Friday, September 30, 2011

Incredible Dog Challenge 2011

These are highlights from the 2010 Purina Incredible Dog challenge Event. And no matter what this trailer says, this years version of the event is COMING SOON: October 1!

Check your local listings and also follow the action on beginning at 10 Am on October 1.

Did you catch the snippet with a dog herding a flock of ducks? Sam's absolute favorite thing is his stuffed "ducky" but somehow I don't think he would herd real ones--just bark and make them all fly away!!

One more reason why these are all incredible dogs!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Super Saturday

This Saturday is the Kelso Handicap at Belmont and Uncle Mo is entered. On September 27th he turned in a blazing four furlong workout in preparation for the one mile event and clearly the horse is raring to go!

"That was faster than I wanted to go; it's not what we set out to do, but I think it's an indication of how well he's doing at the moment," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "We were looking for a 'final breeze before the race,' a standard 48, 49, and I think he's just doing so well now that he went a little quicker than that. It seems like he's moving great and everything he's been doing since the King's Bishop has been exceptional, so we're pleased with that."

Saturday is what is known as "Super Saturday" at Belmont with six graded stakes. Five of them are Grade I stakes races and all six stakes are "Win and You're In" races for the Breeder's Cup at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4-5. Pletcher will also be saddling Stay Thirsty (winner of the Travers) in the Jockey Club gold cup.

Check your local listings but ESPN Classic and are broadcasting from 4:30-7:30 PM, Eastern Time. Should be a great day of racing!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Night School

Ever wanted to learn more about thoroughbred racing from the sales to training to handicapping? Well now its your chance. Attend Night School, for free, live and on line and click on the above link for dates and topics! A great way to learn about the sport, expand your knowledge or just keep your fingers on the pulse of the sport!

See you in class!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's Release Day!!!!!

It's official! The Culinary Canine will be shipped from the warehouse beginning today!!! Those who have ordered from Amazon may have to wait a few more weeks, however since that distributor gets their books next week. But rest assured, the book is alive well and ready to be snapped up!

In fact, check out this new post on!

Let the games begin!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Look carefully in the above photo--I know it looks like a closeup of my driveway (which it is) but there is also a caterpillar there. In fact it is the first caterpillar that I have seen this season.

Caterpillars are the harbingers of winter and if they have thick, furry coats, it is going to be a harsh winter.

There you have it. This guy has no bushy coat.

Make of it what you will but I am hoping there will be minimal shoveling.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Whale

You know I love whales. There is something primitive, mysterious and all knowing about this remarkable species.

This movie tells the story of an Orca that lost its family and ended up along the shoreline in British Columbia. What happens next is enough that Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johanssen got involved.

You can check out the website to request the movie be shown in your hometown.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Slow Down Says PETA

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal (September 10, 2011--subscription only) discussed the practice of breezing two year old horses being auctioned for sale to demonstrate their "soundness" to potential buyers. This activity has recently come under scrutiny by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) which states that these short, fast workouts can put young horses at risk because their muscles and bones are not fully formed.

In response, Fasig-Tipton, one of the industry's major auction houses, is taking these concerns seriously and is looking into implementing better safety standards for the horses. Apparently these concerns were raised after two horses died in sales-related exercises. One of those horses died on a muddy track at the Maryland Fairgrounds sale and it is unclear what role the condition of the track played in the outcome.

PETA is urging auction houses to adopt the European model of having the young horses gallop or accelerate gradually. It is also asking the auction houses to limit the sprints to horses older than two and to postpone these breezes if the track is muddy. Terrence Collier, a spokesperson for Fasig-Tipton, one of the auction houses, noted: "We support any effort to improve the welfare of horses and riders."

ironically, how fast a young horse breezes is not always an indication of how fast he/she can run. The most famous example of this are the blazing fast workouts recorded by The Green Monkey as a 2 year old and his notoriously lackluster career on the track. He never won a race.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cats Gone Wild!

