Santa Anita 2019

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Tessablue
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:21 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:36 pm
I didn't read all the BH comments, there's too many of them. But, maybe because I rarely read comments on articles, I didn't realize there were a lot of people who believe you should not train or race 2 year olds because it's bad for them. I thought the only reasons to wait were maturity level (eg,, knees not closed, can't mentally handle it) or minor injury needing time to heal, which I can agree with. That "bad for them" belief is completely opposite of what research shows about bone density and strength. Perhaps data-driven decision making is a thing of the past. If that's so, we're in trouble.
I try to stay as far away from them as possible, but I wanted to see what people were talking about in this case. Here is the highest-rated comment from a story from about a week ago:
I have never commented here but feel it necessary today. In NO other sport involving equines are they asked to do so much so young. If these continuing "accidents" happened in cutting, or jumping, or driving, you can be sure something would be done. The entire industry is so blame. I used to watch racing way more than I do now, just can no longer stomach all the break-downs. Breeding to unsound stallions, mating that should never have been, breaking at 11 months of age, racing at 2 yrs., pushing too hard to soon, poor training, poor vetting, poor riding, poor maintenance, unreal expectations, failure to truly consider the animal, failure to put the horse first, continuing to run horses with leg problems--- all of these and more contribute.
Please, before you consider me a nut case, I am 74, have been a breeder/trainer 54 years, and owned over 500 equines.
And some followup comments:
I'm not a horse racing expert in any way, but I find it absolutely crazy that some horses are raced that early in their 2 year old year. Are they even actually 2 years old yet?? Meaning they've been actively ridden hard since long before they were 2...yearlings! Literally babies.
Ironic that just yesterday Bloodhorse ran a story about two-year-old racing starting at Santa Anita on April 17 and 18. No patience any more. About made me sick.
There was some pushback, but not a lot, and I find it really concerning.
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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:30 pm

My goodness, they must absolutely hate the 2 yo breeze up sales. I can understand criticizing running them all out for those sales and the prep that goes into them, but starting a baby in a 3f race against peers (rather than the clock) isn't the same thing. Oh well, some minds won't be changed. Thanks for the quotes.
BaroqueAgain1
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:15 pm

I guess those BH posters have never considered that, in a natural setting, wild horses have to be able to run for their lives from Day 1. Two year old wild horses aren't just running flat out, they're also breeding and sparring each other for dominance.
The posters also apparently never have engaged in weight training (or any physical sport), where you have to gradually increase the load on the musculoskeletal system...or you get no improvement. :roll:
Somnambulist
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:29 pm

I wouldn't be too concerned. People always thought these things, it's just that the internet gives them a platform. Internet activism =\= real life activism.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
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Flanders
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:46 pm

It doesn't matter what the article is about on Bloodhorse, people are complaining in the comments.
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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:38 pm

That's why I rarely read the comments on BH, especially on articles that generate over 100 comments. Big waste of time and maybe even brain cells, lol.
Tessablue
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:53 pm

I mean, here's what Instagrand's owner said last year:
"Five months ago, the top horses were going into the Kentucky Derby," Best said. "How many horses are racing today? No, seriously. Let's count them. They went hard as 2-year-olds, hard as 3-year-olds. Where's Magnum Moon, where's Quip, where's Audible?

"I can go on and on and on. People want to ignore that. I don't want to ignore that. It's all because (young) horses are over-raced. Then, in their 3-year-old year, they don't even get to six months."
https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... f-training

Magnum Moon didn't even race at 2 and both Quip and Audible only started three times, but never mind that. I hate to root against a classy colt, but I sincerely hope Instagrand doesn't win this year, especially on the heels of Justify. I don't think it's just in comments section, and even if it is, there's no guarantee that it will stay there.
Tessablue
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:20 am

So here's what I'm talking about, and it should probably be thrown into any conversation about the effect the Derby points system has had on the sport. I used Derby horses because it's the biggest dataset I have, but I suspect this trend would be born out across demographics if somebody had the ability to check:

Image

Throw out the one huge outlier in 1994 and you get an r-squared correlation of 0.40 which is... not insignificant for data as messy as these. We'll see what the next few years bring, but 2yo starts among Derby horses dropped quite suddenly and stayed there starting in 2013... which is when the Derby points system was instituted, as shown with the vertical line. Derby horses before this system was instituted averaged 4.05 starts at 2, horses afterwards averaged 3.29.

The 22 American betting interests in Pool 2 of this year's Derby future wager averaged 3.05 starts during their 2yo campaign. If they had one.
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:07 am

Tessablue wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:20 am
So here's what I'm talking about, and it should probably be thrown into any conversation about the effect the Derby points system has had on the sport. I used Derby horses because it's the biggest dataset I have, but I suspect this trend would be born out across demographics if somebody had the ability to check:

Image

Throw out the one huge outlier in 1994 and you get an r-squared correlation of 0.40 which is... not insignificant for data as messy as these. We'll see what the next few years bring, but 2yo starts among Derby horses dropped quite suddenly and stayed there starting in 2013... which is when the Derby points system was instituted, as shown with the vertical line. Derby horses before this system was instituted averaged 4.05 starts at 2, horses afterwards averaged 3.29.

The 22 American betting interests in Pool 2 of this year's Derby future wager averaged 3.05 starts during their 2yo campaign. If they had one.
Well, dang. That's pretty convincing, especially re the establishment of the points system. I'll have to think about whether this might be good, bad, or neutral for the health of the horses. You probably didn't track this, but just in case, I wonder what month in their two-year old season those post 2013 horses made their first starts vs those in earlier years. Just curious if they're starting later in the year too or getting more time between starts. Thanks for the interesting data!
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:05 pm

Filly suffers fatal injury during work on Tuesday
A filly in the middle of a timed workout Tuesday on the Santa Anita main track suffered a catastrophic injury, the 21st equine fatality from racing or training since the winter meet began Dec. 26.

