ThoroCap announces relaunch date

HOT SPRINGS, AR- ThoroCap, established in 2004 as a Thoroughbred handicapping service, will relaunch on Thursday, April 25, 2019. ThoroCap will continue to provide a wide range of handicapping products, but has expanded its focus to include providing news, analysis, and commentary on Thoroughbred racing and the Thoroughbred racing industry.

Commenting on ThoroCap’s plans to become a destination site for racing fans, publisher Chris Robbins said, “We believe that informed racing fans are central to the success of our industry. It is an industry that is often described as ‘dying’, but the facts belie that.”

According to the U.S Equine Economic Impact Study, the horse industry generates approximately $40 billion in direct economic impact annually and has a total economic impact of more than $100 billion, approximately $30 billion of which comes from the racing sector alone. Over all, the horse industry generates the equivalent of 1.4 million full-time jobs and pays almost $2 billion per year in taxes.

In January 2019, Equibase reported that pari-mutuel wagering increased by 3.3% to $11,265,519,563 in 2018, the largest single-season increase in 18 years. “That does not speak to a dying industry,” Robbins said.

In addition to its primary focus areas- news, analysis, commentary, and handicapping products, ThoroCap has also launched ThoroCap Supports, a program that provides free advertising, promotion, and a public forum for the non-profit organizations that support those involved in the industry: backside workers, jockeys, the horses themselves.

Speaking about ThoroCap Supports, Robbins stated that, “ThoroCap is proud to be a part of the Thoroughbred industry, and we recognize our responsibility to the animals and to the people who work in our industry. The charitable organizations that ThoroCap Supports was created to assist perform an invaluable service that helps meet the needs of those in the industry whose last race may have been run.”

Don Phillips, a long-time sports writer and analyst based in New York, who serves as CEO of the ThoroCap division of DHHS, LLC., enthusiastically endorses ThoroCap Supports. Phillips said, “When Chris first mentioned the idea, I told him we almost had to do it. It’s a positive for the racing community, and just felt like the right thing to do.” Phillips, who suffers from profound Cerebral Palsy noted that philanthropic organizations, such as those ThoroCap supports was created to assist, play a vital role in meeting needs that would otherwise remain unmet.

Robbins, the owner of ThoroCap’s parent company Diversified Holdings of Hot Springs, LLC (DHHS, LLC), has been directly involved in the Thoroughbred racing industry for almost two decades, as a horse owner, writer, handicapper, and advocate for the sport.

With ThoroCap, Robbins has attempted to create a service that offers a forum for all sides when addressing issues affecting the sport, and one that makes a clear distinction between news and opinion. ThoroCap itself takes no position the issues, rather it offers a forum for civilized discourse and encourages readers to form their own informed opinions.

“ThoroCap also strives to offer a wide range of innovative handicapping products appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced racing fans, who are the lifeblood of the sport.” Robbins said.

Thoroughbred Idea Foundation: Calling for a Racing Industry Compromise

The sport which brings us together is at a turning point. We have been divided for far too long on a variety of issues that impact our business. Most notably, the “Lasix debate” has been a debilitating one, inhibiting our collective ability to move ahead. The time has come for the industry to compromise – working together with all major constituencies to establish a mutually-agreed, new way forward.

The recent announcement from a coalition of racetracks to introduce changes to their house Lasix policies was met with a series of statements from certain stakeholder groups restating their long-held positions. Compromise is essential. Absent a compromise, binding mediation should be considered.

In my many years in this great sport, I have never seen racing more at risk than it is right now,” says B. Wayne Hughes, owner of Spendthrift Farm. “We have far too much at stake to continue being tied down in separate bunkers and not finding a way forward. The time for a compromise is now.

As major stakeholders, we believe the only way to grow revenue for the industry’s obligations – among them, aftercare and backstretch programs, equine research, jockey insurance and prize money – is through the growth of the sport’s overall “pie.” If our industry can collectively agree to compromise, we can finally move ahead together and address other meaningful issues that have inhibited growth in the sport for far too long.

While racing has some long-standing traditions which have shaped our collective experience, nothing is set in stone. Let’s embrace that freedom to redefine the future.