Oui, this in en francais (in French) but trust me you will get the general idea. These French cool chats (cats) inhabit our world of hyperactivity and interconnectivity! Watch them talk on their smart phones, doodle in meetings and even choose snacks from a very fishy vending machine.

It's all part of Frances' Bouygues Telecom advertising campaign that is capitalizing (or is that cat-ipalizing) on the inherent cuteness of our companion animals.

After all, it's a cat eat cat world out there....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Phoebe's Doctor Gets New Gig!

Hurray for Phoebe's doctor, Ann Caufield, who helped put her back together again without surgery! Recent news from Penn vet indicates that Dr. Caufield is going to be heading up a new rehab unit at Penn Veterinary hospital! She will be working with Dr. Garzotto, the surgeon who never operated (knock wood!) on Phoebe because of Dr. Caufield's expert care!!!

“For years I had referred my post-op patients to Ann, who, I believe, is one of the most experienced people in the area,” said Dr. Garzotto. “It’s amazing what physical therapy can do for animals,” said Dr. Garzotto. “As surgeons, I think this is a way to be a better caregiver for our patients.”

Don't worry. I emailed them to let them know that if they every needed a walking testimonial, Phoebe was available!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Union Rags

Not to jinx anything, but it looks like Michael Matz has a promising 2 year old named Union Rags who won the Grade II Saratoga Special on August 15 over a sloppy track.

While I may be preaching caution, reporters in the Winner's Circle were quick to ask Matz whether he felt this horse was another Barbaro. "Hopefully, we can have a lot of fun with him," Matz said. "After you have a horse like Barbaro, your standard is pretty high. I just hope he could be as good, that's for sure."

Matz is not the only one high on Union Rags. Jockey Javier Castellano called him "an unbelievable horse." Castellano also worked the horse in the morning and fired off a bullet of a breeze about ten days before the race. "When I showed up and worked the horse in the morning, it was unbelievable. I've never worked a horse like that and I've been very fortunate to ride horses like Ghostzapper and Bernardini. I've been a very lucky, fortunate, guy but this horse is unbelievable and special."

It's a long way to that first Saturday in May but Catellano already admits he's keeping his fingers croseed "that he's going to be a superhorse. I think he can run all day."

Remember, you heard it here!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Small Blip in Delivery

Writing a book is the easy part. Selling the book, first to a publisher and then to the world, is the hard part. At least that's what I think. There are so many variables it is absolutely no wonder that publishing is the last dinosaur of industry.

Over the weekend, lots of people who had pre-ordered the book on Amazon received a notice that the delivery date (and the launch date) were being moved from Sept. 27 to October 28. A general panic buzz swept through cyberspace as everyone was worried about the availability of books at the October launch events: the 11th in NYC and the 20th in Philly.

First, thanks for you concern. Second, I have been assured that books will indeed be available at the launch events and even directly from the publisher for those of you unable to wait for the Amazon delivery. The website for direct purchase, after September 27 is

Like I said, writing a book is the easy part!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Margano's Debut

An okay showing for Margano--he finished sixth and showed some promise as he made a big move coming around the turn into the homestretch, moving from last to finish sixth but he has a lot to learn. In my opinion, that was the purpose of this race--to get him used to racing and from that point, I think it was a good experience.

He broke toward the back, settled toward the back and than looked like he was going backward when the horse next to him, Gold Megillah, made his move a little earlier than Margano made his. Clearly they are teaching him how to rate--to wait patiently until the last quarter and then kick it into a higher gear, and there is no doubt that he has that next gear, as he showed down the stretch.

This is a different trainer so it will be interesting to see where he runs him next. Clearly on the turf and it might be back at Belmont or even Delaware Park in late October. Let's hope he came out of the race okay and don't write him off just yet--this guy is getting an earlier jump at the subject of learning how to race than any of his brothers so it will be most interesting to see if that ends up making a difference in these late blooming Dynaformers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Baby Jaguar at Phila. Zoo

It's been a veritable baby boom at the Philadelphia Zoo recently and in August this young jaguar went outside for the first time! Note who caught him somewhere he wasn't supposed to be....

