Santa Anita 2019

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Sparrow Castle
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:05 pm

Santa Anita Race-Day Medication Ban Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
The Stronach Group dropped a bombshell on the horse racing industry when it announced that, in light of the rash of breakdowns that have occurred since the Santa Anita meet began Dec. 26, they are banning race-day medication at both Santa Anita and its sister track in Northern California, Golden Gate Fields.

While a lengthy press release issued by The Stronach Group Thursday had many details, there were many more that were left out and are crucial to this story. Here’s what we still need to know:
More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/sa ... nanswered/
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Miss Gladiator
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:07 pm

Hello, looong time lurker here. With all that mess at Santa Anita I finally decided to post. Does anyone have an idea how many horses are currently stabled there? I'm wondering if it would be at all possible to scan those horses for signs of any microfractures or something, so that at least those who are more at risk might be identified? It would seem a better short-term solution than banning race-day meds (a decision I applaud completely but that doesn't seem to have much to do with the current state of affairs).

I just hope they don't try to sweep it under the rug once the heat comes off.
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Curtis
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:35 pm

WildAgainFan74 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:24 am
Is Stronach's other CA track, Golden Gate Fields, still Tapeta? Both tracks on coast and both probably get same amount of rain. Anyone know fatalities at GGF on the synthetic? If it's a question of at risk horses being allowed to run, wouldn't we see the same breakdowns at GGF as well? I'm sure at risk horses are everywhere....
GGF does have a Tapeta surface. The annual rainfall in the Albany/Berkeley area where GGF resides is probably higher than Arcadia but that can be misleading. Synthetics crashed and burned twice before at Santa Anita due to the base used for synthetic tracks and the type of rain there. Even if research was done to correct the base, I’m highly dubious that Stronach would go that way again. In my opinion, the instant Raven’s Pass—a Euro-based horse—whizzed passed Curlin in the ‘08 BCC, the Breeder’s Cup decided they wanted nothing more to do with synthetic tracks. One more was held on the SA Pro-Ride in 2009 but that was it. I don’t think it was a coincidence that when both Keeneland and Del Mar jettisoned Polytrack, they were awarded Breeder’s Cups.
WildAgainFan74
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:42 pm

Curtis wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:35 pm
WildAgainFan74 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:24 am
Is Stronach's other CA track, Golden Gate Fields, still Tapeta? Both tracks on coast and both probably get same amount of rain. Anyone know fatalities at GGF on the synthetic? If it's a question of at risk horses being allowed to run, wouldn't we see the same breakdowns at GGF as well? I'm sure at risk horses are everywhere....
GGF does have a Tapeta surface. The annual rainfall in the Albany/Berkeley area where GGF resides is probably higher than Arcadia but that can be misleading. Synthetics crashed and burned twice before at Santa Anita due to the base used for synthetic tracks and the type of rain there. Even if research was done to correct the base, I’m highly dubious that Stronach would go that way again. In my opinion, the instant Raven’s Pass—a Euro-based horse—whizzed passed Curlin in the ‘08 BCC, the Breeder’s Cup decided they wanted nothing more to do with synthetic tracks. One more was held on the SA Pro-Ride in 2009 but that was it. I don’t think it was a coincidence that when both Keeneland and Del Mar jettisoned Polytrack, they were awarded Breeder’s Cups.
Curtis,

I don't think it was a coincidence either. Money talks. When the top breeders and trainers stopped running on synthetic with the pure dirt horses, the nail was placed in the coffin.

I always thought they should have made SA a tapeta track but hindsight is 20/20. I had researched it heavily as we were thinking about putting in a 1/4 mile training track at our small facility with Tapeta. I followed it closely and still think it is a really good surface.

Too bad, synthetic is a much safer surface for the horses. I think we could have swung breeding in that direction as a lot of the dirt lines I feel could have been slowly converted to both surfaces.
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Curtis
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:02 pm

WildAgainFan74 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:42 pm
Curtis wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:35 pm
WildAgainFan74 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:24 am
Is Stronach's other CA track, Golden Gate Fields, still Tapeta? Both tracks on coast and both probably get same amount of rain. Anyone know fatalities at GGF on the synthetic? If it's a question of at risk horses being allowed to run, wouldn't we see the same breakdowns at GGF as well? I'm sure at risk horses are everywhere....
GGF does have a Tapeta surface. The annual rainfall in the Albany/Berkeley area where GGF resides is probably higher than Arcadia but that can be misleading. Synthetics crashed and burned twice before at Santa Anita due to the base used for synthetic tracks and the type of rain there. Even if research was done to correct the base, I’m highly dubious that Stronach would go that way again. In my opinion, the instant Raven’s Pass—a Euro-based horse—whizzed passed Curlin in the ‘08 BCC, the Breeder’s Cup decided they wanted nothing more to do with synthetic tracks. One more was held on the SA Pro-Ride in 2009 but that was it. I don’t think it was a coincidence that when both Keeneland and Del Mar jettisoned Polytrack, they were awarded Breeder’s Cups.
Curtis,

