Thoroughbred Racing 2019

aftershocks

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@Vagabond If there is interference, isn’t a consideration of whether the finish would have been different supposed to be part of the decision-making process? And if it’s not clear, then the results should stand? I agree MS interfered, but I don’t think it means MS would not still have won.
Exactly. Listening to the press conference, the winning trainer Bill Mott (a veteran horseman) was happy to take the win, but at least he was a bit sheepish about how it happened, no matter how proud he is of his horse. Country House is an okay horse, but he would not have won that race, and he was hardly affected by what happened to the other horses.

However, scratch my earlier suggestion of fining the jockey, Saez. Mott feels that it was the relative inexperience of the horse, Maximum Security, which caused the impeding. Mott believes that MS moved out on his own, perhaps bothered by something during the race, but that it was not jockey, Saez' fault. It would make sense to hear what Saez and some of the other jockeys think about the race.

ETA: Country House's owners seem pretty well-heeled, but hopefully none of that played a part in the stewards' decision. Still, ITA @sk8pics that consideration of the finish being much different should play a role in the decision-making. I still think MS would have won without the weaving, but a couple of the horses he impeded may have gotten closer at the finish line. Country House most likely would not have landed in second, but more like fourth.
 
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Vagabond

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@Vagabond If there is interference, isn’t a consideration of whether the finish would have been different supposed to be part of the decision-making process? And if it’s not clear, then the results should stand? I agree MS interfered, but I don’t think it means MS would not still have won.
In the United States, the horse that causes the interference must be disqualified if it affected the placement of the victim of the interference. If the stewards believed that Long Range Toddy would have had a better placement but for the interference, then they had no choice but to place Maximum Security behind him.

In Great Britain, the rule is different. There, the horse causing the interference will be disqualified only if the victim would otherwise have finished ahead of the horse causing the interference. Some people evidently feel that this should be the rule in the U.S., but it isn't.

ETA: And certain people act as if the rule in Great Britain were the rule here, but they don't know what they're talking about. ;)

While I can see arguments for both rules, imagine what would have happened if horses behind Maximum Security had fallen. Would anyone really felt comfortable with his being the winner in that case? That is what very nearly happened.
 
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just tuned in

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We determined that the 7 horse drifted out and impacted the progress of Number 1 (War of Will), in turn, interfering with the 18 and 21 (Bodexpress). Those horses were all affected, we thought, by the interference.
I had my money on Bodexpress and I think it could have been right up there had there not been interference. Bodexpress was in the top three up to the point of interference. Sadly, it reared up and could not get back into stride. I couldn't say if the cause of that interference was the #7 horse or other bumping in the pack, but I wish it had been a clean race.
 

aftershocks

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Horse racing is certainly not for the timid. If you look at any number of races, there are plenty of close calls and close contact at every point over the course of a race. I think the goal of everyone involved is for races to be run cleanly. But s**t happens all the time, much more than casual viewers like myself are even aware of. Still, I think it's highly likely that the interference MS caused to at least two of the horses is what allowed Country House to be in a position to place second, and then to win via the DQ. So I suppose we can say it was a Win Win for Country House, a Win Lose for MS, and a Lose Lose for those who were impeded. :p

Trainer Mott also said in the presser that Country House's breeding is favorable to him running well on muddy turf. The horse industry reporters are so knowledgeable, and they asked great questions as a result. They were so polite and very incisive in their questioning. I can't say the same of the press who cover a number of other sports.

I truly hope more will be done to help all of the horses who are bred and then who fall by the wayside. Reforms should be put in place too regarding all those who are only in the industry for the money and who don't actually care about the welfare of the horses.

While I can see arguments for both rules, imagine what would have happened if horses behind Maximum Security had fallen. Would anyone really felt comfortable with his being the winner in that case? That is what very nearly happened.
Let's not imagine. Let's be grateful that nothing disastrous happened to any of the jockeys or the horses. In fact, the jockeys are risking their lives everyday, multiple times a day on the backs of horses weighing over a thousand pounds. It's their livelihood, and surely they all try to be safe under extraordinarily dangerous conditions.

Does anyone know whether Omaha Beach (who was unable to run in the KD) will be healthy enough after surgery for his respiratory condition, to race again, particularly in any of the remaining two triple crown races?
 
