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I am writing today with a very heavy heart.

After an amazing journey with a team of very talented writers and creators and fans, a combination of factors has brought us to the point that Thoroughbred Insider is unfortunately having to shut down.

For those of you who subscribed to the print edition The Thoroughbred Experience, be patient as refunds will begin to be sent out starting the first week of June.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the team that brought so many amazing stories to life and all of you for following along with us.

I am truly sorry, and again, please be patient as refunds are processed for subscriptions.

Brent Burns

Thoroughbred Insider Magazine and TrackMasters, Thoroughbred Racing Online will continue business as normal I am sorry for all the misunderstanding regarding this issue. Good Luck
Ron Skies
Gary Glennon

Thoroughbred Insider captures "The Heart of Horse Racing" through the stories of the people and places that make it so special.


The Secret of The Kentucky Derby - Derby Long-shot -and Gary's picks for the Kentucky Oaks . will hit stands on May 1 2016


Top 12 to the Derby
1. NYQUIST (c, Uncle Mo—Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) O-Reddam Racing LLC. B-Summerhill Farm (Ky). T-Doug O’Neill
2. MOHAYMEN (c, Tapit—Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union) O-Shadwell Stable. B-Clearsky Farm (Ky). T-Kiaran McLaughlin.
3. MOR SPIRIT (r, Eskendereya–Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union) O-Michael Lund Petersen. B-Elkstone Group LLC (PA). T-Bob Baffert.
4. AIROFORCE (c, Colonel John—Chocolate Pop, by Cuvee) O-John Oxley. B-Stewart M. Madison (Ky). T-Mark Casse.
5. EXAGGERATOR (c, Curlin—Dawn Raid, by Vindication) O-Big Chief Racing. B-Joseph B. Murphy (Ky). T-Keith Desormeaux.
6. GREENPOINTCRUSADER (c, Bernardini—Ava Knowsthecode, by Cryptoclearance) O-St. Elias Stable, MeB Racing Stables LLC & Brooklyn Boyz Stable. B-Oakbrook Farm (Ky). T-Dominick Schettino.
7. SWIPE (c, Birdstone–Avalanche Lily, by Grand Slam) O-Big Chief Racing LLC, James C. Justice & Billy R. Shelton. B-Lou Oppenheim (Ky). T-Keith Desormeaux.
8. COLLECTED (c, City Zip—Helena Bay {GB}, by Johannesburg) O-Speedway Stable LLC. B-Runnymede Farm Inc & Peter J. Callahan (Ky). T-Bob Baffert.
9. BRODY’S CAUSE (c, Giant’s Causeway—Sweet Breanna, by Sahm) O-Albaugh Family Stable. B-Gabriel Duignan, William Arvin Jr & Petaluma (Ky). T-Dale Romans.
10. FLEXIBILITY (c, Bluegrass Cat–Santa Vindi, by Vindication) O-Klaravich Stables Inc. & William H. Lawrence. B-WinStar Farm LLC (NY). T-Chad Brown.
11. LET’S MEET IN RIO (c, Flatter–Rio Carnival, by Storm Cat) O/B-Juddmonte Farms Inc. (KY). T-Bob Baffert
12. CONQUEST BIG E (c, Tapit–Seeinsbelieven, by Carson City) O-Conquest Stables, LLC. B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. (Ky). T-Mark Casse

2016  KENTUCKY DERBY WILL HAVE A FEW OF THESE HORSES Exaggerator (Curlin – Dawn Raid, by Vindication) Moving him up on m...


Exaggerator (Curlin – Dawn Raid, by Vindication) Moving him up on my list before his race in the San Vicente is due to the tough race that Sunny Ridge ran in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. While it did not flatter anyone, even the winner, Exaggerator is a tough horse that looks to improve with age and experience. He is a good-looking son of top stallion Curlin and also contains some speed influence in his pedigree which gives him that speed he displayed in the Delta Downs Jackpot. I expect him to continue improving, and if he loses the San Vicente, it is not the kiss of death for this colt and his Derby dreams.

Nyquist (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) Nyquist looks to be the obvious choice as a top horse for the 2016 Kentucky Derby; however, I have reservations as I see more colts showing their classic potentials. While there is plenty of immediate class and back class in this colt’s pedigree, I am reserved on his ability to be competitive at the classic distances of 10 and 12 furlongs. So far, there is nothing I can say about him that is truly negative because there is so much unknown and the colt is perfect in 5 starts. The likely favorite for his three-year-old debut in the San Vicente, we will see how he does as a more mature horse before stretching out to 9 furlongs in the Florida Derby.