Our sport has recently been challenged in a manner that requires bold, serious and innovative action. But the longer-term reality should not be ignored, either. Foal crops are at 50-year lows. Handle is down close to 50%, adjusted for inflation, over just 15 years. Though tougher to measure, the social license racing enjoys is also questioned now more than at any point in recorded history. We must adapt to this, better exhibiting to the world – not just ourselves – the outstanding care our horses receive, and their majestic, innate desire to compete.

We must unite and emerge stronger – for the horses, for our passion, for the future.

Since our organization’s launch last summer, we’ve presented four substantive white papers tackling topics related to improving our sport’s approach to pricing, transparency, product development and access to information. Now is the time to present a fresh approach to racing. We have enlisted five industry leaders to present their take on improving different segments of racing through new approaches to long-stagnant “offices.” Their ideas will be released over the next two days.

Wagering and Innovation: Marshall Gramm (chair of Rhodes College economics department, co-founder of Ten Strike Racing)

Racing Administration and Planning: Rick Hammerle (long-time racing official, including 20 years at Santa Anita as racing secretary and vice president of racing).

Integrity and Welfare: Maggi Moss (attorney, major horse owner, leading aftercare advocate)

Communications and Marketing: John Sikura (president of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm)

Owners’ Services and Recruitment: Brad Weisbord (founder of BSW Bloodstock, ELiTE Sales)

Presented with an opportunity to re-shape our industry and mindful of our precarious position, these suggestions should be met with open minds. Our interest in a healthy thoroughbred industry is shared. The process to achieve these much-needed improvements remains rooted in compromise, with all stakeholders understanding that once-entrenched opinions must be loosened in order to establish a modern sport.

In the recently-published words of billionaire investor and philanthropist Ray Dalio, “collective decision making works much better than fragmented individual decision making so I urge you to understand it and employ it. If you don’t, you will be left behind.” Our future, as projected by five industry leaders, could be so much brighter than our past if we can collectively move beyond that which has divided us for so long and work together. Join us in this quest!

More than 170 Equine Organizations Compete in ASPCA Help a Horse Home Challenge to Increase Equine Adoptions Nationwide

ASPCA #HelpAHorse Challenge will award $150,000 in grant prizes to equine organizations

NEW YORK–The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the participants in its annual Help a Horse HomeSM: ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge. More than 170 equine organizations from 41 states and Puerto Rico are participating in the nationwide competition for equine rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries which is designed to increase adoptions of equines around the country. This year’s challenge has been expanded to include one grand prize, eight divisional prizes, and three social media prizes, totaling $150,000. Contestants will be placed into one of four divisions based on the number of adoptions they completed during the challenge period last year and for all of 2018.

“The Help a Horse Home ChallengeSM provides an effective way to reach the untapped equine adopters that our research suggests are out there,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of Equine Welfare for the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is dedicated to supporting the many groups around the country working to help more horses find loving homes, and we are excited to see what innovative and thoughtful ideas equine organizations come up with to help save more horses’ lives.”

The ASPCA recently announced an exciting partnership with Zoetis US LLC to reduce the medical costs for the groups participating in the 2019 Help a Horse HomeSM Challenge. Zoetis will donate their new vaccine CORE EQ Innovator™ for every equine adopted during the two-month challenge period, up to 1,500 vaccines. Participants are also invited to promote their equines on My Right Horse, a new listing site created by The Right Horse Initiative for equines in transition.

In 2018, equine organizations adopted out more than 1,000 horses during the two-month Help a Horse contest period, proving that there are more homes out there for horses. To build on the success of the 2018 contest, the 2019 challenge has been reimagined and renamed— Help a Horse HomeSM: The ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge with $150,000 in grant funding available to equine rescues, shelters and sanctuaries who secure the biggest increase in adoptions compared to the previous year. Any U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization or governmental agency capable of receiving grant funds and fulfilling an animal welfare or protection mission that adopts out horses or other equines is eligible to participate.

The Help a Horse Home ChallengeSM kicks off on April 26—a date chosen for its significance to the ASPCA’s long history of horse protection. In 1866, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for horse mistreatment on April 26 of that year. Each year, the ASPCA hosts a national grant competition to elevate the work of equine rescues that help at-risk horses who’ve been abused, neglected or find themselves homeless.

For more information about the ASPCA Help a Horse Home ChallengeSM, please visit


About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Bad Behavior Or Sign Of Pain? Horses Are Trying To Tell Us



Any time a horse expresses resistance or undesirable behavior, it’s worthwhile to investigate why—it’s not always a training issue he’s simply refusing to do; the horse may be in pain. Horses have no ulterior motive; they simply seek relief from discomfort. Identifying the root cause of the discomfort the horse is trying to get away from can be challenging, yet is necessary to resolve the issue.

