Santa Anita 2019

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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:27 pm

Further Safety And Welfare Reforms Added At Santa Anita, Upcoming Del Mar Meet
Ten weeks after introducing significant reforms in California aimed at reducing racing fatalities and improving the safety and welfare of horses and riders, The Stronach Group is now requiring all entries at Santa Anita to be accompanied by a pre-race exam form, signed by a trainer's veterinarian and stating that a horse has no known issues that would preclude it from racing.

The new form was introduced by Dr. Dionne Benson, recently hired as The Stronach Group's chief veterinary officer, during an informational conference call for Thoroughbred Owners of California members. Also participating in the call was the management team from The Stronach Group, led by chairman Belinda Stronach; TOC president Greg Avioli; California Thoroughbred Trainers president Jim Cassidy; and Josh Rubinstein, chief operating officer of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

A variety of subjects was discussed on the call, organized to provide TOC members an update on industry response to the 23 fatalities at Santa Anita from Dec. 26 through March 31, and the three fatalities from May 17-26 that followed an extraordinarily safe seven weeks or racing and training.

“We have been working with the veterinarians that work for the owners and the trainers,” Benson said. “One of the things that we have heard – and you hear unfortunately too frequently when we have a catastrophic injury – is a veterinarian say I've never actually seen that horse, I've never watched that horse, I'm not familiar with that horse. So in order to avoid that scenario, we have asked the veterinarians, and they have agreed, to examine horses prior to entry.”

The language on the form states: “I have examined the above horse(s) and found it to be sound at the trot and I am unaware of any issues that would preclude it from entering to race.”
More: https://www.paulickreport.com/news/nl-a ... -mar-meet/
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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:45 pm

Thank you, Mr. Walden.

Letter to the Editor: Ben Walden
WHEN A NOBLE CAUSE COMPETES WITH HARSH REALITY
How important was Sid Fernando’s TDN article of last Friday on the subject of Lasix? Let’s be honest. In recent times, we have seen a variance of political correctness within our beloved industry, similar to that which has overtaken culture and society at large today. And in both cases, both sides are motivated by a genuine concern for its subject. When it comes to the men and women of the horse industry, that concern is for their horses. What concerns me is that much like what’s happened in America, one side of the debate on Lasix has become more and more reticent to speak up. In light of this, I was grateful to read Sid’s column on the subject. In the past year I have spoken to several knowledgeable horsemen and horsewomen who believe that Lasix is a blessing to our racehorses for many of the reasons that were articulated in Sid’s article. But each one of them expressed a reluctance to share that position for reasons of political correctness.

Like it or not, our thoroughbred racehorses bleed. They have bled. They will continue to bleed. As a horseman, I believe this option of treatment is the kindest and most effective way to go…the alternatives being horses bleeding profusely whether in training or in the afternoon, or “old-school” practices that horsemen and horsewomen would be left with if Lasix were taken out of the equation, or expensive alternatives only a few would be able to employ for reasons of cost. There is no doubt that the men and women pushing for abolishing current Lasix parameters love their horses. But no more than those who understand this treatment to the fullest and advocate for it. And there is another side of this debate, and that is the horsemen and horsewomen themselves that would be significantly hurt by this change. Most of them are “bread-and-butter” folks that love racing, love their horses, and sustain the industry below the top. Their voices aren’t as loud in most cases. But they are horse trainers and horse owners who are often more in touch with the realities of this debate than anyone.

Lastly, I have two thoughts to add. First, let the opinions of the veterinarians and the horsemen on the front line carry significant weight in this discussion. And second, why don’t we spend our hard-earned energy, time, and money developing a better treatment for this malady in our horses, instead of doing away with the only known way to humanely help them before we have solutions? Finally, we have a lot of issues to solve outside of this one that, in my opinion, are far more pressing to our industry in this very fragile time.

Ben Walden
Walden Bloodstock
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/le ... en-walden/
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:23 am

Not sure where this belongs, but this makes me happy. Now, we'll see how the sale goes.

