The TDN's Top 10 Stories of 2022

Flightline | Horsephotos

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Another eventful year for horse racing is about to come to an end, which makes this a good time to look back at the TDN stories that were the most widely read during the year. From the heroics of Flightline (Tapit) to the on-going saga of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) to the latest developments in the Jorge Navarro-Jason Servis scandal, there was no shortage of important stories. Unfortunately, there were a number of major stories that reflected poorly on the sport, but, our statistics show, those are stories the readers want to read.

   Here are the most widely read stories of 2022:

  1. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds HISA Unconstitutional

by TDN Staff. 162,916 views.

It was mid-November and HISA was just a month and half away from taking over the functions of drug testing and enforcing medication rules for the entire sport. The wind was at its back, at least until a bombshell ruling in a federal court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is unconstitutional because it “delegates unsupervised government power to a private entity,” and thus “violates the private non-delegation doctrine.” It was a major blow for HISA and, in time, may prove to be the beginning of the end when it comes to efforts to unify the sport under one umbrella group responsible for regulating many vital aspects of the game.

  1. Chris Oakes Sentenced to Three Years

by Bill Finley, 138,313 views.

As has been the case since the indictments in the doping scandal were announced in March of 2020, TDN readers could not get enough of coverage of this story. In March of 2022, standardbred trainer Chris Oakes was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of misbranding and drug adulteration with intent to defraud or deceive. Oakes was not only doping his own horses, but worked closely with Navarro and provided him with performance-enhancing drugs. Though the subject was a harness trainer, the story of Oakes's sentencing was easily the second most read TDN story of 2022.

  1. Owner Hits Jackpot With First Horse

by Bill Finley, 41,777 views

Not everything the TDN reported on in 2022 was about scandals or a matter of gloom and doom. The third story on the list was a feel-good story about 83-year-old owner Pat Kearney. Kearney got involved in the sport late in life and the very first horse he purchased turned out to be Kathleen O. (Upstart), who won the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks and the GII Davona Dale S. “It has been an amazing, exciting, energizing experience,” said Kearney, who races under the name of Winngate Stables.

  1. Chad Brown Arrested in Saratoga on 'Obstruction of Breathing' Charge

by Bill Finley, Mike Kane and Sydney Kass, 29,360 views.

Perhaps the most shocking story of the year occurred in August when future Hall-of-Fame trainer Chad Brown was arrested and charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. It was alleged that Brown choked and then pushed a former girlfriend down some stairs who had entered his house uninvited. Brown later pled guilty to the lesser charge of harassment, which allowed him to avoid any jail time.

  1. Flightline Retired to Lane's End

by TDN staff, 26,262 views

After Flightline won the GI Breeders' Cup Classic there was a flicker of hope that he would race in 2023 as a 5-year-old. But, in the end, the realities of the economics of the sport made it so that he was far more valuable as a sire than as a racehorse and his connections announced his retirement less than 24 hours after he won the Classic.

  1. Green Light Go Euthanized After Belmont Workout

by TDN staff, 23,849 views

No one wants to see a horse have to be euthanized, particularly one who enjoyed success on the racetrack. Green Light Go (Hard Spun), who won the 2019 GII Saratoga Special S., had to be put down after breaking a sesamoid bone in his right foreleg during a workout at Belmont in April.

  1. Parx Investigation Finds Contraband Suspensions Expected

by Bill Finley, 20,635 views

It was the weekend of the GI Pennsylvania Derby at Parx, but not all the news was made on the racetrack. Investigators set up shop at the Parx backstretch gate, checking cars and individuals for illegal contraband. They uncovered a number of syringes and caught a jockey possessing a battery. Two trainers and the jockey were suspended.

  1. 2022 Kentucky Race Dates Set

by T.D. Thornton, 19,444 views

With the rise in purses in Kentucky, it's no wonder that this story, which reported on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission awarding of dates for 2022, was the eighth most-read story of the year in 2022.

  1. Trainer Doug O'Neill Suspended 60 Days

by TDN staff, 18,946 views

In November, O'Neill was suspended 60 days, fined $10,000, and put on probation for one year stemming from a medication positive by his starter Worse Read Sanchez (Square Eddie) at Golden Gate Fields May 1.

  1. After McCarthy Spill, Migliore Points to the NY Stewards

by Bill Finley, 18,779 views

There are a lot of people, retired jockey Richard Migliore among them, who believe the New York stewards are too lenient when it comes to penalizing jockeys for rough and careless riding. After Trevor McCarthy went down in a spill in November, fracturing his collar bone and pelvis, Migliore called out the stewards.  “It's irresponsible on the part of the rider but they are not being held accountable,” Migliore said. “When that happens, it's human nature. The more you can get away with, the rougher it's going to get. The stewards need to really crack down and lay down the law. No more nonsense.”

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