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Bill Rood didn't grow up around horses but once he came in contact with "God's kindest creatures," he knew he wanted to care for them as a veterinarian. Along with partner Thomas Riddle, he eventually he turned a "box" on a farm into Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, a world-renowned facility with locations in Lexington, Ky., Saratoga Springs, NY., an…
 
Dale Romans doesn't know what he would've done without horses. Growing up with dyslexia and difficulty learning in a traditional environment made school painful for Romans. After school, though, he could go "home" to the horses in his father's barn at Churchill Downs. Today, Dale still trains at that same barn, and over the course of the last 30 ye…
 
Looking back on the voices and stories we heard this year on Around the Track, it’s a satisfying and well-rounded mosaic of racing history and moments, joy and heartbreak, laughter and tears, determination and courage. We heard from jockeys, trainers, owners, breeders, agents, race callers, journalists, and Thoroughbred retirement advocates — each …
 
At the top of his game, Ramon Dominguez was among the best who ever sat on a horse in a starting gate. His Hall of Fame career, cut short by a devastating spill, began in his native Venezuela and flourished when he came to the U.S. In this episode of Around the Track, Dominguez shares stories from his riding life, a perspective on a professional at…
 
Having grown up with a fifth generation Standardbred training father and a mother who ran the family's breeding farm, Anna Ford has been around horses since the first day of her life. In her role at New Vocations, a celebrated Thoroughbred retraining and rehoming organization, Ford has helped extend the useful lives of hundreds of ex-racehorses. In…
 
Ron Ebanks has led quite the adventurous life. The former jockey and longtime jockey agent has seen it all, from near-death experiences to run-ins with the mafia, to chickens riding racehorses. In this edition of Around the Track, Ebanks tells stories from a life that began in the Caribbean and the bush tracks of Louisiana, a life that could (and w…
 
Simon Bray grew up in Britain with a father who owned racehorses, so he had the good fortune of connections to the Thoroughbred industry. Bray has also had some tough luck through the years, both in his professional life and with his diagnosis of a rare form of blood cancer. He learned perseverance at a young age, and that helped Bray overcome misf…
 
Julie Krone's earliest memories contain horses, and her devotion to understanding the breed helped her become one of the greatest jockeys of all time, not to mention a pioneering athlete who was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. In this episode of Around the Track, Krone tells stories of her rough-and-tumble early days (fighting a ma…
 
Despite his humble roots, Mike Repole's goals have always been lofty, and to his credit, he's achieved many of them. The kid from Queens who was the first person in his family to attend college turned a small beverage company into a $4 billion giant. He dreamed of owning racehorses as a teenager, and he's made that come true as well, winning top-cl…
 
Having written 20 books on Thoroughbred racing, Ed Bowen has an almost unparalleled memory of the sport, its renowned horses and their connections. In recent years, he's also had a strong influence on raising money for equine health research that benefits horses of all kinds. In this episode of Around the Track, Bowen recalls tales from researching…
 
It's hard to envision a racehorse owner with a better start in Thoroughbred racing than Sol Kumin. In a three-year span, Kumin, a 42-year-old Wall Street hedge fund manager, has circled the globe winning races at top-class events, including Royal Ascot, Dubai, the Breeders' Cup, and the Triple Crown. That kind of early success does not come easy in…
 
Ric Waldman knows horses. He's devoted his life to understanding their bloodlines and what it takes to make a great racehorse -- and a great sire. Waldman had the privilege of being connected to two of the most popular sires in history, Northern Dancer and Storm Cat. Ric oversaw the incredible transformation of Storm Cat from a $20,000 stallion to …
 
There's no question Richard Migliore laid it all on the line when he rode racehorses. Nicknamed "The Mig" after the Russian fighter jet for his tenacity on the track, Migliore came within millimeters of being paralyzed or killed more than once. But The Mig never quit and made almost miraculous recoveries, displaying a resilience born of his undying…
 
If there's a job in horse racing Vic Stauffer hasn't done, let us know. Enthralled by the sport at an early age, Stauffer skipped high school so he could make the racetrack life his own. From hotwalker to chart caller to jockey's agent, Vic tried everything, all the while focused on his true love of announcing the races. That dream came true as wel…
 
Maggie Wolfendale first sat on a horse when she was two years old. Yes, two. Instead of being sent to a day care center, she played in a racetrack barn, where her mother and father (also the progeny of horsemen) trained Thoroughbreds. These days, Wolfendale is a valuable asset to racing fans and bettors as she uses her sharp eye for horseflesh to s…
 
Both growing up on a farm in rural Illinois and his early work as a ghostwriter for Jimmy the Greek helped inform Ray Paulick's career path. Horse racing would eventually take him around the world as a journalist, and his most important contribution to the sport, the Paulick Report, has become an industry must-read for those wanting breaking news, …
 
In his 50-year career, Andrew Beyer created a new category of horse racing journalist, a writer outspoken about the sport and a voice for horseplayers. He also changed handicapping forever with his invention of the Beyer Speed Figure. In this edition of Around the Track, Beyer spins tales about his biggest scores and toughest betting beats; while n…
 
Art Sherman's life is bookended with the remarkable story of two Kentucky Derby winners that have him in common. First, Swaps in 1955 when Sherman was just a teenager literally sleeping next to the horse on a cross-country train ride, then California Chrome, one of the most popular Derby winners of all time. In this episode of Around the Track, She…
 
During his 43-year career, announcer Tom Durkin's electric race calls thrilled fans and stamped historic moments with unforgettable words. He could make you laugh, too. In this episode of Around the Track, Durkin tells stories about his humble beginnings at the track, relives some of his most memorable calls, and details the craft and stresses of c…
 
For nearly two decades, Donna Barton Brothers has played an integral role in NBC Sports' coverage of the Kentucky Derby and other important races. Her interviews on horseback have captured some of the most dramatic moments horse racing has to offer. In this episode of Around the Track, Brothers gives us a peek behind the scenes of the broadcasts, t…
 
Few writers have captured the brilliance and majesty of the Thoroughbred as well as Bill Nack. His prized Sports Illustrated features and books on racing legends Secretariat and Ruffian are infused with a voice that hovers "somewhere between that of Yeats and a stablehand," as judges wrote after honoring him recently with a lifetime achievement awa…
 
Chris McCarron has been on the backs of some of the greatest racehorses ever, and his career ranks him among the all-time great jockeys in wins, earnings, and victories in Thoroughbred racing's biggest events. Hear how Chris went from sneaking into the racetrack in high school to the Hall of Fame in less than two decades. From the surreal moments a…
 
From lunches with famous actors to tales of renowned horses, Michael Blowen has plenty of stories to tell. The one-time movie critic now spends his days taking care of former Kentucky Derby winners and other racehorses of the past at his Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm. Red thank you notes from Jimmy Stewart, $20 that turned into a million…
 
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