Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Race is On!

This is the link to the Holy Bull Stakes run on Sunday and won very decisively by Algorithims, son of Bernardini, who overcame Hansen mid-stretch. Hansen, the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (before this race), led for most of the race until the Todd Pletcher trained Algorithims caught and easily passed him down the stretch. The victory handed Pletcher his third win of the day.

This was the third start for Algorithims and the first stakes appearance and he looked impressive even on a sloppy track.

So the race to the starting gate for the Derby officially is under way. One of Pletcher's other winners on Sunday is El Padrino of whom there are rumored to be Triple Crown hopes.

Of course it is very early to start placing your bets. Union Rags is slated for the Fountain of Youth on Feb 26 so we'll get to see the other horse surrounded by buzz.

Let the games begin!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Best Thing Ever!

What could be better than to be covered in golden retriever puppies?? Maybe taking one home......

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Are You My Mother?

Dare someone tell this foal the dog with a towel is not a pony or maybe the other way around. . . dare someone tell the dog the foal is not a Great Dane?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Luck Series on HBO

Combine Jaime Gordon's book The Lords of Misrule with Boardwalk Empire and the television show Las Vegas and you probably have the components of the HBO series, Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and others. It premiers January 29 at 9:00 PM on HBO and from the trailer above, it certainly is portraying the underbelly of the industry, which, I suppose, is where all the action is.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Camel Race

This gives new meaning to man versus beast. Apparently these races between the camel Nessie and her owner have been going on sine the camel was a baby. Watch the way the camel runs and you'll have a pretty good idea of who wins!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gene Therapy That Works in Dogs May Help Cure a Form of Blindness in People

it appears that comparative oncology is not the only field in which medical researchers are discovering that therapies that work on dogs, may also work on humans. Specifically, two Penn researchers demonstrated four years ago, that gene therapy could help restore vision in both dogs and humans for those with a very rare form of blindness.

Now it seems that a similar approach may also work for a much more common form of blindness--retinitis pigmentosa, which affects many thousands. This week, scientists Gustavo Aguirre and William Beltran reported success in treating dogs with the disease by using gene therapy. They are hoping the approach will also work for humans.

The same approach that they used before--injecting healthy genes into the retina to compensate for the malfunctioning ones--was used and stopped the disease in four dogs from progressing. The mutation occurred spontaneously in the dogs--they were born with it, meaning that researchers did not have to destroy a dogs sight in order to test the protocol.

While human trials are not yet underway, hope is high for the success of the vaccine in people as well as pets.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Darling Companion

So in this week when War Horse and The Artist (which feats an adorable dog, Uggie) were both nominated for Best Movie of the Year, comes another film trailer, Darling Companion, for a story about a woman who love her dog more than her husband. And then her husband loses the dog.

We only hope it has a happy ending because the dog is spectacular!

The point, however, is that animals have taken over Hollywood--and it's about time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012



Lexington, Kentucky -- January 22, 2012 --

RACHEL ALEXANDRA, 2009 Horse of the Year, gave birth today to a 125 pound colt by 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year, CURLIN who stands at Lane's End Farm.

The bay colt was born at 2:40 pm on Stonestreet Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. He took his first steps an hour and an half later. Emblazoned with a white star, the alert colt bears a striking resemblance to his mother. Stonestreet Farm manager Gary Megibben reports all is well with both mare and foal and that, "Rachel is a natural mother, and took to the colt immediately."

Owner Barbara Banke was told of the breaking news while preparing to cheer on her San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game at Candlestick Park. "I am thrilled with the good news of Rachel's safe delivery and health of the handsome colt that resembles her. For me and my children, this colt represents Jess’ dream – to raise and race the best,” says Banke. “Co-owner Hal McCormick and I look forward to watching him develop and are excited to see him carry the Stonestreet silks as his Mom and Dad did before him.”

Curlin, the 2007 Breeder's Cup Classic Winner and 2008 Dubai World Cup winner and Rachel Alexandra, who redefined gender at the racetrack by becoming the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness and the first filly to ever win the Woodward Stakes, took the Jackson family, Stonestreet and racing fans on two incredible fairy-tale journeys.