Mor Spirit (Eskenderya – I’m a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union) This colt has Bob Baffert hoping for another Kentucky Derby win in 2016. He is bred to be capable of winning at middle and classic distances. After an impressive win over stablemate Toews on Ice in the Los Alamitos Futurity, the colt is working toward a start in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. Can he continue to improve with age? His pedigree suggests he will be at his best at age three and possibly four. Bob Baffert believes the colt is really hitting his growth spurt and getting bigger, better, and more mature with every passing day.

Airoforce (Colonel John – Chocolate Pop, by Cuvee) After winning well on turf, he tried dirt for the first time in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes where he pulled away from a nice field in the mud. He was flattered more when Mor Spirit came out of the race to go on and win the Los Alamitos Futurity. Airoforce does have a pedigree that leans more toward dirt than turf, however, and it also leans toward speed rather than distance. Cuvee, a son of Carson City, was a speedy young horse before retiring to stud. He has been working very well at Palm Meadows for trainer Mark Casse. Look for him to show up in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 13.
Sunny Ridge (Holy Bull – Lignum Vitae, by Songandaprayer) Sunny Ridge showed his grit in the 2016 Withers Stakes, battling with Vorticity through the entire stretch. He looks like a horse that will enjoy the classic distance in the Kentucky Derby, but questions surround his talent. Yes, he defeated Flexibility in the Wither Stakes, who flattered Mohaymen by winning the Jerome impressively in his last start. However, Sunny Ridge ran the slowest Withers in the history of the race. He did earn a 106 speed figure, according to Equibase. Look for him to run in the Gotham and the Wood Memorial. This would give the colt three preps before the Kentucky Derby.

Brody’s Cause (Giant’s Causeway – Sweet Breanna, by Sahm) This colt finally returned to the work tab and is likely to show up in the Tampa Bay Derby and then the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. This will give this big son of Giant’s Causeway two preps before the Kentucky Derby. He was highly impressive in the Breeders’ Futurity in the fall at Keeneland. His huge stride helped him run down the impressive Exaggerator, and then he was able to really close in on the top competitors and finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. I, personally, would like to see him have some more tactical speed before I move him higher on my list.

Zulu (Bernardini – Temporada, by Summer Squall) So far, this colt is undefeated in two starts. He broke his maiden in December and took it to a field in an allowance in Gulfstream. As a two-year-old, he cost $900,000 after being a $400,000 yearling purchase. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velasquez, the colt has all the right connections. He is being pointed toward the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby. As most of us know, Pletcher likes to target those big races with a large amount of points. On a side note, I love the inbreeding to Weekend Surprise through A.P. Indy and Summer Squall. He also has a double dose of Northern Dancer on the bottom and a single dose on the top.

Greenpointcrusader (Bernardini – Ava Knowsnthecode, by Cryptoclearance) A full brother to Algorithms and a half-sibling to horses such as Justin Phillip and Keyed Entry, Greenpointcrusader still must prove he can be a top competitor on fast dirt. He attempted to go toe-to-toe with Mohaymen in the Holy Bull, but he was unable to keep up with the Tapit colt and was left behind when Mohaymen lengthened his stride. Greenpointcrusader is such a handsome colt, and if he can improve as he matures, he could be a threat, but for now, he has dropped down on my list quite a bit after the Holy Bull.
Mo Power (Uncle Mo – Rhiana, by Runaway Groom) I am taking a shot in the dark with this good-looking son of Uncle Mo. He broke his maiden on the Holy Bull undercard. His first start, he finished second at 6.5 furlongs, making up mass amounts of ground to just miss the winner by a neck. In his second start, he sat closer to the pace and was able to establish a one-length win over a closing Doctor Mounty (Street Sense). This colt has a very interesting pedigree to me, and I wonder if Pletcher will try to get him to the Derby in three months now that the colt has shown more promise with increasing distance.

Trevor Denman on the magic of Zenyatta, race-calling and how America has lost touch on horse careOn opening day of Santa...

Trevor Denman on the magic of Zenyatta, race-calling and how America has lost touch on horse care
On opening day of Santa Anita’s current winter-spring meet, most of the familiar elements were in place: swollen crowds and top-notch racing delivered beneath unseasonably pristine skies. But one essential ingredient was noticeable for its absence - that of long-time Santa Anita race-caller Trevor Denman.