Moral of the story: Moms are ALWAYS watching.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aging Gracefully

I just got an email from a friend who was very excited about the book launch events (October 11 in NYC, October 20 in Philly and November 10 in Chicago) and she mentioned that her rescue dog "who eats anything, even lettuce" was either 18 or 19 years old! Amazing...

Which brings me to the news from England that horses are also living longer, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine. Older horses, like older dogs, often develop medical conditions that are unique to a geriatric population and astute owners need to be on the lookout for certain conditions that may indicate something "is not quite right."

Many of these ailments are teeth and hoof related but a study at the University of Liverpool found that while veterinarians were able to diagnose these problems, many owners were not. "Failure to identify health problems in geriatric horses may prolong the time until the horse is examined and treated by a veterinarian," Joanne Ireland, author of the study writes. "Improved owner education in the care of aging hoses is likely to improve identification of disease in geriatric horses."

A close relationship with one's vet is also paramount in caring for older horses. Vets can teach owners what telltale signs to look for but the moral of the story is if something does not appear to be "right" especially with your older hoses, do not hesitate to call your vet.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Margano's First Start

HUGE News:

Margano makes his first start at Belmont on Saturday, Tenth Race.
Here are the entries:

Belmont Park - September 17, 2011

Race 10 - 5:50 PM Exacta, Trifecta, Super (.10) Wagers


Purse $51,000. (up To $9,690 Nysbfoa) For Maidens, Two Years Old. Weight, 119 Lbs. (If the Stewards consider it inadvisable to run this race on the turf course, this race will be run at One Mile and One Sixteenth on the main track.). One And One Sixteenth Miles. (Turf)
P# PP Horse Virtual
Stable A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Five Sixteen (KY) 2/C L J Sanchez 119 D A Schettino 8/1
2 2 Deo Goes Rocky (CA) 2/C K Singh 119 R Persaud 50/1
3 3 Which Market (KY) 2/C L1 G K Gomez 119 K P McLaughlin 8/1
4 4 Rock Harder (KY) 2/C L1 A Garcia 119 N J Howard 10/1
5 5 Powerofone (KY) 2/C L E Castro 119 W I Mott 6/1
6 6 Minestone (KY) 2/G L K J Desormeaux 119 D L Romans 8/1
7 7 Margano (KY) 2/C L1 J Lezcano 119 B Tagg 6/1
8 8 Dendrite (KY) 2/C L1 I Ortiz, Jr. 1145 D G Donk 15/1
9 9 Our Entourage (KY) 2/C L J Castellano 119 T A Pletcher 7/2
10 10 Political Courage (KY) 2/C L J Bravo 119 M R Matz 12/1
11 11 Gold Megillah (KY) 2/C L A O Solis 119 H G Motion 5/1
12 12 News Pending (KY) 2/C L D Cohen 119 D L Romans 15/1
Also Eligibles:
13 13 Knock Rock (KY) 2/C L D Cohen 119 S M Schwartz 4/1
14 14 Awesome's Eleven (KY) 2/C L K J Desormeaux 119 D Stewart 8/1
15 15 Shkspeare Shaliyah (FL) 2/C L J Castellano 119 D Shivmangal 9/2
16 16 Yonder 'tis (KY) (MTO) 2/C L A O Solis 119 M A Hennig 6/1

Owners: 1 - MeB Racing Stables, LLC; 2 - Balgobin, Dronacharje; 3 - NYKY Thoroughbred Stable; 4 - Farish, Jr., W.S.; 5 - WinStar Farm; 6 - Jones, Jr., Frank, L.; 7 - Lael Stable; 8 - Punk, Jr., William, J., DiLeo, Philip; 9 - Repole Stable; 10 - Bass, Ramona; 11 - West Point Thoroughbreds; 12 - Klaravich Stables, Lawrence, William, H.; 13 - Herbert T. and Carol A. Schwartz; 14 - On Our Own Stable LLC; 15 - Shivmangal Racing Stable, LLC; 16 - Grier, Mark, B.

