Santa Anita 2019

stark
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:18 pm

120 horses worked this morning so it wasn't just hollendorfer and baffert that were confident in their decision.
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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Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:39 pm

Ritvo and Baffert quoted in this article...

Another Horse Dies From Training Injury at Santa Anita
...
"If they hadn't told me they were completely comfortable with it, we wouldn't be doing it," Tim Ritvo, the chief operating officer of The Stronach Group (which owns Santa Anita), said Sunday.

When reached for comment Monday, Ritvo expressed sadness about the death but reiterated he felt the track was safe, that the evaluation of the surface to be conducted Tuesday is a precautionary measure, and that injuries during training and racing are multi-faceted incidents that often cannot all be attributed to a single factor. He also pointed out, unlike racing where horses need to clear a vet check, training does not have that safeguard.

"With these things, racing and training stats are different," Ritvo said. "With training, we don't examine horses before they breeze. We're not throwing any trainers under the bus, but before races horses have to be examined and be cleared by the vet. We don't do that for training.

"With all the horses and trainers who wanted to work, I would hope they wouldn't run their horses unless they were confident the surface was safe."

There were 121 horses who worked on the Santa Anita main track Sunday, including several top horses for Baffert and Hollendorfer. Both trainers said all their horses who trained Monday—including notable stakes winners Galilean, Game Winner, Improbable, Instagrand, and McKinzie—came out of their training sessions well.

"I checked with all my riders and they'll let me know if they feel a little something is off," Baffert said "It's a different track, and you just have to adapt. There's more material (sand) in it now than we're used to, but my horses went over it well.

"I've always felt (nervous) with big horses. You don't get a lot of sleep the night before. You always feel that way, no matter what track you're at. Unfortunately we've had a lot of bad luck lately, and you knock on wood, but in this business it can happen at any time. I'm like everybody else. We don't want to see horses get hurt.

"I just read my horses, and they're traveling well over it. I just feel bad for these trainers with bad luck, because when you have one where that happens, you just want to quit. I feel bad because we said we need to work these good horses, but we're all in this together and need to make sure it's as safe as possible."
...
More: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... anta-anita
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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:53 pm

A little more detail about track condition and what they are planning to do about it.

As Santa Anita Fatalities Rise, Officials Search for Answers
The four horses catastrophically injured at Santa Anita over the past four days have underscored once again how fatalities at the track this winter are higher than in comparable periods over the last three years, leaving track management, regulators and the horsemen themselves scrambling for answers that aren’t always easy to come by.

In an unusual turn of events yesterday, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) released the numbers on horses fatally injured at Santa Anita between Dec. 26, when racing started, and Feb. 23. During that time, 18 horses died-6 on the dirt during racing, 5 on the turf during racing, and another 7 during morning training. Another horse, a 3-year-old gelding named Charmer John, was euthanized during training hours this morning. Typically, information on fatalities as granular as this could only be accessed by the public through stewards minutes, which aren’t always accurate.

In a decision made Sunday, the main track was closed for training this morning at 9 a.m. It will remain closed through Tuesday. During this time, track superintendent Andy LaRocco’s crew will “peel back” about five inches of the track’s cushion to examine the base, while the surface’s soil consistency and moisture will also be analyzed.
More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/as ... r-answers/
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Flanders
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:02 am

Maybe they find something, maybe they won't. It could very well be the rain changed the track at Santa Anita but it could also be just random bad luck. Though with the number of fatalities I really hope they do find something wrong that they can fix.

Remember the Keeneland meet right before the 2015 Breeders Cup? There were a lot of horses breaking down in a really short amount of time, including Rock Fall, Skyring, Shore Runner, etc. A lot of people voiced concerns over the surface and then it stopped.
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:51 pm

Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
45m45 minutes ago
Santa Anita just sent out an alert to horsemen that the main track will remain closed “to complete renovations” Wednesday. Working to find out more.

Mick Peterson, the director of Ag Equine Programs at the University of Kentucky who Santa Anita brought out to evaluate the surface, says the reason the track's closure has been extended is so he can conduct ground-penetrating radar tests. (more in next tweet)

Peterson said so far he is "not seeing any problems" with the main track, but is working on the assumption that the issue they need to solve & are solving is "segregation" of fine material because of the rain. Simply put rain pushes cushion to the rail and off the track.

