Ten Things Racing Fans Can Be Thankful for This Year

Pop Culture
Songbird is one of the many gifts racing fans have to be thankful for this year. (Eclipse Sportswire)

There are many reasons for fans and those who work in the racing industry to express their gratitude this Thanksgiving. Tom Pedulla of America’s Best Racing gives thanks for the following:

Penny Chenery
Penny Chenery (Eclipse Sportswire)

The late Penny Chenery. Racing won big when a lost coin toss ultimately brought Secretariat into her life. Secretariat went on the win the Triple Crown in 1973 and achieve legendary status. Chenery went on to show how well a woman could handle herself in the business and racing world. She died on Sept. 16. She was all class.

Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. For jockeys who suffer catastrophic injuries, there is a measure of comfort in knowing the PDJF is there to assist with expenses that are often massive.

Thoroughbred aftercare. The need to provide a dignified retirement for horses that gave their all while racing has come a long way. May the progress continue.

Breeders’ Cup testing. Trainers described rigorous monitoring and testing of horses that were running in the Breeders’ Cup to ensure that there was a level playing field. Gaining the confidence of the betting public means everything.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Del Mar, where “the turf meets the surf,” did an outstanding job in hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time, ensuring that the event would be an artistic and financial success.

National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Handicappers won big when the National Thoroughbred Racing Association convinced the Internal Revenue Service to adopt new regulations pertaining to   withholding and reporting of certain pari-mutuel winnings. Only 35 winning tickets during the two-day Breeders’ Cup triggered automatic W-2G filings. That represented a stunning 97 percent reduction from 2016, when the previous system was in place.

Ron Winchell and Three Chimneys Farm. Their willingness to bring back well-bred Gun Runner for his 4-year-old campaign resulted in a number of thrilling performances, culminating in his victory in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Better yet, they are pointing toward the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park for his last hurrah.

Gun Runner after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Gun Runner after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Arrogate. Although he soured at the end, Arrogate’s ability to string together four spectacular efforts in the Travers, Classic, Pegasus World Cup, and Dubai World Cup will not soon be forgotten.

Charles Fipke. Fipke, a geologist renowned for his ability to locate diamonds, not only had the wisdom to breed Distaff winner Forever Unbridled but has the moxie to want to pit her against males in the upcoming Pegasus.

Songbird. The two-time Eclipse Award winner was a joy to behold as she won 13 of 15 starts and earned $4,692,000 before her retirement at the end of August. Here’s hoping one of her foals can be equally special.

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