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New Horse-Racing Initiative Aimed At Training Thoroughbreds From Inner City

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NFL Vows To Fix Bottomless Pit On Levi’s Stadium Field Before Super Bowl

SANTA CLARA, CA—Following persistent safety concerns regarding the playing surface throughout the regular season, the NFL made firm assurances Friday to both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers that the bottomless pit in the middle of the field at Levi’s Stadium will be fully repaired before Super Bowl 50.

Area Man Would Hate Cam Newton Even If He Was Different Minority

MURRAY, KY—Adamantly stressing that his disdain for the 26-year-old quarterback is not based on any racial prejudice toward African Americans, local 49-year-old Michael Willet told reporters Friday that he would hate Cam Newton even if the Carolina Panthers star was a different minority.

Rex, Rob Ryan Finally Get Bunk Beds They Always Wanted

BUFFALO, NY—Howling with excitement after seeing the brand-new furniture set in the corner of the bedroom they now share, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his twin brother, recently hired Bills assistant head coach Rob Ryan, finally got the bunk beds they always wanted, sources confirmed Monday.

NCAA Investigating God For Giving Gifts To Athletes

INDIANAPOLIS—Amid a new scandal that many are already calling the most damaging in the history of collegiate sports, the NCAA announced Tuesday that it has launched an investigation into God, Divine Creator of Heaven and Earth, for allegedly giving gifts to student-athletes.

Defunct 4-Year-Old Sports Blog Still Lurking On Internet

FORT COLLINS, CO—Noting that the site devoted to the Colorado Rockies and their minor league affiliates had long ceased being updated without any explanation, sources confirmed Friday that local man Ben Gutowski’s defunct four-year-old sports blog, “The Rockies Report,” was still quietly lurking on the internet.

BCS Computer Takes Over Every Screen In Country During College Football National Championship Game

‘BCS Will Live Forever,’ Reads Text Suddenly Appearing On All Televisions, Computers, Phones Simultaneously

GLENDALE, AZ—Noting that all television feeds and online streams suddenly cut out simultaneously, sources confirmed that the BCS computer took over every single screen in the United States midway through Monday evening’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson.

Grizzly Bear Catches Spawning Michael Phelps In Jaws

KENAI, AK—Sitting on a rock atop the powerful, churning rapids, a grizzly bear reportedly caught Michael Phelps in its jaws Tuesday as the sexually mature Olympian leaped out of the water while swimming upstream to spawn.

Area Dad Thinks Refs Should Just Let Them Play Football

DOYLESTOWN, PA—Facetiously questioning how the game had suddenly become a non-contact sport, local father Aaron Harper confirmed his belief Thursday that referees officiating a Thanksgiving game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions should just let them play football out there.

Punter Just Praying Returner Doesn’t Make It All The Way To Him

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Growing increasingly nervous as he contemplated being the team’s last line of defense, Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern was reportedly praying Thursday that Jacksonville Jaguars returner Rashad Greene wouldn’t make it all the way down the field to him.

Defensive Tackle’s Innocence Shattered By Play-Action Pass

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying the eye-opening experience has forever altered his worldview, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus admitted to reporters Friday that a play-action pass play by the New York Jets had totally shattered his youthful innocence.

Royals Prove Doubters Who Were Still Paying Attention Wrong

NEW YORK—Having capped off their championship run with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets in Game 5 Sunday night, members of the Kansas City Royals expressed their delight at silencing the doubters who still happened to be paying any attention to the World Series.

Keys To The Matchup: Mets vs. Royals

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Strongside/Weakside: Chase Utley

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Jadeveon Clowney Succumbs To Battle With Ankle Sprain

HOUSTON—Noting that the 22-year-old was a “wonderful young man who will be immensely missed by all who knew him,” the Houston Texans announced Thursday that linebacker Jadeveon Clowney tragically succumbed to his battle with a right-ankle sprain.

Strongside/Weakside: Odell Beckham Jr.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

WNBA MVP Devastated After Roommate Moves Out Without Any Warning

CHICAGO—Saying she is now desperately searching for any options that will prevent her from being evicted, Chicago Sky forward and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne was reportedly left scrambling Thursday after her roommate moved out of their apartment without any warning whatsoever.

Strongside/Weakside: Chip Kelly

Known as one of the most innovative minds in football, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has implemented an offense that racks up huge numbers in the loss column. Is he any good?

Billy Crystal Tearfully Admits He’s Never Seen, Been To A Yankees Game

‘I Don’t Even Know What The Yankees Are,’ Crystal Says

NEW YORK—Admitting that he could simply no longer continue living a lie, veteran actor, comedian, and self-professed New York Yankees fanatic Billy Crystal tearfully confessed Thursday that he has never seen or attended a single Yankees game in his life, and indeed has absolutely no idea who or what the Yankees even are.

New LSU Stadium Shuttle Transports Tigers Fans Back To Woods

BATON ROUGE, LA—Saying that they hope to make traveling to and from football games more convenient and enjoyable, officials from the LSU athletic department announced Friday that the university will now offer a round-trip stadium shuttle bus to transport Tigers fans back to the woods.