And let's remember, before we get into a total freak-out stage here, that this closure was supposed to be two days anyway (Monday-Tuesday) before is it was altered.
barbaro111
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:53 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:51 pm
Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
45m45 minutes ago
Santa Anita just sent out an alert to horsemen that the main track will remain closed “to complete renovations” Wednesday. Working to find out more.

Mick Peterson, the director of Ag Equine Programs at the University of Kentucky who Santa Anita brought out to evaluate the surface, says the reason the track's closure has been extended is so he can conduct ground-penetrating radar tests. (more in next tweet)

Peterson said so far he is "not seeing any problems" with the main track, but is working on the assumption that the issue they need to solve & are solving is "segregation" of fine material because of the rain. Simply put rain pushes cushion to the rail and off the track.

And let's remember, before we get into a total freak-out stage here, that this closure was supposed to be two days anyway (Monday-Tuesday) before is it was altered.

Santa Anita horse deaths just made the national news with Lester Holt
stark
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:25 pm

barbaro111 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:53 pm
Santa Anita horse deaths just made the national news with Lester Holt
I'm taking a couple of newbies to Santa Anita on Saturday and they just called me say it's closed!

I'm no fan of head-in-the-sand thinking, but some of these headlines on Bloodhorse and now mainstream media are over the top imho.
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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Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:36 pm

Well, PETA cancelled their planned protest at Santa Anita. I haven't seen the nightly news with Lester Holt yet, that's not for another hour and a half on West Coast TV. I'm glad the track officials are taking this seriously.

Santa Anita to Remain Closed Wednesday as Track Analysis Continues
After more than a day-and-a-half of evaluations of the racetrack base and surface to determine a possible cause for the rise in fatalities this winter, Santa Anita has decided to keep the main track closed for training another morning, “in order to give us more time to thoroughly analyze soil data,” said Santa Anita director of publicity, Mike Willman. It will also give Mick Peterson, an expert in racetrack surfaces, time to conduct his own analysis of the track when he arrives Wedneday.

The track had been scheduled to re-open Wednesday morning, but trainer Eddie Truman, who sits on the California Thoroughbred Trainers board, said he believes they’ve made the right decision. “If it’s an inconvenience, so what?” he said. “It’s nice that they’re on top of this. Let’s get things right.”
More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/sa ... continues/
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Mylute
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:41 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:36 pm
Well, PETA cancelled their planned protest at Santa Anita. I haven't seen the nightly news with Lester Holt yet, that's not for another hour and a half on West Coast TV. I'm glad the track officials are taking this seriously.

Santa Anita to Remain Closed Wednesday as Track Analysis Continues
After more than a day-and-a-half of evaluations of the racetrack base and surface to determine a possible cause for the rise in fatalities this winter, Santa Anita has decided to keep the main track closed for training another morning, “in order to give us more time to thoroughly analyze soil data,” said Santa Anita director of publicity, Mike Willman. It will also give Mick Peterson, an expert in racetrack surfaces, time to conduct his own analysis of the track when he arrives Wedneday.

The track had been scheduled to re-open Wednesday morning, but trainer Eddie Truman, who sits on the California Thoroughbred Trainers board, said he believes they’ve made the right decision. “If it’s an inconvenience, so what?” he said. “It’s nice that they’re on top of this. Let’s get things right.”
More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/sa ... continues/
Not sure how many people would take them seriously anyway, considering recent events.
"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
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Sparrow Castle
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Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:39 pm

Santa Anita Surface Tests Continue
At the time of filing this story, Santa Anita management hadn’t made a decision about re-opening the track for training Thursday morning. Racetrack surface expert, Mick Peterson, who had flown Wednesday morning from Kentucky to Los Angeles, was still performing his own evaluation of the dirt surface.
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/sa ... -continue/

Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
38m38 minutes ago
The Santa Anita racing office just sent out this alert to horsemen. Working to get an answer on what it means for tomorrow's training and racing.
"Beginning ... March 1, during morning workouts, the first 10 minutes after the 1st & 2nd breaks will be reserved for workers only"

Ray Paulick @raypaulick
3m3 minutes ago
With national media covering the spike in training and racing fatalities at @santaanitapark, many of us are being asked what California's racing industry is doing to protect horses. The @CalRacingCares website is a good resource to address those questions.
http://www.calracingcares.com/
stark
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Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:26 pm

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2019)–Santa Anita’s one mile main track, which has been closed to training for the past two days, has been deemed “one hundred percent ready,” by Mick Peterson, PhD, who serves as the University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Equine Programs, and who evaluates soil samples from Santa Anita on a monthly basis.