A horse that swishes his tail, pins his ears or acts angry when girthed is trying to tell the rider something; if not addressed while small expressions, the outbursts may ramp up to bucking, rearing, bolting or otherwise attempting to avoid pain.

Read Paulick Report Article

April Showers Bring May Flowers…And Rain Rot, Dew Poisoning and Abscesses

By Jen Roytz

They say April showers bring May flowers, but that’s not the only thing they bring. Rain rot, dew poisoning and abscesses are some of the less enjoyable products of spring’s rainy days and muddy pastures. While some horses seem to simply be more prone to wet weather-related ailments than others, there are a number of things horsemen can do to minimize the severity of ailments such as rain rot, or avoid them all together.

Though often mistaken as a fungal disease, rain rot (or rain scald) is a common bacterial infection of the skin (also known as Dermatophilosis). Dermatophilus congolensis, the bacteria that causes the infection, lives dormant in the outer layer of the skin. When the skin is exposed to prolonged moisture (high humidity, rain, sweat), the bacteria infects the compromised skin, resulting in crusty, puss-filled scabs between the living and dead layer of skin.

To Read TDN Article

Sister Peacock First Stakes Winner for Louisiana Based Real Solution

Daughter of Real Solution was her sire’s first stakes winner April 21 at Woodbine.

Sister Peacock and jockey Jesse Campbell led gate-to-wire in the $100,000 Star Shoot Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine April 21, boosting her record to three wins from five starts. Her only two losses were both runner-up finishes. Owned by Brent and Russell McLellan and trainer Stuart Simon, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Real Solution  was a 1 1/4-length winner in the six-furlong feature, giving her sire his first stakes winner.

Sister Peacock set fractions of :22.97 and :45.99 then kept her closest pursuer, Missmizz, at bay en route to victory in 1:09.53. Power Galfinished third off a ground-saving trip and Intanga Rose was fourth, edging out Si Si Tequila, who challenged three-wide turning for home before drifting out in the stretch.

Read Blood Horse Article

More than $1 Million in Funding Approved for Equine Research by Grayson-Jockey Club Board

New York, NY – April 22, 2019 – The board of directors of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced that it has authorized expenditure of $1,338,858 to fund eight new projects at seven universities, nine continuing projects, and three career development awards to fund veterinary research to benefit all horses. This is the fifth straight year that more than $1 million has been approved.

“We thank our generous donors who recognize the value of veterinary research for enhancing equine health and wellness,” said Jamie Haydon, president of the foundation. “From studying a racehorse’s stride to predict injury, to testing an intrauterine antibiotic treatment, we are excited to see the results of these studies and how they may help horses of all breeds in the future.”

The 2019 slate of research brings Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s totals since 1983 to more than $27.5 million to underwrite 366 projects at 44 universities.

“Grayson’s goal has always been to support the most relevant and impactful research on behalf of the horse, and the past year has seen an increased focus on the musculoskeletal system of the racehorse,” said Dr. Larry Bramlage, partner, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and a member of Grayson’s Research Advisory Committee. “We are very happy to have three quality musculoskeletal projects focused on better understanding why injuries occur and how to detect and prevent them before they manifest themselves as injuries to the bones and joints of the racehorse.”

Additionally, Oaklawn Park and WinStar Farm will each be donating $50,000 in 2019 to sponsor research projects pertaining to health in racehorses. They are participants in Grayson’s new corporate membership program, whereby organizations can contribute to Grayson-funded projects. Those interested in the program should contact the foundation.

The new projects are listed alphabetically by university below:

Antimicrobial Properties of Equine MSCs 
Laurie Goodrich, Colorado State University
This study is expected to impact the equine industry by validating TLR activated equine mesenchymal stem cells as an effective, novel therapy in treating multi-drug resistant infections.

Uncovering the Blood B Cell Immune Response to EHV-1 
Tracy Stokol, Cornell University
By sequencing individual blood B cells, this research will identify changes in B cell immunity after EHV-1 vaccination and will generate a sequencing database that will uncover new antibodies against EHV-1.

