A Midwest Thoroughbred double feature

I have a pair of stories in the latest news cycle of The Midwest Thoroughbred magazine.

The print edition features a preview story for the upcoming meet at Indiana Downs. The Shelbyville, Ind. track had a banner year in 2010, and faces the unique challenge of keeping that positive momentum going. To find out how they plan to do it, I spoke to racing secretary Raymond “Butch” Cook and trainer Randy Klopp, who is also president of the Indiana HBPA.

Click here to read my preview of the 2011 Indiana Downs meet.

On the publication’s website, I have a feature on Michigan’s breeding industry. The story discusses the impact the state’s flagging business has had on its breeding operations, and highlights five of its top stallions. To get some insight on Michigan’s breeding industry I spoke to Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association president Patti Dickinson, trainer/breeder James Jackson, McMaster Farm manager Dan Boik and breeder EJ Hubel.

Click here to read my story on Michigan’s breeding industry.

Also, if you’ll notice on page six, I have been added to the publication’s masthead as a contributing editor. I’m honored to be part of the team.

This is not the first time I have had work published in The Midwest Thoroughbred. Back in September, I interviewed jockey and trainer Richard Rettele for the magazine’s “Jockey Shorts” section.

The Midwest Thoroughbred is a fantastic publication for readers interested in horse racing in the region, and the effect its native sons and daughters have on the national scene. Though the magazine focuses its coverage on the business in Illinois and Indiana, it frequently covers topics pertaining to racing in surrounding states, including Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Kentucky.

The publication is getting better with every issue, and is definitely worth the time to check out. And I’m not just saying that because I write for them. The feature writing is creative, entertaining and covers topics that the national publications may overlook.

I’d like to thank The Midwest Thoroughbred for having me on board, and I look forward to working together in the future.

If you like what you see, click here to subscribe to The Midwest Thoroughbred.


Filed under Commentary

13 responses to “A Midwest Thoroughbred double feature

  1. Old Time Race Fan

    Nice story on Indiana Downs. It is on my must visit list for 2011. Something that we have never had here in Michigan are the grass races.
    Has there been any more news on where the thoroughbreds may run in Michigan in 2011?

  2. ragman

    Old Time
    We have had grass races in Michigan. The first Michigan Mile was run on the grass. We also have had steeplechasing.
    April 7th is Thursday. Cross your fingers.

  3. The first Michigan Mile and all of the rest of the Michigan Miles ran on dirt. This race ran annually solely at DRC. The Michigan Mile And One-Eighth Handicap was Inaugurated 1958. A one time Grade II event raced on dirt.

    Nearctic was it’s first Winner in 1958.


  4. ragman

    Wikipedia is incomplete. Try the Daily Racing Form.
    kdl.kyvl.org/drf…….1940s…….1949……(calendar)may 26….page5 Detroit Charts, 6th race…..Shows Sir Sprite winning the first running of the Michigan Mile(one mile on the turf).

  5. mibredclaimer

    Old Time Race Fan,
    Thanks! It’s definitely worth a visit. Probably the slightly better of the two casinos of the Indiana racetracks, too.

    As for when and where anybody is going to run, I know nothing, and that seems to be the prevailing answer.

    Ragman & Longshot
    Ragman’s right on this one. I’ve seen the pps for myself. Not sure why the Wikipedia page would say that unless that’s as far back as the person who put up the page could find information.

  6. Had it downloaded then Bam Gone. Will try later.

    Enjoy the Picture


    Right now nothing will download with these racing form links on my computer.

    But I stand corrected. May 25, 1949
    6th Race $7,500. I’m puzzled they picked a Wednesday to hold the Mile?

    Will attempt to post link later this evening.

  7. ragman

    I have a copy of an add for the 1970 Michigan Mile and it called the 1969 Michigan Mile the 21st running so DRC did include the one ran at the Fairgrounds. Wednesday??? Mile didn’t have any history, was on the grass, there were a lot better horse that ran at the Fairgrounds at that time. The race after the mile was a claimer, had one less horse and had a bigger handle.
    The best was yet to come.

  8. Old Time Race Fan

    Wow, I did not know that they ever ran turf races in Michigan. Anyone know where the turf course was located? My experience has been at DRC; Great Lakes Downs; and now Pinnacle; none of which had a grass course. Actually, add Hazel Park to that list, as I attended the flat races there also, back in the 70’s. Wasn’t there also a Michigan Derby?
    I did get to see My Juliet win a Michigan Mile (in the 70’s I believe) then saw 1991 with Black Tie Affair plus a couple others in late 80’s / early 90’s.
    Anybody know where one could find a list of winners?