This year was the first since 1984 that Denman’s voice has been missing as Santa Anita begins to usher out the old to make way for the new. Earlier this month, Denman announced he was stepping down after a much-celebrated 33 year-stint as the voice of Santa Anita, though he will continue to call races during Del Mar’s two annual meets in the summer and fall.
But it’s not only races that Denman reads voraciously. He will spend the intervening months in splendid isolation at home on his farm in Minnesota working on academic research projects - the continuation of a lifelong appreciation for the sciences and the humanities, namely philosophy, history and literature.
A native of Durban, South Africa, Denman moved to the United States in 1983, where recognition came quickly. Within months of calling his first race at Santa Anita in the fall that year, he was snapped up full-time by the track.
Since then, he’s established his pre-eminence in the field both here and beyond, his distinctive style — razor-sharp insights delivered with revving-engine urgency — as familiar now to racegoers as the win, place and show. The snappy Denman epigrams (“This Is Unbelievable!” and “away they go”) are also too numerous to list in full.
With his workload significantly lessened, Daniel Ross asked Denman to reflect on his career in an industry he has served for 44 years - a career in which he says he has “literally no regrets – not one”.
Q. You've called races at Santa Anita for 33 years. Confined to taking the memory of only one solitary race from that period, what race would you single out?
A. Undoubtedly, Zenyatta winning the Breeders' Cup Classic [at Santa Anita in 2009]. That Breeders’ Cup Classic was just fantasy. I’ve never experienced a reception like it. It’s very, very rare in horse racing that you get almost 100 percent of everybody behind one horse. I think even the people who lost a bet were still in awe of her and cheered for her. I’ve never heard a reception like it when she came back.
Which horse would you single out?
Again, Zenyatta. She was the most thrilling. She was probably lucky that her running style led to goose-bumps in the finish. If a horse goes straight to the front and wins, or sits third and wins, like some of the great horses, they’re not as dramatic as Zenyatta. It’s so rare for you to get a horse to come out of the clouds like that.
And, when they do, they don’t leave it to the last 50 yards. But she used to do it all the time. She looked like she couldn’t win half the time. And she was so enormous, with a great character. She might not be the fastest horse I’ve ever seen, but she’s the most thrilling horse I’ve ever seen. And she knew how to work the crowds. She did that right foot thing, as in, ‘come on, you can do better than that’. And the crowd just went bonkers.
There probably will never get another horse like this. Zenyatta had everything going for her.
What moment would you single out?
This makes it a hat-trick for Zenyatta! When she ran that last eighth of a mile in the Classic.
Looking back over your career, what are most proud of?
Having brought the welfare of the horses to the forefront. When I arrived here, the whipping and the whips were diabolical. It is much better now. I was in the vanguard, behind Grace Belcuore [who established the California Equine Retirement Foundation in 1986], of aiding retired racehorses as well. There were almost no retired racehorse shelters in the 1980s. There are plenty now.
How did you get involved in the issue of animal welfare?
When I first came here, I couldn’t believe they didn’t have a retirement program. Grace Belcuore was the one who got everything going. She brought me on board as a spokesperson, and of course, I was very positive about it.
In the early days it was hard work. That was in 1985. My goodness, how things have changed. Now, these retirement horse farms are a dime a dozen, and the racetracks all help out. But to begin with, you were changing people’s perceptions.
One rich guy I went to, he said, ‘I’m not paying for other people’s problems’. That’s like saying: ‘I’m not giving money to an orphanage because that’s someone else’s problems.’ You were hitting them with a concept that they hadn’t heard before. But they came around, and now it’s 100 times better.
What person has had the greatest impact on your career?
Alan Balch [former senior vice president of marketing and assistant general manager at Santa Anita]. He had the sagacity to give a complete outsider a chance at Santa Anita.
How did your hiring come about?
I wanted to get out of South Africa, and I came to San Francisco to call a jockeys’ international race. But I knew some trainers in LA, and stopped by Santa Anita and asked, ‘can I call a race?’ There had been a guy who had been in South Africa. So, Alan Balch called him and said, ‘you were in South Africa, do you know this guy?’ He replied, ‘yes, geez, I know him. Let him call a race.’
So Alan let me call the race. And the next day, he sends some guy up into the grandstands who says, ‘Alan Balch would like you to go see him’. And he let me call another race on the second day. I went back to South Africa and two weeks later I got a letter saying, ‘hey, if you’re interested in the job, let me know’.
The first few weeks were tough because, of course, people don’t like change. It wasn’t just a new announcer but a new accent. The first month was tough, but after that, it went very smoothly.
Did you shape some of your more memorable moments as a race-caller before the occasion, or were they spontaneous?
All my calls are totally spontaneous. I know some announcers pre-plan their calls, but to me it sounds phony when they are pre-planned. It has to be intrinsic, visceral for me.