Rachel Alexandra will be bred to Bernardini in 2012.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gabrielle Giffords Lives Barbaro's Lessons

I know it does not have to do with animals but it does have to do with Barbaro and what he taught us--courage, bravery, extreme grace under pressure and to never, ever give up. Gabrielle Giffords is an example of everything Barbaro stood for and has come to represent. I have no doubt she will be back.

Godspeed to her on her continued recovery. The steps she has taken so far are inspirational. Perhaps all those in Congress who continue to argue just to make themselves heard, can follow her example. Get out of the way of your egos and learn to work together.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We finally got snow although it is supposed to be 60 degrees on Monday so I suspect it will be short lived.

In any event, this crow seems to be enjoying his snow antics up on the rooftop, sledding down on a jar cap. Note that he picks it up when he gets to the bottom and does it again!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


This is Siku a polar bear cub being raised by a rotating team of three handlers in Denmark, after his mother was discovered to not be producing enough milk. Tough job...you might want it after you see how cute this little guy is! Click here for the video.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Polar Bear Cub Being Hand Raised in China


And how adorable is this little guy--a baby polar bear who is being hand raised and bottle fed in China and the Penglai Ocean and Polar Region World, an aquarium in China's eastern Shandong province. Clink on the Telegraph link above to see the wonderful care he is getting.

The cub's condition has been upgraded to stable and despite respiratory and digestive issues is expected to make a full recovery and a public debut in about 6 months.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Dog!

No snow here but this dog in Colorado (actually taken a few years ago when there were 54 inches!) certainly has figured out how to get around even when it wasn't plowed!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 Eclipse Awards

With his Eclipse award Monday night as Champion Male Two Year Old, now three year old, Hansen has established himself as the official favorite for the Kentucky Derby. which may in fact be good news for the Michael Matz-trained Union Rags. We all know that the odds of a favorite winning the Derby are slim.

In other categories, Animal Kingdom won for Three Year old male, edging out Caleb's Posse by 3 votes. Congrats to trainer Graham Motion. Animal Kingdom is working toward returning to the track in the near future, which should make for an exciting racing season.

Horse of the Year honors went to Havre de Grace, based in nearby Wilmington, Delaware. Following in the hoof prints of both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, Havre de Grace continued the tradition of a female taking top honors having beaten the boys at their own game as her dominating 1 1/4 length Woodward win demonstrated.

My spies tell me it was a long evening--2 1/2 hours of awards before dinner--so it may be time to rethink the format. Then again it is racing's one big night to shine so maybe they like to enjoy the spotlight for as long as possible.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hollywood Goes to the Dog!

Uggie, the dog in the wonderful film, The Artist, stole the show at The Golden Globes on Sunday night. In the video, he takes the stage at about 2 minutes in if you want to fast forward the above.

In fact, Uggie is so beloved, that Dog News Daily plans to honor animal actors at their own awards show, The Golden Collars, on February 13, held at the Hotel Palomar in Westwood, part of the dog-friendly (as we know from experience) Kimpton chain!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dogtime Lullaby

Get me the name of that babysitter! Note the baby stops crying when the dog "sings!"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

When You Gotta Nap, You Gotta Nap.....

Here's the story that seems to have everyone smiling. In New Zealand, a seal pup wandered into a home in Welcome Bay and curled up on the couch for a nap. Imagine Annette's Swoffer's surprise when she returned home to find this little critter making himself right at home in her home!

According to the Department of Conservation, the pup wandered in from the bay across the street, through a cat door, and right up onto the comfy sofa!

Ms. Swoffer did not touch the adorable fellow--just called the authorities who returned it to the bay and hopefully its waiting mother, who was probably off foraging for food.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Full Circle

Way back in December 2009, Luke Robinson walked through Philadelphia on his journey to walk from Austin to Boston to bring awareness to canine cancer. While in Philadelphia, I introduced him to the doctors at the Penn Vet oncology program and he met with Dr. Karin Sorenmo, head of the department. At that time, she was just beginning her research on the canine cancer mammary tumor project in which she was removing mammary tumors from shelter dogs and analyzing their progression with the help of her colleague at Princeton Olga Troyanskaya.

