Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

Articles by Tom LaMarra

Kentucky Breeder Incentives Could Increase 20%

The Kentucky Breeders Incentive Program, which began offering financial awards for various breeds of horses in 2006, is poised to increase by 20%--to about $18 million or $19 million--next year.

The program for Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, Read More

'Polytrack Lab' Turfway Has More Data, Answers

Opening night, Sept. 5, will mark the two-year anniversary of the debut of Polytrack at Turfway Park. The surface, save for maintenance and some tweaking of content, is about as even from the inner rail to the outer rail today as it was in 2005. Read More

Kentucky Drug Council Supports Regulation of Steroids

The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council supports the regulation of anabolic steroids in horses at racetracks and auctions in the state, but requested further explanation of withdrawal times and other testing-related issues in the model rule Read More

New Mexico Second State to Mandate Racing 'Safety Reins'

New Mexico became the second state to adopt a "safety reins" rule when the New Mexico Racing Commission approved the measure Aug. 21. The Ohio State Racing Commission adopted a similar rule in March.

The New Mexico regulation will take Read More

Integrity Called Most Pressing Issue in Thoroughbred Industry

Representatives of the horse industry claim integrity issues have never been more important, and the results of soon-to-be-released research could indicate where the betting public stands on the matter.

During the Aug. 19 Jockey Club Round Read More

Language Eliminating Funding for Horse Quarantine, Inspection Nixed from Bill

Weeks of lobbying by the horse industry were successful the evening of Aug. 2, when the United States House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to remove from the Agriculture Appropriations Act language that could have stymied transportation of Read More

Science, Public Perception Clash on Drug Testing

As the industry continues to grapple with use of medication--legal or illegal--in racehorses, will science or public perception win out?

That debate played out yet again July 20 during the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Read More

Sources: Snake Venom Found in Kentucky Search

Word is circulating in Kentucky that cobra venom, a substance used to kill pain, was found by investigators during a June 26 search of trainer Patrick Biancone's barn at Keeneland.

Several sources indicated, and media reports suggested, Read More

Taking the 'Un' Out of Unwanted Horses

The Unwanted Horse Coalition hopes to step up awareness and engage the entire horse industry in its "own responsibly" campaign.

The coalition, made up of industry organizations Read More

Preakness: Street Sense, Hard Spun Draw Outside Posts

Street Sense and Hard Spun, the one-two finishers in the May 5 Kentucky Derby, drew outside post positions for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, which as expected attracted a field of nine. Their connections, however, didn't seem concerned with the Read More

New Pennsylvania Track to Have Synthetic Surface

Presque Isle Downs, which plans to open Sept. 1 for its inaugural Thoroughbred meet, will have a synthetic surface, and a decision on the manufacturer could be finalized by the end of April.

Presque Isle, located near Erie, Pa., opened Read More

Training Stable, Medical Director Get Drug Council's Push

The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council has reaffirmed its support for a 20-horse training stable that will be used to produce samples for drug-testing research, but implementation of the program will wait until the Kentucky Horse Racing Read More

Funds for KHRA, Drug Testing Hang in the Balance

The Kentucky horse racing industry and some state lawmakers are rallying around legislation that would spare racetracks the cost of drug testing and provide millions of dollars a year to fund the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

The bill Read More

Ontario Reinstates Trainers With Aminorex Positives

Though it stands by its equine drug-testing program, the Ontario Racing Commission said March 13 it will allow trainers with positives for aminorex, a methamphetamine-like substance, to enter horses in races in the province. The investigation Read More

Drug Positives Have Regulators, Horsemen Scratching Heads

Recent positives for aminorex, a drug that has had no commercial source since the 1980s and has no place in racehorses under industry guidelines, has regulators seeking answers and horsemen on the defensive.

There have been positives for Read More

Kentucky Legislators: Horse Industry Deserves Better

Two Democratic legislators in Kentucky have formally asked Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher why the horse industry won’t have broad representation at an agriculture summit scheduled for March 15 in Louisville.

According to the state Web Read More

Kentucky Authority Wants Equine Medical Director

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has on its wish list the position of equine medical director, funding for which would come from the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council.

The KHRA discussed the position during its Feb. 20 meeting Read More

Drug Contaminants, 'Zero Tolerance' Policy on Collision Course

A Louisiana research project that shows racehorses can come into contact with drug residue just about anywhere on the backstretch has some horsemen calling for an end to "zero tolerance" drug-testing policies and creation of a national panel to Read More

Temperature Believed to Have Impact on Polytrack

As officials and horsemen at Turfway Park work daily to find an optimum Polytrack surface for winter racing, there is growing sentiment the synthetic material is affected by temperature or swings in temperature.

Recently, horsemen have Read More

Immigration Bill Brings Call for Political Action

Horsemen have indicated they plan to step up efforts to educate legislators about their concerns regarding immigration policy in the United States given the horseracing industry's heavy reliance on foreign workers, particularly those of Hispanic Read More

Breeders' Cup Adds Three New $1-Million Races

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships will have a new look at first-time host Monmouth Park this year--an expanded two-day event that will inaugurate three $1-million stakes designed to accommodate owners and breeders.

Select purse Read More

Delaware to Take Tougher Stance on Blood-Doping

Delaware is taking a harder line on use of erythropoietin and similar blood-doping agents.

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, which already considers blood-doping a prohibited practice, may push for an increase in penalties. And Read More

Monmouth Still Slated to Host 2007 Breeders' Cup

Breeders' Cup officials visited Monmouth Park in New Jersey for a tour Nov. 28, but officials said it wasn't because the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority-operated racetrack was in danger of losing the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Read More

Power Shift in Congress has Ramifications for Equine Industry

The shift in power from Republicans to Democrats on Capitol Hill will have some affect on the horse industry's political agenda, but the results of the Nov. 7 election really didn't catch officials by surprise.

The Senate now has 50 Read More

Kentucky Regulators Examine Drug-Testing Procedures

As Churchill Downs prepares to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Kentucky regulators are examining the state's drug-testing policies and procedures. Upgrades, however, may hinge on state funding.

For the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup, a full Read More