Breeders: 1 - Machmer Hall; 2 - British Mist Breeding & Racing; 3 - Pam and Martin Wygod; 4 - W. S. Farish & Skara Glen Stables; 5 - Elkhorn Creek Farm, LLC; 6 - Mt. Brilliant Farm LLC; 7 - Mr. & Mrs. M. Roy Jackson; 8 - Richard Forbush; 9 - Colts Neck Stables, LLC; 10 - Ramona S. Bass; 11 - McCann Bloodstock; 12 - Jayde, Inc; 13 - Bloodstock Holdings LLC; 14 - Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC; 15 - Guilherme Bombonato & Angela Bombonato; 16 - Mark Grier

No way of knowing anything. First starts are just that, so let's hope for a safe trip for all.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cats Doing Time

Our friends at new Leash on Life are just getting their Philadelphia pilot program started in which inmates learn how to care for dogs and then socialize them for adoption, but in Lincoln, Nebraska inmates are finding their softer sides by caring for cats.

This video features inmates from Lincoln County jail where so far, the cats have proved to be a big success story for the inmate as well as for the cats.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Walk for Farm Animals

Emily Deschanel Leads the 2011 Walk for Farm Animals! from Farm Sanctuary on Vimeo.

We support this wonderful cause and urge you to consider where your food comes from when you purchase it. Don't support factory farms!

Get involved with a local walk or contribute on behalf of someone who is.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

American Bison

There has been much ado about the demise of two American bison, who were euthanized by their keepers at ZooAmerica outside of Hershey Park in Hershey Pennsylvania when the bison were trapped in their pen by rapidly rising flood waters. The Sophie's choice that keepers faced was to watch the bison drown or humanely destroy them. They chose the later.

"Unfortunately, no one could anticipate a weather event that went from inches of rain to feet of flooding in a matter of a few short minutes," the Zoo said in a statement. "Faced with the prospect of watching the extended suffering of the bison and their eventual death due to drowning, the zoo staff chose the most humane path possible and euthanized the bison."

It is truly a most unfortunate and tragic incident. It is most definitely true that the waters did rise rapidly but it is also true that somehow the keepers did manage to get all the other animals out of their confines and to higher ground. "We had a plan and we put it in effect, but the circumstances were beyond anything that we had ever seen," said Mindy Bianca, public relations director for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Co, the parent company of the zoo.

I have another take entirely. Why were bison, who should be roaming free on the range (just ask Ted Turner), in a zoo to begin with? Those great symbols of the American West deserve to live out their days in the wild not in cages or pens of any type.

Monday, September 12, 2011

One More Thing

In case you are not overwhelmed by all the media attention surrounding the 10th anniversary of September 11, here is a video honoring the Search and Rescue Dogs as well as the work of the American Humane Society. The AHS has been rescuing and caring for animal in war zones since World War I and Rin Tin Tin, who was born on the battle fields of World War I, is their appropriate mascot.

This is a great video that sums up all the important and heartfelt work that canine heroes perform everyday--in our homes as well as on the front lines.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On this tenth anniversary of one of our nation' s most tragic events, I urge you to take a moment and consider the dog heroes of 9/11--those search and rescue dogs who helped in the early days of the towers' collapse.

Our publisher, Bow Tie Press is releasing a 10th anniversary edition of their moving tribute to these dogs, The Dog Heroes of 9/11, that has been completely updated and expanded to include other search and rescue dogs and information about the National Search Dog Foundation training facility.

A portion of the proceeds from this book go to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, the organization that trains these amazing canine heroes, all of who are themselves rescued from shelters.

Think of it: the rescued helping to rescue. What better way to honor the day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Think of the Dental Bills!

Meet Harley, who is in the running for this year's oddest veterinary claim, sponsored by VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance). Harley not only ate 100 rocks, he pooped them out sequentially!

His competition includes Chico the Chihuahua who was grabbed by a hungry owl and taken aloft and Eddy the cat who landed on a hot wood stove while chasing a fly.

