09/13/2007 11:54PM

Oh Brother


If you get your racing news from DRF, you might think the $2.9 million Dynaformer-Preach yearling sold at Keeneland Monday was a half-brother to Pulpit. You would be wrong, according to The New York Times and dozens of the nation's other daily newspapers, who all reported that the colt was Barbaro's brother.

"Barbaro's Sibling Is Sold" was The Times's headline for a brief from The Associated Press that ran in Tuesday's editions. "Barbaro Sibling Sold for $2.9 Million" said The Denver Post. One paper after another reprinted the same story and a similar headline, as did all the websites that get their news from wire services and dailies.

It's bad enough that sports copy editors at major news organizations don't know that racehorses with the same sire are not considered brothers or siblings, given that the same stallion can sire hundreds of foals a year; it's having the same dam that makes horses siblings. Worse, some of these same rewrite men then used the initial mistake as a jumping-off point to wax fake-eloquent about Barbaro.

"Barbaro's life and racing career ended tragically," the Cincinnatti Enquirer lamented, "but his legacy continued Monday during the first day of Keeneland's yearling sale in Lexington."