In addition to soil samples and a thorough examination of the track’s cushion, pad and base, which was conducted by Peterson and Santa Anita Track Superintendent Andy LaRocco, Peterson employed ground-penetrating radar to ensure uniform consistency throughout the one mile oval.

“The ground penetrating radar verified all of the materials, silt, clay and sand, as well as moisture content, are consistent everywhere on this track,” said Peterson on Wednesday afternoon. “This testing ensures all components, the five-inch cushion, pad and base, are consistent and in good order.

“Andy (LaRocco) has inspected the entire oval and has made sure that by pulling the soil (cushion) off and reapplying it, this surface is in fact one hundred percent consistent and ready for training and racing.”

Peterson was also quick to note that physical soundness is a seven-day-a-week, 24 hour-a-day challenge which involves a myriad of issues, in addition to a consistent surface.

“All of the testing and research we’ve done, worldwide, clearly indicates soundness is multi-factorial,” said Peterson. “We must approach this challenge with the knowledge that this is always a process and we need to always strive to get better and that no matter how good the results may be, we must get better.

“If there are issues, they’re going to be addressed. The safety of the horses, jockeys and exercise people is our number one priority and always will be.”

Tim Ritvo, Chief Operating Officer, The Stronach Group, also addressed the current situation.

“At the Stronach Group, we consider the safety and security of the athletes, both equine and human, who race at our facilities, to be our top priority,” said Ritvo. “All industry stakeholders, including our company, must be held accountable for the safety and security of the horses and we are committed to doing just that.”

Santa Anita’s main track will open for training Thursday at 5 a.m. and will remain open until 10 a.m. The inner training track, which is approximately three quarters of a mile in circumference, will open at 4:45 a.m. and remain open until 10 a.m.

First post time for an eight-race card on Thursday is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.
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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Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:30 pm

The link to go along with the above press release. ^^^

SANTA ANITA’S MAIN TRACK DEEMED “ONE HUNDRED PERCENT READY” AS TRAINING & RACING TO RESUME ON THURSDAY
https://www.santaanita.com/press-releas ... HdGIehKhPY
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:10 am

Jeremy worked overtime today. There are some brilliant quotes in here ((sarcasm)).

Santa Anita to Reopen Main Track Feb. 28
anta Anita Park will open up its main track for training Feb. 28 and will also race in the afternoon as scheduled, after two days of evaluation and maintenance because of an increased number of equine fatalities at the Southern California racetrack.

The announcement about the track reopening came via a text message alert to horsemen at 5:38 p.m. PT Feb. 27.

In the two days the main track was closed for training (Feb. 26-27), track superintendent Andy LaRocco and consultant Mick Peterson (the director of Ag Equine Programs at the University of Kentucky) "peeled back" the surface cushion on the dirt surface and evaluated the pad level and base level underneath. Peterson analyzed soil samples throughout the process and conducted "ground-penetrating radar" tests Wednesday.

Peterson said his evaluation and study of the surface revealed there was "nothing to suggest there's any problems there."
More: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... ack-feb-28
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:46 pm

Sounds like there were lots of media at Clockers' Corner this morning.

No irregularities found in Santa Anita surface
Full training resumed on Santa Anita’s main track on Thursday after nearly three days of tests and an inspection of the surface found no irregularities. The tests were prompted by the deaths of 19 horses while racing or training at the track since late December.

Although the main track was open, there was less training activity compared to a typical weekday, with several trainers taking a wait-and-see approach.

Other trainers went right back to work with their horses. Chasing Yesterday, a 3-year-old half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah trained by Bob Baffert, worked six furlongs in 1:12.40.

Baffert described the main track as “the same” as before. He galloped several notable horses on the main track, including Game Winner, the undefeated champion 2-year-old male of 2018.
More: https://classic.drf.com/news/no-irregul ... nable=true
stark
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:20 pm

Well, the gamblers figured out the track Thursday.
No winner paid over $5 the entire day.
The pick6 paid a whopping $69 to those lucky enough to string 'em together, congrats!
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 01, 2019 10:15 pm

Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
30m30 minutes ago
After a second straight day of training and racing at Santa Anita where horses participating came back without serious injury, the track announced its main track will be closed for training tomorrow. Rain is coming.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:39 pm

Maybe they should be racing on the training track until the weather improves ((sarcasm))...