What's the most difficult aspect of your job?
Staying focused for every race. I give 100 percent to every race no matter how minor it may be. One cannot become complacent.
What advice do you have for emerging race-callers?
No matter who you are, you are going to need some luck in getting the right job. It's the nature of the game. Try to learn about horses and racing. Visit the backstretch and soak up everything people tell you.
Racing is the only sport where the announcer is not necessarily an expert on the game. Become an expert. Knowledge of the game is so much more important than the voice.
You've mentioned how racing has made notable improvements in animal welfare (in whip use and aftercare, for example). What still needs to be done to improve horse welfare in the sport?
The claiming game needs to change. When a horse takes a big drop in class it almost always has a major problem. It is just so callous to say, ‘there is something wrong with my horse, you take him’. One is risking the horse’s life.
There should be a rule where you can only drop a horse one level at a time. America needs to catch up with the rest of the world on animal welfare. I know people don't want to hear that, but it is the truth and needs to be said.
I can speak first hand of England and South Africa. I own two racehorses in South Africa. If they just looked at you funny, they’d be scratched. One kicked the stall once, and he was off for three months with just a little bruising.
Somewhere along the line, America lost touch with horse care — not everyone, of course — but we need to be pulled back into line so that we treat horses more humanely.
Your race-calling career spans 44 years. During that time, in what area has horse racing made its greatest strides forward?
Ironically enough, probably in horse welfare. The days of nerving horses are over and there is a movement now to save retired racehorses, which there never was before.
In what area has horse racing made its most significant strides backwards? The game has become a numbers game. The new handicapper often has no idea about horseflesh, it's just ‘what figure does he have?’
In this year's Breeders' Cup Classic, I saw the selections of 14 highly respected handicappers and only four selected American Pharoah. Had he had the highest figures, they probably all would have selected him. The people who did not select him had no idea that they were looking at one of the best horses in decades.
To them, American Pharoah had four legs and a tail, just like all other horses. It's sad for racing.
Aside from your work at Del Mar, what does the future hold?
First, some time off. No pressures. Down the road I will do research into subjects that interest me and see what new adventures I can get into. I'll pursue my motto of ‘what's the meaning of life - a meaningful life?’
I’m huge into the Teaching Company, which gives university courses on tape. I’ve got two or three with me at any one time.
I’m vegetarian, 99 percent vegan and the biggest project I’m doing research into right now is the vegetarianism of the Church Fathers and the Desert Fathers. The Desert Fathers were almost unanimously vegetarian. The Church Fathers, it’s much harder to find out if they were. I’m making very good progress. I’ve found out a large number who were [vegetarian]. It’s heavy going reading their writings. You have to read 50 pages to get one piece of relevant information. It’s hard going, but I enjoy doing it.
Who do you admire most outside of horse racing?
Apart from my wife, my top 10 of the deceased, chronologically, would be Pythagoras, Epicurus, Seneca, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Percy Shelley, Gandhi and Nelson Mandella. You could throw Tolstoy in there too. I do not have a living hero, but Neil deGrasse [Tyson] would come closest. You're stranded on a desert island with only one book. Given a choice, what book would it be?
The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan. If everybody lived their lives by what Carl Sagan says in there, man it would be a much better world. He’s just so pragmatic.


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After some research I did fined that the Company that has been publishing

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Reference to the Thoroughbred Insider/Experience Magazine! Contacted you before about my magazine subscription. Nobody is responding. Received Spring edition only, your first and that was it! If you are out of business with the magazine, please let us know. Charge went on my card and was paid. The link you provided for further info about magazine on your page says NOT to be found. The money is not the issue. Was the summer edition sent and lost, or is that aspect of your business, the magazine, ended? Kindly respond. Thank you!
Has anybody heard anything on secret circles 2yr old's in training ? Thanks in advance
Can not say how disappointed I am with this magazine. Still waiting on the Spring issue. And we are only a month away from summer. Has anyone else received their Spring issue?
Ordered this magazine at the end of March still have yet to see a subscription do not buy from this magazine
I received my first but definitely not my last copy of Thoroughbred Insider magazine. Excellent magazine could not stop reading from beginning to end. Thank You for this magazine.
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For Brent and Nicole - where is either my refund or the T-shirts I ordered on 06/25/17 and never received? Beware all - strung me along all this time with excuses and kept emailing me saying I'd get a refund, etc, etc - they kept my money, no shirts, still to this date.