EquiSport News with Les Salzman
Guests, Chris Kotulak, Dan Waits, Karen Beste, Cormac Breatnach, CC Lopez, Carlo Vaccarrzza, Tammy Gantt and Katie Demasi
Thanks Doug and welcome to a very special edition of Equisport News…Beating COVID 19 TOGETHER…The Thoroughbred connection. We’re going to air this episode with limited or no commercial breaks as we feel the information is so important.
This thing and I don’t know what to call it has stopped the world in it’s track but for us…the horses still need to be taken care of, the staff still needs to be paid and life needs to move forward…over the next two hours our guests will help you understand what is being done, what you can do and hopefully give you something to look forward to.
Our first guest today is kind of a renaissance man. Chris Kotulak, is CEO. Of Fonner Park, an Omaha native, called races at Fonner Park from 1986-'95 and is known throughout the national horse racing industry as a track announcer and a popular television analyst for TVG and co-author of one of my favorite turf books JACK, from Grit to Glory.
Chris thanks for coming on….I know this is a hectic time for you all….and as a horseman, thank you and your team for keeping things together for the folks at Fonner.
What have been some of the challenges.
I know there are lot of challenges but Wayne Anderson and his crew seem to have done a great job putting together competitive cards that must boosting your handle through the roof.
In times of trouble, those of us on the backside know that there is always someone there for us. It usually someone from the race track chaplaincy program is there….in these times we certainly need them more than ever. I’m so happy to have the organization’s executive director Dan Waits with….
Dan…with so many tracks out of action, the pressure on the Chaplaincy must be incredible
Twenty three hours a day horses stay in their stalls ( I think they re thinking of ways to get into trouble) and then the take the ½ hour to actually do it…and that doesn’t stop if there’s a pandemic.
As a result somewhere in the equation you are going to need a vet…..and the way we interact has changed. I’m pleased to have a good friend and even better surgeon Dr. Karen Beste of Rood and Riddle join us now.
Karen, we’re in what normally is one of the busiest times of the year in the horse industry. Mares are having babies and getting bred; two year olds are starting to work hard and racing is ramping up for prime time….this is very different today but horses still need vets both on a routine and emergent basis…how are you folks handling things?
One of Kentucky’s most respected and successful farms is Airdrie Stud. It’s a place with a long tradition of success and often progressive thinking. On their staff is a bright young man with an exceptional understanding of both the business and the horse. Cormac, you have a strong scientific back ground, how id Aidrie handling the safety aspect in the breeding shed.
Since 1979 Chuckie or as many of you know him CC Lopez has been one of the top jocks throughout the north east….we’ve had loads of win pictures together and he’s riden some tough horses in tough conditions…but CC this has got to be about as tough as it gets.
Sometimes you come across men who say little and do a lot and that really describes our next guest Carlo Vaccarazza. An excellent trainer an even better restaurateur and an even more giving person Carlo has initiated a go fund me program to assist the barn help at the three major South Florida training centers and they have already raised almost 10k. Carol what made you decide to jump in.
In the horse business you need go to people…people you can count on to get things done and give you answers that are right. Tammy Gantt, who serves as the Florida Thoroughbred breeders and owners association’s Associate Vice President/Member Services & Events.
Tammy you folks have hit the road running providing information and help for the racing and breeding community….tell us a little more.
I asked the next guest, a friend for more than 30 years, Kate DeMasi, a winner of more than 1500 races and a person who has always been there for folks on the backside. to join us to give us the trainer’s perspective of what’s going on at Parx racing where racing has been shut down for weeks.
EquiSport News with Les Salzman
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