Adjustments In Expectations, Protocol Guide Fasig-Tipton Santa Anita 2-Year-Old Sale Breeze Show
It's no hyperbole to say there was much more riding on Monday's Fasig-Tipton Santa Anita 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale Under-Tack Show than what numbers showed up on the stopwatch.

Santa Anita's place in the eye of a public relations hurricane following a rash of breakdowns is well known, and tasking a catalog full of juveniles to go all-out in a breeze was a proposition with potentially disastrous consequences if every horse that stepped on the track didn't come back on all four legs.

If you're reading this just to see if any horses broke down on the track during the under-tack show, they didn't. In fact, the workouts were abundantly slower than what's been seen throughout the rest of the juvenile auction season in recent memory.

...

Given all the measurements put in place almost specifically to curtail horses from breaking the stopwatch, and themselves in the process, Havens was hopeful the breeze show and its times might be the spark for a paradigm shift in shopping for 2-year-olds in training.

“To be honest, I've always wished these people looked at the horses more than they did the clock anyway, so maybe this'll be the beginning of that kind of program,” Havens said. “I'd be in favor of that.”
More: https://www.paulickreport.com/news/bloo ... eeze-show/
Rick1323
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Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:03 am

I don't follow racing like I used to, but it is the TC season, and Finger Lakes is open, so I want to add my 2 cents as someone who was around in the pre Lasix days. It wasn't pretty, especially on hot summer days. At a low end track like FL, many horses were here because they were bleeders.

Trainers took a chance with them, entering them time after time, watching them pop and stop. Tracks had good attendance in those days and weekend afternoons were often attended by a lot of families. Families watched as horses in distress staggered down the stretch bleeding from the nose, sometimes even under the whip as they were courageous beats who still were in contention.

we accepted it as part of racing, and as part of handicapping. The temperature was as important as any other handicapping tool. I for one was happy to see Lasix introduced. Seeing it phased out in California seems a knee jerk reaction to an issue that probably lies somewhere deep in the track surface. I hope they resolve it soon. Racing needs a solution....and very soon.
Everyone come home sound.....
MR-W
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Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:14 pm

Rick1323 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:03 am
I don't follow racing like I used to, but it is the TC season, and Finger Lakes is open, so I want to add my 2 cents as someone who was around in the pre Lasix days. It wasn't pretty, especially on hot summer days. At a low end track like FL, many horses were here because they were bleeders.

Trainers took a chance with them, entering them time after time, watching them pop and stop. Tracks had good attendance in those days and weekend afternoons were often attended by a lot of families. Families watched as horses in distress staggered down the stretch bleeding from the nose, sometimes even under the whip as they were courageous beats who still were in contention.

we accepted it as part of racing, and as part of handicapping. The temperature was as important as any other handicapping tool. I for one was happy to see Lasix introduced. Seeing it phased out in California seems a knee jerk reaction to an issue that probably lies somewhere deep in the track surface. I hope they resolve it soon. Racing needs a solution....and very soon.
I don't get out to the track as much as I used to either but my home track is Santa Anita. I can tell you this...during the two month period when I believe 22-23 horses died, the track was sealed a total of 31 times due to the weather. No renovation of the track took place during that time period. After that fiasco the track was dug up, soil amended and put back together. When it was dug up the track smelled awful and had a VERY compacted undersurface. In my thoughts, that says it all. It's a shame that the powers of SA could or would not adapt to a very serious situation. Just as important, they have never had the balls to take responsibility for what happened.
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Sparrow Castle
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:58 am

Another atypical injury, and he's an unraced 2 year old with only three May workouts at Santa Anita. According to Equibase, he was bought as a yearling at Keeneland September for $160k and sold as a 2 year old in training at Ocala in March for $50k. His breeze time was 10.4. I know where I'd look for answers.

Derby River is 27th horse to die since Santa Anita opened meet Dec. 26
A 27th horse has died since Santa Anita opened its meeting on Dec. 26 after the colt Derby River sustained a catastrophic injury while training Wednesday morning. After six weeks without a death, there have been four fatalities since May 17.

Derby River, an unraced 2-year-old bought in March for $50,000 at a sale in Florida, suffered a fractured shoulder, according to his trainer Ruben Gomez.