Lets Light the Way, a 4-year-old filly trained by Ron McAnally and owned by his wife, Debbie, was working at 7:45 a.m. when the exercise rider pulled her up after the three-eighths pole. She was vanned off the track with an injury McAnally said was a “shattered sesamoid.” Lets Light the Way was euthanized soon after.

Tuesday’s incident occurred one hour after 9-year-old Vyjack pulled up at the three-eighths pole after he completed a five-furlong workout. Vyjack was vanned off, but returned to trainer Phil D’Amato’s stable. D’Amato said Vyjack merely “took a couple of funny steps on the gallop-out” and added the “horse is okay.”

Vyjack, a Grade 2 winner with eight wins and earnings of 1,427,600 from 31 starts, has not raced since Aug. 20, 2017.

The mood was edgy Tuesday morning at Santa Anita. The warning siren went off at least four times, alerting horsemen and exercise riders a horse had been pulled up, or was loose on the track. In addition to sirens when Lets Light the Way and Vyjack pulled up, two other sirens were for loose horses that later were secured.
More: https://classic.drf.com/news/filly-suff ... rk-tuesday

Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
7m7 minutes ago
Comment from Ron McAnally:
"Weather is the cause of all of this. I loved that filly. I bought her at the sale, like the way she walked. I feel as bad as anybody, but that’s the first I had. I wanted to cry when we had to put her down."
barbaro111
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:06 pm

So now we have almost a death every damn day-- is that going to be the acceptable norm now?

If you were a trainer and believed the rain is causing the problems with the track, would you put your horse
on that track? I am a fan, not a horseman, but just wondering.
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:43 pm

Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
3m3 minutes ago
Santa Anita just put out a press release that it is rehiring previous track superintendent Dennis Moore as a consultant. Here is the full release.
Image
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:00 pm

barbaro111 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:06 pm
So now we have almost a death every damn day-- is that going to be the acceptable norm now?

If you were a trainer and believed the rain is causing the problems with the track, would you put your horse
on that track? I am a fan, not a horseman, but just wondering.
I'm not sure why more trainers aren't using the training track for their horse's works right now. Maybe it's a capacity issue. The training track is located between the main track and the turf course. There are lots of trainers using the training track but more are on the main track where the fatalities occur. Many are using both. Anyone know how a trainer selects which dirt track to train specific horses on? That's something I've never thought to ask any of these trainers, until now.

Equibase separates the workouts by Surface: Dirt and Surface: Dirt training. These are today's works. I looked up Pricing because I follow Craig Bernick on Twitter and know Pricing worked on the training track today.
http://www.equibase.com/static/workout/ ... ml#PRICING
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:09 pm

Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
7m7 minutes ago
Here is part of the California Horse Racing Board’s statement following Lets Light the Way’s fatal breakdown this morning at Santa Anita.
Image
Tessablue
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:20 pm

UGH.

March 21st seems very far away given the immediacy of the problem. And I really hope they aren't just going to blame it on the weather and move past it once the meet ends, because extreme weather is not a problem that's going away any time soon.

Sparrow Castle, I'm collecting the information you requested, but in the wake of another fatality I think I'll wait and post it in a separate thread.
stark
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:03 pm

Grant me one wish.....

I'd like to see a round table discussion at Clockers Corner some morning, hot coffee and hot topics.

Topics to be covered.....
Sand/composition of the dirt.
Supervisor in charge/safety for the horses.
Charts/graphs of 2yo races leading up to the Derby.
Training track.
In other words, all the stuff we kick around here.

Invitees.....
Charlie Whittingham
Woody Stephens
Jack VanBerg
DW Lukas
Bob Baffert.

NO CAMERAS ALLOWED, but maybe jeremy could take notes from a distance?
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 Mar 05, 2019 7:16 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:20 pm
UGH.

March 21st seems very far away given the immediacy of the problem. And I really hope they aren't just going to blame it on the weather and move past it once the meet ends, because extreme weather is not a problem that's going away any time soon.

Sparrow Castle, I'm collecting the information you requested, but in the wake of another fatality I think I'll wait and post it in a separate thread.
That was my initial thought too, but they are finally bringing in Dennis Moore who installed this track surface, and that is a very good thing.

Oh, thanks so much for satisfying my curiosity! Yeah, I agree this discussion doesn't fit well here.
Tessablue
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:19 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:16 pm

That was my initial thought too, but they are finally bringing in Dennis Moore who installed this track surface, and that is a very good thing.

Oh, thanks so much for satisfying my curiosity! Yeah, I agree this discussion doesn't fit well here.
That's true, and I hope he's able to implement quick changes that stick.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know where I can find a list of the musculoskeletal fatalities? Curious to know if there are any trends among them.
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Sparrow Castle
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:20 pm

Jay Privman @DRFPrivman
19m19 minutes ago
Jay Privman Retweeted SA Press Box
Remember, when contacted last week by @DRFInsidePost, Moore said he had yet to be contacted by SA. That it took this long says a lot. Track replaced @AwayTheyGo before meet, has had more and cheaper racing, and as noted by @JayHovdey last week has leaned on trainers to run more.

Rick Hammerle @AwayTheyGo
Replying to @christopherado @papocore1 and 4 others
Thanks for the kind words. It’s been tough sitting back watching this happen...
https://twitter.com/AwayTheyGo/status/1 ... 5518521345
Tessablue
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:30 pm

I wonder how the Breeders' Cup feels about all this.
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