"Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby dustino140 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:14 pm

Catalina wrote:
dustino140 wrote:
Catalina wrote:Because they can handle it until they break down? I think at some point you run into a deficit in bone remodeling. Plus, of course, NYRA doesn't want to include the inner track as a significant contributor to the problem.


If you were to get rid of horses that run back frequently, you'd be putting a lot of smaller tracks out of business. Look at the PPs for a Mountaineer, Finger Lakes, Belterra, Mahoning Valley, any of the fair circuits, etc. and you'll see horses every single day that are running back on short rest. And until anybody can prove that such action is a contributor to breakdown, which I do not believe, saying things like "because they can handle it until they breakdown" is sensationalist talk that has absolutely no basis and could be applied to any subgroup of racehorses. I'd argue that running those horses with that frequency, and training through racing (not fast 4-5f workouts) may actually be beneficial to their health, instead of a detriment to it.


So make a list of those horses and keep checking on them through 12/31/2015.


Nope. The onus shouldn't be on the side of the people that think something is fine to prove that it's fine, it should be on the group that thinks it's broken to prove that it's broken. Nobody should have to fight to prove that the status quo shouldn't change, but if you want to change the status quo, I'd assume you have better research in your arsenal than "I think...".

For the sake of this conversation, though, I went through the entries at Mahoning Valley today and 20 horses are entered to run off a layoff of 14 days or less. 20 horses in 1 card. Another dozen or so are running back off a 16 day layoff. And that's the norm. So let's please not sit back behind our keyboard, only follow the highest levels of racing, and pretend that horses aren't capable of running every 2 weeks, especially if there isn't evidence (which I'm waiting for you to present) that indicates that running a horse back in 14 days (instead of 15+) puts them at a higher risk for injury.

I'm all for policing the trainers and making the game safer by creating meaningful policies, but throwing together arbitrary rules that hurt the owners and trainers for the sake of good public opinion (which is a sinking ship anyway) isn't the way of going about it. If you really want to police this, as I've said all along, the best way to do so, IMO, is to punish trainers (punitive or suspensions) for their breakdowns. Start hitting them in the wallet when their horse snaps a leg at the quarter pole because they're trying to squeeze another start out of a sore horse and then things may change.
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby Catalina » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:55 pm

Maybe more than every 12 days would have been more realistic, but I guess they wanted to give the horses an extra few days off.

Appealing though the idea is, you can't just fine trainers simply based on breakdowns. Some breakdowns seemingly come out of the blue, others you look and say, geez, the horse ran for the fifth time in six weeks, for the fourth time in three weeks. And if racing them back quick is all that harmless, how come there are not more horses with 100+ career races?
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby Diver52 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:02 pm

I haven't read the entire thread so I apologize if I'm repeating someone's comments. It seems that NYRA's problem is with one or two (or a few) trainers known for short turn-backs, but NYRA can't actually target anybody by name so it imposes a rule that will affect those trainers BUT is grossly overinclusive. It would have put the old Derby Trial out of business! Perhaps it could have limited the rule to claiming races, or claiming races under a certain level; at least that would have been more specifically crafted.

I also don't see any hard evidence that racing every 13 days is harmful. It all depends on the horse.
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby dustino140 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:09 pm

Catalina wrote:Maybe more than every 12 days would have been more realistic, but I guess they wanted to give the horses an extra few days off.

Appealing though the idea is, you can't just fine trainers simply based on breakdowns. Some breakdowns seemingly come out of the blue, others you look and say, geez, the horse ran for the fifth time in six weeks, for the fourth time in three weeks. And if racing them back quick is all that harmless, how come there are not more horses with 100+ career races?


That's easy - most horses aren't talented enough to continue 'paying the bills' to merit keeping them in training for 5, 6 or 7 years to accumulate those 100+ starts. If you're going to pick a more reasonable and realistic number, you'll find many horses in this game that have started 40, 50 or even 60+ times during their career. But that still isn't the point. Do you even know if the national breakdown rate is higher for horses that run back within 2 weeks, as opposed to outside of 2 weeks, or are you just assuming that it is and speaking anecdotally?

And sure you can fine or train suspenders simply based on breakdowns. You can do whatever you want. And in the long run, trainers that have nothing to defend or nothing to hide, would come out on top. Sure, sometimes breakdowns happen, and in those cases I wouldn't advocate kicking Graham Motion out of the sport because he had a horse breakdown at Saratoga. However, I would levy a small fine. Is that a hard thing to do to a 'good' trainer? Sure. However, that sets a baseline of punishment for when you're looking through the database and a trainer pops up with 3 or 4 breakdowns in a year, which statistically shouldn't happen unless he has a huge amount of starters. If you really want to start moving toward a 'cleaner' sport, sometimes you need to create policies that aren't popular and police everybody.
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby Catalina » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:23 pm

dustino140 wrote:
Catalina wrote:Maybe more than every 12 days would have been more realistic, but I guess they wanted to give the horses an extra few days off.

Appealing though the idea is, you can't just fine trainers simply based on breakdowns. Some breakdowns seemingly come out of the blue, others you look and say, geez, the horse ran for the fifth time in six weeks, for the fourth time in three weeks. And if racing them back quick is all that harmless, how come there are not more horses with 100+ career races?


dustino140 wrote:That's easy - most horses aren't talented enough to continue 'paying the bills' to merit keeping them in training for 5, 6 or 7 years to accumulate those 100+ starts. If you're going to pick a more reasonable and realistic number, you'll find many horses in this game that have started 40, 50 or even 60+ times during their career. But that still isn't the point. Do you even know if the national breakdown rate is higher for horses that run back within 2 weeks, as opposed to outside of 2 weeks, or are you just assuming that it is and speaking anecdotally?


