Santa Anita 2019

stark
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:39 am

If Sully Sullenberger can point fingers at the pilots with limited training hours for Ethiopian Airlines, I'm thinking somebody should be aiming some criticism at the trainers on the current list of fatalities.

One start this year, at Golden Gate, and none at SA, would be a good place to start as opposed to Hollendorfer or McAnally and go from there.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
katmandu
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:58 pm

The story of Glorious Empire (G2 Bowling Green/G1 Sword Dancer), appropriate training, and Lasix:

http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/ta ... -i-winner/
lurkey mclurker
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:31 pm

That's an amazing story with some very good points, I think. I wondered when I first started watching Japanese racing about the "vigorous" warmups they do as well, but then the horses walk for several minutes after that before loading & racing. It does seem to make sense that such practices might help physically and mentally... definitely food for thought.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:52 pm

Miss Gladiator wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:12 am
Sparrow Castle wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:50 pm
Christina Blacker Verified account @ChristinaBlackr
2m2 minutes ago
Per TSG release:
• All horses born in or after 2018 will race at Santa Anita and Golden Gate with no race day medication.
• Horses born prior to 2018 will be permitted to race on Lasix at a maximum of 50% of the current levels
Is there a reason why the ban for 2yo can't start this year? Are they already training on Lasix? I'm afraid the delay might just give the opponents of the ban time to cancel it altogether, without ever having tried.

As for the vet records, yes, it would be nice to know exactly what "transparency" means.
This ban is a huge change for trainers. Most current trainers have always relied on Lasix to prevent and control bleeding in their horses. The delay will give them the opportunity to re-learn how to manage the horses in their care. Some of this years' crop of 2 year olds may be training on Lasix already I suppose, but don't know for sure.

I think this is a big gamble for TSG. As for cancelling the ban, like the BC did, I hope they are considering all the consequences and are willing to accept them by making this decision. Lower field sizes plagued the BC.

Without this ban applying to all horses in the crop of 2018+, I imagine the CA horses will be given Lasix at tracks outside of these TSG tracks when facing horses who are using Lasix, such as those on the Derby trail. Even if and when the ban is applied to all, there might be a rough few years in and after 2021 when then 3 yos are facing their elders for the first time who are still allowed to run on Lasix.

Has the culture of racing and public perception changed enough that TSG may succeed when the BC did not? It might be worth revisiting the reasons why the BC reversed their ban to get your answers.
https://www.drf.com/news/lasix-ban-bree ... ng-support
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:34 pm

Worth reading through this thread to get an look at another possible consequence of these changes:

Craig Bernick @Craig_Bernick
10h10 hours ago
To me, changes are positive. Anecdotally, Caribou Club, Chicago Style, Compelled, & Summering are all homebreds from mares that raced in stakes multiple years, and wouldn't have made many short lists or passed vet exams as yearlings.
https://twitter.com/Craig_Bernick/statu ... 6196110341
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:50 pm

I guess this is the latest story...

Focus shifts back to track surface after Santa Anita, horsemen reach accord on Lasix
Even while California racing gained clarity with the weekend announcement that Santa Anita would reopen on March 29, headwinds will continue.


On Sunday at Santa Anita, officials and horsemen expressed satisfaction at medication and safety reforms agreed to by track owner The Stronach Group and the Thoroughbred Owners of California. Those include a gradual phase-out of race-day Lasix instead of the initial proposal of an outright ban.


The agreement between TSG and the TOC, which includes a host of medication reforms and curtailed use of the whip, requires approval by the California Horse Racing Board at its meeting on March 28. Officials are all but certain the CHRB will sanction the agreement and that racing will resume March 29 at Santa Anita.


Golden Gate Fields, which postponed entries for its cards this coming Thursday and Friday, was to draw entries Sunday for racing on Thursday. Golden Gate will draw entries on Tuesday for racing Friday. The medication reforms at Golden Gate go into effect March 29. Golden Gate postponed its draws during TSG and TOC negotiations.


