Santa Anita 2019

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Sparrow Castle
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Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:52 pm

Somnambulist wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:29 pm
Sparrow Castle wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:01 pm
Somnambulist wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:15 pm
Why would horses that young have OA?
They don't. It's the drive to present unblemished scans for big money babies at the sales. Ask most any breed-to-race owner and they'll tell you most of their best homebreds wouldn't have passed a vet scan. I think using it on horses <4 years old should be criminal. I'm also upset about not disclosing prior surgeries. I'm really shocked at how widespread these things are rumored to be. It's got me very discouraged and depressed.
Somewhere in that article it mentioned it was approved for horses older than 4 and it was used to treat OA amongst other things. I'm lead to believe some percentage then has OA. I know horses aren't people but that is a fairly jarring thought when we consider OA to be an "older" disease (which by no means means that it can't happen sooner).

I think the industry as a whole right now, fan or otherwise, is hurting a bit. There are a lot of moral problems I think a lot of people are wrestling with.

In the age of social media I guess I aam surprised at the amount of dirty little secrets that racing has. It seems many "insiders" know about them but yet don't do much/continue to enable it and at that point where is the onus, truly?
They're using them "off label" for purposes other than OA. Cheaters use drugs meant for specific purposes for specific populations, but have the effects that they desire.

I always knew there were a lot of dirty secrets in this sport. Didn't know what they were but thought I knew at least some of the individuals to stay away from. Now I'm not so sure anymore. And there's always been "the code of silence" on the backside, another thing I detest. This is why I think revealing vet records could be huge. Yeah, cheaters won't disclose illegal substances in them, but if they do find discrepancies there should be huge penalties. Like taking away licenses, fines, maybe even civil or criminal prosecution. "Insiders" need to start speaking out, especially the well-known ones like maybe Gary Stevens. We've nothing to lose anymore.
Catalina
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Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:02 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:52 pm
Somnambulist wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:29 pm
Sparrow Castle wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:01 pm

They don't. It's the drive to present unblemished scans for big money babies at the sales. Ask most any breed-to-race owner and they'll tell you most of their best homebreds wouldn't have passed a vet scan. I think using it on horses <4 years old should be criminal. I'm also upset about not disclosing prior surgeries. I'm really shocked at how widespread these things are rumored to be. It's got me very discouraged and depressed.
Somewhere in that article it mentioned it was approved for horses older than 4 and it was used to treat OA amongst other things. I'm lead to believe some percentage then has OA. I know horses aren't people but that is a fairly jarring thought when we consider OA to be an "older" disease (which by no means means that it can't happen sooner).

I think the industry as a whole right now, fan or otherwise, is hurting a bit. There are a lot of moral problems I think a lot of people are wrestling with.

In the age of social media I guess I aam surprised at the amount of dirty little secrets that racing has. It seems many "insiders" know about them but yet don't do much/continue to enable it and at that point where is the onus, truly?
They're using them "off label" for purposes other than OA. Cheaters use drugs meant for specific purposes for specific populations, but have the effects that they desire.

I always knew there were a lot of dirty secrets in this sport. Didn't know what they were but thought I knew at least some of the individuals to stay away from. Now I'm not so sure anymore. And there's always been "the code of silence" on the backside, another thing I detest. This is why I think revealing vet records could be huge. Yeah, cheaters won't disclose illegal substances in them, but if they do find discrepancies there should be huge penalties. Like taking away licenses, fines, maybe even civil or criminal prosecution. "Insiders" need to start speaking out, especially the well-known ones like maybe Gary Stevens. We've nothing to lose anymore.
^ That.
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Sparrow Castle
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Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:08 pm

Another LA Times article. And a short Twitter thread reacting to it.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/racetrackandy/statu ... 7031591936

Racing experts discuss the future of the sport after rash of horse deaths at Santa Anita
Santa Anita is inching toward its projected March 29 opening after having closed for live racing on March 5 following a dramatic increase in the number of horse fatalities. Since Dec. 26, 22 horses have died either in racing or training. What happened at Santa Anita has been a mystery that remains unsolved. When the track reopens, the stakes are very high and all eyes will be on horse safety.
The Los Angeles Times gathered a roundtable of three well-known experts with more than a century of knowledge working in the horse racing industry to try and dig down into what went wrong at Santa Anita and where things go from here.