Now, how would I? I have no more and possibly less access to national statistics, I just read the bits and pieces that make it to the surface of the broth.


dustino140 wrote:And sure you can fine or train suspenders simply based on breakdowns. You can do whatever you want. And in the long run, trainers that have nothing to defend or nothing to hide, would come out on top. Sure, sometimes breakdowns happen, and in those cases I wouldn't advocate kicking Graham Motion out of the sport because he had a horse breakdown at Saratoga. However, I would levy a small fine. Is that a hard thing to do to a 'good' trainer? Sure. However, that sets a baseline of punishment for when you're looking through the database and a trainer pops up with 3 or 4 breakdowns in a year, which statistically shouldn't happen unless he has a huge amount of starters. If you really want to start moving toward a 'cleaner' sport, sometimes you need to create policies that aren't popular and police everybody.


I guess NYRA decided to start with the "no more often than every 15th day".

I'll see what I can dredge up on breakdown numbers.
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby Sparrow Castle » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:30 pm

My mantra has always been we need to make data-driven decisions to lessen the catastrophic breakdowns and injuries to race horses. The Jockey Club is sitting on a "secret" database that might be able to contribute to this debate but I haven't seen them weigh in here. NYRA's Equine Safety Review Board proceedings were supposed to become part of an official Gaming Commission record, but there doesn't seem to be any individual reports generated from these meetings. I'd like to know what the findings of the necropsies performed by Cornell University are telling them. The Board seems to be so mired in details and composition that it still hasn't looked at the big picture of what their data is telling them. Of course, I'm not privy to the details of these things. But I can't find any data they've produced that could inform a healthy discussion by searching their various websites, e.g. NYRA, NYS Gaming Commission.

There have been many good articles written that seem to indicate that NYRA isn't monitoring the implementation of the rules that were enacted based on the recommendations of the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety in September 2012. In particular that applies to compliance with rules and protocols concerning the administration of corticosteroids and passing that info to trainers claiming horses. I think it's appalling we can't get the entire vet records of horses we claim (how many times does a horse have to be wormed each year), even before we claim them would be better, let alone knowledge about if they've been recently injected.

I doubt the 14 day runback rule will be anything that continues beyond Aqueduct's winter meet. I think it was four of Aqueduct's 12 fatalities that had raced back in less than 15 days. That tells you something only about Aqueduct's winter racing population. But I agree that rule makes for good PR.

As for who to punish for breakdowns, the trainer does have the ultimate responsibility for the health of his/her horses. But how about the track vets that pass the horses as sound to run? Give them access to the information they need to make an informed decision and hold them accountable too.

The industry could put together a good picture of commonalities in breakdowns and injuries if we had the will. But, knowing how contrary that is to the long-standing culture of horse racing in this country, I'll applaud the little steps some states are taking along the way. At least NYRA is trying.

(Sorry this so long. It's a sore subject for me.)
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby Catalina » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:09 pm

What I would also like to know is a comparison of the layout of the inner track as compared to other tracks raced on in cold winters. I would not discount the possibility that either the turns are too tight for the weather, or even the distances of the turns, the distances of the straight stretches somehow not quite right for the horse and as a result put extra torque on the legs. Or whether the tighter turns in combination with the surface (or base) create the problem.

It would help to know just where the horses broke down, like a diagram of a map with pins stuck in the exact spot. Pretty low tech, but should narrow down the major trouble spots.
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby Sparrow Castle » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:34 pm

Even the small-jurisdiction Washington Horse Racing Commission got details from the tracks and necropsy reports and put it into an Excel sheet with such info as location on the track the incident took place, distance from the start of the race, type of race, month, type of injury, limbs affected, age, sex, etc. It's not that difficult to compile and aggregate such data. Analyzing and using the data, however, takes a bit more effort. For the two years that they did this, I found it very helpful especially the part about pre-existing injuries. But they discontinued the MRI examination or racehorse injuries for the 2009 racing season due partly to declining parimutuel tax revenues which support the WHRC. And they started reporting data to the Jockey Club's Equine Injury Database, as if that were going to be a good substitute. I have to hope the JC is collecting the same kind of details, but who knows? Similarly, I haven't a clue about what if anything NYRA is collecting. They didn't cite data in their Press Release as a justification for the measures they implemented. I really don't think we can come up with definitive answers without such data. But I'm a big picture person and feel lost without data in situations like this.
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby Starine » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:23 pm

Wind Racer has some big shoes to fill in sprint feature
http://www.drf.com/news/premium/wind-ra ... nt-feature

◗Her abilities were not kept secret from the public when she prevailed first out by five lengths from just off the pace, having been sent away a 7-10 favorite.

◗ She breezed an easy half-mile Sunday in 50.60 seconds, after which Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch had this to say about her on Twitter: “May be the most promising horse on grounds and a joy to watch train.”
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Re: "Bubble" and "Watch" horse thread

Postby sweettalk » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:21 pm

Starine wrote:Wind Racer has some big shoes to fill in sprint feature
http://www.drf.com/news/premium/wind-ra ... nt-feature

◗Her abilities were not kept secret from the public when she prevailed first out by five lengths from just off the pace, having been sent away a 7-10 favorite.

◗ She breezed an easy half-mile Sunday in 50.60 seconds, after which Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch had this to say about her on Twitter: “May be the most promising horse on grounds and a joy to watch train.”

is she in trouble? i can't read the article =\
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