Thoroughbred Racing 2019

aftershocks

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So, I think the brushing of WOW by Sir Winston was minimal and WOW would not have been in the top 3. The explanation by NBC’s broadcast team that both were trained by Casse and therefore no objection would be forthcoming is questionable ethics by Casse. Casse is training for two ownerships and has a duty to both, yes? So, if the bumping had been more egregious, I would have expected an objection by the jockey, stewards or Casse himself despite the impact on his winning horse.
I agree with you, but as we can see and as everyone who is closely a part of the industry knows, things are never that cut-and-dried. The main thing is that WoW was clearly not running well in the Belmont throughout the race. Casse mentioned this fact during the post-race press conference. WoW was plum tuckered out by his efforts in the KD and in The Preakness.

The bumping by Tacitus and pinching by Sir Winston to gain position for the stretch run are both obvious, but not egregious enough to call foul, and did not appreciably or significantly affect the outcome of the race. And sorry, but after Gafflione's rough riding in the KD, during which he bumped Long Range Toddy twice, and got too close in behind Max on his right side w/o enough clearance thus causing WoW to clip Max and it was missed by the stewards, oh well. Ain't karma a b**ch sometimes. WoW was bothered in the Belmont, yes, but he was also tired and not fleet of foot. He wasn't going anywhere in the Belmont -- longest leg of the Triple Crown. Casse and Gafflione both knew it, so calling foul is a moot point. It really would have been rich for Gafflione to be calling foul, tho' anyway. :lol: Let's just be happy, the Belmont was not a 20-horse race, and the contact was not that serious.

I still say that jockeys appear to be more aggressive these days (due to higher stakes pressure and nature of the industry). It is a sport, however, in which jockeys are always a hairsbreadth away from catastrophe aboard thousands of pounds of horseflesh. But that's the nature of horse racing. The horses are the best thing about the sport, and often treated the worst routinely. The sport might be called 'of Kings,' but that's the idyllic, rose-colored glasses myth. At bottom, it's a tough, dirty sport, with lots of questionable dealings. Some owners are better than others, just as some trainers are more skilled than others, and/ or of higher character. Mostly, none of us are perfect in this life. We can aspire to be and miss the mark.

Possibly, if Sir Winston had been trained by someone else, Casse and Gafflione may have considered calling for an inquiry, and probably would have decided against it in view of the fact Wow was not wowing in this race. :p Plus, the stewards would likely have quickly ruled for the results to stand after reviewing the race. No more drama is needed, especially not in the final triple crown race of the 3-year-old season. :drama:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP2M7SJ9d9M Casse interviewed briefly after the Belmont about Sir Winston and WoW


For me, the interesting thing is that in the KD when Saez managed to get Max back in his lane, Max slightly bumped a horse coming up on the rail. But that bumping was even less than the bumping WoW received from Tacitus in the Belmont. Still, Max was maligned for that as well, simply because of his earlier weaving out of his lane due to being clipped from behind by WoW. It's extremely fortunate that no horse or rider was severely physically impacted as a result of Max's reaction to what FPratt on Country House and TGafflione on WoW precipitated in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The race will go down in history with an asterisk next to Country House's name.
 
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aftershocks

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The Haskell Invitational is July 20th this year:

When asked at the post-race Belmont presser which horse the media would be looking to tout in upcoming races, Casse wisely and/or strategically said, "Maximum Security." Casse and everybody know that Max is probably the best of this year's 3-year-old crop. I don't think it's certain that Max would have lasted to win the Preakness and the Belmont, but after the KD disqualification, sadly, we'll never know.

Max 'paraded for the fans' at Monmouth Park, where he's training possibly for the upcoming Haskell in July:
https://www.app.com/videos/sports/horses/2019/05/18/maximum-security-parades-fans-monmouth-park/3722604002/ with video -- Max is a good-looking horse too @Vagabond :)




Now for a bit of horse racing history, via Ireland: :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=131Gjx7s5DA Vincent O'Brien The Master

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hkKf4cKdGA Aidan O'Brien The Young Prince of Ballydoyle
 
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sk8pics

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Maximum Security is running tomorrow in a race at Monmouth. Can’t wait to see how he does!
 

skipaway

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Maximum Security is running tomorrow in a race at Monmouth. Can’t wait to see how he does!
I read this article that intimated Servis is concerned about this start.
"Maybe I was overreading things a little too much, trying to be overly cautious," Servis said. "He's acting really good and training good, and his bloodwork came back good. So maybe I just overreacted a little bit."
The comment section below is interesting.
 

sk8pics

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I read this article that intimated Servis is concerned about this start.