The horse was euthanized in Chino, and it’s unclear if it would technically be called a Santa Anita fatality since the colt was euthanized off-site. The California Horse Racing Board hasn’t recently dealt with a situation like this.

The horse was euthanized at a clinic in Chino so it was unclear whether the death would technically be called a Santa Anita fatality. However, Mike Marten, California Horse Racing Board spokesman, said “in the interest of full transparency, we will be treating it as an on-track training death and do a full necropsy and count it in the statistics.”
More: https://www.latimes.com/sports/more/la- ... story.html

If you can't access the LA Times, SI ran the story too. https://www.si.com/horse-racing/2019/06 ... erby-river
MySaladDays
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:10 am

Rick1323 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:03 am
I don't follow racing like I used to, but it is the TC season, and Finger Lakes is open, so I want to add my 2 cents as someone who was around in the pre Lasix days. It wasn't pretty, especially on hot summer days. At a low end track like FL, many horses were here because they were bleeders.

Trainers took a chance with them, entering them time after time, watching them pop and stop. Tracks had good attendance in those days and weekend afternoons were often attended by a lot of families. Families watched as horses in distress staggered down the stretch bleeding from the nose, sometimes even under the whip as they were courageous beats who still were in contention.

we accepted it as part of racing, and as part of handicapping. The temperature was as important as any other handicapping tool. I for one was happy to see Lasix introduced. Seeing it phased out in California seems a knee jerk reaction to an issue that probably lies somewhere deep in the track surface. I hope they resolve it soon. Racing needs a solution....and very soon.
Maybe trainers here can learn more about managing EIPH in horses like they do in the rest of the world, SANS lasix.

Maybe many of the horses we breed should not be racing. If they are bleeders they go into other careers

Everyone else manages to manage this.
Tessablue
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:45 am

MySaladDays wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:10 am

Maybe trainers here can learn more about managing EIPH in horses like they do in the rest of the world, SANS lasix.

Maybe many of the horses we breed should not be racing. If they are bleeders they go into other careers

Everyone else manages to manage this.
They "manage" it by racing on different surfaces in very different climates, and they use water withdrawal- which is less humane than medication- when that fails. Bleeding is a fact of equine biology, and it is inhumane to not practice prophylactic techniques against it. Once a horse bleeds, they are at far greater risk of bleeding again. Are we really going to force our horses to run unassisted on the dirt in the heat, then cull them from the sport when their lungs can't handle it?

The Lasix debate is the horse racing equivalent of jangling keys in front of an infant, and I'm glad someone finally said it on a larger stage. Meanwhile, I hope someone is looking over the sales vet records of poor Derby River.
katmandu
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:40 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:58 am
Another atypical injury, and he's an unraced 2 year old with only three May workouts at Santa Anita. According to Equibase, he was bought as a yearling at Keeneland September for $160k and sold as a 2 year old in training at Ocala in March for $50k. His breeze time was 10.4. I know where I'd look for answers.

Derby River is 27th horse to die since Santa Anita opened meet Dec. 26
A 27th horse has died since Santa Anita opened its meeting on Dec. 26 after the colt Derby River sustained a catastrophic injury while training Wednesday morning. After six weeks without a death, there have been four fatalities since May 17.

Derby River, an unraced 2-year-old bought in March for $50,000 at a sale in Florida, suffered a fractured shoulder, according to his trainer Ruben Gomez.

The horse was euthanized in Chino, and it’s unclear if it would technically be called a Santa Anita fatality since the colt was euthanized off-site. The California Horse Racing Board hasn’t recently dealt with a situation like this.

