The Thoroughbred Daily News is the world’s largest and most widely read Thoroughbred eNewspaper, reaching 1.1 million unique individuals per year. Currently, 16,000 breeders, owners and industry professionals have signed up to receive a daily email when the paper has been posted, while others find us online or use our proprietary app. Originally founded in the mid-1980s as a three-to-five page daily fax with 120 subscribers, the TDN now encompasses a website with breaking news, the daily paper, a magazine (TDN Weekend), a podcast and video. Products are geolocated to serve the intended audience with their local news and race results. The TDN is published in Red Bank, New Jersey in the Jersey Shore region by the busy staff of 25 listed below.
Sue Morris Finley spent her childhood commuting to Belmont Park on weekends from her home in Weston, Connecticut. A cum laude graduate of New York University with Bachelor’s Degrees in French and Journalism, she began an internship in the NYRA press department while still a senior at NYU and accepted a full-time position at the track in her final term. She worked for NYRA for eight years before taking on a position as a researcher on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, where she covered horse racing as well as amateur sports, including the 1991 Pan American Games in Cuba. In 1993, she was part of the team that took over the production of the Thoroughbred Daily News, and oversaw its move to Red Bank, NJ, becoming its co-publisher. For 12 years, she was the First Vice President of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a national organization dedicated to the humane retirement of former racehorses, and now serves on the board of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. A native New Englander and lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, she lives a stone’s throw from the TDN’s Red Bank, NJ offices with her two children.
Gary King is a native of Ireland, and grew up near the renowned Curragh racecourse. Gary graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) in 2008, and then completed the Darley Flying Start management trainee program in 2010. Darley Flying Start provides twelve scholarships annually to people who want to study and experience the global Thoroughbred industry at the highest level. It combines a dynamic range of lectures, visits, and hands-on experience. The program has developed links with established universities and training providers worldwide, who deliver and certify business and equine modules.
A lifelong resident of Monmouth County, NJ, Jessica graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ. A love of writing and of horses led her to the publicity department of Monmouth Park racetrack where she spent two summers before joining the TDN staff in 1995.
When not slaving over a newsletter, she spends time with the two men in her life: a fun-loving German Shepherd named Hajj and Brian, an exuberant ex-racehorse with an irrational fear of trees.
Because pain is cathartic, Jessica enjoys distance running and has completed three marathons. She is a lover of Irish literature, Cary Grant movies and mocha frappaccinos.
Steve Sherack joined TDN’s editorial staff in May 2003, just a year after graduating from St. John’s University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. The native New Yorker caught the racing bug at an early age following frequent trips to Belmont Park and Aqueduct, and family vacations to Saratoga Racecourse. Steve began his career in the industry as a handicapper and editor at American Turf Magazine. A sports fanatic, he rarely misses a season without catching a road game of his beloved New York Mets or a trip to the World’s Most Famous Arena to root on the Red Storm in the Big East Tournament. Steve resides in nearby Sea Bright, just furlongs away from the ‘Shore’s Greatest Stretch,’ Monmouth Park.
A native of Wethersfield, CT, Brian DiDonato joined the TDN staff in April 2010. He is a 2009 graduate of Connecticut College, where he majored in Philosophy and minored in English. Brian was first introduced to horse racing as a child during summer trips to Saratoga with his father. In the beginning, he had no interest in the racing, but as he got older he became fascinated with the races, the horses, and especially the art of handicapping. His hobby developed into an obsession during his freshman year of college and Brian soon decided to pursue a career in racing.
In addition to his role at TDN, he is managing partner of Franklin Ave. Equine Advisors, which organizes affordable racing/pinhooking partnerships and provides various consultation services.
Born in Brooklyn but raised most of her life in Monmouth County, Christie is a lifelong equestrian, riding before she was walking. She was introduced to racing on annual trips to the Belmont Stakes with her father and she fell in love with the sport. She followed it regularly and was introduced to trainers and owners in the local industry, which lead to frequent trips to Monmouth Park. Christie joined the TDN in March 2013 after receiving her Masters degree in Communications from Rutgers University. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in Journalism from Rutgers as well in 2011.
When not at work in the TDN office, Christie can be found at the barn, riding her Quarter Horse mare Satin, who she competes in hunter jumper and barrel racing. Christie is also an avid photographer and has a small private equine photography business called Shutter Savvy Images.
