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The Notebook September 05, 2013


Out of the Gate with ... Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen, an award-winning legal analyst whose commentaries and reports have been featured on radio and television at CBS News for 15 years, is the first-ever legal analyst for “60 Minutes,” the network’s signature news magazine program. A racehorse owner and breeder, Cohen is a two-time O’Brien Award winner and two-time John Hervey Award winner for excellence in harness racing journalism.

Name: Andrew Cohen

What I do for a living: Journalist, writer and legal analyst

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing: By my mother and father, in 1972, during Riva Ridge’s run for the Triple Crown.

My favorite racetrack: Keeneland in the morning, Saratoga in the afternoon, Del Mar a close third. How’s that for diplomatic?

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: The Belmont — but they need to bring back “Sidewalks of New York.”

Other sports/teams I follow: The Boston Red Sox, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Denver Broncos.

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: A Commissioner with real power, swift and universal punishment for cheaters, more ways to watch racing online and on television.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Incurious state regulators, vets with few legal or economic incentives to call out doping, media portrayals that mask the industry’s problems.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Courage. Speed. Chance.

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Suffolk Downs, 1984.

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Secretariat, of course.

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing: The day at Pimlico that I interviewed Penny Chenery for “60 Minutes.”

Best racetrack food can be found at: Who can eat at the races? I am always too excited or nervous. Once I tried to eat a nice lady’s fancy hat.

My favorite jockey: John Campbell, harness racing’s most successful driver, a Canadian boy still going strong 40 years after he broke in.

My favorite trainer: Shug McGaughey

My Heroes: Are mostly all dead.

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with: Seth Hancock (if he’d open up and really talk with me).

My philosophy on life: Never bet the eight-hole at Yonkers. Oh, you want something serious: The effort to be a decent human being usually brings its own rewards.

Favorite quote or motto: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal …” Robert Kennedy, in South Africa, June 6, 1966. Look it up. (Click here for full quote)

Favorite animal other than a horse: A dog, of course.

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: The Hambletonian! We own Standardbreds and have broodmares at Cindy and Steve Stewart’s gorgeous Hunterton Farm at Stoner Creek in Paris, Ky.

Favorite food: I’ll eat pretty much anything if it’s wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Favorite vacation spot: Lexington in late September for Grand Circuit Week at the Red Mile. I love Kentucky. I wish someone who owned a horse farm there would adopt me.

Favorite city: Montreal, the city of my birth and former home of Blue Bonnets Raceway.

Favorite musician/band: Frank Sinatra. Can’t believe he’s been gone now 15 years. A whole generation has been born since he died.

Favorite all-time movie(s): You should ask favorite all-time books ...

Favorite TV Show: Now? I love “Longmire,” although no one else evidently does. And why are there no “Barney Miller” re-runs, ever?

Favorite hotel: I have sworn to my friends that if we ever win a race in Lexington I will jump into the fountain at the Marriott Griffin Gate. I am still dry. The fountain is still unsullied.

Websites I visit daily: For news, the Times (both of them),, where I write, and lots of stuffy law-related blogs. For horses, PaulickReport, Thoroughbred Daily News, and

What I drive: An old, beat-up Volvo that once saved me and my son from terrible injuries in an accident.

Pet peeve: Old horse racing industry insiders, who are largely responsible for the state’s dismal condition, having the nerve now to stand in the way of progress. Just take your money and go away and let us try to fix your mess.

Favorite movie about horse racing: I will give you three. Day at the Races, always and forever a classic. Dreamer, which is adorable. And Let it Ride, which probably embarrasses Richard Dreyfuss.

Which actor would play me in a movie: I don’t know. Show me the script and I will tell you.

Alma Mater: Boston University

Favorite radio shows/channels: Anything broadcast by CBS Radio News.

Best book I recently read: “Battleship,” by Dorothy Ours, a great horse racing book.

Favorite memento: Old winner’s circle photos from the 1970s with my father in them

Favorite dessert: A cigar (Maduro, please)

Favorite drink: Bourbon, of course.

Favorite scent: Really? You want to know my favorite smell? How about: a clean shed row after some rain.

What I like about my job: I get to watch HRTV all day.

Favorite tech gadget: I hate my Galaxy Whatever. But I use it.

Twitter Handle: @CBSAndrew

People I follow on Twitter: Newsies and horsies. Love following Ray Paulick, who I think is peerless. He and Joe Drape should do a vaudeville show. I would pay to see that.

No. 1 Bucket-List item: Having a horse with a chance in the Derby/Preakness/Belmont and spending the night and morning before with him just outside his stall. Like that glorious Dustin Hoffman scene in “Luck.”


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