The Week in Review

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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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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McPeek Bucks the Trend, Wins the Preakness

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley Trainer Ken McPeek had set himself up for second guessing when he decided to run Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) in the GI Preakness S.. Not only would she have to face males, the Preakness would be her ninth race of the year and Pimlico would be the ninth track she has competed at in 2020. With a start in October, she would have raced during every month on the calendar but April. By modern standards, it has been a bruising schedule and one that...

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The Week in Review: After Guilty Pleas, Will More Trainers Be Charged?

The next chapter in the scandal that has rocked Thoroughbred racing played out last week when Scott Robinson and Sarah Izhaki both pled guilty to charges relating to the sale and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs used to dope race horses. It was an important development, but the bigger story is this: will it lead to a new and extensive list of indictments against trainers and others who so far have not been charged? That possibility certainly exists. For now, everything is speculation and the Department of Justice has not said...

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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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The Week in Review: No More Doubts, Maximum Security is Back

When Maximum Security (New Year's Day) had to fight his way to a narrow victory in the GII San Diego H., it was fair to question whether or not this was the same horse that had been so outstanding throughout his career for trainer Jason Servis. Yes, he won that day, but the dominance and brilliance he had shown on so many occasions for a trainer who was subsequently indicted for allegedly doping his horses was not there. Then again, it seemed unwise to write him off after one race....

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