I don't think it was a coincidence either. Money talks. When the top breeders and trainers stopped running on synthetic with the pure dirt horses, the nail was placed in the coffin.

I always thought they should have made SA a tappet track but hindsight is 20/20.

Too bad, synthetic is a much safer surface for the horses. I think we could have swung breeding in that direction as a lot of the dirt lines I feel could have been slowly converted to both surfaces.
I think the conversion to synthetics was done way too hastily in CA. It all had a snake oil feel to it. There was far more misinformation than research done. I think Hollywood Park had the right idea. They asked the CHRB just how high the ratio of synthetic to natural needed to be for them to be legal. Once they had an an answer, they found a company—Cushion Track—to provide the goods and even when that company went under, Hollywood Park maintained the track well til the end and it was a very nice surface. When the synthetic tracks were about to be installed, Swiss Yodler was the top stallion in CA. Those poor Swiss Yodler’s could barely stand up on synthetics and almost overnight, Unusual Heat went from being a promising turf stallion to a regional mega-stud. Folks aren’t down with too much change too quickly.
Catalina
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:02 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:05 pm
Santa Anita Race-Day Medication Ban Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
The Stronach Group dropped a bombshell on the horse racing industry when it announced that, in light of the rash of breakdowns that have occurred since the Santa Anita meet began Dec. 26, they are banning race-day medication at both Santa Anita and its sister track in Northern California, Golden Gate Fields.

While a lengthy press release issued by The Stronach Group Thursday had many details, there were many more that were left out and are crucial to this story. Here’s what we still need to know:
More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/sa ... nanswered/
Lots of changes, and not a thing about fixing the track. Which still has a problem.
Catalina
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:09 pm

stark wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:42 pm
The hillside condos might become reality sooner than any of us care for.
That thought crossed my mind as well...
WildAgainFan74
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:17 pm

Curtis,

I agree regarding the haste. However, I don’t think it was as much the Regional CA stallions that determined the outcome. It was the top horses based in KY with top dirt pedigrees and Hall of Fame trainers. Those connections started refusing to run. Turf bred horses were winning as you alluded too. In fact, random dirt pedigrees were winning as well! But, I truly think that we could have adjusted our dirt breeding to produce synthetic horses. There were several dirt bloodlines that got horses on both surfaces.

Granted, in full transparency, I am a turf fan; I bred to Cozzene; bought Trempolino mares; etc. But, one of the reasons I was drawn to turf was based on the safety of the horses. They have the lowest fatality rates of any surface.

I think I was one of only 6 or 7 breeders to breed to Silent Name when he was in NY. I did it for the bloodlines, class and soundness. I tried to tell people we should incoprate Sunday Silence to no avail. Of course, nobody would touch him in NY with that grass pedigree. I believe he went on to be a top synthetic sire at Woodbine and both my Silent Name and Cozzene babies became stakes winners on the dirt, go figure.

As I mentioned, I researched all the synthetics as we were thinking of installing a small training track to start horses and keep them legged up. I do believe to the bottom of my core that synthetic is safer than dirt.

I think if, like you said, we had transitioned better than it might have had a chance....

I guess not just the top dirt connections were up in arms but the bettors. I do remember the most random longshots winning on the synthetic as we just didn’t know what pedigrees would excel on it. It scared people. I think we could have gotten a better handle if given more time.

Safety should not be an afterthought. We need to do what is best for the horses and then adjust everything accordingly.
WildAgainFan74
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:25 pm

I should mention that my favorite thoroughbred of all time (that I didn’t own) was Wild Again. I bought an amazing little Claiborne mare at Keeneland that was a wild Again daughter. Wild Again and his descendants got horses that could run on any surface. They were usually very, very sound and had fantastic feet. And VERSATILE!!!!

I’m sure there are a lot of bloodlines that could have also gotten good runners on all 3 surfaces if given the chance.
stark
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:27 pm

Thinking out loud......