You can vote for your favorite between now and September 20 here. The award, named "The Hambone" takes its name from a dog, who ate an entire ham while trapped inside a refrigerator!

By the way, Harley ingested small rocks and was able to pass them naturally (with the help of some medicine), thus avoiding surgery!

One more little factoid about VPI, they gave free pet insurance to all the search and rescue dogs who worked on the World Trade Center site.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Just Because

Just because we love this book trailer and also because we each have our hands on one advance copy of the actual book, we are re-posting it with the suggestion that you place your orders at the pre-release price now.

We can't promise that the book will ever be available for reliable delivery again!

We can promise you will love it! We do and so does everyone who sees it.

Think holiday gift giving and thank me later.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Whale Watch

This is truly an amazing and moving story about a close up and personal encounter with a humpback whale that had a wonderful ending and proved, once again, the power of the ties that bind us to the non-human with which we share our planet. Watch and be amazed. It doesn't get much better than this.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Speed Dating for Dogs!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In Orlando, some cleaned up pooches find their forever homes in this clever and successful event! Can you say love at first sight?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In the Sprit of Rachel Alexandra. . .

She beat the boys--so much for my great handicapping skills! I love the track announcer's comment, "In the spirit of Rachel Alexandra," Havre de Grace becomes only the second female to win the Woodward. Quite an accomplishment.

It is, however, a long way to Horse of the Year. If she wants those honors, she will have to beat the boys, flat out in the Breeder's Cup Classic--at least that is what I think. And in other news, Animal Kingdom has been cleared to resume training.

So it should be an interesting fall of racing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Might be Worth Moving To Del Mar For!

This is Del Mar's (California) dog beach where dogs are allowed off leash after Labor Day!!!! Don't show my dogs or they will want to move!

Hope your Labor Day is splash-worthy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hudson Has A New Brother

For those following the journey of Luke and his walk from Austin to Boston to bring attention to canine cancer, they will know that Luke recently lost his beloved Great Pyrenees, Murphy, to nasal cancer.

Yesterday, however, Luke adopted Hudson's new brother (we think his name is Frank) and you can follow their exploits here.

We have found that a new puppy heals most broken hearts. Welcome to this new guy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Woodward Stakes

Today is the Woodward at Saratoga--the race that traditionally heralds the impending move back to Belmont for NY racing. It is a race for older horses that has been won by such legends as Curlin, Cigar, Holy Bull and of course Rachel Alexandra.

Which brings us to today's favorite: Havre de Grace--another filly who is trying to beat the boys! It is an interesting choice for owner Rick Porter since Havre de Grace has run in only one Grade 1 race this year, the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn. In fact, she is very lightly raced, this being her 5th start.

"Obviously, we think we have a chance to be Horse of the Year," Porter told the Paulick Report. "And after we got beat a nose in the Del Cap we thought we had to do something aggressive. . .something to get everybody's attention, hopefully."

Attention is being paid, based on the morning line but I personally think she will have her work cut out for her. Ice Box , Mission Impazible and Rule look like the horses to beat although Flat Out is the second choice in the morning line.

The race is supposed to be telecast on NBC as part of its Summer at Saratoga series but we all know how that goes if any of those tropical storms floating around suddenly turn into hurricanes. Check your local listings and enjoy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gone Surfin'

A great story about a golden retriever whose balance, I am afraid to say, leaves Phoebe and Sam in the dust!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bon Voyage!

Remember Happy Feet--the wayward Emperor penguin who got separated from his flock and ended up on a beach in New Zealand? Well Happy Feet has made a full recovery from the surgery he had to remove the sand and stones from his belly and is en route to his native Antarctica.

Happy Feet was given a lavish send off at the Wellington Zoo and is traveling in a custom -made insulated crate aboard a New Zealand fisheries vessel bound for polar waters. The penguin is also traveling with his own medical team from the Wellington Zoo.

Happy Feet is also outfitted with a GPS so handlers can monitor his progress. The idea is for him to bump into some penguins he recognizes and swim happily ever after. And what a story he has to tell them...

Wait? Maybe that's a movie....