Heather’s love of horses, Thoroughbreds especially, originated from summers spent visiting her grandfather in Ohio, who bred American Quarter Horses. During college at the University of Wyoming, she completed an internship at Peterson and Smith Equine Reproduction Center in Summerfield, FL. This fueled her decision to enter the Thoroughbred industry after obtaining her degree. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science in late 2009 and participated in the Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) in Lexington, KY from January to June 2010 for the breeding and foaling season. Heather joined the TDN in December 2013.
Heather spends her free time studying pedigrees, running in 5ks and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband. Her family expanded by two in 2016, with mercurial felines Stella and Pixel added to the mix. In 2017, she marked racehorse ownership off her bucket list and is now a co-owner of a winning Florida-bred filly.
A long-time New Jersey resident, Ben made countless visits to Monmouth Park during his formative years, quickly becoming intrigued by thoroughbred racing and following the sport closely ever since. Ben graduated from The College of William and Mary in 2011 with a B.A. in History and received an M.A. in History from Drew University in May 2013. He competed as a track and cross country athlete in high school and at the Division I collegiate level, garnering a national championship and multiple state championships along the way. A few years older and a few minutes slower, Ben continues to enjoy recreational running, hiking, and engaging in spirited handicapping discussion and debate with his father. Ben joined the TDN staff in November 2014, fulfilling an aspiration to combine his educational background in research and writing with his passion for racing and admiration for the thoroughbred horse.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joe has been an avid sports fan and writer since childhood. He was first introduced to horse racing when his friend’s father would make small bets for them on the Triple Crown races. After hitting the trifecta in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, he was hooked. He taught himself how to read past performances and became fascinated with the sport, both as a handicapper and a fan. He worked at the track for several summers in Saratoga while studying journalism at Long Island University. Earning his B.A. in 2010, Joe soon landed an internship with CBS Sports and worked his way up to a full-time position in digital asset management, aiding in broadcasts like the NFL on CBS and March Madness. Always maintaining a driving desire to develop a career in horse racing and writing, Joe fulfilled a longtime goal when joining the TDN staff in January 2016. His off-track obsessions include the New York Jets, New York Rangers and a Saluki named Layla. He currently lives in Jersey City with his girlfriend.
Kelsey Riley joined the TDN staff in July 2012, and was promoted to International Editor in 2013. In this role, Kelsey oversees the content of TDN Europe/International and travels worldwide covering racing and sales. A Canadian-bred, Kelsey was born not too far from where Northern Dancer was, and grew up riding and eventually gravitated to working with racehorses. After completing a journalism degree, Kelsey was accepted to the Godolphin Flying Start program and spent two years working in and learning about the Thoroughbred industries in Ireland, England, Kentucky, Australia, and Dubai. Today, Kelsey bases herself in Lexington, Kentucky, where she shares her home office with her parrot Kobe, TDN’s Chief Tweeter.
Emma started out on a local newspaper in her hometown of Windsor before specialising in horseracing as deputy editor of Pacemaker magazine and then deputy editor and racing editor of Horse & Hound. She moved to Newmarket in 2003 and worked for Darley at Dalham Hall Stud for three years before embarking on a freelance career and setting up Collings Berry Media. As well as being TDN’s European Editor, Emma is bloodstock editor of the monthly magazine Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder. She is married to Newmarket trainer John Berry, who is also a TDN contributor. A very small owner-breeder with broodmares in England and France, Emma loves nothing more than a good, honest stayer, and it is her ambition to win the Melbourne Cup with a homebred.
Neither nature nor nurture can obviously account for Chris McGrath’s interest in the Thoroughbred, which continues to puzzle and dismay his ageing parents. Wherever things went wrong, genetically it must trace somewhere beyond the number of generations typically accommodated by a catalog page. (But then that’s often true of horses, too.) Though born and raised in England, his page is chiefly Irish and German. Nonetheless his principal allegiance nowadays is to Italy: he has been going to one particular valley there, at least once a year, for more than half his life. Here he tunes out with a good hike, a good book, and a beer of whatever standard comes to hand. A graduate of Oxford University, Chris was supposed to become a lawyer but was instead seduced by the penury and insecurity of life as a sportswriter. During his time on The Independent, in particular, he covered many international events beyond the Turf. But while he still enjoys some other sports, notably the soccer purveyed with varying degrees of competence by Torino FC, he has become increasingly specialised with time. Chris has been named the UK’s Racing Writer of the Year three times, most recently in 2017; and his social history of the Thoroughbred, Mr Darley’s Arabian, was shortlisted in 2016 for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.