Eskenforadrink 20th Equine Fatality at Santa Anita Meet
...
Tim Ritvo, the chief operating officer of The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, declined to comment on the incident Saturday.

Mick Peterson, the director of Ag Equine Programs at the University of Kentucky and a racetrack surfaces specialist who Santa Anita brought in as a consultant to analyze and evaluate the main track during the two days it closed the main track for training Feb. 26-27, said he was informed of the fatality while he was on a plane heading back home.

Peterson said earlier in the week he didn't see any evidence of an issue with the track during his two days of study, but also indicated he was "working on the assumption" that there was a potential issue with "segregation" of the material on the main track during a winter in California that has featured abnormally high levels of rain. When it rains, the finer material of the top cushion level of the racetrack "moves to the inside rail with the water as it's washing across the surface," Peterson said.

Since the pause in training for the renovations Tuesday and Wednesday, Saturday was the first time the main track took significant rainfall. Santa Anita announced to horsemen the night before the main track would be closed for training Saturday, which is standard operating procedure when it takes significant amounts of rain.

"All of this is an ongoing investigation, but when we looked at everything during the week, what we found was—even before we mixed the material—we found almost no signs of segregation of the material," said Peterson, who also noted soil samples are continuing to be examined by the University of Kentucky. "By the time we got everything done, we did not see any signs of segregation at all. Santa Anita is more consistent than most racetracks and these were typical Santa Anita results.

"But when I heard about (the incident Saturday) my response was, 'What the hell do we do?' ... This is where my data needs to go back to (CHRB equine medical director Dr.) Rick Arthur, the CHRB needs to sit down with the track management, and we need to work on it. Even if we were having a good year, we need to look at what we need to do better."
More: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... anita-meet
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Dusty
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Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:18 pm

When they seal that track - the problems start - and for them to continue to say NO PROBLEM ==IS A PROBLEM
May they run with the WIND
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:30 am

Maybe speaking the obvious, my guess is this track wasn't made to take the huge amounts of rain they've been having. That area is used to a much drier environment. Yes, sealing the track and opening it up over and over again very well could cause inconsistencies in a surface not designed for that. When a horse is running along on a hard track and all of a sudden steps on a softer or uneven spot, bad things can happen. That's especially true if the horse has some often undetected issue in a leg. It doesn't have to be severe enough to make them overtly lame either.

Necropsy programs are continuing to report about 80% of fatalities show preexisting injury at the breakdown site. I wish we had better, cheaper, portable scanning devices that could detect such issues or blood tests with bio-markers to detect developing issues known to be precursors to a breakdown. I was hoping that's what all this research is about. Otherwise, the data will just continue to be used in a negative way. I and I'm pretty sure every owner I've ever partnered with would certainly pay a little more for these diagnostics to be sure our horses were safe in training and racing for their relatively short racing careers. It's our biggest fear. I have a hard time believing any owner or trainer at Santa Anita would send a horse out if there were known issues, at least not at Santa Anita...now right now.
Catalina
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Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:39 am

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:30 am
Maybe speaking the obvious, my guess is this track wasn't made to take the huge amounts of rain they've been having. That area is used to a much drier environment. Yes, sealing the track and opening it up over and over again very well could cause inconsistencies in a surface not designed for that. When a horse is running along on a hard track and all of a sudden steps on a softer or uneven spot, bad things can happen. That's especially true if the horse has some often undetected issue in a leg. It doesn't have to be severe enough to make them overtly lame either.

Necropsy programs are continuing to report about 80% of fatalities show preexisting injury at the breakdown site. I wish we had better, cheaper, portable scanning devices that could detect such issues or blood tests with bio-markers to detect developing issues known to be precursors to a breakdown. I was hoping that's what all this research is about. Otherwise, the data will just continue to be used in a negative way. I and I'm pretty sure every owner I've ever partnered with would certainly pay a little more for these diagnostics to be sure our horses were safe in training and racing for their relatively short racing careers. It's our biggest fear. I have a hard time believing any owner or trainer at Santa Anita would send a horse out if there were known issues, at least not at Santa Anita...now right now.
On the other hand, once you have a horse entered in a race, how much pressure is there from the track not to have that horse scratched? Maybe not on the first scratch, but if the trainer has a history of scratching more than what the powers that be deem reasonable?
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