The horse was euthanized at a clinic in Chino so it was unclear whether the death would technically be called a Santa Anita fatality. However, Mike Marten, California Horse Racing Board spokesman, said “in the interest of full transparency, we will be treating it as an on-track training death and do a full necropsy and count it in the statistics.”
More: https://www.latimes.com/sports/more/la- ... story.html

If you can't access the LA Times, SI ran the story too. https://www.si.com/horse-racing/2019/06 ... erby-river
Wasn't the previous fatality also a broken shoulder? Another anomaly?
Tessablue
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:44 pm

I'm a little behind on things, was the previous fatality also a young horse who had been through a sale? Shoulders are among the later bones to fuse in horses, so I wonder if an increase in shoulder injuries could be tied to bisphosphonate usage. From a biological perspective, it would make a lot of sense.
BaroqueAgain1
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:19 pm

Tessa, that was the first thing that occurred to me, as well. The use of bisphosphonates in humans has been linked to unusual bone weakening/breaks, so it seems like that could be at play here.
katmandu
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:44 pm

This is what I was remembering (dateline 5/20/19). . . 2 previous anomalies, actually.

"After six weeks of safe racing and training, Santa Anita had its second horse death in four days when a first-time starter pulled up during a race Sunday and was euthanized Monday. It was the 25th equine death at the Arcadia track since Dec. 26.

Spectacular Music was running in a maiden claiming race restricted to California-breds when jockey Jorge Velez pulled the horse up on the backstretch after leaving the gate in the six-furlong contest. The gelding was vanned off the course and taken to the barns with the hope of saving him after suffering a pelvis injury. However, the extent of the injury was such that it was decided on Monday morning to euthanize the horse.

The gelding was trained by Steve Miyadi and owned by Miyadi and breeder Nadine Anderson. He was bought for $900 in the local Barretts sale in January 2018.

On Friday, during training, Commander Coil was euthanized after suffering a shoulder-area injury. He was an unraced 3-year-old gelding and was just galloping, much less stressful and not considered risky. The gelding was trained by Marcelo Polanco and owned by Jose Romero. He was not bought at public auction."

https://www.latimes.com/sports/more/la- ... story.html

From an article previously posted by Sparrow Castle.
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Sparrow Castle
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:10 pm

I’d certainly look into the use of Bisphosphonates in the deaths of these young horses. Plus there have been some studies associating Bisphosphonates use with cardiac issues, at least in humans. Congrats Gal was thought to have died as a result of cardiac arrest after the Miss Preakness at Pimlico. She was a 3 yo filly who came out of the Ocala 2-year-old in training sale the year before Derby River was sold there.

With the Belmont right around the corner, the MSM is picking up the pace of articles about the sport.

Joe Drape at the NY Times has been reporting on racing forever, and is now keeping an updated list about the fatalities at Santa Anita. He also wrote a nice article about Mark Casse and War of Will:

27 Racehorses Have Died at This Track Since Dec. 26
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/06/spor ... eaths.html

For War of Will, the Belmont Is About What Might Have Been
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/07/spor ... -will.html

Over at the Washington Post, Jacob Bogage’s bio says he’s been covering Sports there since 2015. He previously covered the automotive and manufacturing industries for the Business section. His slant seems to be on moving the Breeder’s Cup to Churchill Downs. The BC Board will likely make their decision at their Board meeting later this month. Can’t wait until these reporters discover that Churchill’s fatality rate is worse than at Santa Anita now.

Santa Anita horse fatalities continue with 27th horse death since December
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2 ... 72ea87031

Continuing the Lasix debate, I agree with Barclay Tagg’s quote in Sid Fernando’s article in TDN, "Lasix, if used properly, is not as debilitating as people think, either. If they are treated right the next few days after a race and get plenty of fresh water, an electrolyte jug the day after, and get some grazing, they rebound quickly." Horses do need to spend a lot of time with their heads down grazing for optimal respiratory health. They don’t get that much here on the backsides of our tracks. And with our year-round racing, they spend most of their time standing in dusty stalls with hay racks head-high beside them. Grain and water may be provided in buckets at about body level. In my experience, only alfalfa is provided on the floor of the stalls.
MySaladDays
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Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:21 am

Tessablue wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:45 am
MySaladDays wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:10 am

Maybe trainers here can learn more about managing EIPH in horses like they do in the rest of the world, SANS lasix.

