Two new characters, J. Paul Reddam and his trainer, Doug O'Neill, emerged and they seemed to fit the old themes of greed and over-medication to a tee.
In keeping with its winter-long theme that all of horse racing's problems were a product of greed and doping, the Times published a lengthy front page article in its Wednesday morning editions on June 6, 2012 that was devoid of any news about the upcoming Belmont, but focused primarily on the business career of Ill Have Another's owner, J. Paul Reddam, leavened, however, with a rehash of its misleading reporting about his trainer's drug violations.
As his bridge back to horse racing, Mr. Sandomir repeated criticisms of Mr. Reddam made by ninety year old Penny Chenery, Secretariat's owner and the grande dame of American racing.
"I don't know Mr. Reddam
personally, but I think he
should be embarrassed that the trainer he
has chosen does not have a clean record."
The arrogance and patrician sense of entitlement and superiority reflected by that statement is simply mind blowing, and Mr. Sandomir would have done Mrs. Chenery a considerable service had he
not repeated it and had looked for another way to tarnish Mr. Reddam's
doesn't know the target of her
All of this is terribly unfair to Paul Reddam
, and to his
colt, I'll Have Another, neither of whom have ever been linked to drug violations of any kind.
And the same goes for the treatment owner J. Paul Reddam has received.
is one of the nicest gentlemen in horse racing.
Unlike many other egomaniacal owners, he
never considered replacing journeyman jockey, Mario Gutierrez, on I'll Have Another when it was obvious that the colt was headed for the Kentucky Derby.
In fact, it was Mr. Reddam
, himself, who called the young rider to his
trainer's attention and suggested he
colt in the R. B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.
That should have been the feel good story of the Triple Crown season, as the young rider and his
unheralded horse won the Lewis, the Santa Anita Derby, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in succession, but The New York Times
ignored it in order to keep pressing its narrative of horse racing beset by greedy owners and cheating trainers.
It is indicative of just how thoroughly The Times
had succeeded in poisoning the minds of its readers against the connections of I'll Have Another that, on the morning when virtually all of the horse racing world was aghast and devastated that a tendon injury had forced the Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion to withdraw from the Belmont and pass on his
chance to end the thirty-four year drought without a Triple Crown winner, the great majority of the responders to its "The Rail" online blog were happy that he
had scratched and so badly informed that they actually assumed that drugs had somehow been involved in his
has never had suspicion of illegal drug use (other than the groundless suspicions stirred up by The Times'
yellow journalism) associated with any of his
Even The Times' blog reported that all twelve entrants in the Belmont had tested clean for prohibited substances.
I don't think he
needs to be concerned about any such suspicions going forward - at least not among fair minded people.
After the 1:00 o'clock news conference called by Mr. Reddam
to discuss the nature of his
colt's injury, and the gracious statements by the owner, his
trainer, and the attending veterinarian discussing the beginning of a tendon tear revealed by the ultra sound (with I'll Have Another grazing in the background), The New York Times
began to realize just how silly and small-minded its snide innuendos of drug use might appear.
All the disparaging comments about Mr. Reddam
and Mr. O'Neill were gone.
Everyone in racing already knew what fine people Paul Reddam
and Doug O'Neill were.
If I like Creative Cause who beat Bodemeister in the San Felipe (and I do), I've got to like I'll Have Another who beat him by a nose in the Santa Anita Derby - besides I admire his owner, Paul Reddam, one of the real gentlemen in racing.