Los Alamitos currently runs its quarter horse meet about 50 weeks a year. The owner seems to be pretty gracious offering solutions as problems arise in the thoroughbred world.

Wonder what if the CHRB approached him and awarded the 2019 dates except for Del Mar?

Allow ample time for SA to identify and fix track problems. Would give horsemen an opportunity to adjust to the inevitable med changes, and the whip rules could be discussed further.

The BC would be able to make a difficult decision a little easier.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Sparrow Castle
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:45 pm

Jay Privman Retweeted
Nick Tammaro@NTamm1215
1h1 hour ago
Nick Tammaro Retweeted PETA
This is the organization Belinda Stronach included a quote from in yesterday’s screed. Absolutely mind boggling.

PETA Verified account @peta
BREAKING: Following pressure from PETA, #SantaAnita Racetrack bans whipping and drugs – the first track in the country to take this action.
Horse racing must end one day, but this will help reduce suffering on its way out.
Image
3:03 PM - 14 Mar 2019
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Curtis
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:51 pm

stark wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:27 pm
Thinking out loud......

Los Alamitos currently runs its quarter horse meet about 50 weeks a year. The owner seems to be pretty gracious offering solutions as problems arise in the thoroughbred world.

Wonder what if the CHRB approached him and awarded the 2019 dates except for Del Mar?

Allow ample time for SA to identify and fix track problems. Would give horsemen an opportunity to adjust to the inevitable med changes, and the whip rules could be discussed further.

The BC would be able to make a difficult decision a little easier.
I thought out loud about that last week and was branded Chicken Little.
Tessablue
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:05 pm

Ritvo said something yesterday like "if we close the track again, it will never reopen." So they've decided it's not the track, they won't close it under any circumstances, horses are going to keep dying because the problem is the track, and with every death they'll make some enormous industry-shaking change without consulting everyone, in order to appease the people who cannot be appeased and only wish for the death of the sport.

This is truly the dumbest timeline.
stark
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:12 pm

I'm taking a wild ass guess and saying that the CHRB could out manuver TSG by awarding the dates to LosAl for 2019 and stripping SA based on some failure to perform fine print in the contract.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Catalina
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:16 pm

WildAgainFan74 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:17 pm

I guess not just the top dirt connections were up in arms but the bettors. I do remember the most random longshots winning on the synthetic as we just didn’t know what pedigrees would excel on it. It scared people. I think we could have gotten a better handle if given more time.

Safety should not be an afterthought. We need to do what is best for the horses and then adjust everything accordingly.
The bettors objected to having to learn new handicapping methods, but almost certainly would have adjusted. But, the "top dirt connections" (Baffert comes to mind but was by far not the only one) saw themselves sitting on first rate horses that had been bred for fast, hard tracks, horses that would slip in value if they had to run on synthetics. I remember a fair bit of saber-rattling, trainers threatening to pick up and move to another track - but that method won't be as easy this time, TSG is all over the place.
stark
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:17 pm

stark wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:12 pm
I'm taking a wild ass guess and saying that the CHRB could out manuver TSG by awarding the dates to LosAl for 2019 and stripping SA based on some failure to perform fine print in the contract.
And that would mean the day after Christmas would once again be a really special day for SoCal fans to look forward to, better print up at least 60,000 calendars.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Tessablue
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:23 pm

I don't know enough about politics to judge, but we can only hope that somebody enacts some sort of check on this. It's crazy that any one group has the ability to enact such unilateral change, let alone a business interest. And I guess the BC announced it's standing with Santa Anita? Did they remember what happened with their little 2yo Lasix stunt a few years back?
stark
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:31 pm

P.S. chicken little meet the voice of reason, chicken shit according to PETA
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Catalina
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:32 pm

stark wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:12 pm
I'm taking a wild ass guess and saying that the CHRB could out manuver TSG by awarding the dates to LosAl for 2019 and stripping SA based on some failure to perform fine print in the contract.
In which case TSG will happily sell the track to a real estate developer and wash their hands of the whole mess.
stark
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:39 pm

Catalina wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:32 pm
stark wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:12 pm
I'm taking a wild ass guess and saying that the CHRB could out manuver TSG by awarding the dates to LosAl for 2019 and stripping SA based on some failure to perform fine print in the contract.
In which case TSG will happily sell the track to a real estate developer and wash their hands of the whole mess.
Let's see who blinks first, I'd say it's the ultimate bluff card that TSG is holding onto.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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