So, racing will continue in California, which typically would qualify as a feel-good scenario. Now, focus returns to the initial reason for the suspension of Santa Anita racing – 22 equine fatalities since Dec. 26 and a complete reevaluation and inspection of the main track. Tim Ritvo, TSG chief operating officer, acknowledged the uncertain atmosphere.
More: https://www.drf.com/news/focus-shifts-b ... cord-lasix
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Starine
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:14 pm

Letter to the Editor from Graham Motion
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/le ... am-motion/
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:19 pm

Starine wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:14 pm
Letter to the Editor from Graham Motion
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/le ... am-motion/
Amen to all he said!
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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:12 am

This just gets more and more confusing to me. This was posted on Barstool Sports and tweeted by Amy Zimmerman, apparently reacting to something in the LA Times? I bolded the part that is new to me.

Santa Anita Will Reopen March 29th After The Stronach Group Institutes Major Safety Changes In Horse Racing
LATimes - Santa Anita and the Thoroughbred Owners of California reached an agreement Saturday that will allow the track to reopen racing March 29. Santa Anita has been closed since March 5 after a dramatic rise in horse deaths, which is at 22 since Dec. 26. Initially, all race-day Lasix was to be prohibited, under a proposal by the Stronach Group, which owns and runs Santa Anita. But the compromise position is that it will be applied only to 2018 foals, or horses that won’t race until next year. Horses currently on Lasix will be allowed to continue to receive the medication on race day but in a maximum dosage of 5cc, instead of the 10cc currently allowed.

“This is a complete revision of the current medication policy for thoroughbred racing,” Stronach said in a statement late Saturday. “TSG is committed to the principles of safe horse racing for both equine and human athletes and to making California the best in the world.” Other changes were announced, such as those that affect claiming races at Santa Anita. It is eliminating races below $10,000 claiming and also maiden claiming for $16,000 and $20,000. Another change agreed upon by the trainers is that Butazolidin, used commonly to reduce pain and inflammation, can now only be given 48 hours before a race instead of 24 hours. Many of California’s medication rules exceed those internationally.
More: https://www.barstoolsports.com/boston/s ... rse-racing

I don't see anything on DRF and on Bloodhorse the latest is just another weirdly written article from yesterday. I don't even see a press release on the Santa Anita website. So now, are we supposed to get our news from MSM or blogs or Twitter?

Someone needs to tell Avioli the breeding decisions for the foal crop of 2018 have already happened? I sure miss Jeremy. It's late, I'm going to bed and forget about racing.

Racing Set to Resume March 29 at Santa Anita
...Ritvo said Belinda Stronach "is steadfast about the health and welfare of the horse." He noted that people had advised Stronach that Lasix has not contributed to the breakdowns. However, TSG wanted its house rules to reflect "the standards of the rest of the world," Ritvo explained.

"I think, in the end, the horsemen and track management want what's in the best interest of the horse," said Ritvo. "Sometimes we disagree about how we get there and how fast we get there."

Avioli said TOC wanted the timing of Lasix removal tied to foal crop "to give breeders some time to adjust their breeding decisions." He said 90% of horses today have run on Lasix and/or both of their parents did.

"If you ban Lasix tomorrow, what does that do economically?" Avioli asked. "How does that impact a horse that won the Kentucky Derby on Lasix?"
https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... anta-anita
djnorth
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:27 am

I keep thinking that Graham Motion would make a great racing czar though I'd hate to have his trainees lose him. That being said, his letter is spot-on. I wonder if TSG consulted anyone like Motion, in the business but committed to making it better, safer and more humane for all concerned or just did a knee-jerk. Getting PETA involved is a bad idea, unless of course they can reveal exactly how many ex-racehorses ( or animals in general) PETA has actually supported and re-homed.
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Mylute
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:02 am

Fun fact: PETA has euthanized more healthy dogs and cats than all kill shelters combined, and they have a year kill rate of 97%.