Flash forward 3 years and on Wednesday, the anniversary of his dog Malcom's passing six years ago, Luke presented a check for $50,000 to this collaborative effort to continue funding this research.

Giant strides by man for beast and one day, women. Bravo!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Homecoming for Oreo

How's this for pretty amazing? After five years, Oreo the cat, who was left behind with friends when his owners moved to NYC, finds his way back to them. What I love the most about this story is his owners' devotion to their cat--as caretakers of another living being.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Commuting Dog

So how was your commute today? This one from China looks pretty amazing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Better Late Than Never

A little behind the times, I know but absolutely too good to file away for next year! Reminiscent of those dogs who eat with human hands......

Monday, January 9, 2012

Margano Finishes Seventh

A disappointing finish (7th out of 10) for Margano in Sunday's 8th race at Gulfstream. He broke well, moved nicely along the rail to settle in around 6th, about four lengths off the leaders, made a nice move around the turn to get in perfect position--middle of the pack with open space in front of him--but never kicked into another gear. No excuses, other than the horses he lost to were of high caliber and it just wasn't his day.

These things happen--he is still learning and for the record, I think Edgar rode him perfectly. He hit him once coming down the backstretch to get him to "fire" but when there was nothing there, he eased up and let the others pass him.

I am pretty sure Margano came out of the race OK. Look for him back in another Allowance race in about a month and my guess is that he will stay on the turf.

But you never know.

In other racing news, Martita Sangrita finished third by four lengths in the fourth race at Tampa Bay Downs on Sunday so at least one Jackson horse came home with a little purse money!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

An Introduction to the Introduction

So a lot of people have asked how we found a veterinarian to test and approve our recipes? It was actually easy if you know the right vets! In this case, Dr. Patty Khuly, veterinarian extraordinaire, was so perfect for the job--on so many levels.

I knew Patty through her original blog, Dolittler, which I read religiously. She is, aside from being a very good vet, a very good writer. When I was in the throes of trying to sell my Barbaro manuscript, I wrote her and she graciously connected me to a team of very talented pet writers who used to write the Pet Connection blog, which I also read regularly. Both of these blogs are now defunct.

But all these writers have since migrated over to a new site,VetStreet, which is where you will find some very good pet writing these days, including this recent post that Patty wrote about her introduction to The Culinary Canine.

Bu back to Patty. Not only is she a VMD (vet), she is also an MBA (Wharton) and she went to pastry school!! A dedicated foodie and amazing cook, there was no other choice to write the Intro. She also is quite a pet keeper: dogs, cats and even goats--from which she makes goat cheese.

Need I say more? I hope you read her blog and more importantly, her introduction to The Culinary Canine.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Do NOT Buy a Puppy on the Internet

Here's why: those internet puppies probably come from a puppy mill even if they claim to be from Purebred Breeders. Watch and learn.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Margano Runs on Sunday

These are the entries for Gulfstream park on Sunday January 8 and if you are able to decipher the cramped print, you will recognize Margano in the three spot with Edgar Prado aboard! As I predicted, it is an allowance/optional claiming race for three year olds who have only won their maiden; in other words, never won two races. And it is on the turf even though Margano has been posting some speedy workouts on the dirt.

Yes, it is interesting that Prado is aboard but it is also interesting that Pletcher has two horses in the race, one with Castellano up. Margano is top weight with Prado in the irons and is most certainly not eligible to be claimed. On paper, I would watch out for the 5 horse and the 10 horse, but Margano, along the rail in the three spot, should be sitting pretty. This will be a good test of his abilities.

Safe trip for all.