Maybe many of the horses we breed should not be racing. If they are bleeders they go into other careers

Everyone else manages to manage this.
They "manage" it by racing on different surfaces in very different climates, and they use water withdrawal- which is less humane than medication- when that fails. Bleeding is a fact of equine biology, and it is inhumane to not practice prophylactic techniques against it. Once a horse bleeds, they are at far greater risk of bleeding again. Are we really going to force our horses to run unassisted on the dirt in the heat, then cull them from the sport when their lungs can't handle it?

The Lasix debate is the horse racing equivalent of jangling keys in front of an infant, and I'm glad someone finally said it on a larger stage. Meanwhile, I hope someone is looking over the sales vet records of poor Derby River.
Not a subject to this topic, but Wow. The entire racing world is "very different climates" than the U.S.?

We use water withdrawal PLUS Lasix. I mean, if you think water withholding is cruel, then how does jabbing a needle in their neck before every race AND withholding water sound?.
And by the way, not all horses bleed. there are thousands of them racing who are not bleeders. There is no need for culling if you don't breed bleeders. That is why many smart bloodstock agents are going to South America to get horses who don't have years of drug addiction as part of their history. Maybe we shouldn't breed so many throwaways who end up in the kill pens in the first place.
MySaladDays
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Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:23 am

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:10 pm
Horses do need to spend a lot of time with their heads down grazing for optimal respiratory health. They don’t get that much here on the backsides of our tracks.
Go to Larry Jones' barn. He's been "ground feeding" for as long as I can remember. His horses also have the services of chiropractors and acupunturists. He's into all that stuff.
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Summer Bird
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Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:22 pm

Well Formal Dude was vanned off after the 10th race. Praying he’ll be ok
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Kurenai
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Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:53 am

Tessablue wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:45 am
They "manage" it by racing on different surfaces in very different climates, and they use water withdrawal- which is less humane than medication- when that fails. Bleeding is a fact of equine biology, and it is inhumane to not practice prophylactic techniques against it. Once a horse bleeds, they are at far greater risk of bleeding again.
None of the trainers I worked for ever used water withdrawal. If a horse bleeds, they are rested for a few weeks. If they bleed again, they're retired. That's more humane than pumping them full with Lasix and other drugs. ;)

The climate we have here (Germany, France, England, Italy) isn't really different from Kentucky btw. :lol:
Tessablue
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Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:45 am

1. The surfaces are still different.

2. Other barns certainly do draw.

3. Drugs and needles are not inherently evil and the administration of a standard anti-bleeding procedure by medical professionals is a good thing.

4. What? Average June high in Louisville: 86 degrees F.

Baden-Baden: 73

Paris: 74

London: 70

I don't understand anything about the lasix debate. I don't understand why Americans care so passionately about it at a time when it's the one thing we know doesn't kill horses, and I don't understand why everyone else refuses to acknowledge that racing conditions can and do vary to a considerable degree around the world.

Anyways, the shoulder and pelvis injuries are certainly unusual. A sudden rash of injuries in late-developing bones may point more towards developmental issues rather than surface ones (at this point I think it's fair to conclude that the surface was the main issue earlier in the meet). Have to look into the other ones, but Derby River sounds like a classic case of a horse whose bones could not adapt to a sudden increase in workload.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:39 pm

Tim Sullivan @TimSullivan714
5m5 minutes ago
Formal Dude was euthanized following his breakdown at Santa Anita Saturday. That makes 28 equine fatalities since Dec. 26.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:00 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:39 pm
Tim Sullivan @TimSullivan714
5m5 minutes ago
Formal Dude was euthanized following his breakdown at Santa Anita Saturday. That makes 28 equine fatalities since Dec. 26.
Katherine Terrell Verified account@Kat_Terrell
3m3 minutes ago
I’ve heard from two sources that Santa Anita had its 28th death of the meet. Formal Dude euthanized with a broken pelvis. I also think it’s important that people realize that the initial rash of deaths and the deaths now are two separate things.


I looked at his profile on Equibase, and see he was sold for $60k at the OBS March 2017 two-year-olds in training sales. I make note of these fatalities of breeze sale horses because of the controversy around training babies so hard so early that they're breezing faster than they will ever run again, as well as the possible use of Bisphosphonate. I hope during necropsy they are exploring these possibilities. His work time was 10.2.
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