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

Horse Racing Drug Bill Introduced by Congressmen

Two members of Congress introduced legislation May 4 authorizing penalties for those caught using performance-enhancing drugs in racehorses. The Federal Trade Commission would enforce the provisions of the bill offered by Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield Read More

Racing Commissioners: Phase Out Use of Equine Drugs in Five Years

The outgoing and incoming leaders of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) called for a five-year phase-out of equine medication from horse racing March 28. Outgoing RCI chairman Dan Hartman of the Colorado Racing Commission Read More

NTRA Safety Alliance Updates Code of Standards

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance has updated its code of standards to add more protocol for prevention and reporting of equine injuries, jockey health and safety, and continuing education for industry Read More

Pre-Race Exams Included in Proposed West Virginia Racing Rules

The West Virginia Senate passed an overhaul of the state's horse racing regulations Feb. 25, which include mandatory pre-race veterinary exams for horses. The revisions have met with some opposition from horsemen and breeders who claim their Read More

Breeders' Cup: Drug Tests Done in Life At Ten Probe

On Feb. 9, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) offered no details about or a timeline for the ongoing investigation into Life At Ten's performance in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., though there Read More

Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council Targets Corticosteroids

The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council (KEDRC), citing a need to explore use of corticosteroids in racehorses, agreed Feb. 9 to take bids for research into one of the drugs in the research planning phase.
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Bill Provides $30 Million for New Jersey Racing

A bill that would shift $30 million from the Casino Redevelopment Authority to the horse racing industry in the state of New Jersey over a three-year period progressed in the legislature on Jan. 10. The money would be paid on a sliding scale Read More

Beulah Park Quarantine Continues, Three Horses Confirmed Dead

One barn at Beulah Park near Columbus, Ohio, has been released from quarantine, but a possible new case of equine herpesvirus (EHV) is being investigated in another barn, officials said Jan. 8.
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Beulah Park Racetrack Quarantined with Possible EHV Outbreak

A possible equine herpesvirus (EHV) outbreak has prompted quarantine measures to be implemented at Beulah Park in Ohio.
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KHRC: Life At Ten Investigation Continuing

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said Nov. 8 it is "continuing its inquiry" into the circumstances surrounding the performance of Life At Ten in the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Read More

Kentucky Breed Incentive Changes Being Considered

A Kentucky Horse Racing Commission committee is considering changes to the state's Breeders' Incentive Fund, money for which comes from a 6% sales tax on stud fees. The committee met Oct. 21 to toss around ideas and devise a Read More

Training Injury Reporting Sought for Database

Officials with the Equine Injury Database are seeking support from owners and trainers to start voluntarily reporting injuries to Thoroughbreds during training hours. The Equine Injury Database (EID), now in its second year, already Read More

Upset Lingers Over Proposed Bute Regulation in Horse Racing

The largest horsemen's group in the country continues to call for the racing industry to perform thorough research before it continues with its plan to lower the testing threshold for phenylbutazone, a commonly used non-steroidal anti-infla Read More

Kentucky Drug Test Upgrade Needed for Breeders' Cup

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission hopes to expedite regulations for out-of-competition testing and have them in place in time for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs. Breeders' Cup has empl Read More

Horse Racing Study Looks at Number of 'DNFs' by Surface

A study performed by Equibase at the request of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) indicates the percentage of "career-ending did-not-finish" (CEDNF) incidents was about twice as high on dirt than synthetic surfac Read More

Horse Racing Injury Data Shows Familiarity Across All Surfaces

An initial analysis of equine injury data released earlier this year shows no statistically significant difference in the risk of fatalities in Thoroughbreds on different racing surfaces, officials said June 28 during the third Welfare and Safety of Read More

Equine Diseases Get a Closer Look

Federal officials are calling for more education, research, and cooperation when it comes to emerging equine diseases. During the June 22 American Horse Council National Issues Forum, a panel discussion on "Emerging Diseases: A Read More

Unwanted Horse Coalition Takes the Next Step

The Unwanted Horse Coalition, now in its fifth year, adopted a multifaceted strategic plan June 21 designed to continue advocacy and education programs but move the organization to the next level. Coalition members met in Washington, Read More

Pimlico Race Course Earns Full Safety Accreditation

All three Triple Crown host racetracks are now fully accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.

The NTRA announced May 10 Pimlico Race Course, which received provisional accreditation a Read More

New Phenylbutazone Threshold Level Recommended for Racing

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has lowered the testing threshold level for phenylbutazone ("Bute"), a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), but has kept the administration time at 24 hours prior to a race. Read More

Thoroughbred Owner Ejected from Track, Investigation Continues

Thoroughbred owner Michael Gill, ejected from Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course Feb. 2 by order of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, said he has no intention of backing away from an announcement he's leaving the business Read More

Kentucky Horse Council Modifies Mission

The Kentucky Horse Council said Jan. 12 it has modified its mission statement to offer a "more accurate reflection" of how its role in the equine community has evolved.

The KHC board of directors recently adopted the new mi Read More

Drug Uniformity Remains Somewhat Elusive

Although studies have been completed to determine threshold levels for almost 20 therapeutic medications, it doesn't mean the industry will know for certain whether the drugs can impact equine performance. And it remains to be seen whether Read More

Equine Injury Data Called Critical to Racing

The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database has compiled statistics over a 12-month period for 84% of all flat racing in North America, but now comes the process of analyzing the data in an attempt to quantify the results.

Dr. Mary Scolla Read More

Thoroughbred Safety and Integrity Alliance Earns Positive Review

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance received a positive review from its independent monitor Dec. 8 but was also told it has a lot of work to do in terms of educating the public and getting racetracks to bu Read More