Strongside/Weakside: Marcus Mariota

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

Giants Move Tom Coughlin To Assisted-Coaching Facility

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying that they held off taking such a drastic step for as long as they could, officials from the New York Giants confirmed Wednesday that the team had made the difficult decision to move head coach Tom Coughlin into an assisted-coaching facility.

2015 NFL Season Preview

The 2015 NFL season is poised to be among the most memorable and eventful in league history, with several of the notable moments hopefully occurring on the field. Onion Sports breaks down everything you need to know before the season kicks off.

Jayson Werth Catches Foul Ball Without Spilling Beer

WASHINGTON—In an incredible play that drew cheers from the whole stadium, Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth managed to catch a foul ball Tuesday night without spilling the beer he was holding in his other hand.

Strongside/Weakside: Serena Williams

Serena Williams is aiming to clinch a historic calendar Grand Slam at this year’s U.S. Open, forever enshrining her as the last American tennis player worth talking about. Is she any good?

Journeyman Fan Joins Sixth NFL Team In 5 Years

HELENA, MT—Continuing his lengthy trek around the league, sources confirmed Friday that 36-year-old journeyman fan Brian Ferretti has joined the Arizona Cardinals, his sixth team in the past five years.

Strongside/Weakside: Jose Mourinho

Having won titles in Spain, England, Italy, and Portugal, manager Jose Mourinho has cemented himself as one of the most successful megalomaniacs in soccer. Is he any good?

Having won titles in Spain, England, Italy, and Portugal, manager Jose Mourinho has cemented himself as one of the most successful megalomaniacs in soccer. Is he any good?

Highlights From NFL Training Camp

With preseason games underway and preparations intensifying across the league, the NFL has had no shortage of stories to keep fans occupied before the new season kicks off. Onion Sports breaks down the biggest moments from this summer’s training camp.
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

New Horse-Racing Initiative Aimed At Training Thoroughbreds From Inner City

COMPTON, CA—In an effort to develop a more diverse base of athletic talent, raise the sport's profile in nontraditional areas, and enrich the lives of troubled youth, thoroughbred-racing organizations are funding a new program to train inner-city and delinquent horses.

The initiative, known as Right Side of the Track, is opening 12 "Colts & Fillies Clubs" in impoverished urban locales across the country, and already has four operational centers in Detroit, Baltimore, Birmingham, and St. Louis. According to organizers, the facilities will provide at-risk yearlings and disadvantaged foals with free access to state-of-the-art running tracks, experienced trainers and jockeys, and, depending upon their behavior, sugar cubes.

"We want young thoroughbreds to know that there are other opportunities out there, that there are better things to do than gallop the streets looking for trouble," Right Side of the Track president Hanson Jennings said Sunday at the opening of the Compton Colts & Fillies Club. "These horses need structure, and they need a safe place to go during the day or they'll wind up in the wrong herd."

"Take Afternoon Delight here," added Jennings, referring to the 18-hand Appaloosa standing next to him. "One year ago he was a young-punk pony living on the streets of Baltimore with no future ahead of him. But because of our mentoring program, his confidence is growing, his outlook is far more positive, and he raced last year in several events. He still has some anger issues, especially around dogs, but he hasn't bitten a human in over seven months."

Though locales such as Baltimore and Louisville have world-class racetracks, the horses that compete there are not bred inside the city limits. Walk around a tough neighborhood in most parts of the country, horse-racing officials said, and you're unlikely to see young equines on the street wearing fancy horseshoes or race-quality silks. Many are so apathetic and unmotivated they find it acceptable to meander around in public covered in mud and their own filth.

Just last Thursday, eight urban horses allegedly broke into a Detroit veterinary hospital to get a ketamine fix.

"Let's face it: Horse racing is for the privileged few, the kind of thoroughbreds who never had to worry about where their next bale of hay was coming from, or whether their owner would be around to braid their mane for a big race," volunteer jockey Jeff Sherman said. "But there is a lot of raw talent at these centers. They need only look at Mine That Bird, who won the 2009 Kentucky Derby even though his absentee father was too busy running around with fillies and siring yearlings all over the country to pay any attention to him."

Right Side of the Track has recruited a number of trainers with professional experience to face the unique challenge of working with underprivileged horses. After a life on the streets, they said, colts can become hardened and aggressive, refusing to take orders or to be saddled by an authority figure.

"You get these horses, and they trot and whinny in a certain way that says, 'I will kick the shit out of you if given the chance,'" said world-renowned trainer Bob Baffert, who admitted that he always carries his crop with him when he walks through bad neighborhoods at night. "They're a little unsure of you at first, but once they realize you trust them to eat an apple out of your hand, they nicker a little bit and you know you have them."

Efforts to involve the community have also been successful. In each of its four locations, the organization has found groups of retirees willing to volunteer their time by attending races and cheering on the young amateurs during races. However, while some program participants do ultimately become world-class racehorses, organizers said that isn't the main goal of the clubs.

"Our mission is to broaden their horizons," Jennings said. "Even if they don't go on to race professionally, urban horses need to know there are other paths for them out there. If they dedicate themselves, they can train to do police work. They can learn to round up cattle. They can even go on to work with kids in 4-H."

"There are alternatives," he stressed, "and if they don't realize that, they'll just end up on the streets, begging for oats.

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