The comment section below is interesting.
People are crazy. (I did not read this particular set of comments because there’s so much trolling going on in general.) And Servis is being paranoid, because obviously, it’s a horse race and anything can happen.
 

skipaway

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Bill Mott, trainer of Country House told NBC that CH is out for the year and won’t race until he’s 4. He was sick after the Derby and has not bounced back and has not wanted to train well. Glad they’re being careful, but sad we won’t see him for awhile.
 

sk8pics

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Well, Maximum Security finished a good second. I have not seen the whole race replay, but heard he stumbled badly at the start, and that might have taken enough out of him. He and the winner (I forget his name) were miles clear of the others, and he lost by around 3/4 length or so, so he didn’t run badly. I hope this was a good race for him to build off of. And I hope he did not get hurt by that stumble at the start.
 

skipaway

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Belmont winner Sir Winston has injured his ankle and is out until next year. Marc Casse wants to run him in the Pegasus World Cup if all progresses well.

Omaha Beach is only doing light work and may not be ready for the Travers.
 

sk8pics

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I saw that about Sir Winston, but wow, to think about first recovering from an injury then training up to a race like the Pegasus, doesn’t seem like a great idea. I guess we’ll see!
 

skipaway

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HOF trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has been told by the Stronach Group to vacate Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields after a 4th horse in his barn broke down and was euthanized at SA. He trained Songbird, Shared Belief and Blind Luck among others. American Currency broke down today and is the 30th horse to be euthanized at SA. 😥


HOF Traîner banned from California tracks

From TSG’s statement: I’m interested in what they mean.
Individuals who do not embrace the new rules and safety measures that put horse and rider safety above all else, will have no place at any Stronach Group racetrack,” the statement reads. “We regret that Mr. Hollendorfer's record in recent months at both Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields has become increasingly challenging and does not match the level of safety and accountability we demand. Effective immediately, Mr. Hollendorfer is no longer welcome to stable, race or train his horses at any of our facilities.”
Part of Hollendorfer’s statement
“I thought the ruling was extreme and I don't really think I've done anything wrong, but I would be willing to step away from racing for a while,” he said. Hollendorfer added: “I don't want to.

“I've practically devoted my whole life to this game,” he continued. “We get to the barn here at 3 a.m. and go over things to make sure everything is ready for training. I have employees that are the same way, and I'm very appreciative of that. We think we've done everything we can to ensure the safety or our horses. It hasn't worked out for us this meet.
 

sk8pics

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Hollendorfer was not banned from all California tracks, so that caption on the article is misleading. I have no idea if he’s done something wrong or not, but 10% of the fatalities were his horses, and that seems out of line to me. It’s hard not to think that Santa Anita is scapegoating him. Time will tell, I suppose.

And since the Breeders’ Cup is not moving but will be held at Santa Anita as planned, it will be interesting to see who enters their horses and shows up, and whether they can (or will try to) keep Hollendorfer out.
 

aftershocks

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Well, Maximum Security finished a good second. I have not seen the whole race replay, but heard he stumbled badly at the start, and that might have taken enough out of him. He and the winner (I forget his name) were miles clear of the others, and he lost by around 3/4 length or so, so he didn’t run badly. I hope this was a good race for him to build off of. And I hope he did not get hurt by that stumble at the start.
Here's the race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EVvZxJ7FYU

The stumble out of the gate was surely a factor, even though Max appeared to recover well. Probably Max was not in tip-top fighting shape. This was a tune-up race in any case. He needed the workout. Trainer and jockey aren't worried. Max did pull away from King for a Day, and then he tired. There was no sense in Saez continuing to push him to the finish line at that point. It was a good race.

 

skipaway

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So, today’s Haskell has been pushed back to a 8:05 pm post time due to the heat at Monmouth. Maximum Security meets King for a Day and also Baffert’s Mucho Gusto for this grade 1 race.
 

skipaway

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Nice win for MS but again under the shadow of inquiry. 3 across the track going into the final turn, with MS in the middle and King for a Day on the rail. KfaD got a bit squeezed and backed out of his rail position. Inquiry was quickly decided in MS’s favor.
 

sk8pics

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I saw that and thought for sure Max would be taken down. There was some talk that Mucho Gusto pushed Max in a bit, but I couldn’t tell if that was the case. Maybe Max needs some remedial cornering schooling, and his jockey too!
 

aftershocks

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Nice win for MS but again under the shadow of inquiry. 3 across the track going into the final turn, with MS in the middle and King for a Day on the rail. KfaD got a bit squeezed and backed out of his rail position. Inquiry was quickly decided in MS’s favor.
I don't see why there's a 'shadow of inquiry' discussion regarding Max in the Haskell. It's not fair for these type of accusations to follow Max around for the rest of his career whenever horses get boxed in or pushed slightly. If you will closely look at the visual evidence in the Kentucky Derby, it's very clear that Country House squeezed in from the left on Bodexpress and Long Range Toddy, while War of Will was pushing in on LRT from the right in an attempt to come up around Max's right side.