On the panel are Alan Balch, a former Santa Anita executive who has also worked with other horse breeds, and is executive director of California Thoroughbred Trainers; Joe Harper, president and chief executive officer at Del Mar, who has been running the track since 1978; and Ryan Carpenter, one of the top equine surgeons in the country and who works on the backstretch of Santa Anita.

Answers were edited for clarity and brevity.
More: https://www.latimes.com/sports/more/la- ... story.html
Tessablue
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Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:32 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:33 pm
Tessablue wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:17 pm
It should absolutely be banned in young horses. Utter insanity that it was ever a practice, and this may be the most concrete improvement so far from this whole debacle.
I agree. But it sounds like it's very hard to detect. Will we need to start testing yearlings and foals? They're going to have to develop better testing.
In this case I'm a little willing to give people the benefit of the doubt- now that the actual effects in young horses are finally being talked about, is it still an appealing option? I'm thinking back to the thyroxine problems a few years back- although I'm sure that certain trainers knew exactly what they were doing when they injected it into otherwise healthy horses, information about the actual effects of these drugs is so obtuse and decentralized that genuine ignorance, while inexcusable, would not surprise me in some cases.

So maybe transparent vet records and a more general awareness of how bisphosphonates work will curtail their use. After all, it can't be profitable to continuously sell unsound horses.... right....?
BaroqueAgain1
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Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:35 pm

If anyone hasn't read the Paulick article by Dr. Bramlage regarding bisphosphonates, it really is a must-read. And it's from over a year ago, so IMHO breeders and trainers should have been well aware of its potentially disastrous side effects. :(
https://www.paulickreport.com/horse-car ... d-healing/
Tessablue
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Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:58 pm

Yeah, there was a little bit of stir last spring after that article and this bloodhorse article shortly afterwards: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... e-concerns

There was also a thread about it on here, but it didn't gain much traction at the time: https://www.thoroughbredchampions.com/f ... osphonates

But the effects of these drugs are very well-established, and the biology behind them is straightforward enough that any half-credible vet should have known better. Mindboggling that it ever got to this point.
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:58 am

Oh, I remember the chatter when this info came out last Spring and thought it informed the breeding and sales industry enough that they would abandon its use for the youngsters. That's what's so depressing about it. I don't understand why anyone would be still using it this way.

It might be just the funk I'm in with all this piling up, but I don't feel like giving anybody the benefit of the doubt right now.
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:51 pm

Tim Layden's SI article...

Horse Racing's Rampant Problem Leaves Sport With More Questions Than Answers
On the second-to-last day in December, a four-year-old gelding named Psychedelicat was loaded into the starting gate at Santa Anita Park in Southern California, where he would run for the 18th time in his undistinguished career, in a $16,000 claiming race at one mile on the dirt. He was sent off at 6-1 odds, fourth choice in the field of eight, which was appropriate to his status: Psychedelicat had won just two of his previous 17 starts, and finished third on five other occasions, with lifetime earnings of a little more than $53,000. In his favor, one of those victories had come two months earlier on this same track, a neck win in a slightly lower class race. He earned $10,800 for his connections, matching the biggest score of his life.
More: https://www.si.com/horse-racing/2019/03 ... ns-changes
With Anticipation
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:19 pm

Revised policy on workout requests could debut this weekend at Santa Anita

Santa Anita may enact a revised policy as early as Saturday requiring trainers to submit workout requests 48 hours in advance. Trainers currently must submit workout requests 24 hours in advance, and the extra day will allow track officials and veterinarians more time to scrutinize a horse’s training and veterinary history before granting a request.

https://www.drf.com/news/revised-policy ... s/all-news
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:00 pm

Horrible, just horrible. And yeah, I have to worry about the yearling we bought last year now. Looks like it's greedy disgusting people that is weakening the breed, not so much genetics which can take many decades to change significantly.