From an Irish family steeped in horseracing, Newmarket-born Sean Cronin spent part of his early years at the Lillingston Family’s Mount Coote Stud in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. His first racing memory was Red Rum’s dramatic defeat of Crisp in the 1973 Grand National and from that moment his passion for the sport was ignited.
Having initially trained as an accountant, Sean joined the accounts department of the British Bloodstock Agency in 1988 before taking a role at Martin Pearce’s World Racing Network in 1997. He has run CafeRacing alongside Tom Frary since 2000 and currently resides in the picturesque county of Norfolk, England (a long stone’s throw from The Queen’s Royal Studs).
Alongside Red Rum’s first Aintree success, his fondest memories include The Minstrel’s 1977 Derby, El Gran Senor’s 1984 2000 Guineas, Dancing Brave’s 1986 Arc de Triomphe, Royal Academy’s 1990 Breeders’ Cup Mile, Motivator’s 2005 Derby and all three of Istabraq’s Champion Hurdle wins. An avid fan of the West Ham United soccer team and the Limerick hurling team, Sean is the eldest son of the late Johnny Cronin-a former member of the Tattersalls groundstaff-and the father of Thomas, Benjamin, Jessica, Róisín and Daisy.
Tom Frary was born and grew up in Norwich, England, near Newmarket. After getting a Bachelors Degree, with honors, in Politics at Leeds University, he started working for Martin Pearce’s World Racing Network in 1999 after winning the Martin Wills Memorial Trust Racing Writing Awards. His love of racing goes back to his early childhood, with visits to Newmarket and the coast’s Great Yarmouth sowing the seeds. He now runs Cafe Racing (which supplies the TDN with its European information, and more) alongside Sean Cronin. He is married to Louise, with identical twin boys Dylan and Jude who were born in 2013 and two horses, a thoroughbred gelding named Buddy (known as Swains Bridge when in training a long time ago with Luca Cumani) and a piebald mare Dolly. Other than remaining a horseracing obsessive, he also enjoys hacking on the horses and cycling when he can get the time. A Norwich City supporter, he was a follower of the late Henry Cecil’s horses with his favourite being the fillies Bosra Sham and Catchascatchcan.
Alycia has been with the TDN since 1993, starting as a member of the editorial staff before taking charge of the advertising division in 1996. A native New Yorker, she graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Radio, Television and Film before earning her Masters in Screenwriting from New York University.
After a short stint as an intern at Thoroughbred Racing Communications, she joined the TDN and has been a staple ever since. Her role includes creating and managing TDN advertising and working daily with farms and agencies on developing marketing ads.
Lia joined the TDN advertising staff in 2004 after receiving her B.A. from Monmouth University where she studied both Graphic Design and Marketing. She has since received a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University. Lia is a lifelong Jersey Shore native who has never lived further than a mile away from the beach, residing now with her husband Tim and their shiba inu Yoshi. Hiking through the woods with her dog is her happy place, but Lia also enjoys all things food, cooking and dogs (she’s not opposed to cats, horses and goats either).
Amanda was born in Red Bank, NJ and raised in nearby Middletown, NJ. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design in May 2010 from Arcadia University, a top-ranked private university with the #1 study abroad program in the nation. She spent several spring breaks abroad and studied at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia spring semester of her junior year. Crelin’s travel bucket list is a mile long, and her life motto is “your money will return, your time won’t.” Along with traveling, she enjoys the beach, attending concerts (music soothes her soul), all things Wizard of Oz and Dr. Pepper.
Crelin grew up surrounded by a family of horse racing enthusiasts and has been an avid fan of Monmouth Park for as long as she can remember. She joined the TDN in April 2011. In addition to working at the TDN, Crelin has a passion for designing invitations and other event stationery and also does occasional freelance work for the East Coast Hockey League, a mid-level professional ice hockey league. You can view her graphic design portfolio here.
Born and raised in Hunterdon County, NJ, horses have been a part of Alexa’s life since age 5. After getting a summer job working at Colonial Downs in Virginia, she decided to switch from a hunter/jumper background to try her hand at galloping racehorses. Spending the next five years in Florida got Alexa hooked on the racing scene and the opportunity to work for some of the finest farms and trainers in the business.
After a few injuries she decided it was best to stay out off the tack and focus on her original career path in Marketing/Advertising. What a better way to stay involved in a sport she loves than joining TDN!