When all that was happening with those four horses, Max was over a length in front and was not involved. Later testimony from jockeys that was not obtained by the KD stewards prior to their decision, supports that WoW was squeezing LRT -- that's where the inquiry should have been lodged. What happened next is not easy to see without slo-motion frame-by-frame examination of how WoW slightly clipped Max's right rear hoof from behind which caused Max to immediately switch leads and veer to his right in front of the other horses. By providence, none of the horses or jockeys were injured. The KD stewards were under pressure to make a quick judgment without benefit of careful investigation, so they went with the obvious instead of looking more closely. Their pressured judgment stands, despite them not carefully examining the frames or taking into account the activity of the other horses and especially of WoW, which is what led to Max veering out of his lane. Because the evidence is not easy to detect, Max and Saez have been unfairly painted as the villains.


Regarding the Haskell, I would like to see actual close-up, head-on footage before making an assumption that KfaDay pulling up was Max's or Saez's fault. From what I saw of the race, it looks like a clear victory for Max. He was in fighting shape this time, and no matter Mucho Gusto making him work for it, Max did not give up and he won going away:
 

aftershocks

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Here's another view of the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park:

Max demonstrates his heart! He was fully fit in this race and thus proved once again how good a racehorse he is.

The above video shows a more close-up view, but it's still a side view partly obscured by bushes as the horses round the final turn. Still, before the view is slightly obscured, it's clear that Max was quickly pulling out ahead of KfaDay who was losing ground and backing up. Mucho Gusto was coming up on Max's right and may have gotten close to Max, which could have led to slight pinching by Max of KfaDay on the rail. But that's not clear. It just appears as if when the leaders began rounding the turn, somehow the fast de-excelerating KfaDay got brushed or bothered by Max's hindquarters and the jockey pulled up sharply. There's no clear indication that any of this was Max's fault, at least not with this view. In any case, the incident clearly did not impact the race, because KfaDay was already out of it, for reasons that must have to do with him not having enough left for the stretch run against Max and Mucho Gusto.

I love how Bob Baffert, the trainer of second place, Mucho Gusto, declared how exciting the race was! Baffert graciously and aptly said he is glad about Max winning, and that it would have been 'awful' if Max had been DQ'ed again. Baffert had immediately gone on record post the KD decision too in supporting Max, and disagreeing with Max's DQ in that historic race!

 
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aftershocks

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Why Maximum Security and Game Winner did not race in the Travers:

Travers predictions:

Travers results:

:lol: Obviously down the stretch, all of the horses in the lead were battling mightily while drifting a bit and brushing each other. Apparently, it wasn't considered heavy interference since apparently there was no inquiry. Had Maximum Security been in the race with the same slight brushing contact, I can imagine how such contact would have been viewed and reported then, even without an inquiry.
 
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aftershocks

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Here's an interesting interview with Shug McGaughey, trainer of Code of Honor, before the Travers:
"Code of Honor: 'He saw what Maximum Security saw in the Derby'" :lol:

Hmmm, I'd guess that Code of Honor saw or sensed WoW coming in on LRT, and Country House on the other side coming in on BodExpress. CoH may not have seen WoW clip Max on the right hind hoof, but he surely must have sensed the danger near him with the wall of horses pinching each other! WoW came up too close on the right of Max without any room to squeeze by and with LRT already backing up due to being pinched between WoW and BodE.

All told, I would think that was more than enough for CoH to pull up slightly. It could also have been a combo effect with the huge roar of the crowd, especially since McGaughey says CoH is still developing mental strengths. Even with that, CoH finished second in the Derby after Max was DQ'ed. Had there been no interference and resulting inquiry in the KD, possibly Max Security, Code of Honor and WoW (if he was in better position in that race without causing interference) would have been 1,2,3. The 2019 Derby will be talked about for years to come. If Max ends up a success story, maybe even a movie about him? Eh, it's too early to tell. This horse racing season is truly a mixed bag. But it's a good thing that some trainers and owners are more interested in preserving the welfare of their horses, rather than running them into the ground.

ETA:
McGaughey talks about CoH after the Travers win:
 
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skipaway

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A half sister to Beholder, Into Michief and Mendelssohn was sold at Keeneland’s September Yearling sale today for 8.2 Million. Her sire is American Pharoah and her dam is Leslie’s Lady.

Wow!
 

sk8pics

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@skipaway I was in the third row when that Pharoah filly was sold! I’m actually visible on one of the videos recorded during that sale! :rofl:

@Sarah Don’t forget that Justify tested clean in the Triple Crown races. Anyway, I agree it’s a high number he got, but scopolamine is a class 3C (or maybe 4C) drug, and an odd drug to be given as an aid to racing, it really made no sense. Baffert rightly and fairly requested the other sample be tested, and that result did not even come back until after the derby.