A HuffPo reporter went undercover a few years ago to a lot of their shelters and all the animals were being kept in squalor.
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Diver52
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:04 am

Well, IMO PETA is largely made up of people who don't particularly like animals, but really don't like people.
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TouchOfGrey
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:31 pm

Some frank talk on the state of the sport from trainer Chuck Simon:

Past The Wire | The End
I’m afraid that most still don’t realize that another body blow was likely just signed Saturday night. The agreement between the Stronach Group and the TOC was clearly signed under duress, the track ducking for cover from the firestorm of dead horses, duplicitous animal rights activists and politicians looking to score brownie points by acting like they give a damn; the horsemen in panic mode wondering how best to get back to racing and cease hemorrhaging cash like they are currently doing. Banning lasix in any form is a tax on owners, no matter how you look at it, regardless of your opinion, no matter how ill-informed you are on the topic. Losing lasix doesn’t mean internal bleeding will cease, to the contrary it will be more prevalent. To think that horsemen won’t respond in some manner, won’t try to do something to reduce their horses risk of bleeding is naive and misguided. Therapy of many varieties, herbal supplements, wives tales and hare-brained schemes are the new normal for horsemen dealing with EIPH and sadly all these poor substitutes will cost more than a simple dose of lasix. A part of the fallout from this decision is that it widens the gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots” on the backside, one of the biggest problems racing has that no one seems comfortable talking about. The bigger, richer outfits have more funding and latitude to treat their horses and have a larger supply to choose from, allowing them to be able to take a more patient approach, giving the smaller owners and trainers an even greater hill to climb.
WildAgainFan74
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:51 pm

djnorth wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:27 am
I keep thinking that Graham Motion would make a great racing czar though I'd hate to have his trainees lose him. That being said, his letter is spot-on. I wonder if TSG consulted anyone like Motion, in the business but committed to making it better, safer and more humane for all concerned or just did a knee-jerk. Getting PETA involved is a bad idea, unless of course they can reveal exactly how many ex-racehorses ( or animals in general) PETA has actually supported and re-homed.
It’s spot on only because we are incapable of policing ourselves. Sad but true.
WildAgainFan74
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:56 pm

And the excuses by trainers are pathetic. They give Lasix whether horses need it or not. Why can the rest of the world race without it and there horses don’t bleed excessively? All athletes bleed while exerted including humans. We are talking about excessive bleeding. People who have never been on the backside of the track will easily get brainwashed because they won’t see it. All that BS that horses need it and it’s cruel to run without it is just that....BS. They don’t want to lose paydays or horses in their barn who can’t race without it. That’s it. Don’t be fooled. Don’t be brain washed.
Rick1323
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:13 pm

for those of us who remember the pre Lasix days, this will be difficult at best, especially in hot weather. it will mean some horses can only run a very limited schedule, and some wont be able to run at all. in any case, it will hurt field size, something they can ill afford.......
Everyone come home sound.....
Tessablue
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:29 pm

Sparrow Castle and others interested- I found this excellent article discussing the research and various opinions on this issue. It's from 2014 but I don't think there have been any changes since. It also mentions an earlier Stronach attempt to ban Lasix from 2yos which I, and seemingly everyone else, had completely forgotten about. And it talks about drawing and dehydrating horses to prevent bleeding:
He said that with a known bleeder, he would try to replicate the diuretic effect of Lasix by limiting the amount of water that horse was given before a race – a practice known as drawing.

“We will obviously pull their water early in the morning, try to draw them a little bit,” he said. “And at the end of the day, there are vitamins out there you can try that are legal.”
Link here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/ ... rse-racing

Anyways it would be super cool if we, collectively, could go back to talking about how we could have prevented all these horses from dying.
WildAgainFan74
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:40 pm

Rick, safety of the horse should come first not our entertainment. Screw field sizes if it saves lives. Every time my horses ran, I prayed they cane back in one piece and all my did. Accidents happen in horse racing but I sure as hell hated to contribute to their potential breakdowns.

For people that have never owned racehorses, here is what happens before a race.

Horses have their water withheld. They are given lasix and continue to have their water withheld. This makes them urinate A LOT which makes them lighter. When you see horses drop dead of a sudden heart attack, it’s usually because they are dehydrated from the lasix/water being withheld and being raced in very hot conditions.

After a race, owners will pay for a “jug”. This is basically fluids to rehydrate the horse. It’s ridiculous.

In states that allow bute, most owners pay for that as well before a race. So, if a horse is nursing an injury, he won’t feel any pain and will run through it. She/he may end up ok or she/he may end up with a fatal breakdown.