View From The Eighth Pole: Take Action Now On Bisphosphonate Use
“I've been Tildrened.”

That's what a consignor of 2-year-olds said recently to a leading owner about a horse he purchased at a yearling sale with the intention of putting it in training and re-selling it as a prospective racehorse this spring.

He was referring to the potentially negative side-effects from a drug called Tildren, one of two products – along with Osphos – approved in 2014 by the FDA to treat navicular syndrome in horses. The consignor was convinced that the horse he purchased had been treated with one of the two drugs, referred to generically as bisphosphonates, to be more presentable, both physically through its analgesic effect and in radiographs. Many veterinarians believe bisphosphonates provide short-term improvement to the radiographic appearance of the sesamoids in a young horse. In the case of the horse that had been “Tildrened,” it presented and X-rayed fine but could not handle the rigors of even light training a short time after purchase.

Included with the information on bisphosphonates provided by the FDA to veterinarians is the following precaution:

The safe use of either TILDREN or OSPHOS has not been evaluated in horses less than 4 years of age. The effect of bisphosphonates on the skeleton of growing horses has not been studied. Because bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclast activity and decrease bone turnover, these drugs may affect bone growth.

The safe use of either TILDREN or OSPHOS has not been evaluated in breeding horses or pregnant or lactating mares. Bisphosphonates have been shown to cause abnormal fetal development in laboratory animals. The uptake of bisphosphonates into fetal bone may be greater than into maternal bone, creating a possible risk of skeletal or other abnormalities in the fetus. Bisphosphonates may be excreted in milk and absorbed by nursing animals.

Increased bone fragility has been seen in animals given bisphosphonates at high doses or for long periods of time. Because bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption and decrease bone turnover, the body may be unable to repair microdamage within a bone.

That 2-year-old consignor who was “Tildrened” isn't alone in his concern over the use of bisphosphonates in weanlings and yearlings before sales.

The Paulick Report recently received a message from a Florida veterinarian, who asked to remain anonymous, concerning the troubling increase in fatal injuries sustained by horses at Santa Anita, “In my opinion, Santa Anita's recent breakdowns may have less to do with the track and more to do with the rampant use of bisphosphonates,” the veterinarian wrote.

“I am an equine only veterinarian and work primarily on Thoroughbreds in training. In our practice, we have seen an almost ten-fold increase in catastrophic breakdowns and large long bone stress fractures (humeral/femoral/physeal) in our 2-year-old in training horses (both sales and race-prepping clients).

“These drugs are widely used prior to the yearling sales in Kentucky to supposedly decrease certain radiographic findings, despite these drugs only being FDA approved for the use in horses 5 years of age and older. The scariest part about bisphosphonates is that no one knows the half-life of the drugs in horses. In humans, the half-life can be up to 10 years.

“Even if a horse has not been given a bisphosphonate as a yearling, there are still trainers/vets on the track that are giving this for its almost immediate analgesic effect. It can take a lame horse and make them sound the very next day.

“Our surgeons are finding that horses with condylar fractures are not healing properly with screws and/or plates within the same time frame they used to be as it changes the bones' ability to heal. …
More: https://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray- ... onate-use/
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:09 pm

As Discussion Turns to Bisphosphonates, Viola Commits $500K to Research
The fallout from events still unfolding at Santa Anita have re-sparked the fires simmering under a number of horse welfare issues. Few, however, have galvanized such a swift phalanx of action as that of bisphosphonates–drugs used in humans to tackle degenerative bones diseases like osteoporosis. Their use in racehorses, however, has proven controversial.

On Thursday, prominent Kentucky Derby-winning owner, Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, committed $500,000 towards vital research behind these drugs and a better system of detection, according to Terry Finley, founder and president of West Point Thoroughbreds. “He is absolutely laser-focused on these issues,” said Finley of Viola’s pledge, adding that Viola is challenging other owners to “stamp this out, and stamp it out right away. He talks the talk, and he also walks the walk.”