Intrauterine Antibiotics may Augment Placentitis Therapy
Scott Bailey, North Carolina State University
This proposal will explore the potential for intrauterine antibiotic treatment to improve foal survival and health in mares with ascending placentitis.

Non-Invasive Evaluation of Host-Microbiota Interactions 
Canaan Whitfield-Cargile, Texas A&M
This study aims to develop a non-invasive platform to serve as a diagnostic test for gastrointestinal inflammation prior to severe disease and to reveal how bacteria in the gut influence horse health.

Standing PET of the Racehorse Fetlock 
Mathieu Spriet, University of California-Davis
This research involves validation of a PET technology for early detection of fetlock lesions in standing horses to prevent catastrophic breakdowns in racehorses.

Training Programs for Prevention of Fetlock Injury
Sue Stover, University of California-Davis
This study is designed to predict proximal sesamoid bone fracture in racehorses from a calibrated computational model that incorporates training programs, track surface properties, and bone’s reparative processes.

Racehorse Stride Characteristics, Injury and Performance
Chris Whitton, University of Melbourne
By identifying changes in stride characteristics of racehorses over time, researchers can identify those parameters that can be used as an early indicator of injury or that are key to injury development.
*Sponsored by WinStar Farm*

Robotic CT for Assessing of Bone Morphology
Kyla Ortved, University of Pennsylvania
This study strives to prevent catastrophic injuries in the Thoroughbred racehorse by screening fetlock joints using standing robotic CT and biomarker analysis.
*Sponsored by Oaklawn Park*

Kline Award Recipient

Sian Durward-Akhurst, University of Minnesota
Dr. Akhurt’s project looks at using whole genome sequencing (WGS) to create a catalog of genetic variation in the horse and quantify the number of variants predicted to have a detrimental effect on phenotype. Understanding of the genetic burden in the diverse population of the equine will help in diagnosing, determining prevalence, and lead to ways of dealing with mutation-caused diseases.

Storm Cat Award Recipients

Lynn Pezzanite, Colorado State University
Dr. Pezzanite’s project looks at the possible benefits of combining mesenchymal stem cells, known to secrete antimicrobial peptides, into traditional antibiotic therapy for control of joint infections.  If successful, this improves outcomes and reduces reliance on antibiotics to which infections are becoming increasingly resistant.

Holly Stewart, Colorado State University
Bone marrow lesions are known to be early indicators of structural deterioration of the fetlock joint.  Dr Stewart’s project looks to develop a dual energy cone beam CT scan of this area of maladaptive changes with the advantages of reduced scan times, reduced cost, and improved spatial resolution compared to conventional MRI.

Details on the new projects are available here.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation’s leading source of equine research funding. The projects it supports enhance the health and safety of horses of all breeds. Additional information about the foundation is available at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
View on Instagram

Industry Reaction To Racetrack Coalition’s Proposed Partial Phase-Out Of Lasix



Reaction was mixed to the announcement on Thursday by a coalition of U.S. racetracks to partially phase out race-day administration of the anti-bleeding diuretic furosemide (Lasix), beginning with 2-year-olds racing in 2020 and in stakes races beginning in 2021.

Those supporting the initiative include all tracks owned or operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and The Stronach Group as well as Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos Racecourse (Thoroughbreds), Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs. Breeders’ Cup Limited, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA) and its American Graded Stakes Committee and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association also signed on in support of the proposal.


To Read Paulick Report Article




OPELOUSAS, LA – Evangeline Downs Racetrack canceled the live racing programs for Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, as a result of a technical issue with the track’s electrical system caused by the severe heavy rain which fell in the Opelousas area on Thursday afternoon.

Evangeline Downs was forced to cancel Thursday’s racing program after four races were run due to the same issue, which caused several banks of the track’s lighting system to not function properly.

Live racing at Evangeline Downs is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, April 24 with a nine-race program. Post time on Wednesday will be 5:50 pm Central Time.

Evangeline Downs is currently in the midst of the 2019 Thoroughbred season, which will continue on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule through Saturday, August 24.


For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at



About Evangeline Downs

Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel is owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Boyd Gaming press releases are available at  Additional news and information can be found at, or

LTBA Main Office Closing at 2:30 p.m. Today, Thurs. April 18

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is closing their main office at New Orleans Fair Grounds today, Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. due to  the approaching storm front. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The office will be closed tomorrow as well for the Good Friday holiday. LTBA will return to regular office hours, Monday, April 22, 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.