I was so horrified at what I saw on the racetrack that I tried to do right by my horses. I tried racing barefoot to lessen concussion. I tried to race without lasix but your horse IS at such a competitive disadvantage that if you don’t have a REALLY good horse than you will suffer competitively. I tried to train European so I sent my horses to Fair Hill to be turned out in roundpens and galloped cross country. I’m not saying I was perfect. But, I will say that every single horse I owned and every single horse I bred, cane back sound and all found second careers.

If you work the backside or are on the backside, you will see a lot....most ugly.

There is no place for race day medication. America is not special. We don’t have special horses that need lasix. It has just become a crutch that is used as a performance enhancer. We all know it. Just like the Europeans come over for Breeders Cup and suddenly need lasix for the first time. Please. Or, our top America horses who always race on lasix go to Dubai World Cup and suddenly don’t bleed anymore and race without lasix. Come on people. Open your eyes....

Sorry to be so passionate about this but it is why I stopped racing. It’s not fair to the horses. But, done right....it IS fine for the horses and they are happy and healthy.

If I could afford to have placed my horses with Sheppard or Dickinson than I would have.
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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:48 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:29 pm
Sparrow Castle and others interested- I found this excellent article discussing the research and various opinions on this issue. It's from 2014 but I don't think there have been any changes since. It also mentions an earlier Stronach attempt to ban Lasix from 2yos which I, and seemingly everyone else, had completely forgotten about. And it talks about drawing and dehydrating horses to prevent bleeding:
He said that with a known bleeder, he would try to replicate the diuretic effect of Lasix by limiting the amount of water that horse was given before a race – a practice known as drawing.

“We will obviously pull their water early in the morning, try to draw them a little bit,” he said. “And at the end of the day, there are vitamins out there you can try that are legal.”
Link here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/ ... rse-racing

Anyways it would be super cool if we, collectively, could go back to talking about how we could have prevented all these horses from dying.
Fabulous find, Tessablue, thank you so much for sharing this! This article talks about all the arguments, pro and con, including nasal strips, lol. And this is why I have such mixed feelings about banning Lasix. The real world is shades of gray, not black and white, and the cause of EIPH is most likely multi-factored and it varies in severity. Lasix is the only humane and effective way to control a common condition in race horses. There is so much disinformation about it and people these days have no patience to really look at the data. The article does a great job of dispelling some of those long-held misconceptions, and should be required reading for those still willing to form a fact-based opinion.
According to Hinchcliff, it is very likely that all horses bleed to varying degrees, and “certainly there is evidence that most horses do”. A horse’s performance will be compromised if it bleeds at a level two and higher, though Hinchcliff said that the threshold is an approximate one.

A 2005 study of 744 racehorses in Australia – where Lasix is banned on race-day but permitted for training purposes – found that horses that bled to a degree less than one were four times more likely to win than horses that bled to a level higher than two.

Of the 415 horses in the study which developed EIPH, 273 bled to a level of one or less. These horses performed as well as a horse that had no trace of blood in their lungs, and were nearly twice as likely to finish in one of the top three positions compared with horses with an EIPH of grade two, three or four. One hundred and one horses were diagnosed with grade two bleeding, while 25 bled to grade three. Thirteen horses had grade-four EIPH. The more severe the disorder, the further behind the winner a horse was likely to place.

A subsequent study of 167 South African racehorses – a like-for-like study comparing Lasix with a saline placebo – corroborated, to a certain extent, the findings of the 2005 study. Researchers found that 20% of those horses not given Lasix did not bleed, while 45% bled at level one and 25% bled at level two. Ten percent of horses examined bled to a level higher than two. Thirty-five percent of the horses bled significantly enough to impair performance, with 1% bleeding to level-four severity.

The frequency with which horses are put under the strain of strenuous exercise and the number of times they are subsequently scoped are also factors. Between 43% and 75% of racehorses exhibit signs of EIPH based on the evidence of one scope. The 2005 Australian study showed that nearly 100% of horses scoped after three successive strenuous workouts showed some bleeding by the third endoscopic exam.
Anecdotally, I've thought since our experience with it that weather and the conditioning level of the horse plays a part. Our only severe bleeding incident happened on a day much hotter than normal and early enough in the season that she wasn't yet in peak condition (she like all our horses had the winter off). She was given an extended time to heal, brought back into training gradually while undergoing scoping, and returned to race the rest of the season without problems, even gave us a win and a couple of placings.