Gulfstream Park - January 8, 2012

Race 8 - 3:49 PM


Purse $53,500. (Includes $11,000 – FOA - Florida Owners Awards). For Three Year Olds Which Have Never Won A Race Other Than Maiden, Claiming Or Starter Or Which Have Never Won Two Races Or Claiming Price $75,000. Weight, 122 Lbs. Non-winners of a race at a mile or over since December 8, 2011 Allowed 2 Lbs. Such a race since November 8, 2011 Allowed 4 Lbs. Claiming Price $75,000 (Races Where Entered For $50,000 Or Less Not Considered) (Condition Eligibility). (If deemed inadvisable to run this race over the turf course, it will be run on the main track at One Mile andOne Sixteenth) . One And One Sixteenth Miles. (Turf) (Rail at 12 Feet)

1 Mucho Mas Macho (KY) 3/C L $75,000 L Jurado 118 H Collazo
2 Jackwagon (FL) 3/C L $75,000 D Centeno 118 B N Croft
3 Margano (KY) 3/C L $0 E S Prado 122 B Tagg
4 All for the Trip (FL) 3/G L $0 J Bravo 118 K C Dickey
5 Heiko (KY) 3/C L $0 J R Velazquez 120 D Miller
6 Argentine Tango (FL) 3/C L $0 R Maragh 118 S I Gold
7 Star Channel (FL) 3/C L $0 J Castellano 120 T A Pletcher
8 Patrioticandproud (PA) 3/C L $0 L Contreras 118 M E Casse
9 Africanist (KY) 3/C L $0 J R Leparoux 118 E Kenneally
10 Angel's Tune (FL) (MTO) 3/C L $0 J Castellano 118 T A Pletcher

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Carrot for Two

Considering my history of dogs and rabbits (guess which species does not survive long in my backyard but persists in making nests front and center?), I find this video completely amazing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Surfing Safari

Did you watch the Rose Bowl Parade on Monday? And if you did, did you catch the Natural Balance Pet Food float, complete with surfing dogs?

The float, which featured a beach and pond (with waves) all decorated with natural landscaping materials, was 19 feet long and weighed in at 110,000 pounds and set a new Guinness record for its sheer size. The surfing dogs wore specially created wet suits for the occasion and practiced their routines in the real ocean.

The body of the float was actually constructed from an old shipping container and was constructed by Fiesta Parade Floats, a company that has been building parade floats for decades. Everyone made it home safely, no sloshed water or seasick dogs and by all accounts, the surfing dogs were crowd favorites.

No word yet on what they plan to do for an encore next year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yesterday was Amos' 9th birthday--he was born 1/2/03--and this is what 9 looks like from his perspective, which is pretty good as far as I can tell. He had a great day with a nice long hike in the dog park, lots of extra attention and a few extra treats (which he shared with the rest of the pack). He loves the cooler weather so he should be even happier today when the forecast high is for 32--our first real taste of winter.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Thoroughbreds!

Happy Birthday to all race horses!

January 1 is the official birthday for all thoroughbreds, regardless of their actual birthdays. Which means that Margano is now three and eligible to hit the Triple Crown Trail--along with all other three year olds, like Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz. As we all know it's a long and winding road at best but here are some of the stakes races that may help determine those starters on the first Saturday in May.

I think I would look for Margano to enter and win an allowance race before you see him in stakes race because Barclay Tagg is a very traditional trainer, and should he win that allowance, look for him in a February stakes like the Fountain of Youth. But that is putting the cart way before the horse.

In the meantime, here are some stakes races to whet your appetite for what is yet to come.

1 Gulfstream Park Derby Gulfstream 1 1/16 M
7 Count Fleet Stakes Aqueduct 1 M 70 yards
7 Turfway Prevue Stakes Turfway 6 1/2 F
7 Sham Stakes Santa Anita 1 M
14 Triple Sec Stakes Delta Downs 7 1/2 F
14 Holy Bull Stakes Gulfstream 1 M
14 California Derby Golden Gate 1 1/16 M
14 Pasco Stakes Tampa Bay Downs 7 F
16 Smarty Jones Stakes Oaklawn 1 M
16 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes Aqueduct 6 F
21 Lecomte Stakes Fair Grounds 1 M 70 yards
21 Pepsi Cola Stakes Sunland Park 6 F
21 Kitten's Joy Stakes Gulfstream Park 1/16 M Turf
28 Dancing Count Stakes Laurel 6 F