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skipaway

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Does anyone know whether Omaha Beach (who was unable to run in the KD) will be healthy enough after surgery for his respiratory condition, to race again, particularly in any of the remaining two triple crown races?
I saw a video, can’t seem to find it, with Mandella and the vet after OB’s surgery. They said they weren’t going to rush him back and plan to race later in the year.
Mandella is a very conservative trainer, I expected this from him.
 

skipaway

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Preakness Probables
Alwaysmining
Anothertwistafate
Bourbon War
Code of Honor
Country House
Laughing Fox
Mr. Money
Owendale
Signalman
War of Will
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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aftershocks

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Follow-up piece by Layden - As Questions and Confusion Linger, This Kentucky Derby Hangover Isn't Close to Over: https://www.si.com/horse-racing/2019/05/05/kentucky-derby-maximum-security-country-house-disqualification-hangover
Thanks @Sylvia. How sad. Also, I'm wondering does MS not yet being listed for the Preakness mean his owners are not planning to run him in that race? What about in the Belmont? I'm not asking you @Sylvia, but just wondering since @skipaway listed probables for the Preakness.

Did NBC's taped interview with West air yet? Perhaps it is planned to air this morning if it hasn't already?

On an entirely different note, can DT and Guiliani cohort please butt out! :rolleyes: DT is such a harbinger of divisiveness and impolitic, opportunistic behavior and discourse. He'll do anything to distract the public's attention away from his mess. He is a nightmare that our country and the world will never be waking up from in our lifetimes! I am depressed and tired to death of his buffoonery and his angry, petty narcissism, and his relentless inserting himself into topics he has no business tweeting about, especially not as freakin' president of the U.S.!!! :( I'm already shuddering re the imbecilic a$$ DT will make of himself at the upcoming state dinner with the royals in London. :drama:

Here's a timely comedy routine by Jimmy Fallon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QH33XYCIqA
I can only imagine how the unexpected turn-of-events that actually happened at the Kentucky Derby would have played or will play into a future Fallon skit, particularly with the royal baby still being unborn and apparently overdue (with the parents themselves ensconced in their own happy bubble refusing to pay attention to the 'conspiracy' hysteria and the gathering press hoards). Not to mention the foremost legal officer in the U.S. hedging, lying, and giving the finger to the Congress of the United States. :wuzrobbed

Okay, sorry not sorry. Trying to ignore DT's buffoonery only ends up normalizing his nightmare presidency... Back to the topic at hand.
 

skipaway

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Thanks @Sylvia. How sad. Also, I'm wondering does MS not yet being listed for the Preakness mean his owners are not planning to run him in that race? What about in the Belmont? I'm not asking you @Sylvia, but just wondering since @skipaway listed probables for the Preakness.
MS Will Not Run in Preakness

I especially did not like this quote from the owners..
West said that he “obviously saw the horse move out” but said such things happen in a race with such a big field, calling Churchill Downs “a greedy organization” for allowing such an unwieldy number.

“I think they ought to have 14 like every other race,” he said Monday.

Please, yet you still ran your horse. The field has been this large for years! :rolleyes:
 

Vagabond

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Such things happen in a big field, and such things happen with inexperienced horses. Maximum Security was the least experienced horse in the field and had not learned when to change leads. There are pitfalls in the trend toward running lightly raced horses in the Kentucky Derby, and this year, they were exposed.
 

aftershocks

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MS Will Not Run in Preakness

I especially did not like this quote from the owners..

Please, yet you still ran your horse. The field has been this large for years! :rolleyes:
As was mentioned during the press conference, MS may have been disturbed by the crowd noise, which was likely the cause of his straying out of his lane. The winning trainer, Bill Mott, graciously described how that can be a hazard for a 'green' or lightly raced horse. Of course, it doesn't happen to every inexperienced horse, but it did this time. As well, I believe this might be only the second time the jockey Saez has been aboard MS, which could also factor into the equation.

I personally give the owners, trainer and jockey of MS a great deal of slack for their reactions at this time. This is such a huge disappointment and obviously a huge setback for them. It will sadly remain in their memories for the rest of their lives. And their obvious distress can most certainly be felt by the horse as well. I feel sorry for them and for Maximum Security. He's a good horse, and this is a sad outcome for all involved, as well as for many fans and for the sport of horse racing.

For Saez, it must feel surreal crossing the finish line at the Kentucky Derby so far ahead, having led throughout the race, and then being disqualified. A dream of a lifetime that may never come again. The interference that happened during the race, is obvious. But I wonder what the discussion among the stewards was like, before they arrived at their judgement call.
 