And, yes, Lasix isn't the cause of all these racing/training fatalities. Ironically, only sudden deaths due to severe bleeding can be a problem, though extremely rare (that linked paper was terrifying to read). You, me, and Maggi Moss agree that it's all that other stuff we should be concerned about for the welfare of our horses. And not just during their racing careers but for healthy and pain-free lives afterwards.
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Sparrow Castle
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:16 pm

TouchOfGrey wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:31 pm
Some frank talk on the state of the sport from trainer Chuck Simon:

Past The Wire | The End
I’m afraid that most still don’t realize that another body blow was likely just signed Saturday night. The agreement between the Stronach Group and the TOC was clearly signed under duress, the track ducking for cover from the firestorm of dead horses, duplicitous animal rights activists and politicians looking to score brownie points by acting like they give a damn; the horsemen in panic mode wondering how best to get back to racing and cease hemorrhaging cash like they are currently doing. Banning lasix in any form is a tax on owners, no matter how you look at it, regardless of your opinion, no matter how ill-informed you are on the topic. Losing lasix doesn’t mean internal bleeding will cease, to the contrary it will be more prevalent. To think that horsemen won’t respond in some manner, won’t try to do something to reduce their horses risk of bleeding is naive and misguided. Therapy of many varieties, herbal supplements, wives tales and hare-brained schemes are the new normal for horsemen dealing with EIPH and sadly all these poor substitutes will cost more than a simple dose of lasix. A part of the fallout from this decision is that it widens the gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots” on the backside, one of the biggest problems racing has that no one seems comfortable talking about. The bigger, richer outfits have more funding and latitude to treat their horses and have a larger supply to choose from, allowing them to be able to take a more patient approach, giving the smaller owners and trainers an even greater hill to climb.
He really knows how to get at the heart of the matter, doesn't he. I agree totally with everything he wrote.

I'm a "little guy" in a little state where racing is struggling to survive, and I'm still trying to do my part to keep it going. My horses are "cheap" but lovely, and folks here still enjoy bringing their families for a day at the races. I'm getting old now and I've enjoyed this sport most of my life. For how long the industry will survive here is unknown, but the trend doesn't look good for us. Mine is a little voice.

The top of the barrel is still prospering, and still keeping their eyes closed to what seems to be coming faster and faster for so many of us. There's a void in our natural alphabet soup power centers and no leadership to navigate the winds of change for the benefit of the entire industry.

TSG has filled that void because they have a huge stick--they have the power to end racing at the tracks they own. They are using it unilaterally to shoot buckshot to fix problems that have been ignored for years, which could have been a good thing and a place to start. Some of that buckshot will help, but some will not, some is not aimed at real problems, and some could be lethal for members of the racing community. Yeah, horsepeople should be scared. The void is being filled by an entity who cares most about the bottom line.

I'm going to continue to harp on the fact that the void properly should be filled by the only entity with the largest stick, which is the Breed Registry. As currently structured, the Jockey Club owns the biggest stick, they have the most power. But like most of our alphabet soups, they seem to have become fat and lazy, filled with nepotism and conflicts of interest, more invested in keeping their products closely held and controlled than in taking a leadership role and adapting to changing times. Have you read the initiative proposal to use the Equibase data for the benefit of attracting more betting handle? The Jockey Club in partnership with Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America owns and controls that data. We'll see what comes of that, but it could really benefit states like mine. The Jockey Club owns Bloodhorse who just silenced a real journalist, who was asking tough questions, speaking truth to power, and that was too uncomfortable for TSG to handle. Silence from above.

Eh, it may be already too late to establish a national governing body with the biggest stick and carrots to get a handle on the issues that are killing horses, along with the industry across the country. Again reading the tea leaves, I see racing continuing at the top of the barrel, at least for awhile longer. While the rest of us are smothered by their weight, the "Sport of Kings" will again be the word. How many of those 38 state racing commissions will be needed in five years...ten years?
Last edited by Sparrow Castle on Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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