  9. ragman

    Old Time
    Here is one way you can try…Pedigreequery.com..in the horse box type in..Black Tie Affair….over to the right click search…put your cursor on the circled i this gives a brief message about the horse. Go to the left and put your cursor on..reports..window opens…move down to..Stakes Races..click…this shows all(?) of BTA stakes races…put the cursor on Michigan Mile and click…now you see all of the Michigan Mile info they have at this time. You can click on any of the horses and work backwards.
    You can use this sight to help in handicapping with some first-starters by looking up the dams and seeing what they accomplished, any speed?, etc.
    Hope this helps. I hope to fill in some of the blanks on the Mile but it is very time consuming.

  10. Old Time Race Fan

    Thank you. That is a very cool web site. I found the winners of the Mile (that they had listed), including My Juliet and Black Tie Affair. First running was 1949. I also looked up an old horse who I always made money on. He was from Argentina and named Paraje. He never won any stakes at normal distances but could he run long! Every year for three years (1971-1973) he won New York’s Display Handicap because he was the only one who could last the 2 miles! He also had a second in the Jockey CLub Gold Cup (when it was also two miles). I wish that they ran races like that today. Maybe with the Breeder’s Cup marathon, they’ll make a come back.

  11. You might have to click on the links multiple times to bring it up. And click on the ZOOM + button. Very hard to copy from page.


    FAIR GROUNDS, Detroit, Mich., May 25.
    —Sir Sprite, aged gelded homebred son of
    Ariel and Southern Beauty, carried O. F.
    Woodward’s silks to a driving and game
    victory here today in the Michigan Mile,
    first important turf course stake at the
    current Fair Grounds season. Responding”
    to a strong ride by Harry Hart, Sir Sprite
    closed with a rush through the stretch and
    beat Hal Price Headley’s favored Pellicle
    by a length and one-half margin. A similar
    distance back, Jacob Sher’s Frere
    Jacques finished third in the field of eight

    Sir Sprite, winner of his last local engagement
    on the flat, shouldered 120
    pounds today as did Pellicle, Frere Jacques
    and Master– Bid. No better than third
    choice in the totalisator, the Woodward
    star returned $14.40 after he had raced
    the eight furlongs over the fast grass strip
    in 1:38%. For his triumph in the Michigan
    Mile, Sir Sprite added $5,805 to his
    owner’s coffers, that figure representing
    the victor’s share of the gross purse of



    But reality of it is The Mile at DRC was called, Michigan Mile And One-Eighth Handicap. In the archives of DRF there was no Michigan Mile Race under the name of Michigan Mile.

    And Michigan Mile And One-Eighth Handicap wasn’t ran until 1958.

    Grade II Stakes


    So the race at The Detroit Fairgrounds in 1949 was the ONLY ” Michigan Mile ” on turf.

    In 1958 ( and why not until 1958? ) it was the
    ” Michigan Mile And One-Eighth Handicap “. Grade II Stake. And DRC was dirt, no turf course ever.

    Wiki wasn’t wrong.


    At Hazel Park it was the Michigan Derby.


    This was from May 2, 1959. Michigan Derby – One Mile and Sixteenth

    three year olds and upward one mile MICHIGAN DERBY $20,000 Added


    And I’m starting to go punch drunk looking all this up.

    There is nothing in these DRF archives bringing up anything prior to 1958 at DRC until they Inaugurated The Michigan Mile And One-Eighth Handicap.

    So one sole turf race in 49 at the Det. Fairgrounds called Michigan Mile. And the rest is HIstory!

    So good night good night and get real high and have a good time.

    Sorry listening to Bob Seger. LOL

  12. ragman

    kdl.kyvl.org……1970……..May 2…….the second page 4….[advertisment]. The $100,000 added what? the 21st running of what? The what?starters in recent seasons. Who ran this add?
    Doesn’t seem like they are calling it The Mile and One Eighth. Of course didn’t have Wikpedia to refer to.
    I know Spur On won in 1954, Greatest also won in the 50’s.

  13. Awe Honey it’s your turn to dig for all this. If you’ve got the link post it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s