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skipaway

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West’s response is akin to California Chrome’s owner whining about “fresh horses shouldn’t be allowed” in the Belmont stakes after his loss. Yes it’s disappointing.
 

sk8pics

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So there is new video that is going to be part of a hearing this week, related to the dispute that Max’s owners are filing. The video is slow motion and shows Max clearly in his lane up past the point of contact or near contact with the #1. The number 1 moves to his right and that is where he nearly runs up Max’s butt. Then the two horses to the right of the 1 move to their left. After that, Max veers right.

I dunno, it’s quite interesting video, and it may not have been all Max’s fault after all. You can find it on the horseracingnation facebook page. It still looks like he comes out, but there may have already been interference prior to that.

I found Steve Coburn’s sour grapes worse than the Wests. I did not like the way Mott was sort of passive-aggressively talking while they waited for the stewards’ decision. But, emotions are high all around at these sorts of events.

ETA: And the request for the appeal has been denied. Shame, but I understand why. Still, that new video makes it look like Max got a raw deal. Stay tuned to see what happens next.
 
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Vagabond

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skipaway

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Maximum Security’s owners have decided to skip both the Preakness and the Belmont in favor of aiming towards the Haskell. The Haskell has been moved up one week to July 20th to accommodate NBC.
 

sk8pics

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Maximum Security's owners and trainer both say he has cuts on his legs from the race. I read about the Haskell and it didn’t explicitly say he’s skipping the Belmont, but perhaps.i hope he comes back strong. And maybe it’s all for the best he skips the rest of the Triple Crown. Can you imagine the fuss if he won the Preakness and Belmont?
 

skipaway

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Maximum Security's owners and trainer both say he has cuts on his legs from the race. I read about the Haskell and it didn’t explicitly say he’s skipping the Belmont, but perhaps.i hope he comes back strong. And maybe it’s all for the best he skips the rest of the Triple Crown. Can you imagine the fuss if he won the Preakness and Belmont?
MS
 

aftershocks

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West’s response is akin to California Chrome’s owner whining about “fresh horses shouldn’t be allowed” in the Belmont stakes after his loss. Yes it’s disappointing.
Sure, but for the safety of the horses and the jockeys, perhaps the KD field should be kept no higher than 17 or 18. I can recall when the numbers of horses being entered kept creeping higher over the years, due to the huge significance the race continues to hold, not to mention the prestige and money.

Accordingly, those are also the reasons the owners, trainer, and jockey of MS are struggling with their comments and reactions at this time. I agree their immediate comments are totally based on self-interest, and they are obviously having trouble gaining perspective. They may never gain any perspective. Quite a bit of money has been lost. The outcome changes everything for a lot of people.

I do wish that MS would be raced at the Preakness, since some knowledgeable observers have said that MS is a horse suited to the Preakness track. Still, I suppose it also makes sense to the owners and trainer not to bring MS back so quickly when not much is at stake for them now, due to the DQ at the KD.

Perhaps the sport should think more about ways in which to somehow mute the crowd noise, but I don't know if that's even possible. There should be ways to try and adjust young horses to a 'wall of sound' though, prior to the important day every year of this historic Churchill Downs race.
 

skipaway

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Sure, but for the safety of the horses and the jockeys, perhaps the KD field should be kept no higher than 17 or 18. I can recall when the numbers of horses being entered kept creeping higher over the years, due to the huge significance the race continues to hold, not to mention the prestige and money.
Yes, I remember that too. And it would be a good idea to decrease field size for reasons of safety. However, West’s argument was aimed at the “greedy organization “ not the safety issue. He and his wife had 2 entrants this year, both horses finished well and had MS not been d/q’ed would have had an amazing return on investment. Seems they would have profited off the “greedy organization.”
 

aftershocks

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Yes, I remember that too. And it would be a good idea to decrease field size for reasons of safety. However, West’s argument was aimed at the “greedy organization “ not the safety issue. He and his wife had 2 entrants this year, both horses finished well and had MS not been d/q’ed would have had an amazing return on investment. Seems they would have profited off the “greedy organization.”
I understand what you are saying. Obvious self-interest and cruel disappointment are evident in West's comments. Hopefully, they are horse practitioners who actually truly care about their horses. That aside, quite clearly they are struggling with handling their huge disappointment with sportsmanship and aplomb.
 

sk8pics

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I understand what you are saying. Obvious self-interest and cruel disappointment are evident in West's comments. Hopefully, they are horse practitioners who actually truly care about their horses. That aside, quite clearly they are struggling with handling their huge disappointment with sportsmanship and aplomb.
The West's have been in thoroughbred racing and breeding for 30 years. Maximum Security is a homebred. Yes, I would say they care about their horses. And I just noticed that Max's paternal grandsire is Street Cry, who is the sire of Zenyatta and Winx. Not too shabby.
 