In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of two bisphosphonates–Tiludronate (Tildren) and Clodronate (Osphos)–in horses four and older to help control the clinical symptoms associated with navicular syndrome. But many in the industry are concerned about the off-label use of these drugs, especially in young horses, including those being prepared for the sales. That’s because, rather than strengthening bones as intended, misuse of these drugs could make them weaker, more susceptible to fractures.

According to Finley, a group of individuals and organizations are also in the process of drafting a letter to be sent to the managing partners of veterinary clinics servicing racehorses around the country, appealing to veterinarians to discontinue use of these drugs on horses less than four years of age.

“Call it what you will, an appeal, a request, a demand, they’ve got to step up. I know the vast majority of vets want this drug to be used the right way on horses who are 4-year-olds and older. They have taken an oath to do right by the horse. It’s very clear that the administration of these drugs to yearlings and two-year-olds isn’t doing right by the horse,” said Finley, who added that it took Viola “30 seconds to decide that he was going to be a major supporter of this effort.”
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/as ... -research/
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Treve
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:11 pm

I feel sick
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Ridan_Remembered
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:45 pm

Treve wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:11 pm
I feel sick
Me too. It's deeply troubling. We enjoy seeing foals being born on live cams. We enjoy pictures of cute, fuzzy, long-legged babies. And then we learn that they are being given powerful drugs like the bisphosphonates sometimes just a year or less after birth. On the track, they are given those drugs and sometimes a cocktail of others. To look at those innocent foals and think ahead to what awaits them during sales prep and on the track makes me very sick.
Somnambulist
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:27 pm

I don't think you can view Twitter if you aren't signed up, but Gary Stevens tweeted sometime today and likened a horse without meds to a flat tire you can feel easily and on meds "feels like a new Mercedes. Take it how you will - I just know people mentioned him in this thread earlier.

I'm an athlete and have chronic pain so I 100% think that responsible use of medication is needed and safe. I might not be around horses much but when you have muscles with regular use it happens. Those vets should lose their license though. If you have science - not anecdotal, this essential oil is going to cure your cancer evidence - but real science, and they still "want" to use the drugs correctly? Damn.

It is beyond old watching the rich get away with everything, when we often live in fear of making one mistake and being homeless.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
Catalina
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:07 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:32 pm
After all, it can't be profitable to continuously sell unsound horses.... right....?
Then again, horse traders have a long, long reputation of sharp practice, that probably goes back to when the horse was first domesticated.
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:08 pm

Gary Stevens is speaking against race day meds for sore horses. His Tweet was in a thread talking about his brother Scott's gate accident at Turf Paradise yesterday. Another jock rode the horse, but many thought he should have been scratched.

Gary Stevens @GStevens_jockey
Mar 20
Horse just flipped my big bro out the gate @turfparadise body okhead banged up. Walked to ambulance taken to hospital. Horse ran with another jock beat 1 5/2 morning line. What’s going on?

His tweet was in response to this one:
The Bear @RayPriest7
Btw how do you know the horses isn't hurting in some way
6:46 PM - 20 Mar 2019

This is Gary Steven's response to the question and a link to the thread:
Gary Stevens @GStevens_jockey
Mar 20
Gary Stevens Retweeted The Bear
Without meds... you can feel the flat tire very easy with experience. It feels that bad. That’s why I say no meds. Meds make it feel like a new Mercedes
https://twitter.com/GStevens_jockey/sta ... 6936843265
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:18 pm

Catalina wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:07 pm
Tessablue wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:32 pm
After all, it can't be profitable to continuously sell unsound horses.... right....?
Then again, horse traders have a long, long reputation of sharp practice, that probably goes back to when the horse was first domesticated.
It sounds like the bone remodeling problem could persist for a long time (unknown as of yet) and its cumulative effects cause a breakdown later in their racing careers. At least until now, I don't know how many could make the link between the use of bisphosphonates on the yearling or two-year old you bought and his/her breakdown as a three or four year old or later. I'm not sure I would suspect the sales prep, so no reflection on the seller. Just a guess as to how they've been getting away with it.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:47 pm

Maybe it's time to start investigating the vets who are "failing" yearlings, and thereby reducing their value, because of minor radiographic findings. Cut it off at the pressure point. At the very least, articles like this should point out the numerous champions who "failed" their yearling vet scans.