If they truly were talking about changing the rules before this happened, I hope they will release that information. The other thing I’d like to know is why this was published now, more than a year later? And as they prepare for the Breeders’ Cup soon? I believe I read that it was leaked by someone who was fired. And PETA is invoked in the story, I think, and that makes me question it. I normally like The NY Times very much, but this is an oddly timed and written article.

It’s not been proven that scopolamine was deliberately administered, so I suggest to wait and see what other information comes out. I don’t think it’s necessarily a forgone conclusion that he was deliberately doped; I think several other horses also tested positive, though at lower levels than Justify. One of the vets did make a dubious comment, though complaining about how tests these days have such a higher sensitivity than previously they find all kinds of things. I call bull$hit on that, since Justify’s result was an order of magnitude higher than the limit. He definitely had it in his system, it’s just a question of how it got there....and why you’d dope your racehorse with a depressant before a major race. Makes no sense at all.
 

Vagabond

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A half sister to Beholder, Into Michief and Mendelssohn was sold at Keeneland’s September Yearling sale today for 8.2 Million. Her sire is American Pharoah and her dam is Leslie’s Lady.

Wow!
Beautiful filly, crazy price.

Last year, a Medaglia d'Oro colt out of Leslie's Lady was bought back by the breeder for $60,000. 🤷‍♂️
 

Sarah

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@sk8pics true but... there is something going on. I linked the NYTimes article because I couldn’t link discussion by friends of mine in the racing industry (primarily NY tracks). I’m not sure any of the bloodhorse coverage makes me feel less... conflicted. Regardless, this, plus everything going on in CA (the breeders’ cup better go off w/o a hitch)... it’s a PR nightmare.

I do think racing and horse sports need to get medication under control. Too much drugging is happening across equestrian sports and it needs to stop. Horses need to be bred for soundness and not just speed in racing. And more trainers/owners/breeders need to be committed to life after racing... and the hunters need to help make TB fashionable again...

Vent over.
 

skipaway

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VP Pense claims he was Bit by American Pharoah

Vice President Pence got laughs Friday as he told House Republicans that the champion racing horse American Pharoah once bit his arm so hard he “almost collapsed.”
“I just gritted my teeth and smiled,” Pence said at a Baltimore policy retreat, recalling a visit last year to the Kentucky farm where he met the famed Triple Crown winner.
The story drew cheers from the audience — but confusion from the farm manager who was by Pence’s side for the encounter some billed as “VP Meets AP.”
“If he gave someone a nasty bite, I’d know it,” Dermot Ryan, the America manager for the racehorse-breeding company Coolmore, told the McClatchy news group.
Ryan said Friday that such behavior would be unexpected from a “sweet” horse”
I’m sorry, but :rofl: and “You go...AP. :cheer2:
 

sk8pics

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@sk8pics true but... there is something going on. I linked the NYTimes article because I couldn’t link discussion by friends of mine in the racing industry (primarily NY tracks). I’m not sure any of the bloodhorse coverage makes me feel less... conflicted. Regardless, this, plus everything going on in CA (the breeders’ cup better go off w/o a hitch)... it’s a PR nightmare.

I do think racing and horse sports need to get medication under control. Too much drugging is happening across equestrian sports and it needs to stop. Horses need to be bred for soundness and not just speed in racing. And more trainers/owners/breeders need to be committed to life after racing... and the hunters need to help make TB fashionable again...

Vent over.
Oh yes, I agree with all that you said. But I still say the NY Times article is odd.

@skipaway That is funny about Pharoah allegedly biting Pence. Pretty out of character for him, but maybe he didn't like a stranger holding the lead... of course, if Pence is the horseman he claims to be, he'd know he was holding a lead, not the reins since they don't tack up Pharoah and ride him. :rofl: I have seen only calm behavior from Pharoah, even when he was annoyed at the cold weather. And I also saw a fan fall over the little white barrier they typically put up, trying to get a picture from the side. All Pharoah did was turn his head to the side and look at her, and then look straight ahead again.:rofl: So the idea that Pharoah would bite Pence is...:rofl::huh::rofl:
 

skipaway

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Oh yes, I agree with all that you said. But I still say the NY Times article is odd.

@skipaway That is funny about Pharoah allegedly biting Pence. Pretty out of character for him, but maybe he didn't like a stranger holding the lead... of course, if Pence is the horseman he claims to be, he'd know he was holding a lead, not the reins since they don't tack up Pharoah and ride him. :rofl: I have seen only calm behavior from Pharoah, even when he was annoyed at the cold weather. And I also saw a fan fall over the little white barrier they typically put up, trying to get a picture from the side. All Pharoah did was turn his head to the side and look at her, and then look straight ahead again.:rofl: So the idea that Pharoah would bite Pence is...:rofl::huh::rofl:
I want to see proof. Pence says he has a mark.
 

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