aftershocks

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Video in Defense of Maximum Security

This is a video presented by lawyers for Luis Saez, and the connections of MS showing how they see the race unfolding and why MS's d/q was wrong. Very interesting.
Whoa, it's not only interesting, it shows a lot of jostling activity that occurred in the pack directly behind Maximum Security, while MS was still in his lane. The jockey Gafflione was having trouble before the head of the stretch and earlier in the race trying to control War of Will. And it is clearly visible on the video that Country House began crowding the horses to his left which led to a 'domino effect' that further caused issues when Gafflione was trying to force War of Will into nonexistent space. All of this was happening behind MS while he once again was still in his lane.

The breakdown of this video clearly shows that it was War of Will who first made contact with MS's hind legs twice. I think Saez' and West's attorneys make a convincing argument supported by the more sophisticated visual breakdown that MS began veering because of the interference he was feeling from behind from War of Will (not caused by MS). And then Saez had to work hard to coax MS back into his lane, but MS was still in front the whole time. It definitely looks like interference from behind first, and not a wall of sound theory that caused MS to veer in order to get away from the contact that was started by War of Will. (Although possibly the interference from behind as well as the noise led to War of Will veering and not being on the right lead). More importantly, the jockey on War of Will had trouble controlling his mount throughout the entire race. And I believe it was Gafflione, who among all the jockeys involved, did not lodge a complaint (likely because he knew War of Will had been the first to make contact with MS from behind).

Meanwhile, MS led throughout the race and was interfered with from behind due to the domino effect caused by first War of Will and then Country House.

To me it looks like the usual rough riding that occurs in this race, only it got out of hand because of War of Will's ride, with additional blame belonging to Country House. The only problem is that like in school, the kids who caused the initial problem get away with murder because the teacher only saw the behavior of one kid who had not been misbehaving but was totally reacting after the fact to protect himself. What a disaster! Although, a front angle combined with the side angle breakdowns might help to truly determine definitively regarding whether MS was being hit prior to leaving his lane.

The stewards really should have had more sophisticated equipment to look at this from all angles, and not make a hasty decision based on surface, limited views and no frame-by-frame breakdowns. Also called into question is whether the stewards examined fully the entire race in order to get a better understanding of where and how the problem began, rather than knee-jerk just reacting only to MS veering and not recognizing that MS had already been hit more than twice from behind before he began veering. It definitely seems clear from this breakdown that the first contact was made from behind on MS before he began veering, but camera angles are also important. Still, West and Saez seem to have a strong case, particularly since MS led from wire-to-wire and the other horses bunched up on their own endangering themselves and actually interfering with MS, which caused MS's reaction. I would sue too if I were the owners.

I think the stewards should not have been under pressure to call this race immediately. They needed more time and expertise, and questioning of all the jockeys in the race (which didn't happen either) before coming to a final judgement.
 
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Lacey

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Some very excellent points brought up here above, @aftershocks. I had never thought of looking at the race from behind.

So it is possible to consider that MS was interfered with and that this caused him to veer? Yes, I see that.

So wait, is a lawsuit still being contemplated? I thought I read that it will not be allowed to be heard.
 

aftershocks

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What is the rule if the horse who was disqualified was actually hit first and reacted?

West spoke out about War of Will causing the problem, and War of Will's trainer made a written statement attempting to deny what can visibly be seen during the race. Gafflione was having trouble with War of Will throughout most of the race, which was not MS's fault:
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/gary-barber-answers-wests-war-of-will-claim/

The problem is that despite the horses behind MS having largely caused the problem MS finally reacted by veering after being hit on his hoof and hind leg about four times by War of Will. The only issue is to see a clear and definitive shot of WoW making contact while MS was still in his lane. Because once MS reacted, it looks like it was MS's fault when it may not have been. What speaks volumes is the fact that WoW's jockey did not lodge a complaint because he knew WoW made the first contact.

Also bad is the fact that the stewards had never put up an inquiry. They only reacted to complaints by Country House's jockey (who was trying to seize an opportunity, when in fact he'd caused some of the interference that led to MS veering) and Long Range Toddy's jockey (LRT was interfered with by WoW, before MS veered). Again Gafflione on WoW made no complaint and the stewards did not speak to Gafflione either as I recall. Why didn't they speak to everyone involved? It doesn't look good that the stewards weren't transparent about how they reached their decision, and they didn't get information from everyone involved.
 

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