Better Bisphosphonate Test and Tighter Controls Coming
A storm swirling through the Thoroughbred industry for a couple of years over the misuse of a class of drug called bisphosphonates has swelled into a tsunami that is bringing big changes this year.

Sold under the brand names Tildren and Osphos, bisphosphonates are trouble because they are used to hide radiographic evidence of sesamoiditis in sale weanlings and yearlings. Sesamoiditis is an inflammatory condition affecting the sesamoid bones behind the fetlock joint that can also involve the ligaments that attach to them. A growing body of evidence suggests these drugs disrupt the natural absorption and rebuilding that make bones stronger as horses mature. Disrupting this cycle leads to weaker bones and could predispose a prospective racehorse to serious problems down the road.

Throughout Central Kentucky starting in February, commercial Thoroughbred breeders make an important and detailed evaluation of their yearlings headed for auction.

This early screening involves taking a complete set of radiographs—knees, front ankles, hind ankles, hocks, and stifles—at all the same angles that will be shot ahead of an auction months later and submitted to a sale company repository. Breeders and consignors are looking for signs of orthopedic issues that can be addressed and remedied long before sale time. The issues might include chip fractures or osteochondritis dissecans fragments that be surgically removed.

Other bone conditions like sesamoiditis can be detected during the process of taking spring survey radiographs. As mentioned earlier, sesamoiditis is bad news for sellers because it substantially lowers a horse's value. Moderate to severe sesamoiditis at worse could indicate a horse's athleticism has been compromised, while at best it means the horse will require time off before it can go through the stress of breaking and training. If the yearling is being bought to be resold later at a 2-year-old in training sale, the buyer might not be able to give the horse the time it needs to recover. Many times a buyer will pass on such a horse altogether.
More: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... ols-coming
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:02 pm

A Euro take on this...

Santa Anita Park whip ban looks like a panicked response to a welfare crisis
For the first time in three weeks horses will race at Santa Anita Park in California on Friday, beneath the spectacular backdrop of the San Gabriel mountains. The course has been closed since 5 March to allow officials to inspect and renovate the dirt track following the death of 22 horses when either training or racing in the first nine weeks of the 2019 season. The hope is that one of the racing world’s most cherished courses can begin to move on from a traumatic start to the year.

But while the unforgettable setting endures, the racing itself will look quite different if The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, gets its way. In what it described as “an open letter about the future of thoroughbred racing in California”, published on 14 March, TSG made two radical proposals for the resumption of racing at Santa Anita and its other track in the state, Golden Gate Fields near San Francisco.
More: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/ ... k-whip-ban
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Blame
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Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:09 pm

If nobody can use the whip and nobody can use lasix, then nobody has an advantage. I will be interested to see how Baffert's horses run without lasix to mask whatever he may or may not be giving his horses. His horses have way too much natural gate speed, IMO.
Sparrow Castle wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:02 pm
A Euro take on this...

Santa Anita Park whip ban looks like a panicked response to a welfare crisis
For the first time in three weeks horses will race at Santa Anita Park in California on Friday, beneath the spectacular backdrop of the San Gabriel mountains. The course has been closed since 5 March to allow officials to inspect and renovate the dirt track following the death of 22 horses when either training or racing in the first nine weeks of the 2019 season. The hope is that one of the racing world’s most cherished courses can begin to move on from a traumatic start to the year.

But while the unforgettable setting endures, the racing itself will look quite different if The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, gets its way. In what it described as “an open letter about the future of thoroughbred racing in California”, published on 14 March, TSG made two radical proposals for the resumption of racing at Santa Anita and its other track in the state, Golden Gate Fields near San Francisco.
More: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/ ... k-whip-ban
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