Rachel is a New York native who recently relocated down the shore, where she frequents Monmouth Park. She attended Syracuse University, where she majored in Marketing and Retail Management with a minor in Sociology. After 7 years of working in the beauty and fashion world, she decided she needed a change, and followed her interest in watching the races at Monmouth Park and turned it into a career with the TDN. When not at the office, Rachel enjoys exploring her new home at the Jersey shore, finding new vegetarian meals to cook, and watching too much television.
Alayna Cullen is from Co. Kildare in Ireland. She grew up surrounded by horses and attributes her passion for horse racing to her Grandparents and Aunts who own Middlelane Farm, a successful breeding farm. Having completed a degree in Equine Science from the University College Dublin, Alayna was accepted onto the prestigious Godolphin Flying Start program where she spent two years traversing the world, learning all she could about the horse racing industry. Upon graduation from the course, in 2017, Alayna joined The TDN team and will be based in Europe for us.
Aside from horse racing Alayna is mad about dogs, good coffee and culinary experiences (Godolphin Flying Start gave her so much more than just an education in horse racing, she can now cook!). Although moving some 20miles away from the family home to start Godolphin Flying Start was a bit tramautic for Alayna, she now loves hopping on a plane and has lots of plans to travel more. Any destination ideas are greatly appreciated.
Patty’s days off look a lot like her days at work: she carries a camera and talks constantly about light.
Patty began her career in production more than 30 years ago at ABC Network Television. She’s worked for Good Morning America and ABC Sports — covering Olympics, Super Bowls, Triple Crown Horse Racing and loads of other stuff on Wide World of Sports. She produced stage shows for Kathie Lee Gifford and a Christmas Special for CBS. She was the first woman at ABC Sports to direct a football game. Patty was producer and co-owner of the Jim Thorpe Pro Sports Awards, the first pro sports awards show on television from 1992-1995. In addition to producing, she helped establish the elite panel of voters, presenters, and advertisers. Dedication to her career in network television earned her three Sports Emmy Awards and one Directors Guild of America recognition.
Patty passionately contributes to the non-profit community. In addition to producing features for Autism Speaks, Association to Benefit Children, Women’s Sports Foundation, Preferred Behavioral Health, 180 Turning Lives Around, The Center for Discovery and more, she served on several boards.
When she’s not producing video shoots or capturing moments on camera, you can find her cooking up big group meals, running after her dogs in the garden or traveling to see her two children. You’ll probably still find she is holding a camera.
As managing director of Patty Wolfe Media Group (PWMG), Patty finds herself along side young talent and innovation every day. Patty says the Thoroughbred Daily News and the TDN Weekend contributions are particularly gratifying as they bring her back to the sport she always loved most.
Lucas Marquardt was born in Saratoga and raised in Schoharie, New York. His father, Robert, trained Standardbred horses before becoming a successful businessman. His mother, Jill McGrath, was a librarian who is now retired. Marquardt graduated Emerson College in Boston with a degree in Media Arts. He has lived in New York City since 2001. Marquardt has bred horses in New York and races at Charles Town in West Virginia with trainer John Dillow. Away from the track, his interests include the Dallas Cowboys, honky tonk bars, history books and competitive walking.
Vicki Forbes is a native of Frostburg, Maryland. She got her start in racing freelance riding at farms in the Baltimore area. She galloped horses at Pimlico for trainer Frank Bonsal, before marrying trainer John Forbes and taking almost two decades off to raise a family. Acting on a tip from bloodstock agent Eddie Rosen, the Thoroughbred Daily News lured her out of retirement in 1997 for what they claimed would be a temporary project…and never let her go. She has risen to the position of Director of Customer Services, where she serves as the TDN’s primary (and invaluable) interface with clients.
She lives in Holmdel, New Jersey with her husband, John, their three children, and four-legged friends too numerous to mention.
Andrew Caulfield writes a weekly column for the Thoroughbred Daily News on pedigree analysis, a fascination which crystallised during the 12 years he spent as one of the principal writers at Timeform, where he was responsible for researching the pedigrees of all the two-year-olds. A former editor of The Thoroughbred Breeder, Pacemaker and The European Racehorse, he was also The Sporting Life’s bloodstock correspondent for 12 years, He also wrote a weekly racing column for Japan’s Gallop magazine for 20 years. More recently his principal role has been as a bloodstock consultant, primarily for Juddmonte Farms. During his association with Juddmonte, which stretches to more than 20 years, the farm’s star performers have included Frankel, Kingman and Enable, winners between them of four Cartier Horse of the Year awards in the space of seven years. There have been three winners of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, three of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, as well as winners of all five British classics, the Belmont Stakes and several French and Irish classics.