Keeneland, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the New York Racing Association, Inc. have agreed to jointly fund North America's largest study on the effects of furosemide and on the prevalence and severity of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) in 2-year-old racehorses. The study, formally titled Furosemide: Its Effects on the Prevalence and Severity of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) and the Immune System's Normal Response to Exercise in Two-Year-Old Racehorses, began this month and is being led by...

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Thoroughbred Safety Coalition Adopts New Reforms

The Thoroughbred Safety Coalition has added eight medical and operational reforms to its platform. The group's Steering Committee, made up of executives from the Breeders' Cup, Churchill Downs Incorporated, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Keeneland Association Inc., the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and The Stronach Group, voted unanimously to adopt the reforms with the ultimate goal of uniform implementation across racing jurisdictions. The following reforms have been added to the Coalition's platform: Strengthen race entry and eligibility requirements; Work with state racing commissions to apply racing regulations surrounding prohibited substances...

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Aidan Butler Appointed to COO, 1/ST Racing and President, 1/ST Content

The Stronach Group's Aidan Butler has been appointed to Chief Operating Officer, 1/ST RACING and to President, 1/ST CONTENT, 1/ST announced Thursday. Butler joined The Stronach Group in 2018 and has been front and center in California leading the racing operations teams at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields as the Acting Executive Director of California Racing Operations. In addition, he also served as Chief Strategy Officer for The Stronach Group. Butler will work directly with Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING, to further develop the company's racing...

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Riders Up Documentary Takes Look Behind Scenes at “First Sports Bubble”

As the  realities of the coronavirus started to spread across California and the country, the team at Santa Anita wasn't sure how to prepare for what could have quickly escalated into a dire situation for the track and the sport. But what began as a scramble of sorts led to a well-coordinated plan. Racing would successfully return to the historic Southern California track and with an innovative wrinkle. During the racing week, the jockeys were required to live in a bubble in campers situated on track. What might at first...

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'Maryland, My Maryland” Won't Be Played at Preakness

The Stronach Group, which operates Pimlico, has confirmed that the song "Maryland, My Maryland" will no longer be played before the running of the GI Preakness S. The story was first reported by the The song, which has been played at Pimlico since 1909, has stirred up controversy because its lyrics are meant to encourage Maryland to join the Confederacy. The sixth verse includes the following lines; "Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain, Maryland! Virginia should not call in vain, Maryland! She meets her sisters on the plain-'Sic semper!'...

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