4 WEBN Stakes Turfway 1 M
4 Louisiana Premier Night Prince Delta Downs 7 F
4 Needles Stakes Gulfstream 5 F Turf
4 Robert B. Lewis Stakes Santa Anita 1 1/8 M
4 Sam F. Davis Stakes Tampa Bay Downs 1 1/16 M
5 Whirlaway Stakes Aqueduct 1 1/16 M
9 UAE 2000 Guineas Meydan 1 M
11 Hutcheson Stakes Gulfstream 7 F
18 El Camino Real Derby Golden Gate 1 1/8 M
19 San Vicente Stakes Santa Anita 7 F
20 Southwest Stakes Oaklawn Park 1 M
25 Risen Star Stakes Fair Grounds 1 1/16 M
25 Gentilly Stakes Fair Grounds 1 1/16 M Turf
25 Miracle Wood Stakes Laurel 7 F
25 Borderland Derby Sunland Park 1 1/16 M
26 Turf Paradise Derby Turf Paradise 1 1/16 M
26 Fountain of Youth Gulfstream 1 1/8 M

3 Gazebo Stakes Oaklawn Park 6 F
3 Pelican Stakes Delta Downs 5 F
3 John Battaglia Memorial Turfway 1 1/16 M
3 The Gotham Aqueduct 1 1/16 M
10 Swale Stakes Gulfstream 7 F
10 Tampa Bay Derby Tampa Bay Downs 1 1/16 M
10 Al Bastakiya Meydan 1 3/16 M
10 Fred Capossela Aqueduct 6 F
10 Black Gold Stakes Fair Grounds 7 1/2 F Turf
10 San Felipe Stakes Santa Anita 1 1/16 M
11 Palm Beach Stakes Gulfstream 1 1/8 M Turf
17 The Rebel Oaklawn Park 1 1/16 M
17 Private Terms Laurel 1 M
24 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes Turfway 1 1/8 M
24 Rushaway Stakes Turfway 1 1/16 M
24 Hansel Stakes Turfway 6 F
25 Sunland Derby Sunland 1 1/8 M
25 New Mexico Breeders' Derby Sunland 1 M
31 Florida Derby Gulfstream 1 1/8 M
31 UAE Derby Meydan 1 3/16 M
31 Echo Eddie Stakes Santa Anita 6 1/2 F

1 Louisiana Derby Fair Grounds 1 1/16 M
1 Crescent City Derby Fair Grounds 1 1/16 M
6 Transylvania Stakes Keeneland 1 1/16 M Turf
7 Wood Memorial Aqueduct 1 1/8 M
7 The Bay Shore Aqueduct 7 F
7 Illinois Derby Hawthorne 1 1/8 M
7 Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita 1 1/8 M
7 Dayton Andrews Dodge Sophomore Turf Tampa Bay Downs 1 1/16 M Turf
7 Ocala Breeder's Sales Sophomore OBS 7 F
7 Bachelor Stakes Oaklawn Park 6 F
9 Lafayette Stakes Keeneland 7 F
14 Blue Grass Keeneland 1 1/8 M
14 Arkansas Derby Oaklawn Park 1 1/8 M
14 Northern Spur Oaklawn Park 1 M
17 KHEY Country Sprint Sunland Park 6 F
21 Lexington Stakes Keeneland 1 1/16 M
21 The Jerome Aqueduct 1 M
28 Derby Trial Churchill Downs 1 M
28 Land of Lincoln Stakes Hawthorne 6 F

5 Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs 1 1/4 M
12 The Peter Pan Belmont 1 1/8 M
12 Lone Star Derby Lone Star Park 1 1/16 M
12 Alcatraz Stakes Golden Gate 1 1/16 M Turf
19 Preakness Stakes Pimlico 1 3/16 M

9 Belmont Stakes Belmont 1 1/2 M

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sit, Stay and Set a Record

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Recently a large gathering of dogs in Hong Kong set a new record for obedience training! There's hope for all pups when you watch and see what they learned to do in 40 minutes! Always a good way to start a new year with a new record!