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

Ohio Creates Equine Advisory Task Force

Just days before Ohioans vote on whether to authorize a constitutional amendment allowing for a casino in southwestern Ohio, the state Department of Agriculture announced an 11-member Equine Industry Advisory Task Force charged with promoting an Read More

Kentucky Task Force Identifies Racing Problems, Needs Money

The Governor's Task Force on Racing in Kentucky is close to preparing and releasing a report pinpointing problems and offering recommendations that ultimately will require a lot of money--something in short supply given an ongoing budget crunch. Read More

NTRA Announces Racing Safety Reforms, Independent Monitor

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) officially unveiled a series of equine health and safety reforms Oct. 15 that will be overseen by an independent monitor. During the news conference in New York City, less than two weeks before Read More

Breeders' Cup to Return to Churchill in 2010

The Breeders' Cup World Championships will return to Churchill Downs in 2010 to begin what could be a regular run of the Kentucky racetrack serving as a host site, officials indicated Oct. 8.

Churchill has hosted the event six times--the Read More

NTRA to Introduce Racing Safety and Integrity Initiative

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will unveil its Safety and Integrity Initiative Oct. 15 and fully expects broad industry cooperation given progress made thus far, officials said Oct. 1.

"The train leaves the station Oct. 15," Read More

Kentucky Equine Drug Testing Laboratory Plans in the Works

The Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing hopes to have the framework for a plan to create an equine drug-testing laboratory in Kentucky in place by the end of this year.

A task force subcommittee met Sept. 23 in Lexington to Read More

NTRA Hopes to Fast-Track Safety Plan

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) hopes to have a long-term implementation plan for uniform equine health and safety measures in place within 30 days.

Almost 70 industry stakeholders met the morning of Sept. 12 in Read More

Kentucky Panel Approves Ban on Racehorse Steroids

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Aug. 25 to ban the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses, and the rules could be in place the first week of September should Gov. Steve Beshear sign an emergency regulation as expected. Read More

Thoroughbred Industry Round Table Focuses on Drug Testing, Safety

Calls to action aren't new to The Jockey Club Round Table conference, but at this year's meeting Aug. 17 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., there appeared to be a sense of urgency. Public perception and the threat of federal intervention have a way of Read More

Horsemen's Group Hosts Racehorse Welfare and Safety Forum

During a July 18 equine welfare and safety forum, Jay Hickey recalled that in 1982, legislation to regulate parts of the horseracing industry was circulated in the halls of Congress. The bill, which had the not-so-enticing name of the "Corrupt Read More

Strategic Plan for Racehorse Safety in Works

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is formulating a "strategic plan" for equine health and safety and will seek support from various industry organizations when the document is released, probably in early fall.

NTRA president and Read More

Kentucky Racing Panel Reorganized Again

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order July 3 reorganizing and renaming the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority (KHRA), which is now the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC).

Several of the "new" members already Read More

Hearing Shows Thoroughbred Racing at Critical Point

Drugged equines, grisly catastrophic injuries, greedy breeders, damaged racehorses with nowhere to go, inaction and confusion, and industry leaders more concerned with holding onto power than doing the right thing--a congressional subcommittee Read More

Racing Groups Have Say Before Washington Hearing

As the House Subcommittee on Commerce and Consumer Protection prepared for a June 19 hearing on the horseracing industry, groups continued to weigh in on various issues, including use of anabolic steroids in racehorses.

On June 18, the Read More

USDA, Horse Council Hold Unwanted Horses Forum

It tends to get lost in the shuffle because it's not as sexy as anabolic steroids, race-fixing, or catastrophic breakdowns from a media perspective. But talk to people who work in the horse industry every day, and they'll tell you the issue of Read More

Horse Industry Prompted to Get Involved in 2008 Elections

Although the United States presidential election will get the biggest headlines as November approaches, horse industry representatives were told June 17 they should pay attention to--and get involved in--congressional races around the country. Read More

Horsemen's Protective Association to Talk Equine Health, Safety

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will tackle equine health and welfare issues at a two-hour forum July 18 during its summer convention in Hershey, Pa.

The forum, the latest in a series of horse racing industry Read More

Michigan Thoroughbred Track on Schedule for July Opening

Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan remains on schedule for a July 18 opening.

Pinnacle, which will bring live Thoroughbred racing back to the Detroit metropolitan area for the first time since 1998, plans a "soft" opening this summer, Read More

Congress Calls June 19 Hearing on Racing

The United States House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing--"Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse"--for June 19 in Read More

No Date Set for House Hearing on Racing

The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection continues to maintain it will hold a June hearing on horse racing, but no date had been set as of June 2.

The subcommittee is headed by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois and Read More

Congress Could Call June Hearing on Racing

A congressional subcommittee could schedule a hearing as early as June to examine breakdowns, medication use, and breeding practices in Thoroughbreds.

The United States House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection sent letter Read More

Racehorse Steroids: More Questions Than Answers

The complicated nature of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses came to light May 20 when discussion among members of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and others seemed to indicate the easiest route is an all-out ban on the substances Read More

Pacers Take to Polytrack for Road Test

Harness racing at Keeneland? Yes, there was, but it's not what you might think.

Two exhibition races for Standardbred pacers were held at the Lexington racetrack the afternoon of May 21 to give the principals in a racetrack under Read More

Equine Welfare Key No Matter the Outcome

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is prepared for "every potential outcome" on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day, but no matter the result, developments in the area of equine health and welfare in the coming weeks and months are of Read More

Big Brown Stud Deal Will Have to Wait

Plans to announce a stallion deal for Preakness Stakes favorite Big Brown on May 15 fell through, but discussions will continue after the second leg of the Triple Crown is run May 17.

IEAH Stables co-president Michael Iavarone told The Read More